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What is the most ridiculous thing a GC has ever asked your company to do, and how did you get out of it?

Once had to buy a camera, which we billed his company for (and got paid), for a superintendent so he could take pictures of the job as it progressed. At the time we were putting up the last of the crown mold!

—J.D. Chambers,

J & B Acoustical,

Mansfield, Ohio

This has been years ago when I was still working the walls with the crew when I had a GC request that I match the stucco texture that was on an existing building adjoining the new building we were plastering. The texture was so bad that I looked at him with a straight face and I said, “I’ve never tried texturing with a shovel before.” The crew and the GC’s Super and everyone around just couldn’t hold it back and started laughing so hard; it was one of those jaw-aching laughs. The GC came back the next day and told me he used that same line in the meeting and the client chose to use a synthetic type finish and texture.

—Bruce Brown, Owner, Asars Inc.,

Metro Atlanta

On a school addition project, the GC’s superintendent called and asked us to come out and frame the dividing full height walls between classrooms. When asked, he admitted that not only was the roof structure not installed, of course neither was the roof decking. Even the CMU exterior walls were not topped out quite yet! He said we needed to come out and frame to above the new ceiling heights, kick the walls off to the concrete slab, and add the tops of the walls later when the roof was done. He couldn’t believe we said “No!” He then said we were delaying his project schedule, and we would face the LDs for not showing up as directed. Oh, did I mention his office hadn’t gotten the contract to us at that time? Best job we never did.


We were told our ceiling tile was leaking water and we needed to replace the tile and correct the problem. We convinced them it was the roof leaking and not our ceiling tile.


We were hired by a GC to supply and install some new assemblies required by their contract with the owner. They did not give us a PO or sub-contract, nor did they make any statements prior to our work that we would be limited by what elements were to be compensable, what O&P we would be allowed, or how long it would take to get paid. That was over two years ago and we still haven’t been paid. We’ll see after next week.

The most ridiculous thing a GC has asked of us is when a Baltimore-based firm asked that we, a Western Pennsylvania–based company, root for the Baltimore Ravens. Our legal team was very clear that litigation would be fruitless but they would still be happy to take the case and our money. Rather than litigate, we elected to preserve the relationship by having me appear in a Ray Lewis jersey and sending a photo to them with “Go Ravens” in the subject line. After a hot shower with lots of soap, I still felt guilty and went to confession, even though I am Jewish.


“Provide a flame spread rating on a cardboard drywall shim.” “Provide proof that your pins are not counterfeit or contraband.” “You do not need heat to finish, just use hot mud because the mud is hot.” “Raise drywall an additional 1/4” off floor after carpet prep has been put down because the owner is afraid the drywall will wick up water if a leak occurs inside the wall cavity.”


He asked if I had time to come to the bar after work. He wanted to buy me a couple drinks for all the help I had given him pointing out issues that were going to affect my EIFS job and his customer’s building. I didn’t get out of it. I let him buy me a couple cold beers!

—Simon Construction, Randolph, MN

Asked me to wait to be paid.


Our company was asked by the GC if they could list us as the cabinet installer (when we were not) on a federal, certified payroll project, and offered us $1,000 to do so. We got out of it by simply stating, “You have got to be joking!”


Frame a wall that is 38ft tall out of 25 gauge metal studs.


“Sign this unconditional lien waiver and I will get paid, and I promise
I will pay you!”


Clean the toilets daily in our bid package scope.


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