skoz44

Ensuring Subs are Working off the Most Recent Updates

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I've never really used the revision table before, for most of my jobs do not have that many changes that are significant.  I have a project now that the client is on the third set of revisions and all three are substantial.  Due to, it's critical that the subs are working off the most recent plan set.  How have you seen this process take place so that the subs always know what the most recent set is?  Granted the revision table shows three sets of revisions with dates, but that doesn't mean there isn't a fourth set laying around that they haven't downloaded yet.

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8 minutes ago, skoz44 said:

How have you seen this process take place so that the subs always know what the most recent set is?

A General Contractor who has their stuff together. Using PM software can be very helpful as the most recent docs are always available to everyone, but again, it seems that should be the GC's job, not the designer's. What's your role?

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It's impossible to make sure everyone is using the most current set of plans without having a unique identifier and specifically spelling it out that they should be using the pan set with that specific identifier.  It could be a version number or anything.  I personally think the most dependable thing to use though is a date/time stamp.  Again though, somebody has to make sure everyone is aware of the correct date/time stamp though, and as Robert pointed out, that may or may not be your job.

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I'm actually the GC.  I've been in residential remodeling for 15+ years and have been doing all the design work in CA for about 8.  We do use PM software and have a pretty good system in place.  The issue is that some of our subs do fantastic work; however, are not that great at anything except the physical work.  Due to, we do a lot of things to try and help them out with it, hence my questions here.  I was hoping that someone has used or seen a creative method of ensuring everyone is using the correct drawings.  We can tell them, email them, remove the old drawings from the system, stomp our feet and everything else.  But if the system doesn't work for them, then it's not going to get done.

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There’s some good Planroom apps available.  Would that work for you?

 

 

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I can't tell you how many job sites I've visited and found the only physical drawing set available is tattered, unbound, dirty, and out-of-date. As a project manager and the architect's (and client's) representative, my best recourse is to always take a copy of the most recent drawing set with me, leave it on-site, and throw out the old set. When we run across a GC who can't get their act together, we don't refer or recommend them for future work. Perhaps you could do something similar: if a sub can't make the effort to ensure they are using the most current drawing set, don't use them on your next job, and tell them why. Of course, ultimately, as the GC, it's your job to distribute and enforce the use of the most current plans.

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I use drop box and tag files for subs. 

 

Doe_John - Rev 3 01_01_2020

 

for example.

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13 hours ago, skoz44 said:

I'm actually the GC.  I've been in residential remodeling for 15+ years and have been doing all the design work in CA for about 8.  We do use PM software and have a pretty good system in place.  The issue is that some of our subs do fantastic work; however, are not that great at anything except the physical work.  Due to, we do a lot of things to try and help them out with it, hence my questions here.  I was hoping that someone has used or seen a creative method of ensuring everyone is using the correct drawings.  We can tell them, email them, remove the old drawings from the system, stomp our feet and everything else.  But if the system doesn't work for them, then it's not going to get done.

I believe your best option is to ensure you have a documented check-in process before any sub is authorized to begin work. That could be processed in a variety of ways.

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1 hour ago, rlackore said:

I can't tell you how many job sites I've visited and found the only physical drawing set available is tattered, unbound, dirty, and out-of-date. As a project manager and the architect's (and client's) representative, my best recourse is to always take a copy of the most recent drawing set with me, leave it on-site, and throw out the old set. When we run across a GC who can't get their act together, we don't refer or recommend them for future work. Perhaps you could do something similar: if a sub can't make the effort to ensure they are using the most current drawing set, don't use them on your next job, and tell them why. Of course, ultimately, as the GC, it's your job to distribute and enforce the use of the most current plans.


On most of the projects I know the onsite planset must be the one stamped by the building department which is attached to the building permit.  Any revisions need the plans to be resubmitted to the plan review department... 

 

Imho, the best solution would be for the architect/designers and client to “get their act together” and finalize their plans, specs and selections before giving the plans to the builder. Isn’t that the intent and purpose of 3D modeling in the first place?
 

If you are the project manager, why would it NOT be your job “to distribute and enforce the use of the most current plans?”

 

One of the reasons I only build using my own plans is to avoid this revision nightmare in the first place.  This has allowed me to get the production phase down to 60 days, from breaking ground to certificate of occupancy.  This saves my clients a lot of time and money in carrying cost.

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29 minutes ago, parkwest said:


On most of the projects I know the onsite planset must be the one stamped by the building department which is attached to the building permit.  Any revisions need the plans to be resubmitted to the plan review department... 

 

Imho, the best solution would be for the architect/designers and client to “get their act together” and finalize their plans, specs and selections before giving the plans to the builder. Isn’t that the intent and purpose of 3D modeling in the first place?
 

If you are the project manager, why would it NOT be your job “to distribute and enforce the use of the most current plans?”

 

One of the reasons I only build using my own plans is to avoid this revision nightmare in the first place.  This has allowed me to get the production phase down to 60 days, from breaking ground to certificate of occupancy.  This saves my clients a lot of time and money in carrying cost.

 

To your points:

 

1. In my jurisdiction, the original, stamped and approved plan set must remain on site. Revisions do not have to go through plan review but must be available for the building inspector. The inspector can make any call on whether a change is permitted or must be resubmitted.

 

2. Expecting zero revisions to the construction documents (plans, specifications, etc.) would be ideal, but is unrealistic. Errors and ommissions account for some needed revisions. Other revisions are required by changes in the scope of work, discovery, etc. Also, fast-tracked projects are, by definition, fluid and require continuous updating of the contract documents.

 

3. As the project manager for the architect, I distribute revisions to the relevant parties: the general contractor, the owner, and occasionally to consultants or specialty contractors. I do not interfere with the GC's obligation to keep his subcontractors in the loop. Of course, I answer questions from subs all the time, but ideally, the flow of information to most subs should go through the GC - not the architect.

 

4. Design-build is a different animal. As architects, we may be hired by the building owner, by a general contractor, or a developer. We are always intermediaries between different parties who often have competing interests. We do our best. Good for you for figuring it all out.

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This particular issue is really a complex problem and each person has to figure out what works best for them.  Sure you can throw out any outdated sets when you stop by the job, but sometimes those outdated sets have a bunch of notes/markups to help with a particular subcontractor's process, and you just threw all those out too.  And sure, you can just stop using subs who can't seem to remember to use the more current plan iteration, but is it really their job to keep up with all your constant changes or is it your job to go out of your way to make sure they're constantly supplied with the most current information and made fully aware of any changes that have been made?  Also, don't forget these plans get passed around from company owners to project supervisors to site foremen to carpenters who may give their copy to the plumber and so on and so on.  It's a bit of a dance for sure but the vast majority of the responsibility lies at the feet of the GC in my opinion.  It's a tough job we have, but we just need to find a way to gracefully make sure everyone is on the same page...it's really our main job.

 

On a side note, I'd say any of us who have a major problem with this might want to take a serious look at why we have to keep changing plans so much...maybe we should refine our design/drafting process a bit.

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52 minutes ago, Alaskan_Son said:

 

...

On a side note, I'd say any of us who have a major problem with this might want to take a serious look at why we have to keep changing plans so much...maybe we should refine our design/drafting process a bit.


To go with Alaskan’s comment... a lot of people don’t realize that change requests also have an effect on the documents submitted to the construction lender and the end loan providers and their appraisals.  I have seen more than one homebuyer thinking they could just add the cost of the changes to their end loan, to then find out otherwise.
 

Building a custom home should be a 3 stage process, without those stages overlapping.
 

1. Dream it.  The client puts together a wishlist of styles, textures and finishes.
 

2. Plan it       The designer puts together a plan incorporating what will work from the wishlist and fit the client’s budget 

 

3. Do it.         The builder takes the plan and takes his team and turns the plan into reality.

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12 minutes ago, parkwest said:

Building a custom home should be a 3 stage process, without those stages overlapping.
 

1. Dream it.  The client puts together a wishlist of styles, textures and finishes.
 

2. Plan it       The designer puts together a plan incorporating what will work from the wishlist and fit the client’s budget 

 

3. Do it.         The builder takes the plan and takes his team and turns the plan into reality.

4. Keep client off Pintrest if you have any hope of staying on track for #2, and getting to #3.

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1 hour ago, joey_martin said:

4. Keep client off Pintrest if you have any hope of staying on track for #2, and getting to #3.

Amen to that!

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