The last week has been wholly consumed by a major breakdown of our house-building effort. As it stands, we are seriously behind. The contractor has pulled his workers off the site because he doesn’t have enough work to do.
The cause? Our brand name architects. Short version the person delegated to manage the project didn’t set up their usual weekly meetings to schedule things, set priorities, and resolve issues. The principals of the firm ascribed the resulting chaos to “unreasonable clients” – ignoring our increasingly desperate and bewildered pleas for some sort of structured project management process. In the meantime, we wandered into some truly bizarre territory (endless dialogue on trench drains). And key long-lead-time items (like the windows) were never ordered – blowing out the [never-delivered] project timeline.
This all came to a head in a 1 hour meeting last week. It started with 45 minutes of ad hominem lecturing on my personal communications skills (apparently I am not a very clear writer). This was followed by a very rapid change in tone and demeanor after the following exchange.
- “Well, all those [project management] issues should have just been taken care of in the weekly meeting!”
- “There IS NO weekly meeting! Why do you think we are here?”
- [faces fall, architects suddenly become very conciliatory, meeting becomes productive]
I might write some more later, but one firm conclusion I have come to is NEVER let your architects specify the location or function of any mechanical item in the house without first consulting the relevant licensed tradesman. They will make the decision on aesthetic grounds, not functional ones. I had to relocate the tankless water heater (toxic fumes), electrical box (emergency crew access), and dryer vent (proposed design a fire hazard).
Anyway. Getting worried we won’t get this first phase done on time, but its still going to be a nice place. And we now know enough about the process that we can probably avoid the same happening in the next phase. But I am way behind on earnings and, obviously, this blog.
I do now know more about tankless water heaters than I ever expected to…. Not entirely sure that is a good thing.