The Importance Of A Competent Person Part 2

The Importance Of A Competent Person Part 2

This is Sid for Michigan Builders—one of the things I want to touch on is the value of a competent person. Besides monitoring Miosha's requirements and safety requirements on the job site, I would hope that your competent person is there.

When subs are working, your competent person should be the eyes and ears of the general contractor. The competent person should be there when the work is done on a job site. That's a Miosha requirement. I'm presently involved in reporting for a lawsuit, and in this particular situation, the builder hired a subcontractor to install brick on his new construction. While installing the brick, there was no one there to monitor it.

And on the final inspection, when the inspector came out, he was looking for the base flashing. It's got to be at the bottom and tops of windows and doors, and it's usually left hanging out so the inspector can see it. He doesn't see it when he comes to do the final inspection. He also doesn't see the weep holes that have to be on top of your brick ledge or your steel lintel. So he tells the contractor to make sure that he has an engineer or somebody who can sign off and prove that it's there and open up some areas so he can see it. That's how I got involved.

I went to the job site to look at this job site, and I don't see any base flashing. And I borrowed my grandson's metal detector before I went out there. With a metal detector, you can scan the brick, and sometimes, you can find the brick ties that show up very easily.


Okay. I found brick ties, but they were spaced from 6 to 8 feet apart, which is not per code. And I didn't find any base flashing at the bottoms of and tops of windows and doors. So I dug some of the ground out at grade, and I did find weep holes. So when I found the windows, they were 12 to 14in below grade. Whatever they had used for the Whipple disintegrated. It was some sort of plastic material, and it totally disintegrated.

I hoped to see the base flashing once I took the weephole out. There was none there. I tried 4 or 5 other locations removing the weep holes, and there was no base flashing.

End of the story? Not quite. The problem is this: I did my report. The building department also verified what I had seen, and all the brick had to come off the house. That's because a competent person wasn't there watching how the products were being installed. What was also a problem was that after they removed all that brick, which was totally useless, they discovered that whoever put the housewrap on had used duct tape on the seams, and the duct tape had dried and was peeling away. So then the housewrap had to be redone as well.

So I hope this helps you understand why you need a competent person on your job site to monitor work. I wish you good luck on your projects and try to reduce your liability. Thank you.