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Contractor made a significant mistake

  • 1.  Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-04-2023 10:50 PM

    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?



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    Kathleen Sullivan AIA
    Trio Architecture pllc
    Hastings on Hudson NY
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 2.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-07-2023 05:35 PM

    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.



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    Edwin Elliott AIA
    Edwin O. Elliott, Jr., AIA - Architect
    Pleasantville NY
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 3.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-07-2023 05:46 PM
    Kathleen,

    I think the question of who should pay you comes down to who asked you to perform the work. Was it the contractor, your client (homeowner)? Without knowing all the details, it seems like the building department requested the contractor to revise his work as it was not per your original drawings to get a final occupancy. Since it was the contractor's mistake and he has to make it right, I assume he contacted you directly. Hopefully you got some kind of written agreement of what you needed to do and a fee structure. Then the contractor should pay you. But if you were asked by your client (homeowner) to make the changes, then it would be the client who should pay you, and hopefully you discussed the additional services fee with them before starting any work. Now the client can go back to the contractor to get your fee, or subtract it from the final payment.



    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 4.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-07-2023 06:17 PM

    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.

    Good luck.



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    Robert Smith AIA
    Talley & Smith Architecture, Inc.
    Shelby NC
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 5.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-07-2023 10:44 PM
    Unless you had an Agreement to undertake your services, NO. Sorry.

    Carl J. Handman, AIA
    A      R      C      H      I      T      E      C      T       
    98 East Walnut Street  Kingston, PA 18704      

    P: 570-287-1717                            F: 570-287-7368
                           



    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 6.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-08-2023 07:24 AM
    A mistake was made. Your contract was with the Owner. The Owner should pay you and deal with the Contractor.

    Unless you had an agreement before you started, you can't just expect the Contractor to pay you.

    Get it in writing first.


    JOHN A. FEICK, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP 
    224 East Water Street 
    Sandusky, Ohio 44870 
    419-625-2554 (w) 
    419-656-3017 (c)



    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 7.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-08-2023 09:10 AM

    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. 



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    David DeFilippo AIA
    Tsoi Kobus Designs
    Boston MA
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 8.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-08-2023 11:41 AM

    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.



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    Andrew Thompson AIA
    Passaic County
    Paterson NJ
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 9.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-08-2023 02:15 PM

    You are probably working for the owner.  They can bill the Contractor.  



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    Nelson B. Nave AIA
    Nelson Breech Nave, AIA Architect
    Kalamazoo MI
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 10.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-08-2023 05:38 PM

    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.



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    Gisela Schmoll AIA
    Gisela Schmoll Architect, PC
    San Francisco CA
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 11.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-08-2023 05:58 PM

    I do structure out of the NYS Residential Code. Any more complicated, I have a wonderful engineer!



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    Kathleen Sullivan AIA
    Trio Architecture pllc
    Hastings on Hudson NY
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!


  • 12.  RE: Contractor made a significant mistake

    Posted 08-08-2023 05:56 PM

    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



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    Kathleen Sullivan AIA
    Trio Architecture pllc
    Hastings on Hudson NY
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    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!