Tag Archives: construction

What to Do When Construction Estimation Goes Wrong

Construction EstimationEstimation refers to the technical process of foreseeing the construction costs. Unfortunately, cost overrun is one of the construction industry’s grim realities. There are several scenarios that lead to underestimating the actual costs of development.

Although common, there are many ways to avoid committing these errors and bringing value engineering onboard.

Construction Estimation Errors

1) Accidental Omission

Believe it or not, but all omissions in the construction are accidental unless someone deliberately omits an item to compromise the project. Although the latter warrants litigation, there are soft and hard costs that are excluded by mistake.

It is easier to address soft cost omissions like permit fees than hard costs since these expenses are directly related to the construction processes. These are the items missing on the plans and aren’t specified. Thus, they are not included in the estimates.

What to do: Use a good checklist or a detailed plan and specification. Construction estimation software can also be quite useful.

2) Wrongful Assumption

Similar to false benchmarking, wrongful assumptions are mere guesses and unfounded at that. These are the items you think are already covered in the bid but are not. Nonetheless, assumptions can happen not just on specifications, but also apply to logistics, methods, schedules, etc. They are inaccurate and open to other parties’ own guesses, which may render the estimation useless.

What to do: Communicate with other parties clearly, especially with the sub-contractors; make sure all parties know what are expected of them based on the plans, specifications, and contracts with full descriptions of the scope of work

3) Inadequate Allowance

A euphemism for wastage, inadequate allowances refer to inaccurate measures. Unscrupulous bidders use this tactic to win contracts. The problem with this is the future shortage in the materials or the time to do all the necessary works. Both impact the quality of the construction as well as the constructed building itself – all because of the failure to consider sufficient allowances.

What to do: Put realistic allowances based on the actual quality level of the output or pick materials early on and based the estimates on these

These are just three of the most common reasons for cost overruns. The key is to be proactive about the entire process. Preemptive measures must be considered primarily and not necessarily corrective actions.

3 Types of Steel Found in Steel Supply Online

Stainless Steel TextureSteel is one of the most popular kinds of metal today. It is a flexible and durable material commonly used in metalworking, construction, and engineering. For instance, you can form a steel plate when you cut the metal into thin, flat sheets or roll them into coiled strips.

Dimensional stability is an important property of steel plates, especially when used in infrastructures. This will help buildings and structures withstand harsh environmental conditions for a long time. The gauge or thickness of a steel plate depends on its application and type of material used.

Wasatch Steel noted that many steel suppliers today have a website, so you can check their stocks online. Here are some types you can order through them:

Aluminum steel

Aluminum is a lightweight alloy and a common material in engineering structures. It is one of the most abundant metals on the planet. It is also malleable and ductile, which makes it easy cut and bend. Steel plates made of aluminum materials are good conductors of electricity and thermal heat. Lightweight aluminum steel plates are ideal for making nameplates, light reflectors, and fan blades. Stronger aluminum steel plates, on the other hand, are good for fan blades, tanks, and pressure vessels.

Galvanized steel

Coated with zinc, galvanized steel is corrosion-resistant. It's also possible to galvanize steel plates for increased durability and longevity. Galvanized steel plates and strips are easy to shape or bend to create different kinds of construction materials. They are ideal for roofing materials, doors, frames, windows, and decks.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is an iron-based alloy used for structural applications. Unlike regular steel, it is more resistant to corrosion and rust. Stainless steel contains enough chromium to act as a surface shield against corrosion. Stainless steel plates are also ideal for making watches, jewelry, and other accessories.  

Knowing what type of steel to use for your home or business is essential to arrive at the right buying decision. Remember to check quality to ensure structural safety.

Latest Trends in Construction Industry

Construction Business in UtahThe construction business looks up when the economy booms and this is a time for innovation. Let's take a look at the latest trends in construction.

As a matter of fact, the commercial construction industry is looking for sound strategies and options, says Hogan & Associates Construction, Inc. Given the context of the dip in the industry a few years ago, people are cautious and looking for value for money, at this point. This is to safeguard against another downturn that could be around the corner.

Current trends:

  • One-stop-shop design: traditionally, the model that was followed in the construction was that the blue-print for the building would be created by the engineer and given to the contractor for construction. Today this model has changed to one where everything from engineering to construction is given to the same company to save money and time. This prevents 12-month projects extending to 24 months or more.
  • Pre-fab: The same materials are being used as before, but the way they are being used has changed. Companies are increasingly using the pre-fab route to improve schedules. It helps when you can join 20 feet of ducting offsite and bring the whole piece down rather than bring 20 1-foot pieces of ducting. It speeds up the construction process.
  • Energy consumption: This has always been one of the primary concerns in construction. The twist is that, now, devices like energy sensors and energy recovery systems are being used to make energy use more efficient. A conference room that isn’t being used for months can now be ventilated in a different manner to save energy.
  • Modular construction: This is the new mantra in construction. Modules can last for as long as 50 years and this can allow you to build rapidly, in modules. Instead of erecting 100,000 square feet at once, you can setup 25,000 at the first shot and then add more as you go along.
  • Flexible mindset: This is an invaluable addition to implement new design models into the existing system and this can only be done by people who can think outside the box or eliminate the box altogether, in thinking. The flexible mechanical engineer is the one who will face the challenges posed by the emerging trends in the construction industry.

These are some of the trends in the construction industry at this point of time. 

Hiring a Construction General Contractor vs. a Subcontractor

Hiring a Contractor in WyomingBuilding a home or any other structure requires comprehensive and extensive knowledge and experience. You most likely do not have any idea of the most important elements of construction work like architectural design, zoning laws, building regulations, as well as basic, advanced, and green building. This is where hiring a construction general contractor in Wyoming comes into play.

The thing that you may have noticed, though, is that subcontractors conduct most of the physical labor part of the construction process. So why not hire them directly instead of a general contractor?

Supervision

Arguably the most important benefit of hiring a general contractor over working directly with subcontractors is supervision. General contractors act as the strict supervisors of the people they employ, including subcontractors.

Their job is to find, negotiate, and develop proper scheduling for all the subcontractors (including the builders, designers, and material suppliers) necessary for the project completion. They also make sure that every person involved in the building process have clean records and extensive experience.

Trade Knowledge

Because reputable contractors know the ins and outs of construction, they know which subcontractors are doing a great job from those that are not. As a regular consumer, you do not have this trained eye, and working directly with subcontractors may lead to your home constructed not the way you want it.

Understanding of Building Codes and State Regulations

General contractors for construction like hoganconstruction.com have a complete understanding of all the building codes, state regulations, and zoning conditions in all parts of Wyoming. Some subcontractors may bypass these strict laws, leading to the home construction process yielding problems with the authorities.

All in all, you need to understand the main difference between working with a general contractor from subcontractors, as you want your home built exactly the way you want it. It is an extra expense, but a worthy one nonetheless.

A Guide to Construction Equipment: Types of Excavators

Excavators

ExcavatorsExcavators are commonly used machines in the construction industry. They are sometimes called diggers, and are commonly seen in building, road construction and mining sites.

People use this type of heavy equipment for excavating soil from the ground. While they come in different machine sizes, bucket sizes, boom or arm lengths, and operation speed, they basically serve one purpose – to break, crush, drag and excavate soil and rocks.

Like other types of heavy equipment, excavators come in different types. Here are some of the most common.

Back hoe

Back hoes are the most common type you see on the lots of companies offering excavator dry hire. It has a bucket attached to a boom, and it functions as a hoe. The operator of the equipment controls the boom in a way that the bucket digs up the soil and pulls it towards the driver’s direction before lifting.

Mcfadyengroup.com.au says a back hoe’s cab can rotate 360 degrees. This feature allows the operator to load the excavated dirt or stone to nearby trucks.

Dragline

Dragline excavators are bigger than the typical back hoes. These units are often used in large-scale operations. You see them on sites of on-surface mining and expansive civil engineering projects.

Draglines come in two types – mobile and on-site. Mobile draglines are smaller than on-site units and are much like back hoes that can move around the site. An on-site dragline, on the other hand, is a large equipment assembled and built on the construction site.

Crawler and wheel excavator

Excavators are also classified according to the wheel mechanism. Units that use tracks or chain wheel systems are called crawlers. It’s highly efficient in areas with hilly terrain. The other type runs on wheels like that of a truck. Wheel excavators are mostly used on plain ground operations.

There are many other types of excavators used in various applications. Their size, features and power depend on the kind of project. Thanks to an excavator’s heavy duty features and versatility, construction workers can accomplish their work faster, safer and more efficiently.