August 3, 2009

Change Orders

by Bruce Snyder

While I was filling up my car the other day near the lake, a company truck pulled up with a boat in tow.  When I pulled away, I looked over my shoulder to see what clever name was printed on the back of the boat.  It was a name that no owner or engineer wants to see on a job, “Change Order”.

Anyone in the construction industry has had to deal with a change order on a job at some time.  The best-laid plan can still be shifted off course due to unforeseen obstacles.  However, why are the suppliers never consulted on these changes?

I have seen many concrete coating jobs that, once prepped, require numerous bugholes to be filled, but is not clearly mentioned how or with what in the specification.  Is this the fault of the coating contractor?  Is it the fault of the contractor who installed the concrete?  Is it the fault of the supplier of the concrete?  Is it the fault of the engineer?  Is it the fault of the coatings supplier?

There are many solutions to the problems encountered, but rarely is the coatings supplier consulted.  Most of the time, the coatings applicator gives their recommendation to the owner, and the job continues.

Do you think that the contractor’s recommendation will always be in the owner’s best interest?  Is applying the coating system over concrete without moisture testing a benefit in the long run, just to get the job done?  Is switching from 100% solids edge retentive coating to a 50% solids longer pot life coating that does not need special equipment for application going to give the same life expectancy?

There are many options that need to be explored when unforeseen obstacles are encountered on a job.  Relying on one entity may not always be in the best interest of all parties involved in the project.  Just because a product may be easier to install, does not correlate to a correct coating selection.  Like Bob Murphy stated in his article a few weeks back, Teamwork is the best approach.

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