Originally Posted By: roconnor
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IMHO for something that clearly just needs a simple fix refer to a qualified contractor, and for something that needs an evaluation or more refer to a qualified engineer.
For things in between where work needs to be done that is not too complicated, but it's not a simple fix, it's a toss up sometimes. Some contractors are good, and will use an engineer for evaluations and design, and you get an adequate repair for exactly what you need. But they may mark up the engineers fees so the client ends up paying more. Other contractors are not so good, and ya may be charged for more than you really need ... or they may not really understand all of the problems so ya may just get a partial fix. I come across both types, and it really is hit or miss.
In general I think it's better for the client/owner to just hire an engineer directly for anything beyond just a simple fix. They can do the evaluation right off the bat to tell you exactly what needs to be done if there really is a problem, and give you sketches/plans if work is needed. Then the client/owner can get competitive contractor prices on the work, without cutting corners or over doing things ... and you are comparing apples to apples on the prices.
I have an appointment next weekend to look at a house that has some framing problems. They got contractor prices for repairs that varied widely, and they are not sure if the low prices are missing things or if the high prices are overcharging or including extra stuff that they may not really need.
The trick is not to refer to an engineer for simple fixes, and to find a good engineer to work with who will give the client a description and/or sketches/plans for any required repairs ... and not hand that off for a contractor to do. They really shouldn't be doing that anyway.
Just my 2-nickles as an engineer also ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)
Robert O'Connor, PE
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I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong