Week of March 18 - March 22, 2013

On Monday this week, I received a call from the owner wondering if the contractor needed to build a wall cutting off open attic space from an unfinished room in the apartment upstairs in the day care facility. This is something that we discussed in the pre-construction meeting, but had not brought up since. I told the owner and contractor that I believed it was going to be necessary, but would contact the MEP Engineer to verify. The contractor replied that he did not believe it was shown on the bid documents or included in what they bid, and the owner replied that he really did not want to have to pay anything additional for the wall. The MEP Engineer was also not entirely sure of the wall's necessity given the odd condition of the space, but noted that it was called out on his sprinkler plans as a one-hour firewall to be built by the general contractor. On Tuesday, I called the contractor to inform him of the note about this wall in the sprinkler plans. Before I could tell him about the note, he informed me that the fire inspector had just completed a lengthy inspection of the building (including the space in question) and raised no issues. Given that the only purpose of the wall if required would be for fire protection of the open attic space, we agreed to leave the wall out for now, and add it later if it was raised by the inspector as a necessary item. He conceded that it would be his responsibility to build the wall if the inspector raised the point. I explained all of this to the owner afterwards, and the owner is content with the outcome of the situation.

In a separate conversation in the same phone call as above, the contractor expressed concern to me that the owner's "friend" who is supposed to be installing new VCT throughout the facility, has been difficult to reach and has not yet come on-site. The contractor stated that this was not yet an issue for him, but that it could become one if the flooring continued to be a delay. We agreed to play it by ear, and I agreed to talk to the owner about the situation if such a conversation becomes necessary in the coming few weeks. The contractor noted that he could probably match the price and product the owner's friend is providing and complete the work faster. This outcome would be agreeable for me, especially from a quality-control standpoint, but I will let the situation play out before raising any concerns with the owner.

No more issues were brought up with the day care project this week. I did, on Friday evening, receive an email in regards to the renovation of a building in downtown Fayetteville. Details in the email were sparse, but it could be a very interesting project. Hopefully more details will be forthcoming after a discussion with the client next week.

As far as lessons go, from the beginning of this post it is key to take away the the importance of good note-taking and distribution of meeting minutes throughout a project. As I mentioned, the wall issue was covered in the pre-construction meeting, but I failed to take and send out minutes from that meeting. I could have saved myself, the contractor, and the owner the initial headache that accompanied dealing with the situation described if I had taken and sent out minutes as I should have.

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