“ That ain’t how we do it in Texas” commented the new Project Manager who was hired by a New Jersey developer of a 1500 unit retirement community . “I can save you over $80,000 for your balconies if you let me call my supplier in Texas” He did, and the trucks came rushing to the jobsite.
Four weeks later the material was so twisted and deformed, it was impossible to get it back on the trucks. Spruce is acceptable in a dry climate like Texas, but with the east coast humidity, the entire shipment was worthless within a few months.
Owners have a hard time resisting this type of hype. It is even harder for owners to provide quality construction. On a recent case in a luxurious 700 unit beach front condo project in South Carolina, a new owner had just bought a condo, and was enjoying a meal on his ornate shinny white balcony. As he got up after dinner and leaned back against the balcony rail, a section broke, and the owner fell 20 feet to the ground causing permanent disability. Both top and bottom railing sheared at their connection to its vertical posts.
The balcony railing was held together by toenailing with nails that rusted, leaving only friction and many layers of paint to provide support between horizontal and vertical members. When moisture enters small cracks from the rust, the structural integrity is compromised. Failure occurred due to progressive moisture intrusion.
Unfortunately for the owner of the 700 condo units, this is just the beginning of his troubles. . At Gogulski & Associates, Inc. we help avoid this kind of risk by reviewing plans carefully before construction with the owner, and inspecting the work as it built. Our engineers are registered and experienced in quality construction. Short cuts and Texas hype are not permitted.