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Discussion Starter #1
So how far do you go to protect finished surfaces from the trades still working inside your new projects. After seeing all the damage to door jambs and cabinets, I am thinking of making subs remove their toolbelts inside the building. This has been a big problem for us, and we need viable solutions.
 

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I can guarantee you much grumbling from those subs who like to work with a belt. What else besides door jambs? If it's just that, then you could cover them with paper or fabric.

I'm in favor of inflicting maximum financial punnishment as a deterrent :evil:
 

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It all starts with the contract..
"Upon start of finish materials being installed all carts are to be provided with protected corners, and all tool belts are to be carried to place of work."
"Subcontractor is responsible for protection of adjacent work during installation of their scope of work"
"Subcontractors will be backcharged for damages done to finished surfaces - if one subcontractor can not be found liable for said damage, costs incurred will be split between all subcontrators"

Those are pretty harsh and from memory so they may not be exact. Additionally - we rarely have to enforce these unless there is just blatant disregard for installed materials by a subcontrator.
As far as protection methods - we get the corners used for packing refrigerators and wrap the jambs with those - works great, they're inexpensive, you can reuse them, and they're easy to put on. For countertops we clean it well then put down rosin paper then 1/4" hardboard down then tape it so it's not sliding around.
 

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DGR,IABD
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"...if one subcontractor can not be found liable for said damage, costs incurred will be split between all subcontrators"

I'm not so sure that I'd ever sub for you again if I got a split of a charge you couldn't put on my crew for sure. That being said, I think it up to the GC to do everything reasonable to keep the finish surfaces protected. Murphy's law reins here too. While we certainly make every effort not to damage anything... you're working with big materials and heavy tools for Pete's sake. Tarps, red rosin paper, plastic wrap, cardboard, luan plywood... all of these things cost next to nothing and helps out big time. I'm quite happy to pay for something I did, without even a hassle. I remember dropping a screwdriver on a glass top stove not too long ago and cracked the top. I was having an exact replacement stove put on it's way before I was even able to get the GC on the phone.

Sometimes, I think that certain items get installed way, way too soon and I'm not sure why. I visited a project the other day that had all the ceramic tile down before the sheetrock was even on the job. Was doing the electrical finish in another home while furniture was being carried in. Jeeze...
 

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Like I said - I was recalling from memory what we have. I was wrong on some of the language - it wasn't a split for damages it was a split for cleanup. If the subcontractor does not want to supply an individual for the composite cleanup crew - a preset amount would be charged to the contractor. This is discussed at buyout - so they agree to the amount ahead of time. I'm not a nazi :) just have bad memory.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Our current building is 20,000 sq ft, 90% finished. Because the building is so big, some subs can work nearly unnoticed for hours. To date my building manager and I have counted up to approx. $6,000.00 worth of damage to Posts, cabinets, door jambs, and floors, but not a single person has owned up to the damage!! We have installed some protection, but in one case the damage was underneath the protective cover! So now what? Set police in the building!?
 

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DGR,IABD
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I 20,000 square foot building is a high-dollar affair (resi or comm?). It sounds like it's time to re-evaluate the particular subcontractors you use.
 

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I'm doing a 22k sf house right now - our subcontractors are pretty much the same ones we use on 100million + commercial jobs. On some of our large commercial jobs subs could work for days without being seen :) But eventually the damage comes back to a certain subcontractor or group of subcontractors - we sit down a negotiate and usually end up splitting the costs between us.
 

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I'm working on a much smaller scale than you guys but still have to deal with damage to finished surfaces and the best thing I find is getting to know your subs and talking to them before the install. I often point out to them ahead of time problems that I see they could be facing with thier install and offer up either a suggestion to derail the potential problem or at the very least let them know that I am aware and that if they do end up doing the damage we are talking about that something is going to happen.

For example : I use a carpet installer who does EXCELLENT work but he is a one man operation. So I know that he faces issues that a two man operation wouldn't such as getting rolls of carpet down stair cases without having to drag and risk scraping finish work, so I talk to him about that, I ask him how he is going to prevent it or I ask him to let me know when he gets to that point and I will give him a hand. These little talks result in him wrapping and taping corners to protect them on his own.

While you guys with giant projects have different scales to deal with in this problem, still talking to subs about issues that you know could be problems seems like common sense. It is like asking a homeowner if it would be a good idea to remove the Ming vase from the hall way while we bring in drywall.
 

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Good points Mike - we do Pre-Mobilization meetings and buyout meetings where we touch on items such as safety, quality, etc. We also have weekly subcontractor meetings where we can touch on items like "We are beginning installation of millwork in the lower level - so what can be done to protect ..." Our weekly meetings are where the real coordination of where everyone is going to be working takes place. And where material deliveries are coordinated, laydown areas, 3 week schedules, material selections, etc.
 

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Luan on floors and countertops held in place with 2" blue tape. Bubble wrap on protuding corners with blue tape and streamers of surveyors tape. Blue tape and streamers on prominant jambs. PolyTak on carpet and low use wood flooring.
Surveyors tape is cheap, comes in bright colors and moves with the slightest breeze. There is no excuse for saying that you didn't see it.
We use a lot of 2 ply cardboard as well, comes in rolls of different widths.
 
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