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    #16
    This is kind of not fair if there is a significant savings over brands A and B.

    Not fair to the other bidders

    Not fair to the people that need to review brand C when they probably already know brands A and B

    It could be not fair to the owner

    It should make somebody pay closer attention to this company.

    I know a guy that operates this way. He uses the technicalities of contracts to provide equipment that he fabs (and not too well) instead of providing the equipment that the owner obviously wanted. He spends a lot of time in court. Heck of a way to make a living, and his company has been banned from properties and bidding any work on those properties.

    Edit: He was in a different trade, not electrical.

    Comment


      #17
      Originally posted by steve66 View Post
      That is a good point, although in a way, Larry is right that I would have spent time reviewing any substitutions. And I actually saved time because I didn't have to go looking for equals. They were basically handed to me.

      I see Charlie's point about not making it to easy for the contractor. But that would probably take more of my time, and I'm not sure it would really accomplish anything.

      It is a different area than we normally work in - even out of state.

      I'm on the fence also.
      I'd make them to the "request for substitution" dance, especially if the process is spelled out in the specs. As others have said, don't let them get complacent or you'll have to chase them for compliance on every little detail. Part of the substitution process should be review and approval by the customer. That's at least so you don't get left holding the bag if the substitute product doesn't work out.

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        #18
        Originally posted by gadfly56 View Post
        I'd make them to the "request for substitution" dance, especially if the process is spelled out in the specs. As others have said, don't let them get complacent or you'll have to chase them for compliance on every little detail. Part of the substitution process should be review and approval by the customer. That's at least so you don't get left holding the bag if the substitute product doesn't work out.
        Don't you think he will be holding the bag no matter what documentation is obtained? If the spec clearly called out brands A and B, then to me that's what should be supplied.

        I just reread the OP and, well, I'm a fence sitter too.

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          #19
          [COLOR=#222222]
          Originally posted by sameguy View Post
          So you left the bid open to, or equal.
          Originally posted by sameguy View Post
          [/COLOR]
          [COLOR=#222222]Now your pissing, go look up the fixture is it or equal? If your too lazy request cuts from the bidder, perhaps they found you're new spec. fixtures for other jobs. Why do you need to now what I pay for a fixture if my bid is lowest?
          [/COLOR]
          [COLOR=#222222][/COLOR]
          [COLOR=#222222]No, it wasn't left open. Contractors that wished to make substitutions were supposed to provide cut sheets along with a request for the substitution to be approved. That was supposed to happen during bidding, but it didn't.

          There is no way to know, but I suspect the difference in price is probably pretty minor. If I asked how much they saved, I'll bet the contractor would say "These were actually more expensive, but I like this supplier because blah blah blah..."
          [/COLOR]

          Originally posted by gadfly56 View Post
          I'd make them to the "request for substitution" dance, especially if the process is spelled out in the specs. As others have said, don't let them get complacent or you'll have to chase them for compliance on every little detail. Part of the substitution process should be review and approval by the customer. That's at least so you don't get left holding the bag if the substitute product doesn't work out.
          I think that's a pretty good idea, even though bidding is over. At least they would have to admit its a substitution, and maybe even sweat a little. And it would also be a minor pain to the contractor, which Charlie suggested.

          On a side note, this contractor also sent an entire catalog of electrical boxes as a submittal. No indication of what they are going to use, just sent a catalog.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by steve66 View Post



            On a side note, this contractor also sent an entire catalog of electrical boxes as a submittal. No indication of what they are going to use, just sent a catalog.
            Interesting. I've never considered doing that. It almost makes me chuckle.

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by steve66 View Post
              ...On a side note, this contractor also sent an entire catalog of electrical boxes as a submittal. No indication of what they are going to use, just sent a catalog.
              Maybe they were saying "this is the manufacturer we buy our boxes from..." and leaving it up to you to figure out they know which ones to use where...

              Comment


                #22
                I don't want to sound too harsh but they didn't really follow the directions. You said certain fixtures are A (or B). You said others were to be "pre-approved". They never sought pre-approval.

                To me this is Van Halen and the Brown M&M's.
                (If you don't know the story, Val Halen always requested M&M's (sans brown ones) be kept backstage. This way David Lee Roth could walk in and easily see whether the promoter could follow directions or whether than had to go out and assess what other things, like electrical supplies, dimensions, and weight limits had been ignored.)

                To me it's a red flag that they don't follow directions, they are probably looking to save a buck, and they are not forthcoming and communicative.

                Then again I may just be the kind of guy who would trash a dressing room because I found brown M&M's.

                Comment


                  #23
                  I'll take the brown ones.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  Master Electrician
                  Electrical Contractor
                  Richmond, VA

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Maybe I misunderstand this.
                    But if the fittings provide equal performance it is a commercial rather than technical issue.
                    But what do I know.........

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by Timbert View Post

                      To me it's a red flag that they don't follow directions, they are probably looking to save a buck, and they are not forthcoming and communicative.
                      I think this is a valid concern.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        I agree with making them sweat and on the fixtures.
                        On this part

                        Originally posted by steve66 View Post



                        On a side note, this contractor also sent an entire catalog of electrical boxes as a submittal. No indication of what they are going to use, just sent a catalog.
                        I would "reject and resubmitt" with a note telling them to highlight all boxes intended for use.

                        Roger
                        Moderator

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                          #27
                          "For some of the lights, I just put "other pre-approved equal" for the second manufacturer."
                          This to me is open for change.

                          "The shop drawings come in,"
                          This implied some sort of information was supplied about the or equal.

                          "For the most part, these fixtures seem to be equal to the fixtures I had specified."
                          How do you know if you don't have information?

                          " Normally, when contractors want to use another brand, they will send us cut sheets, and we may or may not approve them as equals by issuing an addendum."
                          Is that spelled out in your documents?

                          " There weren't any requests for substitutions made."
                          Could it have been that the "shop drawings" submitted, equals a request and if more information is needed should be requested? It seems that you did find the manufacture and some spec. on them as you stated " seem to be equal", or was that just they were white 2x2 drop ins.

                          Trust me I have lost many bids to many "loop holes, out right lazy people, boilerplate spec. that wasn't so plate, etc., not defending the guy but perhaps a phone call/text/Email/post card, sent by the secretary, intern, could have been in order. The "new fixture" could be your new cost saving spec. as lighting has been changing rapidly.
                          Hell I lost a big bid and was low bidder, reason was that Co. never heard of us; we were new but just completed two large jobs at a major university. Then when his contractor couldn't answer his questions he calls me; I helped out and built good will moved up on their list.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            All valid points, and I do like the M&M analogy

                            Sameguy; We do have it spelled out pretty well in the spec, but I do see your point also.


                            Originally posted by oldsparky52 View Post
                            Interesting. I've never considered doing that. It almost makes me chuckle.
                            I don't think its a first. I've seen some engineers include "Do not send catalogs" in their specs for submittals.

                            I don't normally even ask for shop drawings on boxes, but there were a couple of things I did want to see on this project.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by steve66 View Post
                              [COLOR=#222222][/COLOR]
                              [COLOR=#222222][/COLOR]
                              [COLOR=#222222]No, it wasn't left open. Contractors that wished to make substitutions were supposed to provide cut sheets along with a request for the substitution to be approved. That was supposed to happen during bidding, but it didn't.

                              There is no way to know, but I suspect the difference in price is probably pretty minor. If I asked how much they saved, I'll bet the contractor would say "These were actually more expensive, but I like this supplier because blah blah blah..."
                              [/COLOR]



                              I think that's a pretty good idea, even though bidding is over. At least they would have to admit its a substitution, and maybe even sweat a little. And it would also be a minor pain to the contractor, which Charlie suggested.

                              On a side note, this contractor also [COLOR="#FF0000"]sent an entire catalog of electrical boxes as a submittal.[/COLOR] No indication of what they are going to use, just sent a catalog.
                              I had a contractor try that. I sent it back "revise as noted and resubmit" and told them to mark or highlight each component type and each size they intended to use, and not to send any pages where no items had been selected. Also, our submittal process was after the bid and we allowed "or equal" in the drawing prep stage, but we had to actually approve it.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by steve66 View Post
                                So we put a small project out for bid. I specified a package with Brand A light fixtures, with some having Brand B equals.

                                For some of the lights, I just put "other pre-approved equal" for the second manufacturer.

                                The shop drawings come in, and they are using Brand C, with some other smaller manufacturers for a few of the lights.

                                For the most part, these fixtures seem to be equal to the fixtures I had specified. Normally, when contractors want to use another brand, they will send us cut sheets, and we may or may not approve them as equals by issuing an addendum. But that didn't happen on this project. There weren't any requests for substitutions made.

                                So I'm just wondering what others would do. Reject them and tell them they need to use the specified fixtures? Or go ahead and approve these lights since they are pretty much the same thing as specified?

                                Our front end spec has a lot of detail on substitutions, so I'm sure I can reject them if I want to. But I'm more inclined to let it go. After all, I probably would have approved these if they had asked during bidding. But I wonder if its fair to the owner and/or other bidders to approve these after the contract has been awarded.
                                Contractor should submit all cut sheets so that the equivalency determination can be made by the reviewer. If the item meets all of the specification requirements, point for point, without even the least been inferiority, I would say that there is no reason not to approve. Here, quality is being equated to price. If the specs match, I would approve it. Though, the field that I work in it is mainly government work so we need to list at least 3 manufacturers and still even then allow for approved equals. We also have a construction support budget when it is approved so things might be different on my end.

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