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Posted by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 4/15/2016

Thursday morning, we met with resort people and the excavator at the lot. Since our property actually extends out into one of the slopes, a meeting was needed to hash things out. We had given the resort an easement in 2008 to allow them surface access so they could keep the slope where it was, but we also want to place the septic up near same area. I think everything turned out fine and the resort is happy we aren't being the bad folks we could. I know it will help us out later when we call for a favor. They have already alluded to that.

Afterwards We headed to Santa Fe for a little R&R and to also meet with a window supplier and the concrete contractor I had made contact with. Both were well worth the trip. Went over the new window schedule and discussed a number of both aesthetic and technical details. He'll begin putting together some options in the coming weeks.

The concrete guy, I'll call him Concrete John, was a trip! The fellow has more energy than I have seen in a long time. He's been an ICF distributor for 18 years and a concrete contractor for twice that long. He has pump trucks, SkyTraks and more forms than I've ever seen, although they are rarely used anymore since ICFs have taken off.

We see that he could get on the job and knock it out quickly. He also pushed for the use of micro rebar instead standard rebar. Although the cost of material is much higher than regular rebar, it saves a tremendous amount of time. Micro rebar is mixed directly into the concrete. Standard rebar has to be placed in by hand, tied, bent etc. lots of labor. Micro rebar leads to the next issue.

We had been waiting for the engineer to get us a quote and get his price down by reducing the number of things they were going to review. When I asked him to use the micro rebar in his design, he flatly refused. None of this sat well with me.

After two weeks we get the quote yesterday after the meeting with the Concrete John. His price has come down 10% after reducing the amount of calcs by 50%. Still seven times the cost of the original engineering I had done a few years ago. And it is standard rebar. So Concrete John makes a few calls and finds an engineer he has worked with before that can jump on the job, and is happy to design with micro rebar. Deal done, I send him the background info and Monday I'll let the first engineer know we aren't working with him. I'll also call the draftsman as well, and let him know what we did and why. And why? Price is a concern, but I haven't even gotten a quote from the new one. It comes down to responding in a timely manner and providing what the customer wants. The fact the one guy would not even consider the technology I wanted shows an arrogance that I don't need to put up with. I am the customer after all. I'm paying his salary. No matter what his predisposition is about a request, he should do as I request.

We got a call from Concrete John today as we were hiking for R&R. He'll be in the area this weekend on something else and wants to visit the site and look at access and the general layout. I like this guy's enthusiasm.

So we move forward step-by-step and changing direction a little as things come up or we learn something new. But the changes are getting smaller and the direction straighter. It feels good.

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