5 Tips for Getting It Right with Highly Specialized Subcontractors

5 Tips for Getting It Right with Highly Specialized Subcontractors

In commercial construction, we have found it’s easy to get in a rut. Sure, we build different types of structures, but we are often dealing with a similar set of trade contractors—structural steel, MEP, masons, paint, etc. After years of working in the industry, most of us have a list of folks we trust. We [Read More]

On the Road to Simplicity

On the Road to Simplicity

This week, we were finalizing a contract with a new customer. The process of the last few days did not go as I had expected. Confusion from too many details had gotten in the way, and our customer did not understand the final proposal. In short, he was somewhat frustrated. While all of the facts [Read More]

Slow and Steady (Usually) Wins the Race

Slow and Steady (Usually) Wins the Race

I’ve recently been working on a project with one of our customers. Everyone is in a hurry to complete the submittal before a real estate committee meeting. All parties are doing their best with limited time, trying to meet the deadline. There has been a lot of stress in the process. Sound familiar? Last week, [Read More]

In Bidding, What’s the REAL Total Cost?

In Bidding, What’s the REAL Total Cost?

Price? Transaction experience? A combination of the two? Judging from a few meetings I’ve had recently, seems like it depends on who you talk to. Investors. Last week, I was talking with the vice president of a publicly traded real estate REIT. He said that when considering all parts, pricing should theoretically be the same. [Read More]

Change Orders and Communication: How to Avoid Hanging In the Balance

Change Orders and Communication: How to Avoid Hanging In the Balance

On construction jobs, the unexpected is…well…expected. Circumstances inevitably change. In our case, codes are updated, conditions in earthwork shift or we encounter any other variety of circumstances that affect the outcome of our work. To me, when considering a construction contract–or for that matter any written agreement–good communication and change management are essential to success [Read More]

Why We Hired a BIM Specialist

Why We Hired a BIM Specialist

A while back, I mentioned our desire to explore Building Information Modeling (BIM), a database which catalogs a structure throughout its life cycle in real time 3D. We felt the system would provide a value-add large enough to merit hiring someone to manage our efforts. I’m pleased to say we found the right fit. William [Read More]

If You Want the Win, Practice and Prepare.

If You Want the Win, Practice and Prepare.

We recently made a presentation to a prospective customer who had an adaptive reuse project that seemed perfect for us. It involved revitalizing an area of the city, which is exactly the type of project we enjoy. We confidently answered all the questions in the RFI, and the presentation seemed to go flawlessly. As we [Read More]

Hot Gas Reheat: Worth the Extra Cost?

Hot Gas Reheat: Worth the Extra Cost?

Last week, I was having a conversation about pricing on an HVAC system with Heath Cather in our office. Why had the mechanical engineer chosen hot gas reheat? It’s more expensive and sometimes unnecessary, I offered. He mentioned a trend he’s noticed. With all the mold law suits lately, we are seeing recommendations for a [Read More]

Construction Material Costs Are Defying the Laws of Economics: Why?

Construction Material Costs Are Defying the Laws of Economics: Why?

The short answer: To me, nobody knows.  If we compare the normal demand for commercial projects in the United States to our current climate, the market is down 30-50 percent. The laws of supply and demand tell us commodities prices should decrease in order to level things out. The opposite is happening. On average, we [Read More]

Do Rigid Job Titles Restrict Your Team’s Performance?

Do Rigid Job Titles Restrict Your Team’s Performance?

Over the years, I have noticed how many people get attached to job titles, particularly in their letters and on their business cards. Some are in the game for a higher rank, and achieving their desired title is almost like wining an Olympic medal. It’s something for them to hold on to. If I had [Read More]