Subject: Re: Getting Paid for structural observation
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 20:48:22 EDT
In a message dated 6/1/99 9:52:03 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Nd1942(--nospam--at)AOL.COM
<< Perhaps this is a naive question, but couldn't you add this expense to
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?