Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: I Got Th' "Eagle Done Flew" Blues!

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Bill,

It is not worth going to the court for the $600. My
suggestion is for you to write a letter directly to
the owner explaining the structural deficiency that
was uncovered after getting in to the project and that
your work has added more value to the project than
what the owner might have envisioned. Also, send him
copies of the paper trail you had with the Architect
where the Archy approved the additional work and the
associated cost. If the owner is not a Skilling or a
Bernie Ebber  he might pay you. 

Since you believe that the architect may not return
for your services, request him again for the balance
of payment and hope for the best.

And, please, hide your trade mark sarcasm in your
correspondence (smile).

Rajendran
--- Bill Polhemus <bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc> wrote:

> Just a moment to complain--and perhaps entertain
> some suggestions.
> 
> Got a letter from an archy client yesterday,
> including a long-awaited 
> check for payment from a job I finished three months
> ago. Since we've 
> been kinda slow around here, the money was most
> welcome.
> 
> But it was also a "short" check.
> 
> The letter explained that, in essence, the
> architect's client "refused 
> to pay" for what he, after the fact, considered to
> be "ridiculous" fees 
> for my services.
> 
> To explain:
> 
> This was an expansion of a commercial building that,
> when I made an 
> initial site visit, turned out to have some
> structural deficiencies. I 
> could have dealt with these by alerting the Building
> Official (this is a 
> location that, wonder of wonders, actually *has*
> such an animal) of the 
> deficiency, at which point the B.O. *could* have
> revoked the building's 
> certificate of occupancy until the problems could be
> corrected. He may 
> not have done that--political stroke counts for much
> 'round heah--but he 
> certainly could have.
> 
> Not wanting to cause problems for the building
> owner, I sent the 
> architect a letter explaining what I had found and
> recommending that we 
> do some field work to obtain in-situ building data,
> then design a repair 
> for the situation. I sent along a "fixed fee"
> proposal for that work.
> 
> The Architect accepted it, with his signature on the
> proposal faxed back 
> to me, and I went to work.
> 
> I incorporated the fix on the construction drawings
> subsequently, and 
> worked with the contractor to make sure it was done
> correctly (good 
> thing, too; the contractor's sub responsible for the
> repair got it all 
> wrong the first time around, and I had to issue a
> firm letter to the 
> Architect to hold the contractor's feet to the
> fire).
> 
> After all the dust was cleared and the design
> drawings completed, I sent 
> the final invoice including the charges.
> 
> To make a l-o-o-o-n-g story short, the owner balked
> at paying the 
> invoice when it was presented by the Architect along
> with his charges. 
> He claimed--according to the Architect--that "these
> guys didn't do 
> enough work to substantiate this amount of fee."
> (the amount we're 
> talking about is in the low four-figures, mind you).
> 
> Ultimately the Architect sent me a check minus six
> hundred dollars to 
> reflect what the owner was willing to pay for the
> work. In other words, 
> after all was said and done and a structural UNSAFE
> condition was 
> remedied in the process of doing the expansion, like
> the people of 
> Hamlin the owner didn't want to pay the Piper.
> 
> Well, I don't have a magic flute (and I don't really
> want to take 
> possesion of the owner's children anyway) so I don't
> really have an easy 
> recourse in this matter.
> 
> Here are my choices, obviously:
> 
> 1) Just forget about it and chalk it up to
> experience--even though I 
> feel that I documented everything and communicated
> satsifactorily the 
> entire way.
> 
> 2) Demand that the Architect--with whom I had the
> agreement for 
> payment--pay me the rest regardless of what the
> Owner has paid him.
> 
> 3) Demand that the Owner cough up the balance of the
> fee directly to me.
> 
> My problem with 1) is that it just rankles. Not only
> do I feel I'm being 
> poorly treated, I also don't like the idea that the
> services of a 
> structural engineer are seen as a "commodity" with
> no real value. I 
> think the owner needs to be "taught a lesson" not
> just for my sake but 
> for that of others.
> 
> Of course, 2) or 3) would have to be "backed up"
> with threat of legal 
> action. Is six hundred bucks worth it? There is a
> principle involved 
> here, but how far does one need to go?
> 
> My wife insists that I go with 2) AND 3). As "CFO"
> she is quite 
> perturbed about this (the recent demise of our
> washing machine and 
> dishwasher have not helped matters much).
> 
> I don't want to "tick off" my Archy client, but I
> have a feeling he's 
> not going to be coming back to me with any further
> work anyway.
> 
> It's tough being an "ant" trying to work with
> giants.
> 
> Any comments?
> 
> -- 
> Bill Polhemus, P.E.
> Polhemus Engineering Company
> http://www.polhemus.cc/
> 
> 
> ******* ****** ******* ******** ******* *******
> ******* ***
> *   Read list FAQ at:
> http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp
> * 
> *   This email was sent to you via Structural
> Engineers 
> *   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC)
> server. To 
> *   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
> *
> *   http://www.seaint.org/sealist1.asp
> *
> *   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any
> email you 
> *   send to the list is public domain and may be
> re-posted 
> *   without your permission. Make sure you visit our
> web 
> *   site at: http://www.seaint.org 
> ******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ******
> ******** 
> 



		
__________________________________ 
Do you Yahoo!? 
Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/ 

******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
*   Read list FAQ at: http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp
* 
*   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers 
*   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To 
*   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
*
*   http://www.seaint.org/sealist1.asp
*
*   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any email you 
*   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted 
*   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web 
*   site at: http://www.seaint.org 
******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********