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What is an RFP?

RFP

According to Wikipedia: A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that solicits proposal, often made through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service, or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals. It is submitted early in the procurement cycle, either at the preliminary study, or procurement stage.

An RFP naturally differs from a hard-bid appeal in that the client will use an RFP to get a specific detailed list from contractors that aren’t addressed in any other types of bids.

An RFP process is typically utilized for projects where the design-build project isn’t fully complete, so the client will look for sub-contractors to work together to develop a strategic plan of attack for the project.

RFPA RFP entails several sections and could include:

  • Project Management of the said Contractor and it’s team members
  • Cost and Schedule Control
  • List of Past projects
  • The companies BIM experience and it’s in-house structure
  • Quality control process
  • Design-Build Process and Team
  • Plans and Specifications

The list can be lengthy and detailed because an RFP is meant to be detailed and specifically outlined to cover every basis so that there is no room for error if the bid is won. The main purpose is to cover everything for the client to meet their needs.

The RFP will also include a copy of the bid so that by submitting the proposal will keep the contractor on track by committing them to the terms said forth in the RFP.
Today, more and more clients/ owners/ contractors will include contracts with RFPs because it gives all parties plenty of time to address questions about the contract prior to winning the bid.

If the RFP’s are given to the contractor early enough, this process is a very instrumental one because they will have the time to go through the contract and finalize any objections or questions prior to submitting the final bid.

WARNINGS FOR THE CONTRACTORSWarning Sign

Contractors need to pay special attention for the not-so-obvious sections of the RFP — ones that can possibly influence the contract that the contractor signs upon winning the bid. For instance, the submitted bid form could be considered just an offer, and once the client accepts it, the parties could have another contract based on comebacks in the RFP. If a contractor backtracks on any of the items that are included in the bid, the client could then reject the bid.

So the contractor should go over the RFP with a fine tooth comb with his team so that there are no mistakes or misunderstandings and that everything is clear and in writing.

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?

A COLLEGE DEGREE DOESN’T GUARANTEE SUCCESS

College Degree

The question remains; does a college degree guarantee that you will have a successful career?

College DegreeAs a previous College student at the California State University of Northridge in Los Angeles County, I have experienced the enormous falsehoods that society forces on its youth today of the saying that; “You won’t get a good career unless you go to College or University and get a degree”

How many occupations are out there for a Communications Degree? I ask because if you ever talk to a communications major, and you ask them what they study, they respond with, “I’m a communication major with a focus in [insert some excuse here].”

47% of college graduates did not find a first job that was related to their college major, and 32% of college graduates said that they had never worked in a field related to their majors.

Despite an inability to find work in their chosen academic fields, 64% of employees say they are happy with the degree they pursued and 61% said that they still believe they can find their dream job. But as we can see, they are not working in the major they spent so much time studying for or even struggle to find a job in everyday society. Just over 1/3 of the college-educated workers wished they had picked a different college major.

How can we contribute to the economy?

College DegreeWhile the economy is currently thriving, there are thousands of jobs that are left unfilled because there are not enough skilled tradespeople to do them.

Let’s look at the Construction Industry, for example, everyone’s first impression while searching for a career is to snub their nose up at the Construction Industry due to the belief of having to either do physical labor or there is just not that much of career opportunities in the industry.

This is false. The Construction Industry has grown immensely with its technology and is high in demand for skilled tradespeople, project managers, superintendents, technology experts, etc. All in which can easily make a six-figure salary if they have the experience or build towards gaining that experience. But with so many youths going after degrees such as Communication Degrees, Creative Writing Degrees, Music Degrees, Theater Degrees, or Criminal Justice Degrees…well, this doesn’t leave much left for the construction industry.

So many well-paying jobs are being unfilled and waiting for someone to fill them. When I see someone not working in this economy right now, there are two reasons… either they don’t want to work, or there aren’t any openings in their field of expertise and refuse to gain new knowledge in a different field. My comment to that is; if you are healthy to work then you can adapt and learn new skills — no reason to not be working when so many jobs are unfilled.

YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD

You are never too old to learn new skills, take my mother for example; at 52 she changed careers and had to learn a completely different trade, and she learned that by a job training program with a desire to learn and worked hard to get where she is now at age 55. She is now handling numerous company’s digital marketing as well as specializing in videography for those firms. This is in addition to our two companies. So, the old saying of “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is also proven wrong.

Another example is one of our Project Managers; a Retired United States Marine who decided to get his degree in Criminal Justice after serving our Country. Has he used that degree at all since being out of the Military? No. He saw the benefits of getting a career in the Construction industry and how quickly he could advance, so he jumped in with both feet and by doing so, he accelerated in the industry by learning hands-on and moved from laborer to foreman in less than three years and then from foreman to the superintendent in two more years! He is now a Project Manager making a six-figure salary.

INDUSTRIES THAT WILL NEVER GO AWAY

The Construction Industry, like the Automotive, Hospitality, and Logistics industries will never go away. Society will always need Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters, Mechanics, Truck Drivers, and Hospitality experts. These are just a fewCollege Degree of the constant jobs available on the market.

But they also all require education and certification that can only be obtained by a trade school or on the job training.

SUCCESS

Success in a career is not what you learn at school, it is what you DO with the knowledge, the actions that you take WHILE learning. Hands-on experience, a desire to learn, working hard, and acclimating yourself are all that is needed to succeed in life today.

The downgrading of the skilled worker surrounds today’s society, unfortunately. Granted, you won’t make millions of dollars being a mechanic, construction worker, project manager, manufacturing worker, computer technician, machine operators, equipment operators, etc. But these are all needed jobs in society. All providing promising careers as well as the security of an industry that is constant.

Forbes wrote a great article of “10 High Paying Blue Collar Jobs”, “Blue Collar” is labeled as Skilled Tradespeople. The people of one of the top industries that drive America’s Economy.

The thought that; “If I get a college education, I will for sure get a good paying job when I graduate.” Is proven false.
Education is what I took from my time at the California State University of Northridge, changing from a Business Major, to Marketing Major, to Kinesiology Major, then finally to a Graphic Design Major, which none is what I found myself doing. My thoughts at 22 years old were that I could always go into the family business of construction which I did part-time growing up, but I didn’t want to pursue what my Father and Brother pursued. So I tried the careers that I studied for, but none were promising careers for me. Then I grew up and started to do my research about the Construction Industry, and this is what I found:

Top 3 Industries that drive the United States Economy:

  1. Healthcare.

  2. Technology.

  3. Construction.

College DegreeThat is when I went full force in the construction industry. Starting from a laborer part-time during high school, returning to do labor work after college, working my way up to Foreman, then to Superintendent, then to Project Manager, then to Vice President of Construction and Sales all within just 15 years. Now in my 19th year overall in the Construction Industry, I am the President and CEO of two companies that both contribute to the construction industry as well as contribute to the Nation’s Economy. One being a Commercial Contracting Business and the other a Manufacturing Business for the Construction Industry.

 

 

With that being said, let me close with this; It would behoove of you to choose something you are going to pursue as a career.College Degree

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the likelihood of me getting a job immediately in the field I studied after college?
  • Given my skill set or willingness to learn, what is the best career path for me that offers growth within a company?
  • Am I willing to learn a new trade?
  • Am I willing to put in the work?

If you answered yes to the last two questions, then you have the means to acquire a new skillset, so now take action by finding a job training course and get to work! There are a ton of companies looking for new skilled tradespeople to fill their demand.

Everyone contributes to society by whatever career path they pursue. Successful Careers don’t have to involve a College education. Experience is what gets you a good career and becoming successful. Whether it be a trade school or getting hands-on training while working. There are thousands of unfilled jobs needing skilled workers to fill immediately!

EMPLOYMENT AFTER DEPLOYMENT

Military Employment

EMPLOYMENT AFTER DEPLOYMENT

EmploymentWhere does a soldier go for employment after deployment?

Who hires ex-soldiers? Well, that’s a simple answer; Who wouldn’t?!

What better place to recruit from than the military?

Veterans are a unique caliber of people because of the special training that they receive in our military. They don’t just learn a trade, they learn; discipline, loyalty, Integrity, Honesty, Responsibility, Perseverance, and Reliability. The list goes on, and what business owner wouldn’t want those traits to be in their employees?

VETERANS HAVE THE EXPERIENCE

The men and women that serve in our military take pride in having a mission and accomplishing that mission in the time frame they have been given and this quality of work ethic is what is needed in the construction industry.

They have the technical knowledge and incorporeal skills that they have received from the military which enables them to transition into the construction industry easily. 

There are numerous similarities between the military and the construction industry.

MILITARY AND CONSTRUCTION

Veterans see deadlines as more of a challenge, and they embrace them.Military Employment

That is why we feel that with the proper training, they will succeed in the construction field more so than any other industry.

MANAGEMENT NEEDED

The Construction industry is in desperate need of leaders and what better person to lead than a veteran who already has the knowledge to form teams and achieve goals?

We are always looking for disciplined, reliable, hard-working, and trainable people who are looking to expand their reach and grow with a company.

American General Construction ( AGC )  understands the challenges that our veterans face transitioning back into civilian life and are here to help by offering an apprenticeship program in the construction industry.

We cover all the aspects of construction and will help you get into any construction field you might be interested in. AGC is rapidly growing and looking to fill almost every position from administrative to project management to carpentry, laborers and more.

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.