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The Garrison Brothers with Pat Kapowich - Settlement and underpinning; Seismic Upgrades
Posted by Tim K. Garrison, PE on 10/24/2016 to * Tim on TV
With over 60 years of combined, real-world construction experience Mark and I encourage the tough issues, tackling questions that only a seasoned profesional engineer and battle-tested building contractor can truthfully answer.

* Show #226: Settlement and underpinning; seismic upgrades; cripple walls; addition of a 2nd floor.


The Garrison Brothers with Pat Kapowich - Remodels and Additions; Foundation Problems
Posted by Tim K. Garrison, PE on 10/24/2016 to * Tim on TV

With over 60 years of combined, real-world construction experience Mark and I encourage the tough issues, tackling questions that only a seasoned profesional engineer and battle-tested building contractor can truthfully answer.

 * Show #225: Additions, remodels; water in the crawlspace; foundation undermining; cracks in the foundation.

Tim gets graphic


Professional Design - Why Bother?
Posted by Tim Garrison on 5/28/2014 to * Business savvy
Hiring an architect and / or engineer costs money, money that could instead be used for upgraded cabinets or carpets. And who wants to work with a snooty design professional anyway?

In this article Tim addresses the above as well as the following:
* Architect vs. designer?
* What type of engineer is needed?
* Tim's Top 5 criteria when selecting a consultant. Would you believe "nice" is at the top of the list?

 Article here
Over-Engineering
Posted by Administrator on 2/5/2014 to * Structural
The next time you run into an over-engineer, let this be the go-to thing to show him / her.





These are slides from a Power Point show I do for builders who are trying to get Lean.

I'm doing a small commercial job in the Seattle area and have never in all my years run into a plan checker who's such an over-engineer. This person produced a 50 item correction list - just for structural.  And this is the 2nd submittal! I've done thousands of projects from LA to Canada and have never encountered anything like it. My designs almost never even earn a single comment during plan check. This guy's correction list has nothing of substance - just a bunch of busy work for me, apparently brought up to justify his existence, or maybe to show off his "massive knowledge." Why even bother hiring a PE - just have this person do the design and stamp the plans - he spent as much time dissecting my work as I did producing it. My architect and I have agreed never to work in this jurisdiction again, or if we do, triple our fees. Yes, this plan checker is doing a wonderful service to the taxpayers in his city.
Spreadsheets - Part 3, Text Intensive
Posted by Administrator on 1/30/2014 to * Business savvy
I don't know about you, but I've spent many a frustrated hour wrangling with Microsoft Word.

It's taken about 20 years, but I've finally figured out that Excel is dandy at handling certain text-intensive tasks. Here's a rule-of-thumb: If your Word document includes a table, you're probably better off using a spreadsheet.

Entire article here
The Garrison Brothers with Pat Kapowich - Permitting and the Design Team
Posted by Administrator on 1/4/2014 to * Tim on TV
The Garrison Brothers, Mark and Tim, discuss permitting: Why bother; what are the costs; how long does it take? Also covered: Why the design team is a value added expense critical to a quality job. The roles of the architect, designer and engineer, and how much you should expect to pay for their services.



Link to Kapowich On Realty Show #214
The Garrison Brothers with Pat Kapowich - Flips Gone Bad
Posted by Administrator on 1/4/2014 to * Tim on TV
The Garrison Brothers, Mark and Tim, tackle flips gone bad: Shoddy work, sagging rafters, bouncy floors - causes and remedies. Also discussed: Two triggers for full code upgrades.



Link to Kapowich On Realty Show #213
HP41 Good, Spreadsheet Better
Posted by Administrator on 8/24/2013 to * Software / templates
[Published in Structural Engineer Magazine, August, 2013. First in a series on the awesome power and utility of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets]

 If I were to set college curricula, every engineering student would take a class on spreadsheets.

Entire article here
I Cannot Help You So Let Me Know What I Can Help You
Posted by Administrator on 6/24/2013 to * Business savvy
Here is a very sure way to send customers racing to your competition.

Our Building Codes - Good, Bad, or Ugly?
Posted by Administrator on 4/1/2013 to * Structural
What do YOU think of our building codes, the IBC and IRC?

I've been publicly critical of the International Codes over the years. Well, someone at the ICC finally saw one of my articles and lashed back with a letter to the editor. Here it is:


This letter is in response to a two-part piece I wrote concerning minimum rebar requirements in foundations. Here are the two articles:

Part 1, From Structural Engineer Magazine, January, 2013

Part 2, From Structural Engineer Magazine, March, 2013

Of course the ICC would disagree with my opinion that their publications are convoluted and confusing. But to suggest that I be banned from voicing that opinion in the future is downright un-American.

How do you feel about the IBC and IRC?

* Are they user-friendly?
* Do they produce consistent results from user to user?
* Can you find what you're looking for easily and quickly?

I'll post the results from this poll on my blog at BuildersEngineer.com


Thanks for you time.
Kapowich On Realty - The Garrison Brothers Discuss Decks, Foundations, and Drainage
Posted by Administrator on 3/16/2013 to * Tim on TV
Mark and Tim discuss decks, foundations, and drainage - typical problems and solutions.



Link to Kapowich On Realty Show #204 here.

Kapowich On Realty - The Garrison Brothers Discuss Selection of Design, Build Team
Posted by Administrator on 3/16/2013 to * Tim on TV
Tim and Mark discuss the critical elements involved in selecting a builder, engineer, architect, or entire design-build team. The standard contract and insurance requirements are also touched on.



Link to Kapowich On Realty, #203, 30-minute show here.

Clearing the Confusion On Plain Concrete - Rebar Requirements In Footings and Concrete Walls - Part 2, Walls
Posted by Administrator on 3/15/2013 to * Structural
This is part 2 of Tim's article, published in Structural Engineer Magazine, March, 2013, on minimum rebar requirements in foundations.

In this article, Tim strives extravagantly to unravel the hopelessly tangled ball of string that is the IBC concerning minimum rebar in foundation walls.

Entire Part 2 article here.

Part 1 here.
Green Framing - A Report Card
Posted by Administrator on 2/14/2013 to * Structural
Green framing has been a hot topic for at least a decade. So the question is: To what degree has our industry really embraced green framing? From what I've seen in the field the answer is, very little.

[This is the pdf version of the article published in Professional Builder Magazine, February, 2013.]

Clearing the Confusion On Plain Concrete - Rebar Requirements In Footings and Concrete Walls - Part 1, Footings
Posted by Administrator on 1/26/2013 to * Structural

Dear Builder’s Engineer,

I’ve heard that rebar is not required by code in foundations and basement walls yet I’ve never seen a plan that leaves it out. If true, what a great way to save money in this economy. What’s the straight scoop on this?

Bill S., Edgerton, Wisconsin

Dear Bill,

Before I jump into the answer per code, if I happen to be the engineer on a project, all concrete will contain a fair amount of rebar. This is a rare case where I exceed minimum code. I’ll explain why at the end of the article.

[This article was published by Structural Engineer Magazine in January, 2013.]
Sagging Rafters
Posted by Administrator on 12/26/2012 to * Structural
Dear Builder's Engineer,

My house is an old-time house, I suspect 100 years old. It was built with 2x4 rafters. And the foot print is 30x24', and a piece of 1x6 shiplap as the ridge. I live in Regina, Sask and we get plenty of snow in the winter. I bought the house and later found that the inspector missed the cracked cripple and sagging common rafters....
Learning Profit
Posted by Administrator on 9/19/2012 to * Business savvy

Dear Builder’s Engineer,

My 15-year old small business is barely getting by even after I’ve done everything I can think of to streamline it. I know there is enough work out there and that I could be profitable, but I also know that my company has problems that are keeping me down. My question is, how do I get good advice? Asking my friends seems like the blind leading the blind.

Ken W., Denver, CO

Dear Ken,

I applaud you for seeking quality advice. Many small business owners don’t and insteadmake the same mistakes over and over, with the predictable result ofimplosion. I’m reminded of the saying, “You can lead a student to knowledge but you can’t make him learn.”

Smarter Than Cordwood?
Posted by Administrator on 9/10/2012 to * Business savvy

What do you think of the old saying, “Measure Twice, Cut Once?


Not much, actually. That saying, in my opinion, is for amateurs.

Allow me to illustrate. In my 52 years, I’ve cut a lot of firewood. Growing up on a cattle ranch in Modesto, CA, we lived in a circa 1920s rambler. It had three heat sources: a fireplace and two wood stoves. It contained not a stitch of insulation and wind blew through its single-pane, sash and counterweight windows like a lawn chair. Winters in Modesto were damp and chilly – we wouldn’t see the sun for months through the tule fog.

So my three brothers, myself, and my dad spent summers cutting lots of firewood.

Nowadays I live in a modern house with actual in-floor hydronic heat. The problem is, my boiler is oil-fired and diesel costs $4+ a gallon. I have a wood stove and several lifetime’s supply of....
Why BuildersEngineer.com?
Posted by Administrator on 8/6/2012 to * Business savvy
To all of our preexisting ConstructionCalc.com customers - a hearty welcome, and thank you for staying with us as we make the switch to BuildersEngineer.com.

Here, in a nutshell, is what's going on...
The Garrison Brothers With Pat Kapowich - Permit issues
Posted by Administrator on 8/2/2012 to * Tim on TV
Tim and Mark discuss building permit issues.



Kapowich On Realty, show 196
The Garrison Brothers with Pat Kapowich - Drainage issues
Posted by Administrator on 8/1/2012 to * Tim on TV
Tim Garrison and brother Mark discuss drainage and damage related to water with Pat Kapowich.



Kapowich On Realty, show 195
Advice For My Son
Posted by Administrator on 6/23/2012 to * Business savvy

Dear Builder’s Engineer,

You write a lot about business savvy. I’m nearing retirement and want to pass along my design-build company to my son. What is the one, most important piece of advice you would give in this situation?

All Engineers Created Equally?
Posted by Administrator on 5/23/2012 to * Business savvy

Dear Builder’s Engineer,

I’ve noticed a big difference in the items one engineer calls out compared to another. This seems bizarre. Aren’t all engineers supposed to follow the same code?

Travis S., Phoenix, AZ

Dear Travis,

Engineers, like builders and architects, are not created equally. While it’s true we all must adhere to the same building codes, our designs will vary wildly. Here’s why.

Can A Building Inspector Do That?
Posted by Administrator on 5/17/2012 to * Business savvy

Dear Builder’s Engineer,

The house plans called for a footing nine-inches tall, which is how I formed it. The building inspector came along and rejected it saying it had to be 12-inches tall, minimum. So I had to change it. These plans were engineered; can he legally do that?

Alonzo, Tracy, CA

Dear Alonzo,

In a word, maybe.

The first question to be answered is, what does code require? In the old days that was a pretty straightforward question. No longer.
Studs At 24-inch Spacing?
Posted by Administrator on 5/15/2012 to * Structural

Dear Builder’s Engineer,

With green framing all the rage I have been tempted to start using studs at 24-inch spacing rather than 16, like I’ve always done. How much will I really save doing this and is it safe? I’m especially concerned with wavy drywall and siding.

Bob M., Houston, Texas

Dear Bob,

Savings will come in several ways. First, you’ll use a lot fewer studs. Here’s an easy way to determine approximately how many less. Number of studs saved = lineal feet of wall * 0.25.

Websites 101
Posted by Administrator on 4/15/2012 to * Business savvy

Dear Builder’s Engineer,

I know every small business is supposed to have a website but I have not taken the plunge yet. My business is down like everyone’s in this recession. Do you think a website really matters – is it time I bit the bullet and put one up?

In a word, absolutely.

I’ve said it before and here it is again: In Any Business, Marketing Is Half. Or in the words of a grizzled colleague: “Think of your business as a marketing company that just happens to provide construction services.”

Shear Off A Wall
Posted by Administrator on 3/17/2012 to * Structural

Dear Builder’s Engineer,

I’m a framer and I hear all the time, “shear off a wall.” What’s that really mean?

Jerome O., Branchville, South Carolina

Dear Jerome,

If you were in the giant scissor business, I’d have a different answer than the one that follows.

In the world of construction, shear can refer to several things. To engineers it’s a certain type of stress inside a structural member due to some applied load. Shear can also mean a lateral load from earthquake or wind. And shear can refer to a construction method of resisting wind and earthquake loads. To shear off a wall is in reference to this third definition.


Nails vs. Screws
Posted by Administrator on 3/7/2012 to * Structural

Dear Builder’s Engineer,

I’ve noticed that some details call out screws, some call out nails, and some don’t make any callout at all. Is there a really a difference in the strength of nails vs. screws?

Jerred, Autin, TX

Dear Jerred,

I wish the answer was as straightforward as your excellent question but unfortunately it is not.

Connector strength depends on a long list of variables: species of wood, diameter of connector, duration of load, moisture content of wood, thickness of members, length of penetration, edge distance, end distance, spacing of connectors, orientation of wood grain, and probably the installer’s brand of underwear.

I Like You If...
Posted by Administrator on 2/16/2012 to * Business savvy

Do you behave differently when you want something as opposed to when you have the thing others want? The “thing” can be tangible like a building permit or a set of plans. My teenage son provides another excellent example. He’s so friendly when he wants money – he’s been known to actually initiate a conversation when he’s broke. But when I want chores done it’s a different deal.

Mentor A Greenhorn - It's Win-Win
Posted by Administrator on 1/20/2012 to * Business savvy

Armand Hand went to an education committee meeting today for the first time ever. Why today? He is a very successful builder who’s lived and worked here in Skagit County nearly all of his 50+ years. He doesn’t need to attend such things.

Why do I, after 10+ years, continue to serve on that same committee? I’ve put in my time for the greater good. There’s no pay nor stipend, and we members even buy our own lunch. Why should I continue? Why should the other long-timers on the committee continue?

Bad Hustle - Good Hustle - A Marketing Lesson
Posted by Administrator on 12/30/2011 to * Business savvy

In Mexico everyone hustles. Not in the sense of hurrying, but rather in the sense of, “Ai, amigo, special price for ju today! Everything half off! I gonna sell you this hand-carved coconut head for just 500 pesos. Niiice, eh amigo?”

It’s positively numbing all that hustling. Driving by a public park, for example, the basketball backboards were ads for cell phones. On the beach, vendors were as common as sand. There were tip-grubbing jugglers performing during red lights in jammed intersections. A guitar man got on our bus, sang two songs, didn’t get tipped, then got back off. Every flat surface yells at you in neon colors and bold font. Taxi drivers will throw you into a half-nelson to get you in their car. After a while one gets calloused and stops paying attention. It actually becomes anti-marketing.

My family just spent a week in Nuevo Vallarta and we had a bueno time - except for the inescapable, pervasive selling.

There was one instance, however, in which I didn’t mind the hustle – where I was actually eager to pay a generous tip.

Luis Fortuno vs. Barak Obama - A Report Card
Posted by Administrator on 12/27/2011 to * Business savvy

Who is Luis Fortuno? I didn't know either until I read a short article on him in Sunday's Skagit Valley Herald. He is the Republican Governor of Puerto Rico.

Normally I avoid politics like the mall on Black Friday. Mostly because our political machine is so bloated, partisan, and broken it nauseates me. But for some reason I read this article, which I found so inspiring I’m passing along the gist. This is the first time I’ve ever posted something with a political bent and it may be the last.

Facebook Schmacebook?
Posted by Administrator on 10/26/2011 to * Business savvy

Do you Facebook? Can ‘Facebook’ be used as a verb?

“Yo, Vinnie, you wanna know what’s in my secret barbeque sauce? Tell you what, I’ll Facebook it tomorrow. Check it out.”

‘Google’ became a verb; why not ‘Facebook’?

Anything that goes from noun to verb, globally, should be paid attention to. If you’re interested in operating a successful business, you’d better know how to Google, and you should also jump on the Facebook bandwagon. Here’s why.

Unblocked Shear Walls? Would You Believe, Yes!
Posted by Administrator on 5/18/2011 to * Structural

In my relentless pursuit of green, I am forced to face the question: Must all plywood or OSB shear walls be blocked?

I say forced because prying the answer from our wonderful building code is like trying to wrest a fresh butcher’s bone from a junkyard dog. After much toil and sweat, however, I think I have succeeded.

The Mysterious Disappearing Cypress
Posted by Administrator on 4/25/2011 to * Structural

The elderly woman’s voice on the other end of the phone said, “Hello? Is this Mr. Garrison, the engineer?”

“Yes,” I replied, “thank you for calling. How may I help you today?”

“Well, it’s my plant, you see. It disappeared. A lovely Dwarf Cypress, it was, in a 15 gallon pot. I went to water it the other day but when I got there it was gone: plant, pot, and all. Sunk into a hole in the ground right next to my house. My builder-friend thought I should call you about it. He’s worried that the house might fall in next.”


Free Advice! (makes me nervous)
Posted by Administrator on 3/27/2011 to * Business savvy

I get lots of emails asking for structural advice - which is great - I welcome them. However, it’s hard for me to offer detailed advice without having seen a drawing or plan.

Everyone, myself included, likes free advice. We all have nagging questions about things in which we are not experts. Things that if we guess wrong will cost us.
Save Me $2,000 or No Soup For You! - A Green Framing Summary
Posted by Administrator on 3/17/2011 to * Structural

Would you take a consulting gig where you got paid only if your investigation resulted in at least $2,000 savings per home, hard money? Kind of like the Soup Nazi – either order food his way or no soup for you!

That was the deal Scott Sedam at TrueNorth Development recently agreed to with a medium-sized, western builder. I was the engineering component of Scott’s Lean Team.

My piece of the job pertained to the structural aspects. My mission:

1) To identify inefficient construction;

2) To estimate its cost;

3) Recommend more efficient, greener methods.
Show Me the Green
Posted by Administrator on 2/27/2011 to * Structural

As a practicing engineer I see dozens of plan sets every year. What I can’t figure out is why aren’t they different today than they were 10-years ago? Where’s the green? If green is so great, then show me the green!

I’m seeing no green.

Well, why not? Who’s in charge of green? Builders? Code officials? Engineers? Owners? Architects?

Single Or Double Top Plate? - Diminishing Returns?
Posted by Administrator on 2/13/2011 to * Structural

Green framing is a terrific concept, not much debate in that. But is there a point of diminishing returns? Yes, of course there is. Remove too much wood, and strength suffers.

Take the humble top plate of a stick framed wall for example. For thousands of centuries builders have used the Double Top Plate. As opposed to the Single Top Plate, which cuts the amount of top plate lumber precisely in half. Any progressive, green-thinking framer ought to wonder: why, then, even consider the Double?
Unreinforced Masonry - Dangerous?
Posted by Administrator on 2/1/2011 to * Structural

I recently visited San Luis Obispo, CA and spent some time strolling about downtown. I came upon the following placard posted conspicuously on the front of an older building.

EARTHQUAKE WARNING: This is an unreinforced masonry building...

The placard struck me as funny for several reasons:

1. This town and every other town up and down the west coast (earthquake country) is full of unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs).

2. This was the only such placard I saw in San Luis Obispo, or for that matter, in any town, ever.

3. The placard presupposes that a shopper will be prescient enough to know when the earthquake will hit and thus will avoid being in or around at that time.

So we’re left with a few questions:

A. Why bother with the placard?

B. How much risk is there, really, with unreinforced masonry buildings?

C. What can be done to mitigate the risk?

Tearing Out Walls - Safely
Posted by Administrator on 12/29/2010 to * Structural

I’m doing a remodel which requires the removal of an interior wall. Can I do this? Is it safe?

Don Gorgis

Sonora, CA

Dear Don,

I was once told by a remodeler that if I would answer this very question and post it to my blog, it would be the hottest thing on the internet. Somehow I doubt that, but I’m glad to shed some light on an oft misunderstood and underestimated topic. Thank you for asking.

Following are the four main steps involved in demo’ing a wall or a part of one. Please understand that there are many ways of doing things – what I discuss below may or may not be exactly applicable to every situation. If in doubt, be safe: call in an expert.

Sagging Floors - Dangerous?
Posted by Administrator on 7/19/2010 to * Structural

A newspaper ran the following article recently. It caught my eye because the subject concerns one of the most common problems I address in my engineering practice: sagging floors.

The columnist provided some information that fit in the limited space allotted but not nearly enough to really address the issues. For example, s/he says there are four reasons a floor can sag, exactly four...
Brick Lintel Trouble
Posted by Administrator on 7/1/2010 to * Structural

A builder recently asked if I could help them with a brick cracking problem at the lintel supports at their double garage doors. The brick in question is full-sized brick veneer with stick-framed wall behind.

Here is a sketch of the issue (the deflection shown is at an exaggerated scale.)
The IRC - Shooting Yourself In the Foot
Posted by Administrator on 6/10/2010 to * Business savvy

I attended a 3-hour IRC (International Residential Code) update class yesterday. The IRC is, in my opinion, a classic example of shooting yourself in the foot.

I’ve written about the IRC before (“When Is Engineering Required Per the IRC?”, http://buildersengineer.3dcartstores.com/When-Is-Engineering-Required-Per-the-IRC_b_38.html). I’ll spare you the chore of clicking around to find that by reprinting the more interesting points here:

Over-Engineer Kills Project
Posted by Administrator on 2/11/2010 to * Business savvy

I got a call recently from Stylus R. Ofom, a sales rep for a brand of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF).

“Tim,” he carped, “I’ve got a new high-end home project in San Francisco that an engineer WAY overdesigned. This guy spec’d so much rebar, there’s no room left for the concrete. No contractor will bid the job – and that’s saying something in these tough times. He’s killed the project! I’d call the joker but I’m so hacked right now I’d probably say something I shouldn’t. And besides, you know how certain engineers can never be wrong? I’m in a bad way here. Would you be interested in re-engineering this thing?”

Social Media - Really Necessary?
Posted by Administrator on 12/7/2009 to * Business savvy

It seems that every marketing tip these days includes a screaming imperative for some sort of internet-based social media. It’s so boggling I’m not even sure I said that right.

Rule number 1 in all business is you survive only if you sell things. Goods or services, it doesn’t matter; money only flows in when the register goes cha-ching. I found out a long time ago that selling is impossible without marketing. In the old days it was easy; you paid for ads. Nowadays you’d better be computer and internet savvy or you’re sunk. Right?

If you believe marketing experts, that’s right. My experience, however, bears a different conclusion.

The Chimney Sweep – Part 1 – Shadetree Ladders and Buzzards
Posted by Administrator on 12/2/2009 to * Humor / satire

“Tim, I smell smoke!” my gal, Cindy, rasped the other day. “And it’s giving me a headache. Can’t you do something about that stupid wood stove?”

“What are you talk-hak-kaf-ing about,” I replied. “I can’t smell a thing. And I can’t believe your hyper-sensitive nose can either. Hey, don’t run away when I’m trying to have a conversation with you.”

“I’m not running away - I’m right here. You might be able to see me if the smoke wasn’t so thick.”

“Well, a small puff happened to escape when I put in a log just now. Probably clear –hak- up in a few –kaf- minutes.”

Cindy didn’t think so and went around throwing open every door and window in the place.

“You’re letting the warm air out!” I cried. “And the arctic air in. You’re defeating the whole purpose of the wood stove!”

“Right now I wouldn’t care if a blizzard blew through as long as it brought some fresh air with it. This place smells like an ashtray.”
The Chimney Sweep – Part 2 – Chevvy the Chimney Guy
Posted by Administrator on 12/1/2009 to * Humor / satire

[In Part 1 Tim attempts to clean his stove pipe, falls, and nearly becomes buzzard food. He wisely decides to call a professional.]

“Hello, Chevvy, the Chimney Guy,” said the voice on the other end.

“How soon can you get to Big Lake?” I asked.

“Well, that depends on your budget. Is this an emergency?”

“My house isn’t burning down if that’s what you’re asking. See, I tried to clean my own…”

“Let me guess,” he interrupted. “You’ve got a broken stove pipe and there’s weather coming. Is that the case?”

The guy had radar. “How’d you know? Yes, that’s exactly it.”

“Yeah, geniuses like you call all the time. I can be there this evening. Cost will be in the five hundred dollar range, plus parts.”

“What’s your cost if you come next week?”

“That’d be non-emergency rates. One hundred plus parts.”
Stand Out
Posted by Administrator on 9/16/2009 to * Business savvy

My son, Connor, just turned 16. Among his other sophomoric activities, he plays baseball and basketball. This summer he played in a national baseball tournament in Florida. Around here, Connor is used to getting respect on the playing field. But in Florida he was just about as average as a six-and-a-half-inch trout caught on opening day from a stocked pond. And his team wasn’t any better. So on the fourth day Connor’s coach had a little talk with the team. Brad Wolgamott is a very successful businessman and youth coach, having taken teams to the little league world series and other national tournaments.

Before I recount coach Wolgamott’s speech, I need to tell you that I was especially struck by the applicability of the principles therein to any business. Brad was addressing a bunch of deflated 16U boys but could have just as easily been talking to a group of dinged up businessmen emerging from the recession. Here is what he said, as nearly as I can recollect.

The Tire Grudge
Posted by Administrator on 9/1/2009 to * Business savvy

My dear old dad, Charlie, has had a time of it with tires. It all started in about 1970 and a set of Montgomery Wards radials he bought for our Ford Country Squire station wagon. After about 20,000 miles one of those tires blew out.

MONKEY WARDS MAN: Hello sir, may I help you?

CHARLIE: Yes. I purchased these tires here a couple years ago and one of them had a sidewall blowout. I’d like it replaced please.

MONKEY WARDS MAN: How many miles do you have on this tire, sir?

CHARLIE: About 20,000.

MONKEY WARDS MAN: (looking at a chart in a binder) Well, the pro rata credit towards a new tire is seven dollars. The replacement cost to you, then, will be only twenty four dollars. Can we put that on for you now, sir?

CHARLIE: (agitated) What do you mean pro rata credit? This tire blew out in the sidewall, it didn’t wear out. I call that defective – something that should be replaced at no cost.

MONKE WARDS MAN: I’m sorry, sir, but store policy prohibits…

CHARLIE: (angry) Do you have a manager? I’d like to speak to him.

MONKEY WARDS MAN: No problem, sir. I’ll find him for you.

The short conclusion to this story is that Montgomery Wards would not budge on their tire policy and my dad not only did not spend another twenty four dollars for a new tire, he never again set foot in Montgomery Wards. Ever.

Thanks for visiting my blog. There's a lot of great content here but a few words to the wise:

* This content is not intended to solve specific construction problems. It's general information for you to use as you see fit, at your own risk.

* If you want to ask me an engineering-related question, the only way I might answer (depending on how busy I am) is if you add a comment to a specific blog article.  I see all of those and reply to some.  If you send me an email from the Contact page, I almost never reply to those - sorry in advance.

* A lot of folks ask me for recommendations for engineers local to them.  Unless you live in Skagit County, WA I won't have an opinion on this.  I always suggest checking with your local builder's association, which should have a roster of architects, engineers, builders, etc.  

* If you would like me to provide engineering services, I'm licensed in CA and WA only, so those are the only states in which I practice engineering. If you live in WA or CA and are interested in me providing engineering services, please visit my other website: TimKGarrison.com.

 * Business savvy
 * Structural
 * Drainage / water
 * Earthwork / soils
 * Software / templates
 * Humor / satire
 * Tim on TV

 The Garrison Brothers with Pat Kapowich - Settlement and underpinning; Seismic Upgrades
 The Garrison Brothers with Pat Kapowich - Remodels and Additions; Foundation Problems
 Professional Design - Why Bother?
 Over-Engineering
 Spreadsheets - Part 3, Text Intensive

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About Tim Garrison, Builder's Engineer