4specs.com    4specs.com Home Page

Owner-Builder Front End Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

4specs Discussion Forum » Specifications Discussions » Owner-Builder Front End « Previous Next »

Author Message
John Hunter
Senior Member
Username: johnhunter

Post Number: 169
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 12:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We have a relatively small project where the Owner will be acting as their own GC which is new to me. Our Sections regarding RFI's, submittals, etc. have been developed assuming a GC will be doing the Work, and presumably the same activities will be required. I'm concerned that the Owner-Builder process, particularly with an Owner with zero "builder" experience, will be very different from working with a GC and that I should develop language in the Division 01 Sections to address.
Appreciate any insights others may have.
Gail Ann J. Goldstead, AIA, CSI, CCS, CDT, LEED AP, BD+C
Senior Member
Username: ggoldstead

Post Number: 36
Registered: 03-2015

Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 08:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

When I worked at Ryan Companies, a large multi-billion $ Design-Build and also an Owner-Build type company - they let the Construction team write the Division 00 and 01. Though it was streamlined, all of the basic processes remained in place. They had Section 013100 Project Management and Coordination and a process for handling RFIs, etc. Everything was remarkably similar to regular DBB.
Gail Goldstead
Nathan Woods, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 864
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 12:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

When I worked in Multi-Family construction, I did a LOT of owner-builder. Its a bit like having the Fox guard the hen-house. Be VERY cautious about substitutions. A court case in NorCal is still painful, where the Owner substituted the windows to a less expensive version from what the architect specified, they leaked, Owner sued the architect, and won. One of many reasons my faith in humanity has been eradicated.
Phil Kabza
Senior Member
Username: phil_kabza

Post Number: 714
Registered: 12-2002

Posted on Friday, June 24, 2022 - 09:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There are some projects not worth taking. We are tip toeing through a "favor" project for a former firm colleague who has mostly done residential additions for the last 20 years and now has a more complex commercial project with an owner-builder who knows everything better than everyone. Glad we have PLI.
SpecGuy Specifications Consultants
David L. Heuring, AIA, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: daveh

Post Number: 12
Registered: 04-2020

Posted on Friday, June 24, 2022 - 10:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Typically, an Owner can only act as a General Contractor on projects that they will own AND occupy, and which will remain private (i.e. a house or private office.) Anything that is considered a commercial building (accessed by the public) by the code usually requires a licensed contractor or an entity that practices construction to pull the permit (vs. the Owner) due to Life Safety issues. When we have been involved with an Owner who wanted to General the construction of their house, AND where they had relatively no experience in construction, we have developed a responsibility matrix sheet that essentially shows all the items they are responsible (similar to the duties of a GC.) Typical CA stuff (submittals, shop drawings, etc.) were handled by having the Owner select the products that they wanted to use, provide a limitation of liability to the design team (we still have a duty being licensed to advise them), and any products that the design team team selected based on authorization from the Owner (i.e. those they felt they weren't knowledgeable about) we provide them the shop drawing/product lit, etc., reviewed it and received a signed acceptance. This is all part of the process of serving a client, educating them, and minimizing your risk. And yes, it is an additional service we get paid for. If the Owner does not want to agree to all this, then it is probably best to let them find someone else to work with.
David L. Heuring, AIA, CCCA, LEED AP, NCARB
jpjordan@jordanconsultants.com (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2022 - 06:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The laws regarding the licensing of contractors varies through out the country. Licensing of general contractors is not required in Texas, and I would be surprised if there were not other states that lack this regulation as well.

I was recently briefly involved with a project that was owner-builder where the builder clearly did not understand what he was supposed to be doing. Complicating matters was the fact that this was in an unincorporated area that did not have a building code (prohibited for counties in Texas). A permit was required by the fire department, but there were a number of problems. I ultimately withdrew from the project.
Mark Gilligan SE,
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 975
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 - 04:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In California the involvement of the Contractor in obtaining the permit is tied to workman compensation issues and not life safety.
John Bunzick
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1882
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 - 01:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Massachusetts does not require licensing of contractors either, though it does require licensing for supers on residential projects; and it has registration for home builders as a consumer protection measure - I don't know if you have to demonstrate knowledge of the codes for the latter.

A firm I worked for designed a high rise condo building which had a waterproofing membrane over the parking area which extended past the building footprint. Construction was by a developer/contractor, who insisted on using a cheaper, inappropriate membrane. Needless to say it leaked later on and the architect was sued by the condo board. However, because the architect had well-documented their objections, they were dismissed from the suit by summary judgment, leaving the developer holding the bag.

I do think that the parts of Div 01 regarding the architect's required professional obligations to oversee construction - like site visits and submittals - should stay in the spec. When inferior substitutions come along - if any - the objections must be clearly cited.
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 1476
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2022 - 11:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I agree with John regarding some of the items that need to stay in the spec -- even when the owner provides their own Division 01, I check to make sure that any sections covering the work we do that conforms with the license requirements (reviewing submittals, processing the pay applications) stays in the specs. In addition, anything that your insurer considers appropriate to maintaining your coverage will need to stay in. Look at this as a defensive measure on your part.

Add Your Message Here
Username: Posting Information:
This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Options: Automatically activate URLs in message

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration