It’s crunch time. Installation is just weeks away, and we have a building to finish. Day after day I am spending time at the project site, on the phone, or answering official RFI’s submitted by the GC’s team. All with the intent to help to keep the contractor moving and ensure they meet their completion schedule.

This is what a typical RFI may look like: RFI form

Below are some of the questions I answered today: (pictures and attachments referenced below are not attached)

  • The Men’s and Women’s showers show a threshold at the shower entrance. The threshold at the Men’s shower is presumably the same width as the wall that is parallel to the threshold. Should the threshold in the Women’s be the same width as the Men’s? Please confirm the width and materiality of the other thresholds shown on the attachment.
  • We would like to issue a confirming RFI for the elevations of the various mirrors. Mirror type ACC-02 will all reside 1 ½” clear between the top of the backsplash and bottom of the mirror frame. The taller mirrors ACC-02-01 will align in elevation with the top of the frame of the mirrors above the counter/lavatory mirrors. Please confirm.
  • The wood pieces that make up the border on the wood floor was ordered in different sizes than shown in the drawings. Overall dimension is consistent, but please see the attached and confirm that these dimensions on the border can be changed to:– Walnut strip: 1 1/2″ wide rather than 1 3/4″– White Oak: 2 3/4″ wide rather than 2 1/2″

    – White Oak plank: 9″ long rather than 6″ as shown. 

  • On detail A1, sheet AE 832, you show a base that is wood. But on the elevations call for stone. Stone was ordered. Please clarify which material you want.  
  • Tile border installation: The onsite conditions aren’t as shown in the drawings. The tile border isn’t aligning with the door casings. See pictures attached. How would you like to proceed?

This is just a sampling of the days questions and can vary greatly in the time it takes to respond with answers. Usually on a project you have about 7-10 days to get an answer back, but in these last weeks of construction, answers are needed yesterday!

As a last note: These questions may not be the most exciting part of design work, but they can be some of the most crucial. Being able to communicate with the contractor and resolve questions or discrepancies to your design vision in a timely manner and professional way is what separates the good from the best designers. After all, we may dream big, but if we can’t see that vision through to a quality and accurate installation, our visions are just that – dreams.

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