Volume 44, Issue 2 - February 2009

The Laws of Contract Glazing
by Lyle R. Hill

We are now approaching the end of the first decade of the new millennium. And, as predicted, the rate of change that we encounter on a daily basis has reached a speed most would not have thought possible. And our industry has not been missed either. Certainly, we’ve had technological advances and many new products. People, especially those who wield influence within the industry, have changed. But at the same time, it’s hard to escape the somewhat haunting truth of the old adage that says, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” And, unfortunately, I believe the Laws of Contract Glazing are destined to never change!

The Law of Consultancy: The length of time an individual has been a consultant is directly proportional to the distance between that person and reality.

The First Law of Value Engineering: The profit potential of any given job is inversely proportional to the number of value engineering ideas a given bidder provides.

The Second Law of Value Engineering: The better your value engineering idea, the sooner it will be shared with your competitors.

The Law of Architectural Acuteness: The likelihood that an architect knows what he wants is 3 in 100; the likelihood that an architect is able to adequately communicate what he wants is 1 in 100; the likelihood that an architect will blame you when he doesn’t get what he thinks he wanted is 100 in 100. 

The Law of Cost Appropriation: The architect’s fee on a given project is inversely proportionate to the quality of the drawings and specifications that he or she will produce for the job. 

The Rule of Availability: The greater the architect’s resistance to a product substitution, the greater the likelihood that the specified product has been discontinued … in many cases for several years. 

The Sales Rep Axiom: The likelihood that any insider information or rumor told to you by a sales rep is true is approximately 38.92 percent. On a day when the rep in question is trying to get an order from you, the probability is 12.73 percent. The 

Law of Obsolescence: The likelihood that a specified high-performance glass product has been discontinued is directly proportional to the amount of time and money its manufacturer spent marketing the product. 

The Low-Bid Hypothesis: You will never be told you are the low bidder, even when you are the only bidder.

The Low-Bidder’s Dilemma: Never accept a contract on a job where you were the low bidder unless you were the only bidder. 

The Law of Culpability: When a problem of any kind arises on a job of any type or size, the architect will blame the glazing contractor, the general contractor will blame the glazing contractor, the owner’s consultant will blame the glazing contractor and, in an effort to improve his odds of getting paid on the job, the glazing contractor will even blame himself.

The Culpability Corollary: When things go really well on a job, the architect will claim all of the credit, the owner’s consultant will claim all of the credit and the general contractor will ask the glazing contractor for a price reduction. Thinking that it will somehow speed payments to him, the glazing contractor will apologize for things going so well … and cut his price. 

The Law of Futility: It will never change. It will never get better.

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.