Week of February 04 - February 08, 2013

The general contractor has, this week, received prices from three other electrical subcontractors for the Child Care Center Renovation. As mentioned in previous entries, the electrical subcontractor's price jumped $6,000 (on a $14,000 contract) after the 60 day price guarantee on bids for this project expired as the plans had not yet been approved by the city. Unfortunately, this situation is being described to us as a jump in the price of copper, and after getting prices from three other electrical subcontractors, two of these new prices fall above the $20,000 mark (what the original subcontractor's price jumped to), and one falls less than $400 below it, which we do not consider a great enough difference to justify leaving the subcontractor who first won the project. I am still waiting to hear back from the general contractor about a discussion he was supposed to have with this original electrical subcontractor about a reduction in price.

I have talked to the owner a number of times this week. As the sprinkler contractor has gotten started, and will finish with the apartment portion of the work at the end of this week, he is understandably antsy about the general contractor starting work and about the $6,000 that is currently hanging in the balance price-wise on the electrical sub-contract. We were supposed to reach an agreement on the electrical subcontractor front by yesterday (Wednesday the 6th), but as of yet it remains unresolved. I plan to make calls about this tomorrow (Friday) morning.

On a separate note, I have received two calls this week about new projects. Neither is a "home-run project" but both represent work that we are perfectly capable of executing and billing for.

The first call, received on Monday, was from a gentleman who was interested in buying some house plans online and having us make some slight modifications to them before submitting them to the city for approval. This is not any designer's favorite thing to do, but it was apparent from talking to the gentleman that he was set on buying the "book plans" so we decided to accept the project on an hourly rate for changes. Changes made included widening the garage from 21 feet to 23 feet, and removing a covered porch from the plans. For this we billed 5 hours plus printing charges - a deal which was more than acceptable to the client.

The second call, received on Tuesday, was from a contractor who is working with a small private school in Fayetteville. This school has recently moved from a previous location to a new building in a commercial area of Fayetteville. More recently, they have expanded to include two prefab units - one small unit and one large one. After installing the units, an open deck was built between them. This deck is 11.5 feet wide, and meets a set of stairs on one side and a ramp on the other. The deck as described is built and in use, but the project as proposed to up will involve enclosing this deck and turning it into conditioned space. so that kids can move between the prefab units without getting cold or wet. This will be a tricky situation for a number of reasons. First, a 5 foot landing is required outside of the classroom door before the start of a ramp. Though the deck plans as shown to us were drawn correctly by their original designer, the deck was not built according to plans. Because of this, the landing outside of the units' door is not to code. Secondly, the foundation and structure of the deck are designed to support just that - a deck - so more structure will be needed to support walls and a roof, and it is not clear at this point whether the existing foundation will be sufficient.

Week of January 28 - February 01, 2013

This week was mostly concerned with assuring the owner that the project was moving forward whilst the contractor dealt with the previously described issue with the electrical subcontractor's price. It was determined that we would discuss the increase in price with the electrical subcontractor while looking for prices from other electrical subcontractors to compare. We agreed to try to make a decision by Wednesday February 06, 2013. The owner is understandably anxious to start the project, though he is not pleased at the thought of a $6,000 change order due to the increase in the electrical contractor's price. We do have, in the existing contract, a $5,000 miscellaneous allowance. All of part of this $5,000 sum may be used to cover this price increase if necessary, though if we use this entire allowance we leave ourselves more vulnerable to change orders further into the construction. We will follow up on this issue more in the coming week. The MEP Engineer has also taken time this week to look over the contract the owner signed with the Sprinkler Contractor, and has found it to be reasonably fair to both parties. As mentioned in last week's entry, he will be overseeing the installation of the sprinkler system through regular site visits, as I have not performed CA on a project with a sprinkler system up to this point.