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Consultant & Architect Back Charges

 
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:33 PM   #1
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Consultant & Architect Back Charges


Hi everyone, why is uncommon to GC's to back charge consultants and the Architect for mistakes that cost the GC significant amount of money?

For example, our Architect design fire exit stairs that are not code compliant and now we are forced to demolish many levels of concrete stairs and replace them with steel stairs.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:52 PM   #2
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


question is how did the plans get approved with such a glaring omission?

you bid the job per plans & specs.

when you were made aware of the stair issue, you should have sent the architect an rfi stating current stairs are not code compliant and how does he wish to proceed.

providing steel stairs will require engineering and substantial lead time which will effect your job.

an rfi response should provide an answer as to how to fix the stairs with a line asking for the cost.

as a gc you do not eat mistakes like this.

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Old 08-08-2019, 06:01 PM   #3
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


Quote:
Originally Posted by alexpope11 View Post
Hi everyone, why is uncommon to GC's to back charge consultants and the Architect for mistakes that cost the GC significant amount of money?

For example, our Architect design fire exit stairs that are not code compliant and now we are forced to demolish many levels of concrete stairs and replace them with steel stairs.
As GC, you have control over the project, not the Architect... that means overseeing and implementation of the plans... why would you install fire exit stairs that you know are not code compliant?
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:03 PM   #4
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


I would tend to think that this is a project Owner issue. He hired the Architect to draw the plans. You bid the plans. The plans were wrong. GC typically does not have a contract with the Architect, so you can't "backcharge" him. You go after the Owner who goes after the Architect. Architect's have E&O Insurance if the money is big enough. However, most Owners should have a contingency in their budget for misc changes, including code items.
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:17 AM   #5
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


dumb question, why are concrete stairs not code compliant
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:31 AM   #6
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


Possibly lack of nosing
Someone told me that a while ago not sure if it is true now though
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:35 AM   #7
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


My guess is lack of nosing as well. A friend of mine has a set of stairs with no nosing and it feels crazy clumsy. It's such a small thing but definitely provide some level of comfort.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:11 PM   #8
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


Quote:
Originally Posted by KAP View Post
As GC, you have control over the project, not the Architect... that means overseeing and implementation of the plans... why would you install fire exit stairs that you know are not code compliant?
They probably didn't know.............
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:22 PM   #9
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


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Originally Posted by rrk View Post
Possibly lack of nosing
Someone told me that a while ago not sure if it is true now though
Probably. Can get away with no nosing with > 12" run, or back sloping the riser.
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:31 PM   #10
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


That is what we did with concrete stairs, sloped the riser back 1 in.
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Old 08-10-2019, 12:10 AM   #11
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


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Probably. Can get away with no nosing with > 12" run, or back sloping the riser.
poured several sets of school stairs that way.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:03 AM   #12
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


I think we're getting away from the question here. I do think that architects and engineers do need to take more ownership on a project. Too many times have I seen drawings issued that are terrible only to have the owner get hit with hundreds of extras.

Our industry needs to change where the designers take more ownership and are held accountable for poor quality.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:45 AM   #13
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
question is how did the plans get approved with such a glaring omission?



you bid the job per plans & specs.



when you were made aware of the stair issue, you should have sent the architect an rfi stating current stairs are not code compliant and how does he wish to proceed.



providing steel stairs will require engineering and substantial lead time which will effect your job.



an rfi response should provide an answer as to how to fix the stairs with a line asking for the cost.



as a gc you do not eat mistakes like this.
In residential- never seen an archi eat anything. Builder to verify local code and field measurements etc...

Red line the plans prior to bidding

Good luck getting municipalities to take any heat either. I had an ENGINEERED septic that was installed by a licensed septic contractor and APPROVED AND INSPECTED/PASSED by the governing body.

5 years later - client sells the house. Governing body fails inspection- too close to a well. I holler at them and say wtf? You approved location and passed.

Sorry. It's out of code.

Long story short it cost me 20k. Engineer refused liability- septic contractor and I parted ways and he is a loser - no money. Spend it all on boat racing.

I could of said sue me but I'm not a pos. They'd of had to go to arbitration in my county by contract and I'd of won.

They hired me to build the house and this got ####ed up. It's on me. They didn't hire the engineer or septic contractor. If they had it would be on them.

If I filed on gL they'd sue both, but my rating would of gone from .75% of completed construction to probably 1.20. I'd of lost the 20k more than once over anyway

If client has plans drawn- it's on them. Write the contract that way

It's always on the builder imo. Municipal/commercial, you can change order the client.

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Last edited by Jaws; 08-12-2019 at 08:55 AM.
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Old Today, 07:53 AM   #14
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


We are the developer/owner and GC (vertically integrated) and have signed a contract with the Architect.

My question is whether as the Owner / GC we are legally liable to make sure the Architect and Consultants meet the building codes on a detailed level? .. the review we do is a high level one, not very detailed... perhaps it is the wrong approach.

To answer your question - the issues with the stairs is that the middle landing between floors is closer to the floors above, therefore it does not meet headroom clearance.
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Old Today, 03:11 PM   #15
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Re: Consultant & Architect Back Charges


So what clauses would you guys/ladies say I should include in their contracts so that they are liable for their mistakes?

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