As is often the case in renovation of older structures, there can be any number of unknowns that arise and have to be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. Having experienced crews on site minimizes the impact of the unknown on time and budget.
One recent project presented a very unusual and unexpected complication. Hascall & Hall was working with a general contractor on the renovation of a building in Bangor to become a new location for Cross Insurance who continues to increase their presence in the state of Maine. We were called in for what was believed to be a simple application of a self-leveling floor system that would be a proper substrate for the installation of wall-to-wall carpeting. There had been some drilling in the floor for purposes such as water and power lines, but no core samples had been requested or required.
Upon mobilization, the Hascall & Hall team began preparation of the substrate for the flooring system using a combination of shot-blasting and vacuum grinding. Much to everyone’s surprise, the resulting ground residue was uncharacteristically black and not the typically seen color of standard ground concrete. The black residue immediately stopped the work in process to determine the exact nature of the substrate. Further inspection identified that at some point in time a one inch layer of asphalt had been laid over a concrete deck and painted.
The team re-grouped, gathered the right resources and decision makers required to go forward and complete the project in the most time efficient and cost effective manner possible. The owners of the building and the general contractor for the overall project were brought on site to review the concerns and all agreed to change the scope of this particular part of the project. Deadlines can play a big part at this point in the project, parties involved will sometimes fixate on the original date even though the reason for the delay was not predictable. Communication can never be stressed enough even on projects that end without a hitch.
In addition to the complication of the asphalt, the floor also had many areas of water infiltration and very sporadic areas that needed patching – the floor was very uneven for a simple application of a self-leveling product.
Extra personnel were brought in from an outside sub-contractor as all our employees were already committed to other Hascall & Hall projects . A change order was issued with additional costs estimated on a time and material basis. The result of the unexpected work was approximately an 18% increase from the original scope of the work and took an additional two days to complete. After experimenting with different techniques, the asphalt was removed using chipping guns and disposed of properly to create a substrate that would best suit the self-leveling system. A primer was put down first as well as spot patching before the application of the self-leveler was completed.
The self-leveler we installed was a high performance, general purpose underlayment recommended for leveling interior concrete and ideal for the installation of carpet.
Even though everyone involved in this project was very experienced, not a single person determined that the substrate was asphalt prior to beginning the work. In preparation for a project, we always do a thorough site inspection, but the unexpected does sometimes occur. Proper resolution requires clear and concise communication with all parties involved. The goal is to educate everyone as to the nature of the disruption and delay as well as the proposed solution. Hopefully, the answer is simple, but more often it takes creativity and on-the-spot teamwork.
In most every circumstance involving something unexpected on a jobsite, the result is an increase in the cost of the project and changes to the timeline. It is important that we act quickly in these circumstances to mitigate the consequences all around. Hascall & Hall’s goal is to always keep the flow of work moving towards a job that is completed safely with excellent craftsmanship and within budget.