All Posts By

Cheri Coit

Avoiding Underinsurance by Adopting Proactive Risk Management Measures

Prefab Wall Panels

While disasters cannot be prevented natural or otherwise, the impact they have can be mitigated through insurance. Adequate cover can ensure that the owner of a home or commercial property is able to rebuild or repair and resume their normal life or operations without too much of a delay.

That would be the ideal, but it is not the reality on the ground. Recently concluded research indicates that the better part of US homes and commercial buildings are underinsured. One reason for this is that the cost of construction has gone up significantly over the years. It has been driven up by several factors. They include more costly building materials, higher labor costs and more technologically advanced construction methods that cost more.

According to recently concluded research, as many as 75 percent of US businesses are underinsured by up to 40%. Being unable to repair or rebuild for a business means incurring losses for as long as normal operations cannot resume. It may also mean higher costs to rent out alternative premises. Depending on to the nature of a business, it may mean losing loyal customers and having to start building a client base from scratch. According to SCORE, a non- profit organization that helps small businesses, 40% of businesses do not reopen after closing because of a disaster. https://www.score.org/

Prefab Wall PanelsGetting Insurance Up to Value
The solution to avoiding the potential pitfalls of underinsurance is getting insurance to value. This will mean getting property freshly evaluated to determine its current value. The existing insurance policy should then be revised to reflect the present value of the property. It would be advisable to do the same with essential machinery and other assets. It is far much better to pay slightly higher premiums than to lose it all in the event of a natural disaster, fire, theft or other incident. 

This is what proactive insurance management is all about. It would be advisable to get a fresh property and asset evaluation periodically. This depends on the location o f a business which would make bit more or less predisposed to natural disasters. It also depends on the nature and scale of a business.

A competent insurance or business consultant can advice on this and other proactive insurance measures a business can take.

Don’t get caught up being underinsured.

Offsite Construction on the Rise in the U.S

San Diego Timber Walls

Offsite construction has become the trend in the U.S. in the past few years and though it’s been around for over a decade, the US is just now joining in the flow of things and perfecting it’s ways.
San Diego Timber Walls

WHAT IS OFF SITE CONSTRUCTION?

This is where the construction of a building or structure is done in one location and then transferred and installed on the final location.

Structures that are constructed this way are also known as prefabricated. Construction giants are creating dedicated departments and personnel to handle such projects by subbing out to companies like AGC.

This method of construction is gaining traction and becoming a well-defined segment of the construction industry like it is in many parts of Europe and Asia. So that is why we need to stay ahead of the game or should I say; get IN the game since the US is now actually ‘catching up’ in this sector.

Let’s take a look at why is has become the top leading way of construction:


1) The main benefit is reduced costs. Construction is done with less workers which keeps wage costs low.


2) Efficiency is another benefit. With prefabrication, the same processes and procedures are repeated every time so the end result is predictable. This increases efficiency in terms of the final look and function of the structure and completion time. Also, unforeseen circumstances like bad weather do not affect work because it is being done offsite in a factory.


3) Safety is another benefit. When construction is being done offsite on factory, accidents such as workers falling from high buildings or being hurt when using machines on unstable, unfinished buildings are eliminated. Reduced visibility because of bad weather is also not an issue.


4) There is also the factor of sustainability because offsite construction requires the use of less heavy machinery and less energy. Wastage is also eliminated because it is possible to calculate required materials more accurately compared to buying materials for the construction of an entire building.


5) Less training is another benefit because each worker only needs to know how to perform a specific task unlike onsite work where workers are required to know how to do different tasks in the different stages of construction. 


6) Lastly, there is no disruption to the client from the noise and air pollution that comes with onsite construction. Clients can get on with things as usual while they wait for the finished, prefabricated structure to be installed and transported. 

San Diego Timber WallsMore and more offsite construction
According to the National Institute of Building Sciences, 93% of constructors who participated in survey confirmed that they had opted for offsite production in 2014. This number has continued to rise as more and more clients and contractors opt for it for its different benefits.

Isn’t it time for you and your company to jump in the flow?

Call AGC where our design build team can show you where to maximize your growth with offsite Construction!

THE IMPACT OF DRONES TO THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Drones

The introduction of the use of drones has impacted the construction industry in many ways. I will be outlining both the benefits and the challenges of using drones in the construction industry.

DronesMAPPING:
One of the major benefits of using a drone on a construction project is that it makes mapping easier: Imagine the hours/days it takes to map out acres of land if you must do it manually. Yes, it’s very time consuming. But with drones, no matter the size, makes it easy, quicker and more efficient.

VISABILITY:
Drones gives you a bird’s eye view of your site and what is always happening and are now playing a huge role in simplifying data collection.
If the general contractor or clients can’t come on a daily basis, drones provide a visual standpoint that they normally wouldn’t see from the ground.


PROVIDES VIDEO FOOTAGE:
Drones with cameras can do a proper survey, cover every part of the construction sites and provide video footage to stakeholders, and also be used in the companies digital marketing sectors for advertising and marketing.

IMPROVE SECURITY:
By constantly monitoring every part of the job site, drones protect employees and prevent act of vandalism. You don’t have to be at the site to find out what is going on there. 
Every construction site without security has a 98% chance of getting their tools, equipment, or materials stolen and their sites vandalized.

IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY:
Once employees see drones flying around, they know they are being monitored so they will reduce non-official activities thereby increasing their productivity. We all know the saying; “when the boss is away, the employees will play.”

HIGH-RISK AREAS
You will have high-risk areas that are difficult for a human crew to get to but a drone has no problem getting to them even if they are small locations.

DronesBIRDS:
If the site is where there are a lot of birds, using a drone will be a little difficult as large birds often attack it or collide with it.
WIRES: trying to navigate around telephone and electrical poles and wires can be challenging if not dangerous.

REGULATIONS:
To use a drone, you must comply with the strict regulations of Civil Aviation Authority. Unfortunately, these regulations change often as the drone technology is still a developing one. Violating these laws attracts either a large fine or incarceration depending on how serious it is.


RISK OF LITIGATION:
When people sight drones flying above them, they usually assume that they or their properties are being monitored with the drone. So, some of them may find out the owner of the drone and file a lawsuit against the company.

NO FLY ZONES:
You also have to cope with either temporary or permanent no-fly restrictions placed on certain areas that may be close to your site.

So, why not use a drone? We can see now how the pros outweighs its cons, it is a welcome development that should be encouraged.
Drones have become a mainstream technology for construction projects today. Why not join in this revolution?

MODULAR CONSTRUCTION BENEFITS for DEVELOPERS

modular construction

Modular Construction Benefits for Developers

Modular HomesWhat exactly is Modular construction and how does it benefit Developers?

Modular construction is a strategy that involves the construction of different sections of a building being built at an offsite location. The building structures are produced in “modules”. The modules are then put together on your construction site and when completed, reflect the exact design intent as well as the specifications of the blueprints without compromise.

The major benefit of modular construction is that it cuts turnaround time by about half. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_building

Let me break that down for you: these modular buildings can be disassembled and relocated for a new use, hence reducing the costs of raw materials and the number of labor costs that will be needing to meet the new need.

There are many uses for modular construction in today’s construction and can be merged with a variety of buildings to include; steel, timber, and fabric.

Another benefit is that they can be designed to fit any existing building with external aesthetics and once assembled, are practically indistinguishable from their original structure.

MODULAR
Modular Homes

Design
During the design stage, contractors will determine the customer’s budget, the required turnaround time, the square footage required, the number of modules, number of bathrooms required, if fire suppression system is required, the direction it will face, and many more specifications and requirements.

Review
The second step is for engineers to review the design to be sure that it meets all the required standards and to be sure that the design does run into with any code.

Permits
You must get a building permit for the site plan, and you also need to get the following permits – Flood district development permit, sign permit, encroachment permits, concrete permit, plumbing permit, and building permit.

modular

In conclusion, after you have completed the initial process, you will now begin it is time to move onto site development, plant fabrication, and the transportation of each of the modules.

And finally, the assembly of the modular to your construction project.

NATIONWIDE CONTRACTOR or LOCAL CONTRACTOR

General Contractor

Nationwide Contractor or Local Contractor

Is there a difference between nationwide contractors compared to a local contractor?

nationwide contractorThe construction trades all have assorted sects of contractors and subcontractors. The Licensed General Contractor is one of the top dawgs because they are the one who is qualified and licensed to work on any sort of General Contractorbuilding project, regardless of the complexity of the project. General contractors must pass a licensing exam, as well as a background check and must exhibit the financial resources to handle the full scope of work for the overall project.

General contractor licensing requirements vary from state to state and some states don’t even require general contractors to be licensed, only the subcontractors.

The challenges for nationwide contractors are different than for a local or regional contractor. Logistically, a nationwide contractor must be able to mobilize his crews for long periods of time in completely unfamiliar regions.

The expenses for the contractor that come with this scenario are lodging for the crew, travel expenses, such as; fuel, airfare, car rentals and per diem. However, these additional expenses “come with the territory” when a contractor chooses to work out of its county or state.

A much larger market with more bid opportunities, for varied types of construction, are the benefits for a general contractor that works nationwide. A great advantage in the times of a slow economy.

General ContractorWhile a local contractor can be just as experienced and reliable as a nationwide contractor, in many cases the nationwide contractor has an advantage of experience in handling a larger array of issues and challenges daily where a local contractor does not. Such as: working with unfamiliar sub-contractors and suppliers, managing its own crews that are far from home for long periods of time, and dealing with much more overhead expenses than a local contractor working near their home.

The local and nationwide contractor are very similar in many ways, what separates them, in many instances and becomes a greater advantage for the nationwide contractor is a much larger, expanded market to locate, bid, and procure commercial and residential projects.

STEEL OR WOOD

Steel or Wood Blog

STEEL OR WOOD?

Both; steel and wood have its pros and cons and it’s difficult to say one is better than the other in all aspects. So let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons: 

Steel or Wood BlogPros of using Steel
Steel is versatile since it can be molded into any shape and made to fit any structure. Durability also counts for steel. It lasts for years. Even if you live in the wet atmospheres and it rusts, it still holds its own with low maintenance. While some types of wood may be strong, steel is much stronger than any wood. The most important benefit of steel is that it is eco-friendly and can be recycled and reused multiple times.

Cons of using Steel
Yes, steel can be re-modified but not without a lot of work. You will do a lot of heating, hitting and welding. Generally, steel doesn’t ‘look’ glamorous like wood no matter its design. And steel is heavy. You can’t transport steel as easy as you transport wood because of its weight.

Now, let’s look at Wood;

Pros of using Wood
Wood has versatility because you can cut to order/design. Another pro for wood is that it is easily found in your local Home Depot or lumber yard. This limits having to ship it to the construction site. And ofSteel or Wood Blog course, Wood naturally looks better.


Cons of using Wood
No matter how long wood lasts, it can never last as long as steel. Consider this: why is it that steel is normally used to reinforce bridges and not wood? It is because of steel’s strength and durability. Wood cannot withstand harsh weather conditions like steel. You need to continuously work on the prevention of issues affecting wood like drying, cracking, bowing, and termite infestation. That simply means wood has higher costs of maintenance. Needless to say that compared to steel, wood burns!

Having outlined the pros and cons of both steel and wood, it is left for you to choose which of them will be more suitable for your building project.

 

BENEFITS OF THE NEW SELF-HEALING ASPHALT SEALANT

Asphalt

Benefits of the New Self-Healing Asphalt Sealant

AsphaltProfessor Guoqiang Li has invented a new type of sealant that could help put an end to the pavement cracks. The self-healing asphalt sealant is an asphalt mixture that allows asphalt pavements and roads to fix themselves when there are cracks. This is a welcome development because it offers several benefits to the construction industry. Here are some of the benefits of the new self-healing asphalt sealant.

The most important benefit is that It will extend the lifespan of our roads!
Asphalt roads last for years before you see them crack. Now that there is a sealant that will fix the cracks immediately as they show up, the lifespan of the roads could be doubled. In other words, roads will last much longer.Asphalt

The next benefit is that it will lead to less construction closures. Now, I don’t know about you, but this takes up a lot of time and its very inconvenient when you are trying to get to work on time. Yes, they only close one lane at a time but it still effects all the other lanes as well. With this sealant in place, roads will be closed less often and there will be less stress for us motorists.

And another awesome benefit is the fact that it is cost efficient.
Every time a road construction crew comes out and must fix it, the cost is enormous. By using this new self-healing asphalt sealant, the cost will be reduced drastically. This sealant has already been used on some of their roads in the Netherlands and it is estimated that it could save the country up to $99 million annually. 

AsphaltHowever, using self-healing asphalt will increase the cost of road and pavement construction by about 25 percent. All the same, it is still a welcome invention as its benefits far outweigh its cost in cash and in convenience. Remember, quality does not come cheap, but it sure pans out in the big picture.

This self-healing asphalt will definitely be raising the bar in the construction industry. Right now, construction engineers are waiting to test the sealant to be sure it doesn’t have any other drawbacks. After that it will be introduced in many countries mainly because of its cost-saving advantage

ALLEVIATING MULTIPLE CONTRACTOR HEADACHES

General Contractor

Alleviating Multiple Contractor Headaches

Wouldn’t like to alleviate dealing with multiple contractors?

When you must deal with more than one contractor, there can be

a slew of headaches that can arise with each new phase of construction.

For example, the flow from one contractor’s work to another’s. They may fail to progress as quickly as the contractor after them would like or need them to.

With a Commercial Construction project, there are several phases that are performed by specific contractors that have multiple divisions such as HR, Equipment, Budget, and so forth. The time and trade-off are important factors in every job. The contractors must cooperate and communicate with each other to form coalitions to make the job more efficient to meet deadlines.

The headaches that come with multiple contractors are often caused by lack of communication between the contractors. Failure to communicate at any stage will lead to unwarranted tension which causes Contractor issues for all concerned. For example, The Client’s actions facilitate a Change Order for the Electrician, who may not be able to reach the Architect, who would need to communicate with the Plumber, and so on, down the line. Poor communication in the Design Phase as well as in the building phase can cause major tension within the ranks, as well as cost overruns.

multi contractors

 

Certain Contractors will sometimes only provide ‘general’ services while delegating all other phases to subcontractors including carpentry which constricts and skimps on the quality of work while extending the process.

So… the solution to alleviate the multi Contractor headaches is finding a company that has its own Design Build Team, in house, which will limit the use of subcontractors where the architects and carpenters are in constant communication. This will ease the possibilities of any confusion between the Contractor and or Client.
Using a Design-Build Contractor will eliminate the headaches of multiple bids, plus speed up construction time, keep costs down, and quality control will be increased with value engineering and the clients’ risk is reduced considerably.

General Contractor

THE RISE OF CONSTRUCTION COSTS

General Contractor

THE RISE OF CONSTRUCTION COSTS

 

Construction costs are shooting up in US because of a combination of expensive materials, rising labor costs, and new tariffs.

BUILDING COSTS

Here are three reasons we have found that happens when the combination of expensive materials and labor meets with the extensive imposed tariffs. All Three elements work together to add to the costs of your project.

1. Expensive Materials

The trade war in the US is just one problem with building costs. Materials are getting much more expensive every year, and the most acceptable materials on the market are always going to be more expensive than the old General Contractormaterials that they replaced. You cannot build any structure at all without encountering construction costs that have increased such as: pipes, timber, siding, steel and even fabric buildings. Gypsum is at its high and expected to still have a 7% cost rise. Crude Oil is another commodity that has increased immensely by 12%!

2. Expensive Labor

Labor costs are rising as it simply takes more people to get the job done and there is a lack of skilled labor. You need to have a foreman on the job that is qualified to pre-inspect and to handle problems that occur daily with the labor force as well as other job-site problems. The construction cost of an experienced foreman can rack up your payroll.

3. New Tariffs
In the last two years, prices have increased due to the new tariffs on materials that are imported such as: steel and aluminum. But there has been also a rise in timber by 13.2%, which has and will hurt the construction company’s jobs that are already in production and for future bids. Diesel fuel is another commodity that has gone up considerably, which most construction sites use for their generators.

 

All these elements combined hurt the construction fields and the rise is predicted to continue increasing which will definitely slow construction.

The best thing you can do for your company is to stay informed on whats going on in your industry and bid accordingly. Always take the initiative to improve your company’s value and effectiveness.

GET THE BEST SAN DIEGO CONTRACTOR

General Contractor

GET THE BEST SAN DIEGO CONTRACTOR

Four Tips to Identify the Best San Diego Contractors for Your Hotel TransformationGeneral Contractor

Located in Alpine, California and being one of San Diego’s General Contractors gives us an advantage on the new innovative ideas.

The best option is always to hire a pro rather that has the commercial experience that you need to build your hotel project. Nonetheless, settling for the wrong contractor can result in legal problems, subpar work, and extended delays. One of the most trusted companies in the construction field is American General Construction (AGC).

As you follow these tips, they will help you pick a professional San Diego Contractor for the perfect construction of your hotel design project.

General Contractor1. REFERENCES
Seek recommendations from associates who have done similar projects. This will help you to get the perfect contractor in San Diego. Seeking the counsel of people with experience in building trades will ensure you get the right referrals for the best San Diego General Contractor.

2. INTERVIEW
Making contact with several San Diego general contractors gives you a feel of their work. Interview your contractors to evaluate them and see if they are available and willing to handle your scope of work.

3. DON’T RUSH
Don’t be in a hurry to choose your contractor as it can cost you money and serious problems in the building of your construction project. Taking your time ensures you find the best contractor for your job. This is because you will make an informed decision based on your construction requirements.

4. EXPERIENCE
Examining the work of a possible San Diego Contractor gives you a preview of their handiwork, which may inspire ideas for your hotel construction project. Contractor’s past job projects allow you to see the quality of theirGeneral Contractor work before settling for a perfect option. Furthermore, contractor’s past projects showcase the variety of work they have done.

Looking for a contractor is a process that should take you time and enough research. Following the above list will help you make more informed decisions to identify the best contractor for your construction in San Diego. Remember, the better equipped the contractor the more likely you will get good results.