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Managing Construction
Is Not A Common Sense Skill

Experience is a Hard Teacher - first you take the test, then you learn the lesson.
When you hire an architect, engineer or contractor, do you feel qualified to review, inspect and question the services and work provided? Or do you take the services on faith?

Below is actual correspondence from a client managing construction of an addition to property they own.
Though at one point an inquiry was made on the cost of having me come out to look a the site, no construction administration services were requested.

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04/20/15
Hello Mr. Buford.

Yes, long time, no hear. Anyway, think I have found a contractor I like. He is one of the one's from Home Advisor's (Merchant's) and I will get his final proposal this week. Thus, I am ready to sign off on the documents, ...

G----,
(P.S. the contractor is going to pull all permits.)
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05/14/15
Mr. Buford:

Good news. Plans have been approved and thank you, again. Contractor is supposed to start late next week. I will let you know when the porch is removed/they begin the foundation. Thanks, agani!!

G----
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05/26/15
Mr. Buford:  Sorry this took so long.  Computer issues.  Please review and contact J-- at ###-###-####.  Thanking you in advance...
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footing left

excavation to locate bottom of existing footing to underpin it and tie to new foundation wall

footing middle

excavation to locate bottom of existing footing

footing right

excavation to locate bottom of existing footing

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05/--/15
Telephone call:
The holes are expected as part of the new foundations. The foundation along the house is to be tied to the new addition.
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07/13/15
Ms. G---,

How is the addition progressing?
Do you have any new pictures?

Thank you
Thomas Buford
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07/14/15
Thomas:  Sorry I did not get back to you.  This is a very small contractor and, in my opinion, he has been moving very, very slow.  With so much rain, he has happily used that as an excuse.  But, now, he is doing better.  Joe had to threaten him to get the debris removed as well as to get moving on several other things.  However, the foundation and floor joists are just now completed and county approved.  Now, they are starting on the framing.   To make a long story short, this has not been an easy journey.  I will send you pictures of what has been completed thus far--if not tomorrow, NLT Friday.  BTW, hope all is well on your end.  G---
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07/17/15
Thomas, here are a few pictures. Coming along. G---
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no treated sill bd walkway

Flake board is used-not the specified plywood, treated lumber has not been used, termite shield missing

new foundation partition

Vinyl corner trim cut (center), no evidence of double joist under bathroom and laundry plumbing wall

rat access

Exterior grading has not been done, sill board is not offset

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Questions from viewing photos 07/17/15:

a) Pic:DSCN1096 - the sill board (that the floor joist rest on at the top of the CMU) does not look like treated lumber and does not look like it protrudes to cover the bottom of the wall sheathing. The treated lumber was a second line of defense against moisture and termites (see (e) below). I also do not see the termite shield that is the primary line of defense. See 2/A03.

b) I do not see any dirt around the site. Was the crawl space excavated?

c) Pic:DSCN1100 - from the nail patterns on the rim board it does not look like a floor joist was doubled under the bathroom walls. See 1-A02.

d) Pic:DSCN1100 - it appears the corner vinyl strip was cut into. The reason for insetting the corner was maintain that outside cladding. See 1-A02.

e) Pic:DSCN1101 - Wood within 8" of the ground needs to be treated.
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09/03/15
Ms. G---,

How is the addition progressing?
Do you have any new pictures?

Thank you
Thomas Buford
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09/04/15
Mr. Buford:

The roof has to be corrected as the contractor did not tie the new roof under the existing rafters. Right now, the 2 x 4s are nailed on top of the existing roof. Other than that, this is where we are now. 2nd e-mail behind this with additional pictures.

Thank you.
G---
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painted green

Wood paint green is not "treated"

crawl space not excavated

Crawl space has not been excavated, plumbing not running to identified connection?

Failing Mortar Joint

Window is not located as shown on plan

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09/04/15
Ms. G---,

Observations:
-Painting standard lumber green does not make it treated lumber.
-The crawl space does not look like it was excavated ... which is why the floor is cut open.
-Why is the plumbing going back into the existing house?
-The floor sheathing is flake board not plywood.
-Where is the toilet vent?
-The exterior siding was not removed where the addition meets the house.
-Master bedroom window is not in the right place.
...
stopped looking.

Has this work been getting inspected?
Do you have approval slips for the foundation, framing, plumbing rough-in ...?

Thank you
Thomas Buford
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09/04/15
Nothing has been approved, but, the foundation. There are a lot of issues to be addressed as you say. The Inspector has requested several corrections and they are making the changes.
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12/29/15
Ms. G----,

Happy Holiday.
What has happened with your addition project?

Thank you
Thomas Buford
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12/29/15
Hello Mr. Buford.

Hope all is well with you and happy holidays. The Inspector has passed the duct work, electrical, roofing, siding, drywall and plumbing. What is left (flooring, tiling and odds and ends) can be done by any handyman. I am nearing the point where that is the way I may have to go. The contractor has been out of the county since early November and is due back Feb. 2016 sometime. That's correct. He left his brother in charge and once he got an installment December 8th, he has not been seen or heard from since. Thus, Jan. 8, 2016, it will be 30 days (if they do not return) and I will talk to the Inspector and move forward with someone new or whatever. Otherwise, I am on hold. FYI, we hired a subcontractor to install the ductwork. He did such a good job the Inspector complimented him. That is on the bright side--the job the subcontractor did, that is. So, until next month, we shall see. (BTW, I am out of this business once OR if, this is ever done).

G---
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Please call (703.524.7595) or email (thomasb@tbbuford.com) for more information.
Located in Arlington, Virginia 22207 (by appointment only)

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