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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would like to hear from you all about what is your biggest call-back item.

Working for a Commercial GC the number one is moisture, mostly roofing and waterproofing, occasionally window systems.
 

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DGR,IABD
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I have very few, but most are related to equipment failure rather than installation methods. This sort of sucks, because it's hard or impossible to get the labor money from the manufacturer for replacing a device or piece of equipment that failed under warranty.
 

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Youhave to understand when ever water comes from above it's always the roofer;s fault. That's not true though.

It's not my fault the HVAC guy tore the hell out of my roof while installing some equipment or tweaking some already installed equipment. I had one where the builder added another plumbing soil pipe, not on prit, weeks after we did the roof. He was pissed off the roof was leaking but never told us he was adding another pipe. He was pissed off we wanted money for installing the flashing even though the pipe was installed weeks after we did the roof and wasn't on the print.

Honestly my biggest call back is condensation in the winter time freezing on the bottom side of the roof deck and melting when the weather warms. Artificial leaks I call them. It is caused by the customer having their humidifier way too high... and even though their ventilation system is properly sized it was designed for normal humidity levels and can't handle the volume of moisture within their house. I get a few of these every winter.
 

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Oh I forgot the leak repair we do when the stain comes back. They paint over their ceiling with regular ol cheap flat "ceiling paint" and think the roof is still leaking when the stain bleeds through the cheap paint.

I go back to the job, trace the leak stain with a pencil, inspect the roof and attic... then tell them to wait a few rains before repairing the leak and to watch the stain after each rain to see if it grew... I also tell them next time they repair the leak they may want to consider a skim coat of plaster over the stain and 2 coats of kilz (latex) primer before painting.
 

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Almost all of my flybacks are related to other contractors. IMHO guys today are rushing so hard to make a buck that they don't pay attention to others work and just beat it up trying to get their job done. Today, most people don't know how to move furniture on wood floors or negotiate interior corners.
 

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Housewright & Woodwright
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When ever I have to repair or replace an item due to "manufacturer's defect," I call the mfg. and tell them of the impending problem and that I am not touching it until the rep comes out and looks at it. If they balk at coming out to meet with me and check out the item in question, i.e.; window, door, etc., I simply tell them that I am going to give the customer the direct number to the president of the company and "HE" can deal with the customer directly then.

It is amazing how fast the rep is on the phone setting up an appt.

This doesn't happen too often, but has in the past. When that has happened, I don't use that company again!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All of my call backs are because of lack of supervision, which typically results in other trades harming another's work. An electrician coring holes through a waterproofed concrete wall without sealing it, or the grading contractor damaging the waterproofing and covering it up without telling anyone. With regards to roofing, not enough attention to details, which is true for all flashings and waterproofing. Our superintendents don't get out and inspect the work and study the details. Plus, we tend to just push push push, and not listen to tradesmen trying to tell us about potential problems as a result.
If we push a roofer to perform work in marginal conditions, then we should be held accountable. We get away with it because the roofing (or whatever) contractor fails to do a very simple thing.
Just say no.
Then when the GC insists, there is one more simple thing to do.
Give him a piece of paper to sign, or have your foreman contact your office to email/fax/mail a form letter stating you won't accept fault for defects.
Amazing how the pusher's mentality changes when asked to put his money where his big mouth is.
 

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Well, Well, gentlemen;

I have never known anyone to be 100% perfect on all aspects of their trade, however I now can say that I have heard from a few, why dont you all take a bow.

I have to figure in for at least 5% on call backs, this is do to both the ammount of calls we do and the time in which there is for each one.

Yes some may not be my problem, but I would have to say that most are do to both the help and myself.

BJD
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would say that this is a bad place to survey the problem of call backs. It's not a problem associated with people who care about their craft, and respect others. The people who have that kind of interest are found here in this forum.

So then the question is, how the hell do I reach contractors who don't share or understand your interests. People who don't understand that reputaion is not just their own, but the taint they put on all of us.

At my encouragement, our company looked into having roofers, waterproofers, etc. conduct meetings to discuss the problems they encounter on our jobs with our superintendents. Guess where that went? Headlong into a brick wall. Funny thing is that the tradesmen I talked to about their willingness to participate nearly jumped through their Nextels at me to do it.

The fence between residential and commercial is tall. But I just want to say how impressed I am with the sense of pride you all have, and wish the good business sense you all have could be brought to the Charlotte, NC commercial market.

You know what? That's the biggest problem we have with weak subcontractors. Poor business judgement. And for our part, the GC, poor supervision.

I think I'm looking for a cure for stupidity, lol.
 

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I have never known anyone to be 100% perfect on all aspects of their trade, however I now can say that I have heard from a few, why dont you all take a bow.
I didn't mean it to come off that way. I'm no where close to perfect, and learn something new all the time. I think it has to do with this:
The fence between residential and commercial is tall.
With me doing 90% residential, and me on almost all the jobs, the chances of a callback are slim to none. But if i had more employees, and/or did more commercial work, I'm sure my call backs would leap to a higher number.
And I agree with this:
I would say that this is a bad place to survey the problem of call backs. It's not a problem associated with people who care about their craft, and respect others. The people who have that kind of interest are found here in this forum.
If I didn't care, I wouldn't be here, I'd be sipping mint julips by the pool, counting all my dollars! :cheesygri
 

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GCMan said:
The fence between residential and commercial is tall...the biggest problem we have with weak subcontractors. Poor business judgement. And for our part, the GC, poor supervision.
My experience, and I work both sides of the fence, is that the competive forces at play on the commercial side preclude personal relationships from having much to do with anything. Once you set relationships aside, problems get harder to resolve. One man's 'poor business judgement' is another man's 'eat or be eaten'.
Again, in my experience, residential work has MORE factors at play that demand 'give and take'. Give-and-take is almost impossible to accomplish outside of a personal relationship.

Let me know by E-mail if you can't find the caliber of site work help you desire. I might be able to help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, PipeGuy, I like to develop a personal relationship with the trades on my job. Lately I've been filling in on jobs for vacationing supt's. I take great pride when the men tell me not to leave, because the other guy we have doesn't do his job.

The sad thing is, in commercial work, my attitude makes my employer consider me "weak". Too nice. Well I'm not nice at all. If I think the guys are screwing up, I tell them bluntly, yet always with their own interests in mind. I WANT my subcontractors to make money. It blows their minds. This is what is wrong with bad GC attitudes because 99% of the real work is performed by specialty subs. How is it in my company's best interest to impede their progress??? And yet it is so common it sickens me. This is a throw-back mentality from the "go and blow" good ole days of GC's bulldozing their way through a job. Well the market has changed faster than people can learn.

The trades I work around give me puppy dog looks asking if I'm gonna stay. Not because I'm a pushover. But because I care about doing my job and I work at it. As a commercial GC superintendent, my job is to provide you with access to the opportunity for profit.

Hey! I highjacked my own post! :cheesygri
 
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