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Loss Of Character

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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Loss Of Character


A little back ground info,

I had an engineer quote a price on stamped drawings for a retaining wall, that price was $750-$1000. I got the project and before the drawings were stamped the engineer informed me that soil testing would be an additional $1800!!.(a total of $2800) The home owner said no to soil testing so all we got where unstamped drawings. Now engineer wants $1000 for the work he did! On top of that he wants me to fudge the numbers on the time & material part of the project so the money doesn't come out of my pocket!!! Shouldn't the engineer have known what tests would be required for stamped drawings?!!

It seems to me the longer I'm in this business the more I see how many people are dishonest and have no problem screwing over someone else. It seems no one has any character and its only about the bottom line. it makes me sick!

I haven't paid the engineer yet.

your comments are very welcome.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:32 PM   #2
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Re: Loss Of Character


I am just going to go with what I see. What did your contract or agreement say? Did it include the soils test in the quote?

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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Re: Loss Of Character


I asked engineer what will it cost for stamped drawings for said retaining wall? He said $750-$1000.

When someone wants a price for a project I don't expect them to know all of the reguired materials and labor it will take, it's all included in the price. I'm the professional its my duty to know what will be required to get the project done.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Loss Of Character


Structural Engineer and Soils Engineer are 2 different people. As a professional, you should know that. Home Owner pays unless you goofed.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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Re: Loss Of Character


How big is this retaining wall?
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #6
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Re: Loss Of Character


Quote:
Originally Posted by Precision10 View Post
A little back ground info,

I had an engineer quote a price on stamped drawings for a retaining wall, that price was $750-$1000. I got the project and before the drawings were stamped the engineer informed me that soil testing would be an additional $1800!!.(a total of $2800) The home owner said no to soil testing so all we got where unstamped drawings. Now engineer wants $1000 for the work he did! On top of that he wants me to fudge the numbers on the time & material part of the project so the money doesn't come out of my pocket!!! Shouldn't the engineer have known what tests would be required for stamped drawings?!!

It seems to me the longer I'm in this business the more I see how many people are dishonest and have no problem screwing over someone else. It seems no one has any character and its only about the bottom line. it makes me sick!

I haven't paid the engineer yet.

your comments are very welcome.
LOL! Got led down the primrose path a little, did ya?

Quote:
Shouldn't the engineer have known what tests would be required for stamped drawings?!!
Yes. Sounds like that's exactly what he's saying too.

So, he told you the truth - just not all at once. Now, where has that happened before?

You know, you CAN pay someone of YOUR choice to do the soil testing and submit...

You are in Ludington, so I'm guessing that the goodly town fathers there are the ones demanding sealed drawings. It falls to the homeowner to comply.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:19 PM   #7
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Re: Loss Of Character


And if there is no stamp there is no engineer, I thought the whole point of hiring an engineer is to get his/her stamp of approval? I could give you specs if you don't "need" a stamp.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:30 PM   #8
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Re: Loss Of Character


Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_dj1 View Post
And if there is no stamp there is no engineer, I thought the whole point of hiring an engineer is to get his/her stamp of approval? I could give you specs if you don't "need" a stamp.
Yah, I first wanted to ask this question:"How was the engineer able to provide or even quote drawings - if the soil testing results weren't already in front of him?"

And then I realized, that the engineer can quote/draw whatever he wants - and then add the "gotcha".
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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Re: Loss Of Character


I called upon an Engineer to provide stamped drawings for a structural slab in an existing structure.

I explained that he would need to send a tech out to look at the current conditions, use that data to design the slab, then provide an inspection of our work to verify it is completed correctly.

When I eventually got his bill it was a few hundred $ more than the quote.

I paid what was quoted originally.....what are you going to do?
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:13 PM   #10
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Re: Loss Of Character


Quote:
Originally Posted by Precision10 View Post
I asked engineer what will it cost for stamped drawings for said retaining wall? He said $750-$1000.

When someone wants a price for a project I don't expect them to know all of the reguired materials and labor it will take, it's all included in the price. I'm the professional its my duty to know what will be required to get the project done.
Well, as far as your thread title, I would tend to side on agreeing with you. It would have been nice of him to say "you want a soils test with that too?" I think he took advantage of the situation.

Unfortunately, as a GC, as you state, it is your duty to know what will be required to get the project done. You are the one responsible for everything that needs to get done. Sometimes it's not very fair and I feel for you in the situation you are in.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:16 PM   #11
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Re: Loss Of Character


The reason for the stamped drawing was to remove liability from me for the design/construction of the wall. This wall(Redi-Rock) is 110' long and ranges from 7.5' to 15' in height and is only 7' from the house. The wall is built now and I had the home owner sign a waiver reguarding the wall design and construction and removing us from any liability since stamped drawings where not used. I still feel that the engineer should have done his due diligence before quoting me a price on this wall. That is why I hired an engineering firm, they are supposed to know what would be required for stamped drawings on a retaining wall.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:32 PM   #12
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Re: Loss Of Character


Quote:
Originally Posted by Precision10 View Post
The reason for the stamped drawing was to remove liability from me for the design/construction of the wall. This wall(Redi-Rock) is 110' long and ranges from 7.5' to 15' in height and is only 7' from the house. The wall is built now and I had the home owner sign a waiver reguarding the wall design and construction and removing us from any liability since stamped drawings where not used. I still feel that the engineer should have done his due diligence before quoting me a price on this wall. That is why I hired an engineering firm, they are supposed to know what would be required for stamped drawings on a retaining wall.
The fee you quoted sounds low for the wall you describe.

Engineers are not business partners. Not his job to educate you.

Now that being said...pretty unprofessional & CS of the Engineer not to bring up a geo-tech during your query.

Also the pad the T&M bill...way out there & not cool....

IMO, you will be screwed if the wall fails...

Th HO's hired a pro... & it was you...
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:29 PM   #13
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Re: Loss Of Character


Unfortunately, engineers have a bad reputation based on stuff like this. Whether intentional or complete ignorance, the real problem is that engineers don't understand that not all their time is worth what they think it is worth. All of us will scratch our heads for days, ask advice from everyone we know, and put in countless hours for free to better our skillset and benefit our client. Engineers on the other hand, expect to get paid for any thought given to a project and even if they drop the ball, they want to get paid for the dropping and picking back up. That is where the real burn is. We all make mistakes, simple fact of the matter is the rest of the world pays for their own mistakes while engineers expect to be paid for their mistakes...............
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:58 PM   #14
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Re: Loss Of Character


Quote:
Originally Posted by cexcavation View Post
...Whether intentional or complete ignorance, the real problem is that engineers...expect to get paid for any thought...[and] for their own mistakes [too]
Bingo! You hit the nail on its head.

I heard an axiom years ago that I always enjoy recalling: Architects know a little bit about a whole lot of stuff while Engineers know almost everything about a very little bit of stuff. By virtue of working closely with both architects and engineers, over time Contractors come to know less and less about more and more until eventually they know nothing about everything.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #15
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Re: Loss Of Character


Quote:
Originally Posted by PipeGuy

Bingo! You hit the nail on its head.

I heard an axiom years ago that I always enjoy recalling: Architects know a little bit about a whole lot of stuff while Engineers know virtually everything about a very little bit of stuff. By virtue of working closely with both architects and engineers, over time Contractors will know less and less about more and more until eventually they know nothing about everything.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:10 PM   #16
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Re: Loss Of Character


I thought the typical mantra of this site was "You Need to Hire an Engineer"............................

This guy does exactly that, and you still find a way to point fingers at him. Maybe some of you are used to working with ruthless contractors where you're from or something, but here, a structural engineer would have done the homework before offering his quote...........
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:21 PM   #17
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Re: Loss Of Character


Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama View Post
I thought the typical mantra of this site was "You Need to Hire an Engineer"............................

This guy does exactly that, and you still find a way to point fingers at him. Maybe some of you are used to working with ruthless contractors where you're from or something, but here, a structural engineer would have done the homework before offering his quote...........
I think you are missing the point.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:21 PM   #18
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Re: Loss Of Character


Something is definitely wrong, I do not know of any engineer that would take on a job like that without first inquiring if soils testing would be required.

It is a retaining wall, the soil is everything.

I can't understand how the engineer could have even given any kind of stamped drawing unless he was under the impression that soils testing was not required and he did the design using certain assumptions about the over-all nature of the soil in the area. This is done frequently.

Andy.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:40 PM   #19
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Re: Loss Of Character


How did the engineer know what was needed to build the wall without first knowing the condition of the soil. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't certain engineering like depth of footings rely on soils testing.

I'm on a job right now where the footings on the plans were called out to be 18" deep. But required a soils engineer to examine the bottom of the footings which required us to make them 24" deep because of expansive clay. Either way the engineering of the footings was directly determined by the condition of the soil.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:34 AM   #20
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Re: Loss Of Character


I'm glad some of the of the replys see this my way. By the way the engineer visited the site and knew the soil was all sand. I still havent paid yet. Its hard to know what to do since this engineer gives me work.

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