Selecting A Professional Engineer

Selecting a professional Houston structural engineer

€When you retain a Professional Engineer to inspect your foundation, what you are paying for is his or her judgment. This is true of any professional you retain whether it is an engineer, a doctor or an accountant.€

Questions You Should Ask Yourself When Selecting an Engineer

When you talk to the engineer on the phone ask yourself the following questions:

  • How old is the engineer, how long has the engineer been making foundation performance evaluations and how may foundation performance evaluations has the engineer made?

There is a reason I put these questions first. Experience is absolutely key to judging whether you should one engineer and not another. Older engineers who have many years of experience have developed an intuition for the application of engineering principles that are useful in making judgments about specific houses.

  • Does the engineer sound as if he or she knows what they are talking about?
  • Does the engineer answer your questions in a manner that you can understand?
  • Does the engineer sound as if they are a reasonable, commonsensical person?

What to Listen For When You Contact an Engineer

  • Assessing the performance of a slab-on-ground foundation can be done competently only by a Professional Engineer. It is technical work requiring technical knowledge and, like every technical field, it has its own jargon. When you are on the phone, note if the engineer talks excessively in jargon.
  • Does he or she talk down to you or do they explain things in a more down to earth manner? You want an engineer who talks in plain language, so far as the subject permits, and who does not talk down to you.

Asking About Measurements

I find many potential clients ask if I make measurements; also do I use a special instrument. (The answer to both is yes.) Many people assume that if someone uses a special tool to make measurements, that they must know what they are doing.

Actually making measurements is not part of the practice of engineering. Professional Engineers should know what to measure and how to interpret the measurements. So ask him what he does with the measurements.

What you want to hear are words like bending and tilt. If all you hear is levelness, then, in my opinion, you should continue your search for a competent engineer.

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