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April 4, 2024
The Key to Getting it “Wright”

Orville and Wilbur Wright, the inventors and builders of the first airplane, credited their achievement to a piece of advice their mother gave them when they were boys. She said, "If you get it right on paper, it'll be right when you build it."

Actually, the inverse of Mrs. Wright’s statement is even more relevant: if you don’t get it right on paper, it won’t be right when you build it.

Mrs. Wright’s advice holds equally true for exterior restoration projects today. The best way to save both time and money is to work out all the details on paper before contractors go anywhere near the building.

Long before the first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, the Wright brothers had delineated on paper every conceivable detail of their airplane—from wing strut to engine mount. Their drawings did not say “airfoil: shape as required.”  Similarly, language like “replace flashing as required” on a set of facade restoration drawings leaves many significant issues unresolved.

The key is to address all restoration issues systematically, on paper, before the start of construction. Contract Documents constitute detailed instructions to the contractor executing the restoration work that the engineer or architect designs. They should clearly indicate the type, quantity, and location of the work that needs to be performed.

Today, we enjoy some major advantages over the Wright Brothers. While Orville and Wilbur had only pencil and paper, we have networked and cloud-connected computers running cutting-edge drafting, asset information, and imaging systems.

SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects

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