Communicating Changes on Lighting Design Projects
Creating an “e-mail trail” will ensure you’re not the last to know when someone tampers with your specifications.
The flat ceiling of this kitchen was changed to a barrel vault ceiling during construction, but the lighting designer was not informed, requiring a last-minute change in the lighting specifications.
Randall, lighting showrooms work hard to understand clients’ needs and project challenges. We design a lighting plan that includes everything that the contractor needs. Yet, it never fails that during the electrical walk-through, we find that details have been changed so dramatically that the lighting design won’t work, and no one has bothered to contact us about these changes. We often have less than a day to make revisions. Then when the project is coming together, we visit the site again only to find the lighting layout has been changed by the electrician or contractor, and again no one has notified us. This is so frustrating! Aren’t we all on the same team?
Feel free to vent, that’s what I am here for. Yes, we are all on the same team, and it is frustrating that so little gets communicated between team members. I came up against this for many years. What changed everything for me was the advent of e-mail. It is an easy way to instantly let all the players on a project know that something has changed. In the past a “change order” was issued between the contractor and the homeowners that put into writing a modification. Or, more commonly, a decision was made on site and perhaps agreed to by phone. Either way, often no other people connected with the project got the word. For example, simply changing a door swing can alter the door hardware and influence the location of the switching. It can also possibly affect the furniture placement, which in turn may impinge on the location of floor plugs. It really can be a domino effect. The flat ceiling of this kitchen was changed to a barrel vault ceiling during construction, but the lighting designer was not informed, requiring a last-minute change in the lighting specifications. Now, every time a change is made on a project, a mass e-mail goes out to all the team members—even if it may seem unrelated to some of the players. Not only does it keep everyone in the loop, it also provides what I call an “e-mail trail” for all the changes that occur during the construction process. It keeps everyone updated, allows the plans to be corrected to “as-builts” and is a valuable record of all the requested changes made by the homeowners that will change the actual cost of the project. It is this last point that really encouraged the contractors to do the mass e-mailings. I convinced them that without this e-mail trail, the homeowners often have selective recall on changes they requested or approved and may contest the extra charges. I knew that the way to a contractor’s heart is through his bottom line.
Randall Whitehead, IALD
Lastest from ask randall
First off, are you sure you have enough pillows? I believe that they are mating while you are out of the room. The recessed fixtures in the soffit... read full story
I would recommend using a 30-inch-wide mirror. That would leave you 9 inches on either side to hang your sconces. The sconces would be centered... read full story
I think that your wife is on to something. What about using 3000K throughout the house? 3000K will make your countertops look whiter than under the... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Antares, Kichler and Light + Building. Originally Live: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013Recorded webinar now available for viewing on demand.Webinar... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Kichler Lighting, Kimberly LED Lighting, Auroralight and Antares Lighting. The lighting marketplace is changing more rapidly today than at any... read full story