Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Micromanaging 101

I was inspired by Atelier 918's post yesterday about sub-par workmanship. It reminded me of an instance last summer here at our place. We needed some masonry work done, in particular we needed a window to be made narrower to fit our new kitchen layout.
(the outer wall here is brick)

Here's a photo of the before:

And here is after the window was made smaller to accomodate the fridge being in the corner. It fits just so- we tried to shrink the window as little as possible.

Steve, being the planner that he is and knowing the pitfalls of not having things in writing, wrote up a contract for this small job. In the contract or work-order if you will, he specified that no cinderblock was to be used and that the existing brick design was to be replicated on the new smaller scale. If you click on the photos below, you'll see that it didn't happen that way.

Click on images for larger view.

We, unfortunately didn't see this until they were done, which leads me to the title of this post: Micromanaging. I myself hate to be mm'd but I am afraid some people just deserve this kind of treatment.

It may seem minor to some but we are all about preserving the integrity of our building as much as possible and to me it is ridiculous to me that someone would just not remove a few additional bricks and replace them appropriately just to save 20 minutes.

The lesson here is that even when you communicate clearly what you want in writing, even when you do "everything right", you can still end up with the short end of the stick.

Now we could have insisted that they fix it, but we didn't. We are just too nice or more than likely too tired at the time to fight over it.

Lesson Learned: Monitor workers closely and voice objections ASAP before the "job is done" and most certainly before the bill is paid!

1 comment:

Greg said...

The last time I hired someone was a plumber at my last house when I redid the bathroom & laundry room. I paid him up front for about 50%, which was more than enough to cover parts. After they finished he handed me the bill and expected me to pay him right then. I told him I wanted to inspect the work first, but I didn't have time right then, and I would mail in the payment. I found two leaks. You can bet he came back quickly to fix them because I hadn't paid him the rest. I’ll agree, though, it isn’t always easy to complain when the work is pretty good, but not exactly what you want.