Preface My grandfather was a huge influence in my life. Without him, I would not be where I am today. Perhaps the biggest lessons my grandfather taught me were ones he actually had no idea he was teaching. He would never simply show me how to do things; he would always teach me the reason why things are done the way they are, which is the most important lesson of all. By continually teaching me why things are done the way they are, the lessons I learned from my grandfather were exponential.
To illustrate, when he taught me to fasten two boards together with a screw he taught me the reason why we were using a screw instead of a nail, namely that the pullout strength of screws is stronger than nails. When he would teach me to place a 2″ × 8″ joist on end rather than flat, he explained why the board is stronger on end than flat and why it would not bend as much. When we were building things together, from go-carts to cabinets to bunk beds to forts, I did not realize he was teaching me lessons that would impact the rest of my life. We were just pals spending time together.
This is the essence of what I hope readers will take away from this book. Take the knowledge and experience we have written here not simply as a checklist of issues and loose ends to be aware of, but as examples. Approach this book not as teachings on how subcontract scopes of work are written, but as teachings in why subcontract scopes are written the way they are. By applying the varied teachings of this book to the unique challenges of your projects, the knowledge and experience you gain will be exponential.
My love of construction began when I was about six months old and my grandfather gave me my first plastic hammer. While I was not quite sure what to do with it at that early age, as I grew up I figured it out and throughout childhood my passion for building grew. Even in my middle and high school years the shop classes were my favorite learning experiences. Upon arriving at college there was no better fit for me than the construction management program where, again, I found the curriculum to fit me like a glove.
The difference this time was that I began my transition from building things with my hands to managing others in building large-scale projects. This was an exciting challenge that I took on with ambition and passion. As graduation neared, I began sending out resumes to companies that appeared to be leaders in the construction industry and quickly landed my first job with a general contractor whose expertise lay in the hightech sector. Building bio-technology facilities, clean rooms, and other cutting edge facilities excited me to no end.
When I began my career I was somewhat taken aback to realize what a huge business construction was and that a phenomenal amount of management time was spent doing what seemed at the time to be meaningless paperwork. I will never forget my first week on the job when I was asked by my project manager to send out a submittal with a transmittal on it and I wondered, what the heck is a “mittal” and why are there so many different kinds of them? As my first year in the industry progressed I came to realize just how complex and intense a major construction project can be.
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