Below are a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and their answers.

 

My company is small and my approach is low key. To discuss your specific project please contact me for a no obligation consultation. I would be happy to help. 

1. Can you provide Sealed or Stamped Engineered Drawings and letters for my project?

 

In the states I am licensed in, Yes. After consulation I will visit your site location, gather field notes and measurements. Back at my office I will perform the design or analysis and deliver my recommendations or drawings as needed. Typically for a home owner this results in 1-4 billable hours of work. 

 

2. How long does the design process take?

 

Project turn around time can vary between 1 day to many months depending on the complexity of the design. Typical designs turn around time is 1-2 weeks. On your project I will work to meet your deadline. 

 

3. Where do you provide Engineering services?

 

I currently spend time working in and traveling between Louisville KY,  Indianapolis IN, and Ft Wayne IN. I will work on projects within a reasonable driving distance on a case by case basis outside of Indiana and Kentucky where licensed to do so. If needed I can obtain additional out of state Professional Licensure through receprocity if the lead time in doing so is not an issue.  

 

4. Are You a Structural Engineer?

In a word , no. Most engineers performing structural design in the US are licensed as Civil Engineers. Structural Engineering (SE) is a specality within Civil Engineering. I am a licensed Professional Engineer (PE), I am a Registered Enginer (RE), I am a Civil Engineer (CE). I can perform structural analysis and design within my education, training, and experience in the states I have a license to do so. My degree is in Civil Engineering which encompases several sub specialties including Structural Engineering. Bottom line, in all but a few cases I can provide the structural services you need, and if I can't, I can refer you to a professional that can. Many times the words Structural Engineer and Civil Engineer and Registered Engineer are used interchangeably. 

 

5. How much does residential engineering cost?

 

Designs range from a few hundred dollars on a one page homeowner design to tens of thousands for an entire commercial project's design. We can discuss your project with a call or email today. For ballpark pricing information see my Rate Sheet page.

 

6. What building code do you use?

 

There are many differnt building codes specifications and resources an engineer may use and be subject to such as the IBC, IRC, ACI, AISC, Indiana Green Book, and more. I have built a complete engineering library of the most common codes based on my practice to ensure your project is safe and code compliant. 

 

7. Is my project too small for your service?

 

There is no project too small. I will prorate my time to the nearest 15 minutes on your project. 

 

8. Is my cracked concrete okay?

 

It depends. Concrete cracks can be of no concern or of great concern depending on the circumstances. There are too many variables to address here, please give me a call or email to discuss. 

 

9. Is my foundation settlement normal?

 

It is normal for a structre when initially placed to experience a slight settlement. Typically in homes the concern is when differential settlement or large amounts of settlement take place. This can be caused by poorly excavated footings, clay soils, dewatering, improper construction, poorly compacted fills, unusual loading and more. Please call or email to discuss your concern. 

 

10. Why select Clayborn for your project?

 

If you answer yes to one or more of the following consider selecting me as your Engineer: Is your problem unique? Do you want the company owner to return your calls, emails, and visit your site? Do you want your project to have all of the companies attention? Are you looking for an Engineer who will listen and consider alternative solutions? Do you want an engineer that has experience as a contractors laborer, design office drafter, construciton project manager, and design engineer who fully understands construction? Do you want price effective solutions? 

 

11. Do you work with new Professionals?

 

I am always looking to network with new Architects, Interior Designers, Building Designers, Engineers, Builders, Contractors, Home Inspectors, REALTORS, and facility owners. You can reach me here. 

 

12. Do you offer construction services?

 

In a word, no. However, my familiy construciton company has some availability depending on where your project is located. I can work to find you a qualified, experienced contractor to complete your project and provide construction inspection services to ensure compliance to plan specifications.

 

13. My son or daughter is considering civil engineering is it a good career choice?

 

Engineering is a top field for young students. Especially students gifted in math, science, imagination, creativity, or spatial relations. It is an excellent choice considering the aging infrastructre of hte nation. The job growth is currently 20% faster than an average career according to the BLS website. Students should attend an ABET accredited university and complete a BS of Science degree in Civil Engineering, ideally continue and obtain an MS degree, then pass the FE and PE exams and complete the necessary appretaceships. I also recommend a program that allows coopertive internships while the student is still in school to gain practical experience that will build their resume for graduation and employment. Median pay was just under $80,000 in 2012. 

 

14. What does Design Build mean?

 

Typically Design Build is used on fast tracked public construction works. It is in contrast to the traditional approach for construction projects selects a designer, and then a contractor is  selected. The design–build method changes the traditional sequence of work. It allows a client to select a single point of responsibility/accountability in an attempt to reduce errors and omissions. 

 

15. Are you hiring employees at this time?

 

I am looking for outstanding professionals in many fields. Visit this page.

 

Alternatively if you are a recruiter looking to fill these services for your client feel free to contact me to see if my company can help. I can provide the services needed without hiring directly. I have the capacity. 

 

16. Can you combine your engineering fee with your Real Estate fee to save me money?

 

Yes. If you are about to buy or sell Residential or Commercial property for your building project in Indiana I can help. I am a licensed Real Estate Broker in Indiana. I can save you money. If you use both of my professional services I will discount my Engineering fee just mention this ad. 

 

17. Where did you study engineering?

 

I consider myself a lifelong student but offically I graduated from the University of Louisville JB Speed Scientific School in Louisville KY with a degree in Civil Engineering. I had many great professors and it opened the door for a wonderful cooperative internship in a Structural Design Office. Passing the rigorous classes in engineering gave me the self confidence to tackle many more difficult challenges in life I may have not had the courage for without it.  

 

18. What are your business hours?

 

I generally work the hours the contractors work. This means I can usually get to your project in a relatively short notice day or night, weekday or weekend. Typically my appointment hours are after the close of business so the owners can meet me without the demads of running a business. Similarly most homeowners prefer to meet me after work or on weekends. I vary my schedule to accomodate most schedules. Contact me with your availability. 

 

19. What payment methods do you accept? i.e. Do you accept credit cards or PayPal?

 

At no cost to you, the buyer, I accept Cash, Check, US-based Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, debit cards, PayPal, and even PayPal Credit through PayPal Here. Other terms can be arranged but regardless of the method chosen you will be responsible for payment within 15 days of the invoice date. Certain projects may require a downpayment before work begins. 

 

20. Why do Engineering fees seem so expensive?

 

There are a number of factors that go into pricing projects. The largest of which are overhead. Some of the largest overhead expenses are Health Care, Professional Memberships, Annual Training / Conferences / Professional Development Hours, Website Hosting Registration, Advertising, Personal and Business Licenses for each State Registration, Design Analysis Softare, Drafting software, Computers, Cell Phones, Multifunction Printers Scanners and Plotters, and reference material on the latest codes for Wood, Concrete and Steel.  The total for all of the above can easily soar into the tens of thousands of dollars annually. 

 

21. I see existing structures supported with smaller components, why is your design heavier?

 

There are a number of factors that go into sizing members of structures. Generally speaking the building code is based on investigation of past designs and structure failures. Information collected is continiously used to create a design that better handles the design loads the structre will face durings it lifetime. If you see a structure that is decades old with smaller members it very well could be the structure has not yet faced the maximum design load in it lifetime and it would be unsafe when it did. 

 

22. Why can't my contractor add water to the concrete truck mix?

 

Concrete is designed for a specified maximum 28 day compressive strength. This strength is created by a recipe called a mix design. The mix design is very sensite to the batch weights of all the concretes ingredients.  This includes fine aggregate, course aggregate, cement, admixtures and water. It is the proportion of each of these ingredients that determines the strength. If water is added onsite it will increase the water to cement ratio and lower the strength. Workers typically add water onsite to increase the slump of concrete which makes it more workable or flow easier. This can be achieved with a mix design that specifies a higher slump and keep the water to cement ratio needed for the strength. 

 

23. My contractor has been doing this for 30 years and says no one has asked him to build like this before?

 

It could be that the contractor has been doing it wrong for 30 years. He should follow the Engineers that sealed the drawings recommendations explicitly to ensure the intended performance of the structure. 

 

24. What is a Civil Engineer?

 

Civil Engineer is a broad field and is contrasted with other broad fields of engineering such as Chemical, Computer or Mechanical Engineering.  Within Civil Engineering are more specific disciplines such as hydrology, structural, transportation, environmental, and geotechnical. 

 

As a licensed Civil Engineer I am able to practice my professional engineering services in any Civil Engineering sub disciplines based on my personal experience, education and local legislation.

 

For me these disciplines are Construction Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Geotechnical Engineering in Kentucky and Indiana.

 

25. What are a few of your favorite websites?

 

Tim Garrison PE - The Builders Engineer                                                                

MIBOR - Indianapolis Real Estate

Houzz - Building Design Pictures                                                                             

REALTOR - Trade Association

Trulia - Real Estate Values                                                                                         

AIA - Architecture Website

Zillow - Real Estate Values                                                                                         

Southeast Christian Church

Clayborn Realty - My Wife's Real Estate Brokerage                                              

Accuweather

Clayborn Contractors - My Family Construction Company                                 

BankRate.com

Indiana Professional License Search - Verify Engineer Registration                  

DreamHomeSource.com

Kentucky Professional License Search - Verify Engineer Registration               

AutoDesk.com

Mr. Excel                                                                                                                       

Tim Garrison Repairs

NSPE

ASCE

 

26. Can you provide a PE stamp on roof repairs already performend?

 

I would be happy to review your project and construction previously performed to determine if it is adequate. Please contact me. 

 

27. Can you provide help with my tilt up buildings wall repair?

 

I would be happy to review your site and come up with a project proposal. I will even review the construction methods. 

 

28. Can you provide help with crane steel cart design?

 

I would be happy to refer you to a qualified fabrication engineer.

 

29. Can you provide help with my 2 story chimney repair?

 

I would be happy to review your site and determine if the issue is with settlement, water, rot, etc. and help you find a qualified contractor to repair. 

 

30. Can you provide help finding a qualified contractor?

 

I would be happy to review your project and provide letting documents and bid review. 

Copyright © 2016 by Richard W Clayborn, P.E.  Civil Engineering for Residential and Commercial Buildings. All rights reserved. Terms of Use

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