Thursday, January 21, 2010

Troubles in Design-Build Land...

So, the week after new years a box showed up on my doorstep with several copies of our house plans and a cd-rom of digital versions of such. I'd like to note that we were promised this box-o-goodies the week after Thanksgiving!! and had not heard so much as a peep from Winans Construction in the intervening several weeks....

I realize that none of this is going to make any sense unless you look at the drawings. If you right click HERE and select save target as you should be able to save the pdf versions of the plans to your local drive.

After finding time to look at the plans we had several concerns that we voiced to our project manager that weekend. The email is cut&pasted below.

Hello Amy,
We’ve had time to look thru the plan set in detail and have some issues with what we are seeing and a couple of things that we don’t understand.

Plan Set Issues we have noticed so far.

Engineers plan is not what we decided on still shows new footing in radiant heated areas.

Concerned that showing the proposed deck at the back of the house will be an issue-confuse the planning and building dept people.

The plan shows the proposed rear deck starting 2’ in from the side of the house; we need it to start at the edge of the house and use the 2 existing columns.

Concerned Engineers drawings will be too light for city to accept. I have been chastised in the past for drawings where they thought the lines were too thin-too hard to read.

The engineer’s wet stamp is not included in price? How can his stamp not be included in the price? We do not understand this.

Your note says that we have 2 copies of the planning plan set and 3 copies of the building permit plan set. What I see is 5 copies of the building permit plan set. It is our understanding that the planning set should be different from the building permit plan set. I believe that the planning set needs to show such things as all exterior views before and after, and not show interior detail, the planning set might also require photographs of the exterior views of the house and the neighboring properties?

It looks to me like all the plans need to be ‘cleaned up’ there are spurious dimension lines, and dimensions, on the 2nd floor demo plan, the 1st floor construction plan, 2nd floor construction plan (G), and (H) is misnamed 2nd floor construction plan when it should be 2nd floor electrical plan. I mention this as I believe that these are the kinds of things that will get it kicked out of plan check in a hurry.

I’m sure that you are eager to bring this matter to a close, as are we, but these issues will need to be addressed to our satisfaction before we sign off on the project and send you the final check.

Daniel Neumansky

After a week had gone by and I had not heard anything I resent the message and bcc'd the project managers boss. Here's the message;

It’s been a week since I sent this email and since I have not heard from you I’m resending it.

I’ve been looking thru my documents and I have a few more questions.

I don’t see where I have a broken-out quote for all the work shown in this plan? That would be the entire upstairs plus the entire kitchen area plus the new deck wouldn’t it?

Where are the finish selections defined?

I’m sure that you are eager to bring this matter to a close, as are we, but these issues will need to be addressed to our satisfaction before we sign off on the project and send you the final check.


Daniel Neumansky

I pretty immediately got a reply from the big boss which was simply, that he would look into it and get back to me that week.....

Well a week went by and in that time I had other general contractors look at the plans and I sent Winans Construction this email.

I’ve had several local contractors look over the plan set you have provided me and there was a consensus of opinion on several issues.

The consensus opinion on the engineers plans were: Why are they not computer drawn like the rest of the plans? They are hard to read. The writing is not legible enough. Why are there no dimensions on the plans and the plans do not appear complete. They are all wondering about a roof framing plan and feel that the call-outs do not explain enough. In fact the ridge beams are not even shown in the engineers’ sketches? They are also wondering about the framing for the dormers with the swoop roofs. None of them can understand the need for the C 10 to be bolted to both sides of the 6by10 beam in the basement? They all felt that the city would not accept the engineers’ portion as is.

Where are the details for flashing the doors and windows and roof?

Where is the finish schedule?

They felt the electrical plans were much too cluttered-trying to show too much on the same diagram.

When asked if they felt this was a complete enough plan set to build the remodel they all said no. One said after looking at the plans for over an hour he’d probably have 40 questions for the engineer and designer of the plans.


Daniel Neumansky

We have not heard back as of yet from the folks at Winans Construction....this is kinda bumming us out as they appeared to be stand up guys but there is sooo much wrong with the plan set that they sent us that I don't know what to do about it. The engineers plans are just plain wrong, not the plan we had decided on at all and the floor plans look more like a 2nd rough draft as opposed to a final copy.

When I hear back from Winans Construction I'll let y'all know what they say...

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