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Do my house plans need to be engineered?
I often get asked if house plans need to be engineered?  Well, each city is enforces requirements and codes differently.  My building company is in Northern Utah, where we have several environmental factors to deal with.  We are in earthquake zones, have hot and extremely cold temperatures and unusually high snow loads.  The house plans we use from don’t give specific details about snow loads etc.  As a general contractor, I simply take the home plans to the truss company and let them give figure all of the snow loads etc.  They have to do it anyway and it doesn’t cost any more. If we are building a rambler style home, the city inspectors generally don’t require engi Read more
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Published On : 06-28-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
What should you know before customizing a home plan?
We have great design professionals that would be happy to customize your home plan. However, there are a few things you ought to know before doing so. Often times municipalities will require plans to be reviewed by a local structural engineer or architect before they issue a building permit. Why? Designers and architects create their drawings according to the building practices in the location in which they reside. Construction practices will not vary tremendously but homes built in the Rocky Mountains will be able to support significant snowfall while homes in Florida will not. An engineer will analyze the structure and size the beams, rafters etc. to assure that the structural integrity of the home is not compromised by the location in wh Read more
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Published On : 11-22-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
Tips for locating a good/reasonable engineer
Many people who look for home plans on are being their own general contractor.  As a general contractor, I realize that some people just like torture and punishment.  For those people I know that one of your first hurdles will be finding a good/reasonable engineer.  Most building inspectors will require that your home plan be engineered to meet your local seismic requirements etc.  However, not all engineers are the same.  Some charge a lot more money than others, and some charge less, but over engineer your plan.  When they over do that, the cost to accommodate the engineering, can far out weigh the engineering fees.  So how can you find out who the good engineers are?  We Read more
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Published On : 11-23-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
Still more snow.
I guess we're not done getting our share of snow yet. We had another 6 inches on the ground this morning and its been snowing steadily all day. Combined I think that is over 24” of snow in the past three days. It's fun for the kids, but messy on the roads. I have a short drive to work and saw two accidents. Snowfall like we have recently had is why we have a requirement in our local city to have home plans reviewed by a structural engineer. The way roofs are constructed in the southern states is a little different than they are here. So, if some one buys a home plan that was designed by an architect from the south, they will need to have it reviewed by a structural engineer. Why? So that when it snows 24” in just a few days, th Read more
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Published On : 01-11-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
Engineering and House Plans
We have recently posted the following article in our articles section of our website, but this is common information requested from the sales representatives so here is the information again.     Engineering - What is it, and why is the city asking for it? These are questions that we get asked quite frequently here at The Plan Collection. So, since I have been designing homes for quite some time, and have some experience with the subject, I thought I'd write a thing or two here to clarify things for those wondering what this is all about and how it applies to home plans. I'll break this down into a few common questions so you can jump to the one question you're most concerned about.     What Read more
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Published On : 02-09-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
Structural Review - Engineers and Architects Stamps
  We want to revisit a topic that we covered quite a while ago. We continuously get questions regarding architects and engineers stamps, or structural review. Our very own Jake England wrote the following quite some time ago, and it still holds true today:   What is structural engineering?   Structural engineering is the analysis of home plans or a building's proposed structure [or even existing at times] to verify that the framing members and the method of construction is sufficient to withstand local weather patterns, soil types, earth movements, wind speeds, and so on. For example, the areas where homes receive significant amounts of snow in the winter will require a roof structure strong enough to hold the wei Read more
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Published On : 04-16-2008
Author : Steve Donegan

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