YES OR NO?
While plan reviewers, inspectors, and other building officials have the authority to question any document submitted if the document complies with the intent of the applicable building code and related codes & standards, the if the site specific project complies with the limitations of the certified evaluation report, the short answer is no.
That being said, a bona-fide Florida Product Approval or Miami Dade NOA does tend to meet with less resistance in that they are considered pre-reviewed to some extent. Sealed evaluation reports may be questioned for further documentation, calculations, or clarifications by any building official at any time, slowing down the process and making things more expensive and time consuming. Product Approvals typically have more marketing clout as well, but cost more and are time consuming to produce, apply for, and be approved by the governing agency.
The good news is Engineering Express has tremendous national and Florida experience with evaluation reports for building components, a great track record of their approval. We literally have hundreds of certified evaluation reports available in our Master Plan Store for purchase that are used for permit every working day.
Remember, a TER or Master plan sheet can be denied if it does not meet with the requirements of the project, if they’re unsealed, or if a design professional is needed to approve the evaluation for a site-specific address. More on these concepts in the links below as well. Engineering Express can help with both a product evaluation (typically for a manufacturer) and with a site specific use as needed. Contact Us to submit a request to review your need.
Sometimes TER’s are denied due to misconceptions of what they are and what’s required (such as when they think an NOA is required). In that case, Engineering Express can work with the reviewer to explain and illustrate the code process. Sometimes Engineering Express can assist with a simple phone call or email, and sometimes an hourly consulting fee or fixed fee for additional documentation is necessary.
See the links below for more about the documentation and requirements of evaluation reports and NOA’s.
In the end, building officials cannot make up rules, they are bound to enforce them. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but with the right tenacity and professionalism, eventually code compliance will prevail. There’s no telling what that will take or the risk and reward, but it’s a legal and compliant process to submit a certified evaluation report for approval that meets the intent of the code.
Engineering Express provides hundreds of TER’s and Master Plans in our Online Plan Store.
We typically design these for the manufacturers so their installers can quickly and easily obtain sealed copies to obtain their building permit.
Contact your local building official BEFORE ordering any engineering to determine what exactly is needed for permit. We can assist in providing documentation to building officials to substantiate our reports.
Manufacturers: Contact Us to discuss your need.
ADDITIONAL TOPICS IN OUR KNOWLEDGE BASE ON THIS SUBJECT: