Re: Contruction, Architects and Building Commissioning
From: mark harfenist (
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 09:00:41 -0700 (PDT)
Speaking only for myself, not for my community:

I wish we'd done exactly as Sharon describes before paying off our contractor seven years ago. We had a mix of more and less inept site management and architect signoffs along with inspections by the two professional builders within our group (I was one, but with expertise in custom homebuilding in a very different area of the country). We failed to find or have corrected a great many issues. Like Sharon, we've found both design problems and construction mistakes (or deliberate failures to follow specifications and plans). Some of these issues have continued to haunt us, and some have been very expensive to correct. As well, the process of identifying and dealing with remnant construction issues continues to cause significant interpersonal stress within our long-completed community.

Again, these are my own opinions and should be understood as such.

Hope that helps.

(Bellingham Cohousing, WA)

On Jul 27, 2007, at 8:41 AM, Sharon Villines wrote:

In our case we contracted with a company that also does reserve
studies and they looked at everything. A variety of engineers and
people with construction experience looked at all parts of the
building and the plans. The developer was very angry that we were
doing this but they found substantial corrections that had to be made
including small things like the Hardy Plank siding installed too
close to the ground to the membrane under the cement corridors on the
upper floors improperly installed. There was plumbing that did not
meet code. Some were construction design issues and others were
contractor errors.

The firm that we now consult with about structural and mechanical
issues has a better website so I refer readers to them to see what
such firms do:

We didn't use this firm for our engineering study because they had
provided some project supervision and had consulted with our
developer so we wanted a third eye. They also do commissioning and
many other services.

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