Get the Most out of Your Civil Engineer

When you start a business or even add a new branch to your existing business, you have a lot to think about and a cornucopia of decisions to make. How will you find key employees? Who will be your Clients and how will you find them? You also have to answer mundane questions such as “Which light bulb should you use since there are going to be thousands of them in the building?”

Or, when you create the website for your new company, what font should you use on the menus? Forest green or Kelly green?

I can’t help you a lot when it comes to those vital decisions (though I can tell you that you should NEVER use Comic Sans on a menu). I can, however, tell you about how choosing a civil engineer can make or break your business and I can bet with all of those other decisions, that one may not have occurred to you.

Many businesses just use the engineer their architect or investor suggests and usually whoever suggests the engineer is getting something out of it. Great for them, but not necessarily great for you. Why are civil engineers important?

If you find out about problems mid-way through your project, or worse, after your project is finished, it can cost you thousands of dollars to fix the problem. An experienced engineer knows what things need to be taken into account to preempt such costly issues. An engineer can perform a feasibility study to determine if the site where you have chosen to build your facility can meet city requirements for site area. An engineer must take into account things like permitting, utilities, parking, drainage, growth, erosion and flooding.

Another problem that can pop up is that of permitting. A good engineer is an expert at getting you the permitting for your project. Without that permitting, your project could fail without ever even getting started. A good engineer will have good relationships with the people in charge of approving your permit. Many types of permits must be signed and sealed by an engineer, or the permit will not be issued.

A good engineer will do more than give you a drawing or a signature. The best civil engineers will make sure your project is a success and try to save you money long term. So don’t always go with the guy your architect hands over to you. Do research to see if the engineer has some good reviews or testimonials. Look at that engineers previous projects. Do they have experience working with a project similar to yours?

If you are looking to start a new development project, make sure you choose the right engineer. It could mean the difference between success and failure for your project.

Office-Warehouses are Us

We recently prepared development plans for an Office-Warehouse in North Austin.  We also provided construction services to the Owner, including Contract Preparation, Bidding, Assistance with Selection of a Contractor and Construction Administration.  That project was built and completed last year.  Now, some local landowners want to duplicate what their neighbor did.

The landowner next door has retained us to design and build an Office-Warehouse for him as well.  The plans are complete and the City of Austin is reviewing the Site Development Permit application.  We will be turning dirt on this one soon!