A large portion of my job deals with material testing, building forensics and quality assurance of exterior building applications. In this role I am quite often faced with the responsibility of notifying contractors that their work is unacceptable.
A large portion of my job deals with material testing, building forensics and quality assurance of exterior building applications. In this role I am quite often faced with the responsibility of notifying contractors that their work is unacceptable. Although I believe most contractors strive to satisfactorily complete the work, there are instances when mistakes are made. Most of the time the contractors are respectful and make corrections as required. Some times the situation can be tenuous and further discussion is warranted. The most heated debates end up in court; however, there are occasional lighthearted moments when the contractors choose to rely on excuses from their school days or the “dog ate my homework” attitude.
Some of these excuses - such as the ones used by transplanted New Yorkers in South Florida - cannot be printed because they have the verbal equivalent of the look of Snooki in a thong. However, a couple of the more memorable ones are provided here. Maybe you have heard these comments on your projects - I hope you did not believe them.
During a final inspection of a hospital roof project in Western Pennsylvania I inspected a perimeter wall flashing that was unlike anything I had ever seen - or hope to see again. As I informed the contractor that the detail was wrong he gazed at me with the same look that a Kardashian sister would have at an opera and said, “Well … how would you have done it?”
My answer was “Detail No. 5 in the project specifications pretty much sums up my thoughts on the subject.”
Another instance was on a Federal court building in Columbus, Ohio. The new roof project required the application of new perimeter metal coping. In addition to the coping application, the contractor was required to apply sealant at all metal coping joints - a standard procedure. Well, apparently this particular contractor forgot his caulking gun because there was no evidence of sealant application at any of the seams. This is not a big deal and it is quite often a punch list item.
Now I am not sure if this contractor felt that an argument on this subject was required because he was inspired by standing atop lawyers all day, but an argument ensued. With the conviction of F. Lee Bailey, this Ohio roofer looked me in the eye and said that he applied the sealant at all of the joints, “but the interior air pressure from the building blew out all the caulking.”
What could I say to that? Obviously there was a lot of hot air in the building. So I gave a nod in the sky to Mark Twain and asked him to reapply the sealant.
He must have applied the sealant on a day court was not in session because the metal coping joints are still fully sealed to this day.