In the world of comic book characters, seeing through walls and above ceilings can be common place. But in Realville, engineers and architects can only dream about having the super power of “X-Ray Vision”.
We do a lot of renovation projects and I have learned over the years there is one thing that is a constant, you never know what you may find behind that piece of drywall. Last week I was called out to a jobsite to inspect the existing wood framing of a wall and second floor header beam after the drywall had been removed. It was the hope of the client that the wall could be removed and the second floor header beam would clear span the space. No such luck. The header beam was supported by the wall, so the wall stayed and the coffee bar was re-designed.
These situations happen all the time on renovation projects. So what are some tips to manage those existing details that cannot be seen?
- Produce As-Built documents – At the end of your next project be sure to commission As-Built documents to be done. It will give a great starting point for future renovation projects.
- Have a contingency account – The project budget for every renovation project should always have a contingency account to cover the cost of unseen conditions. Be clear about who manages the account and who has the authority to spend it.
- Execute Fair & Solid Contracts – Understand all contracts between an Owner and Contractor are about Risk and Reward. Be strategic about who holds the risk (the owner or the contractor) because where the risk is, the contingency money will be.
We may not have X-Ray vision, but we can help you through your renovation project. Give us a call; we would love to talk about how to make your next project a success.