Zen and the Art of Choosing a Contractor

Last week we were doing a routine inspection of a clean room facility we built, and while we’ve looked at this ductwork many times, it struck us how beautiful and symmetrical it was:

People don’t usually mention beauty and HVAC ductwork in the same sentence. You’ve heard people talk about form and function, and in this case, the function of creating a well-balanced, efficient, fail-safe HVAC system dictated its form and symmetrical layout.

What does this have to do with construction, or choosing a contractor? If you really want to judge workmanship, look at the things you don’t normally see – ductwork, plumbing, electrical, low-voltage wiring, server rooms, and other building systems. We’ve all heard the stories of uncovering something in a wall a decade later and finding botched wiring or sloppy plumbing.

Does it really matter in terms of the longevity of your building? Doesn’t that level of attention to detail add a lot of cost?

In our experience, it doesn’t take more time and money to build something straight, true and plumb – it just takes knowledge, experience and attention to detail. We believe that the incremental time spent doing it right pays dividends later. A sloppy weld could have voids, mediocre wiring could have intermittent connections, and it takes only a pinhole leak in a roof to start a significant leak. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really take any longer for a skilled tradesperson to fit ductwork well than it does haphazardly, but it does cost an order of magnitude more fix to fix it later in a finished, operating building than to do it right in the first place.

When you’re evaluating a general contractor, ask them for a tour of some recently completed projects. When you’re there, ask to walk the roof, to see the mechanical systems rooms, and the insides of the network closet. It’s pride in workmanship and the little details that matter.

Whether your project is commercial TI, industrial, residential, we would be happy to chat with you about our pre-construction services, and how we can potentially reduce cost and risk in your next project. Call us anytime at (805) 910-8300 or email us at info@andercon.net.