engineering calculations

Started by jer4257, February 05, 2024, 03:32:14 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Hi. I'm Jeremy. I'm ne here. I bought the country cottage plans for a 20' by 34' two story house. I am working on the buulding permit in Aberdeen Washington. The building department needs engineering calculations. Do those already exist?


What are they asking them for?  Foundation?  Beams?  Seems an odd thing to ask but if building within the city limits that could be an issue.


I can give you all of what they said.
(from city engineering):I see that you have purchased a set of factory building plans, the next step for you would be to reach out to an engineer or an architect and explain to them that you have these plans and that you need someone to design them site specific for the specified address (1912 w 2nd) as we do required engineer stamped drawings. Whomever you decide to hire for this can also fill out the required energy code forms needed for this size of a house as well as the engineering calcs. Renee will also as stated earlier be requiring the flood vents be noted on the foundation portion of the plans with location, size and type of vents.

So, I reached out to a local architectural firm in Aberdeen. They said:

Hello Jeremy,
Thanks for reaching out to Harbor Architects LLC.  Unfortunately, with copyright and insurance rules we are unable to work on plans created by someone else.  We would have to entirely draw up the plans in our own system to become the Architect of Record. 
Your project's size does not require a Licensed Architect by state code, it would be feasible for you to approach an Engineer directly.  We typically partner with PCS Structural solutions out of Tacoma, they are a large firm who work on the occasional small project for us.  Recent engineering cost for a new residence that they provided to us was $3,200.
For the Washington State Energy code forms and calculations, you should be able to work with your contractor and subs to fill out the attached forms.  A residence of less than 1500 sf needs to earn 3 credits from the Prescriptive worksheet.  These can be easily earned through efficient HVAC systems, and potentially upgrading insulation values in various locations.
If you would like to work with us to modify your existing plans and have us become the Architect of Record, I would be happy to provide you with a fee proposal to get your through the permitting and include the Structural Engineering by our team.  Typically for new residences we see this cost being around $12-15,000 for new residences where you have a base plan to start from, if we are going entirely custom and starting from scratch on the design very often this fee is 20,000-30,000.
I hope this helps.  Let me know if there is anything you would like us to be involved in,
So, you can see that $500 for "countryPlans" is a relatively small price to pay, when you consider all the additional costs. Still, to remain objective, do the calculations already exist for these plans? If they do, why would I pay someone to do all the calculations over again?


Here is a response I got from

Just looked over the plans for you. Looks like the calculations on the plans (and in the booklet) themselves are all we have for those. There are some header load calculations for instance, in the plans. That's very normal with plans of this type. You'll likely want to work with a local engineer who's familiar with your local codes and conditions, so that they can ensure that everything is up to all of the local standards and requirements.  
Hope this helps!
CountryPlans Team

I am inquiring with an engineer to get a price for engineering calculations for the 20' by 34' cottage. I will post to let you know what happens.


I suspect at issue here is that CountryPlans type plans are generally used out in the country away from city planning departments or as a starting point for a build.  Yes they lay out the build and you can build a cabin or small home with them (I built a cabin) but as someone who used to build condo's etc some 30 years ago, they aren't a full set of engineered drawings that might be required by a largely populated city or county (or one near larger populations) where building requirements are considerably more strict.

I'm sorry you are running into this, it's unfortunate really as the engineering costs sound like a considerable sum frankly, but that's what happens in some areas.  Sometimes permitting costs as much as framing and in my opinion (which isn't worth a whole lot) is criminal.

I get why they do it, but I don't agree with it.


If this were me I'd be inclined to search the county records until I found a house pretty much matching what I wanted, then ask the engineer to simply stamp them again for me.  I presume if  this is a simple enough house surely someone else out of 100's of thousands of people already have something similar.

My county all that stuff is open.  When it came for the paperwork I had to submit I basically just looked at what people in my county did and then found the closest examples and changed them until they matched what I needed.  I always like any officials to think "oh this looks like the shit I already approved last month, no need to bother thinking much."