Engineering Documentation Packages

Who Needs an "Engineering Documentation Package"?

If you are planning to build in California, you will need this documentation package to get a permit!  People from other states should check with their building departments to determine whether any of this documentation will be required by their municipality. 

If you have never applied for a Building Permit before or if you haven’t done so in the past 15 years or so, you will probably be quite surprised at the information that you are going to have to produce, just to file an application for a Cottage.   Building and Zoning Code Requirements have multiplied in size by 10 fold in recent years.  New and complex state, federal and local requirements for Zoning, Accessibility, Fire, Seismic, Wind, Energy, Green Building, Sustainability, Ventilation, Reuse, etc. have made "Building Permitting" an industry onto itself.  Even for small projects like yours. 

Today it is not unusual to pay “Permit Expediters” thousands of dollars just to take your Project through the process of obtaining a permit. This is in addition to the tens of thousands of dollars normally required by Architects and Engineers to prepare the drawings, run the calculations and write the reports for every project. The cost of design and permitting has made most small projects economically unfeasible.

Our “Documentation Packages” were prepared specifically to address these problems. The truth is, there is no reason to design, draw and calculate the same house, studio or cottage over and over again from scratch.  Our designs spread that one time cost over many purchases allowing you, the buyer, the chance to buy the required documentation at a fraction of the cost of a custom design. Our packages allow the average person to present and permit a Project at their own Building Department without the need for additional costly assistance. Each Documentation Package is customized for your lot and your local wind, earthquake, snow load, environmental and climatic conditions.

What's Included in an "Engineering Documentation Package"?
  • Complete Set of Cottage Plans Customized to your Site
  • Calculations Signed & Sealed by a Registered Engineer
  • Structural Earthquake Design Customized for Your Location
  • Structural Wind Design Customized to Your Location
  • Computerized Energy Calculations for Your Site & Orientation (CA “Title 24”)
  • Computerized Heating and Cooling Load Calculations for Your Climatic Zone
  • California Green Code Documentation per  "Cal-Green"
  • Electrical Load Calculations Based on Your Energy and Climatic Conditions
How Quickly Will I Receive a Customized "Documentation Package"?

Before you purchase a Documentation Package from us, we will need to know some things about your site before we can prepare an exact quote to provide such.  We ask that you send fill out an on-line form with questions about your property.  The form, that we refer to as the "Property Information Form" is available by clicking here.  This form will guide you through a number of questions about your property.  We ask you fill in the blanks as well as you can and send it to us by pressing the Send Button.   It may take 1 to 2 days before we respond.  There is no charge for this service.

What Will I Receive in the Package?

After we complete the work on your project, you will receive one or several e-mail(s) from us containing PDF copies of all the engineering reports required, as well as, a customized Building Plan Set in 24" x 36" Blueprint format reflecting your specific ownership information, site conditions and structural requirements.  The Complete package will include:

  • Complete Set of Building Plans Customized for your Site in 24" x 36" PDF Format
  • Certified Structural Report in 8.5" x 11" PDF Format
  • Energy Report with Heating & Cooling Calculations in 8.5" x 11" PDF Format
  • Green Code Forms in 8.5"x 11" PDF Format
  • Electrical Load Calculations incorporated into your Custom Plan Set

The reports and plans will be sent to you ready to view and print on your computer.  Instructions are included for printing the Plan Sets at full size.  You may print as many copies of the documents as required for your Project.  Printing or coping of plans or engineering documentation for other projects, for third party use or for resale are strictly prohibited.

What if I Need Fire Sprinkler Plans and Calculations to Get a Permit?

Although not required in all communities, it is becoming a common practice to require Fire Sprinkler Systems in all residential structures .  This can apply to buildings as small as our Cottages.  We can provide Plans, Calculations and Material Lists for all of our Cottage Plan Sets but some very specific information is required for us to produce the Permit Documentation for these systems.  If you are told that a Fire Sprinkler System is required for your new cottage, please contact us for instructions on how to arrange for Fire Sprinkler System Documentation.

Some of our Certifications and Memberships