An Englishman In Isabela Blog #130 – Major Refinements

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jerry, the boss of Northcon, made a site visit today, had a meeting with the workers and then invited us over to discuss any concerns we had. It was a constructive day in every sense as he told us he will be making major refinements to bring the houses to completion in one month’s time. Changes include doubling the size of the present team of workers to 50 and giving Mangligot house its own dedicated workforce.
Together we inspected several locations in the two houses. Up on the viewing deck I was surprised to find that all the floor tiles had been lifted again because tapping tests had shown that there were gaps in the concrete beneath. And Jerry was quite right too. He also reviewed the steel used for the lanai and viewing deck railing and instructed that they be replaced as they had not delivered the required guage of steel. Apparently the word "half" is the basis of much convenient misinterpretation in the hardware trade and this was one of those occasions. Jerry identified this when inspecting the thickness of the materials used. I had tested the strength of the security grille steel the previous afternoon and found that while some steel parts were very rigid others were easily bent. Before we arrived at the site Jerry had repeated the same tests and rejected all the grilles for the same reason. So there is a lot of rework to be done and additional steel to be added to the roof structures to ensure their rigidity and strength.
While it’s distressing to see work having to be redone, it demonstrates the importance of using a contractor you can trust because they know the games some suppliers play.
Jerry also advised us that there will be a rotation of senior engineers visiting the site between now and handover to us.

House & Wall Construction Update 22-23 March 2010

The front entrance pillars to Mangligot have since been torn down and replaced as the concrete used was not of the same standard as that used for the main walls. In fact it was made of almost the same brittle mortar-like material as that used for the kitchen worktop, which itself has now been torn down and replaced. There is steelwork within the pillars but it is good that the right concrete will now be inserted so that the front entrance is really strongly constructed. There was no argument from our contractor who tested it with a hammer and agreed that replacement was essential.