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#20869 12/07/08 02:03 AM
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On new construction, how much do you guys find yourselves interacting with other trades, and how do you go about it? I dunno about outside of hotels, but istm that there is often a lack of communication between various tradespeople. To give an example:

We're doing a job in NC. We work for the owner, not the GC. Owner tells us what he wants. No problem, right? Well, except he forgot to tell the electricians or GC about the changes. Chris, the head electrician on site, was a bit miffed to find he had to run new lines into the conference room, one for our overhead projector, and one for our speaker amp. Basically, his 'change order' went through me, not his boss, and not the GC. We talked a bit more, and he asked about my access points. I told him they were PoE, so he didn't need to wire in outlets in the ceiling. Much relief there.

Chris is a good guy and a competent sparky.... but what if he had made a big issue out of the changes needed to make my gear work? Who do I go to then? His boss, my boss, the GC, sup or the owner?

I'd say ~30% of the sites I'm on have contractor's meetings on a weekly basis. Anyone had similar experiences, and how do you get things resolved?

Jack


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Well using your example, I just notify the customer that if they expect the amp and projector to work they will need power. As a matter of professional courtesy I also inform sparky that he should expect a request from someone in the chain of command. He then has the option to be proactive or just wait till he is contacted. That is his business but at least he appreciates the heads up.

When game day comes the power is either there or not, what more can you do?

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First, I would mention it to the EC to see if it is on his plans and tell him we're going to need it. I also mention the need to the GC since it is his job site. However, on a job site I have no authority to give another trade, or the GC a change order in any fashion, so my only obligation is to inform the customer.

It's just a simple professional courtesy to mention the add-on to the GC/EC. They should be paid for these changes and the only way that will happen is if the owner submits a RFC to the proper people.

I feel your pain, Jack. We're always the red-headed step child on job sites since we work for the customer, not the contractor.

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I've found that first and foremost, you should make friends with the site superintendent for the GC. Once that relationship is off to a good start, track down the electrical contractor's foreman and do the same. They can be your best friend or your worst enemy, so it's best to be proactive.

You really don't have to worry about the plumbing or HVAC guys since their rough work is usually done before we can even set foot on the property. Besides, they are usually in the bathrooms or on the roof anyway.

Extras should always be brought to the attention of your customer first. Let them contact the GC about it. Then, you go and give the superintendent and the EC a heads-up so that they are prepared. They'll appreciate your following the proper chain of command and preventing them from being blindsided. Don't forget that you need these guys a lot more than they need you, so making friends early-on in the game is surely your best bet.


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I can't add any better advice than what has been given. I use all of these on most all of the construction jobs i work on. Like they said theothers EC and GC can be your best freind or worst nightmare. Start off on the right foot.

Mike

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Yep, the GC and Electrician are the first two people I make contact with on the job site.

Usually at the end of the job we trade business cards and leave being friends. Which in return we will put a plug in for each other on future jobs.


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I had some interesting experiences summer of 07 when I wired a building for a customer of mine...I worked directly for them and not for the GC. I was allowed to use ladders and lifts that were on site so I did have to coordinate with plumbers, HVAC, etc.
I also had to deal with the electricians who barely spoke english...I really did not run into too many issues, aside from a few additional locations they needed me to run wire to that did not have boxes and stubs installed...
I also did a bit of work with the alarm guys, I ran the wire and installed the RJ31X jacks for the fire and burglar alarm panels.


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Thanks for all the great replies everybody.

nfcphoneman: Is it customary/standard for telecom/data people to work under the owner and not the GC? Doing hotels almost exclusively, I thought perhaps that was an exception rather than the rule.

You're right that we're the red headed step children... especially for those of us with red hair.


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Since I started on my own 18 years ago, I may have worked for the GC two times. So yes, it is customary to work directly for the customer, at least in my neck of the woods.

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Quote
Originally posted by Fletcher:
Thanks for all the great replies everybody.

nfcphoneman: Is it customary/standard for telecom/data people to work under the owner and not the GC? Doing hotels almost exclusively, I thought perhaps that was an exception rather than the rule.

You're right that we're the red headed step children... especially for those of us with red hair.
After 40+ years in the business I don't think I have EVER worked for the GC on a Telecom job, and only rarely - if ever on an Electrical job (maybe once or twice in all the years).

Sam


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