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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone know a California registered engineer? Who can stamp building plans?

I want to take 2 shipping containers. slap them together and cut out the middle. insulate the whole thing and call it home.

California is a pain when it comes to building codes. I need help finding an engineer who can help me make up some drawings to show the structure meets local codes.

Anyone know someone who could help?

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
You might want to look at another state, one more friendly to alternative housing. Hopland, CA, where the main Real Goods store was located, used to be fairly tolerant of alternative housing, but I don't know if that is still true.

It's asking a lot to have anyone put their reputation and license on the line when it comes to state regs.

Just something to think about. Good luck.

834 Posts

I am a professional mechanical engineer in CA and other locations. I do not design structural engineering for buildings.

I suggest that you go to any PE (Structural) in your area and ask them to give you a fixed fee proposal to, review, design and sign and seal, and inspect.

You could ask more than one for a fee. Interview them - work with the one you think will work best with you and your ideas - you might not like one, and you might like another engineer, or they might not understand you, or fees may also vary - go shopping - for engineering - do not expect to get it for free.

A PE can NOT just sign your drawings. They must design and complete on-site inspections that satisfy themselves that the works were constructed according to their design.

Good Luck,


Super Moderator
17,367 Posts
Alex has given you good advice, especially about finding someone you like and can work with.

For example, my parents had 6 kids and a huge house. They wanted to turn the back rooms into a small apartment for my divorced sister and her child.

But, alas, they were told that they could NOT put in a second kitchen in their house, it was zoned single family. Right.

Then, the guy thinks a minute, and says that a wet bar with a sink, counters, cupboards, and a small refridgerator WOULD be allowed. A LOT of people wanted to spruce up their houses, and wet bars were popular.


The best part is, as long as my folks are renting to family -and they are renting to grandkids now- everything is perfectly legal, even by Californian standards!

So, find somebody who has a flexible turn of mind. Somebody who will try to make your dream fit the laws of the state.
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