Working With Contractors

Discussion (9)

  1. joearch

    A lot more profit in it for the contractor in an adversarial relationship, especially in public bid.

  2. rekleiner

    Some contractors (especially the old-school ones) just love butting heads with architects, period. They have always done so and will never change. Its just part of their routine. Stay professional. Admit when you are wrong. Stand your ground when you are right.

    • joearch

      And don’t lose your cool. Best advice someone gave me is this: remember the old legal adage: “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts, when the law is on your side, pound the law, when neither is on your side, pound the table.” When they are pounding the table, it’s a clear sign that you are in the right and they know it.

  3. swolfearch

    I’ll have to get a copy of that.

  4. swolfearch

    Number 6: Don’t for get to read “Contractor’s Guide to Change Orders.”

  5. ohare

    As an architect who works with many Contractors, I agree with this list. However, I think often architects need to remember these things as well. The working relationship is a two way street.

    • joearch

      Those are the best projects I’ve worked on, but especially in the public sector (and to an increasing degree in private sector – for some reason “public bid style” contractors seem to be in vogue around here), I’m finding that the contractors who are looking to work as a team and get the job done correctly can’t compete with the contractors who are looking to cut as many corners as possible by attacking the contract documents and design team. As a result, if I’m working with a new contractor, I have to start from a firm position rather than a cooperative one, which is unfortunate.

  6. E Architect

    Yes they wright books about how Contractors can “creatively interpret” the construction documents in order to maximize profit.

    Being part of a team is fine so long as all the players know what game is being played.

  7. Tim

    Our office only does Public K-12 Education Projects and we have worked with both good and bad contractors over the years. Lately we have been doing a lot of Lease-Lease-Back projects where the contractor is selected through an RFQ process and works with the design team during the development of the contract documents. They provide constructability reviews and cost estimates throughout the project. Since using that form of project delivery, disputes on the job site have essentially disappeared and the projects are running a lot smoother.