Glazier bulletin: When good projects go bad
April 30, 2012
A misunderstood or poorly documented glazing scope is one of the simplest ways a good project can go bad for contract glaziers. Any number of problems can arise if the entire glazing scope is not accurately communicated in a bid proposal or errors are not properly discovered in the scope review. When parties are unclear on scope, they enter the job with a gap between their expectations. The job is not set up for success for the general contractor, subcontractors, owner, supplier or other players. Following is a list of commonly overlooked or misunderstood scope items that concern contract glaziers. By carefully examining the glazing scope for the following issues, glaziers can avoid costly problems, and submit the most accurate and thorough bid.
Openings do not correlate between floor plans and elevations
Glaziers should carefully crosscheck floor plans and elevation drawings to ensure the glazing openings and components coincide.
Design drawing omissions
Some design elements, such as soffits, returns and transitions, are commonly missing from elevation drawings when the drawings don’t cover every elevation. Look at every surface in the scope to ensure you don’t miss any elements.
Scope not labeled
Surfaces are frequently not labeled on scope drawings and are instead depicted using colors or hatch patterns. However, these patterns are not always consistent: A dot pattern on the West elevation might depict plaster, while on another elevation the same dot pattern might depict another surface material. If surfaces are not labeled, cross-reference scope documents completely to avoid missing any bid items.
Doors typically have door closures, thresholds, and in some instances, technical hardware such as magnetic locks, card readers and electrified hinges. These items are not always included on the door schedule and in the specifications.
Mock-up and testing
Clarify the mock-up and testing requirements if they are omitted in the scope. Ensure you know whether the project needs a performance mock-up in the lab or field, and whether tests will be required in the lab or field.
Scopes often address moisture barriers, including provisions for items such as the line of sealant. Contract glaziers need to look for details about moisture barriers, as sometimes the glazier is responsible, and sometimes the responsibility falls on another trade.
Exhibit scopes in contracts
Every contract will have a variety of exhibit scopes—sometimes a dozen different exhibits. Make sure you know and master the scope exhibits, as these define what is in the glazing package, whether you’ll have final clean-up, protection of work, etc.
Make sure the contract terms are clearly laid out to avoid confusion on items such as change orders, insurance requirements and payment terms.
Clarify general contract terms, such as what you will need to provide on the jobsite: a foreman, administrative personnel, WiFi and other basic overhead items. The general contract terms should also specify physical jobsite characteristics, such as access restrictions, that could affect the type of equipment and access required for installation.
Scopes might include additional provisions, such as a requirement to carry additional dollar allowances. Neglecting to include them could result in artificially low bids.
Ensure the scope outlines a realistic schedule for your trade. Don’t make promises you know you can’t keep.
Supplier payment terms
Some glass and glazing material suppliers require specialized payment terms, such as 50 percent down before the project proceeds. Notify the general contractor of these terms and ensure that you bill for the specialized payments sufficiently.