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The Importance Of Job Documentation

 
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:33 AM   #1
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The Importance Of Job Documentation


I just want to throw this out here, how important is to document the job and take pictures before and taking a few shots of surrounding area as well, can be just as important.

The job I am doing now the 1900's Home remodeling, I was posting some pictures here before... The house next door is a two family dwelling. During the storm Sandy, one of the storm windows (which was hanging before I started the work) blew off the house. Right when that storm came, and when it happened, my siding guys had the scaffold set up on that side. Nobody was working when it happened, because you couldn't get to the job for a few days.
So the people next door, I guess they were moving out and I guess they wanted to get the deposit back, they told the landlord my siding guys broke the storm window. So he called the building department and filed a complain. I spoke to a Building department during one of the inspections, and I told him the window was hanging before any work started on the house...
Not to mention they know me in town, I been doing work in the same town for as long as I been in Business, and I had a side business in town Espresso Bar for 16 years so they know my word is my Bond and they basically they said its a civil matter to straighten this out between us.
About a week after that, I was showing someone pictures from this remodeling job, and I am going through pictures and guess what, I got a few pictures when I took a few shots of before any work started and was taking shots as the job progressed and there it was...
Storm window started to pull away from the window frame and there was a picture before siding was going up or anything was done on that side, the windows was out by a good 4-6" from the frame. When Sandy hit, it blew right off the house.
My next inspection, I showed him the pictures and as they say "a picture worth a thousand words" and he said I knew your word was good as gold... which is another good point for me, it showed that I'm a man of my word.
So about a week later, detective calls me and he said the landlord filed a complaint with them... I told him I know, he did it with the Building department also and I already showed pictures to the Building department, indicating the windows was hanging before any work started... he said no problem, he will follow up with him and that was it, I never heard about this again.

Now if not the pictures,this could have gone differently... With that said, its always a good thing to snap pictures from the day you get to the job until the day you leave the job... especially this day and age were you don't have to develop pictures, just have a folder for each job and dump the pictures there... when done, pick the best pictures for illustrations and dump the rest.

I'm sure most here do that, but people who're new to the trade and just starting out, its a good habit to develop and document everything before and after as you go, it can save you a lot of grief down the road or like in my case
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Last edited by greg24k; 01-25-2013 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


Good advice ! I've been taking pictures every day for years. It also could help save your behind if the customer doesn't pay. Pictures of progress work is good evidence in court. I always bring my portfolio to show customers my work also. Sometimes things get covered up too fast but its nice to show everything is done right.

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Old 01-25-2013, 08:37 AM   #3
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


I discuss projects with friends in the business. Sometimes they just want to pick my brain, sometimes they want to know if I will take on a job. Either way it's always about job logistics and pricing.

I always ask if they have any pictures. Even today with cell phone cameras and inexpensive digital cameras they all too often answer, "No."

Stop forgetting to take pictures folks. They can be incredibly valuable for so many different reasons. As suggested by the OP, it saved him a hassle at the very least and possibly some $$.

Pictures won't allow you to forget that little detail that takes extra labor or extra material. They are one of the best tools available for ensuring you quote the all work that needs to be done.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:53 PM   #4
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


When I was GCing, I learned that documentation is paramount, and kept a digital camera in my truck always. It saved my @$$ many a time. I can't believe how many guys don't take pictures after MEPs, so they know where everything is routed in case of an emergency in the future.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:17 PM   #5
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


That's a good lesson learned to snap pictures of the neighboring houses just in case somebody is looking to get a freebie.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


Great post Greg.. SO TRUE!!!!!!!

Glad you had the pic. Worth 1000 words or dollars + in this case.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:56 PM   #7
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone here on CT, that I carry my camera on every job.
I can't count how many times I've went back to see some specific details that would have been lost without a photo.
Great post Greg.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:03 PM   #8
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


My camera is in my phone, I snap pis all the time. I wish I'd started it earlier, my portfolio would be 5-6 times bigger ( Date,job address)
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:14 PM   #9
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


Take pictures? For what?
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:22 AM   #10
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


Quote:
Originally Posted by loneframer View Post
Take pictures? For what?
For one, I can show my wife I'm doing something...because every time she calls me, I'm in a restaurant having lunch...
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:03 AM   #11
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


I photograph things before we start - at the end of every day - if anything odd happens - and at the end of the project. Mostly I use them to keep vacation homeowners updated and for the web site but occasionally they come in very handy for other things.

We both have cameras on our cell phones and that works just fine. Sometimes I take the DSLR but usually that is for the web site stuff.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:16 AM   #12
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k

For one, I can show my wife I'm doing something...because every time she calls me, I'm in a restaurant having lunch...
Your having lunch and she's getting the tabs at the end of the month!
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:18 AM   #13
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


Great post Greg
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:46 AM   #14
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


When I do work for some of the larger GC's, having those photos help with warranty work. If a homeowner/client comes back a couple of months later complaining that something fell off of the wall, and it's obvious that it was neglect or accident on their part, I have proof that it was installed correctly.

I'll email the photos upon the completion of the work, or at least they get sent no later than the time that the final check is cut. Then if there is a discrepancy with my pictures, I can tell the GC that they have a copy of the same photos also.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:58 AM   #15
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


We always take pictures before, during, and after. One time I had a past client call me up and start yelling at me about how we were supposed to do something on his roof and he just had someone else up there and that person said it wasn't done.

He had a parapet wall that the top brick rowlock was cracking and water was leaking into his home. He didn't want to pay for us to put a cap on it so he had us tar it (which it had been tarred previously). After we finished the work, I emailed him the pictures of the finished work with the invoice.

Well apparently he forgot about those pictures, so when someone else went up there a year later and the tar had dried out and didn't look new anymore, they said the work wasn't done, so he got all PO'd and called me up. I asked him for his email address and sent him a copy of all the pictures. I never heard back from him.

This job never made it to our portfolio but regardless, pictures saved my a$$.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:21 PM   #16
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


I was once billed for damage done to a ceiling grid in a restaurant. I commented that I did not damage the grid at all. The builder with positive that it was me that did the damage.

So out come the photographs! "See these? Here's one taken on Monday....... No damage. Here's Wednesday..... Look at my conduits. Still no damage. The next week the plumber comes along to install his pipes. Hmm..... [i ]Now[/i] the grid is damaged........"

I also maintain a daily job log. I write down what work was done, the weather, site conditions, any problems......
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:38 PM   #17
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


Quote:
Originally Posted by loneframer View Post
Take pictures? For what?
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k View Post
For one, I can show my wife I'm doing something...because every time she calls me, I'm in a restaurant having lunch...
I was attempting to be funny.....

I've been known to snap off a digital image every now and again.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:49 PM   #18
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


I also keep a log book I do take some pictures but I need to take more.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:32 AM   #19
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


Quote:
Originally Posted by wnc viking View Post
I also keep a log book I do take some pictures but I need to take more.
If you don't document everything, you are setting yourself up for trouble.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:03 AM   #20
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Re: The Importance Of Job Documentation


Quote:
Originally Posted by loneframer View Post

I was attempting to be funny.....

I've been known to snap off a digital image every now and again.
I bet you snap one off...

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