The Countdown

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pipelines, Poo Water and Pantry Drawers

The back and forth on the state of our sanitary line tie-in has been nail-biting for us.

The City, as expected, was no help and "offered maybe, no promises" to grant us access to the line our neighbor hooked up. Gee thanks City, that's great except it still means we have to open saw-cut the road for a good 60 feet which is mucho dineros. That's not even the shortest route for us, so I'm not sure how they felt this was a concession. A proper concession would be, hey, install the pipe you supposedly provided (but didn't) and let us tie into that or compensate us in some way (we pay taxes to have sewer hookups!) so we can hook into one of the surrounding lines. No dice.

The great news is that the Builder found a contractor who did our water line tie in today, and they are going to be able to saw cut the street going in the other direction (the shorter distance) in front of the empty lot within their utility budget. OUR OWN PERSONAL FINANCIAL CRISIS AVERTED. Hopefully. All that nail-biting was for naught, and I now have nubbin fingers.

I've never been so happy to be given a pipeline - it's better than birthdays.

Lesson Number X: Thoroughly check your utility tie-ins during design, so that you don't end up with an unexpected bill for insane procedures.

Lesson Number XX: Outline as many details as humanly possible in the design phase and keep a paper-trail, and I mean every last little shelf, toilet paper holder, and drawer pull. Even if you think it's obvious, write it down, because it is not inherently obvious to anyone else. Else you will end up with more unexpected change orders that ruin a good buzz. We are having discussions that lead to us tracing emails in the tangle of information that was exchanged during design, pointing saying "we asked for this! we talked about this!" and having the awkward "what was discussed exactly" conversations with the Builder and the GC (in regards to our pantry design actually). Change orders are for things that change AFTER the contract, specs and design were signed. Everything we discussed and documented, unless excluded specifically, is included in the contract price. I'm sorry if you didn't price it, that is something I can't really control. I'm not trying to screw you, I'm trying to protect myself, and I don't have an itemized open book estimate so I have no frame of reference. Otherwise, if it's impossible to specify every item prior, you agree on an appropriate contingency for those known items and build it into the contract price - it's called Funded Liabilities. No one is happy to get slapped with a big bill after the fact, not being able to roll it into the mortgage, and facing the music with hard cash. We'll see how this goes...

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