I received a telephone call from a gentleman who explained he was having an extension built on the back of his house to make a large living room. He wanted a price from me for designing steel beam to go over the opening that he wanted to create to get into the extension. I said that I was happy to do that. But I did add that in addition to designing the beam, I also needed to be sure that the walls on either side of the opening would be strong enough to take the loads at either end of the beam.
I explained that in addition to designing the steel beam, concrete pad stones would also need to go under the ends of the beam to enable the beam loadings to be evenly dispersed into the supporting walls. And in order to specify the correct size of pad stones, I would need to inspect the walls. That meant I would need to pay him a visit but that would all be included in my design fee.
I then advised him that when it comes to building an extension, there is normally a great deal more to it than simply getting someone in to design a beam. I asked him about the foundations and the roof and he said that his builder was confident that he could construct those without any specific design from me. I left it with him but I added that should he all his builder or indeed the building inspector require any assistance that he should come back to me.