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Have construction drawings but engineer gone-now what?

  • 07-12-2022 9:53am
    Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭

    Hi all,

    A while back, me and my partner engaged an engineer to prepare a planning application for us for a new house. Fortunately this was granted, and we then engaged the same engineer to prepare for us a set of construction drawings with a view to building.

    However, this engineer has since relocated abroad and is no longer in a position to assist us with the build anymore. My question is, what do we do now? We have a full set of building drawings from him (and we would like to go direct labour), but we will obviously need someone to oversee that the building works are conducted properly, answer queries from contractors, and send various supplemental drawings out to window suppliers, heating contractors, etc. Is it an architect does this? And if so, will a new party be willing to work with the construction drawings we received from the original engineer? We are novices at this, so any input appreciated!


  • Registered Users Posts: 332 ✭✭Biker1

    You will have to engage a new engineer for sign-off of the Building Regulations and for mortgage. Be wary of going direct labour if you have no experience in the construction industry.

  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭KevMayo88

    I don't think we will have the budget to engage a contractor, so direct labour will have to be way. Would the new engineer for sign off be the person who would make and send drawings to various subcontractors (windows, underfloor heating etc) and deal with their queries? Obviously with direct labour there would be alot of cross coordination required. I also was told I will need a PSCS?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,986 ✭✭✭c.p.w.g.w

    Just say one thing, knew a few people who went direct labour because they couldn't afford a ended up costing them more both more monetarily and time...and I'd imagine now with trades being in big demand managing them via direct labour could be an nightmare

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,488 ✭✭✭✭Mellor

    You engage a head contractor, their role is to engage the subcontractors and suppliers. That is what you pay them for.

    You are going direct labour. You are the head contractor. So you engage the subcontractors, or you employe somebody to do it. An engineer or architect or whoever. It is dependent on the contract you engage them under.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,448 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    My experience in a somewhat similar situation was that a 'new' engineer will not want to go with a previous engineer's drawings. Some architects can follow through and do the engineering aspects of the job, others will only do stage one to Planning Permission then you have to find an engineer. I have a fairly poor opinion of architects' practical building/engineering skills, but maybe I have been unlucky.

    However if the engineering aspects of the job have been done - the detailed plans for the actual building - then all the calculations and specifications will have been done and when a new engineer takes them over they have to recalculate them all to cover themselves in order to be confident to sign off, so you will be paying again for this aspect of the job. That was the information I was given anyway.

    You are going to need an engineer to sign off (and various other people to do other parts of the job, I think I counted five bodies who would have to be paid in addition to any tradesmen). A builder would be able to do some of these, but the job is way more complex than it used to be. I think it is very good advice to get a builder on the job.

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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,880 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty

    I'm an engineer, with a construction background and I would avoid direct labour like the plague. On the surface it seems like a cost saver but in the long run it is not.Worse it will cost you time, energy, and money.Unless you know exactly what you're doing and are confident you have/know a reliable tradesperson for each aspect of the build, I would not recommend it.

    As regards the engineer that is difficult.Do you have contact details for the original engineer?If you do, would they be willing to speak to a new engineer that you engage, just to deal with any queries the new engineer might have? The new engineer will have to do their own due diligence on the design, as they will effectively become the PSDP if they are supervising the build, and there are legal responsibilities with that.

    The PSCS will be you, if you go direct labour, or the contractor, if you employ one.It basically means you take on and are responsible for, safety during the construction of your building.It requires certain responsibilities like keeping a safety file, and it does leave you open to legal action should there be any accidents.

  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭KevMayo88

    Thanks for the advice everyone- we found a friend of a friend who does a bit of engineering on the side and will be able to sign off on my orginal engineers drawings for a small fee, so happy days.

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,488 ✭✭✭✭Mellor

    There is little to know engineering work required when building a house. The structural design is absolutely minimal. Detailed plans of a building are not engineering work. It’s architectural design work. But for some reason in Ireland, there’s exists a plethora of engineers offering services.

    Many houses are quite standard, and you can pick up enough the basic details to get by from building manuals, and the barrier to entry is much lower with an engineering qualification. To be crystal clear, I don’t begrudge anyone doing work that they are capable of. But let’s not put the cart before the horse and start inventing new disciplines of engineering.

  • Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 45,348 Mod ✭✭✭✭muffler

    I guess that's you off a couple of Xmas card lists 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,448 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    I don't know enough about it to argue with you, but my gut feeling is that this is a serious over simplification of the situation.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 38,488 ✭✭✭✭Mellor

    Nothing new there so. ;)

    Not looking for an argument either. Though people are welcome to challenge my view.

    But I really don’t think I’m being unfair or disingenuous either. Engineering is divided into clear disciplines, which people have qualifications based in.

    It’s telling that this expansion of services happened during the tiger era. It’s also telling that it solely exists in residential type construction scale.