Category Archives: Industry News

Construction Publications

Construction Industry Publications To Read

Quite a while back I wrote about the business blogs I read. It’s time for a construction industry roundup.

There’s a lot out there. I know, “out there” is vague. But it’s true. You are a Google search away from just about anything you want to know.

To write for an industry, you have to read their publications. Here’s what I read.


Construction Dimensions

Isn’t it funny which one becomes your favorite? It’s hard to believe that a drywalling rag could be my favorite but I love the writing.

The paper magazine has sections for management, supervision, and estimators that can be useful, frankly, for any trade. The online version has very few in the archives, unfortunately.

Concrete Construction

So much of our work in Southern California involves concrete. As you may have read from our epoxy injection post, we have quite a few tilt-up buildings here, and they often need to be repaired or even replaced (we did that, too).

An example of an article that’s helpful to anyone, not just concrete contractors is “Keep Architectural Concrete Looking Great.”  This article discusses aesthetics, mix design, reinforcement, and waterproofing. Continue reading

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

trick or treating for bids?

Trick or Treating – For Bids?

Remember the days of your childhood? You’ve planned your whole school year around October 31 – the night you’ll collect a year’s worth of candy. You’ve determined the best costume and maybe you and your friends have planned to dress up as a group.

All of the details of this cold, autumn night have been planned down to the size of your pillowcase – hoping it will be filled with your favorites.

Yet, you’ve put those hopes and dreams in a random group of people.

What’s the return of investment on your costume when your loot is dumped out on the carpet? There’s no greater disappointment to a child, after canvasing and collecting for hours, when all of his candy-filled dreams have ended, and all that represents his hard work are Twizzlers and Pixie Sticks.

Fast forward twenty years.

You’re a business owner. You’ve developed and planned your concept, ideas, and brand for years. You’re finally leasing a space, you’ve got drawings from an architect, and it’s time to put them out to bid.

Will you rely upon random door knocks?

“Trick or Treat!”

Of course, we advocate the design-build method, but should you choose design-bid-build as in this scenario, why not choose contractors you trust?

Continue reading

Everybody Poops, Everybody Toots, But We Like to Do it In Style


Imagine a group of kids ranging in age from four to ten years old. A wave of giggles starts in the back corner while you’re teaching, oblivious to the apparent two-dimensional offense. Yep. Somebody passed gas, or as one of the kids will inevitably shout, “He farted!” causing the rest of the group to erupt in laughter almost as violently as Mt. Vesuvius reigned down terror on Pompeii.

Hopefully, most of us have grown out of the giggles, but we have to do what we have to do. The thing is, we like to do it in nice places where we feel safe and clean.

12119-3ASelling a restroom addition or upgrade to a home owner usually isn’t an insurmountable obstacle. The fact of the matter is that upgrading or adding facilities increases a home’s value. That’s money in the bank.

“According to, a new full bathroom adds around 20 percent to a home’s value.” ~ Tony Guerra, “How Much Does a New Bathroom Increase the Value of a House?

From pink marble bathrooms to full-spa accommodations, luxury bathrooms are not new. Not only can you buy a multi-function toilet from Toto for about $6,500, there’s even a water closet (that’s construction jargon for toilet) made out of gold that costs around $5 million. Now that’s a throne!

Homes, we get. That’s where we spend a lot of our time primping and prepping for the day or relaxing at night. But what about retail establishments and workplaces? Continue reading

design build is your best bet Naotake Murayama creative commons

It’s No Mystery Why Design-Build is Your Best Bet

Winchester Mystery House 001 by Cowgirl Jules, on Flickr

Winchester Mystery House 001 by Cowgirl Jules, on Flickr

Growing up in  Central California, I was always fascinated by the stories I had heard and read about San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House. To this day, I haven’t been inside, but its fascination lingers.

Mrs. Winchester orchestrated construction on her house, interior and exterior, continually, until she died. To most of us that is the making of a nightmare. But it’s her methods that are most curious.

The website describes her building design:

Winchester Mystery House by InSapphoWeTrust, on Flickr

Winchester Mystery House by InSapphoWeTrust, on Flickr

“According to legend, Mrs. Winchester enacted a nightly séance to help with her building plans and for protection from ‘bad’ spirits. While she sometimes drew up simple sketches of the building ideas, there were never any blueprints….or building inspectors! In the morning, she would meet with John Hansen, her dutiful foreman, and go over new changes and additions.”

Her unorthodox methodology explains the random building anomalies – chimneys, roof lines, hidden passageways, doors that open to brick walls, and stairs that go nowhere. Was she really confusing the spirits, or just confused?

Traditional Design & Construction:

Mrs. Winchester’s building method is, by no means, traditional. Most building owners and tenants hire an architect or space planner, go through the (sometimes long) design process. After the drawings are submitted to the City, the client (or their construction manager) invites three (or more) general contractors to bid, collect and sometimes answer RFIs, and award the contract to the lowest bid, presuming that bid has everything covered.

As an owner, you can go that route. But we think there’s a better way.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

It’s no secret that Riggins Construction & Management, Inc. specializes in design-build tenant improvements and new building construction, especially since Tom Riggins has a construction engineering degree from Cal Poly. Our approach to construction from an engineering background allows us to streamline the entire process for you, our client. Continue reading