photo by EfrankE

Monday, May 17, 2010

You Get What You Pay For…

…after that you must hire an Attorney to get someone else to pay for what you wished for.

Every now and then, someone comes along who can reveal the big picture in the most cogent way. Today, enlightenment is provided by subcontractor/business owner, Pete Battisti, commenting on the faster, cheaper, better expectations of building project owners, particularly as the process is likely to occur more and more in a dog-eat-dog recession economy.

“In most cases, owners get what they pay for and sometimes more than they bargain for when they select the low or unqualified bidder, and it all starts at the drawing process and continues:

--Owner hires low bid architect, possibly unqualified.

--Owner hires low bid general contractor, possibly unqualified.

--GC hires low bid subcontractors, possibly unqualified.

--Owner enters into contract with GC.

--GC enters into contracts with subcontractors.

--All contracts are written to limit the owner’s liability.

--All subcontracts are written to limit the owner’s and GC’s liability.

--All contracts require special endorsements from subcontractors protecting (defending) the owner and the GC.

--All contracts are written with “no” payment guarantees.

Construction begins

Project is completed.

--Owner is not happy because the job took too long to build, had cost overruns, and was not up to the quality that was expected.

--Law firms clean up the legal issues through litigation and or arbitration.

--Insurance companies settle liability claims.

Project complete."

Battisti summarizes: “If everyone really wants projects built faster, cheaper and better, why isn’t there a delivery method that achieves this goal?

“Why isn’t there a vaccination for cancer, or for that matter the common cold? Why don’t cars get 300 miles per gallon of gas? Why can’t we stop illegal aliens or street drugs from entering our borders? Why have we become a consumer country rather than a producing country?

“The simple answer is, there is more money in the treatment than in the cure in the short term.”

And that, for those who are paying attention to the recent machinations of international finance, is also why the foundational causes of the dire problems that most of the economies in the world today are experiencing are not being properly rectified.

Sharp vision is essential for those working at the front end of the food chain in a shark’s world. Pete Battista has flipped on the light switch and adjusted the focus.


  1. I wish it were true... I want and deserve what I pay for dammit!! But...sadly... it's a lie. Even if you spend the biggest bucks... you still get crap and shoddy workmanship. HOw do we win? Ever?...

    We have been doing renovations for 23+ years and even when you research the best in contractors and workers.... sigh.... you still don't always get what you should for the dollars you invest.

    Same for fixtures, furniture and appliances... we buy the best at my husband's insistence...and still we get lemons, duds and squeaky frames..... some days I could just throttle somebody .. not that it would help, but I'd feel a bit better about it all I'm sure.

  2. I'm with you all the way. I don't think my grandparents owned more than two toasters all the years I knew them. Both appliances worked flawlessly. The only thing that wore out on the first one was the cord where it attached to the plug.

    I buy a toaster every couple of years. They all stink, including the best value recommendation from Consumer Reports (a worthless investment, IMO). The one I have now toasts one side of the bread a lot more than the other, and more at the bottom half than the top. Plus it takes about 3 minutes to do the work. When I was a kid, we made toast in 35-40 seconds.

    Even without young kids that jump on the furniture anymore, a lot of it still doesn't hold together very well. Of course, some of that is due to the many, many times we've moved, but still, a dining table top shouldn't come off when you pick the table up, right?

    I imagine part of the problem lies with overseas locations where things are manufactured and the consequent lack of consistent quality control. On the other hand, American car manufacturers have been said to be disadvantaged by sinking money into luxurious benefits and pensions rather than sturdier, better integrated components and designs for their cars. Who knows?

    Another big factor in short performance life must be due to the fact that computer chips are installed in just about everything, much like soy products in food. It's hard to find anything beyond a rubber hose that hasn't been contaminated by the addition of some kind of processor. Problems with processors in consumer goods are about as diagnosable as the Tax Code., making products worthless once the chips go bad.

    Finally, government regulation tends to focus on issues other than product quality, yet still contributes to the overall increased cost of the products they impact. Costs have to be saved somewhere to obtain the salable price-point. Frequently, quality seems to be the prepared ritual sacrifice.

    Sadly, none of this information is likely to help you get what you want and deserve, or make you feel any better. Although, since you do have exceptional creative gifts, maybe the built-up frustration will provide steam to turn the turbines of your mind to fruitful advantage. I hope so.