Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Upper Level Walls Poured

Road restrictions were officially lifted at 12:01 Wednesday morning, and we managed to stick to our plan and get the upper level walls poured today.

Things went very smoothly even though the pour was complex due to the large number of window openings. The first load of concrete arrived at 9:10 am and our crew of four plus an excellent pump truck operator had the forms filled and the walls vibrated, plumbed and straightened in short order. They were wrapping things
up by lunchtime.

I'm sure that last one isn't an OSHA approved maneuver. This is the shovel method of troweling a difficult to reach windowsill. Talk about creative concrete finishing. And watching one of our guys trying to control the end of the pump hose and aim concrete into a window opening while perched on a 20 foot ladder was pretty scary. Situations like this are where the operator makes all the difference, as an extended boom with concrete in the line weights A LOT and a bad move could be dangerous.

We're scheduled to hang the steel for the roof in a week and then we're only a few days away from being ready to set windows and get dried in. I've ordered the first bunch of fixtures and the glass block and I'm starting to think about the schedule for interior framing, etc. I'm also (still) struggling with our concrete flatwork stuff. The guy I ended up hiring for our flatwork is a GC who I gave the job mostly because he showed up with the most competent sub of the bunch that I met with and convinced me he would be easy to work with. That lasted about long enough for him to get his contract signed and things have been going progressively downhill ever since. After the initial upper level floor pour, his sub quit with hard feelings about not being paid enough. This was beyond my control, since my contract was with the GC and he and the sub negotiated their own deal but it left me frustrated and more than a little concerned.
The GC assured me that he had "five or six other good concrete guys that can do the work" but as it turns out, that appears to be just talk. So far, he has yet to produce anyone aside from one guy that cancelled three meetings with me, two of which were on short enough notice that I had already driven the hour out to the site and was there waiting. (On the fourth try he actually showed up, but was an hour late with zero call, explanation or apology and then couldn't answer any of my questions about his experience with machine finishing and floor slabs.)
The best part of the story is that this sub lives in one of the GC's rental properties and just happens to owe $6K in back rent which he would supposedly be working off by doing my slabwork. He also doesn't have a drivers license...all of this as told to me by GC himself. Some people REALLY are clueless. Needless to say, this is not the kind of sub I'm willing to hand one of the most critical parts of my project off to and I'm shocked, angry and astounded at the unprofessional nature of the whole situation. To make matters worse, this GC failed to manage/do the wrap-up of the work that did get done, wrote a bad check to the concrete company who then sent a collection notice by certified mail to our neighbors (ridiculous, since I offered to handle the concrete purchase from the beginning) and has lied to me and changed his story numerous times.

Sadly, I could go on and on with the tales. So far this nonsense hasn't affected our schedule but starting Friday, he's officially wasting our time and I'm stressing about the whole situation. I'ts just so ironic. Up to now, me acting as our GC has gone really well and been nothing like the horror stories most people tell, and now I find myself tearing my hair out because of one person who IS a GC and who should have, IMO made things easier on me, not harder. UGH.


Post a Comment

<< Home