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How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?
5

How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

(OP)
As title asks. Say I have these shop drawings to review that have multiple errors on every piece. Welded studs all over in wrong places, too short, beam shear tabs and buckets aligned wrong, wrong elevations, drawings that clearly indicate a noob who doesn't know what they are doing (asking to verify "beam" locations for what should be joists @16" o.c., drawings random concrete walls where there are none, etc). Almost all base plate elevations are off. Anchor bolt patterns don't match. Additional "straps" were imagined where I call for CMST. And more.

www.hellodwell.design

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

When you don't reasonably expect that the revised drawings will be adequate.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

I have sent an email to shop drawing people: "Learn how to read structural drawings."

Your engineering time doesn't include training another company's drafters on how to read drawings. If they ask intelligent questions, that's fine. If they make n00b mistakes, your billing time as an engineer doesn't include fixing those.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

I'd tend to return them with some helpful comments on what is required to get them to the standard required, and reiterate that it's (usually) the contractors responsibility to check them before they get to the engineer and the state of them is no where near fabrication standard. This might include marking up several example drawings with comments. I feel you need to lead the horse to water here in terms of what is expected or you'll pay for it later in terms of fabrication errors, etc that you don't notice because you caught only 95% of the 1000 errors when doing their job for them, vs missing 1 thing out of say 10 things they misinterpreted because of several layers of verification by contractor and engineer.

Always request them back for another look in these scenarios.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

(OP)
Thanks all. I'm going to fully review the anchor layout and first floor drawings, details, and a handful of parts before rejecting. That way they can clearly see why they are rejected.
Also, the GC supposedly reviewed them first, but clearly did a poor job, as they didn't catch the hundreds of obvious errors. They didn't even look at the individual parts or assembly details.

www.hellodwell.design

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

I'd slap the ol' "revise and resubmit" tag on them along with some general comments and tips (e.g. correct elevations, references to design drawings for beam placement and other details, anchor bolt patterns, etc). If they're that bad, you'll probably have at least one more round of revise/resubmit after this one.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

(OP)
This is painful.

The shops came back with a different set of initials, so I thought it would be ok. Took a week and there wasn't a page that didn't need to be revised. I couldn't reject a second time so I went through every sheet and stamped revise and resubmit.

Now I'm reviewing it for a 3rd time. They have the third floor framing elevation correct, yet I check elevation marks at the shear tabs and they are gonna stick up through the top of the beam. Beam buckets too low. They show a strap strapping onto where a window should be. They added studs to a column on the wrong side. Anchor rod grade incorrect. Thy show 1 1/2" roof deck where I show 2" composite deck at an outdoor dining terrace. They moved the base plates from the correct elevation to the wrong elevation. They show "erection bolts" at a bolted collector line. And I'm just getting started.

They will need embeds in the next couple weeks, then I'm sure the'll want steel as soon as the walls are set. But I can't possibly approve this thing.

www.hellodwell.design

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

Hang in there. This would definitely be cause to take things up the line to the architect or owner.

----
just call me Lo.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

3
Don't worry Aaron, soon you will receive an email or phone call from the General Contractor/Architect/Owner blaming you for the delays on the project.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

I agree with Lo - make sure all stakeholders are aware of this abysmal performance by the fabricator. I've had to engage in heated - discussions - with general contractor "QC" guys about the quality of their "reviews." I've even returned rejected shop drawings with fee proposals made out to the contractor - if they let another rejection worthy drawing slip through to my desk next time it would be returned with an invoice.

It may be in your best interest to be a team player and help everyone through this, but at the end of the day the interest of the occupants is paramount - don't accept crap for the sake of getting through the project. Your reputation will suffer more in the long run if you do.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

Aaron...this is red flag No. 1....now check their written QA program, certifications of the welders, welding procedure specifications, etc. If those are in the same condition as their drawings, reject the shop as not meeting building code requirements.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

Make sure you document the timing and keep copies of all your redlines. When I was a new engineer at a major EPC firm we had inhouse detailers. I reviewed drawing submitted to me and returned several iterations. The drafter complained to his manager who came to see me. Apparently he complained I keep changing the design and causing him rework. I keep copies of each iteration and redline so I pulled them and showed how I marked up an error and the drawing was retuned with the same error over and over. So his manager "borrowed" by mark ups and went to "talk" with his drafter. A little while later the drafter came by my cube and we ultimately developed a good working relationship.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

Aaron, the company you are dealing with may function this way intentionally and that is not good. Years ago when I lived in another town, I went into a fabricator's business that was closest to my house to buy some simple steel components I personally needed. They had no idea who I was but I could easily hear them in the separate office area. While waiting to tell them what I needed, the Owner was talking to his draftsman about a set of approval drawings. The drafter and apparently the Owner were not real good at reading blueprints and did not appear very conscientious. He basically said, "We always just throw some stuff on the drawings to have an official submittal and then let the engineer sort it out. They will send it back marked up and if we missed any drawings, they will let us know." I just turned around and walked back out the door before they even walked into the lobby to see me.

I would contact who ever hired the fabricator and the Client to let them know about the issue. I would also let them know any further review by me will be an additional charge if for some reason the review was already in my fee.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

I think it's time you call a meeting. You don't mention all the players, but the owner and gc higher ups need to know about this now before it's really really too late. It's more extra time you may not be able to bill for, but it's important for your professional liability and reputation.

You can see what's coming and that ezbuilding is right. No one else knows, or will admit to knowing, the extent of the problem so if you get proactive now you might be able to save this project before it drives itself into a ditch, or at least stay out of a ditch until after the structure is topped out.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

Aaron - sometimes you need to use your judgment as to what you will tolerate.

I only use the Reject or Resubmit button when I believe either: (1) my marks are so significant that we will all be in trouble if they are missed, or (2) this contractor/detailer has no earthly idea what he's doing. In either case, you are rejecting with the intent to draw attention to the situation (as EZBuilding succinctly states).

I recently rejected a set of delegated design stair shops (exterior, covered) FOUR times. Eventually the general contractor forced the stair sub to go to a different provider. It was brutal and not covered in my fee, but since the "engineer" who stamped the calculations didn't understand load path, trib area, snow drift, design methodology, or assembly drawings, he had to go.

Other trades don't seem to be on the critical path like we are. Equipment guys ask for resubmittal all the time. When I ask for resubmittal I know it's probably holding up the job. I agree with the others who said that you need to let all interested parties know what's going on when you ask for resubmittal. You might also be able to ask for resubmittal "for record" (i.e. with no intent of return) without holding up the show.

RE: How bad do steel shops have to be for you to just reject them?

Hey guys, from the steel shops, I got structural dwg from an engineer in which a lot of design factors are incomplete tagged IFC itself, sent for approval and re-approval, now I am receiving CCN/SI continuously unstoppable. Can anyone have a word on this..lol

Thanks in advance!!

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