Proposal for Structural Damage

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Nova1967
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 3:22 pm

Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by Nova1967 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:01 pm

Hello Bogleheads

I own a home in South FL that has severe structural damage in 2 upstairs bedrooms, Its a result of water damage from a leaking AC 10 years ago and termites got into the wood. Once the carpets were pulled back and some of the plywood was removed it was determined that the beams are damaged, Joist replacement is required ,walls might need to be replaced, drywall replaced. The repairs require extensive work. The contractor said I need to have an Engineer provide an inspection ($300) and drawings ($2500) before he can submit a proposal. The Contractor stated they would use an Engineer associated with their firm. I agree that I do need an Engineer to assess the damage. The Contractor is very attentive, helpful and easy to work with and appears to have a very good reputation for its work. They are also very expensive which is why I would like to get additional quotes from other reputable Contractors.

I have put in a claim with an Insurance company and it looks like I am going have to hire a Pro Adjuster for my case. Needless to say I am planning for the worst.

My questions are:

1. Should I hire an Independent Structural Engineer or have the Contractor provide the Engineer in order to get a proposal,

2, Is it necessary to have drawings ($2500) submitted in order to receive a proposal based on the info I provided. ( feel free to ask questions)

3. What needs to be done in order to get a proposal beyond the Structural Engineer report ( I plan on getting estimates from at least three other Contractors)



I realize this will be a costly project, My main objective is to find out how much this is going to cost so I can plan accordingly.
If any additional information is needed feel free to ask,

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Nova1967
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by Nova1967 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:38 am

bumped

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snackdog
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Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by snackdog » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:45 am

1. I would hire my own to avoid conflicts of interest.
2. Yes as it will narrow the scope of work and improve quotes.
3. Probably nothing other than getting that report to three contractors and having them come take a look.

surveyor
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:05 am

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by surveyor » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:51 am

It would be unusual for a GC to employ an engineer. More than likely they team up for projects.

Personally, I'd separate the two. Find an engineer to assess the problem and come up with a solution. That will likely involve drawings for any contractor to work off of and to get structural permits as part of the building permit process. Several contractors bid the job based on the plans and quantities, the winning one pulls the permits and completes the job. Personally, I'd pay the engineer to do an inspection prior to everything being closed up. Typically, at least around here, the municipality would inspect but that would be to ensure it complies with what they want - not necessarily what the engineer wants.

A call to the municipal building inspector's office can give you details more particular to your location. They shouldn't give you recommendations for engineers or contractors. That you'll have to find on your own. Your engineer should know some contractors that will give quotes though.

Nova1967
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by Nova1967 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:58 am

snackdog wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:45 am
1. I would hire my own to avoid conflicts of interest.
2. Yes as it will narrow the scope of work and improve quotes.
3. Probably nothing other than getting that report to three contractors and having them come take a look.
Thanks for the advice snackdog

Nova1967
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by Nova1967 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:59 am

surveyor wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:51 am
It would be unusual for a GC to employ an engineer. More than likely they team up for projects.

Personally, I'd separate the two. Find an engineer to assess the problem and come up with a solution. That will likely involve drawings for any contractor to work off of and to get structural permits as part of the building permit process. Several contractors bid the job based on the plans and quantities, the winning one pulls the permits and completes the job. Personally, I'd pay the engineer to do an inspection prior to everything being closed up. Typically, at least around here, the municipality would inspect but that would be to ensure it complies with what they want - not necessarily what the engineer wants.

A call to the municipal building inspector's office can give you details more particular to your location. They shouldn't give you recommendations for engineers or contractors. That you'll have to find on your own. Your engineer should know some contractors that will give quotes though.
Thanks for the help, Very much appreciated

carolinaman
Posts: 3252
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by carolinaman » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:48 am

Nova1967 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:01 pm

My questions are:

1. Should I hire an Independent Structural Engineer or have the Contractor provide the Engineer in order to get a proposal,

Yes

2, Is it necessary to have drawings ($2500) submitted in order to receive a proposal based on the info I provided. ( feel free to ask questions)

I do not see the need for drawings if you are going to repair existing space. The structural engineer's report should be sufficient, but this is a good question to ask whomever you hire for this. I have had water damage three times (washing machine line, chimney and icemaker) that damaged flooring that required replacement of flooring, joists, wall studs, sheet rock and in one instance about 20' of sill plate. Not as significant as what you are talking about but I just used a good re modeler for repairs (my son).

3. What needs to be done in order to get a proposal beyond the Structural Engineer report ( I plan on getting estimates from at least three other Contractors)

I would think that the structural engineer's report and some written requirements by you (if necessary) plus onsite inspection by the contractors should be sufficient for bids. Make sure their bids stipulate exactly what they will do to repair the space.


IMO, it sounds like what the contractor is proposing is overkill. Definitely get bids from other contractors and interact with them as they inspect the damage. That should help you understand what needs to be done and get a feel for who is best to do this work. I would focus on the best proposal, not the cheapest. Also, get references for all the contractors. Best wishes in getting this resolved.

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Watty
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Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:01 am

I was in a much different situation but I once had minor flood damage. I hired a structural engineer to inspect the house and write up a "prescription" for rehabilitating the house even though I was not required to do this.

It turned out that there was no structural damage and most of the needed work was things like replacing ductwork and insulation.

I had flood insurance and having the structural engineers report made it very easy to deal with the adjuster since there was little they could dispute with what the engineer had written.

Even more important was that when I eventually sold the I had kept a folder with the engineers report and the documentation that the work had been done. That was very important since I could should that to the potential buyers and prove that the house had been done correctly.

As you go through this one thing to do is to be sure to keep good documentation for when you eventually sell the house.

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Sandtrap
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Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:18 am

Nova1967 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:01 pm
Hello Bogleheads

I own a home in South FL that has severe structural damage in 2 upstairs bedrooms, Its a result of water damage from a leaking AC 10 years ago and termites got into the wood. Once the carpets were pulled back and some of the plywood was removed it was determined that the beams are damaged, Joist replacement is required ,walls might need to be replaced, drywall replaced. The repairs require extensive work. The contractor said I need to have an Engineer provide an inspection ($300) and drawings ($2500) before he can submit a proposal. The Contractor stated they would use an Engineer associated with their firm. I agree that I do need an Engineer to assess the damage. The Contractor is very attentive, helpful and easy to work with and appears to have a very good reputation for its work. They are also very expensive which is why I would like to get additional quotes from other reputable Contractors.

I have put in a claim with an Insurance company and it looks like I am going have to hire a Pro Adjuster for my case. Needless to say I am planning for the worst.

My questions are:

1. Should I hire an Independent Structural Engineer or have the Contractor provide the Engineer in order to get a proposal,

2, Is it necessary to have drawings ($2500) submitted in order to receive a proposal based on the info I provided. ( feel free to ask questions)

3. What needs to be done in order to get a proposal beyond the Structural Engineer report ( I plan on getting estimates from at least three other Contractors)



I realize this will be a costly project, My main objective is to find out how much this is going to cost so I can plan accordingly.
If any additional information is needed feel free to ask,

Thanks in advance for any advice.
1. Neither.
Get proposals from at least several more General Contractors (licensed,insured,bonded) in your area with experience in this type of work. You will get more input from them regarding what is needed, who should be called, and if engineering services are required.
2. No. The work needed can be spec'd out and detailed on the contract proposal.
3. Again, have several, or more, General Contractors come and look at the project and get their input. Won't cost anything and you will be gaining more info on what needs to be done and how best to go about it.
4. The point right now is to info gather. The contractor you spoke with sounds cautious and methodical, which is good because no Contractor wants to approach a job like this with so many unknowns (aka "can of worms"). Get other contractors to chime in on it. They will each have their own subcontractors, engineers, etc, to tap into.
Replacing and repairing damage to an existing structure without changes to the original spec is fairly straightforward. Should not be that complex.
5. As for an engineering evaluation. Sometimes an engineer will spec a job that will drive costs far higher than needed. The engineer certifies his eval. and that "CYA" factor can be expensive, at times.

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lthenderson
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Location: Iowa

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by lthenderson » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:52 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:18 am
1. Neither.
Get proposals from at least several more General Contractors (licensed,insured,bonded) in your area with experience in this type of work. You will get more input from them regarding what is needed, who should be called, and if engineering services are required.
2. No. The work needed can be spec'd out and detailed on the contract proposal.
3. Again, have several, or more, General Contractors come and look at the project and get their input. Won't cost anything and you will be gaining more info on what needs to be done and how best to go about it.
4. The point right now is to info gather. The contractor you spoke with sounds cautious and methodical, which is good because no Contractor wants to approach a job like this with so many unknowns (aka "can of worms"). Get other contractors to chime in on it. They will each have their own subcontractors, engineers, etc, to tap into.
Replacing and repairing damage to an existing structure without changes to the original spec is fairly straightforward. Should not be that complex.
5. As for an engineering evaluation. Sometimes an engineer will spec a job that will drive costs far higher than needed. The engineer certifies his eval. and that "CYA" factor can be expensive, at times.
+1

Sandtrap has great advice. I would just add that getting an engineer at this stage is pointless. I generally get things gutted to where I can see the extent of the problem first and then if needed, call an engineer. For replacing thing to the original specifications, I wouldn't need an engineer. Generally when quoting a "can of worms" situation like this, I give a best case and worst case quote, with the person agreeing to pay for the worst case if it occurs. Most of the time I end up somewhere in the middle.

carolinaman
Posts: 3252
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by carolinaman » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:26 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:18 am
Nova1967 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:01 pm
1. Neither.
Get proposals from at least several more General Contractors (licensed,insured,bonded) in your area with experience in this type of work. You will get more input from them regarding what is needed, who should be called, and if engineering services are required.
2. No. The work needed can be spec'd out and detailed on the contract proposal.
3. Again, have several, or more, General Contractors come and look at the project and get their input. Won't cost anything and you will be gaining more info on what needs to be done and how best to go about it.
4. The point right now is to info gather. The contractor you spoke with sounds cautious and methodical, which is good because no Contractor wants to approach a job like this with so many unknowns (aka "can of worms"). Get other contractors to chime in on it. They will each have their own subcontractors, engineers, etc, to tap into.
Replacing and repairing damage to an existing structure without changes to the original spec is fairly straightforward. Should not be that complex.
5. As for an engineering evaluation. Sometimes an engineer will spec a job that will drive costs far higher than needed. The engineer certifies his eval. and that "CYA" factor can be expensive, at times.
+1. Sandtrap has some very good advice. Engineer needs to CYA is their reports for liability reasons and that can sometimes be expensive. My son has jacked my house up twice for structural repairs and did not need a structural engineer. He has 30 years of framing, carpentry and remodeling experience and knows what he is doing. The caveat is make sure whoever does this is very experienced, because serious damage can occur if not done properly.

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Sandtrap
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Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:48 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:52 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:18 am
1. Neither.
Get proposals from at least several more General Contractors (licensed,insured,bonded) in your area with experience in this type of work. You will get more input from them regarding what is needed, who should be called, and if engineering services are required.
2. No. The work needed can be spec'd out and detailed on the contract proposal.
3. Again, have several, or more, General Contractors come and look at the project and get their input. Won't cost anything and you will be gaining more info on what needs to be done and how best to go about it.
4. The point right now is to info gather. The contractor you spoke with sounds cautious and methodical, which is good because no Contractor wants to approach a job like this with so many unknowns (aka "can of worms"). Get other contractors to chime in on it. They will each have their own subcontractors, engineers, etc, to tap into.
Replacing and repairing damage to an existing structure without changes to the original spec is fairly straightforward. Should not be that complex.
5. As for an engineering evaluation. Sometimes an engineer will spec a job that will drive costs far higher than needed. The engineer certifies his eval. and that "CYA" factor can be expensive, at times.
+1

Sandtrap has great advice. I would just add that getting an engineer at this stage is pointless. I generally get things gutted to where I can see the extent of the problem first and then if needed, call an engineer. For replacing thing to the original specifications, I wouldn't need an engineer. Generally when quoting a "can of worms" situation like this, I give a best case and worst case quote, with the person agreeing to pay for the worst case if it occurs. Most of the time I end up somewhere in the middle.
Yes.
Or, alternatively, T&M, (time and materials).
j

Nova1967
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

Post by Nova1967 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:39 am

Thanks for the advice, I'm ok spending a few hundred dollars for a Structural Engineer report if thats what it takes to get proposals, I have had (2) General Contractors look at the place and they both recommended an Engineer to look at the place before they could submit a quote,

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