Things to Talk about with a Contractor Before a Project Starts

Once you decide to embark on a construction project, there are things you should talk about with your contractor before shovels and hammers start to fly. Having a candid conversation with your contractor will ensure that you are on the same page.

Here are some of the things to talk about with your contractor according to Mr. Sims from Southwest Appliance Repair:

Work Schedule

There are standard working hours for most companies. They may vary depending on the project, the contractor, and location. Ensure that you understand the work schedule of your project to know what to expect and when. Also talk about having a well-written contract signed by both of you.

Trash, Recycling, and Parking

Depending on the location of your property or project, parking may be available or unavailable. Neighbors can be a territorial for parking spots. You can even need a permit from relevant authorities. You might also need special equipment or dumpsters depending on your location and project type. Therefore, discuss how trash will be handled, recycling and parking with the contractor.

Security and Access

Talk with your contractor about security of the jobsite and its access. Talk about who will have access to your site or property and when. Essentially, discuss all security measures that you will have in place like signs and fences.

Contacts and Communication

Get a full list of the email addresses and phone numbers that you can use to contact the contractor or employees that will mostly be onsite. Ensure that your contractor has all the necessary information they need to contact you. Additionally, find out how the contractor will communicate details of your project.

In addition, talk about how scheduling and billing will be done. Also know who will get permit for the project and when. If you have questions regarding how your project shall be handled, talk about it before the project starts. Be transparent and honest with the contractor to avoid trouble down the road.


Important Steps to Follow When Planning a Construction Project

It’s easy to be tempted to start your construction project right away. That’s because many people believe that starting earlier means they will complete their project sooner. However, that’s not how things work when it comes to building a house. To ensure the successful completion of your project, you should follow these steps. 

  1. Pick an Experienced Design Professional 

To understand the scope of the work to be done and come up with a detailed plan, you should hire an interior designer or an architect. In some cases, you may want to work with both professionals. Different construction companies do things differently. Therefore, decide whether to work with an architect or an interior designer. Pick an experienced professional to get the best results. 

  1. Come up with a Plan 

Once you’ve chosen a designer or an architect, come up with a plan for your building. A plan is called a schematic design and it is usually a rough layout. This shows the floor plan and some views of the house exterior. 

  1. Interview Contractors 

Once you have a plan for your dream house, move on to hiring a contractor. A contractor should estimate your schematic design and provide estimates for the construction project. This can take time and you should talk to different contractors. 

  1. Shop for Materials 

Go shopping for the construction materials after receiving the estimates and picking a contractor. You can purchase things like windows, doorknobs, light fixtures, and countertops. Your contractor can guide you to ensure that you purchase the right materials. 

  1. Obtain Construction Permits 

The time required to obtain construction permits depends on the project’s scope and location. It can take months, a day, or a year. Nevertheless, knowing the duration that the process of obtaining a permit will take will enable you to know the possible start date for the project. 

  1. Start the Construction Project 

Once you submit your construction plans to obtain the permits and purchase the required materials, your chosen contractor should provide detailed pricing and come up with a contract. You may want to perform value engineering if the materials’ costs are more than what was budgeted for. The longer-lead items like windows, cabinets, doors, electrical and plumbing fixtures should be identified before signing a contract. 

These steps can take 4 to 6 months or more. However, the planning process may take longer but it enables you to complete your construction project without any hassles. 

How to Apply Lean Thinking in Construction

Over the last few decades, productivity has been declining in the construction industry globally. One of the best ways to improve this situation is through the use of lean construction. This technique arises from the use of new production management methods in construction. 

More often, the focus of contractors is on the use of certain procedures or tools to boost efficiency. However, lean construction is not a simple step-by-step process. It’s a philosophy. As such, the application of lean methods and ideas at every organization level and construction stage is the best way to enjoy its full benefits. 

Features of Lean Construction 

Some of the major features of lean construction are: 

  • Clear objectives for every delivery process 
  • Concurrent design 
  • Focus on maximizing performance at every project level 
  • Project control throughout its life cycle from the design stage to delivery 

Several professionals and construction academics have stormed the ramparts of conventional management in the construction industry with an effort on better value delivery to owners and making profits. Consequently, the current market has several lean-based tools. Complex and simple construction projects have used these tools successfully. 

Why Lean Construction Project? 

The management of lean construction projects is easier. What’s more, these projects are completed sooner and are safer. They also cost less and their quality is better. But, significant research is required to make lean thinking effective in the construction industry. 

It’s only through research that lean construction principles and methods can be implemented to minimize waste and increase profits without compromising quality. For instance, builders should focus on the planner system that enhances the application of lean construction methods and concepts. Evaluation methods should also be developed or improved based on different principles for the lean approach in construction. 

Nevertheless, the proper application of lean thinking in construction can boost productivity, minimize wastes, and yield quality results. 

A Guide for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

You probably know that what you pay for is what you get when it comes to home improvement projects. As such, hiring the right home improvement contractor is very important. The contractor that you hire will influence the outcome of your project. They will also determine the costs you will spend on the project. Here’s a guide for hiring a contractor for your home improvement project. 

Connect with a Contractor 

An ideal home improvement contractor should be a person that you can talk to with ease. This should be a professional that understands your needs. The professional should be easy to reach and communicate with at any time. 

Request an Estimate 

Price can be a reflection of quality when it comes to a home improvement project. Therefore, don’t rush to hire the cheapest home improvement contractor. Instead, find out more about the past work of a contractor. If possible, talk to their past clients to know whether they can recommend the same contractor to another person. 

Check the Credentials of the Contractor 

Find out whether the contractor is an accredited professional. Inquire about their professional training and experience. An ideal home improvement contractor should be affiliated with professional bodies in their industry. 

Be Upfront with Your Budget 

Let the contractor know the amount you want to spend on your home improvement project. That way, they will give you an estimate that is within your budget. What’s more, make sure that the free estimate you get from the contractor details what they will do. 

Get a Written Home Improvement Contract 

Don’t just assume that the contractor will do everything they promise. To be on the safer side, get a written contract that details what the contractor will do and the amount you will pay them. That way, you can file a claim if the contractor fails to play their role. 

Don’t rush to hire a contractor for your home improvement project. Instead, take your time to scrutinize different contractors to find a professional that will do an excellent job. 

How to Finance a New Construction Project

Building a new property usually comes with great anticipation. However, financing is one of the greatest worries that every property developer has to deal with when planning new constructions. Check out the following tips on how to finance a new construction project. 

Construction Loans for New Home Financing 

A construction loan is the best option to consider when seeking financing for a new home. As it suggests, the short term loan is issued to cover the costs of new constructions. In case your application is approved, you will be able to withdraw a set amount of money during the construction process. And, the financial provider will only charge monthly interests based on the amount of money that you withdraw for the new construction. 

Types of Construction Loans 

There are two main types of construction loans that you can choose from to build a new property including one-time close and two-time close loans.

One-Time Close Loans 

This type of loan integrates both a construction loan and a traditional mortgage. When getting the loan, the provider will set a maximum mortgage rate. After the end of the construction, the loan is converted into a long-term mortgage. The new disbursement is used to pay off the balances from the first loan then; you now begin re-paying the mortgage. 

Two-Time Close Loans 

The other alternative is a two-time close loan that is also offered in two parts; a construction loan and standard mortgage. However, you will have to re-finance the mortgage upon the completion of the construction. That means, you have to apply again for the mortgage for approval and pay closing costs. 

Each of these types of construction loans have unique pros and cons that you should carefully look into before applying. Besides, it is also important to keep in mind that financial institutions often approve financing for 75% to 80% of the appraised value. The owners of the property will need to shoulder the rest. Nevertheless, a construction loan is the most convenient and risk-free option for financing a new construction project.  


Top Trends in Residential Construction

If you are planning to build a new home, you definitely want to know the top trends in the industry. Most probably, you want to strike a balance between the hottest trends and timeless designs. After being around for some time, you most likely know timeless designs that you should consider. However, you may not be familiar with the latest trends in the residential construction industry. Here are some of the trends that you should consider when building your home.

Sustainable and Digital Technology

Technology is playing a crucial role in the construction of homes in two major ways. First, people are paying more attention to the technology features that increase the overall efficiency of homes. Second, people are using digital tools to make their homes more attractive. People are also using devices like Smartphone and other gizmos to perform activities like controlling home temperature and enhancing entertainment.

Blending Outdoor and Indoor Spaces

In the past, screen doors served as the only connection between outdoor and indoor spaces. However, modern homes integrate the out and the in. These homes have rooms that are not completely indoor living spaces and not completely outdoor porches. Thus, modern homes provide the benefits of improved sunlight and airflow. People are also having better access to their outdoors even during times of unfavorable weather. They are enjoying great entertainment all round at different spaces of their homes.

Inviting Aesthetics

People have criticized the modern design for being sterile and severe. However, some homeowners are favoring a more inviting, softer feel. Instead of providing harsh, cold aesthetics, modern homes are offering a warmer, handcrafted sensibility.

These are some of the prominent trends in the residential construction niche. If you want to have any of them for your new home, talk to a reputable contractor about it. A professional contractor will help you have a home that looks and feels just the way you desire.


10 Effective Ways to Enhance Communication at a Construction Site

Effective communication is important at any construction site. Communication plays a significant role throughout the process of building a structure. Unfortunately, miscommunication can be a serious issue. If workers at a construction site are unable to communicate effectively, consequences can include time and money wastage as well as delays in completion of a construction project. Here are effective ways to enhance communication at a construction site.

1. Use Modern Technology

There are innovative digital solutions that can be used to communicate with workers at a construction site in real-time. Use modern devices to communicate with team members more efficiently at your construction site.

2. Chain of Command

Make sure that you have clear communications lines and chain of command that will be used to convey information and messages.

3. Reinforce

Ensure that messages are conveyed in different ways. This ensures that the target recipients understand the messages.

4. Be Concise and Clear

When using written communication, avoid ambiguity and slang. Keep your message direct, legible and simple.

5 Maintain Continuous Training

Ensure that employees undergo ongoing training on the latest apps, software, equipment, regulations and features. Also make sure that construction site workers are updated on the latest practices for managing construction projects both off-and on-site.

6. Encourage Feedback

When talking to construction workers, subcontractors, architects, and suppliers, value feedback. Ensure that your feedback is always understood and follow up if necessary.

7. Bilingualism

Find out if you need second language at a construction site. If you realize that you need second or third languages, identify how they will be used to enhance logistics and safety.

8. Hire Qualified Workers

Work with qualified professionals to enhance effective and easier communication at your site.

9. Connections

Make sure that you have functioning networks and proper connections at your site especially if it is located at a remote place.

10. Upgrade

Upgrade your communication systems when necessary. For instance, update software for tracking revisions at different project stages.

Try these tips to enhance communication at your construction site and avoid mistakes that can occur as a result of poor communication. With effective communication, your construction project will run effectively and smoother.


Luxury Features to Consider when Building a New House

Luxury Features to Consider when Building a New House

If you want your new home to be something more than usual, invest in luxury features. There is a rapid change in the real estate trends. If you want your house to fetch a higher price and sell fast, invest in luxury features. Here are some of the luxury features to consider when building your new house.

Home Spa

This is a luxury feature that will enable you to pamper yourself inside your home. Bathtub may be a common feature in most modern homes. However, a persona spa will make your home stunning and luxurious.

Driveway Alarm

A long driveway is not a mere luxury feature in a home. Installation of a driveway alarm adds security to a home. It enables you to know when somebody trespasses into your property. You also know when to prepare to welcome guests when they visit.

Fitness Room

A home gym or fitness room is a great feature to have in your new house if you can afford a luxurious life. You can install a music system, a television set, and speakers in this room. You can even have an indoor pool where you can indulge to enjoy a relaxing bath after exercising in your gym.

Walk-in Closet

Every woman dreams of living in a home with a walk-in closet. This is an absolutely stunning feature. It’s a room that is dedicated to getting a homeowner dressed. When designing this space, ensure that it portrays all assets extravagantly.

Wine Cellar

A wine cellar will give your new home a completely different appeal. A wine cellar is probably the one thing your friends and neighbors don’t have in their homes. Therefore, investing in it will make your living space unique.

These are just some of the luxury features that you should consider when building a new house. The choice should depend on your preference. Talk to your home builder to ensure that you have the right luxury features in your new house.


Check out this website for last minute buys and finishing touches.

Problems that everyone has with construction

You are considering starting a construction project, and you are hiring a contractor. You want to make sure that everything is going according to plan and as easy as possible. This is why you should make sure that you know some of the problems that everyone has when it comes to construction. This will make it easier for you to decide if this is something that you want to do or not.

The deadline for the construction is never on time

No matter what. The deadline for the construction is never on time. They are always behind schedule and will not make the date on the contract. This is something that you just need to deal with.

This is why you should consider the date that you want the construction done. And, make sure that you are starting on the project as soon as possible. The sooner you realize that the construction is always behind schedule, the better for you.

Problems with managing the construction material that is coming in and going out

Everyone that has done construction to their homes or offices might tell you to manage the material that is coming in and going out. However, this is easier said than done.

It is hard to keep track of the material that has been bought and the material that is used. However, this is important to monitor, because there are some dishonest contractors out there. You should just find a way to know the products that are coming in and going out. Keep an inventory at all times is basically what you should do.

Having construction workers around you, all the time

You are really seeing forward in the construction being completed, and you enjoy the new space around you. However, this doesn’t mean that the whole process is going to be easy to handle.

You might like your privacy, but for the time being, you need to accept that there are going to be construction workers around you, all the time. And, that you might start to get frustrated.

These are the top three problems that people have with the construction. They think about the finished project but doesn’t think about the work that needs to be done before you can enjoy the newly added space. However, with patience and making sure that you find a way around the construction workers, you will be able to cope until the project is finished.