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  • When do I need a Structural Engineer?
    Design Whether designing an addition, alteration, renovation, or a brand new building, the structure (foundation and framing) is the backbone of your project: An engineer will review your plans and ideas for feasibility, economy, proper sizing of elements and connections. If it's an existing structure, the engineer will determine the capacity and condition of the existing elements, so they are not overloaded or compromised. The engineer will review the design for potential problem areas that will create difficulties during construction and help you simplify the design. The engineer will review your structure for durability and resiliency to natural hazards for your location, whether wind, seismic, flooding, or susceptibility to moisture related damage and fire. The engineer will provide you with an economical foundation design that will resist settlements and movements that would lead to cracks and moisture related damage thus providing you with peace of mind that your project will perform for the long haul without requiring extensive maintenance and expensive repairs. Construction The devil may be in the details, but real chaos is sometimes in construction. And even best laid plans often fall short once the hammers start swinging, because the builders don't read those plans thoroughly. Other times the drawings may not show all the details, leaving it at the contractor's discretion, and they can't always make the right call. And we've found that many builders may cut corners if they feel that no one is reviewing their work in detail. Engineering oversight during construction makes sure your foundation and framing are built strictly according to the design and best industry practices. Thus providing a solid footing for all the beautiful finishes and fittings to come. When a contractor knows there's engineering oversight, they won't cut corners, because they know they won't get away with it. Assessment Many existing buildings weren't built well to start with, others have aged and suffered from poorly planned alterations, lack of maintenance, or have been damaged by past events. Most commonly this is due to excessive moisture infiltration that rots the framing and compromises the foundation support. Determining the cause, severity, and fix to these issues requires a highly trained and experienced investigator. We call them engineers. Repair We all know there's more than one way to skin a cat. But what the best way? The way that's economical, foolproof, and will hold up strongly for years. The engineer will determine the underlying causes of the damage or failure, and assess the severity. Only when this investigation is complete will the engineer creatively leverage their training and experience to design the best fix for the problem. Buying or selling a home with "issues" Whether you are a current homeowner or in the market to purchase a home, it is vital to be aware of any structural damage to your property. If the home inspector notices any signs of structural problems, they will recommend hiring a structural engineer to evaluate the situation. The engineer doesn't make any income on the repairs, so they will give you an honest opinion on whether the damage is structural or cosmetic, ongoing or a past event. In either case you are left with the peace of mind of knowing what's wrong and what to do about it. Preparing for natural hazards Moisture intrusion, wind, fire or earthquakes, floods and tree fall are all threats to the integrity of your home and can cause severe damage to a structure if it's not well built, or not designed to withstand these effects. As with other forms of structural damage, your engineer can evaluate the severity of the issue and recommend an appropriate solution to make your home more resilient and durable for what may come. Ensuring that it can be a true source of refuge and security for your family. I know what I want, why NOT just hire a General Contractor to perform the work? OZER works for YOU as your consultant to save you time, money, and help you achieve your goals whether to create something beautiful, functional, or durable. (We hope all of the above) We map out the construction process with you so that you can make smart decisions in planning your project and executing it. We always search for the most economical and durable solutions for your specific repair or build project. We don't make any income on the actual construction, so we have no conflict of interest. Our passion is to find the simplest, most economical approach to a given problem, utilizing a vast toolkit and the most up to date industry knowledge. As an example sometimes simple gutters or landscaping can solve a drainage issue without the need for expensive trench drains, sump pumps, etc. Contractors, like most of us, don't do their best work in a vacuum. When there is oversight, discussion, and direction, contractors feel empowered and inspired to build right. And they know where to go for help. And they know there will be consequences for cutting corners. We believe that knowledge, understanding, and collaboration lead to successful projects that withstand the test of time.
  • I've been told I need a Structural Engineer. What is the process to work with OZER?
    Any design, assessment, repair, remodel, or addition starts with us providing a written Structural Assessment with a limited scope for your specific needs. Request a Quote on our website or call us at 901-305-6540 We schedule a visit and quote the fee for our on-site assessment (for residential this typically ranges from $450 to $900 depending on size of the structure, area to be assessed, and distance from Memphis). We meet with you or your representative on-site to perform a walkthrough of all interior spaces, attic, crawlspace, and exterior perimeter as necessary to document existing conditions. We will provide your Structural Assessment with limited scope of recommendations and discuss your next steps to meet whatever goal you have. Should you require letters for code compliance or insurance needs we will handle that as well.
  • I need a structural inspection for a real estate transaction. How soon can you provide a residential/commercial structural inspection?
    Typically, we can schedule your structural inspection within the week. We do have options to expedite our report delivery (typically 7-10 business days) since turn around times for real estate transactions need to be fast. These include a same day verbal report of findings to provide peace of mind for decision making. Also, weekend appointments and a 24-48 hour written report turnaround for an extra fee. Calling us at 901-305-6540 or filling out our quote request online is the best way to schedule.
  • What are the Professional Conduct Rules and Standards a Structural Engineer must follow?
    In the state of Tennessee structural engineers are the last stop in decisions on safety of buildings structures. Cities and counties do not have their own structural engineers on staff so they accept our judgment without question. This is an example of why structural engineers are paid for time and expertise and not for the outcome of any assessment. Therefore structural engineers make no promises either ahead of time or while on site about what their reports will require as repairs. The final determination is made after careful review and analysis, and is presented in the report or letter that is delivered to the client. "Rules of Professional Conduct," which carry the enforcement of law, specify the proper conduct of practice, service in areas of competence, the need for objectivity and truth in public statements, the avoidance of conflicts of interest and improper acceptance of work, and misconduct in practice..." "The building officials of Tennessee and the Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners have the same goal: the safeguarding of life, health and property, and the promotion of public welfare. Building officials move toward that goal by the adoption of building codes and standards and the enforcement of the requirements of those codes and standards. The Board moves toward that goal by the adoption of standards of education, experience, and professional practice and the enforcement of those standards. " see Before we get started - notes to Customer on Ozer Standards of care Design for SAFETY & PERFORMANCE We design the foundation or framing for safety and performance, as well as efficiency & ease of construction (to save you money). Safety is geared for assembly occupancies (e.g. large gatherings), also wind, and seismic resisting capacities. Performance means primarily no cracking of drywall, tile, or other brittle finishes, nor popping screws and squeaks, or excessive settlements and deflections, or moisture infiltration issues. We are looking at capacity to withstand wind, seismic, snow/ice, or other extreme loading events such as tree fall. We use the International Residential Code to quantify the potential impact of these events. We are base our design on the International Residential Code requirements as adopted by Shelby County, or outside of the county on the State of Tennessee or Mississippi. We are providing repairs that are designed to be long lasting, 50 years is usually the standard goal. With existing buildings, we take into account the standards of home construction at the time it was built - it is often impractical (and not respectful of owners desires or budgets) to bring an older building up to the new building code requirements for wind and seismic loads.
  • What does an Ozer Structural Assessment cost?
    A residential assessment with limited scope varies between $450 to $900 on average depending on several factors including foundation type, location of the site, size of the home, and whether you require a partial or entire evaluation of the structure. Typically we can provide you with a quote immediately after taking in your information. Commercial, Multi-Unit, and Industrial assessments have more variables, so call for pricing. If your project requires additional structural engineering support such as specifications, drawings, details or coordination with your contractor following the initial assessment we will give you a good faith estimate when we issue the assessment report. The typical range of fees for a home alteration project can add in the ballpark of $500 to $3,000. The price range in large part depends on the reason for the assessment, how much we need to assess, the quality of any structural work that has been or is currently being done, and by the skill of your General Contractor.
  • When do I need Condition Assessment and Scope Design services?
    We provide Condition Assessment and Scope of Work Reports for Foundations and Framing. We conduct Strength and Capacity Analysis and Modeling. We identify Moisture and Drainage Related Issues and solve them. Hire a Structural Engineer to Assess Building Condition and/or Provide Structural Designs and Identify Work Scope to Assure Quality Solutions and Lasting Results. We utilize robots and drones to assist us in our building assessments to get to hard to reach places, take photographs and assure we get all pertinent information safely and quickly. Structural Engineers will: Review the feasibility of your home addition or alteration project. Evaluate the condition of the existing structure. Advise on the complexity and cost of your project.
  • How much Engineering Design Support is needed for my project?
    The amount of structural engineering support required varies considerably from project to project and depends on: Complexity and condition of the existing structure, Qualifications of the general contractor, Homeowners preferences and experience with similar projects, and Amount of involvement and collaboration with other professional trades, architects or home designers. Structural Engineering Design Services: Design the structure for gravity and wind loads. Assure that you have the most economical and effective system for the capacities required. Determine optimal sizes and connections of foundations and framing members. Minimize structural deflections thereby preventing cracking and sagging. Assure that the builder implements the design accurately. To assure that the builder implements the design accurately. Assure the longevity of your home improvement project.
  • What is the Remodels and Additions Process?
    We discuss your goals and budgets. Remodels and additions are expensive. But often only a small part of the total construction budget its structural, finishes, furnishings, utilities are usually larger pieces of the pie. Holistic Assessment. Many projects are short on professionals and hot with framers eager to swing hammers. We start with a holistic assessment of the planned project, especially looking at obstacles and potential trouble spots, and we advise you on how to make the overall project a success, from floor plan layout, to HVAC strategy. When needed we suggest you hire an architect or other professional to work out complicated design issues before letting the hammers swing. Determine structural solutions. May include beams, posts, foundation strengthening, etc. – Schematic Design Narrative. Prepare a Scope Report with written summary of my findings and recommendations. Discuss my findings and next steps with you. Deliver “Next Steps after the Consultation” and “Scope Report” For many of our projects the Scope Report fulfills the mission and that's the end of our service.
  • I know I need structural repairs. What is the process for getting them done right?
    We first schedule your assessment and ask detailed information about what issues you are having. Then when we meet with you to provide our initial on-site assessment, we will discuss your concerns and observations. As needed for your situation - will assess and diagnose any damage or flaws with the wood framing, foundation, or other structural elements. We have decades of experience with all kinds of buildings and know what it will take to solve you buildings structural problems. We will provide our Structural Assessment with your needed scope, and make recommendations that you or your General Contractor should be able to follow. If necessary we can additionally provide you with design details, drawings, and construction administration to see it through to completion.
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