Industry Voices – Don’t Let Roof and Floor-Opening Frames Create Discord

Welcome to the first post in our “Industry Voices” series, where experts from Macuch Steel will address topics that are relevant to the steel industry. This blog is from our President, Gary L. Cowart, who discusses the importance of cohesion between General Contractors and Subcontractors.


Most contract documents are clear on the requirements for roof and floor-opening frames. The documents will identify the structural shapes that make up the frame, the general configuration of the frame, and how the frame attaches to the structural framing.  What is not commonly found in the contract documents is the dimensional location and size of the frames.  This information is generally not available at the time of the structural design, and, for the most part, is dependent on the suppliers and subcontractors chosen by the project’s “General Contractor”.  Long story short: at the time a building contract is awarded, the information required for the floor and roof-opening frames is simply not there.  As a subcontractor, we receive a contract that has some language (and I paraphrase) along these lines: “you must coordinate with other trades”.  On the surface, this sounds great.  Have you ever heard an orchestra without a conductor?  It just does not work!  I have seen the construction progress on very large structures such as high schools, hospitals and office buildings come to a screeching halt because of the lack of floor and roof-opening information.  So what is the answer?

It’s simple!  Someone has to OWN the problem before a solution can be found.  I believe that, as a team with the General Contractor coordinating the input from subcontractors, the issue could be resolved.  But until someone acts as a good conductor and pulls it all together, it is nothing more than noise.  Floor and roof-opening frames should never be a show stopper on construction projects.

Call Macuch Steel…we can help your orchestra make beautiful music!

Gary L. Cowart


Macuch Steel Products, Inc.

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