In a few short days, Cherise and I will once again jump on a plane and converge on a new locale to spread the Let’s Fix Construction message. A new conference, and with that, a new audience, awaits in Anaheim at the AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference to hear a little about the who and a little more about the why behind what we’re doing.
With LFC being founded steeply in our Construction Specifications Institute roots and beliefs, much of the message of LFC and CSI remains in our closed loop circles if we do not do our part in getting in touch with the onlookers and informing new individuals about the who, the what and the why in 2019 and beyond.
These continued opportunities will never cease to amaze me. Cherise and I go into each one grateful for the chance to spread the message of Let’s Fix Construction and to perhaps spark an AHA! moment for even one of our attendees. For I truly believe that it only takes one person to walk away from one of our workshops to know that we’ve done our part. One person to tell us after attendance that they could feel our passion for what we’re doing. One person to say that they got more out of one session than a year of box lunches.
And Cherise and I are just two voices for Let’s Fix Construction. With our Speed Mentoring session in Anaheim, Let’s Fix Construction becomes dozens of voices, encompassing hundreds of years of construction experience, which will be conveyed to dozens more new receptors of our message and mission.
The AEC industry is undergoing monumental change and culture shifts and the next twenty years are vital to not only our future, but our children’s, grandchildren’s and great grandchildren's future. It’s important for all of us to continue to spread our knowledge and experience, and personally for Cherise and me, our mission and our passion that we deploy within Let’s Fix Construction.
You may not have the opportunity to join us in Anaheim at AEC Next, but there will be other chances. We’re always listening and open for new formats to offer creative solutions, separate myths from facts and erase misconceptions about the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
Contributed by Mike Lapre
When surety companies are asked to provide bonding for individuals or companies, the level of credit which is involved can generally be determined by a fairly universal formula which is observed by the surety industry. That formula is based on what is known as the three C's, and these are factors which will serve as a strong guideline for determining just how much credit can safely be extended to any bonding applicant. Those three C's are described below, so that if you have a fairly clear idea of how your company rates in each of these three areas, you should also have a fairly clear idea of just what level of credit you're eligible for.
Any underwriter who is trying to evaluate an applicant's character will take into account their personal credit history, their business credit history, their track record for paying bills, reputation in the community, any public liens or judgments, and their management experience. Any of these areas which are found to be weak or questionable will definitely have an impact on the underwriter's decision, although it probably would not disqualify an individual from becoming bonded.
There are also ways in which you can improve on these areas, so that you're more likely to be bonded for the amount you want. Obviously one of these areas is to make sure that you pay your bills on time consistently, and that you catch up on any outstanding old bills you may have. It's a good idea to have lines of credit available to you, but it would be better if they are not used often. It's always good to keep an updated resume on hand, in case it's needed for consultation by a bonding agent.
You should be able to explain any negative lines or mistakes on your credit history, or any past-due items which appear there, whether or not you caused them. You should always be as honest as possible with your bonding agent, and consult with them whenever there are any major financial events which have occurred to your business. By being forthright on all these issues, you'll have a much better chance of achieving the level of bonding that you are hoping for.
It is difficult the morning after the tragic fire at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris to NOT write about it. Like any noteworthy event in the modern day, news does spread on social media, pardon the pun, like wildfire. In what seemed like only moments, not only did the centuries old world landmark engulf, but so did my social medium of choice, Twitter.
As my feed was taken over in an instant, it did make me reflect, like many others, about what was occurring before our eyes. While never finding myself a religious person, nor a churchgoer, I did have the opportunity to visit Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris in February of 2017. If you have had the opportunity to visit, you may relate that in just a few moments you were overtaken with awe of a man-made structure. Without modern day technologies, this amazing structure had incredible detail, art and artifacts, both inside and out. If you took the time to walk through this magnificent example of construction, in one-tenth a nanosecond, your breath was taken away.
I'm not an architecture critic, nor do I pretend to play one on TV. I'm not going into the technical terms nor rehashing words that have already been said or written. If anything, for at least one fleeting day, more attention will be paid to a structure that was taken for granted by many. Ironically, this coming week is National Architecture Week. And while this celebration is about architecture and the ways architects positively impact our lives, yesterday's events are a reminder that our world's history can be undone in one moment. By one Act of God. By one act of terrorism. By one little accident. Take a moment to look up. To appreciate. To reflect.
I'm knee deep in a project right now that I'll call it what it really is: bailing the Owner out. Know what you get when you don't create bidding documents and rely solely on a low price? You get what you get. And if I say that phrase aloud in front of my 5 and 8-year-old, they add "and you don't pitch a fit".
Well, when one doesn't create an RFP, not to mention any sort of construction specification or drawing, how can one hold any level of expectation about their finished product? This Owner bought off a non-descriptive proposal and carried what matters most in the construction industry too much of the time: the lowest price.
I don't have the time, the space, nor the want, to fully go down the road of the low-bid scenario. I will call it as I see it as a subcontractor: it's the short end of the stick. And yet it is still the "solution" for the most popular project delivery method in the construction industry today: design-bid-build.
Let us Cliffs Notes design-bid-build within a tweet's 280-character limit:
Owner has vision. Owner works with architect on design for vision. Architect develops schematics. Fine tunes. Vision formalized. Architect develops formal drawings & specifications for GC. Duration? Years? GC gets days to decipher vision. End result? Be cheapest.
But that's simplifying things, you say. Sure, that may be. But in a nutshell, that's the process.
One of the frustrating things about working with designers and developing specifications is becoming the basis of design, or an approved equal, only to be just breaking the sweat of the marathon race. Once you're named in a spec, you now must win the spec. And how do you ultimately win the spec? Match it and be the cheapest and ultimately, hope. Hope? Sure. Hope your price lands in the lap of the estimator in time. Hope they have time to read it. Hope they pick up what you're putting down. Hope they want to work with you. Hope you meet their qualifications to work together. Hope you can meet your estimate and make goal profit margin. Hope it all goes to plan. Hope you get paid in full in a timely fashion.
You can never start a conversation early enough in construction. Why is it that we wait so long to have that difficult talk? This isn't the birds and the bees with a pre-teen. This is real world ramifications that can affect many on a project.
We' are working on a flooring replacement project that we bid in April of 2018. This project has been on the verge of installation since September. We go over and above to ensure that our proposal is very clear at the time of the bid: What we will do, what we won't do and what is the responsibility of others.
It's important to note that any flooring contractor is not the Clark Kent of a renovation project. More importantly, we are not Clark Kent's alter ego, Superman, on a project. Meaning, we don't have x-ray vision. Conditions underneath existing flooring are unknown to all until the existing flooring and adhesive is removed and the base slab is 100% visible. You could have unexpected layers of flooring or adhesives, hazardous materials such as asbestos, mercury or lead, excessive concrete cracking, delaminating patching or high concrete moisture. Since we've seen each and every one of these unforeseen instances in the past, we exclude any and all subfloor preparation.
If you are preparing construction documents or readying for a flooring project yourself and you have a certain end result in mind and it needs to be included as part of the base bid contract, you need to be very exact and precise with wording. The end result should be so clear in your documents that a layman can understand the proposed scope of work.
On this particular project, the scope of work included flooring removal and to provide the following:
What's wrong with that scope? From a flooring contractor's perspective, I offer you the following response on each line item.
Let's Fix Construction is an avenue to offer creative solutions, separate myths from facts and erase misconceptions about the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
Get blog post notifications here