How to choose a civil engineer?

3 Replies

This will be my first time needing a civil engineer, or any engineer. I will mostly need them to overcome some challenges getting sewer service to the property. It is a basically flat property with good drainage and we are using a standard size steel frame construction, so the other questions should be easy. It is only a 6000sf building and affordability is and affordability is a major concern. How do I choose? What questions should I ask? 

I understand I will have to spend money, but I want to know if these sewer issues push us over budget or just eat the margins, before we spend too much.

Thank you!

@Forrest Shealy

Call companies.  See if you can talk to engineers.  If you can, ask them what they think and how they price their services.  Ask them how much their projects cost, and who bids out the design docs.  Trenching, digging, etc... Isn't that bad.  As the guy at the equipment place said, 'live a little,' and rent it yourself.  Good plans let you do that.  Good plans also let you get <$1000 for the actual 'heady' plumbing work.

Originally posted by @Jim Goebel :

@Forrest Shealy

Call companies.  See if you can talk to engineers.  If you can, ask them what they think and how they price their services.  Ask them how much their projects cost, and who bids out the design docs.  Trenching, digging, etc... Isn't that bad.  As the guy at the equipment place said, 'live a little,' and rent it yourself.  Good plans let you do that.  Good plans also let you get <$1000 for the actual 'heady' plumbing work.

Thank you for your help! What types of answers am I looking for? They should not bid out their design docs?

Thank you Again,

Forrest

@Forrest Shealy

The truth of it is, most of these A/E firms hire warm bodies, and the young engineers don't really know how to add value 'during construction'.  They are CAD production monkeys, until they get some good real world experience.  So, the 'process' that these docs are bid out typically go through a 'mainstream' method of going to bid with traditional GC companies.  It's how most projects go to market.  The issue is that if you're looking to save money there are lots of inefficiencies which means costs in going this route.  You'd need to get those docs and bid them yourself, into the disparate parts of the project as needed.  For instance if you need a trench dug, find someone you can pay $200/day and have them dig the trench when you rent the machine.  That's how you save a bunch of money compared to the mainstream route.  It's work but it works.