Robert J
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Robert J (by dino [CA]) Sep 30, 2022 7:51 PM
       Robert J (by 6x6 [TN]) Sep 30, 2022 8:53 PM
       Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Oct 1, 2022 12:35 AM
       Robert J (by dino [CA]) Oct 1, 2022 9:10 AM
       Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Oct 1, 2022 3:52 PM
       Robert J (by dino [CA]) Oct 1, 2022 6:59 PM
       Robert J (by dino [CA]) Oct 1, 2022 6:59 PM
       Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Oct 2, 2022 3:56 PM
       Robert J (by dino [CA]) Oct 2, 2022 5:13 PM
       Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Oct 3, 2022 12:41 AM
       Robert J (by dino [CA]) Oct 3, 2022 12:44 PM

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Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Sep 30, 2022 7:51 PM
Message:

Hi Robert,

As I'm sure you always do, when I had copper repipe done few years ago, I had ball valve shutoffs installed in various locations under the building so I would not to need to shut off water to the entire building if there was a problem later on.

A few years after the job, I discovered a couple of locations under building that did not have the shutoffs although they were supposed to be done. I believe those two locations would have been more difficult to install based on the amount of space there and the extra time it would take so the plumber decided to just ignore them and figured I would never find out. Other than that, I have not had any problems there.

I realize choosing somebody with high character is very important and I place a lot of importance on character. I also take a lot of pride in my judgement of character but sometimes temptation can prevail for a few plumbers on those jobs with very difficult access where the plumber believes the job might not be fully verified on completion.

In this case, I really have no interest spending the time and energy with the previous plumber or dealing with his bonding company on a relatively small issue even though I found that remedy from you to be very valuable when you discussed it in previous posts.

I realize this might be almost impossible to answer but I wouldn't be surprised if you had come up with something over the years so here goes:

Other than you or somebody else you trust crawling under the building to check, what sort of contract provision, penalty or incentive would you include in situations like that to "encourage" a plumber to not get lazy when he thinks he might get away with making the job easier and avoiding doing the job properly???

--104.175.xx.xx




Robert J (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Sep 30, 2022 8:53 PM
Message:

Always inspect the work done. --73.113.xxx.xxx




Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Oct 1, 2022 12:35 AM
Message:

In California once you've received a bid or estimate for a job you can request a Payment and Performance Bond, costing around 3% of the total contract price. You mush have a good contract, bid or estimate that spells out all of the detail of the job. Such as:

"Full Port Lead Free Ball Valves to be installed in the crawl space so Hot and Cold Water can turn off each each tenants Bathrooms, Kitchen and Laundry room". In case of a needed repair you can isolate the problem area.

Then if you later discover the plumber didn't complete the job, you can give him a call and say, either you fix the problem or I will contact the Bond for this job and request "The money to get the job done right, or get Bonding company to hire a plumber and finish the job completely".

--47.156.xx.xx




Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Oct 1, 2022 9:10 AM
Message:

So it is important to have a really detailed contract or proposal. Sometimes contractors provide only a bare bones description of the job and I need to spend a lot of time revising what they send me.

Usually it seems that they just don't want to spend a lot of time on a proposal since they might not get the job.

My experience is that they will often ask me to do so and then they will review what I have prepared. I usually will do so because often the contractor just doesn't want to do it but will agree to my proposal if I do it for them.

Unlike you Robert,some contractors just are not very good at providing comprehensive, thorough, detailed paperwork???

For a larger job, is it unusual to have a construction attorney create a comprehensive agreement or would that scare off most contractors?? The reason I ask that is some jobs such as the earthquake retrofit for soft story apartment buildings is something I did not feel qualified to prepare so I went to a construction attorney.

Do you think what I did was excessive in having an attorney assist in preparing the agreement?? I don't know anybody else that did so since they all just agreed to the agreement provided to them by the contractor.

--104.175.xx.xx




Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Oct 1, 2022 3:52 PM
Message:

During the 1994 Northridge earthquake I was swamped with work. But I offered a service. I would review contracts from other contractors and make corrections.

Scope of the work.

Time frame.

Progress payments.

Fines for not completing the job on time.

Etc.

The biggest mistake contractors and clients make is they try to squeeze too much work by too many subs at the same time. I almost never do that. If a job is suppose to take 1 week, I write up to a two week time frame, leaving a day or two for subs to complete their work.

When I hire out a painting contractor for the interior of a house, I demand in the contract the following:

Clean, sand, fill all holes and cracks, re-sand AND CALL FOR MY INSPECTION AND APPROVAL.

Prime all surfaces and CALL FOR ANOTHER INSPECTION AND APPROVAL.

Paint all surfaces and CALL FOR ANOTHER INSPECTION AND APPROVAL.

Apply second coat or touch up and CALL FOR THE INSPECTIOIN AND PAYMENT OF THE JOB.

Most painters will not clean the entire surface, only where they think it is necessary. They will prime only where they have to. And paint a second coat if coverage is too thin. NOT WAS MY CONTRACT SAYS.

--47.156.xx.xx




Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Oct 1, 2022 6:59 PM
Message:

So what do you think about having a construction attorney modify the contract or even negotiate the terms with the contractor?

I would not scare you off but what about most contractors you have encountered over the years?

I usually know what to watch out for but it just takes so more time for me than it would an attorney who deals with these issues all the time.

One of my least favorite things is having to turn a contractor's six or seven sentences into a decent agreement.

And what about those contracts that look to limit the liability of the contractor to almost nothing. Obviously, some attorney decided to write a one-sided agreement for the contractor without regard to the effect it would have on a customer reading it. When I see that, that's the first thing I ask. "Is that provision negotiable?" If they say no I move on to someone else if they refuse to take responsibility for their work.

Just ranting I guess but I suppose some vendors, contractors, etc just assume most people won't read those agreements.

--104.175.xx.xx




Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Oct 1, 2022 6:59 PM
Message:

So what do you think about having a construction attorney modify the contract or even negotiate the terms with the contractor?

I would not scare you off but what about most contractors you have encountered over the years?

I usually know what to watch out for but it just takes so more time for me than it would an attorney who deals with these issues all the time.

One of my least favorite things is having to turn a contractor's six or seven sentences into a decent agreement.

And what about those contracts that look to limit the liability of the contractor to almost nothing. Obviously, some attorney decided to write a one-sided agreement for the contractor without regard to the effect it would have on a customer reading it. When I see that, that's the first thing I ask. "Is that provision negotiable?" If they say no I move on to someone else if they refuse to take responsibility for their work.

Just ranting I guess but I suppose some vendors, contractors, etc just assume most people won't read those agreements.

--104.175.xx.xx




Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Oct 2, 2022 3:56 PM
Message:

Any attorney cost a fortune and they are experts at contracts and NOT THE TRADE! Since there are over 40 different Trade Licenses, no one Attorney can write the ideal contract for any one trade.

If its not specified in the contract how you want the job done, the contractor will take short cuts and you will get a lousy job. Example: Painting

You tell your painter, "Paint this apartment"!

He won't clean surfaces or remove wall paper. He will paint over peeling wall paper, dirt and grease. The job will peal off the walls in no time at all.

But if your contract says:

"Remove wall paper and remove all glue residue -- sand and cover with a oil base prime. Clean all surfaces and Prime over all area that bonding the new paint with the old is an issue. Roll on a thick layer of paint or spray paint with two coats. Use Dunn Edwards hi-end paint. Start the job on October 1st and complete by October 9th.

Just an example. You should find some retired contractors to review any contract over $4000. And any job $5,000 and above you should have a Payment and Performance bond.

When I get a large job and have to have sub-contractors to get it done within the contract time, I pull bonds on my subs so if they crap out and flake on me, I can hire another contractor, even for more money, and make the first sub pay my extra costs, late fee's and penalties.

--47.156.xx.xx




Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Oct 2, 2022 5:13 PM
Message:

So finding a retired contractor with soft story retrofit expertise does not seem like it would be easy.

Of course you are right on the level of trade knowledge but I'm also interested in the issues like liability, insurance, change orders (one contractor says he will agree to no change orders), time for completion, etc.

If I recall correctly, the contract must be specific in order to be able to benefit from the bond.

--104.175.xx.xx




Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2022 12:41 AM
Message:

Yes, if the contract doesn't spell out how the job is to be done with all details, costs, materials and time frame, a Contract Bond will do you no good.

I spent 3 hours on the telephone telling a super smart wife on how to hire a Plaster/Drywall/Painter. She took notes and repeated everything back to me. I even knew the contractor they were hiring. He is very skilled at doing the work but can not manager time or money.

So because the wife spent 3 hours learning how things should be done with me, she handed the folder over to her husband, an immigrant from Israel who speaks pigeon English. They payments were supposed to be based on Time, Material and Progression of work Completed over a 6 to 8 week period. The husband didn't read 6 pages of notes and paid out all of the money to the painter within 2 weeks. They after getting all of the money, he flacked out.

The rich parents of this couple asked me how I let this happen since I knew the contractor they used. I explained I taught the wife everything and then she made her husband, not know anything, handle the painter. Just because he served in the Israeli army doesn't make him an enforcer of civil contract.

One time I was hired to manage a team of contractors, architects, designers, subs, suppliers and all payments on a new build for sound studios. I was paid good money and we got the job done before the deadline and under budget. The owner, a guy with 100's of millions said he would never hire me again, a waste of money. When he went to build his next studio of sound stages, instead of taking around 8 months, it took him without a lead contractor calling the shots, over two years to complete and millions over budget. He wished he paid me my fee's afterwards. --47.156.xx.xx




Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2022 12:44 PM
Message:

Robert,

What is the most common title for a professional that does what you described in the post right before this one?

Construction manager?

Lead contractor?

Construction supervisor?

Clearly such an individual would not be appropriate for most jobs I would need but I can see the benefit of such a resource in certain rare but significant situations.

How do these people typically market their services and make their service available to the public? Where to look or what sources would you suggest to identify quality people to perform such a function??

Is their fee typically based on a percentage of the job cost?

If so, what is a typical percentage for their service?

If it is typically based on their time, what is a typical hourly fee for their service?

I know I have thrown a lot of questions at you but I was unaware of the availability of such individuals except when they work as employees for huge contractor firms.

You've done it again. The breadth, expanse, and depth of your experience and knowledge continues to amaze me.

Thank you for any info you can add or point me in the right direction to pursue this issue.

--104.175.xx.xx



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