I didn't know if I should post this on the business section or here but--
About the middle of December my bean counter (wifey) started getting a lot calls from folks that were, right out of the blue, very annoyed with us and which we were scheduled to do work for. About 10 of them were from HO's that wanted kitchen renos and 7 were from HO's that were waiting for their new house construction to be completed. They were all complaining about the extra $10,000.00 that had been suddenly added to their contracts because of our electrical work. WE hadn't added $10,000.00 to their electrical work!
Wifey quickly realized, from a couple of simple phone calls, that the rockers would no longer do cut outs for any electrical receptacles as they were (I thought) required to do by this particular GC by our contracts with him.
The GC went to all the HO's and tacked on an extra 10 grand because his rocker contractors apparently no longer had "the time" to do cut-outs for electrical, mechanical or any other kind of work around any kind of "obstacle" as the boss rocker told me. They just wanted to sheet everything up, tape it and go on the the next job. Laudable business, I suppose, on the rocker contractors part, because there are no extra rockers around here to go around. They just can't find the help to get much of anything done in a timely manner. This particular rocker knows our rules too.
I've seen this particular rocker guy around before and one day he even had his wife, young daughter and older dad helping out on a job we were just going into to finish.
They are really good at what they do too. (And quickly - they can rock a kitchen in about an hour and have it taped and finished for painting the next day). I must add - it takes him about an extra hour to cut the sheet rock for electrical and mechanical - so go guess the reasoning. I don't know or care.
The only part is where the GC just charges our standard - IN THE CONTRACT - LIKE IT HAS BEEN FOR THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF $10,000 charge we have for having to go back and find all the covered receptacles in the kitchen and basically doing the rockers job of exposing them after the sheet rock work is finished. Up until now all the cut-outs had been done before by the rockers and everyone avoided the $10,000.00 extra charge.
Now WE are getting the blame for the extra $10,000 charge because we now have to go back and get the rough-in photo's and get out the thermograph cam and start cutting sheetrock - which usually takes an extra day, which we can ill afford and much to the annoyance of a lot of other HO's and the other GC's we sometimes do work for. It takes one of our guys, or HEAVEN FORBID, - WIFEY - an extra day to go and cut out all the covered receptacles. Even then it takes time later to go over th photo's to see if we got all them uncovered. In the end, it means we have to delay other work to make up for this "new" work. Not to mention that $10,000.00 really does not cover the supposed good will in the long run for our other customers.
I'm thinking that this particular GC needs to go out behind the barn and get some serious ass kicking FROM WIFEY before we stop doing his EC stuff.
I would send a formal letter to the costomers explaining the situation and you position. It sounds like the HO's are getting dooped by the GC. The HO's need to lean in the GC in one form or another. You may have a ligitmate gripe too. If the GC is blaming you for the charge and you are not making the charges AND if you contract with the GC does not state anything for such charges, I would start pushing right back too. That can ruin your reputation. That is an negitive impact on your company business and someone can be liable for that. I am not saying suing there are other options like you local business beareau or talking with the GC directly.
I would start by calling all of the HO's and explain that the 10k charge is being levied against the GC, not the HO. Explain the reason for the 10k backcharge to the GC due to the fact the drywall contractor has reduced the amount of work he is performing thus increasing the amount of work you must perform. At this point the HO's will have a clear understanding of the charge and subsequently they will tell the GC they will not be paying. Period.
I've never heard of the drywaller's not cutting out the MEP openings. If the drywaller changed his scope of work with the GC and the GC failed to inform you, then it looks like the GC is eating this one.
Verify that the GC did not include this additional work in your scope of work. Otherwise, you may have to eat the charge.
I recently had a spat for a GC for a similar problem. He wanted to backcharge me for his time/material to uncover some undercabinet lighting whips the drywaller had buried. I left the whips hanging out of the walls into the room and they pushed them back and covered them.
Looks to me like someone(s) likes to argue more than they like to work.
Come on ... a rocker who can't be bothered to do the cut-outs? If that's not part of his job, I don't know what is! In the abstract, I could see his point, if he bid based upon few outlets, and many were added - but that's still no excuse for deliberately burying them.
The reasons for backcharges include providing an incentive for things to get done ... and to move the money around if they don't. so the guy who does the work gets paid for it. If you do my work, I get to pay ... it's that simple. Backcharges should NEVER be passed on to the customer. Nor can I imagine any court enforcing them upon the final customer.
From the tone of your post, I get the idea that there is more work available, than there are folks to do it. If that's the case, it's time to 'fire' this GC, and get another. It's either that .... or double your price, to include putting 24" of rock around every box. (I'd like the rocker try to claim he can't tape to your rock!)
That's just plain crazy! How can they even get the rock flat with the boxes sticking out??? Theres always a bulge when they cover a box. Thats like us saying "We will install all of your wiring but we will no longer install the receps and switches because it just takes too long"
Don't you have drywall nailoff inspections?? That would never pass inspection here.
Things sure are different up there in the Great White North. That is the very essence of hanging drywall and that portion of the work clearly belongs with them. This would compare to you saying that you don’t want to drill holes anymore, just install the wiring. It is inconceivable to me as to how this drywaller wasn’t tossed after making a statement like that to the GC when other bids on those projects had already been accepted. A good drywaller is an asset for builders just like any other good trade person is, but if someone tried that around here, even in the best of times, they’d be replaced in a heartbeat and most definitely would have a hard time finding any work with other builders for a long time to come. It’s possible that if you continue to work with that GC, you too will see a backlash, as people will begin to associate you with him. Customers have friends, relatives, neighbors and clients at work that they speak freely with. As they say, bad news travels fast and spreads like wildfire.
I "fired" the drywall guys and the GC today. They are really PO'd at me now. I'd had enough after spending most of my day looking for bulges and thermocam images and cuttiing out our final _ I SAY FINAL - job for these 2 scam artists.
There is now a lot of PO'd customers and I guess I'm going to have to get the work done without the rockers covering things up.
I feel sorry for those HO's that the GC has promised to do work for.
I'll be expressing my opinions at the local professional associations and the Better Business Bureau.