Glass not included

Electrical colour code

I paid for a new coffee table the other day, the type that has glass inserts over recessed areas. Since the the one I wanted had to be custom ordered, I had to wait to pick it up. When I did go to get it, it looked fine, but there was no glass for the inserts. The shop owner was asked about this and I was told “oh, glass is not included”. Now common sense to me says it should have been, but common sense also should have told me to ask first. That leads to my advice for this week.

When you are getting quotes or bids, check the details. If you are painting walls, what paint are they using? Is it cheap white paint or is it commercial grade Comex? You won’t see the difference at first, but sure will when it starts peeling off the walls. How about that whole house reno, the concrete looks smooth and well done. But did they just coat over the rebar with new concrete or did they take the time and money to prep it with Sikka Top first (a 3 component epoxy) to make sure the concrete bonds to the rebar. Only time will tell, as it always does, maybe not now, but in a year or so when things start to fall apart.

You need to specify, the quality of all the materials for your project and do periodic inspections to make sure what you are getting, is what you are paying for. The bid for your project should be very specific as to the materials used, it should not just say walls painted white. Did you specifiy that all rebar had to be primed with rust proofing or did you specify galvanized ? How about the electrical, did you specify 12 gauge, white, black, green color coded? Did you ask that all the system be properly grounded, this list goes on and on. It is time consuming to do, but worth it in the end.

A lot of the above can be avoided, by using a contractor that is registered as a Mexican company, as they have certain legal liabilities. It is by no means fool proof , but it is one little detail to remember. Registered Mexican companies have a series on letters after the name, like S. de R.L. de C.V for example. The other thing to do is ask to see other works they have done, that are over a year old and ask the owners of issues. All construction has minor issues, concrete cracking is usually one of them. However, what you really want to know is, did the contractor come back and fix them in a timely fashion, without having to be called a hundred times first.

In my case I should have asked about glass.

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