Dear YouDig? Archives


Happy Thanksgiving – Gratitude is the Best Attitude … You Dig?

Dear YouDig?

Emergency!  We are in the middle of digging some deep trenches for an Ohio sewer project. I kid you not, we showed up this morning and there were at least 20 wild turkeys pacing and poking around in the trench. They looked like they were having a board meeting down there. How can we remove wild animals from our work site and get back to the task?

Ruffling Feathers



Love Stinks

Dear YouDig?,
We are in the middle of a massive addition to our warehouse. The value is high seven figures in construction services.  We don’t do this all the time but we fell in love with the Design-Builder, signed their form and asked them to proceed asap! Well it’s a year later and we are not in love any more.  There are delays and excuses. Subs are calling us directly for payment.  Frankly, we don’t see how this crew will be able to complete the work.  We priced it and it looks like it will cost us 40% more to get a replacement contractor at this stage.  We gave in and called our lawyer whose first question was “Is there a bond?”  We never even thought of it. Are we fools?
-Love Stinks Ya Ya


Overcoming FORO

Dear YouDig?,
I admit it. As an engineer I like to tinker. A few months in to a factory project our team tinkered up a change in the materials and the delivery system that would save the owner a bucket of money for just a little more time. Once we offered to split the savings, the owner claimed it was all a part of our fee … and then departed to the witness protection program. Is that what they call being “ghosted?” Give us a break– great ideas come at their own pace. We get paid to think. Where is the incentive to keep our brains on once the original plans are set? What can we do to create a “win-win” with value engineering?
-Fear of Rip Off


Don’t Tax the Messenger

Dear YouDig?,
As an Ohio highway contractor we must include an incredible amount of temporary structures on our jobs and even temporary personnel from time to time. We don’t understand why we are getting popped with paying sales taxes on the purchase of these temporary structures and people. We are not a retail store selling to an end user.  ODOT nails us on the price of the job and the Tax Commissioner won’t allow fair exemptions.
-Why O’Why


Project Leadership – Find Your Quarterback and Win!

By John Swansinger, Partner in the Real Estate and Construction Practice Group at
Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs

Dear YouDig?

I am CEO of a mid-west  manufacturing company. At long last, those extremely tough times have drifted away. We are thrilled with our plans to construct a new state-of-the-art facility opening in 2020. The options for construction delivery methods have expanded since we were sacked in the recession. Now we have to choose between design bid build, design build, construction manager at risk, multiple primes and others.  What factors should we consider?