Fenestration hallucination: The poor practices of some can hurt us all

"You must consider the bottom line, but make it integrity before profits." --Denis Waitley

Being a naïve Midwesterner, I’m sure almost all of America’s contract glaziers are honest, moral, ethical, decent folks who bid, supply and install specified and drawn products and services as the architect intended 100 percent of the time.

 But there are a few contract glaziers in each market who don’t always follow the rules to get work, cut costs, and make a buck any way they can.  Let’s tick off the list of the contract glazing industry’s ‘worst practices’ so you can recognize them when you see them:

  • Furnishes unspecified materials (“bait & switch”)
  • Delays issuing submittals and ordering materials, holds up the job and attempts to pressure product changes by using delay tactics
  • Omits traditional work
  • Omits specified engineering
  • Ignores the specified construction process and schedule
  • Installs improper, poor-performing and unsafe product
  • Fails to furnish complete and accurate O&M manuals, and manufacturer and workmanship warranties
  • Fails to complete the job or do warranty work
  • Doesn’t pay prevailing wage rates when required  (In this instance, workers don’t know about it or collaborate with the glazing contractor.)
  • Doesn’t pay union expenses when required (Here, workers are threatened or collaborate with the glazing contractor to dodge those costs.)

And I’m sure there are other worst practices out there. What’s the worst you’ve seen? Do enter a comment below!

Sadly, the recent recession has made contract glaziers feel as though they must break the rules in order to compete and survive.  There are contract glaziers taking advantage of a weakened architectural community that no longer feels empowered and might not have the support staff, experience and technical understanding to maintain construction quality.

The poor practices of some hurt all of us.  Take time to call out those who don’t play by the rules.  Maybe over time we can weed out the unscrupulous among us.

 "The higher the building the lower the morals." --Noel Coward

Rod Van Buskirk is the third-generation owner of Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass Co., with locations in Champaign and Springfield, Ill. A past NGA Chairman, Rod looks quarterly at the industry from the middle of nowhere, steals ideas from anyone he can and pretends to know what he’s talking about. Rod invites your comments as you are certainly smarter than he is.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

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