Reviewing the Punch List: Avoiding the High Cost and Huge Delays of Replacement

When estimating budgets for restoration projects, owners/developers sometimes underestimate simply because they fail to anticipate how often and unexpectedly damage will be detected in the final phase. It is, unfortunately, not uncommon for damage to occur during transportation, adding significant costs before closeout.

Especially with high profile projects managed by the top CMs and GCs in the industry, anything less than total perfection is unacceptable. The extruded metal panels of the curtain wall, generally aluminum or stainless steel are slightly more pliable materials than raw steel. They are often crated and shipped from state to state and sometimes even from overseas. These extremely heavy and bulky materials can incur minute imperfections caused by anything from rubbing against each other in tight crates or from plastic wrapping melting due to heat conditions in storage.

Even barely discernible nicks and scratches will halt the project and prohibit closeout.

When working for the top names in the industry, there‚Äôs no room for compromise. The finished product must be impeccable. If a curtain wall doesn’t meet the highest standards it will fail.

So, what’s next? Replacement? Ordering in new panels is enormously costly in terms of timing and expense. Fortunately, the new high-end epoxy coatings used today are complex and much more sophisticated and can produce excellent repairs when done by a skilled tradesperson. In the vast majority of cases, utilizing high end epoxy coatings makes repairs virtually undetectable. An experienced technician can fully repair any nicks and scratches discovered on high end finishes such as statuary bronze, pearl coats, blackened steel and green patina.

It is extremely important for every CM handling a major restoration project to have close ties with all subcontractors involved and to consult with them during each phase of the project to explore options thoroughly. Deciding that replacement is unavoidable can be a huge error, causing the project to fail the two most critical requirements in the industry: finishing on time and on budget. Yet the final quality must equal that of replacement.

The industry has changed and the changes are significant improvements. While replacement used to be required, now the degree of repair that can be achieved is unparalleled, though it must be handled by companies with particular expertise in how to correctly prepare and apply the new coatings and patinas. Projects that seemed to require replacement can pass the most rigorous tests if the repairs are handled by the right hands.

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