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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #1
I brought up an experience of mine on another site, and got immediatly lambasted for my thoughts. I have been on projects (new residential homes) where I've never had any face to face contact with any human being regarding my part of the project. My involvement (electrical) was initiated by a phone call or fax, paperwork was exchanged by Email or US mail, I ruffed on the appointed days, finished out on the appointed days, sent bills at the proper times, and got checks in the mail. This has happened over time with several builders on several projects, and I called it a "model of efficiency". I got shot down because others called it the wrong way to run a project, adding that you should always have "communication". While I could have made a cell phone call or got someone at the site if I felt compelled to do so, there was never a need. I felt that this was a good model because no problems ever came up that couldn't be resolved in the field by the installer, and the prints and initial telephone instructions were concise. While this is an exceptional situation, it's happened to me quite a number of times. Thoughts?
 

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I have a question for you mdshunk

Being a electrical contractor dealing with new home construction do you find people willing to spend the money to hire a lighting designer to consult with you before installing fixtures and stuff. Because if i was building a new house I would definately hire a lighting designer after seeing all the awesome things they can do with lighting. I would also think it would be much easier for a electrical contractor like yourself if you had a person to walk you through everything on the job site involving lighting. :Thumbs: :)
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #3
747 said:
Being a electrical contractor dealing with new home construction do you find people willing to spend the money to hire a lighting designer to consult with you before installing fixtures and stuff.
Sure, there's a certain demographic that use a lighting designer for new work as well as old work. I require ZERO personal interaction from the lighting designer. They make decisions totally with the client. All I need is the fixture schedule and the layout/print. There's nothing I can offer (as an electrician) other than my opinion, which usually sucks when it comes to lighting design. That's a whole art of its own. Sometimes recessed cans are specced where critical framing is, which is really the only time someone (other than me) has to make a decision.

Selecting fixtures is a bit like selecting furniture, jewelry, or art... none of which I want to get mixed up in. In my estimation, my job begins and ends with providing a safe, functional, timely installation that meets the plans, specs, and owners requirements. There may come a point in which I will get more interested in lighting design, but I'm not there yet.
 

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Actually, in a perfect world, that's the way thing are supposed to. Sounds like communication is being carried on via the plans and spec sheets. In fact that's of the over all goals of ISO 9001 - "Clear Understanding of Objectives?"
 

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I don't see anything wrong with the work part of it, as according to what you said, everything goes as planned, you know what to do, you do it you get paid. The only thing I see an issue with and I don't even know if it is from what you posted, are you never, ever seeing the persons who are hiring you? Have you never met them, only a phone contact? I could see that as a problem since there is no personal connection and it could not be the best way to secure future work with somebody. I would want to see each other and meet each other at some point just to connect a face with the voice over the phone and help solidify the relationship. However from your post I wasn't sure if you had met before and only the work involves never meeting face to face.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #6
Oh sure, I know these builders. I'm not working for the mysterious Mr. X :cheesygri It's just that after a while there's just not much to be said except "expect plans in the mail for 123 Maple Ave".

There have been a few service calls in which I've never met the people. They are generally things like, "There's an outlet in the living room that's not working. My address is xxxx. I have to work, so the back door will be unlocked. Leave the bill on the counter and lock up when you're done." I don't have a problem with those either, but it is a little weird.
 

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General Contractor
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The items that concern me with not having face to face communication on the jobsite is..
Safety issues
Poor plans and specs
Besides that I don't see a problem with it, especially if you're getting paid. As you've stated - it's all about the relationship with the builders.
 

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Knight of Ni!
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Don't quite know why you would take a hit from others in another forum over this? Sounds like you have earned the respect and trust of the GC in every way. They know you can read prints, why show you twice? Met
 

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I've found that I dont require a whole lot of "face time" with the builder or expediter, so I dont see an issue with the way you run things at all. Alot less wasted time and BS for you.

Homeowners on the other hand require some face time, chat em up a bit, do quality work, and the referrals will come. Of course, some homeowners like to take the chit-chat and the Q&A to serious extremes which can get annoying. Though....those homeowners that show up in the mornings with coffee and donuts or at the end of the day with a cold 12-pack are worth a little extra chat time :)
 

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Hey mdshunk, that sounds impossible, so they are jealous. It sounds like you have earned or "lucked" into great projects.

But there are always problems on jobs. You haven't commented on your communications with your employees. Your foremen have most of the control over whether or not you get phone calls.
 

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Bottom line, is what works for you might not work for someone else.

I have done work the same way on a few occasions. It's rare but happens. It happened once when hired by a GLOBAL property management corporation to repair the roof on one of their malls in my area. I spoke on the phone with the property manager who told me which unti was leaking and then I faxed my quote which was faxed back the next day and we did the work a few days later,a nd got paid 30 days later.

I did a roof on a house for an owner who lived in Cali but used to live in Chicago and had a few rentals that he managed from afar. Everything went smoothly.

There have been a few other projects as well. I have alway spoken verbally with each customer but a few I've never met. This is strange for me since I make it a point to meet each and every customer. LOL then when I don't I get the job.

Am I that ugly!?
 
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