March 24, 2005

I HATE Contractors!

I take it back, I don't hate all contractors, only the ones who don't give us what we need to do our jobs. We were sent down to Birmingham, AL in order to install a wheelchair lift in a TGI Friday's Restaurant, and were to go on to Tuscaloosa to install a "Stair-Chair" lift in a private school. Monday morning, we found out that we were only delivering the stair-chair as the school wanted to wait until Spring Break to have it put in. No big whoop, stuff changes all the time. We loaded up our rental truck, and headed on down there. We arrived around 4:00 PM, and went in to check out the site. When we met the contractor, he seemed like he had his stuff together. He was working his crews in two shifts, and he assured us that he would have the 3 inch "pit" and permanent power ready for us "first thing in the morning". Lots of "windshield time" and one day went down the tubes.

Bryan and I showed up at 7:00 AM (local time. Alabama is in the "Central" time-zone) ready to get to work. We found that of the two things he was to have ready for us, absolutely none of them had gotten done. It would have been nice if he had at least started one of them, but no such luck. We wait around while he has some guys cut the floor out and scoop out the tiles and underlayment. He found a sub-floor under all of that, and figured that he was in good shape. Two-seconds with a tape measure, and we found that his pit was too shallow, and we advised him that it did indeed need to be 3 inches deep (as the plans called for). We talked to the electrician's and explained to them where the power needed to be. Since we were stopped on this job, we explained to the contractor taht we were going to head on down to Tuscaloosa and deliver the stair-chair while he got the pit and the power ready. Assurances were exchanged, so we hit the road.

The hour long trip down to Tuscaloosa was uneventful, excluding the torrential downpour and the Tornado Warnings. Fun trip. We met up with the contractor for the school, and we were pleasantly surprised to find a guy who knew his business. He asked the right questions, he had his field superintendant there, his electrical contractor was there, and a representative from the school. Before we even openned up the back of the truck, we had a plan together for next week (when the install will happen). Damn, I like that. We got the truck unloaded, and then went back to Birmingham. On the way back, we had to stop by another school that is being renovated in order to measure a stairway for a chair-lift we are bidding for the install on. We got that done and headed on back to the TGI Friday's.

We were very impressed that our contractor had gotten both things done...Jack and Shit. We couldn't put off working on this lift any longer, so we just went to installing it with what we had. We got everything "dry fit", and looking good, so we went ahead and anchored it down, installed the upper door, ran the wires for the call-stations, and by that time we had been at work for twelve hours, so I called a halt and we went on back to the hotel. Day two was gone, but at least we made some frickin' progress.

7:00 AM of day three came awful quickly, but we were both ready to get this lift running, so we hit it hard. We finally convinced the contractor that we needed power, so he had his electrician's rig us something temporarily. We got her running, set the limits, installed the stop switch in the pit, and tested the whole thing out to our satisfaction. Unfortunately, when the lift was at the lower level, it was sitting about 3/4 of an inch too high. We advised the contractor that "since the pit isn't deep enough, you're going to have to bring the floor up to the lift. You are also going to have to get permanent power to the lift, and make sure that you mount the lower call-station at least 24 inches away from the lift, and exactly 42 inches from the floor to the center of the button." He stated that he was "Cool with that.", so we packed up our tools and rode the four hours back to Knoxville. I wonder if he got any of that done? We covered our end of the deal, so if the lift doesn't pass inspection, then it's on him. Also, there will be a "reinspection fee" applied to the contractor if we have to go back down there and fix his screw-up. I really hope he has to pay it.

What a knucklehead.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at March 24, 2005 06:17 PM

Arrggghhh!! Sorry to hear about all that. Yeah - he should have to pay the fee as well as the any expenses for ya'll incur if you have to return. Well, just relax this weekend, have a drink or two......

Posted by: Tammi at March 25, 2005 02:02 AM

Okay, that just sounds like a hell of a lot of incompetence. I hope your able to stick him with the extra fee.

Posted by: Contagion at March 25, 2005 11:31 AM
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