Saturday, April 16, 2011
The Heavens opened up.
I left the last post in a twist because we'd received an invoice which I found to be incorrect (i.e. way too much $$$$) and I was preparing to hold the awkward argument about what was specified during design. That meeting happened Friday afternoon, and I shouldn't have been anxious, because the Builder and GC, with out any sort of argument or rebuttal from us, are covering the costs themselves. They agreed that they missed the extra expense of these items in their original estimate, and therefore it came out of their budget. Even in a case where there was a discrepancy of information from our side, for sake of keeping everyone happy, they took the cost themselves. I was happy with the outcome of the meeting, and so far I have been happy with our Builder's communication and sense of fairness.
I do have to say that as the owner and client, it is incredibly important to say on top of the details and manage the process to a certain degree. We hired the Builder as the expert and we trust him to educate us, but as with any project, if you want it to go your way, you have to keep up in real time and hold your "finger on the pulse." We are at the site every day, at least once a day, and are on an intimate level with the email and cell phones of the GC and Superintendent. When an electric socket needs to be moved 6 inches to the right, and it doesn't get moved in the indicated time frame, you will bet we're on the horn making sure it is still in the plan and not overlooked. The Super and GC have been very patient, reactive and pleasant with us (as I would expect and hope), and that has contributed to the overall positive experience so far.
During this process, I tend to react strongly when I see something that doesn't correspond with my expectation. I feel like at any moment, I am waiting to become the stereotype. When you start this kind of process, the most common stories are those of terrible experiences, owner's taken to the cleaners, corrupt contractors, you name it. We have no interest in becoming the next cautionary tale.