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Consulting & Expert Witness Information

 

    May we please start out by saying the basis for our consulting and witness services is over thirty years in the “school of hard knocks.” During this time we have been introduced to an extremely wide variety of construction problems and facets, from the simple use of special nails and nailing patterns to the futility involved in thinking that you can straighten business problems out easily with our present court system.

    We bring to the table the technical aspects of construction with many, many hours of study of different materials and application methods. We also bring the mediation and results of different customer actions to you from our own experiences of being “beat up” more ways than most people can imagine.

    Finally, we bring you the wealth of not only our experience, but the experiences of many, many people who have shown themselves to be great storehouses of useful information and have been the main reason for our survival and growth over the past thirty years.

    You would be well served to know up front that we do not (knowingly) allow ourselves to be used to present of point of view we feel is fundamentally wrong or against our code of ethics. We will generally encourage people to attempt to look at situations from several points of view, and help them choose the most practical direction of action.

    We do understand, however, that a principal is sometimes worth fighting for more than the monetary amounts involved. We will help private parties, legal counsels, architects, engineers, almost any insurance company and even other contractors we are not in direct competition with, and we can provide references from all of these entities.

    Depending on the distance from our headquarters, we will generally start out with a very reasonably priced first meeting. We will ask to study your written construction documentation prior to this meeting (these will partially consist of plans, contracts, cost change orders and written notes). Having reviewed these, we will then set up a meeting between you and our representative(s) that may include a neutral witness (generally one of our past customers) to give an outside perspective.

    After this meeting, we will present you with our thoughts on your situation with an estimate and schedule of what we anticipate our future bills will be. It will then be your choice to decide whether to continue or to stop after this initial meeting (please note: it is generally wise to include your legal counsel as early as possible).

    For those of you who are contemplating significant projects with relatively inexperienced contractors–you might be well served for us to monitor and interject thoughts in a preconstruction/pre-contract signing meeting.

Some of the “tell-signs” we have come to recognize that have resulted in large problems are:
  • When written contracts are not used or are so vague that they don’t even establish a schedule of payments relative to jobsite production or any means of settling disputes, or changes to the initial scope of work.

  • Dealing with unlicensed contractors–since in this state you give up your right to court procedures to collect your bill with no contractor’s license, no legitimate or truly “experienced” person is going to do work without one of these.

  • Lack of details and specifications on the plans and/or spec sheets. Without these, you can only end up saying “well this is what I thought I was told”–a statement that will do you very little good in court or arbitration.

  • Contractors who have said they have many years of experience with a brand new contractor’s number. What a person has done as an employee does not usually come close to the “experience” a person gets after several years of being a licensed contractor. Thirty years ago, the average business life of a general contractor was three years. A subcontractor was only six months–(not very long in the life of contractor projects). I don’t think we have improved on these numbers.

    In closing, we ask that you please remember that our primary business is construction and that the services we offer in this area are by necessity set up in priority behind our normal day-to-day operations.

Thank you,

Bob Alexander, President
Red Hat Construction

 



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