Working With Your Contractor

About the Author…
Blaine Bershad

Image7.jpgI have learned many things from an array of varied and rich life experiences in the almost 30 years of my career as a successful architect, contractor, and developer, and have worked in a number of different capacities in architecture and development companies. I have owned my own companies for over 20 years, and I know that this has provided me with a much different perspective about building & design processes than most design professionals ever get exposed to.

As a contractor, I constructed many types of projects. Even though I started out quite small, in less than a year my firm had over 40 employees and large variety of construction equipment. We worked with a variety of different kinds of contractors, with large variations in the way that each contractor kept track of their work; we also worked with many subcontractors.

Working as a young, inexperienced general contractor was not all that different from what most owners experience when they start working with their contractors. I may have had a top-quality education in architecture, but I quickly learned that academic technical and design training did not prepare me for negotiating contracts, confirming schedules and specifications, or tracking the changes that contractors need to be paid for. Most importantly, I discovered that contractors spoke a different language than what I had been exposed to.

It became obvious to me that most architects and designers don't understand contractors' ways of speaking from a detailed standpoint. Fortunately, I had great teachers and I learned quickly because I had the good sense to treat these people with the respect that they deserved. I found out that most contractors were as proud of what they did for a living as I was about what I did. I also found out that you don't need to be able to speak a plumber's language, any more than you need to be able to speak a doctor's language -- you just need to make sure you are clear in what you are requesting.

I have written this book to share with you my experiences to give you the benefit of my hindsight. They say hindsight is 20/20, that must be why I don't need glasses!


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