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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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SeaGlass_Crop_4397 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

#ConstChat Communicating Through Email

Avoid Email Pitfalls – #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.

Communicating Effectively Through Email (and Texting)

What we forget about email is the recipients perception. My friend Joanne Marquez always says, “The tone of an email reflects the mood of the reader.”

So, how can you predict the recipient’s mood? You can’t always. But you do have a history of context with that person. Communicating though email is convenient; it can also be tricky.

A good rule of thumb with email is if an email bothers you, do nothing for 24 hours. Wait. Reflect. Reread. Does the tone of the email change?

When writing emails, see this blog post, say what you need to in 5 lines. Put hard returns (enter key for you young people) after each sentence. Why? People don’t read. They scan.

Merlin Mann of 43 folders gives great email tips in his Email Ninja posts.

Read some of the questions and answers below.

 Q1. What percentage of communication is done through email?

Continue reading

Communicating Effectively Through Email – #ConstChat Questions 4/16/15

#ConstChat Communicating Through EmailAre 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.

Communicating Effectively Through Email (and Texting)

What we forget about email is the recipients perception. My friend Joanne Marquez always says, “The tone of an email reflects the mood of the reader.”

So, how can you predict the recipient’s mood? You can’t always. But you do have a history of context with that person. Communicating though email is convenient; it can also be tricky.

A good rule of thumb with email is if an email bothers you, do nothing for 24 hours. Wait. Reflect. Reread. Does the tone of the email change?

When writing emails, see this blog post, say what you need to in 5 lines. Put hard returns (enter key for you young people) after each sentence. Why? People don’t read. They scan.

Merlin Mann of 43 folders gives great email tips in his Email Ninja posts.

This week’s questions:

Q1. What percentage of communication is done through email?

Q2. What form of communication do you prefer? Continue reading

Reputation Management – Co-Hosted by @MrCabinetCareOC #ConstChat Questions 4/30/15

#ConstChat Reputation ManagementAre 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.

Reputation Management

This week’s topic is brought to us by our co-host, Bethany from Mr. Cabinet Care (aka  @MrCabinetCareOC,) a regular chat participant.

Of course, we may not get to all of these questions, but here goes:

Q1: In this computer age, how important do you think online reputation is becoming? Continue reading

You have now entered “The Consulting Zone” – #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.

#ConstChat Can I Pick Your Brain?

 

This week’s chat topic is about having our brains picked.

We all have that friend, relative, or business associate that will call us every once in a blue moon to have coffee, lunch, or breakfast.  We cringe. Yet, out of loyalty or guilt, we go.

Five minutes in, “Hey can I pick your brain?” There it is. Another free consultation.

This type of situation can happen with any professional service but seems to abound in the construction industry.

Point:

“I have to protect my investment. How fair is it to me to give away all the knowledge I have acquired that I use to make my living, pay my bills and eat?” Adrienne Graham, Forbes “No, You Can’t Pick My Brain. It Costs Too Much

Counterpoint:

“I do think that people should do things for free for exposure. I still do things for free and I get very compensated for my time and my efforts. … Money is not the only way to pay.” Gary Vaynerchuk

[youtube=https://youtu.be/hUvjY0T2RkQ]

There has to be a balance between giving enough information away to raise your brand’s value yet not giving away your secret sauce.

So, when exactly have you crossed from the light questions into “The Consulting Zone?”

Lots of answers. Lots of scrolling.

Q1: How do you respond to requests to pick your brain?

Continue reading

Can I pick your brain? #ConstChat Topic for 3/26/15

#ConstChat Can I Pick Your Brain?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. Continue reading