04 Dec 2018

When a Mismatch is a Match — Happy Accident

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If I ever reincarnated as dirty laundry, I’d want to be socks because socks definitely have the most fun on laundry day. Socks mix-it-up unlike any other laundry article. Socks disappear, find religion (get holey) and when a sock’s original mate disappears or dies the sock pairs with another sock. This unlikely pair may not match exactly but together they create an interesting and functional mismatch. Yes, I’d definitely be a sock so my mismatch would still be a match.

Sometimes a mismatch can be a match in construction projects too. Here’s an example involving a paint can and twin project sites. I’m deep in the throes of my Construction Administration duties visiting project site 1 & on my way to project site 2. The contractor (who happens to be the contractor on both projects) calls.

CONTRACTOR: Hey, architect, the painting sub underestimated the paint quantity at project site 2. Can you visit the paint supplier to charge another paint bucket of color #6179 to my account and I’ll send a runner to the supplier to retrieve it?

ARCHITECT: I’m on my way to project site 2 now. I’ll order the bucket and will deliver it to project site 2. Hey, contractor. I just found a bucket on project site 1 and noticed the color number you provided is the same. Is this the same wall color and should I bring a bucket from project site 1?

CONTRACTOR: Yes, it is the same color. Bring any excess paint from project site 1 to project site 2 and thank you.

I checked the bucket and discovered it was empty but grabbed the bucket anyway because I noticed the cap included a label with the formula mix and a bar code.

When I arrived at the paint supplier, the associate scanned the bar code and determined the subcontractor purchased the paint from a different location. The supplier alerted me that paint colors may vary between stores even though it’s the same formula number. She said the mixing equipment disburses different pigment quantities that may alter the color. She expressed confidence in her equipment but also offered to call the other store to ask if they had the base I needed.

Even though I didn’t want to make another stop, I really didn’t want a mismatched paint so I asked her to call the other location. The original location had the product and color so I altered my route to visit the second supplier.

I retrieved the paint and it matched perfectly – thus a happy accident with a happy ending. The happy accident isn’t that I visited two suppliers. The happy accident is that I collected a used paint bucket with the specific color formula and supplier location rather than relying on a generic color number. Another happy accident is I learned something about matching paint. Unlike my mismatched socks that remain concealed behind shoes, my paint is a perfect match.

Architalks Entries

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
When a Mismatch isn a Match — Happy Accident

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
“happy accidents”

Rusty Long – Rust Architect (@rustylon)

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Happy Accidents

Mark Stephens – Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
There is no such thing as a happy accident

Anne Lebo – The Treehouse (@anneaganlebo)
Architalks 45 Happy Accidents

Architalks Credits

This is another entry in Bob Borson’s blogging brain-child titled, “ArchiTalks”.

The #ArchiTalks goal is to inspire blogging architects with similar educational and professional requirements to opine on the same topic and simulpost their response so other architects and a broader audience can enjoy the rampant thought-diversity within the architecture profession

Select the links in “Architalks Entries” above to read how architects responded to the “Happy Accident” topic.

image/video credits:


About the Author

Your Architect is Eric Faulkner -- an architect licensed in Texas & Oklahoma with 32 years experience in design, construction observation and life.