Ike's Newsletter November 6, 2020

Executive Director's Report

ASAMW Subcontract Addendum – A subcontract addendum developed to make subcontracts fair was approved by the Board of Directors and is available to members by request.  Just reply to this email.  A task force of Lauren McLaughlin (Smith Currie), Rick Freeman (Southern Insulation) and Jitu Patel (Siemens) revised an agreement that was initially developed by national ASA.  It addresses the core issues you face in review of the subcontracts you receive from the GCs in this area.  This document will be presented to ASAMW’s GC Partners for consideration for use with their subcontractors in hopes that less time can be spent negotiating a fair subcontract.      

What is FAIR in Construction Design? One item addressed in the ASAMW Subcontract Addendum is Incomplete Design.  We are seeking a way to protect Subcontractors from losing money on poor design documents.  The change order dance usually begins with incomplete designs.  What do you recommend?  Our wording states:

Subcontractor will carefully review the Contract Documents and if Subcontractor observes that any of the Contract Documents are at variance therewith in any respect, Subcontractor will promptly notify the prime contractor in writing. Under no circumstance shall Subcontractor be responsible or liable for any costs of any kind incurred by Subcontractor or the prime contractor with respect to items which were caused in whole or in part by incomplete, silent, inaccurate, conflicting, and/or misleading design documents, including drawings, specifications, shop drawing submittal reviews, RFI responses, etc. Contractor agrees to submit claims to the Owner for costs which could have or should have been avoided through a complete and error free design package from the Owner.

What do you think.  Would this be adequate for your use?

Retainage is FIVE percent in Maryland – Members report that GCs and Owners are still retaining ten percent retainage on their jobs in Maryland, even though the law is no more than five percent.  Md. Code Ann., Real Prop. § 9-304 states that retainage is no more than 5 percent on PRIVATE work.  Once all subcontractors require five percent, owners and GCs will have to follow the law.

Construction Economy – Apartment and office construction has declined over the last few months according to a recent report in the Washington Business Journal.  Additionally, Dodge reports construction starts in the DMV showed an overall drop of 34 percent from September 2019.  Residential was down 27 percent and nonresidential down 38 percent.  For the year, total building is down 26 percent.  Some members are reporting a good backlog while a few are seeking additional work.     

PM Workshop – Click here for more information and to register your PM, APM, or other person seeking improved management skills. 

SIE – Word on the Street – You have asked for in-person events and we are going to bring it to you.  On Nov. 19th you can enjoy the food and drinks at Wunder Garten in DC and at the end we will hold an SIE for MEMBERS ONLY.  Click here for more information and to register.

Pre-qualification Requirements – The Metro Washington Chapter will be working with National ASA to develop a process for significant efficiencies centered around the pre-qualification process.  Compass is engaging with national GCs to make this viable.  Your input is welcome.  Just reply if you are interested in helping move this effort forward.  

The FrontRunners hope to see you at the Annual Paintball Event at Hogback Mountain Paintball on November 12th! We hope to see our regulars as well as some new players on the field! Register today.

ASA SubExcel Postponed  – Mark your calendars and plan a trip to Miramar Beach, FL on March 2-5, 2022. In the meantime, the ASA staff will provide a first-class web-based education that will enhance your knowledge and your business’ ability to thrive in these trying times. So keep your eyes out for our communication around these coming events!

Annual Sponsor Highlight – Foulger Pratt has been developing and building quality projects with their trade partners for nearly 60 years. Many thanks to Foulger-Pratt for supporting the ASAMW community! 


Relationships Matter at Foulger-Pratt.

Advocacy Issues

Maryland:  Gilbane is involved in the $1.24 Billion P3 projects in PG County.  If you are involved in these projects Ike would like to discuss your experience.  We want to make sure subcontractor rights are protected for all.  Please reply to this email with a convenient time to talk. 

DC: Cindy Athey with Precision Wall Tech lead a discussion with the office of Council Member Robert White on protecting subcontractors from slow payment and competing with those who sub out their work without paying proper wages.  Mr. White’s re-election on Tuesday insured that these points will be seriously considered in the coming legislative session. 

Virginia: No report

Member Updates

Benchmark Utility Services – We are proud to welcome Benchmark in Sterling to our family of the BEST subcontractors in the DMV.  Darren Shaw, Danny Raynes and their team are a welcome addition to ASA of Metro Washington.  

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