Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s

What services does Bradley Engineering provide?

We provide structural engineering services only. You will receive detailed structural drawings and structural calculations in the form of pdf’s. The structural drawings provide complete structural definition and structural requirements for your project.

What information does Bradley Engineering need to start my project?

  • Detailed architectural drawings that completely describe the shape and composition of the structure. Cross sections are required.
  • Billing and contact information from the client and site info plus address.
  • Explicit approval from the client to proceed.

When do I need to submit the final drawings and all related information?

All final and relevant info need to be received within 2 weeks (i.e. 14 days) after you have agreed to the terms and conditions of the proposal. If all relevant info and drawings are not received within 14 days after our mutual agreement, then we may remove you from the queue or simply slide your project to a later completion date.

Does Bradley Engineering print the final structural drawings and documents?

No, we do not print the documents. Many of the building jurisdictions have gone “Digital” and are only accepting electronic submittal documents.

Does the building jurisdiction require hard-copy wet-stamped drawings?

No. The building jurisdictions are required by WAC 196-23-070 to accept electronically stamped and signed electronic documents either in electronic form or hard copy. In other words, a scanned in digital PE stamp and signature is considered a “Wet-stamped” legal document either in electronic or hard-copy.

What is the general sequence and process that I can expect?

Once the engineering is complete, we will email you the unstamped structural drawings and structural calculations for your review. If everything looks acceptable then you can pay your invoice. After the invoice is paid, we will email you the final stamped structural drawings and stamped structural calculations.

Does Bradley Engineering answer and respond to questions raised by the building department as part of the permit submittal process?

Yes, we do so long as the questions pertain directly to the structural engineering aspects of the project. We do not charge for addressing questions raised by the building jurisdiction if the question(s) relates directly to the structural engineering.

Do you apply for the actual building permit?

No. Our scope of work is limited to the structural engineering services only.

Do you charge for design changes or field changes?

If the change takes more than 20 minutes, we will charge our hourly service rate. If it takes less than 20 minutes, then no fee is incurred.

How should I handle structural changes made in the field?

Look on the right-hand side of the structural drawings to find the engineer who performed the structural engineering, then contact them directly. We require a sketch or drawing which describes the change. Verbal or written descriptions are very hard to follow and are often misinterpreted. The person making the request is responsible for providing the documentation used for the field change. Please allow several days for us to respond to field changes.

How do I pay for the engineering services?

When the engineering is completed we email out the unstamped structural drawings and calculations, we will also send you a second email within QuickBooks in which you can pay securely and instantly with a credit card, debit card, or free Bank Transfer. However, you also have the option of simply mailing a check to the business address on Yew St. Invoices $3k & over will be charged an extra 2% to cover the associated credit card transaction fees if paid electronically.

How do I submit my plans to the building department?

Please check with the relevant building jurisdiction.

How do I submit to the city of Bellingham?

Link: https://www.cob.org/Documents/planning/applications-forms/permit-center-publications/electronic-submittal-requirements.pdf

How do I submit to Whatcom County?

Link: https://www.whatcomcounty.us/517/Building-Services-Permit-Center

Do I need to print full-size (typically 24”x36) hard-copies of my final drawings?

Yes, typically you will need to print up the final drawings full-size and have them on-site for when the inspector comes for your project. It is also highly recommended to print out the drawings full-size for the actual construction of your project for all of the information and text to be legible.

Where can I have my drawings printed up full-size?

Most local local print shops can print full-size structural drawings. Some local print shops include Applied Digital Imaging, Threshold Documents, Copy Source, FedEx, The Print Stop, etc.

How can I check the status of my project once the quote has been accepted?

Please click on the following link to see the status of your project: BE Schedule

What kind of email correspondence can I expect after my project has been added to the project log?

You will receive at least 1 email after your project has been accepted and prior to the start of the engineering. The first email is typically a status check in email to notify you that your project is in fact in the queue and will be worked on shortly. The second email (not always required) is a request for ALL relevant info to be emailed back to us to ensure that we are working on the latest and greatest drawings and have ALL of the information and details. The engineer working your project will rely entirely on the contents of this email to work your project. This will require you to organize and email back all relevant information and attach them in a single email to us.

How do I make last minute changes to the plans after they have been added to the project log?

All changes need to be directly noted and incorporated onto the final design drawings. Emails describing last minute changes will not be accepted and the project will be immediately put-on hold.

What is the best way to correspond with Bradley Engineering?

This really all depends on the nature of correspondence. For some simple and very straightforward questions a phone call is the best route. Please look at the structural drawings to see which engineer performed the engineering and contact them directly for technical or engineering questions. For changes or suggestions, email is the required form of correspondence. Texts are not a good form of correspondence since we add changes and relevant information to the cloud (e.g. dropbox).

What info above & beyond the drawings do I need to provide:

  • Any flood related information and requirements – if applicable.
  • Any geo-tech report for the subject property or project.
  • Any poured concrete topping on the floors for radiant floor heating.
  • Any other relevant information that will impact the structural aspects of the building.


Does Bradley Engineering do limited scope of work or partial engineering?

We seldom perform limited scope of work or partial engineering on projects for a variety of reasons. First off, it is not in our nature to put on blinders and limit our structural engineering services to a certain part of a given structure.  We take a holistic and comprehensive approach to structural engineering and it is very unnatural and awkward to only focus on one part of a given structure especially since the entire structure is connected and interrelated.  In addition, questions during construction often arise and if we have not done the engineering on the entire structure, we are not obligated to respond to those questions which were originally outside our original “scope of work”.

Why is there a fairly wide range in the estimate for our services?

We provide estimates by briefly reviewing a given set of drawings that you provide to us.  It is extremely difficult to completely grasp all the details and complexities of a given project by reviewing a set of drawings. When we work the project, we then discover all the various details and complexities of the project. The final invoice amount will reflect the extent of the time involved and complexity of the project. Sometimes the invoice amount will come in at the lower end of the estimate and sometimes at the upper end of the estimate.  Very rarely and only when there are extenuating circumstances will we request to go over the upper limit of our initial estimate.

Do you perform shop drawing and submittal reviews?

We will answer questions related to shop drawings and submittal reviews.  Since the shop drawings and construction submittal packages should directly reflect our original stamped structural drawings, these reviews are generally not necessary.  Our insurance company does not allow us to stamp (PE stamp or review stamp) the shop drawings or submittals.  For the subject review and questions, we will bill at our hourly service rate.

Do you charge for RFI’s, or any other miscellaneous questions?

If the RFI or miscellaneous question takes more than 20 minutes, we will bill at our hourly service rate.

Do you always perform the structural engineering services if there is a design change after the initial engineering has been completed?

In most situations we will perform the structural engineering services in the event of a design change after our initial engineering has been completed. However, depending on the extent of the design change (sometimes it’s essentially starting from scratch on our end) and based on our current workload we may NOT accept the project and perform the structural engineering services.  In other words, we are committed to performing the structural engineering services only on the initial design provided and not necessarily on future design changes.  If it is a significant design change we may schedule the project as if it is a completely new project. (i.e. at the end of the queue).  

Do you perform engineering with construction responsibility, observation of construction services, and/or special inspection services?

No, we do not perform these services. However, we do frequently perform site visits for the purpose of better understanding the as-built configuration.