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Why does a contractor’s proposal matter?

Why does a contractor’s proposal matter?

There is is a world of difference between naive and cynical. Between the two extremes is experience. It’s amazing the things we do when we were young and naive. Am I right?

I did some crazy things when I was young. Looking back, it’s hard to believe I drove home from college in a clunker of a car – a 1972 Beetle. My youthful exuberance didn’t break even after my 1970 AMC Hornet died during my move. I did this by myself in the days before cell phones were commonplace. You were lucky enough to have call boxes on the highway.

Today, I’m in a panic if I don’t have my cell phone. What a difference twenty years makes.

Buying a car is like hiring a general contractor.

I think we’d all agree that only a naive person would buy a car on the internet based price alone. Continue reading

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“The Conductor” by Christine Schmidt on Flickr

Does a project need a superintendent? Does an orchestra need a conductor?

“Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble.” Wikipedia 

You just bought tickets to see a symphony. You and your Plus One are in black tie, expecting the night of your life – a night to remember.

The curtain opens. Puzzled, you don’t notice a conductor. It shouldn’t matter. You look at each other and smile. The orchestra begins. How will it sound?

Just like a symphony, tradespeople and their teams need to be coordinated. If there isn’t onsite supervision and project management, where do they look to?

Does the floor go in first or the doors? Does it matter? You have drawings so everyone’s on the same page. You think. Continue reading

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Tom at a Tilt Up Project 11/20/1989 in Lake Forest.

Reason Number 8 to Blog: Getting to Know The People Behind the Brand

There are many reasons that a company should have a blog and we covered a few of them back in this post including authority, creativity, perspective, focus, and social sharing.

Reason 6 to blog is to be found by people and loved by search engines. Yep. People ask “how to fix cracks in concrete tilt-up panels.”

Reason 7 to blog is problem solving. When you blog to solve a problem, you’re serving your audience (current and potential clients).

Reason 8 to blog: Familiarity

Another reason to blog is so that people can get to know you and your company a bit better. On one of my past anniversaries, I did a “Featured Tweeter” spot about myself for that reason.

Getting to Know Tom Riggins

For this blog’s five year anniversary, I’m highlighting Tom Riggins, our President.

Tom isn’t just a board member and off-site owner. He is our primary project manager. This means he meets with clients, hosts jobs walks with subcontractors, estimates jobs, coordinates with our design-build team, and makes time for building surveys, a client favorite. Now, that’s a lot of hats!

Growing up in the construction industry gave Tom years of experience beyond his age in estimating, project management, and supervision of new, remodel, and tenant improvement work.

Continue reading

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Lego Bricks by Benjamin Esham, on Flickr

Why Design-Build is Like Building the Millennium Falcon from the Lego Kit, Not Garage Sale Finds

As an avid Star Wars fan you promised your nine-year-old son that your next project together would be building the Millennium Falcon. Great Father-Son time, right?

Then you go to the Lego store and the cost seems steeper than you had imagined. But it does come with 6 figures including Han Solo and Chewbacca, of course. And who can turn down a rotating laser cannon?

Plus, it has the directions. Now, you can go online and download them but pfft, it’s not original.

Still, your wife says it’s not in the budget so you get creative.

You decide to download the directions and use the lego bricks from the seven collections you already have. Good thinking – frugality is a plus.

The Falcon needs thousands of pieces! Who wants to start a project you can’t finish? Continue reading

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Is your building watertight? Creative Commons Attribution Seaglass by Ken on Flickr

Is Your Building Watertight?

 

There is more to a building’s waterproofing than its roof.

Now, the roof is important don’t get me wrong, but there are other areas that should be carefully monitored.

We’re talking about a force of nature whose erosion created The Grand Canyon. Water is not to be ignored. Remember, water always travels the path of least resistance.

Water is great for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee? But you do not want it invading your building. Its damage isn’t limited to rusting steel rebar within concrete. The smallest amount of moisture can allow mold to grow. Yikes. Who wants to breathe that?

In Southern California we are spoiled with a Mediterranean climate and an average annual rainfall of just under 15 inches (Seattle is 37 inches). This weather dynamic gives us beautiful days and awesome sunsets but the lack of rainfall causes us to forget and possibly neglect these waterproofing issues.

Roof

Depending upon your roof type, there are many areas of concern. These areas can be caught during regular roof maintenance (see more detailed blog post here).

HVAC Condensate

Condensate from roof-top equipment is required to exit to an approved receptor through approved piping. In no way do you want any kind of water, condensate or otherwise, just dripping and pooling on your roof. Continue reading

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Anne Street - Before and After - Tilt-Up Panel Replacement

Project Profile: Anne Street Fire Damage Repairs

We are proud to announce the completion of the design-build restoration to a building recently damaged by a neighbor’s fire.

The client took the opportunity, since much of the roof structure was damaged, to replace the entire roof with four-ply built-up roof system. Six skylights were replaced and two were added, increasing the natural light throughout the warehouse. Additionally, a self-flashing galvanized steel roof access hatch was installed.

A 3-ton heat pump unit was replaced and it was relocated onto a factory curb to minimize leak potential.

During reroofing is the best time for a volunteer seismic retrofit of the building and that is precisely what our client opted for. We also replaced the tilt-up panel that had been compromised structurally (it bowed outward) with two new concrete tilt-up panels (learn more about that by watching the video here). Continue reading

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RBC Transport Dynamics - This is the new entrance of the building which is more inviting and makes a statement.

Project Profile: RBC Transport Dynamics

Riggins Construction & Management, Inc. is proud to announce the completion of the design-build RBC Transport Dynamics project right in the heart of Orange County, California.

The goal for this project was to create a cohesive facility on this two-building, two-shift manufacturing campus. The caveat is that the work had to be performed while maintaining their production levels at 100%.

The building unification combined the manufacturing and production area, test labs, and chemical storage with a new, engaging office space and high-end training facility. Two existing buildings were connected by a new building addition. A new steel-framed, metal building for chemical storage and bead-blasting was also added on site.

The second phase of this project was twofold: create fluid access and incorporate additional security features. Monument and site signage was added as well as the creation of a focal point from the street. The new metal-clad entry with its aluminum sun shade louvers does this beautifully. Continue reading

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Buying a Building is a Risky Business – Get a Survey First

samplesurveyRisk. We all crave it to one extent or another. Whether we surf 20′ waves, mountain bike on a narrow path in the dark, or cross the street where there’s no crosswalk, risk is part of our daily lives. And, to be truthful, every decision has a degree of risk.

An example of a low-level risk is when you’re at a diner. You could order the cheeseburger with onion rings and run the risk of an upset stomach. The risk is whether or not the momentary pleasure is worth future discomfort.

People often say the “bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.” That may be true but the risk is still big in that scenario.

When you start looking for a building, presumably with your real estate broker, emotion sets in. You may feel charmed, intrigued, and, well, ready to make the deal. Endorphins kick in. Like eating the cheeseburger and savoring all of its flavors, you have now entered the lizard brain zone where logic is not welcome. Continue reading

Why should a social media marketer go to WordCamp?

WordCamp is for Everyone – #ConstChat Recap 6/25/15

Construction Chat is a weekly chat on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. If you’re free, we’d love you to join us.

WordCamp

Why would a social media marketer, especially in construction, go to WordCamp?

(What is WordCamp?) Find a WordCamp here.

First some advice:

The questions & answers.

Q1. Do any of you manage your website?

Continue reading

Why should a social media marketer go to WordCamp?

Why would a social media marketer go to WordCamp? #ConstChat 6/25/15

Are you in construction? Do you want to build up your following? Are you looking to connect with the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) community?

You’re in luck!

Joining our weekly Twitter Chat may just be the right thing for you.

Construction Chat is on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

How to Join a Chat:

1. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (but don’t forget to add #ConstChat manually after your tweet or we won’t see your tweet).

2. Use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and make a column for #ConstChat (but don’t forget to put #ConstChat manually after your tweet).

3. Go to the Twubs page for #ConstChat.

4. My preferred method is using TweetChat. Just go here and log in with your Twitter account. You can even highlight the moderator so you don’t miss questions.

WordCamp

Why would a social media marketer, especially in construction, go to WordCamp?

(What is WordCamp?)

Q1. Do any of you manage your website?

Q2. Do any of you work closely with the website admin?

Q3. Do you use WordPress?

Q4. Have you been to WordCamp?

Q5. What is the best reason to go to WordCamp?

We may have more questions as the conversation changes. This should be a good one.

#ConstChat co-hosted by @FastenMaster 6/18/15

Plan to Improvise – #ConstChat Recap

Construction Chat is a weekly chat on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  If you’re free, we’d love you to join us.

Janet Blake from Fasten Master graciously volunteered to talk about improvisation.

In a digital world that changes daily, how can you plan five years out? Our printers don’t even last that long.

Here are some of the chat’s highlights:

 

The Questions & Answers:

Q1. How do you define improvisation?

Continue reading

#ConstChat co-hosted by @FastenMaster 6/18/15

Improvisation – #ConstChat Co-Hosted by @FastenMaster 6/18/15

Are you in construction? Do you want to build up your following? Are you looking to connect with the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) community?

You’re in luck!

Joining our weekly Twitter Chat may just be the right thing for you.

Construction Chat is on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

How to Join a Chat:

1. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (but don’t forget to add #ConstChat manually after your tweet or we won’t see your tweet).

2. Use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and make a column for #ConstChat (but don’t forget to put #ConstChat manually after your tweet).

3. Go to the Twubs page for #ConstChat.

4. My preferred method is using TweetChat. Just go here and log in with your Twitter account. You can even highlight the moderator so you don’t miss questions.

Improv, baby!

Janet Blake from Fasten Master graciously volunteered to talk about improvisation.

I mean, in a digital world that changes daily, how can you plan five years out? Our printers don’t even last that long.

Q1. How do you define improvisation?

Q2. By percentage, how much of the work you do involves planning and how much involves improvisation?

Q3. Do you get more satisfaction in planning or when devising a creative solution?

Q4. Give an example of the last time you had to improvise a creative solution.

Q5. For growing your business, is it more important to develop a plan or to have flexibility?

Q6. Do you approach social media with a daily/weekly plan or do you wing it?

Q7. How much do you improvise in your personal life versus your professional life?

#ConstChat 6/4/15 Taking Vacations

Go on Vacation! #ConstChat Recap

Construction Chat is a weekly chat on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  If you’re free, we’d love you to join us.

We all need breaks. But in our industry (construction and social media) there are so many demands on us for our time.

Many in our chat group are small business owners or work in small businesses. We aren’t wait staff. No one covers our tables when we’re taking a week off. Or do they?

This week’s chat was about vacations.

Q1: Do you get vacation time?

Continue reading