Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is It Friday, Yet?

I know it's not Friday, and I'm honestly glad it isn't, but good gracious, this week is fraught with difficulties, already!

Out of the past six workdays, I have been on the site five days. Today, Tuesday, I was there twice: once for the regular Contract Administration meeting (guess who's contract administrator since Pacman's in NJ?), and once because the owner's son sent me an email loaded with questions, after I settled the Great Screws vs. Nails Debate of 2010. I felt the need to look at the framing to see exactly what he was talking about before fully addressing one of the issues.

Hmmm... maybe the owner's son needs a nickname... We'll call him Big'un, because he's a big'un (granted, he's tall, not fat).

At the meeting this morning, Big'un questioned the framer's use of nails to attach the joist hangers, instead of screws, like the contractor on the family's ranch house is doing (this being their Texas ranch, as opposed to their Montana ranch: keep them straight, okay?). I told him that nails were acceptable, I'd never seen joist hangers screwed into a studwall before, and that it wasn't necessary to screw all the framework together.

He pulled a framer, on me. "Maybe you could just call Adam and check?" I wanted to smack him right in his 24 year old bearded face. But I didn't, because he's the client's son. Instead, I hailed Scooter, put the question to him, and Scooter reiterated what I had just said.

Big'un didn't seem satisfied. The other contractor, the one at the ranch house, uses screws after all.

I have a hunch that the frames aren't the only things that contractor is screwing...over.

Once back in the office, I researched the exact joist hangers we're using - which specifically state NOT to use screws - and emailed the Big'un to let him know. He shot back a looooooooooong email, full of questions that compared the construction of the house in town to the ranch house (the Texas ranch house).

Apples and oranges, kiddo. Apples and oranges.

For starters, the ranch house is a renovation. Different methods must be used to construct the houses. They have different building envelopes. And if his email was accurate, which I doubt it was, then their ranch house is a mold/mildew factory waiting to happen, because it's being built to prevent the walls from breathing properly. It took me a full hour to fashion an email that defended the building envelope we've designed without impugning the design of the contractor and/or architect of the ranch house (I'm not entirely certain they have an architect).

One thing he did bring up was staining on some of the framework. I decided to check it out on my way home - so I left to go home an hour early - and took some photos. I'm not happy, because the staining appears to be not so much staining as mold and mildew on the framework. If that's the case, we'll want to rip out the affected pieces and replace them. And by "we'll want to" I mean "we'll make the framers do it."

I also scared the heck out of Lord Midget, the Electrician, who feared I had returned to give him additional directions. He seemed relieved that I was just there to look at the framing and the ceiling in one of the offices.

Just before leaving our office, I was indulging in a fair amount of griping about Big'un, and the somewhat idiotic questions he asked (with the exception of the staining), and Radio made the remark, "You know, you shouldn't be complaining about him. You're really missing an opportunity, here. Sure, he may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but he's rich and not a bad looking kid."

"He's illiterate," I replied, brandishing the typo-ridden email. "Enough said."

"You need to be more materialistic. Money can make up for lots of things, even being an illiterate idiot."

I sighed. "You've obviously never dated an illiterate idiot before."

"You've obviously never dated a rich one."

I smiled. "You obviously don't know my dating history." And with that, I left the office. I have a hunch Radio hasn't spoken the last in his attempt to get me to marry our client's son, however.

At least it would guarantee the firm more business, right?

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