You have received your notice in the mail and are asking yourself “what is a 40 Year Recertification?”. Before you proceed to read this blog, make sure you know what a 40 Year Recertification is first. Once you know the answer, you can then proceed with the next step. Obviously, you must find a qualified professional to do this work. This blog will provide you with some guidance.
Finding a Professional
First of all, only qualified people can do 40 Year inspections. Florida law says that it either a licensed engineer or architect can do the inspection. Obviously, there are many engineers out there than can do the inspection and it is up to you to do some homework to find one. A good place to begin your search is the internet. Although you can use the yellow pages or referrals, Google is the best place to begin the search. Once on the Google page, you can type in “40-year recertification engineer Broward“. You can change the key-words to include the place you live in. You should get several places that market this type of service.
Checking up on the Engineer
Now you are ready to put your investigator hat on. The first place to check is the (DBPR) Department of Business and Professional Regulations website. You can click here to access the site where you can input the name of the inspector and/or the name of the licensed owner of the business. This will let you know a little bit about the person and if there have been any complaints filed against them or even if their license is active. With this information, now you are ready to make the phone call and ask some smart questions.
It’s also important to understand a little bit about how building structures are built. Many years ago, Rebar (short for reinforcing bar), which is comprised of still began being placed into concrete structures to strengthen and aid concrete structures under tension. This meant that one could now design and build all sorts of structures without being hindered by concrete’s structural limitations. This is how the era of building modern concrete structures began. As such, without including steel inside your concrete to support the structure, you would not have a soundly-built building. The reinforcing steel (rebar) inside the concrete literally keeps your entire structure from crumbling to the ground.
Questions to ask the Engineer
Now you need to ask some questions and hopefully get some good answers. You may want to have a paper and pen ready to jot down the answers so that after you speak to each, you can compare the answers. Some of the questions may be as follows:
- Do you carry Errors and Omissions insurance? Needless to say, the more established and serious firms carry insurance to protect you and protect themselves. This is a good thing to have.
- Do you have a written proposal that you can send me once I give you the information on my building? Written proposals are very important.
- How much do you charge for the inspection? Do you include a second or third visit after you perform the initial inspection? Read our blog on how much an inspection costs.
- What are the payment terms? Can I pay you once the inspection is finished?
- What is the time frame to do the inspection?
Signing the Contract
Finally, you have found your engineer and are ready to sign the contract. At times it is important to have your attorney check the contract, especially if this is a large and expensive inspection. The language in the contract should be plain and simple. As such, you should be able to carefully read it and ask the engineer any questions you may have. This inspection may be technical, but the contract language does not have to be. You have every right to ask questions and get good honest answers.
Many contracts require payments up front. It is normal to pay a portion up front, but try not to pay the whole amount until the inspection is performed. Finally, you should monitor the progress of the inspection. Engineers are licensed professionals and are held to a high ethical standard and as such you should not have problems.
About The Author
Greg Batista, PE
Mr. Batista is the most recognized, authoritative, and award-winning engineer and contractor in Florida. Over his 30 year distinguished career, he has been both Engineer of Record and Contractor on thousands of jobs.
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