In the eight or so years I’ve been working as an architect in Ireland, I’ve heard many interesting things said by the indigenous Irish contractor or builder. None of them quite as good as the Caribbean concept of ‘slantendicuar’ but quite good nonetheless. Well here are some of what I’ve heard and the appropriate responses by architect or client:
1. “Well, that’s the way we do it around here”
Response: “Well unfortunately you’ve been doing it wrong around here, do it as per the drawings and specification and as the way your employer is paying you to do it”
2. Well that’s the standard everybody gets around here.
Response: “I’m sorry but that level isn’t acceptable and you’re going to have to do better”
3. I’m losing money hand over fist already on this job
Response: Ignore, they’re not. They always say this.
4. What you should do here is this…. (when describing some great design change, change of material etc…)
Response: Be very wary, I try to take on board anything that the builder suggests but you need to ask yourself two fundamental questions:
1. Does this save the contractor money and thereby increases his profit (at your expense)
2. Does this save the contractor time and thereby increases his profit (at your expense)
5. We can work out what the price of that is at the end (when making variations during the build)
Response: An absolute no-no, get prices as you go; doing this at the end of a build is the worst time to do this; the build is finished and it’s very difficult at this stage to reconcile the prices, obviously at every variation there would have been an ‘Architects Instruction’ that defines what the variation was ~ I feel another blog post coming on AI’s and the time and effort it takes to run a job properly…
Comments welcome and would love to hear other great things said by contractors.
Ps obviously there’s a love~hate relationship between architect & contractor; it’s the builder than can create the most grief but it’s also the same person that builds the architects vision.
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