Who do you call first?

                                                            Architect? Engineer? Contractor? Municipality? Insurance?

Architects’ and engineers’ duties overlap in many ways and we work together on lots of projects.  Architects and Engineers design and prepare drawings and specifications for contractors to build.

But who do you call first?

 Situations with conditions that are very specific- you should probably start with an engineer.  Some examples would be:  where there are cracks in your foundation-a structural engineer would be retained; where poor drainage appears to create ponding on your site- a civil engineer should be hired; vif a building was subject to poor heating- a mechanical engineer would be engaged, if the soil seems soft or very rocky-then a geotechnical engineer would be consulted early in the design process.

Situations that are more general-you’re best off calling an architect first.  They are better suited to coordinate tasks among various consultants and sift through the regulations needed to obtain approvals from municipalities.  Good examples would be designing a new building, or reconfiguring a school into an apartment building.  While a structural and mechanical engineer would likely be retained as part of the team, their scope of work and responsibility is narrower.

You can speak to the municipality in general terms about the project…usually about protocol of submissions and the approval-permitting sequence, but they’ll usually require drawings to review the feasibility and approvals needed before you can have meaningful dialog.

Occasionally,  a construction manager or builder may serve as the design teams’ quarterback particularly if a project is being “fast-tracked” ,  which requires simultaneous construction and drawing development. This is often done for larger – more time-sensitive projects where construction methods and flexibility are most important or when budgeting is subject to change and time is unavailable to formally bid / re-bid projects.

When damage from storms, fire, floods or other situations arise- it’s best to consult with your insurance agent first to see if they have restrictions and suggestions about the best manner to undertake restorative measures and repairs.

Please give us a call and we’ll point you in the right direction… we work with many talented engineers and construction managers  in the area….914  674 2950, ask for Steve