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Re: Getting Paid for structural observation

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In a message dated 6/1/99 9:52:03 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Nd1942(--nospam--at)AOL.COM 
writes:

<< Perhaps this is a naive question, but couldn't you add this expense to 
your 
 original fee and avoid the hassles? >>
The problem arises when the contractor misses something or has made a change 
in construction that requires correction which must be noted in the 
structural Observation. My contract calls for Observation fee's to be paid by 
the owner and clearly states that the need for additional engineering to 
correct errors or justify changes in construction will be billed at an hourly 
rate (time and materials).
This is the root of the problem. It creates conflict between the owner and 
contractor. The engineer is usually on the short end of the stick in this 
case. The owner does not feel obligated to pay the engineer to correct the 
contractors error and the contractor tries to cover up the error and blame it 
back on the engineer.

Because of these problems, I had decided to specify a deputy inspector to act 
as the Observer. I'm not sure if the code clearly allows this, but I have 
reviewed the standard Observation/Inspection sheet that Sandy Pringle created 
for use in the City of Los Angeles. The notes indicate that the EOR may 
choose the Observer, but other parts of the code clearly state that this must 
be an engineer.

Any comments? I think that Inspectors have worked this down to a science and 
have fewer problems collecting for Inspections than engineers. Maybe we need 
to learn something from the Inspectors. Any advice, Sandy?

BTW, I remember an issue similar to this during the URM retrofit era in Los 
Angeles. Deputy Inspectors were complaining about not being paid if their 
reports did not indicate favorable results of the General Contractor. There 
was concern that inspectors were biasing their reports so as to be paid. I 
believe this is what started the requirments that disallowed a contractor 
from paying for the Inspection services. 

Do any of you remember how this was addressed and resolved?

Dennis