Friday, June 18, 2010
On the other hand, offsetting the bay window roof out of line with the angles of the bay wall created havoc for installing the crown molding - requiring the addition of a spacer. More work, more cost. Contractors are full of stories of wall framing which is out of square, impacting the sheetrock, the floor, tilework. Or the plumber who rips big holes in the insulation or put pipe junction in very awkward spaces. Or the HVAC crew who place vents with no regard to the follow-up crew of flooring, or placement of furniture.
Modular thinking. We need a bit more of that. Thinking of the function of the material being installed, and the relationship of that material to other materials. The classic case is the installation of a tub on an exterior wall, where the insulation is often omitted because of sequencing. Would it be so hard for the plumber to include this service as part of the install?
This modular, or team thinking, will inevitably involve some shifting of jobs from one trade to another, or an overlapping of scheduling in order to mesh the projects. Accounting practices need to also be adjusted, to allow for some of the shifting of funds among trades. There have also been experimentations with contractual arrangements, whereby a trade is not paid in full until the subsequent trade assesses any corrections or repairs to the work they are building upon. This might get into some legal hassles, but it could serve as a good potential deterrent.
Like the IKEA assembly of furniture, do we need to do a bit more thinking about how our own part fits with the next piece?