In my last blog, I wrote about how ASI Build was doing such a great job with constructing our state-of-the-art indoor facility for our riding club and how pleased we were with how things were progressing.
On the weekend after I wrote that blog, I attended an event at another riding club in South East Queensland. They had just completed their indoor arena and were holding their first competition in their new facility.
I complimented my host on how great everything looked. He grimaced and replied, ‘Yes, well we certainly had to pay for it.’ I quickly asked him to elaborate on what he meant.
As he told his story, I was at first sympathetic and then alarmed – I started to wonder if we had anything to worry about with our project.
He told me that working with their builder had been a real nightmare. There was delay after delay and the construction was finished six weeks after the agreed upon deadline.
Also, they were expected to pay an extra $8,000 for so called ‘unforeseen expenses’.
Well, I was horrified. Yes, of course I felt sorry for my host but I was more concerned about our club. Let me tell you why.
When we first started our project, we purposely chose a construction timeline where the indoor arena would be finished by the end of July. Any delay to completing construction would have a catastrophic effect on our Event Calendar.
The most important month in our calendar is August – it’s when we have both a jumping and dressage clinic held by world renowned riders. It’s the highlight of the year and something all our members look forward to.
The dates for these events are locked in months in advance – and can’t be changed.
With regard to financing the project, well it goes without saying that a small country club like ours is hardly flush with cash.
We were stretched to the limit to come up with the required funds for our indoor arena in the first place and any increase in costs would have put us in an untenable financial situation.
So, on the way home, my mind was buzzing. As soon as I got in the door, I started ringing around to find out if what I had heard from my host was a common scenario.
Well, there were some real horror stories. It was truly shocking to hear about some of the unethical practices shonky builders were trying to get away with – they didn’t seem to have any qualms at all about taking advantage of unsuspecting clients.
I was so concerned that I made sure our club president contacted the builder to get some assurances about timelines and budgets.
The feedback we got was that both the builder and the sub-contractor had an excellent track record, so there was nothing to worry about.
Still, there was still a small feeling of nervousness in the back of my mind during the final stages of the construction phase.
Well, I needn’t have worried…
A week ago, we were asked by the developer to come to the construction site. We thought we were going to a meeting to get a progress update like we had done several times before.
Imagine our surprise when we drove into the carpark to see our new beautiful indoor arena, completed FIVE WEEKS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.
I looked at the other club members, they looked at me. We just nodded at each other, knowing that we had made the right choice with regard to the builder.
Not only did the facility look fantastic, we could continue our yearly program without any hiccups.
Just when we thought the news couldn’t be any better, we found out that because the construction had been completed so early, the budget allocation for the workman for that five week period was obviously no longer required.
As a result, not only was our custom-made arena built AHEAD OF TIME – it was also finished UNDER BUDGET, which the builder passed on to us.
But that’s not the best part of my story. The best part is when the whole club turned out to see the new arena last Sunday and we saw the smiles on all the kids’ faces.
Just seeing their response made all our efforts worthwhile.
Avoid being one of the horror stories – for any steel building construction, ASI Build are the people to see.