Q & A
Do you charge for estimates for your services?
No. We are happy to provide you with a cost estimate for any of our services.
What are your office hours?
BETWEEN MEMORIAL DAY AND LABOR DAY:
M-Th 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, F 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
THE REST OF THE YEAR:
M-F 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
What is the difference between a mortgage survey and a boundary survey?
A mortgage survey is performed for someone during the process of buying a home and is usually required by the mortgage company or lending institution. This survey locates any improvements on the property such as houses, garages, sheds, fences, driveways and sidewalks. The plan that is prepared shows those improvements and also shows where the property lines are located based on the recorded deed for the property. The lending institution uses this information to make sure that there aren’t any ‘encroachments’, or other people’s belongings or structures on the property being purchased by their client.
A boundary survey is performed for many reasons. Usually the property owner requests this type of survey to verify where their property lines are located. Sometimes there is a dispute between property owners, and other times it is unclear exactly how much land someone actually owns. A boundary survey entails detailed research at the recorder of deeds office to trace the property back through the years. Evidence is located in the field to support the deed information. Calculations are then performed and a plan made to show the location of the property lines and the size and shape of the parcel. The final step is to place new monuments or markers at the property corners so that the parcel is clearly defined on the ground.
What affects the cost of a survey?
There are many factors that influence the cost of a survey. Two parcels of the same size can have different prices for a survey depending on the conditions of the property. The major factors affecting the cost are: parcel size, existence of adequate control (property corner markers), accuracy of deed of record, existence of woods, swamps, streams and other natural features on the property, disputes regarding location of property lines, among other considerations.
When should I consider calling for a structural inspection of my home/building?
Anytime that you think there could be a problem with your home/building is a good time to call. For example, a small vertical crack in your basement wall is common and may not be a concern. However, a small horizontal crack can be an indication of the beginning of a failure of the foundation wall. When it comes to your safety, it is always best to have your concerns checked out.
Does Scott Engineering perform general home/building inspections?
Our inspections are limited to the structural aspects of a building only. This includes items such as the foundation, floor framing, beams, walls, roof, and other components in a building required to support the weight of the building and its contents. We do not inspect plumbing, heating, electrical or other no-structural items in the structure.
Can Scott Engineering certify (stamp) my construction documents to obtain approval by the building permits office?
Delaware Law prohibits us from stamping your drawings. However, we would be happy to perform the calculations required to verify your design and to prepare our own stamped drawing for you to obtain the building permit you desire. As with home/building inspections, we only perform calculations and prepare drawings for structural work. We cannot stamp drawings to certify to the architectural elements of the design or certify to their compliance with applicable codes as relating to the design of items other than structural elements.
I want to build a building. Do I call my architect first, or an engineer?
The site engineer should always be called first when you begin the building process. Many architects are very skilled at knowing local building codes and zoning limitations, but there are many other issues that need to be considered when selecting a piece of land to build on. Scott Engineering can help you evaluate the site you are interested in to determine if there are potential development problems. Issues such as storm drainage, utility availability, wetlands, soils types, and highway access can all lead to added expenses if the right property is not selected. We offer a full line of services related to evaluating property before it is purchased. A small sum of money spent on conceptual plans, utility feasibility studies and wetlands mapping, for example, could save considerable time and money in the project at a later date. Having the right piece of property can make a big difference in the success of your project.