Do you need an Engineer or an Architect?

The time has come. After months (maybe even years) of putting it off, you decide you are ready to start on a new building project… 

So the question comes up: Do you need an architect, or an engineer? Well, that depends on the size and scope of the work. An architect or designer is generally not needed to build a retaining wall, remove a beam, or upgrade and install a patio cover over a deck.

At Ouellette Engineering, we often get requests to help with a residential project…but, alas, it may be missing an architectural design. If you don’t have a detailed architectural design ready to go, then the structural engineering drawings/calculations cannot get started yet. 

But don’t worry. If you don’t have architectural design skills – then your first step is to find a suitable local architect or designer who can help you put your dreams to paper/drawings. Residential architects or designers will help you develop a plan. At Ouellette Engineering, we are happy to provide referrals for architects, contractors, designers, and other professionals – as requested. Your local building department can usually supply a list of architects, contractors, and designers as well. 

Architectural projects can take a couple weeks or months for basic designs. For a brand new building or complete remodel, you should expect at least two months to complete the design phase.

Once you have a building plan drawn up, then a structural engineer can get involved. At Ouellette Engineering, most of our projects take somewhere between a few hours to a few weeks to complete – depending on the complexity of the project. Rarely do structural engineering plans/calculations take longer than five weeks to complete.

Whether your residential project is large or small, we’re happy to assist you and point you in the right direction.


A Message About COVID-19

As cases across Oregon continue to rise, the outbreak of COVID-19 has certainly changed how businesses service their customers. At Ouellette Engineering, protecting our clients safety and health is our top concern. As such, we have implemented new guidelines for our workplace, our employees, and our customer interactions.

Whenever possible, we use email correspondence or phone conferencing – in lieu of a face-to-face meeting. Some simple jobs require only email correspondence and phone conferencing and can be started and finished all over the course of a week or two.  

When visiting a client residence or jobsite, we adhere to social distancing guidelines. That means a healthy 6-foot distance, whenever possible. Additionally, if requested, we are happy to wear face masks. We also always use hand-sanitizer before and after meeting with clients. Our customer’s health and safety is paramount, so our team will take additional precautions as requested.

On the positive side, if you find yourself at home with more free time than usual, now could be the perfect time to start on that home remodeling project you’ve been wanting to get to. At Ouellette Engineering, we’re here to help provide smart solutions to your building needs.


Welcome to Ouellette Engineering

Welcome to Ouellette Engineering – serving the Willamette Valley area since 2001. We are happy to serve your structural engineering needs. Feel free to reach out for a quote on a new project or questions about our services.