As anyone who has ever been involved in a commercial construction real estate project knows, it is far more complex to deliver a finished building than it would appear.In today’s world of fast-paced building development plans, be it for an office, industrial park or shopping center, it is important to have a good, solid plan that will maximize the efficiency of the land and provide for the best use, making the most of the density that is allowed under the law. To do this, one first has to start with a good land-use planner. They are experts at looking at a tract of land and, based on its geographic location and field characteristics, can determine what are the best designs and layouts for the potential buildings, so as to not waste any of the property.Obviously, there are a lot of professionals whose expertise goes into perfecting a complete development plan. This includes land-use attorneys and contract attorneys, who cover the initial steps such as site acquisition and applying for permits, based on what the land-use experts have recommended. There are, of course, the all-important architects and engineers who should all be working together as a team to make your vision come to life. Each one of these professionals will provide their individual expertise as part of the team, to assist the other members of the team in their tasks and also perform their function appropriately. It is important to choose reliable professionals who have an existing, solid reputation in the community or who might have been recommended to you by other customers who have used their services before.One of the critical components of any development team will be the group that has the responsibility of creating the proper design for the property, which is typically the architect. A good architecture firm will not only be able to conceptualize the design, but after the owner’s approval be able to create the CAD drawings that will be necessary for the chosen construction company to build the building to the owner’s specifications.Once plans are drawn, they must be permitted by the local municipality, including ensuring proper fire safety codes. In today’s world, they must also be as energy efficient as possible by using some of the latest energy-saving devices, as well as computer-regulated monitoring systems to allow the building to operate at peak efficiency at all times, including evenings and weekends. With plans in hand, it is time to hand over the reins of the project construction to a qualified project management company. Now it is their critical task to make sure that the building is built to code and also on budget and on time.All of these functions are brought together under one firm, whose integrated solutions cover the entire span of building construction. One of the very best firms, which has been around for over 30 years, is the Shingobee Company. Be sure to visit them at http://www.shingobee.com/ to learn more about all the services they can provide to make your commercial construction experience a pleasant and successful one.
If you are relatively new to the commercial construction business you might still have some things to learn. One of those things ought to be how to stay within your budget. If you do not have a plan for doing this it could become a constant and unnecessary battle for you. The key here is – having a plan in the first place. We are going to give you some ideas on what costs must be accounted for in your plan in order to determine what your individual project budget will be. Then you can proceed to plan how to meet that budget.Unfortunately there are many common errors that occur when a commercial construction estimates their budget. The result is that quite often they do go over that budget. If you have a general concept of what those errors are you will know what to watch out for. Therefore, we will give you a list of what they are. In no particular order those factors are: price changes, omissions, unclear plans and specs, wrong assumptions, design changes, inadequate allowances, construction or design errors, cost-plus bids, hidden or concealed conditions, and design changes. This is some list! And this is only the list of known errors in budget estimations. It does not take into account all of the new issues that might crop up over time. But now you get a rough idea of all of the things that can go wrong. You and your leadership team may be able to come up with more possibilities right off the tops of your heads. Write them all down in your plan, and then proceed to discuss all of them in-depth.Some things you will accomplish by dramatically reducing your budgetary errors are: to forge better relationships with your subcontractors, decrease the amount of time it takes your company to complete projects, and generally stay ahead of the ballgame. In addition to our list, we have some general tips for overall budgetary success. Our first tip is do not always accept the lowest bid. While you do want to keep your costs low, you also want to ensure you receive quality work. You will not necessarily get that from the sub-contractor that gives you the lowest bid. Do some investigating of your prospect before you go into business with them.Our next suggestion is to always allow for any preventative measures; both from a safety standpoint involving any person who works on the project, and for things that could go wrong with that project. A lot of unplanned expense money on a project is paid out for medical care that is needed when people get injured on the job. Those injuries can be avoided if all safety guidelines and procedures are strictly adhered to. Additionally; when commercial construction companies fail to properly plan for anything that could go wrong on a project, that means more money will have to be shelled out to fix those things. This can be avoided if you allow for those kinds of expenses in your project budget to begin with. Remember the old Boy Scouts’ motto about always being prepared!!
Keeping a commercial construction project on budget requires determination, vigilance, creativity in problem-solving, and diplomacy. It begins almost at the moment a project is conceived and continues throughout the entire construction period.There are many reasons a commercial construction project will go over budget. Some causes simply can’t be adequately assessed or budgeted, such as delays and materials losses caused by a natural disaster. But many causes relate to poor planning and even weaknesses in the budgeting process itself.Typical Cost Control ProblemsCost overruns on a construction project happen, despite the most careful planning and control efforts. Some common causes for overruns include:
Lack of a well-defined project scope.
Poor estimating methods (or standards).
Out of sequence start/completion activities.
Inadequate comparison of planned-to-actual costs.
Unanticipated technical problems.
Poor (or no) project management policy and control practices.
Faulty schedule resulting in overtime or idle time expenses.
Escalating materials prices.
Three Big MistakesReview some of the more egregious construction cost overruns of recent years and you might see a familiar pattern to budget overruns. They are commonly made mistakes that can be adjusted and corrected during the contracting phase of a project.Managing these three weak areas may mitigate or eliminate many of the problems listed above:
Incomplete document design: a project owner may hand over the architect’s plans and specs to the contractor believing that every detail has been identified. In truth, the owner-architect agreement often only requires the architect to present the plans and specs of a general design intent. The complete in-depth details may not be included. The lack of complete design information places the contractor in the position of demanding more money for work that had not been clearly defined in the plans and specs. Multiple change orders and budget overruns result.
Resolution: the owner-architect agreement should specify that the architect will provide a 100% complete set of drawings, specs, and all related documents prepared by engineers (and others working on the project). Responsibility for overages caused by incomplete design falls back on the architect, not the contractor.
Complete review of documents prior to bidding: the contractor may seek additional compensation for necessary work that, according to the contractor, was “not shown on the plans and specifications.”
Resolution: the project owner’s contract language should stipulate that all contractors wishing to submit bids must affirm they have reviewed the plans and specs and fully understand the scope and intent of the project. Their price should cover all necessary work to fulfil the “implied or express design intent.”
The lowest bid: the project owner may face many pressures from investors, shareholders, and board members to accept the lowest bid. But lowest isn’t always the best. Underbidding can be risky and costly.
Resolution: work with trusted contractors who have completed projects similar to the current one. The contractor with a track record of successful on-time and in-budget builds is far more likely to be able to produce the same results for your project.
The root of successful budget containment lies in allowing a sufficient amount of planning time to thoroughly define the scope, schedule, quality, risk, resources, and budget for the construction project before the bid invitations are sent out to contractors.
Commercial construction can be a big undertaking, both literally and figuratively. You might think you have it all under control, but do you really? Here are ten tips that will help make your next commercial construction project a success.1. The lowest bid is not always your best choice. It’s a counter-intuitive thought compared to everything we have been taught. But even in these times of wanting to be sure to keep the bottom line in check, it’s important to find the best price for the project. Sometimes the low bid is that way because the contractor has no idea what the job entails, and other times they will come in low, get a payment or two, and then abandon the job.2. Go online and do your research. Check references, run the contractor’s board numbers, and study the backgrounds of your contractors so you can know before you sign on the dotted line just what you are getting. The internet can also be a source of information about current trends in commercial construction.3. Find a contractor who specializes in what you want done. Sometimes the biggest isn’t always the best. A smaller contractor who is more adept at smaller jobs might be just the right thing your job needs. If you are revamping a store, consider finding contractors who specialize in retail space renovations.4. Start with the general contractor and build from there. By bringing the general contractor into the job first, you are able to use their knowledge on the job from the beginning and have them help guide the project.5. Go ahead and add on that maintenance agreement. Once the job is done, you want to ensure that your project will last for years to come. A good maintenance contract that checks over the equipment is a great idea to clean and maintain things like your furnace or drain pipes. A quick cleaning now is much cheaper than an expensive repair later.6. Does the goal of the project further your company’s image and brand? If it doesn’t, it might not be the right project for you. This is a big capital expense, and you want it to pay off with a solid return on investment for you.7. Your project should make sense. Do you have custodial closet doors that open inwardly? Did the customer service booth end up with only a small front-facing window? Double check the design proposal before you go out to bid to ensure that the concept diagrams and blueprints make sense and lead to positive workflow.8. Along with number 7 goes ensuring that the areas like the office supplies and the copier are easy to get to and are going to keep things efficient in the office or administrative area.9. Decorate in such a way that the colors and furniture enhance your brand and your company’s image. Your customers should feel like they are welcome in your new place, so be sure your contractor includes an interior decorator in the plans.10. Be sure your contractors are all on board with the project and are capable of meeting the deadlines. This point is probably the most important one of all. Any delays are costly both financially and in terms of getting your business going again in the new location.Hopefully these tips will help get you going in the right direction for your next project. Happy building!
The end of 2013 and the start of 2014 marked a period of exceptionally bad weather across the United States. New housing construction dropped to the lowest monthly total ever recorded, even when the Great Recession was at its lowest point. And as 2014 ends, early-season arctic air and snow blasts have set records across the country from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast.There is little about weather that doesn’t affect the commercial construction industry. The weather is hot and dry or it is wet; winds blow gently or at gale force level; snow, hail, or sleet falls; storm fronts can bring thunder and lightning. Each weather condition brings potential challenges to any construction project.Weather affects performanceWeather extremes can slow down or bring construction activity to a halt. Extremes of wind, cold, heat, or precipitation can adversely affect the construction site. But weather also affects the equipment, materials, AND the personnel. Let’s look at how the weather influences construction:
Work stoppage – this seems fairly obvious. It’s too hot/cold/wet/windy to safely continue working. It may be unsafe to even travel to the work site.
Product performance -weather also affects the performance of many construction materials:
Moisture – can develop into mold in porous materials like wood, insulation, fiber products, and masonry and can compromise the integrity of the materials.
Dry- lack of moisture can be as problematic as too much moisture. During extremely dry weather conditions, the normal moisture content in concrete and masonry can evaporate too quickly, reducing concrete’s compressive strength. The bond strength between bricks and mortar can be reduced, causing masonry leaks.
Heat-application and performance of paint is affected by heat and UV exposure. Paint can fail to cure properly, resulting in delamination, wrinkles, blisters, cracking, peeling, fading, and embrittlement.
Cold – additional equipment is often required to keep construction materials at proper temperatures. Forced air heaters and ground thaw equipment may be utilized to ensure materials remain with required temperature ranges during installation. Even sand, aggregate, and water must be heated to prepare concrete properly.
Freeze-thaw cycles + UV exposure – extremes of weather changes reduce the resiliency of seals and sealants; sealants lose their elasticity, ultimately fail, and must be replaced.
Equipment performance – dry, wet, and cold weather conditions affect the performance of equipment. Dust is a common problem during windy, dry weather and it can work its way into the working parts of equipment. Many types of equipment must be winterized during cold weather to ensure their safe, continued function.
Worker safety – Each season brings seasonally unique safety risks to commercial construction workers.Extremely cold weather can cause frostbite, hypothermia, and dehydration. Sunburn, hyperthermia, heat prostration or heat stroke, and dehydration are common risks in extremely hot weather. These are insidious and potentially life-threatening conditions and the worker can be totally unaware that one (or more) of the conditions is developing.Thunder, lightning, and high winds create dangerous working conditions and work must cease while the conditions play out. Workers are at highly increased risk of electrocution, falling, or being struck by lightning or flying debris during these extreme weather conditions.Ignoring weather risks costs moneyWhile weather-related work delays are potentially costly to the project budget, so are the loss of personnel, equipment, and materials. Some delays and loss can be reduced by anticipating weather-related risks and working with the conditions (and the weather) as much as possible.There will be some challenging weather days, but there also will be many good-weather commercial construction days.
You’re a business owner, and it’s time to build a new office, retail location, or other commercial structure. Building new property is a gargantuan, multifaceted undertaking. But the load lightens a bit once you get connected with an experienced professional, commercial construction company. There are lots of good contractors out there, but finding the one that best fits your project goals is a process unto itself. Let’s look at the best way to go about it.Know Exactly What You NeedBefore you start talking with contractors, you should have a very clear, detailed vision for your project. Knowing from the outset what you need in an office, hospital, retail, industrial, or mixed-use space will save you a lot of grief during the building process. Projects get very messy when there’s waffling on important decisions. So make concrete decisions from the get-go. Settle on a timetable and a budget as soon as possible. Then, decide how to convey to the contractor the scope of your project and the level of service you expect from them. A good relationship with a contractor starts with your ability to accurately share your vision.Research Trade Groups and AccoladesIn order to choose a commercial construction company, start by looking into trade groups. Most contractors belong to national associations, such as the Associated Builders and Contractors or the Associated General Contractors of America. Find these trade unions online, and use their resources to locate a chapter in your region. You can contact the chapter to ask about specific contractors in your area. They’re used to these inquiries: they’ll tell you about their contractors’ work history and track record, and match you with an outfit that has experience building the specific structure you’re planning. Aside from this, look for certifications and awards that contractors have accrued. Keep and eye out for ISO and OHSAS certifications – these testify to the company’s level of quality control.Set Up an InterviewOnce you’ve put together a dynamite proposal and researched prospective companies, you can jot down a short list of top candidates. Set up interviews with each of these contractors. Don’t be afraid to dig in and ask questions. Find out about the contractor’s technical capabilities and their safety record. Beyond these basic concerns, a face-to-face interview will give you a read on the contractor’s personality.Finding a commercial construction company is one of the very first stages of a long and arduous process, but it’s also one of the most crucial. Finding an ace contractor will form the bedrock for a smooth, successful construction project.
CDL or Commercial Drivers License is the authority in the road. Regardless of your status, you are required to pass the CDL test. Besides, no one will hire you to be their bus driver or truck driver if you have not passed the CDL test. It’s a prerequisite for every individual who would want to engage on the life in the road. Besides, it’s one of the ways that government can determine one’s capabilities in handling the challenging situations on the road.Commercial drivers license or CDL test is purposely implemented by the government to check on the individual’s capability of safe driving to eradicate serious road accidents. This test will determine if an individual can really handle heavy situations on the road. This will not only check on the objective knowledge of an individual in terms of driving but also on the individual’s capability to adjust on some unpredictable road events.When you pass the CDL test then you will be authorized to operate any types of vehicle with vehicle weight rating of approximately 26,000 pounds. This will give you an opportunity to handle tow trucks, heavy trucks and buses. So, what are the benefits that you can anticipate when you have commercial drivers license? Is it really necessary to pass CDL test?When people hear the word drivers license, they would automatically think of truck drivers or any other types of tow truck drivers but having drivers license on hand is far more comprehensive than that. When you have an authenticated commercial drivers license, a lot of career opportunities are waiting for you. And the best example is when you are applying to work for a construction company.Most of the construction companies today would prefer to hire someone who has CDL on hand. It would be a great advantage for them if their employees can drive or carry heavy vehicles like tractor trailers and other heavy trucks. Some construction companies even included drivers license as one of their requirements before hiring a worker.In simple terms, when CDL is in your possession, you can freely move to any direction you please. You get to have the freedom that other individuals do not have. You get to experience driving vehicles that ordinary people can’t handle. It’s an exquisite experience that other ordinary people can’t thoroughly enjoy. You can choose and even ask for a raise if you have unique capabilities.Fortunately, you can attain CDL and pass its test with just a little training. As long as you know what you are talking about then you can overcome the CDL tester with ease. You just have to learn everything as much as possible to pass the test. So, grab that shirt and get to find the right trainer to accompany you in learning everything that you need. As long as you can find a great and effective trainer, you can be confident in facing CDL testers and you can prepare yourself for the real deal on the heavy road outside.
If you have decided on commercial steel buildings as your choice of construction the next step in the process is trying to find the right builders for the project. There are many places where you can search for these construction companies for commercial steel buildings with the internet being an apt place to start looking. On the internet you will find numerous companies that specialize in the construction of commercial steel buildings but to find the perfect one for your project you will have to do a bit of research.First of all, Let’s look for a company that has been receiving a lot of high good rating and a lot of reviews for their work. Recommendations are always a good sign of dependability in this kind of work. Nonetheless it is not always true that those companies that are not rated very high on the internet are not good, so you should try and find out more about those companies as well. You can go through their past experiences with constructing steel buildings and browse through client reviews.At the end of your research you should have before you several choices to choose from, you must always be faced with a chance to make comparisons before jumping into a project with a company just because they charge less. You should pay for quality not for how cheap they are. So do your research well because all the material and information is already available online for you to look up.
The time has come when it is just as important to meet financial ends as well as demands for high quality. You already know that it is now a real possibility with no need to lower your expectations. There is a wide range of applications for steel buildings, commercial use is only one among them and there is the possibility for custom design a commercial metal building for any application.There are a number of highly significant factors when operating your business. It is of utmost importance to keep your customers and welcome new ones just as well as see your revenue grow. Your business is also to maintain quality standards your clients are used to even in a time of challenges of growth and change in premises that may result in construction setbacks. Closing your business even for the shortest of periods could bring disastrous results that can not be afforded.Today even the construction of metal commercial buildings is practical reality with direct financial advantage. Steel buildings are just as strong as traditional buildings but come with the benefit of lower price and much shorter construction time!It may be surprising to learn, meanwhile, that steel buildings are also very strong and durable. There is such strength and quality of steel in usage that ensures great longevity. It is therefore guaranteed to meet building codes whether local or international.There are misconceptions about the question of design in steel buildings which are simply not true, as today there is great variety in design. Design can be customized up to the point that your building will look as none other! It is extremely interesting that these pre-fabricated steel buildings can be combined with a wide variety of materials. Brick or glass can be added and a unique outlook can be achieved this way as never before. Versatility is one fantastic asset of metal buildings which can be well mentioned in the case of commercial metal buildings, too.After a customized design process your commercial metal building can be even delivered anywhere in the world. It is also possible to construct your own pre-fabricated metal building to save further costs. The purchased elements are pre-engineered, pre-fabricated and pre-drilled and can be erected even with minimal experience or equipment.You can meet today’s ecological standards with green commercial metal buildings. With the use of recycled steel LEED point qualification can be achieved and buildings are 100% recyclable.
Construction is an industry built on lists and reports: lists of components, lists of materials, and reports of smaller project subsections. Contractors require accurate lists of materials, construction details, project order lists and more to make sure a smooth workflow. Your company’s choice of steel detailer makes all the difference in terms of how much reporting flexibility you’ll have at your fingertips. The right reporting capabilities can save you significant time and money, and provide the ability to quickly adapt to the needs of a changing project. Here are some aspects to keep in mind when choosing a steel detailer and how to appropriately evaluate their reporting infrastructure.Are they using Building Information Modeling (BIM)?Building Information Modeling, or BIM, is advanced 3D modeling software that’s used by steel detailers to develop the plans needed to execute a construction project. The capabilities of BIM software go far beyond traditional 2D steel structural drawings. The 3D models enable all stakeholders in a project to visualize the same results. BIM software also allows commercial steel detailers to offer a high degree of flexibility in terms of reporting. This technology has been employed to build a wide range for projects; it’s appropriate for stadiums, offshore structures, plants and factories, residential buildings, bridges and skyscrapers.Is the reporting customizable for your project?The range of reports that are possible for a single steel construction project can be mind-boggling: contractor lists, drawing lists, timeline reports, assembly lists, parts lists, bolt lists, shipping lists, process reports, ordering lists, and much more. What reports you actually require depend on a number of factors:- The size and scope of your project- The stakeholders- Internal and external reporting and transparency requirements- Coordination among different teams and professionals executing the project- Timeline for project development and completion- Buying and shipping cycles for construction materialsThe most important factors about reporting are flexibility and accuracy. The right steel detailing firm will have the ability to customize reporting to your needs, and to adapt reporting over the life cycle of your project.How can reporting be used to clarify issues?One of the major areas of concern for construction projects is improving communications, especially around potential misunderstandings when they arise. From providing a comprehensive bid that allays all potential buyer objections to offering complete clarification in the face of RFIs, robust reporting can help. For example, issues may come up as to whether enough materials have been ordered to complete the project. A full bill of materials is created based on the project model and can be reviewed. Reports can adapt and be changed when project changes take place. A project list can be broken down into individual component lists for further inspection. If shipping delays are suspected at any point in a project’s evolution, a shipping list can quickly clarify components, sources, and shipping times. The ability to quickly audit data at a micro or macro level, as well as to offer this documentation in support of other communications, greatly simplifies issues that may arise during construction.When choosing a steel detailing firm for your next project, make sure that you ask the right questions about their reporting capabilities. Confirm that your partner of choice is using BIM software, and discuss your specific reporting needs. Flexible and accurate reporting will save time and money, and help you quickly address any problems during the project lifecycle.