The Mess Is Now Plastered!

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
84
Knoxville, TN
I was going to say maybe bring a trash can out there and ask them to put the “lunch/snacks” debris in there when they’re done. Then there’s always a visual reminder around in case they forget. Maybe even tape a sign on it saying “Ok for trash” since some contractors don’t like to load up customers trash bins with their own stuff.

Construction debris is different and I’d try allow a bit of flexibility on what they do with it while construction is ongoing. I might point out “better places” to keep things that will be reused or just flat out ask them to get rid of actual trash.
 
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ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
166
Fort Mill, SC
Not that you asked...

I learned this the hard way, but it's been of good use since I did. Applies to just about all aspects of dealing with those pesky humans, in just about all circumstances, for strangers and friends and family alike! You cannot be upset that other people are not meeting your expectations if you never make your expectations known. You might feel you shouldn't have to, but that's not the way it works. Sounds like you've already done so regarding the trash, but you're going to need to do this often, all throughout your build.

Be polite and respectful, but be clear that you are not asking or negotiating, but rather explaining how things are going to go. You don't have to, and really shouldn't, address individual workers and subs, but rather make what you want known to the project manager and/or PB and allow them to manage their staff. Your absentee project manager issue is going to make that problematic, but that, too, can be one of the things you address. You can do this all in person, or in writing, ideally both: a conversation with a follow up email is a powerful thing, and can be very effective.

So the conversation, maybe a phone call, can be very simple:
"Hey Joe, I'm seeing a lot of garbage left around my yard. Please be sure that at the end of each day all refuge is picked up and removed from the job site. Thanks!"

Then a follow up email (the date stamp is a subliminal power trick):
September 30, 2020 - 9:10 AM
Joe, we spoke this morning by phone and we agreed that your workers would remove all trash at the end of each day.
Regards,
ALD

That's it. No complaining or emotions. Nothing about how much you hate seeing trash, or how it upsets you or the significant other. Just the facts, short and sweet, matter of fact: THIS IS HOW IT'S GOING TO BE. A clear indicator that YOU are in charge of your pool project.

If he pushes back, like "Well, we need a trash pile." then you push right back, with something reasonable, that you can both live with" "OK, understood, let's have that in one place, please, in the north east corner of the back yard." Or whatever. Be reasonable, but be clear.

And the simple matter of the garbage is a great way to set this stage. (Or use the next issue if the trash thing is handled already.) This is going to be a reoccurring theme throughout your build, and you need to make clear up front who is boss. There are going to be a lot of other topics and issues that you'll use this MO for, from tile defects to workmanship quality to where they park to overseeing dimensions to property damage to punch list, etc, etc. You use the same direct approach for each issue.

You can address the absentee project manager the same way:
"Hey Joe, I'm not seeing John the project manager nearly enough. Please make sure he checks in each day your subcontractors are onsite to supervise. I'm expecting him or you to be sure they're doing a quality job."
Then the follow up email. This, too, might get a push back. You decide on the fly how important each issue is to you, and how much you're going to insist. And as pointed out, you're holding the checkbook, so you've got the ultimate leverage.

Notice, you're not asking "Joe, can you make sure the trash is picked up?" You're telling: "Joe, please make sure the trash is picked up." It's not a small distinction.

The sooner you stand your ground on something seemingly inconsequential, the better. Then when there's something of real importance, like "Joe, the coping was not installed properly. Please meet me at the job site to discuss how this is going to be corrected. I'm available at the following times tomorrow..." you'll stand a better shot at an acceptable fix.

The only way the PB or his crew will take advantage of you is if you let them. And remember, they, and your pool, won't meet your expectations unless you make those expectations crystal clear.

Just a little un-asked-for advice! ;)

Oh, a most important component: make a concerted effort to thank and praise the workers, the manager and the PB when things go well. Everybody likes positive feedback. And nothing says that better than generous snacks and beverages handed out often. So go stock up on a pile of juices, sodas, Gatorade, snacks and treats: it'll be money well spent. And if all goes well, they won't leave any of those soda cans or snack wrappers behind! :D

Mr/Ms Nice when things are going well, B-on-wheels when not!
Thank you! Helpful advice. In terms of snacks and drinks and gratitude - I have done all of this. I’ve also thanked the PM too. Totally agree with the non emotional approach and showing who is leading.,My travertine coping was the incorrect color. When I noticed this I had to ask the masons to stop the install. Situations like this where a pm overseeing the subs would be helpful. I am going to take your advice.
 
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ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
166
Fort Mill, SC
I was going to say maybe bring a trash can out there and ask them to put the “lunch/snacks” debris in there when they’re done. Then there’s always a visual reminder around in case they forget. Maybe even tape a sign on it saying “Ok for trash” since some contractors don’t like to load up customers trash bins with their own stuff.

Construction debris is different and I’d try allow a bit of flexibility on what they do with it while construction is ongoing. I might point out “better places” to keep things that will be reused or just flat out ask them to get rid of actual trash.
Thank you. Great idea!
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,386
OV, CA
You could also set up a webcam.. and make it obvious they are being monitored. Then you would know who the chicken bone culprit is and you can call him out to the PB ;)
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,092
You could also set up a webcam.. and make it obvious they are being monitored. Then you would know who the chicken bone culprit is and you can call him out to the PB
You can get an A.I enabled web cam that can watch for problems and the A.I agent can address them immediately via a speaker.

"Attention worker unit. Your actions are unacceptable. You have violated the terms and conditions for working on this jobsite. Please remediate your behavior to conform to acceptable protocols. Further malfunctions will not be tolerated. Thank you for your cooperation."
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,386
OV, CA
James is in a goofy mood this AM.... No doubt his coffee is spiked with morning joy!
You can get an A.I enabled web cam that can watch for problems and the A.I agent can address them immediately via a speaker.

"Attention worker unit. Your actions are unacceptable. You have violated the terms and conditions for working on this jobsite. Please remediate your behavior to conform to acceptable protocols. Further malfunctions will not be tolerated. Thank you for your cooperation."
Your intercom message needs to be more concise and to the point...
HEY! Chicken Bones! STOP THAT!
 
Last edited:

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
741
Montville NJ
Garbage disposal costs money. Garbage clean up costs time (money)

Normally the General Contactor (your PB in this case) lets the subs know what they are responsible for when they are contracted, but that is not always the case. Nobody is going to clean up a site if they think some other person is contracted to do so.

I have seen sheet rock crews blow through a site and leave piles of cut off all over the place because "that's the GCs job to pick it up"

This sounds like a communications issues between your PB and his subs.

As Jimmy said, with small outfits subbing out to one or two person shops it is usually not an issue - they work together frequently and know what is expected of each other. Its when you get into big production shops and everybody thinks that the other guy is going to do it that you run into problems.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
How awful.
I have to admit... I gave you some good advice about being polite and respectful, but I'm not sure how well I could follow it myself if I found a half eaten animal carcass in my back yard. Yikes. Dirty hamsters!*

* I'll be embarrassed if anyone recognizes where I picked that up... 🐹
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
166
Fort Mill, SC
I have to admit... I gave you some good advice about being polite and respectful, but I'm not sure how well I could follow it myself if I found a half eaten animal carcass in my back yard. Yikes. Dirty hamsters!*

* I'll be embarrassed if anyone recognizes where I picked that up... 🐹
Same! That would put my OCD over the edge. I was complaining about empty bottles that’s nothing.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,092
Maybe a security and surveillance robot that can roam the jobsite and issue warnings like:

"Attention analog intelligent biological lifeform: Cease and desist your malfeasance and noncompliance with required protocols.

Deviance from established human operating practices must be strictly avoided.

Please see the posted rules, regulations and quality control standards for further information.

Any further infractions of penal code A518734 section J19 through J35 will result in serious consequences."

That should be effective.

Get the robot in the below video.

 
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melteye

Member
Apr 9, 2020
9
DFW
We just got done the coping / tiling phase and the mess just grows. Our PM has been out here every phase and I don't think he even notices or cares about the equipment boxes, Gatorade bottles, framing remnants etc. This thread is prompting me to call them and get it cleaned out!
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
166
Fort Mill, SC
Maybe a security and surveillance robot that can roam the jobsite and issue warnings like:

"Attention analog intelligent biological lifeform: Cease and desist your malfeasance and noncompliance with required protocols.

Deviance from established human operating practices must be strictly avoided.

Please see the posted rules, regulations and quality control standards for further information.

Any further infractions of penal code A518734 section J19 through J35 will result in serious consequences."

That should be effective.

Get the robot in the below video.

I am a Compliance office so this is perfect!
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
199
NY
my site is a bit of a mess too - i have boxes - some cans and a bunch of wrappers. Not too big a deal (I also failed to provide them a garbage can)- all i care about is that i get a quality pool. I will handle the rest.
 
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Watershow

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
178
Riverside County, CA
Not that you asked...

I learned this the hard way, but it's been of good use since I did. Applies to just about all aspects of dealing with those pesky humans, in just about all circumstances, for strangers and friends and family alike! You cannot be upset that other people are not meeting your expectations if you never make your expectations known. You might feel you shouldn't have to, but that's not the way it works. Sounds like you've already done so regarding the trash, but you're going to need to do this often, all throughout your build.

Be polite and respectful, but be clear that you are not asking or negotiating, but rather explaining how things are going to go. You don't have to, and really shouldn't, address individual workers and subs, but rather make what you want known to the project manager and/or PB and allow them to manage their staff. Your absentee project manager issue is going to make that problematic, but that, too, can be one of the things you address. You can do this all in person, or in writing, ideally both: a conversation with a follow up email is a powerful thing, and can be very effective.

So the conversation, maybe a phone call, can be very simple:
"Hey Joe, I'm seeing a lot of garbage left around my yard. Please be sure that at the end of each day all refuge is picked up and removed from the job site. Thanks!"

Then a follow up email (the date stamp is a subliminal power trick):
September 30, 2020 - 9:10 AM
Joe, we spoke this morning by phone and we agreed that your workers would remove all trash at the end of each day.
Regards,
ALD

That's it. No complaining or emotions. Nothing about how much you hate seeing trash, or how it upsets you or the significant other. Just the facts, short and sweet, matter of fact: THIS IS HOW IT'S GOING TO BE. A clear indicator that YOU are in charge of your pool project.

If he pushes back, like "Well, we need a trash pile." then you push right back, with something reasonable, that you can both live with" "OK, understood, let's have that in one place, please, in the north east corner of the back yard." Or whatever. Be reasonable, but be clear.

And the simple matter of the garbage is a great way to set this stage. (Or use the next issue if the trash thing is handled already.) This is going to be a reoccurring theme throughout your build, and you need to make clear up front who is boss. There are going to be a lot of other topics and issues that you'll use this MO for, from tile defects to workmanship quality to where they park to overseeing dimensions to property damage to punch list, etc, etc. You use the same direct approach for each issue.

You can address the absentee project manager the same way:
"Hey Joe, I'm not seeing John the project manager nearly enough. Please make sure he checks in each day your subcontractors are onsite to supervise. I'm expecting him or you to be sure they're doing a quality job."
Then the follow up email. This, too, might get a push back. You decide on the fly how important each issue is to you, and how much you're going to insist. And as pointed out, you're holding the checkbook, so you've got the ultimate leverage.

Notice, you're not asking "Joe, can you make sure the trash is picked up?" You're telling: "Joe, please make sure the trash is picked up." It's not a small distinction.

The sooner you stand your ground on something seemingly inconsequential, the better. Then when there's something of real importance, like "Joe, the coping was not installed properly. Please meet me at the job site to discuss how this is going to be corrected. I'm available at the following times tomorrow..." you'll stand a better shot at an acceptable fix.

The only way the PB or his crew will take advantage of you is if you let them. And remember, they, and your pool, won't meet your expectations unless you make those expectations crystal clear.

Just a little un-asked-for advice! ;)

Oh, a most important component: make a concerted effort to thank and praise the workers, the manager and the PB when things go well. Everybody likes positive feedback. And nothing says that better than generous snacks and beverages handed out often. So go stock up on a pile of juices, sodas, Gatorade, snacks and treats: it'll be money well spent. And if all goes well, they won't leave any of those soda cans or snack wrappers behind! :D

Mr/Ms Nice when things are going well, B-on-wheels when not!
Workers came back today. Did what you said and sure enough no chicken bones or other garbage in sight! Provided a trash can but was never used. 😃. Even though I provided water and snacks they still had garbage. Not knocking all subs that come by as some subs are better than others.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
There you go. Continue to apply that MO to anything else that doesn't meet your expectations, and with a little luck, by the end of the job, the entire pool project will meet them, too! Be proactive and report things early. Measure the pool yourself before they shoot the gunite (unless you're already past that), double check on everything (skimmer location, pool light location, number of returns, etc), inspect each tile before they install it, reject any you're not going to like, have them layout the coping, before they mortar it in, so you can review the overall look, inspect the tile job just before they grout it in, like that. The sooner you catch stuff, the better, for you and the PB. If you wait until it's all done, tile and coping grouted, plaster shot, deck down, water in, it's MUCH harder, and MUCH more expensive, to redo something.

You have a right to expect you shouldn't have to do that, and if you have a great quality-minded PB you might not have to. But that is not guaranteed. You are your only guarantee when it comes to quality. I'm in another thread where the OP is disappointed with the coping. The grout is in, the water is in, and he's not even sure himself if he wants to go through with the headache of the fix, let alone convince the PB to do it. Had he caught the problem earlier, it'd be fixed by now.

Don't think twice about the grumbles and looks you might get. So what. These are not your friends. As someone else pointed out, they will forget about you and your pool and the work they did (good or bad), three minutes down the road. Only you will have to stare at the niggles for the next 20 or 30 years! You think a few chicken bones for a few days is bad, how about a crooked tile job for the next few decades?!?
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
166
Fort Mill, SC
There you go. Continue to apply that MO to anything else that doesn't meet your expectations, and with a little luck, by the end of the job, the entire pool project will meet them, too! Be proactive and report things early. Measure the pool yourself before they shoot the gunite (unless you're already past that), double check on everything (skimmer location, pool light location, number of returns, etc), inspect each tile before they install it, reject any you're not going to like, have them layout the coping, before they mortar it in, so you can review the overall look, inspect the tile job just before they grout it in, like that. The sooner you catch stuff, the better, for you and the PB. If you wait until it's all done, tile and coping grouted, plaster shot, water in, it's MUCH harder, and MUCH more expensive, to redo something.

You have a right to expect you shouldn't have to do that, and if you have a great quality-minded PB you might not have to. But that is not guaranteed. You are your only guarantee when it comes to quality. I'm in another thread where the OP is disappointed with the coping. The grout is in, the water is in, and he's not even sure himself if he wants to go through with the headache of the fix, let alone convince the PB to do it. Had he caught the problem earlier, it'd be fixed by now.

Don't think twice about the grumbles and looks you might get. So what. These are not your friends. As someone else pointed out, they will forget about you and your pool and the work they did (good or bad), three minutes down the road. Only you will have to stare at the niggles for the next 20 or 30 years! You think a few chicken bones for a few days is bad, how about a crooked tile job for the next few decades?!?
Thank you so much! Just had the masons attempt to install the 2nd batch of silver travertine coping. The batch was wrong (again). Glad I caught it! PB is going to help me identify another option since this is the 2nd batch with an issue. My mom is a designer and will stop by to help me inspect the tile to ensure all pieces are in good order and do not have any flaws. You have been super helpful and I appreciate your guidance.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
Oh, sorry, you're farther along than I thought. No matter, sounds like you've got a good handle on quality control. A second set of eyes is great.

Want to pay us back for the advice? How about some pics!?! We looooooves the pics!! We don't care what stage of construction you're in. We like to snoop! (Of course, TFP wouldn't turn down a little donation, either. Consider becoming a supporter if you've gotten good value here. Help us keep the doors open, and all that.)

Have a peek at this thread for some additional insight you might learn from.

 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
166
Fort Mill, SC
Oh, sorry, you're farther along than I thought. No matter, sounds like you've got a good handle on quality control. A second set of eyes is great.

Want to pay us back for the advice? How about some pics!?! We looooooves the pics!! We don't care what stage of construction you're in. We like to snoop! (Of course, TFP wouldn't turn down a little donation, either. Consider becoming a supporter if you've gotten good value here. Help us keep the doors open, and all that.)

Have a peek at this thread for some additional insight you might learn from.

I will definitely make a donation. Here’s some pictures. Note, I just had aggravation with my PB over coping.
 

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