Episode 8: Build a Passion for Problem Solving (With The Construction Brothers)

Episode 8 May 10, 2021 00:39:31
Episode 8: Build a Passion for Problem Solving (With The Construction Brothers)
The Quit Getting Screwed Construction Podcast
Episode 8: Build a Passion for Problem Solving (With The Construction Brothers)

May 10 2021 | 00:39:31


Show Notes

This week, Karalynn is joined by Eddie and Tyler Campbell of The Construction Brothers Podcast to talk about industry life, navigating areas of concern for all professionals in the field, and the importance of fostering a passion for problem-solving. 

Take a look into the lives of two industry professionals who are making moves to reinvigorate the construction community with accessible education and candid conversation.

Find Eddie and Tyler's work at: https://www.absi-bim.com/ 

Listen to The Construction Brothers podcast: https://www.brospodcast.com/ 

Check out our Website, www.subcontractorinstitute.com, to learn more about what we do.

Follow us!
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Facebook: The Subcontractor Institute
LinkedIn: The Subcontractor Institute

Quit Getting Screwed was recorded on Riverside. fm and is distributed by Castos.
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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:11 This is chilling. Welcome to the quick getting spooked podcast, where we talk about everything related to contractors, construction and information to help you run better businesses. Hey guys, welcome back to the quit getting screwed podcast. And today I'm so very excited to have the construction brothers who have huge fans of, cause they're kind of on the same mission. I am. They have unique perspective as they're helping people in the construction industry while they're currently working in it. So good morning, Tyler and Eddie. How are you guys? Speaker 2 00:00:43 More nine? We're doing real well over here, hanging in there. Got her coffee in us. We're feeling ready to go? Lots of coffee, lots of guys. Speaker 1 00:00:50 Early coffee hanging. You know, I don't know. I'm way more productive in the morning. I don't know about you guys. Speaker 2 00:00:54 Definitely. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:00:58 Anyways. All right. So tell us a little about yourself, where you came from, how you got, where you are now. And oldest brother gets to go first. Speaker 2 00:01:05 Yeah, quick, quick version of that. So Eddie Campbell, um, been in industry about 17 years now, going on 17 years now came into the industry, the, uh, really family business, be a dad. He started our company around the same time I graduated college and that gave me the opportunity to be on with him almost from the outset of AVSI. And so I've been working in BIM for the last 16, 17 years and have grown in my love for the industry. Love for building. Wasn't really what I, I set out to do at first, I was a history major in school and really majored in baseball, I guess, you know, that was kind of the big thing, but I, uh, I landed here and I don't know, it's, it's something that it's almost in the blood here. Uh, we really love to build really. Speaker 1 00:01:57 Yeah. Well, I saw on your website that your six generation builders, what do you know about the five generations before you Speaker 2 00:02:05 Mostly carpenters back there? Um, and so in one moonshiner, I think, yeah, a moonshiner carpenter. So yes, hail from the, uh, the foothills of Virginia. So a bunch of hillbillies really, but we, uh, yeah. Uh, dad's been general contractor, grandfather, civil engineer, general contractor, uh, with Messer construction. Um, his dad was actually a like carbon or carbon, a foreman with master construction. And so in his, his dad, we can still go to the house that he built in Virginia. So yeah. Um, six verifiable generations of builders. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:02:48 Awesome. How about you Tyler? Speaker 2 00:02:50 For me? I'm I'm Tyler, I'm the young one and, uh, the young whippersnappers, the baby brother, the baby brother. Yeah. Yeah. I'm Tyler. And, uh, so I've been in the industry probably nine years now. I came into AVSI similar to Eddie, you know, I didn't expect myself to be in the construction industry. Um, just kind of fell into the family business, you know? And so dad poured into me for about a year. And then after that I went and moved into an office with Annie and, uh, the rest is kind of history. You know, we kind of took off from there. I was the apprentice and Eddie was the mentor for so many years. And so we kind of have that, uh, that fun dynamic that, uh, you know, I got a lot of training from him and now we're kind of paying it forward or I'm paying it forward into the younger people here in our office. And so, yeah, didn't expect to be in construction industry, but you know, I love it. I love it because there's so much opportunity out there and there's, uh, there's so many problems that are, that are worth solving. And so there's always something to do and yeah, it's fun. That's me. Speaker 1 00:03:48 So tell me a little bit about the family business. AVSI what it is, what you guys do, the kind of work that you do, what to build Speaker 2 00:03:57 And what do we do? We do 3d modeling steel detailing. Uh, we work with steel fabricators. Uh, we work alongside of engineers and architects kind of, you know, being a part of the industry that a lot of people don't think or talk about too much. And that's, uh, the generation of shop drawings. Uh, you think about them when they're late. So when they didn't come in on time Speaker 1 00:04:22 And I don't know under, I don't understand that it's like, you're never going to remember what you did two months from now, just do them and get it done. Speaker 2 00:04:30 I just do the thing and we get that a lot. It's like, there's not much understanding about it. So it's just like, what's the problem? What's the problem? Why aren't you here? Um, and so we are involved in like quite literally the nuts and bolts of construction. Uh, so we are, we are giving the exact counts of all of those things. We are telling people how to drill the steel, where the engineer really doesn't do that. So there's this little, uh, there's this little gray area between an engineer and a structural steel fabricator. And that's where we live. Um, do, uh, commercial projects. So medical office buildings and schools, and, um, you know, museums or theaters, things of things of all kind of, uh, construction nature. We were involved with C 17 project last year, C 17 hangar. Uh, that's really cool. The occasional industrial plant or, you know, turbine structure, which we talk about sometimes on the show, because you know, that that experience kind of helped us frame a lot of what we do here in the podcast and kind of what we teach, which is, you know, using information better. Um, because we are BIM guys, uh, we see people focusing on the model a lot and the pretty picture, but we're Speaker 1 00:05:44 Like, okay. Speaker 2 00:05:46 Yeah. So BIM is building information modeling, right. Uh, so that's just kinda the, the phrase you'll hear, or a VDC virtual design construction, which 3d it's 3d. Yeah. It's 3d. Okay. So we're building the building in 3d before it actually gets built out in the field. Right. Speaker 1 00:06:05 So you can see like if the holes aren't going to line up or the stuff that you try to prevent, I know we did a small project and it was basically, you know, one of those steel buildings they shipped to you and you then assemble it, but it's, you know, a huge whatever. And like we get out there and of course the poured, the concrete, and then the screws are there, but nothing lines up, but it was a big disaster. We ended up figuring it out. But is that kind of on the same page, smaller scale? Speaker 2 00:06:31 Yeah. So you've got pre-engineered metal buildings and things that are kind of like packages or kits. And then you have a lot of the design world, which is all custom built steel. Right. And so, um, you're not going to yet just some off of the shelf, pre-engineered, uh, steel for like Disney concert hall or something, you know, something that's got odd shapes to it. And so, um, when you have those odd shapes, you have support that has to go under it. You've got the skeletal system of the building and somebody has to actually like do all of the math required to make sure it all fits and make sure. So we, we draw every beam, every column, every angle, every bolt down to just like the minutiae of that, uh, that side. I mean, and that would go also for things like concrete and rebar and other structural elements like stud work in, uh, maybe glass and glazing. Speaker 2 00:07:28 Like all of these things have shopped drawings. Many times. We don't think about that. We think about the architect, the engineer, the mechanical engineer. We, we don't really think about somebody in between that actually figuring out how it works. We figured the engineer figures out how it's constructed. They, they convey intent, um, a metal building kind of like what you're referring to from a complexity standpoint is very simple, very, very simple. Um, so when an architect gets involved and you know, they'll kind of shame them just to touch, you know, they'll, they'll start dreaming up a great idea. Right. And then the engineer comes back and they're like, okay, great. But how do we actually support it? And then they'll draw in all their lines and say, okay, we need steel here. We need steel here, support this by doing this, that and the other. Speaker 2 00:08:12 Well, there's a big disconnect between the two, right? So the architect shows their intent, the engineer shows their intent, but then at the end of the day, we still have to figure out how to build the thing we've got to figure out. Right. So what we're doing is by using models, we're going back and we're finding those issues before they present themselves out in the field or in the shop. That is a really hard thing to do, especially when you get to a big middle school or something, because you'll have hundreds of thousands of parts and pieces that you need to account for to make sure that they are sized properly. Um, make sure that they're meeting the intent of the engineer and the architect. So you're trying to please a lot of people too. Yeah. And then beyond that, you don't want to do off the beaten path too much with your fabricator, because then they'll call you and ask you, Hey, why did you do this? Which is kind of where the arguments come in Speaker 1 00:09:03 Practically. And I can't write Speaker 2 00:09:04 That. Right. So there's, Speaker 1 00:09:06 So you like, you like a mediator between the actual person that does the work and the people that draw the worst, Speaker 2 00:09:12 I've heard it. Uh, I've heard it said it was actually, uh, on another podcast. I was listening to that we can like in shop drawings to just, um, communication shop drawings are a means of a fabricator, communicating what they think the engineer wants and say, Mr. Engineer, uh, this is engineer. What do you think about this? We think that you wanted us to build it like this. We think that this was your intent. And then they review that and say, yeah, that was, that was generally our intent. We've reviewed that. Uh, they won't say we've approved it, but they'll say we, Speaker 1 00:09:49 And I hate that. I hate, I hate that because then they come back to, if something goes wrong, it's not defective, but it's not in accordance or in compliance. So it's still, yeah. I had a, I had a conversation with a bunch of architects and they, they get upset if you don't follow their plans. Exactly. And so they want to be able to point out that, although it works Speaker 2 00:10:09 And I would push back against them in, in some ways too, because if you're consistently designing, as you go and trickling out these revisions to people who are creating your shop drawings, you're wrecking them. You're making it harder for us to hit the bullseye because the target is just moving around and ebbing and flowing all over the place. We were dealing with that right now on a job down in Florida where the design team is making changes on the fly. We've got rev 11 coming, I think probably sometime next week. And that's just to make a stairwell do this, but think about the ripple effect of that for you guys, for I'm speaking to the architects, mainly if you shift a wall, you need to think about the ramifications of that downstream. Especially if that stuff is already being fabricated, that's where the honesty component comes into it. Speaker 2 00:10:59 Because a lot of times we get in the situation when we start sandbagging each other more, not that honest. So if we can better start communicating up and down the stream, maybe we can avoid some of these issues and start pushing back and saying, Hey, maybe don't move that wall right now. There's, there's a lot of things that are going to change as a result, of course, spend a little more time in design on the front end and let's get it nailed down before we push go. Um, we're very eager to push that green button and get it out there, but not having a fully baked design was probably the biggest reason for all the revisions in the design as we go, we call it the dog method because we're down here in Georgia, but the design as we go method, um, you know, it's not a good plan, but yeah. Speaker 2 00:11:45 Ultimately just communicating we're, we're communicating intent, which puts us in an interesting position because we're not actually a part of the contract documents. Yeah. Yeah. That's kind of odd. We're not, we're not actually like we're, we're PR we're presenting in a way that looks very much like an architectural drawing. Like we're sending a 24 by 36 PDF that has, uh, elements on it that looks very like structural engineering. Um, we might even cover some of the engineer, um, under delegated designs that kind of fall to us, like the engineer sizes, the beams and columns, but we have to size like how the, the angles connect, that beam and column. Um, you know, but we're not, we're not really a part of the contract documents. Uh, we're really just conveying and communicating what the fabricator is going to be. Right. Speaker 1 00:12:32 Yeah. You're doing the shop drawings. Gotcha. So kind of on that point and in this situation, like designers, you go have, have you ever been in a situation or a part of a contract that you did more work than you were required to? So you didn't get terminated, Speaker 2 00:12:46 I think on every project Speaker 1 00:12:51 And, and for you and the actual industry, where do you draw that line of? Okay. I've given too much. I can't give any more or do you, or don't you, I mean, I, you know, I sit up here and say, well, you should do this from an ivory tower. Cause you know, I'm not in the field, you know, having to make these decisions. And I just tell you what happens if you do. Speaker 2 00:13:09 So. Yeah. I, I, I got some Sage advice from a friend one time that says you need to complete the scope of work whether you want to or not. Oh, Speaker 1 00:13:20 That is, that is the advice I try to give because I see what happens if you don't, but I'm not the one out there having to do the work. And so, you know, it's the same thing. Like what is your, like, do you have a line? Do you just keep working, tell me what it is in the actual field. Speaker 2 00:13:35 We try our best to establish scope at the front end of the job. Now that wrinkle that happens is, you know, the, the general contractors writing a contract for structural steel and depending on what our customer's done and who we're following into the project that steel fabricator may have agreed on a scope of steel that's been wrapped into their contract, or may have agreed on the steel. And if they've agreed on the steel and we don't do our diligence to tell them what steel, um, sight rails is, something, you know, that happens often. Like I might think, well, I'm going to do the structure of the building, but maybe the civil drawings have this obscure little like handicap ramp or, um, walkway stairs, whatever, and their rails out there. Well, that can get away from you pretty quick. If you're not looking, or if you didn't get the civil documents to be in with, with your bid, we have to go back for things like that. A lot. Um, coordination for H vac, HVAC is big, uh, RTUs uh, rooftop units, uh, lentils for windows, which can be hiding in the architectural drawings and the structural engineer doesn't really call them out. That's a big scope creep that we see a lot at the time is, uh, yeah, they're still there, but we didn't necessarily see it because it wasn't in the structurals. And so Speaker 1 00:15:02 Normally it's not like structural, like loose lentils for masonry. I've actually had a case on that that was like $23,000 in the structural steel guys. Like I never do loose lentils. I didn't fit it that way. I'm like, well, it's here in your, so you catch stuff like that all the time for your clients. Yep. Speaker 2 00:15:17 We'll pick it up just like we see it as being better to hang with our clients and make sure that we've serviced the project completely then to abandon them in their time of need. Like usually, you know, you've got in a moment of need the opportunity to either ride the white horse in and be the hero or be the person that they remember forever as having a band in them in that moment of need. So we try to be on the white horse as much as we possibly can. Um, that's, it, it, it contract documents are odd. Uh, architects show how they think things are going to be supported and many times forget that they have a structural consultant underneath them, depending on the contract situation between the architect and designers. And sometimes that angle could be completely circumvented by something that the structural engineer thought better of and just offered a different solution to. Speaker 2 00:16:14 But the architect shows conceptually what's, you know, on the page and it's just like, well, you know, I don't really have to take the angle out of there, even though they figured out how to do it with light gauge studs, I'm just going to leave it in there. Or, you know, I'm not going to necessarily size that. Um, I'll just let the engineer figure it out and there'll be some schedule on the engineer set. Well that that's actually reasonably defined. Um, what's not so reasonably to find is when the structural engineer doesn't really look at those things and doesn't really address those things. And then they're not really sized on the architects documents or called out. That's just says like steel angle and nobody knows who has what, like, it might be a eight by eight steel angle that weighs, you know, 2000 pounds, or that might be a three by three steel angle that weighs a hundred pounds. And there's a big difference in the cost of those two things. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:17:12 So most of the sounds like most of the things you run into are because of lack of communication or lack of somebody understanding what they're supposed to do. So how do you think the contracts that you signed, that your clients sign play into that? Do you think you do understand the contracts, you signed your clients, understand the contracts? I sign them. I'm curious. Speaker 2 00:17:34 We try our darndest to read the entirety of a contract when we sign it. Um, usually there is a joint drafting clause in the contracts that we sign and we try to make that into an actual thing. I always snicker at it because I'm really like it's jointly drafted. I mean, I'm in a, I'm in a weird situation where, you know, I've been brow beaten for like hitting the decline button on a DocuSign, you know, like, no, I'm not gonna sign that decline. And they're like, well, you don't have to close it. That's like this big clear clerical problem. I'm like, I don't care. Um, you know, I'm going to red line this and PDR actually going to agree on something and actually Joel draft this, but all the while it's like jointly drafted, heavily favored on their side because you're in this weird position of, well, how much can I say no to, and still get the work? Speaker 2 00:18:28 You know, how much of a nuisance can I make myself? Um, sometimes in you're more, you're more in a driver's seat and you think, but, uh, trying to read through the entirety of the contract is a big deal to us. Now, many times we work on PO and when we do so I may not be privy to the contract that my customer signed. And, you know, we're probably also also guilty of not asking for the contract that our customer signed when we signed a contract, which we are probably tethered to as well. So, um, yeah, I mean, we try to be diligent, I guess that's dad, the old general contractor, like beating that in my head. Like, no, you're going to red line. This thing you're going to get in, you're going to draw on it and tell him what you want. Speaker 1 00:19:12 And I think he had probably more negotiating power than you have guys have now, because I get that question all the time. You know, I'll tell you what's in here, but I can only tell you if it's worth it. You got to make the decision, whether it's worth it or not take the risk. Right. Yeah. I do think it helps to know what you're signing now, you know, as opposed to going in completely blind, Speaker 2 00:19:33 You know, there's an interesting wrinkle in what we do. Um, when you get to clauses, like the instruments of service, um, because in, in some sense, like if we're going to work for a design builder, um, the design builder has this clause in there that, that talks about the instruments of service, which is really pointing at and looking at our 3d model. So BIM is like, I mean, it's not like I have steel sitting on site or in my shop, or I've got like glass that you can come get if you paid for it, it's like, I've got this virtual thing. And so we have to speak to that in some manner. And we speak about it in the, in the essence of like, this is the instruments of your service, right. And I own those things. Well, there's something to be said and AIA documents speak to this as well, but there's something to be said for, um, talking about who does own that. Speaker 2 00:20:30 Right? Um, our livelihood is very tethered to the ownership of a model specifically when it comes to a project that repeats itself, which does happen from time to time. So if I get a series of gas stations that repeat themselves all over a 300 times, it would be fairly important to me to retain that intellectual property, because those are my instruments of service. And those are my things to bear that out on repeat. And if I just give it to you the first time, then you can go hand it to anybody and everyone, and I've lost my competitive edge and value. I'm just giving my property away. Um, and so we have had, uh, contracts in the past on repeat projects where, uh, much to my dad's credit. Yeah. We have had to write in, Hey, the, the model in its original state will remain our property. Speaker 2 00:21:24 And we have had that save our butts big time. Well, in contract language to correct me if I'm wrong, we've had that slide in on a couple of contracts before where they tried to basically take ownership of the model on a, so we signed the contract over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And then they file something in there. Just kind of slide it to watch it every time, every single time where it says this model will now be our property. And that was kinda a little bit, uh, sleazy, we'll say, Hey, you know, it, it happens. It happens Speaker 1 00:21:57 All the time. And, and that's the thing that I'm really pushing for, is that, okay, you can put whatever you want in a contract, but why you got to hide it in a bunch of legal and nobody can understand, right. At least that's the balls to be upfront about it and say, here's what I'm saying. Here's what I mean. And you can either sign it or not, but these 45 page contracts that have it all buried in legalees for what they are, they're just lurking. And here's the thing is that most of the times they don't really even realize what they have until they have you over the barrel. Like, oh, I have that provision in that contract. I can use that. Speaker 2 00:22:31 I, so can I flip the script? Cause I I'm, hopefully I'm not soliciting legal counsel for free right now, but if I answer, um, that's what I hear is your payment for having us on the show. That's right. Yeah. No, this is all in the way now. So it doesn't matter. Yeah. We, we, we had this situation come up where, I mean, we did, we had a repeat project repeated, uh, 40 or so times. And through the course of that, we had a pretty standard contract that we would sign. I would always overlay those in a PDF and check documents against one another to make sure that they were exactly the same. Uh, the company grew that, uh, owned the constraint, the construction owner, and as they grew, the brand grew. And what, what happened was they didn't so much want subcontractors talking about their name, which is why I'm being obscure with that is because, um, there's an India, but the NDA didn't enter the picture, you know, page 14 and 15 on the contract, didn't enter the picture until job 38. So I'm wondering like, uh, and I mean, it was sign it. If you choose to stay on the bus type of thing, it was not worth getting off of the bus at that point. But does that, is that NDA like a, a retroactive thing? Like I am watching every single contract, but like, could I viably talk about that project I did in Dallas, but not that project I did in Baltimore. Speaker 1 00:24:01 I mean, because each one is an independent contract and so the, like the ones you signed before without the NDA, you'd be fine. And it doesn't mean they won't Sue your ass to say, Hey, you signed this one and it should apply to all that. Um, and that's the thing about, would you actually win in a courtroom? I don't know, but who wants to find out that that is the truth? You know what I'm saying? Uh, Speaker 2 00:24:20 Yeah. I don't want to go there to find exactly. Speaker 1 00:24:22 And so, you know, take that with a grain of salt, like yes, you sh you probably could, but is it worth the consequences, you know? Right. Which is brings me back to my second question that I had is that this is a rough and tumble business. You know what I mean? You know, my business is based on standing up to bullies in the construction industry, bullies by what they put in the contract and bullies and trying to collect money that you guys are owed for work that you did. Is it worth it to you? Is it, and would you be all right with your kids coming in the same business? Speaker 2 00:24:53 Why is why this construction brothers exist? I want to kick this over to Tyler. Okay. So the reason that we started our show was because we wanted to share ideas and encourage people. We felt like there was an encouragement problem in the industry. We felt like we were beating up on each other constantly because we're a sub of a sub of a sub, you know, we're lower than pond scum, seeing the whales swim above us and saying, well, how do we get up there? You know, we wanted to be able to speak into the industry and try to encourage the people around us. And so what I say, I want my kids in the industry. Heck yeah, I do. Because there is so much opportunity out there in this disconnect that is occurred, right? There's there are so many different companies out there doing things so many different ways. Speaker 2 00:25:41 They're just, there's a lot of things that happen in the industry that are problems that need to be solved. And were there problems that need to be solved there's money to be had, there's a good living to be had. Right. So I keep looking at it from that angle saying, you know, is it worth it? Is it worth it? Well, yeah, it's worth it because we're trying to go out and encourage people. And in that encouragement, you know, our day job grows, you know, passively, it grows, but that's just kind of what we're here for. You know, we just want to keep encouraging and making, making the industry a better place. So we're just always looking in the mirror, trying to figure out how to do that. Speaker 1 00:26:16 And I don't think construction is ever going to go anywhere. It's gonna, you know, we're always gonna need to build things and there's nothing more rewarding than to see. Look, I did that or I built that piece or, you know, I had a part in it. You could drive by it and show your kids. And it just, I don't know how we got so far in the weeds away from really honoring a handshake and still, you know, it becomes like people like me make big money to, you know, settle your disputes. Right. Uh, people trying to go after each other. And I just, I don't understand why it has to be that way. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:26:51 There's still a lot of good faith out there that, I mean, we operate under a lot of good faith agreement with our customers. And so that's why, when you were doing business with somebody, it is important. In my opinion, to look at the long-term effect of what my actions today, whether they feel good to me or D today or not, oh, what will my actions today bear out in 10 years in 15 years in 20 years, because I want to build a relationship with a customer that lasts that long. Um, I don't want a one and done for every time I build something I want to continue to go back. And the opportunity that Tyler's talking about, like, there's kind of this, let's leave it better than we found it, mentality that really drives the construction brothers thing. And we see opportunity. We see monetary opportunity. Speaker 2 00:27:45 We see just a cool industry, like con construction is undersold. It is a really cool and complex problem that we get to go out and solve every day. And yeah, there's monetary opportunity to solving problems. There's fun in solving problems. It is fun to go out and to see something you've done. And that's the joke, you know, that, you know, the construction guy, cause they walk into building look up, you know, the construction guy, cause they're driving down the road and they're like, oh, I built that. I built that. I built that, you know, it's that, that that's yeah, but I mean, and us now there's just so much there. I love that part of construction. And I love knowing that there's something in that building that wouldn't have worked if I didn't have a hand in that. Speaker 1 00:28:32 Yeah. I agree. I think it's, I think it's amazing. I think it's way undersold, but it's become so dangerous. And, and I think, you know, because you know, I've seen so many and you got to see, I don't ever see successful construction project. I would get the ones that at least somebody has gotten the wrong, you know, the wrong side of the deal. And so it's just, that's what I, I, my businesses to help you. So you could go do those things. And so you don't have to worry about the things that might take you out because you signed the wrong contract, you know? Um, and so, um, you know, you're on the same mission. I am trying to make it fair. One last question I'm thinking about this, I think really relevant, especially with your clients being in the steel industry, did they sign contracts? They're going to have to honor prices for, for like a year ago that now it's increased in, how are they handling that and what are you seeing? Speaker 2 00:29:24 I'm seeing most of my customers are coming back. Um, and I they're honoring their prices as much as they can. Um, but I mean, that just depends on the contract. Um, you know, governmental contracts, uh, are an interesting thing right now. Um, in many ways the government's trying to help people through an excuse, um, the hardships of the pandemic, but in many ways the contract language of government projects don't allow that. So that's an interesting wrinkle on private projects. I think there's probably more latitude for somebody to say, listen, I'm not going off of my overhead. I'm not going up on my profit, but the material cost is this much more, but that's a big enough number to choke on right now for sure. Speaker 1 00:30:17 Well, cause I heard the new push is guaranteed maximum price contracts. And so they're out there, which means no matter how much it goes up, you're going to the general contractor is going to eat it, which means everybody downstream is going to eat it. So I think people really need to be weary that those things are out there and they're prevalent because, um, it's really not fair if the builder decides to go ahead or the owner decides to go ahead with building and this timeframe, they shouldn't bear the cost, right. If not, you know, wait for, you know, and let people charge the increased price. Um, so Speaker 2 00:30:50 Yeah, I, yeah, it makes sense to me. Speaker 1 00:30:54 I know. Okay. So tell me about lean waivers and how like, so what I, my biggest thing is I always get clients in Texas. They have, here's the way lien, waivers go unconditional, uh, conditional unconditional for progress and the same for final and all the time GCs want unconditional for checks and it's not supposed to work that way. It says clearly at the top, do not sign an unconditional if you have not been paid. Um, and you know, I've seen clients lose lots of money by signing and conditionals. Have you guys had any experience on something like that? Speaker 2 00:31:29 Uh, we try to watch our R six as much as possible. We've been fortunate to deal with people that are pretty above the bar about the lien waiver thing. Um, lien waivers in my mind are, uh, the pox. I, I hate lien waivers. And the reason I hate them is because as a small business owner, that is a bunch of administrative work that I have to do. And so men invoicing and then say I'm sending bills. And then it has to be accompanied by the right lien waiver with the right verbiage. And if I don't guess, right, then I'm not going to find out until the fact that, you know, I'm asking about my invoice and why it's 120 days and they tell me, oh yeah, um, lien waivers holding it up, didn't fill it out. Right. Not the right form that should have been, you know, the, the lower tier subcontractor form, not, not the other form that you filled out. Speaker 2 00:32:32 Yeah. And so, and then having to have it notarized and accompanied by proper pay applications. We've recently talked about this, uh, on a podcast. Um, and I just feel like there's a better way. Um, there's a, there's a better way to verify for payment. Uh, the amount of administrative work that goes into the lien waiver process is, um, I think an undue burden, uh, on the construction industry and incident and efficiency on the construction industry. Now you may have a better idea than I do, uh, about the legalities and how, how to work that out. We had a really cool conversation about blockchain and how that could help with this, um, to verify what's been done to verify what's been signed and to have that done electronically, but it's for right now, something we live with and lane waivers to me, uh, hold me up gum my day up and keep me from getting paid. That that is the sum total of the lien waiver in that Speaker 1 00:33:42 I haven't had a chance to, I saw your podcast on Blacktown. I haven't had a chance to go listen to it. What is blockchain? And that whole idea, just like quick concept Speaker 2 00:33:51 And Tyler Speaker 1 00:33:52 <inaudible> goes into the podcast cause somebody else brought it up and I meant to listen to it. I just haven't had a chance. Speaker 2 00:33:59 No, it's fine. No, we ask, um, guy named Robert. We asked him to explain it to us and basically it's one central location where it's a central point of truth that a lot of people can communicate back to you and look at. So if you want to find out where the origination point of a specific document is at it's, it's within the blockchain. So, um, if you send on lien waiver and it is basically cataloged within that blockchain, uh, then it's verifiable. So you know, it hasn't been tampered with in any way, shape or form did I do to get there? Yeah. That, that, that that's, it, it shouldn't be, blockchain is very confusing to explain. And so I'm still trying to wrap my head around it and I've had it explained to me five different ways. Um, but it's still a pretty exciting thing. So yeah. Why do we, why do we have to notarize? Speaker 1 00:34:50 I don't think that you should have to, I mean, notary notary notary is to make sure it's your authentic signature, right. A third party is saying, that's your signature. I think it's archaic. I don't think you should need to do it, but for a lien release, that's actually needs to be filed. That needs to be notarized. Right. That's gotta be verified. But as far as, you know, especially during the pandemic, I mean, how impossible is that to get done unless you happen to have one in your office to get, you know, a lien waiver that you submit with a payout should be enforceable just without the notary signature, because number one, it's coming from you that verifies who you are. You know what I'm saying? Uh, I, I think of my whole career, I've maybe had one or two times I've seen a fraudulent signature and that's what it's trying to prevent. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:35:43 Yeah. And so a hundred percent agree. Uh, and yes, 100% in the pandemic, I'm not allowed to go and interact with anybody. I can't even go to the bank anymore to get like, and I don't have a notary in the office and oh, by the way, I'm not in my office. How in the world am I supposed to get a notary done? Oh, I'll get a notary done by, uh, this app that'll charge me $25 per notary. Um, the thing that blockchain is doing, yeah. Every time you need a lien waiver, which is, I've just invoiced again this month. Okay, here we go. And, oh, by the way, it's two forms. So that's 50 bucks. Um, so instead of having to do that archaic process, blockchain would be like the certifier, uh, the verifier of the fact that the origination point is good. And it does that by housing, that information. And, uh, as I understand a lot of different locations that all look at the same place and say, I have enough agreement amongst the network that this is a verifiable transaction. Now it's become verifiable. And it has a certificate with it of basically authenticity speaking, very non blockchain Speaker 1 00:37:01 Notary Speaker 2 00:37:02 Anymore. And then the notary goes away. But it also, what, what happens is that if I can go to the site, take pictures of work and virtually see what work has been put in place. Well, now that I can pay based on the workplace, Speaker 1 00:37:18 You can see it. You can verify it. You don't have to go to the job site to verify the PA. Speaker 2 00:37:23 I know I'm not as an owner. I don't know. I'm not going to scream, right? I'm not, I've, I've not gotten because what's the big, the big deal is like the cashflow and not letting my subs get in front of me. I don't want to overpay my subs. I don't want to do the first draw routine where I pay them this whopping first row. And then all of a sudden they go gone. Yeah. I don't want to let them get ahead of me. They won't, because I've got a verifiable place that's feeding back in and showing me, oh, they're due 20% now that's verifiably in place. And we can all agree on that. And then the checks cut. So hopefully getting Speaker 1 00:38:02 Faster than the manual process. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:38:04 Yeah. Getting rid of administration, which is, I think a huge part of the general contracting overhead right now. I almost like Speaker 1 00:38:13 I made it. So it made it so complicated at all. All these forms signed and we just wanted to keep each other busy. Right? This is, we created this mess, honestly. I don't want her I'm serious. Why else would you write a contract that nobody with the lawyers can understand to create business for lawyers? I mean, come on anyway, it's an intimidate, messed up your industry. Speaker 2 00:38:35 The great conspiracy. Speaker 1 00:38:36 Yeah. I know we've messed up your industry. I'm so sorry. I'm trying to fix it. I didn't do it, but I'm trying to undo it, but you know, cause lawyers make money if there's conflict, but anyway, so I'm here to help too. But thank you guys so much for being on the show and really giving us the downturn perspective of people in the industry and try and help the industry at the same time. Because I think it's a unique perspective. Thank you guys so much. Thanks for having us. Speaker 0 00:39:02 Thank you so Speaker 1 00:39:02 Much. Anytime. Thank you for listening to this episode of quick getting sprayed. I hope you found it helpful if you like what you hear, please like us and follow our podcast. If you want further information. So you can find us that subcontractor is two.com. We're also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, and the book is available on Amazon tune in two weeks now for a new episode. Thank you.

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