Qualities of a Good Construction Company

 

 

 

 

 

According to a friend in Texas that owns Southwest Appliance Repair San Antonio, if you don’t want to deal with costly home and appliance repairs a few months after moving into your new home, hire services of a reputable construction company. Today, there are many construction companies that claim to be the best in the industry. But, is it wise to trust the first company that you come across? The answer is definitely no! Basically, you should do some research to find a good construction company to hire for your project.

Here are the attributes to look for in a construction company:

Services

A good construction firm offers a wide range of construction services to its clients. Essentially, the company handles construction projects from the beginning to the end. Thus, once you give your project to such a company, its experts will take care of the management and construction of your entire building.

Expertise

A good firm has the expertise that will make your new building stand out. It has a team of experienced designers, architects, contractors, and inspectors. These handle every aspect of the construction process carefully and professionally. That means you don’t have to look for an architect once you hire the right construction company. You just sign a construction contract and fulfill your part and the company will take care of the rest.

Licensed and insured

Nobody wants to deal with an unlicensed or uninsured construction firm. That’s because everybody wants to ensure that safety procedures are observed during the construction process. As such, a good company is licensed to operate in your area. Its employees are also insured against workplace injuries or accidents. Thus, you can’t be held responsible for injuries that the employees may sustain while working at your construction site.

Budget

You want to have a great property but you don’t want to overspend on the construction project. Therefore, a good company will discuss the budget with you before it embarks on the construction process. The budget for the construction project will depend on the kind of a building you want and how you want it to be built. A good construction firm will give you an honest and accurate pricing as well as the timeframe for the job.

Basically, you should work with a good construction company to ensure that your project runs smoothly. Consider these attributes to identify a company that will not give you headache throughout the construction process.

Which are the Major Challenges Facing the Construction Industry?

While construction remains as one of the largest and rapidly growing industries today, it also has its unique set of obstacles. The challenges may vary from one region to another but, there are also certain key obstacles experienced across the board. The following are some of the major challenges facing the construction industry. 

Shortage of Labor 

The past recession saw the construction industry lose more than 2 million jobs, which it has not been able to recover until today. Due to the time-sensitive nature of construction projects, the labor shortage is a big problem that further causes project delays and additional expenditure. On the other hand, labor shortages also make it hard for contractors to find the right talents that can deliver quality work. 

Safety 

Safety in construction sites is a challenge that has continued to plague the industry for decades. The safety concerns mainly revolve around training construction workers on safety measures, provision of safety equipment and gear, and ensuring worksites are free of safety hazards. Besides, contractors should also have the proper insurance to cover their workers and machinery against common risks in construction sites. Safety issues can be major financial deficits, resulting in lost wages, delays, and even lawsuits in worst cases. 

Rising Costs of Building Materials 

The prices of land and raw construction materials have continued to skyrocket over the past years, creating a significant obstacle to small construction companies and individuals looking to build new homes. Besides, some natural disasters can also interfere with supply lines, causing a huge demand for construction materials that hikes the prices. 

Apart from the above challenges, technology is also another element that has continued to disrupt the construction industry. The adoption of technology in the construction sector has been quite slow with most subcontractors still not sure of how to utilize it. Nevertheless, finding better ways to navigate those challenges should be the main focus of every builder that seeks to acquire a competitive edge in the constantly changing construction industry.

An Essential Checklist for Finding the Right House Builder

 

As the need for homeownership continues to rise, there is also a steady increase in the number of home builders. However, that does not mean you should just hire any home builder that you come across. There are characteristics of a good house builder that you should know to make the right choice. Nevertheless, the following is an essential checklist for finding the right house builder. 

Licensing 

This is the first thing that you should look into when hiring a company to build your house. Hiring a licensed house builder will ensure that you get the right people for the job and, also offer you protection in case the company fails to meet your expectations. To be sure, you should ask for proof of their license before hiring. 

Experience or Referrals

You do not want to hire someone who will use your home as an experiment to gauge their abilities. That is why it is advisable to hire a house builder with experience in the industry and, truly understand the requirements of the job. When choosing house builders, you should also be keen to ask about their experience. 

One of the ways to gauge the experience of house builders is by looking at the list of their past projects. A good home builder will not hesitate to give you referrals to some of their past projects. As such, you can even contact their past clients directly to confirm. 

Rates 

It is also important to check the rates that different house builders charge based on the scope and duration of the project. While house builders with cheaper rates usually seem attractive, you should be very cautious about them. Instead, find a licensed and experienced home builder with fair rates that can suit your budget for the project. 

Generally, many traits define the right house builder. But, licensing, experience and costs are the key factors to always consider when selecting a house builder. 

Can You Build a House By Yourself?

It’s possible to build a house by yourself. However, it is not recommended. The idea of building a house with your own hands sounds romantic. However, building a house requires skills, dedication, a lot of work and time. In most states, you are also required to have the license of a general contractor to build a home. But, if you think you have what it takes to handle this task, you can do it.

Saving Money

One of the reasons to consider building a house without hiring a contractor is to save money. But, it’s important to know that some parts of the process of building a house are most likely beyond the range of your skills.

These include: 

  • Installing the foundation
  • Installing and building roof trusses
  • Plumbing and electrical work

These are specialized jobs that even contractors subcontract tradespeople. They require specialized tools and expertise.

Site Preparation

Grading and clearing the lot may seem easy. This is the first task to complete before you start any other construction work. But, it’s not as easy as it seems. You have to clear the bush and collect debris. The lot should also be staked out by a surveyor with plot drawings. It should also be graded to change the water flow. Temporary utilities should also be ordered from relevant companies. An electrician should also be invited to the site.

Building Work

From foundation to framing and roofing, there are many tasks that you have to handle when building a home yet you don’t have the necessary skills for handling all of them. You also need the expertise to handle exterior finishes, interior finishes, HVAC, and electrical works.

Although you can purchase plans and materials for building the frame and finishing your home, it’s not recommended to build the house without professional assistance. To ensure the integrity of the structure, work with experienced professionals in every step of the house building process.

How to Limit the Environmental Impact of Your Construction Project

A construction project has a significant impact on the global environment. Actually, every aspect of a construction project affects the environment in some ways. Here are some of the ways to limit the environmental impact of your construction project.

Limit Usage of Fuel

The largest environmental impact is caused the fossil fuels that burn at a construction site. These include diesel and gas. A construction project entails emission of gases like carbon dioxide and methane. There are also other waste products that promote global warming while polluting the air.

To limit usage of fuel, minimize the haul distances. Also reduce the idling time for vehicles. It’s also crucial that you use greener or alternative sources of fuel. If possible, ensure that only hybrid equipment is used in your construction project.

Reduce Noise

Heavy machinery at a construction site is a major cause of noise pollution. Noise can also be caused by site preparation activities, landscaping and demolition. Businesses and homes near your construction site are likely to complain about noise pollution. To avoid noise pollution, adhere to the local restrictions by the relevant authorities. You can also talk to neighbors to alert them about the noise.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Waste from construction materials and demolition can lead to environmental pollution if it is not disposed of properly. Contractors dispose waste through incineration or landfills. But, these methods affect the environment negatively. Recycling, reusing or salvaging the materials can help in cutting down on the harm that these materials cause on the environment. Therefore, consider recycling or reusing materials that may be considered waste.

Employ Reusable Technology

There are green construction options that can be used to minimize the negative environmental effects of construction. For instance, you can use inflatable water dams to reduce erosion, prevent sedimentation, and water runoff. Use such technologies to minimize environmental impact of a construction project.

Each construction project is different and there are many ways to limit the environmental impact of a construction project. Talk to your contractor before your construction project start to determine the best ways to reduce its effects on the environment.

Signs that You Should Build a New Home

Buying a first home is exciting. However, you may feel that the home that you were once excited about is no longer suitable for your family. This may prompt you to think about building a new home. Building your home is the best way to express your taste, lifestyle and personality. You bring your vision to life. But, how do you tell that you are ready to build a new home?

Here are the major tell-tale signs that you’re ready to build a home:

You Need More Space

If you have outgrown your current home, you should build a new one. This can be due to an increase in family members or need for a study space or backyard. Your lifestyle may have changed and necessitated the need for more space. Therefore, if you feel that the house that you are currently living in is small for your family, building a new one might be the best option.

You Have the Budget

One of the major determinants of whether you can buy or build a new home is money. Maybe you are earning more than you used to in the past. In that case, building a new home that suits your needs is a great idea.

You’re Sure of What You Want

After some time, you may realize that the homes on sale do not suit your needs. In that case, you might want to build a custom home. When you build a home, you take control of almost everything. You choose the color, materials, and layout of your home. You become an artist.

You Want to Live in a Specific Area

Perhaps, you are tired of living in your current location. Maybe you would like to live in an area that is close to shops, beach, schools, and other things. In that case, you can buy a land and build a home there.

If you are exhibiting such signs, you should build a new home. Talk to a reputable contractor about your needs to build a fully customized home.

Effective Tips for Construction Site Safety

Illnesses and injuries in construction sites are not uncommon. There are several sources of threat to worker’s health and life. Here are important tips that will enable you to enhance safety at a construction site.

Install Fall Protection Systems

A major cause of worker injuries and deaths is falling from heights where there are no protection systems. As an employer, install safety equipment to ensure that your workers are protected against injuries that may result from falling. Secure the safety line of the workers and provide helmet to minimize injury in case an employee falls.

Install Scaffolds

Scaffolding jobs are the most risky at construction sites. Workers are at a risk of electrocution and falling. Make sure that only trained professionals do scaffolding jobs. Also ensure that there is safety equipment at your site. It’s also important to ensure that scaffolding is designed in a way that enables it to provide solid footing and planked completely and away from power lines.

Inspect Stairways and Ladders

Faulty and inappropriate ladder is a major reason why workers fall from the job sites. It’s crucial that employers work with suitable ladder systems. Ideally, they should use ladder systems that are designed for their work sites. Workers should be trained regularly on the best ways to use ladder systems.

Train Workers

If there are workers with little or no training, make sure that they are trained first. Let them know how to move around in a construction site and use safety gear. Also choose workers carefully and assess their ability to do their job.

Provide Safety Gear

Make sure that employees at your construction site have eye protection, face protection, and head protection. These are the body parts that are mostly prone to injuries.

Follow these tips to ensure that your employees at a construction site are safe. Bear in mind the fact that you have to pay a price to ensure safety at your construction site.

Tips for Getting Accurate Construction Estimates

Man on construction site with plans in hand

Getting accurate construction estimates seems like the toughest task in an entire construction project. If the estimates are too high, the bid might go to somebody else. On the other hand, the estimate can be too low and win you the bid. However, you may end up wishing that somebody else took it.

Nevertheless, it’s possible to get an accurate construction estimate. You just need to follow these tips.

Come up with a Precise and Detailed Plan

You can only bid for what you know. It’s therefore important that you come up with a precise and detailed plan of the construction process. This will enable you to know the most accurate bid for the construction process.

Watch Out Unit Cost Estimates

Estimating on the basis of magnitude order per square foot or unit cost can be a bad idea. That’s because there are several variables that are specific to every construction project. Therefore, use the available estimating guides as the ballpark estimates and nothing else.

Use the Master Checklist

You can easily forget important things like landscaping, permits, and hardscaping among others when estimating. To avoid this, use the master checklist. This will enable you to avoid forgetting necessary items and steps. You can also find online resources that provide formulas that will assist with the estimating process.

It’s also wise to consider using construction bid software. This will enable you to keep information together, tract costs and minimize errors.

Use Your Expertise Exhaustively

There are areas that you are extremely talented in. Make sure that you are extremely detailed in those areas. Simply put, take a task isolation approach. Consider the required materials and labor separately when estimating areas where you do not have expertise. Call a consultant or subcontractor to help in areas that need an extra eye.

Understand Materials and Products Prices and Fluctuations

Prices of construction materials change. Therefore, pay attention to different factors that may affect their prices when estimating the cost of your construction project.  

Generally, whether you are estimating the cost of your own construction or bidding for a construction project, these tips will enhance your chances of getting an accurate construction estimate.

How to Make Your Construction Project Hassle-Free

How to Make Your Construction Project Hassle-Free

Whether you are building a home from scratch or renovating a property, you want your construction project to run smoothly. But, this is not always what happens. Most building projects are characterized by stress, delays, and unexpected costs. Fortunately, there are ways via which you can avoid this and make your project hassle-free. Here are some of them.

Select a contractor carefully

Before you hire a contractor, ask for their portfolio. Find out whether their past projects are impressive. Speak to the owners of the properties that they have built. Inquire whether the contractor had a great follow-through, if the owner was pleased with quality, and whether the job was done on budget and schedule. Also find out how the contractor relates with suppliers and subcontractors.

Investigate the local area

Before you buy a land and start your construction project, investigate the neighborhood. Research the crime rate and school district if you want to live in the area. You can drive around and check for convenience to schools, interstates, restaurants, and shopping centers.

Avoid overbuilding

Before you come up with the final construction plan, compare your dream home with others in the area. It’s wise not to have the most expensive home in an area. That’s because you will most likely not get the money that you spend on construction when you decide to sell the home.

Think about the future

When planning a layout for your home, think beyond the current trends and lifestyles. Think about your lifestyle several years to come when planning the layout. If you are an older adult, consider having the master bedroom at the ground floor. If not, include a shaft that you can turn into an elevator in the future. At the moment, you can use that space as a closet.

Work with a local contractor

Hiring a local contractor is always a smart bet. That’s because the contractor has a reputation that can be investigated locally. It’s also easy to visit the sites of the current project of a local contractor and gauge quality of their work. So, consider hiring a local contractor after investigating their work.

Generally, these are some of the best ways to make a construction project hassle-free. Try them in your next project to make it run smoothly.

Reasons to Hire Services of a Reputable Construction Company

If you are planning a construction project, you should hire services of a reputable construction company. A reputable construction firm does a great job because it wants to satisfy clients and maintain its position in the industry. Perhaps, you are tempted to hire the cheapest contractor in your area just to save money. Well, before you rush to do so, consider the following benefits of working with an established construction company that has a sterling reputation.  

Quality work

An inexperienced contractor may cut corners when it comes to quality of a construction project. However, a reputable company can never do that because this would put its reputation at risk. Essentially, the reputation of the best company matters more than a few dollars. Therefore, if you want to get quality workmanship and materials, enlist services of a reputable construction firm.

Timely completion of your project

A construction company that has completed several projects knows how to beat deadlines. It has experts that know how to handle every aspect of the project and what to do in case of delays. Additionally, the experts know how to speed up the construction project without compromising quality. Thus, even with delays in the supply of construction materials, you are guaranteed that your project will be completed in a timely manner when you work with a reputable company.

Adherence to the laws

There are federal, state, and local laws that you should follow throughout the construction process. A reputable company knows these laws and it ensures that they are followed to avoid issues with construction authorities. That means you don’t have to worry about penalties or fines that may arise from your failure to follow construction regulations. Additionally, the company will assist you in processing a construction permit.

Safety assurance

In every construction project, there are workplace safety measures that should be put in place. Failure to have these measures puts the lives of workers at risk. And, you may end up being responsible for the accidents that occur during your construction project. Fortunately, a reputable construction firm ensures that safety procedures are strictly followed. It also provides sturdy and adequate safety gear to its workers.

Basically, a reputable construction company ensures that no mistakes are made throughout the process. When you work with a firm that has a sterling reputation, you and the workers are guaranteed the best experience throughout the construction process.