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An odd situation

An odd situation

An odd situation

Sorry this is a long post.

About a year and a half ago I was asked to put a proposal together for a new client (an architect) on two projects. The proposals were accepted and design work began on project #1. The proposals included engineering and the necessary construction administration. The contract was to be billed at an hourly rate not to exceed a certain figure (at the client’s request).

About two weeks into the project #1 my contract for project #2 was terminated because the owner wanted to use another design firm. A few weeks later we finished the design work and submitted the drawings to the client together with an invoice in accordance with the proposal (which was about 80% of the proposal) of which we were paid.

Six months later I received a frantic call from the architect asking me to review the shop drawings and if I could have them returned within 24 hours. I reviewed the shop drawings late into the night and had them back to the client within the requested time period.

Ten month later I received a call from the architect asking if I could print another 5 sets of drawings and have them sealed and sent to the client because the jurisdiction lost them. I asked the architect where construction stood and I was informed that construction was 75% complete. When I asked about site visits required by the code to “sign off” on the project the architect said he would get back to me. I printed and sent the drawings as requested.

Now a month later the architect said that I can go onsite and view a structure that is 90% complete.

What do others do in this instance? I informed the client that I would not be able to sign the final construction affidavit as the affidavit requires me to say that I have made periodic visits which I have not. This is now causing the client some concern.

To make matters more complicated, the owner has a construction division and is doing their own GC work.

RE: An odd situation

Has your arch. (enemy ?) been paying you extra for the overtime and "rush jobs" he's been throwing at you?

i don't see any honest way to sign off on the reviews, unless you sign and date,

"Allowed on jobsite and witnessed construction at 90% point. Visible structures and all items inspected appeared within spec."

RE: An odd situation

I have run into this in the past where developers have in house GC's or other self-build clients. They just want a concept from you and they will do the rest. They are good clients in the sense that you don't get sucked into discussions about every stupid thing that goes wrong on the job, but bad because you have no idea what is going on. I also have no idea what you should do!

RE: An odd situation

You can only attest to what you can see. If that is not sufficient to satisfy the jurisdiction, then that is not your problem.

RE: An odd situation

Have I been paid for rushing and extra work..... Not really.... Because I haven't invoiced for the work. Of coarse the contract requires me to bill at the end of construction administration so it's up in the air. In fact I have yet to invoice the last 20% of the contract.

I have a call into the architect to try and resolve the issue but he hasn't returned my call yet. I'm willing to try and help everyone out but at this point I have no intention signing a statement saying I've been present onsite when I have not.

RE: An odd situation

This is one reason why I use phased payments for everything, regardless of what the "client" wants. If he does not like it, show him the door - there may be an ulterior motive, or a lack of funds. If he chooses not to pay, or there is a disagreement, you can walk away with fewer losses, and have leverage because of the practice. May have fewer clients, but a lot fewer headaches.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: An odd situation

agree with Hokie.

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

RE: An odd situation

The thing I don't understand is, if you were asked to review the shop drawings urgently, why didn't you at that time know that construction was underway? If your contract included construction administration including site visits, why didn't you ask for a construction schedule? Not trying to poke a sore, but how did 11 months pass without you knowing what was going on with the project?

RE: An odd situation


As the shop drawing review occurred over a year ago I don't recall if I asked for the construction schedule or not.

Project #1 actually consisted of two small additions to a building (150 square feet and 1,100 square feet). It appears as if construction occurred at two separate times for each of the additions. I do remember asking the architect for the schedule over a month ago on the 150 square foot addition and he finally got back to me on Friday (5 weeks later) saying that steel erection was complete. This scenario might have played out over a year ago with the architect never getting back to me.

RE: An odd situation

Just an FYI as to how this was resolved:

I was told that the owner/contractor was confused as they have multiple project open at this time and didn't realize that I needed to visit the site. The other design firm that the owner used for project #2 actually doesn't fabrication work and was responsible for the steel fabrication on my project. He has visited the site and is going to sign off on the required affidavits.

This is pretty much what I thought was going to happen. Not sure if the architect is telling the truth or not, but at least everything is now resolved.

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