ClearCalcs Customers

Why engineers, architects and building designers depend on ClearCalcs to deliver their best work anywhere, anytime.




Ashland, Oregon

Richard Vezie & Associates

Richard believes investing in learning is how his business grows. Here’s how ClearCalcs helps.

Many years ago, building designer Richard Vezie decided that he needed to take personal responsibility for his life and choices to succeed in his business. We discussed how focusing on what he enjoys and is good at while being curious to learn more about his work and himself resonates with how he uses ClearCalcs in his design practice.

About Richard Vezie & Associates

Talking about his early career, Richard officially started his construction career in 1970 with a four-year carpentry apprenticeship.

“Most of my early work was in commercial construction. Then, in 1978, I became a general contractor, mostly designing and building for residential and light commercial projects.”

“As a carpenter, I've worked on everything from bridges and large commercial or industrial buildings to homes and small remodel projects. As a building designer, I've designed numerous light commercial projects, homes, additions, and remodels,” added Richard.

According to Richard, since he especially enjoyed the design aspect of his work, he slowly began an effort to do design exclusively.

Richard then started his design practice, Richard Vezie & Associates, in 1988, and he now works exclusively in Southern Oregon in the USA, with his office in Ashland, Oregon.

“While I've had employees in the past, I am now a sole proprietor of my business. I do everything having to do with my business. Wearing many hats keeps it interesting.”

“My clients are usually private parties (home or building owners) and building contractors.”

Richard’s top business priority is to provide excellent, cost-effective solutions for his clients.

“I get many strange and interesting projects. There’s something about the problem-solving I thoroughly enjoy, and the answers always seem to come.”

Richard’s vast and diverse construction experience has served him well in his business, having had his hands dirty with layout experience of some major projects during his apprenticeship and later as a journeyman carpenter and contractor.

The Challenge

As a building designer, Richard generally works with licensed engineers when he encounters project elements beyond his capabilities or when required by the building codes. To help him in routine design work, he began computerizing his work with a CAD system in 1989, utilizing DOS-based computers.

“I started using the Boise Cascade (BC) Calc when it first appeared in the mid-90s for limited structural calculations. I still tend to use it these days for BC components.”

“I then started using a structural design software when it first appeared in the late 90s, and I had been using it until I discovered ClearCalcs late last year.”

According to Richard, he initially enjoyed using software, especially with the integration of the load path tracking component in the software. However, since another company took over the software he was using, the support has not been the same.

Effective Customer Support

As a sole proprietor of his design practice, Richard needed to find structural software that is intuitive, easy to learn, and offers excellent support.

“I searched the web off and on for months [to find the right solution]. l read lots of comments and reviewed plenty of website ads.”

“The way ClearCalcs was presented made sense to me. I knew the trial would cost me some time, but the potential seemed worth the risk. I’m glad I tried it out,” continued Richard.

In ClearCalcs, Richard relies on a range of calculators to facilitate his work, including wood beam, wood column, and concrete spread footing calculators. Additionally, he occasionally utilizes steel beam and column calculators to enhance his analysis.

The technical and overall support he received from the start convinced Richard to continue using ClearCalcs as his design software.

“Great support is essential to me, and ClearCalcs gets that. ClearCalcs has actual "people" on support staff that appear actually to give a rip about their customers,” explained Richard.

“That's the way I try to run my business. I want to be a great value to my clients. I'm always easy for my clients and contractors to reach. I care about and usually understand what they're going through. It's a service business. I believe ClearCalcs shares those values. You folks also seem to understand that at the heart of it, you are a service business.”

Easy of Use for Non-Engineers

Just like the previous structural design software he used, Richard relies on and greatly appreciates the seamless load linking integration that ClearCalcs offers.

In addition, although there is room for improvement, Richard stated that ClearCalcs’s simplified output caters to the needs of structural designers structural designers who are not engineers, like himself and his clients. This simple output is particularly essential as it provides clear and concise structural plans, which play a vital role in their day-to-day work.

“The folks in the field [who are end users of my drawing plans] don’t want a lot of stuff on my drawings that they don’t need or understand. They’re hot, dirty, tired, and just want to know what they’re supposed to do. I used to be one of them.”

“Perhaps that's why in all of these years, I've never needed to advertise. I did an analysis years ago and found that over 60% of my business was with repeat clients. All but a few of the rest have been direct referrals.”

How has ClearCalcs changed the way Richard operates his business?

Looking ahead, Richard is allocating more time for learning as part of the next phase of his business. To this end, Richard said the educational aspects of ClearCalcs offer great promise.

“Over the years, working alongside structural engineers, I've gained a lot of knowledge, but there are still moments when I come across something unfamiliar. In those instances, I turn to online resources like web searches and YouTube to find helpful videos. It's amazing how much you can learn online, and I'm always eager to expand my understanding of the subject.”

Richard particularly finds ClearCalcs' webinars to be a source of great learning and value.

“I've been at this a lot of years, you know, and, but I still enjoy learning. I'm learning from ClearCalcs and that's a good thing. Learning new things may take away from my profits, but I see it as an investment. I believe if you’re self-employed, you need to be willing to take some risks.”

“I believe as I continue to learn and as ClearCalcs continues to improve (especially with lean and mean output), it will make my business even more cost-effective and even more enjoyable.”, concludes Richard.

When asked how he would convince a friend to try ClearCalcs, Richard's response highlights the value and support that ClearCalcs offers:

"I'd say, 'Don't be stupid! Give it a shot.' With ClearCalcs, you won't be left floundering around in the structural abyss. The ClearCalcs team, led by Connor, is exceptional and always ready to assist you. They truly understand the challenges you face, and they know that any learning curve comes with a cost – your precious time, which is essentially your money. So, don't be stupid!"

Ready to experience the benefits of ClearCalcs for yourself? Take the leap and try it today to streamline your structural engineering workflow, gain valuable insights, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having a reliable and user-friendly tool at your fingertips.

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