The role of the civil engineer is very technical in nature, and your selection has more to do with technical capabilities and availability than does your interpersonal relationship. Many civil engineers manage both commercial and residential work, and the most important question to resolve is if they have time on their schedule that works for your project? If they say yes, expect months of delays regardless, because a larger project will demand their time, resulting in delays for your project.
As an accountant, I am efficient with money, frugal in nature, but not cheap. While I firmly believe you get what you pay for, I have found civil engineering fees can vary greatly. The initial firm I met with proposed fees that were 163% higher than the next highest firm. The second firm I engaged, we met for a site review on the Friday before Memorial Day, and I terminated the relationship on the Friday before Labor Day because zero work had been accomplished and communication was a struggle. As it is often said, “third time is the charm” and Julie and I have engaged Joseph K. Maynard, P.E. and his firm Washtenaw Engineering Co., Inc. where we have been very happy with the caliber of work, and the quality of communication.