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RE: Construction law for structural engineers

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Clifford Schwinger wrote: 

> Can a contractor legally charge twice the going rate for the sub-base even
if there's no delay 
> involved and the "omission" was caught in time? 

It is common for "extras" during construction to cost more than it would
have cost if in the original bid - there is always disagreement over "how
much more" is reasonable. The Contractor probably has some additional costs
to "add" materials and work tasks after the fact. It is best to ask the
Contractor for a breakdown in applicable costs, not just a total cost. But
there will still be disagreement over individual cost items. 

> Is the sub-base material part of the primary structural system and is the
specification of this 
> item the responsibility of the SER? 

In my opinion, the SER is responsible to ensure that foundation materials
are adequately addressed. Who has direct responsibility for specifying such
materials depends on how your scope of work is written. 

> Can an owner make the SER pay for the sub-base material just because it
was not shown on 
> the structural drawings? 

The material would have increased the bid cost if originally included in the
bids, so the SER should not be responsible for the full cost. But the SER
may have some responsibility for the "added" cost. Nevertheless, an Owner
should not expect a "perfect" project and some level of extra costs due to
change orders should be expected. 

> Is it not the responsibility of bidders to point out discrepancies and
missing information on the contract 
> documents during the bidding phase? Are they not obligated to question
what a missing beam size is if a steel 
> beam is shown on a drawing but the size is missing? 

It is certainly helpful if they raise questions during the bidding process,
but it is not really their "responsibility" to catch your omissions. For a
missing beam size, I think it can be argued that they should have bid a
reasonable beam size, but a "special" beam may involve extra cost. 

William C. Sherman, PE 
(Bill Sherman) 
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)

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