Seminars

III. Engineering and Construction

Engineering, Building permits, Construction and Construction contracts.

The Responsible (this is a title for engineers that are licensed to sign plans and obtain building permits) Engineer will take the plans that were developed by your architect with your participation, and do all the structural engineering that is required to obtain a building permit. In this area, the permits are issued by the building department in La Paz. He will specify everything that is required structurally and what systems are necessary to construct your home as designed. During this time, if any additional information such as surveying, topography, soil test etc. are necessary, the appropriate professional will be contracted to perform that specific service. The building permit is called a License to Construct. During the construction of your home he will make inspections at specific points in the construction to guarantee that the engineering plans are in fact being followed by the contractor. It is of the utmost importance that all details be specified on the engineering plan. I will explain why in a moment. When your project has been completed and is ready for occupancy, he will obtain a Use and Occupancy permit.

One very important thing to remember is that the building department does not inspect. If your Architect and Engineer are not inspecting the project no one is.

Now you have your architectural and engineering plans and all the necessary documents and licenses to build your dream home. So who is going to construct your new home? The best contractor possible for a number of reasons. Contractors are not licensed here. This is where most of your costs are involved. For our clients, we will have a number of contractors bid depending on the complexity of the project and the different experience levels of the contractors. We, your architect and engineer, are the ones who will have to oversee the work the contractor and sub contractors perform for you. We do not allow contractors to give our clients “cost plus” contracts. Any contractor that bids on work for our clients must give a fixed bid based on the engineering plans specifications. No surprises. If during the construction the clients what to make changes, a written change order is required before the change is allowed. This is why it is so very important that all specifications are in the engineering plans. We work with our clients and the contractors to import items where necessary. All contractors in this area require a 50% down payment of the cost of the accepted contract. A payment schedule is then agreed to for another 40%. The final 10% is withheld until the client accepts the finish project.

You now have a wonderful home exactly as you wanted but the exterior needs to be addressed.