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Mech198

Designing My Own House / Structural

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Hello,

Mechanical engineer here who is building his own house and will be doing the majority of the structural calcs and drafting, then handing them over to a PE for review and stamping. This is both for cost savings and personal interest / challenge. We will have a Geotech engineer doing soils testing to provide me that data.

I specialized in loads and stress analysis, but not so much in the civil realm. I wondered if anyone could point me to some resources on how to get started doing the foundation and overall analysis for the roof / trusses. This will be under the 2015 IRC.

I have looked around for books on residential house design and engineering methodology, but haven't found much. Most of them seem to be focused on larger civil projects, such as skyscrapers, bridges, etc.

Thanks!

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I'm interested in this too, I think I'll do the same thing for the next house we move into and because I am seriously considering adding a bedroom over our existing deck that would be relatively unconventional.

Couple questions:

What state?

Are you going to design a "normal" house or are you thinking a highly architectural thing?

I have a book at home about deck and patio design- basically code and design standards, I assume there would be similar books for the actual house, but I have never looked. There is plenty of Framing/Construction books on Amazon if you search for Residential Construction. I feel like residential is more standard based vs. engineering based, which to me is confusing and I don't really know what I am doing or how to get anything accomplished... 

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Hi Mech198

 

I did spent some time in residential and light commercial design ( alot of wood/timber). If you have any questions or need direction, ask away. I can point you to some free design software that you'll need.

 

In which state do you live and what area of it? This will give away the likely soil types you are dealing with.

What kind of house are you thinking?

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While it seems like a tough process, its just a matter of knowing framing, basic beam calculations and running a bunch of calculations.  IRC will list the standard loads that the house needs to be built using. If you plan to do lots of entertaining,  or have a deck with waterfront views, the loads are usually increased to accommodate the greater amount of people that may use it at once. Once you have the floor plans laid out, and identify where beams need to go, its just a matter of following the load paths to size each beam. There are a bunch of free beam design programs out there that could help you size the beams.

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On 3/6/2019 at 9:15 PM, Mech198 said:

Hello,

Mechanical engineer here who is building his own house and will be doing the majority of the structural calcs and drafting, then handing them over to a PE for review and stamping. This is both for cost savings and personal interest / challenge. We will have a Geotech engineer doing soils testing to provide me that data.

I specialized in loads and stress analysis, but not so much in the civil realm. I wondered if anyone could point me to some resources on how to get started doing the foundation and overall analysis for the roof / trusses. This will be under the 2015 IRC.

I have looked around for books on residential house design and engineering methodology, but haven't found much. Most of them seem to be focused on larger civil projects, such as skyscrapers, bridges, etc.

Thanks!

I would really read through the IRC especially chapters 3 through 9 as well as your state amendments.    Depending on your location and house type the foundation might be pretty prescriptive or require a decent amount of thought.  Frequently the state amendments will have most of the information you need for a typical house in typical conditions. 

If you are doing a truss roof you don't need to design anything.  Just provide the fabricator with your plans and roof layout and they will design them all and provide you a stamped plan with calculations to determine your wall loading this is a part of the purchase price of the truss. 

I have an interesting book call the design of wood structures which may be well suited for someone of your skill level it is a little technical but could be helpful. 

There is also this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh6cMQnWGwA  video of an old school guy framing which is something every house designer should know.

Also watch this old house!

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If your jurisdiction requires sealed drawings to be submitted for permit, you may wish to discuss this with your Professional Engineer *prior* to beginning your calculations.  I have never (and will never) place my seal upon work done by others, where I was not in Responsible Charge of the work--especially ex-post-facto.

Plan Stamping is considered a serious offense by the state engineering boards.  Don't put a fellow engineer in this position.    

If your residence is beyond the prescriptive requirements of the IRC, you don't want to be doing this yourself.  

 

Edited by Reverse Polish

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