Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's My (walk)Way, or the Highway

There was another run in with the concrete guy this morning (the previous one almost costing us a tree) concerning the walk way. I’ll try to keep this brief, but some quick background is necessary. The original plans had a walkway that was quickly sketched in by the architect more or less as a placeholder. The problem with that plan was that the walkway went directly through the azalea bushes. A few days ago, the PM asked what we wanted the walkway to look like. I drew it on a digital copy of the plans and sent it to him. He then spray painted it on the grass and he, the concrete guy, and I, all had a talk about it.

Last night I got home at 11:30pm to find that the forms for the concrete had not been laid as per my instructions, or the way of the original plans, but in a kind of weird pattern that made the whole thing look like it was leaning slowly to the right. I have deduced that the head concrete guy left, his assistant decided that he didn’t want to dig out the extra dirt that would have been required to actually run a straight line, and so we got this weird hybrid thing. So I got up at 6:30 this morning to have a little chat with the concrete guy. He was very irritated when I told him it was not satisfactory because the concrete truck was due at 7:00 am. He proceeded to say that Colleen’s dad had approved the new lay out and as such, we would be held responsible for any costs incurred due to the delay. I compared that excuse to a certain animal’s fecal matter. He quickly switched to another excuse and then another. Eventually I told him that if it was going to cost someone more money, he needed to call the PM and talk about who was going to pay.

After a short phone call with the PM, the concrete guy immediately said, “I have an idea.” This was progress. His idea actually required more work than my original plan. I tried to explain several times what I wanted it to look like only to have him suggest something else. Later I realized that most of the problem with fixing it was that all of their tools for laying out forms were back at the shop, so they could only use what they could scavenge from the original formation.

In the end, they were able to create something similar to, but not exactly like what I wanted. It only took them about 20 minutes to make the changes (about as long as I argued with them about it), and it was all done before the concrete truck was ready to pour (largely because it took the driver 20 minutes to successfully back into the driveway.) The walkway is also a little lighter gray than Colleen and I were hoping for, but we’re satisfied with it. On the up side, the stone pattern is really neat looking (pictured below), and I’m glad I got up at 6:30 to fight for my sidewalk.

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