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RE: When do you suspend service

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Thanks Lynn,
Although I appreciate the other advice I received, I have always followed
your suggestion. Unfortunately, I don't know a good way to protect myself
during construction since I have no formal contract with the builder.

How do others handle observation, and other requested field changes during
construction when the architect will not include them in his fees?

Do any of you use a separate letter of intent during construction to inform
the owner and contractor of your range of fees when required to perform
certain services?

On the latest project, the plan checker made me add a statement to the
permit set that due to the complexity of the project, the EOR would make
frequent visits to the job site to coordinate and observe various stages of
construction. Now who pays for this?

Any suggestions?

Dennis S. Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Lynn H [mailto:lhoward(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2000 7:41 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: When do you suspend service

Do not suspend service, ever (you may want to
threaten, but don't ever really do it).  If the
Contractor does not pay, you will have to take him
to court to collect (small claims court if the
amount is small).  I advise you do not hold the
project hostage over design fees.  Too much to
risk.  If everything you say is correct, you will
probably win in court.  Chalk it up to the cost of
doing business.


"Dennis S. Wish" wrote:
> The engineer ends up with three projects originating from three
> Each architects work agreement has been completed at issuance of permit.
> projects have been awarded, by chance, to the same construction company.
> projects are in staggered stages of progress.
> The contractor has failed to pay for engineering services incurred to
> correct unauthorized changes that were made in the beginning of the first
> project. The work has been billed, all hours verified and approved by the
> the architect (chosen to independently review the charges by the
> contractor).
> Payment, although not large, has not been received (past 45 days) and the
> contractor is requesting additional services for next week.
> At what point can an engineer suspend all work (potentially halting each
> project) to demand payment? Inasmuch as these are three separate projects
> which must be managed through the same contractor, is the engineer
> responsible in any way for delays incurred in those projects that become
> "innocent bystanders" due to the contractors negligence?
> Regards,
> Dennis S. Wish, PE
> Structural Engineering Consultant
> structures(--nospam--at)
> (208) 361-5447 E-Fax