How much would you charge to review and stamp drawings? - OCT 2011 - Engineer Boards
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Wildsoldier PE

How much would you charge to review and stamp drawings?

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Ok basically thats the question..if some one comes to you asking to review and stamp their drawings how much would you charge??..i heard that some engineers do it for $500 a sheet... And some engineers charge more. This is only review that everything is fine and stamp...doesnt include you doing the real design...someone else design it.

(null)

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Depends on the quantity, quality, and content, as well as whether you have libility (errors & omissions) insurance. Personally, I have issues with "selling my stamp", as well as issues with those who do. My first major issue revolves around someone (or worse yet, a company) take on a project if they couldnt stamp the drawings themselves.

Second issue revolves around involvement with the design through development. Do you know who did the design, who will ultimately own the final product, and who will be effected by implementation of said project?

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Someone I'm familiar with would say, "$1,000,000".

But me, I'd want to check my particular state board's rules.

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But me, I'd want to check my particular state board's rules.

This is good advice here.

In Ct you should not just stamp someone’s drawings, as the regulations specifically states:

The engineer or land surveyor shall not affix his or her seal to any plan, survey, sketch, drawing, specification, or other document not prepared personally or under his or her supervisory control.

It then goes on to state:

A licensee may seal, or sign and seal, documents not prepared by the licensee or by an employee under the licensee's supervisory control, provided the licensee shall prepare, and retain for a period of not less than six years, a thorough written evaluation of the professional services represented by the documents, including but not limited to, drawings, specifications, reports, design calculations and references to applicable codes and standards. Such written evaluation shall clearly identify the project and the documents to which it relates, the sources of the documents and the name of the person or organization for which the written evaluation was conducted and the date of the evaluation; and the seal and signature of the licensee shall also be affixed thereto.

To be honest, I would not want to take responsibility for work that I have not been intimately involved in, or have performed a detail review.

I hope this helps.

Tim

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But me, I'd want to check my particular state board's rules.

This is good advice here.

In Ct you should not just stamp someone’s drawings, as the regulations specifically states:

The engineer or land surveyor shall not affix his or her seal to any plan, survey, sketch, drawing, specification, or other document not prepared personally or under his or her supervisory control.

It then goes on to state:

A licensee may seal, or sign and seal, documents not prepared by the licensee or by an employee under the licensee's supervisory control, provided the licensee shall prepare, and retain for a period of not less than six years, a thorough written evaluation of the professional services represented by the documents, including but not limited to, drawings, specifications, reports, design calculations and references to applicable codes and standards. Such written evaluation shall clearly identify the project and the documents to which it relates, the sources of the documents and the name of the person or organization for which the written evaluation was conducted and the date of the evaluation; and the seal and signature of the licensee shall also be affixed thereto.

To be honest, I would not want to take responsibility for work that I have not been intimately involved in, or have performed a detail review.

I hope this helps.

Tim

I'm not licensed in CT sounds like the same language in the law as other states. I am a forensic engineer and work with lawyers on design related litigation (in addition to other investigations). Putting your stamp on another's design is a very precarious endeavor. Ask yourself this, if they are qualified to do the design why don't they have their own stamp? Probably not what you wanted to hear, just trying to help.

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Ok this is the situation...i used to work for an electrical contractor that do design build projects...there is no engineers in house the only engineer was me when i was an eit...the owner has an electrical contractor licence...when we design a project we contacted an engineer that knew the owners for a long time to review and stamp the drawings...i dont know how much he charge...now that i am a pe...how much do i charge for the drawings since i am replacing his place...so is not like stamping drawings for some one i dont know is for the company i gain the experience tobe a pe...and i know we make good designs.

(null)

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I would make sure you have liability insurance.

I have heard of firms billing at an hourly rate to to review and basically become intematly involved in the design. Whoever prepared the drawings need to understand that you are just not seeling the drawings. You will ask questions, make sure things are right, and you won't seal unless you are in agreement with the design.

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Ok this is the situation...i used to work for an electrical contractor that do design build projects...there is no engineers in house the only engineer was me when i was an eit...the owner has an electrical contractor licence...when we design a project we contacted an engineer that knew the owners for a long time to review and stamp the drawings...i dont know how much he charge...now that i am a pe...how much do i charge for the drawings since i am replacing his place...so is not like stamping drawings for some one i dont know is for the company i gain the experience tobe a pe...and i know we make good designs.

(null)

In this instance you just get a pay raise since you are now taking on the responsibility and liability of the design and it is for your company you work for. Make sure your company has insurance to protect you. I don't see how you can "charge" your company for stamping drawings.

You ready to defend your designs in court?

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I find this thread to be troublesome...maybe the laws in your state are different, but in Texas here is what it says...

§137.33 Sealing Procedures

(a) The purpose of the engineer’s seal is to assure the user of the engineering product that the work has been performed or directly supervised by the professional engineer named and to delineate the scope of the engineer’s work.

( b ) License holders shall only seal work done by them, performed under their direct supervision as defined in §131.81 of this title, relating to Definitions, or shall be standards or general guideline specifications that they have reviewed and selected. Upon sealing, engineers take full professional responsibility for that work.

From §131.81 Direct supervision - The control over and detailed professional knowledge of the work prepared under the engineer's supervision. The degree of control should be such that the engineer personally makes engineering decisions or personally reviews and approves proposed decisions prior to their implementation. The engineer must have control over the decisions either through physical presence or the use of communications devices.

So unless you basically re-design all of the work, or directly oversee whoever did the work, you cannot seal the plans...in Texas, at least.

If you are sealing documents that were done under your direct supervision, or that you designed yourself for your employer...I would think that would be part of your duties as a PE for the firm. Selling your seal by the page to your employer doesn't seem right...

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I find this thread to be troublesome...maybe the laws in your state are different, but in Texas here is what it says...

§137.33 Sealing Procedures

(a) The purpose of the engineer’s seal is to assure the user of the engineering product that the work has been performed or directly supervised by the professional engineer named and to delineate the scope of the engineer’s work.

( b ) License holders shall only seal work done by them, performed under their direct supervision as defined in §131.81 of this title, relating to Definitions, or shall be standards or general guideline specifications that they have reviewed and selected. Upon sealing, engineers take full professional responsibility for that work.

From §131.81 Direct supervision - The control over and detailed professional knowledge of the work prepared under the engineer's supervision. The degree of control should be such that the engineer personally makes engineering decisions or personally reviews and approves proposed decisions prior to their implementation. The engineer must have control over the decisions either through physical presence or the use of communications devices.

So unless you basically re-design all of the work, or directly oversee whoever did the work, you cannot seal the plans...in Texas, at least.

If you are sealing documents that were done under your direct supervision, or that you designed yourself for your employer...I would think that would be part of your duties as a PE for the firm. Selling your seal by the page to your employer doesn't seem right...

What if your employer said that he is not going to give you any raise...but wants you to stamp the drawings...i'm not thinking on stamping anything without being paid for that. I refuse to do that!

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Then you start looking for a new job.

He will ask you to stamp because he's paying someone outside to do that (probably a pretty hefty chunk). They now have a licensed engineer on staff and they will assume that to be part of your duties. You can either stamp or not. If you don't feel like you should be stamping then you shouldn't and if they were a good employer they wouldn't even put you in that position.

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I didn't read all of the responses above, but in Kentucky, that's called "plan stamping" and it's against the law.

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Well case closed...im not going to stamp some thing that i havent done myself in that case...not worth to risk the licence that i worked so hard to get...this is good thing to know since now im starting new in this PE thing!

(null)

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Some of you guys better get off your high horse.

If you think that you are going to actually design every little detail of every project, you are greatly mistaken. You are going to have drafters, designers, and even a secretery to type your specs under you on projects that are going to be designing portions of the project. Some projects will be too large for one person to handle or your firm may get many smaller projects. Now I am not saying you blindly seel a design a contractor brings in to your office sketched up on a napkin (beleive me this has happened to me). As the PE, your responsibility to make sure everything is right. Once you go through the entire design, verify all calculations are correct, it meets codes, etc., there is nothing wrong with seeling others work. If once you go through it, there are errors or items that you don't agree with, you then can say what needs to be corrected before you take professional liability for the project.

As far as not getting paid to stamp drawings for your own employer because you don't feel he is paying you enough will be sure to either get you fired or stagnate you carreer. I have been doing this for almost 20 years at 4 different firms, and I never got a raise because my employer thought I was going to do something. If I was unhappy I moved on. You can go talk to your employer and make your case but I would wait until you did seel a few projects. What are you going to tell a future employer if he asks, "how many projects have you seeled for your current (or past) employer?". Uhh, I didn't seel any because he wouldn't pay me for it. I would tell you don't let the door hit you in the ass. Personally I would seel the projects, go talk to your employer, and if you are still unhappy, start looking.

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If it's a big company I would recommend using the "ethical/legal violation" argument rather than the compensation argument. Fortunately I work in an exempt industry (according to my state laws/board rules) and so I would rarely have to deal with this kind of dilemma. But just in case I contacted my company's legal department to get written details on how I am shielded from liability relating to errors/ommissions by the company for anything I may seal, and I will be forwarding this to an attorney I have available to me to confirm. It sounds like a lot of work, it's not an absolute guarantee of protection, but it costs me nothing and makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

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Some of you guys better get off your high horse.

If you think that you are going to actually design every little detail of every project, you are greatly mistaken. You are going to have drafters, designers, and even a secretery to type your specs under you on projects that are going to be designing portions of the project. Some projects will be too large for one person to handle or your firm may get many smaller projects. Now I am not saying you blindly seel a design a contractor brings in to your office sketched up on a napkin (beleive me this has happened to me). As the PE, your responsibility to make sure everything is right. Once you go through the entire design, verify all calculations are correct, it meets codes, etc., there is nothing wrong with seeling others work. If once you go through it, there are errors or items that you don't agree with, you then can say what needs to be corrected before you take professional liability for the project.

As far as not getting paid to stamp drawings for your own employer because you don't feel he is paying you enough will be sure to either get you fired or stagnate you carreer. I have been doing this for almost 20 years at 4 different firms, and I never got a raise because my employer thought I was going to do something. If I was unhappy I moved on. You can go talk to your employer and make your case but I would wait until you did seel a few projects. What are you going to tell a future employer if he asks, "how many projects have you seeled for your current (or past) employer?". Uhh, I didn't seel any because he wouldn't pay me for it. I would tell you don't let the door hit you in the ass. Personally I would seel the projects, go talk to your employer, and if you are still unhappy, start looking.

The highlighted part illustrates how I initially reviewed the original post. Being on a "high horse" or the amount of compensation has nothing to do with it. Blindly stamping drawings is ILLEGAL!!! I understand that many projects are designed with multiple engineers, but it is up to the one who ulitimately stamps the drawings to know what is contained in them. If he can't say with confidence that he knows what was done and what is ultimately contained within the drawings HE SHOULD NOT STAMP THEM!!

Edited by Dexman PE

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Some of you guys better get off your high horse.

If you think that you are going to actually design every little detail of every project, you are greatly mistaken. You are going to have drafters, designers, and even a secretery to type your specs under you on projects that are going to be designing portions of the project. Some projects will be too large for one person to handle or your firm may get many smaller projects. Now I am not saying you blindly seel a design a contractor brings in to your office sketched up on a napkin (beleive me this has happened to me). As the PE, your responsibility to make sure everything is right. Once you go through the entire design, verify all calculations are correct, it meets codes, etc., there is nothing wrong with seeling others work. If once you go through it, there are errors or items that you don't agree with, you then can say what needs to be corrected before you take professional liability for the project.

That's like saying "Get off your high horse...sometimes you need to rob a bank to pay the mortgage." What the OP was proposing is literally against the law in Kentucky (and many other states as indicated by other comments).

You are correct that you are not going to design every aspect of every project, but the drawings are supposed to be done by somebody under your direct supervision (i.e., at least working for the same company or giving you regular drafts for red lines). Taking a finished drawing package designed and drawn by somebody else, reviewing it, and stamping it is blatantly illegal.

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I viewed the thread as his company used to hire someone else to stamp drawings and now wants HIM (an employee of said company) to stamp the drawings. The first is illegal the second is not.

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Ok this is the situation...i used to work for an electrical contractor that do design build projects...there is no engineers in house the only engineer was me when i was an eit...the owner has an electrical contractor licence...when we design a project we contacted an engineer that knew the owners for a long time to review and stamp the drawings...i dont know how much he charge...now that i am a pe...how much do i charge for the drawings since i am replacing his place...so is not like stamping drawings for some one i dont know is for the company i gain the experience tobe a pe...and i know we make good designs. (null)

I viewed the thread as his company used to hire someone else to stamp drawings and now wants HIM (an employee of said company) to stamp the drawings. The first is illegal the second is not.

I view this thread as 'Wildsoldier PE' used to be an employee, but is no longer an active employee. He wants to know if it is OK to stamp the drawing because he is familar with the company's work in the past.

Am I reading this thread right?

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Yea i saw that and assumed a typo

If he isn't an employee then yea..illegal

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As listed above a lot of states have specific regulations defining what and how drawings are to be stamped and the responsibilites of the enginner sealing them. The bottom line is that the engineer must be prepared to defend his actions hsould a problem ever arise with the design or if there is a question of the validity of the stamp.

That being said, the engineer needs to have adequate error and omissions insurance to cover any potential litigation that might arise as a result of the design.

The cost for taking the responsibility for the design is up to the engineer. How much is enough to assume full responsibility for the design. If there's ever a problem, he can't put the blame elsewhere.

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This is a very tricky issue that does tend to come up from time to time in our profession. My take is that if you are asked to seal a set of drawings for a contractor or even another firm that does not have the ability to seal them, you should immediately hear alarm bells ringing. I think someone mentioned this eariler (or something close) - why are they doing the design with no professionally qualified employees in their company / firm. I have recieved a request for something similar but what I recieved was more of a design concept set. The contractor made their best effort to size beams and columns but needed my reiview / input and ultimately my seal and signature. I told them that I would take there "preliminary" design and treat it like a Design Developement set but I wanted an architectural set and an actual contract to be the engineer of record. I based my starting point for my design on what they gave me and basically checked to make sure everything worked. I make red marks and sent them back. They picked them up in-house and when I was satisfied I sealed it. The big difference here is that I made them give me a contract for engineering services and I just used their production staff for the drawing markups. I didn't seal it until I was satisfied with the drawings. I ended up changing very little in the end but I was able to stay within the law of any jurisdiction.

The basic idea is that instead of just charging for a reivew and your seal and coming up with some silly per drawing rate for your seal, you figure out how much you need to charge to take the project from DD's to CD's and you GET A CONTRACT. In some states you, as EOR will need to do site visits as well so make sure that is in the fee as well. And as always, before taking on any contract situation you are not used to, run it by your designated legal counsel and you insurance carrier as well. In most cases, the fee you ask for will be so small compared to the construction contract that this shouldn't be an issue for the contractor.

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