I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, construction is not an intuitive process, even for lawyers. The biggest misconception, I’ve found, is that it is okay for owners to cheap out on the essential design stage and then expect contractor to compensate for design deficiencies.
The building envelope (explained in detail in this earlier post) is comprised of building components (foundations, doors, windows, siding, etc) that protect a building’s interior from environmental elements (rain, snow, hail, the next-door neighbor’s “adorable” children). So, when your building envelope is damaged, you need a quick and suitable fix- especially important for the often weather-battered homes of greater Seattle and Portland.
The greater Seattle and Portland areas get their fair share of adverse weather. For a comfortable and livable interior, the exterior shell must be able to resist the elements. In construction speak, this outer shell is known as the building envelope, or building enclosure. It’s the physical separator of the interior and the exterior environments of a building, the outer shell that (together with mechanical conditioning systems) makes the indoor environment a place you’d want to spend time in.
It’s usually not rocket science to ascertain if a construction component is damaged, but as an expert in troubled construction with a particular focus on durability, you can build a legal case on my opinion. And in my experience, if you’re going to make a claim, you have to define your terms.
As a professional consultant in cases of troubled construction, I have decades of experience in assessing durability failures and determining their causes. Nothing lasts forever, but there are minimum time periods for most materials. So, how long should your roof and doors, fixtures and floors really last?
Perfect sets of plans and specifications detailing every miniscule facet of a project unambiguously and with crystal clarity are about as easy to find as unicorn leather upholstery for your chaise longue. Invariably, (before or during construction) contractors will need more information, clarification, or to point out if something’s amiss.
Contractors need to present competitive bids. So, architects will avoid specifying or sole sourcing materials by manufacturer. Instead, materials are specified by their properties, and it’s up to the contractor to get the best price.
To get the best price, Owners get general contractors (who retain the appropriate sub-contractors) to submit competitive bids for a project.
“Bid package” is a term used to describe all the documents that are necessary in order for contractors to respond to and participate in what is known as an invitation to bid. The range of documents involved in a given bid package will vary based on the requirements set by the entity issuing the bid invitation.