Isabela House (Construction Log 25) Windows & Contractors
Overnight we had a little rain so it looks as if the long dry spell we have been experiencing is about to break. All the more reason for our building contractor, Northcon, to push on with the installation of the roofing now that we have refined and strengthened the roof truss structure. We noticed that the steelwork holding the roof to the walls had been further reinforced with concrete.
After the workmen packed up for the day we climbed the spiral staircase to the viewing deck for the first time. The view is amazing. Even when all the roofing is installed we will have virtually 360 degrees view as when you are standing on the deck you are higher than every section of the roof. We are already talking about the sun shade we need to put up there but it will be a great place to finish the day with a beer, looking out over the rice fields. So we probably need to add a table and some chairs.
The first double glazed window was being installed in the master bedroom complete with sliding window section and insect screen. Looks very good. The welders were experimenting with the first security grille as these will be fabricated on site for each window.
We will pay the 2nd billing request tomorrow as a mark of good faith but we find Northcon’s definition of completion a little out of the ordinary. The legal definition would we believe feature not merely the purchase of the materials but also their use/installation. Maybe it’s a word that doesn’t translate well into Tagalog!
As we enter a house that has no floor tiles, ceiling panels in only a few places, some roofing panels over the garage and the master bedroom, many windows not yet installed, doors not yet finally varnished or hung, no sanitary ware, kitchen units only partly completed etc. etc. we are apparently seeing something 81 per cent complete.
To be fair there is a vast army of men doing stuff all over the place at the moment so it will get to 81 per cent at some point but not today.
I apply a legal definition of completion while Northcon look purely at the cost on the basis that around 80% is the cost of materials and 20% the labor cost.
I think Northcon will actually do an excellent job and they will finish. If I didn’t have that faith in them, there is no way I would be willing to pay 81% of the contract price.
I would be interested to know if anyone else has had a similar experience. For me it comes down to whether or not you trust your contractor. Northcon care which for me is everything. They have a certain pride in what they do and generally do it well or fix it if they don’t. What more can you ask. I just wish they would adopt a more sensible definition of completion. In my experience the definition Northcon use is the same one the Chinese use. The Chinese say they have done something when actually they have only just started it.
Fortunately our Filipino lawyer is not Chinese but I see no reason at present to involve him in the discussion as I still have confidence in Northcon.
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