Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!

 
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


How do you deal with incompetent architects?

I have been in an ongoing battle with an architect and he is driving me crazy. What is making matters worse, is that since I am an architect myself, I know how things should be done, how to treat an owner, etc.

Yesterday, the architect was fighting with the owner of a project, over light fixtures. Being sarcastic, etc. I know damn well to not fight with an owner. Within reason, when they say jump, I say how high.

Today I received some details, that have coincidentally voided previous details because THEY ARE CONNECTED. When you review, design, change a detail, you need to look at the big picture, not just one detail. Like the beam/drywall detail at the top of a wall is connected to the door frame detail at the bottom of the wall. IT IS THE SAME WALL!!!

he changed the specs on the Recessed TV's. Owner purchased. I installed, well tried to anyway. THEY DIDN'T FIT!!! He assured us that they were the same as the originally specified TV's, but 1/2 the thickness. WRONG!! Different mounting requirements, different brackets, DIFFERENT WIRING!!! The bracketing needed to be modified, the coax cabling needed to be changed to HDMI cabling, and MY WALLS ARE COMPLETE & PAINTED!!!

Why does this happen? Why do I care so much that this bothers me? Why am I in this business?

Signed, an unhappy contractor
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Can you say "Change Order"?

This is not a problem, it's an opportunity.

That's how you deal with incompetent architects!

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Old 01-05-2011, 07:26 PM   #3
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpad
Can you say "Change Order"?

This is not a problem, it's an opportunity.

That's how you deal with incompetent architects!
I just hate incompetence. Especially when the owner knows it and is so frustrated with him as well.

And yes, change orders are a coming. Did I mention that I am changing out 10% of the light fixtures that he picked & never had the owner approve (he did).
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:34 PM   #4
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


So if the owner knows he is incompetent, you are in a better position to get your CO's approved.

Yep, it's a PIA, and I hate incompetence as well, but in case you haven't noticed, it's EVERYWHERE (creating opportunities for the competent ones)
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:42 PM   #5
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpad
So if the owner knows he is incompetent, you are in a better position to get your CO's approved.

Yep, it's a PIA, and I hate incompetence as well, but in case you haven't noticed, it's EVERYWHERE (creating opportunities for the competent ones)
True that.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:44 PM   #6
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Love-um! Had a HO supply plans-drawn by his architect and engineer, I bid, I won, I had my first CO days after starting......
No one figured on supporting the roof after several load bearing walls were removed.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by serrano7503
Love-um! Had a HO supply plans-drawn by his architect and engineer, I bid, I won, I had my first CO days after starting......
No one figured on supporting the roof after several load bearing walls were removed.
At least they were pretty pictures huh?
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:52 PM   #8
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


This has been posted here before. Once again appropriate to the subject at hand:

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Old 01-05-2011, 08:10 PM   #9
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Architects learn three things in Architect School:

1) They are always right & never wrong.
2) It's no good unless it's their idea.
3) Contractors are stupid & can't read plans correctly.

If you ever find a good one hang on to them. They are around, just few & far between.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:13 PM   #10
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by serrano7503 View Post
Love-um! Had a HO supply plans-drawn by his architect and engineer, I bid, I won, I had my first CO days after starting......
No one figured on supporting the roof after several load bearing walls were removed.
I think that would be something I would have caught while bidding the job and brought to every ones attention at that time.

I love the clause most architects have on their drawings saying if you do not catch errors before starting construction it's on you. I always wondered how us contractors and builders let them get away with that crap.

Bill
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:17 PM   #11
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpad View Post
This has been posted here before. Once again appropriate to the subject at hand:

That is such an awesome photo....and so true.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:18 PM   #12
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BillD View Post
I think that would be something I would have caught while bidding the job and brought to every ones attention at that time.

I love the clause most architects have on their drawings saying if you do not catch errors before starting construction it's on you. I always wondered how us contractors and builders let them get away with that crap.

Bill
I haven't seen that clause.

So why would you bring that to everyone's attention?

I've seen your type at pre-bids before.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #13
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BillD View Post
I think that would be something I would have caught while bidding the job and brought to every ones attention at that time.

I love the clause most architects have on their drawings saying if you do not catch errors before starting construction it's on you. I always wondered how us contractors and builders let them get away with that crap.

Bill
Boy, I've ran some pretty large commercial jobs over the years and have never seen that clause. If a mistake is anywhere in the bid package it is NOT the subcontractors problem. I'm also used to a pretty close relationship with the general contractors.

Mike
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:32 PM   #14
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Who is running that job? It sounds as though the Architect is, why?
Somebody had to buy the lights that were not approved, who was that?
You should have a selection/purchasing process that avoids these type of problems.
I guess what I'm saying is if you don't have the control you can't bitch, work closer with the Archy and get this stuff ironed out before its a problem.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:56 PM   #15
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


I built a house a bunch of years ago for a customer who had an architect. We were going over the plans before starting the framing and noticed something odd and decided to call the architect. He btw had an ego 3 miles wide of course(he is an architect) we tried to tell him his stairs were wrong. They were a winding set of stairs with a landing at each of three floors and before we could even explain why he went into a tirade and said us carpenters didn't know what we were talking about yada yada
I waited patiently and when he was done I just said Ok I guess you meant to make the second floor doorway only 4 ft tall and hung up. He had wound the stairs rite thru the doorway.
Later that day he snuck by and tried to switch new plans with ours saying"the customer wanted a few things changed" my foreman yells out "yeah hes not 4 ft tall"
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:01 PM   #16
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpad View Post
Can you say "Change Order"?

This is not a problem, it's an opportunity.

That's how you deal with incompetent architects!
My "Thanks" button is out. That's exactly right. I would just add...rigorous documentation keeping throughout the project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
Architects learn three things in Architect School:

1) They are always right & never wrong.
2) It's no good unless it's their idea.
3) Contractors are stupid & can't read plans correctly.

If you ever find a good one hang on to them. They are around, just few & far between.
So True

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpad View Post
I haven't seen that clause.

I have. Usually only in reference to dimensions. "Contractor to verify all dimensions..." and what not.

Then what the good are YOU?

I see it more often than not.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:53 PM   #17
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by VNativo View Post
I just hate incompetence. Especially when the owner knows it and is so frustrated with him as well.

And yes, change orders are a coming. Did I mention that I am changing out 10% of the light fixtures that he picked & never had the owner approve (he did).
If the homeowner feels the architect is incompetent and is frustrated with it, why the hell is the architect still on the job site?

I've never worked for an architect, but I have done a fair share for interior designers that think they should tell clients what they want, rather than the client deciding. I've pissed off more than one designer by asking clients what they want. From my perspective, it's the clients home, the client is writing the check, and the client has to live with the outcome. It stands to reason, then, that the client should have a say in what is done to their home. In every instance where I've questioned the designers plans, the homeowner has agreed with me. I'm not talking about major changes, usually it's about color or trim style, but regardless, it's their home, they should be getting what they want and it should be done properly.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:06 PM   #18
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Just because it can be drawn does not mean that it can be built.
Just because you can't figure out how to do it does not mean that it can't be built.
Just because it can be drawn and built does NOT mean that it should be built.

Weaving those axioms together is what separates a builder from a contractor.

Be the builder.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:38 AM   #19
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpad View Post
I haven't seen that clause.

So why would you bring that to everyone's attention?

I've seen your type at pre-bids before.
I would bring it to everyone's (everyone being the owner or architect or both) attention because I do not believe in hitting up a customer with a change order for something I knew about during the bidding process. I guess it's just the type of guy I am.

It may not be universal, especially on commercial drawings but every set of drawings I have worked from (mostly residential, some commercial) has a paragraph or so in the notes related to the contractor/builders responsibility to find discrepancies prior to starting construction.

I ran several jobs where we as the builders had to eat things that were missed by the architect and not caught by us prior to starting the project.

Bill
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:56 PM   #20
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Re: Silly Architect, Building Is For CONTRACTORS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by VNativo View Post
How do you deal with incompetent architects?

I have been in an ongoing battle with an architect and he is driving me crazy. What is making matters worse, is that since I am an architect myself, I know how things should be done, how to treat an owner, etc.

Yesterday, the architect was fighting with the owner of a project, over light fixtures. Being sarcastic, etc. I know damn well to not fight with an owner. Within reason, when they say jump, I say how high.

Today I received some details, that have coincidentally voided previous details because THEY ARE CONNECTED. When you review, design, change a detail, you need to look at the big picture, not just one detail. Like the beam/drywall detail at the top of a wall is connected to the door frame detail at the bottom of the wall. IT IS THE SAME WALL!!!

he changed the specs on the Recessed TV's. Owner purchased. I installed, well tried to anyway. THEY DIDN'T FIT!!! He assured us that they were the same as the originally specified TV's, but 1/2 the thickness. WRONG!! Different mounting requirements, different brackets, DIFFERENT WIRING!!! The bracketing needed to be modified, the coax cabling needed to be changed to HDMI cabling, and MY WALLS ARE COMPLETE & PAINTED!!!

Why does this happen? Why do I care so much that this bothers me? Why am I in this business?

Signed, an unhappy contractor


Let's see: 1) Brooklyn, NY
2) Architect AND Contractor
3)Agent from "Jersey" (me)


I smell a blockbuster reality TV show here!

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