AIA Small Project Design (SPD) Knowledge Community supports, celebrates, and promotes small projects by engaging designers and the public.
On a small deck project, the contractor rotated the framing direction and undermined the deck. I've spent some time preparing various repairs to the poorly constructed project and working with the building department to make the deck safe.
Wouldn't you expect the contractor to pick up my bill?
I always include a number of site visits in my contract with the owner. When I am there to see the foundation I usually go over the framing with the contractor. This eliminates the possibility of this happening.
I would be shocked if you can pull that off.
An approach that is more likely (but not real likely) to be successful is to explain the situation to the Owner and invoice the Owner. If the Owner hasn't fully paid the Contractor he/she may be willing to divert those funds to you.
I am not saying that you are wrong, but my experience with Contractor's working at this level - decks and handyman projects - has not been good. I have been in similar situations.
I assume there was a framing plan which the contractor did not follow. Since your contract is with the Owner, the bill would go to them, and they should ask for reimbursement from the contractor.
On any project where drawings are submitted and approved by a building code official one should always make sure the contractor is building according to the stamped and signed documents. It is good that you are correcting the plans but the matter should be between the owner and the contractor. The contractor did not follow the documents, causing you to do additional work. As an architect no matter how small a job as long as stamp and signature are on those documents, one should make sure they are following your documents to the letter, and if not let you know why they can't, before they do any more work.
You are probably working for the owner. They can bill the Contractor.
I'm confused as to why you are involved in the structural portion of this job. Isn't there a structural engineer involved? Why isn't the engineer making revisions? You are potentially increasing your standard of care taking this on.
I would also talk to your insurance broker about this. It sounds like a mess in the making.
I do structure out of the NYS Residential Code. Any more complicated, I have a wonderful engineer!
Thank you everyone for the comments and information. Preparing for the worst by having a good contract, getting agreements in place before raising a finger and thinking thru who is responsible to whom -- great advice.
The saga continues- the owner may have triggered this, (don't ask), which still doesn't free the contractor from the repercussions of building a deck that would collapse on itself and not following the permitted drawings.
I wanted to share an interesting experience. Yesterday I held a meeting with the owner to bring the temperature down based on emails I received with misstatements etc. I read recently Chris Voss' " Don't Split the Difference"- a book about his experience as a hostage negotiator. It worked wonders... for now at least...... People just want to be heard....
Many thanks to everyone
AIA Conference on ArchitectureAIA Contract DocsAIAUAIA FoundationAIA StoreAIA TrustTopicA
© 2023 AIA