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  • General Contractors

    I'm a bit jaded I guess... Gotta rant a bit

    Call me naive but I do believe people have the best intentions unless they show me otherwise.

    GC describes an addition project to me. Simple one bath addition and a softner relocation. I give him an idea on what I think it will cost, not a solid cost since I don't have prints or plans...

    I did the rough a couple of weeks ago (no plan just a sketch from GC).

    GC calls yesterday and says they are ready to plumb wow this is a really big addition(3000 sqft, 2 story)...

    GC says I will meet you there and we will look at things... Well now it is 2 bathrooms one of them with a urinal.

    Both bathrooms are sitting on top of a room that is a 30' clear span using engineered wood I beams that are 18" deep on 12" centers!!!!

    The spans are already deflecting, the carpenters are telling me that they are going to have to jack the spans and try to tie the deflected ceiling of ground floor into roof truss in an attempt to hold things up better...

    Come to find out this is the GC's design...

    Based on the direction of these monster beams I now have to try to shoehorn 3" pipe in... I will have to drill the beams all the way through the exterior walls and lace the pipes in...

    This job is a mess! Shame on me for for not speaking up yesterday. I'm going to sit down with the GC and have a talk... Shame on me for giving a WAG price without a print but shame on him for attempting to hold me to it as the scope of the work expands WAY beyond what was discussed!

    Wish me luck and another lesson learned

    Bill

  • #2
    Re: General Contractors

    I would contact the mfg. of these beams before you go cutting in. They get real exited over holes in their product! Many i have dealt with have engineers work these out to an exact location.Good luck with you mess!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: General Contractors

      He is not a qualified General contractor.He should have been aware of the importance of the structural integrity of the wood members.
      The floor joist were already up without confering with you on their layout pertaining to the upstairs bath?...Wrong!!!

      He should be held accountable for his lack of knowledge.
      Why should you pay with your resources for him to get his full compensation.I wouldn't be rude to my contractor,although I would be a little aggressive to help him understand my point of view.

      Are these TJI's?
      A lot of members here call them wood I-beams.If they are your in luck.In particular areas of their spans you can hack away if you have to.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: General Contractors

        Good advice, check on the beams. Does sound like a nightmare though.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: General Contractors

          Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
          I'm a bit jaded I guess... Gotta rant a bit

          Call me naive but I do believe people have the best intentions unless they show me otherwise.

          GC describes an addition project to me. Simple one bath addition and a softner relocation. I give him an idea on what I think it will cost, not a solid cost since I don't have prints or plans...

          I did the rough a couple of weeks ago (no plan just a sketch from GC).

          GC calls yesterday and says they are ready to plumb wow this is a really big addition(3000 sqft, 2 story)...

          GC says I will meet you there and we will look at things... Well now it is 2 bathrooms one of them with a urinal.

          Both bathrooms are sitting on top of a room that is a 30' clear span using engineered wood I beams that are 18" deep on 12" centers!!!!

          The spans are already deflecting, the carpenters are telling me that they are going to have to jack the spans and try to tie the deflected ceiling of ground floor into roof truss in an attempt to hold things up better...

          Come to find out this is the GC's design...

          Based on the direction of these monster beams I now have to try to shoehorn 3" pipe in... I will have to drill the beams all the way through the exterior walls and lace the pipes in...

          This job is a mess! Shame on me for for not speaking up yesterday. I'm going to sit down with the GC and have a talk... Shame on me for giving a WAG price without a print but shame on him for attempting to hold me to it as the scope of the work expands WAY beyond what was discussed!

          Wish me luck and another lesson learned

          Bill

          Was this job permited ? I would think so at 3000 sf. Even if it's the GC'S design it should of been stamped with a seal from a engineer if it was permited. The carpenters can try and tie it together all they want, it still will deflect after all the fixtures,tile,sheetrock ect are installed.
          Looks like there will be legal issues some where down the line.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: General Contractors

            Definitely a labor intensive installation! Learned the hard way about 20 or so years ago at a dormatory job at UC Irvine when TJI's were first being used and we treated them like regular joists and drilled and notched them as needed. After the floors were sheeted and the walls were stood up the inspector make them tear down the second story and rebuild it. After that we got a detailed lesson on what we could do and not do to penetrate those TJI's. The General picked up the dime on that one.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: General Contractors

              Warning " As it starts,so it goes" You're in bed with the wrong person! STOP ALL WORK!
              Re bid ,with a detailed signed contract with all details. How many shower valves ect. GOOD LUCK If You drill those beams YOU OWN THEM. Without an engineers stamp on them!
              I'm a G.C. that Plumbs. Give a sketch to ENG.,as to the size and location of all beam penetrations. THE GENERAL IS A JOKE!
              Last edited by toolaholic; 02-11-2009, 10:58 AM.
              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: General Contractors

                Maybe these installation charts will help you out.
                The 30' span depends on the like loads involved for deflection and which TJI they used 2 5/16 or 3 1/2 top and bottom cords.
                Either way this is up to the GC. He will have all the exposure at the end of the day.


                http://www.ilevel.com/literature/TJ-4005.pdf

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: General Contractors

                  When I hear about jobs like these, it's a nice reminder why I switched to drain cleaning only.

                  Good Luck.

                  Lenny

                  Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

                  I know, it doesn't make sense.


                  http://www.hebertdraincare.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: General Contractors

                    I have to agree with Toolaholic. That General is a joke! I have a built up rapport with my subs that allows them to trust me enough to ballpark a job over the phone or without full plans, however, I also believe that if the job changes from what I told them, I expect the price to change as well according to the added work. I would also ask to see the engineer's paperwork, if there is one on the job. I know TGI's typically have a maximum allowable hole at certain intervals for things like plumbing, HVAC, etc to pass thru. Good luck with this one, I'd definitely write it all down, be as specific as possible and get both of you to sign it, that way, you're not counting on anyones memory!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: General Contractors

                      First of all, until the issues with deflection, sagging, etc. are ironed out with the engineer, inspector, et. al., I'd not waste any more time on this job. If and when the dust settles and you are convinced that it's safe to proceed, then I'd check to see if the I beams are TJI's. If so, ask for the manufacturer's specs on the type used (like the Weyerhauser specs Gizmoman posted). Remember, generic specs are not a good idea. Get the ones specific to the product installed. The tables on holes and notching will tell you where you can and can't run your waste lines. Then you can give a hard number on the project, or if it still smells like bad fish, you can cut your loses and walk away.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: General Contractors

                        For those of you who know this, don't beat me to death. July 01, 2008 the State of Georgia requires ALL General Contractors operating within the State of Georgia after January 01, 2009 to be licensed as a "Residential and General Contractor". The State of Georgia sent me the full six (6) pages of information to fill out for my "Household Handyman" business. Now, I do not do remodeling or additions, just repairs. After going downtown and talking to someone who had gone to Atlanta to find out what was going on I find that "If one does not do any one job which totals $2400 or more within a calendar year" then I don't have to be a "General Contractor". That's me! I believe in this licensing of General Contractors, but I believe that the State of Georgia jumped into this too quickly as to who should be licensed and under what terms. I understand that the requirements for Licensing of Plumbers has changed in GA. also. I'm looking into that, they are to send me the new requirements "soon". There are many of these "General Contractors" here who would do the same job with the beams and have them sag or even fall. Thanks, David

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: General Contractors

                          Every once in a while I'd run into some flakey contractor who had a pencil sketch of something and it always turned out badly.

                          One time, it was an addition on the back of a house. When I got to the job that should have been simple, I found that they'd already plywooded the floor and stood up the walls and left a small opening for me to rough-in the plumbing through. But there wasn't enough room to crawl! That one was tough.

                          Another guy was putting up a commercial building and gave me a napkin sketch. I ran into a problem and went to talk to him and re-sketched it.

                          Fast forward to finish: he'd decided to change all the walls around. Now, the toilet flange was 90 degrees off and the wrong distance from walls. and no room for a water heater, etc, etc.

                          These guys never seem to have any time. Always in a rush to get a price to get you under their thumb, but no time to even sketch a decent plan and no desire to stick to anything as they go along.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: General Contractors

                            Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                            He is not a qualified General contractor.He should have been aware of the importance of the structural integrity of the wood members.
                            The floor joist were already up without confering with you on their layout pertaining to the upstairs bath?...Wrong!!!

                            He should be held accountable for his lack of knowledge.
                            Why should you pay with your resources for him to get his full compensation.I wouldn't be rude to my contractor,although I would be a little aggressive to help him understand my point of view.

                            Are these TJI's?
                            A lot of members here call them wood I-beams.If they are your in luck.In particular areas of their spans you can hack away if you have to.

                            Yes, they are TJI's, GC contacted "beam engineer" after our talk and has diagrams and cutting instructions on the way... GC says the deflection is within acceptable limits but he understood why I would not modify the beams without instructions from manufacturer.

                            FYI: GC said engineer told him over the phone that holes can be no greater than 7" and not within 3' of the ends of the beam.

                            GC will even have his guys cut the holes for me

                            Okie
                            Last edited by OkieBill; 02-11-2009, 09:49 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: General Contractors

                              Originally posted by Gizmoman View Post
                              Was this job permited ? I would think so at 3000 sf. Even if it's the GC'S design it should of been stamped with a seal from a engineer if it was permited. The carpenters can try and tie it together all they want, it still will deflect after all the fixtures,tile,sheetrock ect are installed.
                              Looks like there will be legal issues some where down the line.
                              I agree that deflection is going to be a problem especially after the beams get loaded ( sheetrock, carpet, fixtures, furniture are going to load um up) That is just the static load not to mention the dynamic loading...

                              Job is outside the city limits so no permits or stamped prints he77 there are no prints accept for the NTS drawings that I got to see yesterday...
                              Last edited by OkieBill; 02-11-2009, 09:51 PM.

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