The Orange Demarcation

NOTE: As of September 23, 2009, this post has been edited in
accordance with a court-mediated settlement. The names of the
contractor and his excavation subcontractor have been replaced with

I have fallen down on the job of the item-per-day, though I will get back to that, I swear. Instead, I have been attending crucial fundraising events with our financial backers and attending meetings, and last night we put up a fence and then lay on the couch eating take-out Chinese.

What's this about a fence, you ask?

Our consultant suggested we put up a security fence to keep materials from walking off the job (read: to keep Contractor A from stealing them, as he was claiming all the materials on the site that we'd paid for were actually his, and he struck us as just dishonest enough to show up and steal them). This seemed like a good idea to us, owners of thousands of dollars worth of rusting and rotting supplies. So I called a couple fence contractors and they gave me prices and then I looked up the cost of a roll of orange material at Home Depot. $22. I stopped by after work.

(New Home Depot Emeryville tip: check out in the garden section so they don't treat you like a criminal at the door.)

We had fenceposts, so it took all of half an hour (interspersed with talking to neighbors and shooing the kids off the mini-pile) to get the fence up.

A fence

A protective orange fence

To keep our materials from sticky fingers

Our main concern is making it clear that the property is off limits to Contractor A (who was already doing a lot of yelling and threatening). I hope Contractor A (who had admitted to us he was doing a lot of drinking) is not stupid enough to show up and remove the materials we paid (through the nose) for, or sabotage the site as he threatened last week, but if he does, he has to cross a fence to do it.

The situation also encouraged us to put up a camera security system on the site, in part to document comings and goings (we had one camera specifically trained on the supply pile so if Contractor A did show up and steal them we would have evidence). It also allowed us to document the work done on the job site by subsequent contractors.

posted by ayse on 07/21/05