Dear YouDig?

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


Dear YouDig?

The general contractor who is building the expansion of our new auto dealership has kept the schedule and finished most of the work. We have stayed open throughout construction and are thrilled to open the new space soon.  Unfortunately, there are some straggler subs still finishing during the overnight hours when we are closed.  These dudes persistently dump their debris in our dumpster and leave it there for us.  Every morning we drink our coffee while grumbling next to an overflowing dumpster!  Every day we empty their trash.  Do they think there is some big dummy around to pick up after them?  Wait a minute … am I the big dummy? AM I????

Big Dummy

Dear Big Dummy,

So sorry to let you know… YOU ARE THE BIG DUMMY!  It is not only the straggler subs who think so.   Your construction contract should clearly make your General Contractor responsible for all “Cleaning Up.”  These clean up issues are not only annoying but can become extremely expensive for you.  Plus, who wants to buy a car with a pile of junk next to the lot?  Get smart, and don’t do your contractors any favors.  Make certain to include language in the contract that allows you to clean it up and then charge back the GC for all of the costs plus a premium.  If there are consequences to the dump, someone else will be the stooge. YouDig?


For questions or comments, contact John Swansinger at 216.615.3075 or