Commercial Construction Basics

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a top level supervisor for a commercial construction company? If your answer is yes, that is fine and dandy. However, we strongly urge you to start at the beginning of your possible new career. Before you become a leader you must be a construction worker; then gradually earn your way to the top. The only way you will succeed in doing that is if you learn the basics of commercial construction along the way. The purpose of this article is to get you on your way to doing that. Along those lines we have some helpful tips for you. Continue reading in order to see what they are.

In any trade you need to collect the proper tools of knowledge over a long period of time. This is not any different in the commercial construction industry. Your understanding of the technical aspects of it and the terrific people skills are just a couple of those tools. One basic quality of a commercial construction boss is that he must be able to effectively communicate with other people. In addition to that, he has to possess good organizational skills so that he can accurately plan the different aspects of the current project. Of course those things go hand in hand with the technical problem solving abilities. These tools are more than likely to be only the tip of the iceberg.

So what are some other basic qualities for a commercial construction worker or especially a boss? We urge you to already possess a love of building things. That might sound rather trite but it is a fact and an important part of commercial construction basics. Are you a person who has always enjoyed working with his hands? If so, this industry may be right for you after all because you will most assuredly develop a love of building things like construction projects.

Do you derive enjoyment from watching other people acquire and utilize your company’s finished projects? This is not really a tool that you can learn; but instead is a true passion inside of you. Maybe you love to encounter children who have graduated from a school that you helped to build. You don’t necessarily have to have been born with this passion; however you should’ve acquired it at some point during your life. After all; this is the ongoing goal of any commercial construction company – to finish their buildings and in a timely fashion.

The other basic principles of the construction industry are things that you will learn over time. These are things such as any tricks of the trade or the project checklists of the Superintendent. One crucial thing you need to learn is all of the safety guidelines and procedures. You will need to learn what supplies to order and how to properly proceed with your tasks every day; all the while keeping safety at the forefront of everything. If these details sound mundane and boring to you then the commercial construction industry is not the right one for you.

Tips When Hiring Building Contractors Or Construction Companies!

In this article you will discover a number of the most essential things to seek out when appointing Building Contractors or Construction Companies.

Construction is a very specialized subject so you must be sure that you employ skilled and authorized contractors for your house or project.

Certainly one of the imperative factors when trying to hire a building contractor is to check them out scrupulously. The very first thing you need to verify is that they are approved and accurately insured within your state or country.

You’ll need to make several calls but it surely can save you numerous of head-aches down the road. Moreover request the contractor that you finally choose, to give you an insurance certificate.

Make sure that the construction company you intend to appoint has a website, this demonstrates that this company is professional and serious about what they do. A website may also permit you to acquire additional information about those building contractors, what they can do and the work they have done in the past.

You will also be able to examine the credentials of the management of this company. This adds credibility and shows that you will be dealing with professionals.

Prior to you signing a contract, ask the contractor how they hire their sub-contractors. Do they bid out the jobs, have they got insurance and licensing information on them, how do they pay their sub-contractors?

One thing you need to request from your contractor is release of lien from all of the sub-contractors that shall be on your work site.

This will preclude you from a potential fiasco later as we now and then, hear about building contractors that get paid from you or your financial organization and then fail to pay their subcontractors.

Subsequently what transpires would be the subcontractors liens your house for the amount they may be owed and you could possibly wind up paying twice for services.

Construction companies could also be checked by contacting the Business Bureau in your area or country.

You’re able to ask if there had been several complaints or official measures taken against the builder from the past.

In addition, try to check for a record of poor debts and/or preceding bankruptcy.

Be acquainted with constructions that the contractor has lately completed or projects in development and try to go and see that specific construction site.

Contractors may possibly even voluntarily provide you with the details of their best satisfied clients as recommendations, but furthermore ask about the completed work/constructions from earlier years.

Prior to signing the agreement, read it precisely . Just be sure you understand it and the whole set of conditions are comprehensible to you.

The building plans have to include all that you really want affirmed in the bid. This can allow it to be a suitably written agreement and can request awareness to definite details of the expectations.

Tips for Managing Construction Cleanup and Debris

Construction sites generate a lot of debris and waste, most of which is hazardous to human health. Some of this waste is generated directly as a result of construction activities while others are created indirectly. The non-hazardous waste materials on construction sites can range from bricks, rubble, wood, concrete, insulation and wiring waste, nails and rebar, etc. The hazardous waste often consists of lead, asbestos, plasterboard, etc. While construction site clean-up can be done meticulously, materials such as plasterboard release toxic gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, when they are broken down in landfills.

The non-hazardous construction site debris also poses a problem for construction site clean-up because of the lack of space for their disposal. Landfills are filling up at a very fast rate and many are closing down because of reaching their full capacity. It is important to manage and control wastage in order to make construction site clean-up easier for all concerned. There are many ways in which you can do this, which include recycling and reusing.

Recycling construction site debris can help reduce landfill waste. Some of the waste that can be recycled are aluminium, wood, concrete, corrugated cardboard, asphalt, and specific metals. Cleaning up in a recycling project takes place at the job site by segregating the waste according to specific categories such as concrete, metal, or wood, and sending them to the recycling site. Sometimes, recycling can be done on the site of the construction itself. There are instances where all the wastes with recycling potential is collected from the site and segregated later at the recycling facility.

An important way to clean up construction site debris is by reusing them, especially materials left over from a demolition project, such as door frames, doors, window frames, fixtures, etc. Before clean-up itself, these materials must be identified so as not to be disposed of by mistake.

There are different protocols for cleaning up different types of debris on a construction site. To start with, debris can be categorized into some broad areas, which are solid wastes, hazardous wastes, petroleum products, pesticides and fertilizers, detergents, etc. It is important that all employees are aware of best practices for waste management on site and adhere to these.

Areas and containers used for storage must be inspected for any leaks, spills, or other malfunctions. Workers must be properly trained in handling and disposal and must be aware of how to protect themselves when doing so.

When cleaning up different types of waste, it is important to know what to do and what not to do. For example, when cleaning up solid wastes, it must not be dumped where it can drain away to a water body or where there will be runoff from areas at a higher altitude. Hazardous materials are best disposed of with the label on them intact, and following manufacturer’s instructions. The same applies for petroleum and pesticides and fertilizers. Detergents should not be dumped into the system for storm drainage but to a sanitary sewer. Keeping these points in mind can help to successfully manage construction site cleanup optimally.

Tips for New Residential Construction

The process to entitle lots can take more than five years and is expensive. The cost of parcel maps for five lots or less is $100,000. Tract maps for more than five lots can cost more than $500,000. The number of lots and the potential size are determined by biology, health-department regulations, slope, and the zoning and general plan. Included in the cost are engineering, processing, and regulatory fees and various reports and studies.

Reports and studies include conditions of approval costs, storm-water treatment, anthropology and archeology, soils, biology, noise, and traffic. When a map is approved and recorded, there are additional fees that include, but are not limited to the following:

• Potential greenhouse gas studies

• Retention and drainage basins

• On- and off-site mitigation land

• School fees

• Parks and recreation fees

• Physical secondary access

• Fire fees

• Annual bonding fees.

Politics comes into play when obtaining the required approvals from county boards, city councils, and planning commissions. The level of public opposition or support affects hearings completion. They can be completed in as little as four months, or take years and cost over a million dollars. Property owners have three courses of action to take into consideration.

1. Entitlement and sale of the property ‘as is’ – This option brings the lowest price, but costs the least and requires the shortest time for property disposal. Under rare circumstances, the land is worth more when it is unentitled.

2. Enter into a long-term agreement – The agreement is made with a home builder who incurs the expenses of processing a tract map. This option is the most utilized. The process could take up to five years. The buyer is required to release nonrefundable deposits periodically to the seller after approving their contingencies. Escrow closing typically occurs after tentative or final map approval.

3. The owner incurs the entitlement costs – Much of the process is like option two. The difference is the owner has full control of the mapping process and bears all expenses.

The ramifications of each choice should be weighed carefully before making a decision. Owners, who have chosen not to seek advice, have made the decision to process a map and found out later the number of lots was not financially feasible. A competent engineer can determine the optimal number of lots that can be obtained and approved. Smart growth design principals call for buildings with a variety of materials, texture, and color and individuality; well-defined open space; a building and street relationship; mixed uses; and high-density development. Contractors, who specialize in residential subdivisions, can give realistic cost estimations.

The process of entitling residential property to higher densities is costly, complex, and cumbersome. Many factors must be taken into consideration. The leading concerns that communities have about increased density are the quality of life and increased costs.

There is a need for new affordable housing to reduce recent overpayment and overcrowding. There is also a need for high-density housing that supports economic recovery, accommodates new workers and their loved ones, and economizes the costs of infrastructure. It is quite a balancing act. Open spaces need to be conserved and the distance between new jobs and new homes reduced.

Commercial Construction Tips – Is the Project Feasible?

Getting a construction project off the ground can be very tricky, as there is a lot that needs to be considered before you even lay the first brick. Making sure that the project is actually feasible in the first place is extremely important, and it should be the first thing that you do when you decide to start work.

So just how can you determine whether the project is actually feasible? Here are just a few tips to get you started.

Speak to an Accountant

Budget is always going to be one of the most important aspects of any construction project, as running out of money at a critical juncture could prove to be a fatal blow for what you have in mind.

When you have an idea of what you want to build and you have some plans drawn up you should talk to a qualified accountant who can help you set out a budget and determine what needs to be spent and where. It is at this point that you will be able to determine if the work is financially viable and if you can deliver it within your budget.

Speak to a Solicitor

There are numerous legalities that are involved in practically any type of building work, so it is important to make sure that you have all of them squared away before you begin working on the project.

Speak to a solicitor who specialises in property development and find out what permissions you need to get and which red tape you need to cut to get the project off the ground. Failure to do so could lead to you doing something illegal, which is grounds for having the entire project shut down.

Speak to an Architect

While you may be able to create your original plans without too much hassle, to really know what is going to have to be put into the project you are going to have to speak to an architect and get their expert opinion.

They will be able to tell you if what you have in mind is even physically possible and will also be able to suggest changes to the original plans to account for any issues that they see.

This is a massively important step, as you need somebody who is qualified in the field to not only sign off on the project and ensure it is feasible, but also to help you in the overall design.

Speak to Your Crew

The final step in determining if your project is feasible is talking to your building crew. You need to know that everybody that you have working for you is able to do the jobs that you need them to do.

If they can’t, you will need to have enough money in the budget to hire somebody who can. Having the right crew is tantamount to the project’s success, so skipping this step or simply assuming that everything you have planned is a risky move at best and tantamount to construction suicide at worst.

Your Simplified Guide for Comparing Commercial Construction Companies

Commercial projects involve huge budgets and big plans, and quite expectedly, you need a reliable commercial contractor for the job. Construction companies working in the commercial sector have a specific way of doing work. In this post, we will talk about that, along with tips for comparing the options.

Working with Commercial Contractors:

As mentioned above, commercial projects require considerable money and effort. As such, it is important to start with the right steps. The first obvious step in finding a contractor is to make the design and establish deadlines. The whole process of planning can take time, but with a good contractor at work, you can expect to achieve the goals as planned and intended. The concerned contractor will seek your approval for the entire design, then they will get the necessary permits to start the construction. In between, the funds and finances will be discussed, and the contractor is expected to offer genuine assistance with the immediate roadblocks that may seem evident for the project.

Investigating the Options:

Construction companies specializing commercial projects have certain traits that you should be looking for. Here are the things you need to check.

1. Is the company well-known? For big projects, you cannot afford to take the risk, and hence, it is always better to find a contractor that you can rely on. Ask around for references, its best way of moving forward.

2. Know their client. If a commercial contractor claims to be the best in business, they must have the clients to back it up. Don’t shy away from seeking references and take a look at some of the projects they have managed so far. You may want to call some of their clients to know the individual experiences.

3. Find out more about their expertise. The whole process of planning and completing commercial projects is an extensive one, and not all contractors deal with all kinds of things that are involved in the process. Check if the concerned company has the expertise and know-how that you need for the project.

4. Ask for an estimate. Based on the work, you would want to know the cost of hiring a contractor. Again, this is largely dependent on the contract and the things included, but for such projects, transparency is one of the many things you cannot afford to ignore.

5. Check the basics. Work with companies that have an in-house team of experts. You need to find a contractor that’s genuine in its approach and can offer something more than standard services. Check if the company has licenses and permissions to take up such jobs and whether they can do the paperwork and get the required documents to get the job done.

Last, do consider sustainable and green practices for your project. An advanced and renowned contractor will offer such choices for their clients, based on what they need. The initial consultation is one of the main aspects that matter in this regard because you can learn a lot about the possible solutions available.

Commercial Construction Tips – How to Come in Under Budget

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!!

Commercial Construction Tips – Facts About Construction Projects

Commercial construction is often an arbiter of changing economic conditions. Construction projects mean both an improving economy and a way to improve the economy of a given area. Read on to learn more interesting facts about it.

This type of construction helps public sector agencies as well as private firms. Big new schools in areas where people are moving give students a chance to learn in state of the art facilities. New office buildings bring jobs to the area, and the upward spiral continues. Not only do the buildings benefit the users, but the building process itself gives workers a solid job for several months, and the expenditures from the construction project go directly into the local economy.

The United States is second in the world in terms of this construction, regardless of where the company doing the building is headquartered. As much as 10% of all commercial construction takes place in the US, and New York is the city with the most commercial construction going on – $8.5 billion (that’s billion with a B) in 2013. A lot of the construction was for residential buildings. Following New York were Houston and Dallas. Those two cities spent $10 billion in 2013 on commercial projects.

One of the biggest trends in commercial construction is green building. Experts from the Environmental Protection Agency expect that by 2017 as much as 48% of new building will be done with green building materials. To put that in financial terms, it could mean as much as $145 billion dollars.

By 2018, 84% of residential construction companies plan to have at least some of their construction projects classified as green. To get an idea of just what kind of impact this has on the overall economy, consider that residential projects total as much as 5% of the current gross domestic product of the US. As more and more firms add green building to their plans, it might mean that as much as 18% of GDP will be based around green construction.

Big commercial office buildings are going green, too. LEED certification is becoming the main standard, and builders are up to 41% green as of 2012. Just how rapidly is this growing? Consider that only 2% of commercial construction, non-residential, projects were green in 2005. It’s no surprise that states like Hawaii and California are leading the way in LEED projects.

It’s not just the US that is interested in green construction, though. LEED certifications around the world are becoming more common. A study released earlier this year showed that as many as 69,000 LEED projects are going on globally in 150 different countries.

This construction is as important to the global economy as it has ever been, and the increases in such projects over the last few years signal a positive change after the worldwide recession of 2008-09 and the soft recovery that followed. With even more green projects being planned than ever before, commercial construction projects will also be kinder to the planet, meaning everyone will benefit for years to come.

Commercial Construction Tips – How to Know If Your Contractor Is Doing a Good Job

Big construction project or little one. An historic renovation in the heart of old downtown or a new retail center. No matter what kind of construction project you are undertaking, you want to feel assured that you have chosen the right contractor for the job. But how do you know that your contractor is doing a good job?

The success or failure of a contractor is often closely linked with you – how effectively you complete your hiring due diligence, how clearly you state your expectations, and how well you and your contractor communicate with each other during all construction phases.

Preparation and Selection

Before you begin your search for a contractor, you should clearly outline the responsibilities for which you will hold your contractor accountable. Those accountabilities should be included in the contract between you/your company and the contractor.

Next, you need to do your due diligence.

• Ask friends and colleagues who have worked with construction projects similar to yours for contractor recommendations. Ask these questions:

o How did the contractor handle the budget and materials?

o Was the project done on or ahead of time? If it was off schedule, why?

o Was the work done according to agreed-upon terms?

o Would your source work with that contractor again?

If their referral did well on each of those points, he or she may be a good contractor on your project as well

• Check ALL references!

Get it in writing

All good business relationships should begin with, “get it in writing!”

• Each contractor candidate should provide a written bid. Red flag: nothing in writing.

• You and your contractor should have a signed contract. Include details on the budget, scope of work, materials, the schedule, and the contractor’s specific responsibilities. Red flag: the contractor who won’t sign a contract.

• Your contractor should take notes during each walkthrough and meeting. Red flag: “I’ll remember… “

On the job

These are some important on-the-job clues that your contractor is doing a good job:

• Communication: you and your contractor communicate frequently and clearly according to your agreed-upon methods (text, fax, email, phone). Red flags: doesn’t return calls, is difficult to reach, provides limited responses to questions, communicates poorly with work crew.

• Subcontractors: contractor hires quality subcontractors with verifiable references. Red flags: conflicts on the job, petty thefts, on-the-job substance abuse, wasted time, etc.

• Safety: contractor diligently observes safety practices and insists that all workers comply with safety rules. Red flags: avoidable injuries, safety issues.

• On the job site: contractor is working at the job site for the majority of the time. The construction crew is busy during all working hours of the week. Red flags: contractor is infrequently on site, workers have too much idle time.

• Security: appropriate security measures are observed at all times. Red flags: equipment and materials not secured or missing, the site is poorly secured during non-working hours, unauthorized people are on site.

Schedule and budget

Ideally, every construction project is completed on budget and on schedule. Realistically, there may be some schedule interruptions and unexpected costs.

Ask yourself some final questions:

• Is my contractor providing me with accurate, up-to-date information on all aspects of the job and construction progress?

• Is he/she managing resources, budget, crew, and materials effectively and appropriately?

• Are crew members working fairly harmoniously with each other?

• Are my objectives for this project being met?

When you can answer yes to these questions, it is most likely that your contractor is, indeed, doing an excellent job for you. Congratulations on your choice, and your new project!

How to Speed Up Commercial Construction

After an unfortunate slumping period in new commercial construction projects, we are happy to report that new development projects are in full recovery mode. This trend has been pointed out through a series of leading indicators including deliveries of new building supplies throughout 2014.Another indication of a growth spurt in the commercial construction industry is found in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) which comes out on a monthly basis. In the ABI there was a sharp three point jump in May of 2014, as compared with the previous month. Thus, the need to speed up the process of commercial construction has become even more crucial.

“In commercial and residential construction, cost-effectiveness, speed and safety count and functionality dominate over prestige.” This is an excellent and pertinent quote. While factors like cost-effectiveness and speed definitely do count in the world of commercial construction; SAFETY CAN NEVER BE SACRIFICED!! Safety is the number one concern in all commercial (and residential) building projects. In this article we will look at how to speed up the commercial construction process WITHOUT sacrificing safety.

The often complex world of commercial construction is ever-increasing in demand. The range of projects vary from office complexes to shopping malls to factories to luxury hotels. Technically; although there ARE differences, commercial construction projects can also be housing developments or apartment complexes. Typically budgets are tight and the time-frames within which a commercial project can be completed are fairly narrow. Therefore speed definitely counts. An excellent construction company CAN deliver primo results under such conditions. The finished product is often visually gorgeous and is completed within the necessary time-frame and safety IS NOT SACRIFICED!! It pays to hire a reputable company for such a project.

“New Formwork and Scaffolding Supplier on the UAE Market Innovation made in Germany now at home in Dubai.” MEVA Formwork Systems is based in Germany and now boasts that it is the most prolific supplier of Scaffolding (& Formwork) equipment in the Middle Eastern countries. This equipment is essential to the process of speeding up commercial construction projects because it allows workers to complete projects without the use of cranes. In fact; most frequently, the cranes cannot even be used for these types of projects because they are too large to fit in the allotted space. What was once an inaccessible area for these construction workers, the same workers are now able to complete their projects with the use of this MEVA equipment. They can personally assure that all processes of their specific project are completed with SAFETY in mind. Not only for the safety of the building’s future tenants; but also the safety of the workers who are assigned to that specific project. These are of huge benefit to the industry.

Much more information about MEVA (and possibly products by similar competing companies) is available on the Internet. Just go to your favorite search engine and type in the heading name. Not only is there more information specifically about MEVA, there is info and news about other techniques used to speed up commercial construction projects without sacrificing anybody’s safety.