⚠  Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) — Important information for our clients
Q.
Why is a Site Visit needed? What does a Site Visit entail, and what are the deliverables?
A.

Site Visits are usually needed for projects with an existing structure. The purpose of the site visit is to have the Engineer examine the existing conditions prior to performing engineering analysis and design. For the site visit, the Engineer will travel to the site and meet with the client. During the consultation, the client will discuss goals or concerns for their project. The Engineer may look in the roof, the attic, and foundation crawlspace if needed and take measurements. While on site, the Engineer records observations from the visit that is necessary to perform analysis and design or provide recommendations for repairs. 

Sometimes the client will hire an Engineer for a verbal only consultation. For example, the client wants to remove a wall that may be bearing. In this scenario, the Engineer will make observations and provide the client a verbal confirmation if the wall is bearing or not. Sometimes a determination cannot be made on site because certain elements may not be visible because of things like drywall.  

Deliverables for site visits can be letters of findings, a repair detail, or an engineered plan set with calculations. The needs will vary from project to project and the Engineer on site will provide information on what deliverables will be required. 
 

Q.
Do I need a permit for a remodel?
A.

It depends on the type of remodel but most of the time the answer is yes. It is important to contact the building department before doing any work to determine if permits are required. Every jurisdiction is different and will have different requirements.

Q.
What is needed to apply for a building permit?
A.

To apply for a building permit you will need a permit application, site plan, plans for your remodel or addition, structural calculations and other jurisdictionally varying required documents. The building department will have a submittal checklist of things needed to obtain a building permit. Beyler provides a Structural plan set that has the necessary information and meets the jurisdictions requirements to get a building permit. There will be other items Beyler may be able to help with. Make sure to ask us about our permitting services!

Q.
What are As-Builts?
A.

As-builts are a set of drawings that represent the structure as it was constructed, not necessarily what was designed, as plans can change throughout the building process. As-builts account for any construction related changes and modifications. These documents are then filed as a reference for the structure they were created for.

Q.
There is a crack in my foundation, what should I do? How do I know if it’s a foundation issue?
A.

A crack in a foundation can be sign of foundation settlement. Cracks in concrete is normal but a foundation crack can be a sign of something more serious. If a crack has grown or recently opened up is an indication of a potentially serious issue and you should immediately have a structural engineer come to inspect it to determine the seriousness of the situation and provide you with the next steps. 

Q.
What structural concerns should I be concerned about when remodeling?
A.

Removing interior walls, adding windows and/or doors are common objectives in a remodel but pose a big change to the structural system. Interior walls may be bearing so it is important to contact an Engineer to determine if the wall is bearing or not. If it is, an Engineer can design a beam to replace the wall. Adding windows and doors to the exterior wall can weaken the structures resistance to wind and earthquake loads. Always consult an Engineer before adding windows or door!

Q.
Does a retaining wall need a permit?
A.

Typically, the codes read that any wall that is four feet or taller, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, requires a permit.  Walls that meet this requirement are typically required to be engineered by a structural engineer, to ensure that it does not fall over or onto anyone.  Always consult the permitting department before building a wall to confirm these requirements.

Q.
Does a deck need a permit?
A.

Most jurisdictions require that a deck permit if the deck is 30-inches or greater in height above the grade. Always consult the permitting department before building a deck to confirm these requirements.