Dear YouDig? Archives


What’s Up Dock?

Dear YouDig?,
We bought a gorgeous waterfront lot on the shores of Lake Erie near the adventurous Lake Erie Islands.  We love being on the water and we love boating so naturally we wanted our own dock and breakwall. Turns out we sailed straight into the storm of the century and a tidal wave of bureaucracy.  How can we build it quickly?
-Lee Ho


7 Things that we Love (oops) Dig


Dear Luvvvers of All That is Good About Construction,

It has been rumored that the construction industry is filled with the most romantic people on earth. We dig the romantics out there. Valentine’s Day is a bit of a respite from winter’s grip on construction projects. YouDig? offers you 7 things we love to make your heart beat a little quicker this cold winter’s day.


Flushing Out Prevailing Party Clauses

Dear YouDig?,
We just went through a ridiculous three-year odyssey with our commercial plumbing contractor on a 250 unit housing development. Plumber failed in designing its work, installing its work and, even when asked nicely, correcting its work. It was so bad that when we test flushed a toilet, the garage door opened and distant bells tolled. Well something like that. Anyway, we finally hired a replacement to make it right. The original plumber then had the gall to sue us based upon some crazy theory that we gave them bad criteria. We countered. Three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later we “won” in court. We feel we should get our attorneys’ fees paid. Our lawyers say, “tough luck.” What is this nonsense?


5 Tips for Top Gun Subcontractors (don’t get your goose cooked)

Dear YouDig?,
Our “Top Gun” bid team is thrilled to have secured a prime plumbing subcontractor on a new hospital project. One problem, the general contractor trashed our form. We are stuck with a mind boggling 60 page subcontract that references another 80 page AIA prime contract. Should we try to change it or should we “sign and drive” and just get on with it? We hate to lose work on lawyer issues.


Getting it “just right” with contractors

Dear YouDig?,

Long story short, we have major problems with our HVAC. When it’s warm out it’s too cold in. When it’s cold out … that’s right … it’s warm in. We call contractors in to adjust. They climb into the ceiling, fiddle around a bit and then come down and say “problem solved.”

Naturally, they then leave an invoice and take off. We say “see ya soon” because we know … the problems will start up again and again and again. Our staff needs five changes of clothes for adapting to the changing indoor weather conditions. We are tired of the climate drama in house. Why so much tinkering? Are these HVAC contractors running some kind of a scam?