Every general contractor goes into a new job with the hope of providing quality work and a finished product that leaves the owner happy. The structure becomes a permanent reference to the work of which the contractor is capable, and can be another step toward long-term business success. The company’s time, money and reputation are on the line with every building or specialty trade project.
Each year ABC of Wisconsin recognizes the most distinct construction projects across the state through the Projects of Distinction Awards Program. It was designed to elevate awareness of the quality construction performed by ABC member firms and their employees. This program rewards projects of all sizes for distinctiveness. It’s open to all general and subcontractor members of ABC of Wisconsin. Now is the lime to start working on your 2014 entry! Take photos now, and all through the project. Watch Shop Talk and your email for notices of training and the call for entries! If you would like to know more about how to enter this program, please contact our Marketing Director at 608-244-S883.
It’s easy to recognize a bad project. This happens when low quality raw materials are used, when a signed contract is breached, when the delivery date is missed or when a project is never finished at all. Avoiding these will help you gain credibility as reliable in the industry. But what if you want your company to stand out above the others?
Here are five steps for building projects that stand out:
1. Place quality and distinction at the top of your list. Once the planning and logistics process is complete make sure you have an individual specifically dedicated to quality control on your team. They will be responsible for ensuring compliance and constantly maintaining a list of needs. Always examine sustainability in your design efforts and take environmental impact into consideration.
When you think about curb appeal, acknowledge an area’s history and nuance. You want your project to stand out, but also to fit in. You may be dealing with a commercial building that has a number of separate tenants with different needs and branding. Think about design options for each one while also maintaining the needs of the owner. Consider diverse options in your design materials. Don’t be afraid to use multiple types of bricks and stones in the same project. Embrace the natural habitat of the area in which you’re building and consider implementing features that highlight it.
2. Be thorough in your execution of design, craftsmanship and safety. New technologies in energy efficiency such as with heating, cooling and lighting should be reviewed with each new project. Think about the possibilities for future expansion. Consider using 3D modeling for accurate representation in pre-design practices. Make a plan for maneuvering in a public space without disrupting traffic or flow, and determine how best you can provide easy access to a building in high traffic areas.
3. Make coordination a priority. Constant communication and professionalism is extremely important, especially during times of unexpected need, such as in the aftermath of a natural disaster. You may be working in a space that is being used while the construction is going on. Taking that extra time to keep your client informed about how the project is progressing will provide an added sense of confidence for them after what is sure to be a trying time.
4. Be creative with your materials, methods and techniques in budgeting. Sometimes you may be given a limited budget but have high price needs, for example subsurface rock excavation. It’s important to know this during the pre-planning stage so you can come up with a solution to be able to provide a quality product without raising costs.
5. Answer unusual challenges with unique ideas. You may be building something, say an apartment complex, next to other properties that have the same purpose. Use innovative techniques such as building green to make it stand out. Or think about creating a building that doesn’t look like it houses apartments. Get creative.
Other challenges include things like providing piping for various gasses. Be accommodating and educate yourself on the proper materials for the specific circumstance with which you are presented.
Finally, always be prepared for mid-construction modification. The better you handle changes as they come, the more satisfied your customer will be.
In addition to the steps previously listed there are a few things every contractor should maintain, including a diverse portfolio that shows the range of work they can accomplish, a knowledgeable staff and crew that is up on the latest trends and techniques, and good relationships with quality suppliers and subcontractors.