I do a fair amount of work at a local university through a general contractor. All projects are required to have a 1 year warranty on the work. What I have been experiencing lately are call backs to fix problems with the "high end" light fixtures specified by the architect - ballasts failing, light sockets failing etc.
I've been aware for some time that architects spend long hours trying to find fixtures that are the most expensive, the longest lead times, most difficult to install, worst customer service and the ugliest. Now it is also clear that they are pieces of junk. The sockets re too far apart or loose, the plastic lenses discolor over time to name a few.
I'm wondering if I should put in my contract that I do not warranty items which are specified by others? How would this fly? Obviously these items which I purchase are also marked up but these call backs 6 months later are a killer.
If they are supplied by others and you only installed them you would be responsible only for a warranty on the installation. If you supplied the fixtures (even though they were spec'd by someone else) you are stuck with taking care of them also.
More to the point, I hope you reflect in your pricing the fact that you must provide a warranty on these things knowing that they are problematic.
[This message has been edited by hbiss (edited 11-16-2004).]
As you are required to provide the warranty on these specified fixtures, all you can do is adjust your markup to reality. Forget about percentages. Figure how much warranty work you expect to do on the contract at T&M and add it to the contract.
The bright side is that you'll be paid in advance for this warranty work (part of an earlier contract). If you're concerned that you'll lose the bid because of this special markup, explain it to the client and offer a substitute fixture with their savings from a reduced markup.
Re: Warranty of work#154764 11/16/0403:56 PM11/16/0403:56 PM
The local lighting reps work long and hard to have architects spec their product lines and their product lines only. Same said reps also control which electrical contractor gets what price when it comes time to release the quotes prior to bid. I would be very careful if going the substitute fixture route cause there is always the next job when you run into said rep.
You may already do this but when having issues like this the first person I call is the lighting rep to get the factory involved. Let the architect know there are issues as well. Neither the architect nor the factory wants a reputation for specing or supplying a sub standard product. I have even billed the rep for time spent on this type of warranty work and have been paid.
[This message has been edited by kentvw (edited 11-16-2004).]
Re: Warranty of work#154765 11/18/0409:32 PM11/18/0409:32 PM
In our neck of the woods we backcharge the supplier of the fixture. Your supplier will honor this if they want to do buisness with you. On a recent job we had a high ballsat failure rate. They were Hatch ballasts mounted in Zumbotel fixtures. Zumbotel sent out a rep and paid us to change ballasts in 50 of the fixtures. Same job had several hundred FCI compact flurescent high hats that failed at various times during the warranty period. The fixture manufactor balked because the ballast manufactor went out of buisness. They were replaced with advance ballasts with the costs split by supplier and fixture manufactor.On change order work we also add a percentage in for warranty.