Are you considering a major construction project, but not sure if it fits into your budget? How can you protect yourself from going too far down a path only to find out that you can’t afford it? Too often we hear about owners getting unrealistic budget numbers (or not even getting a preliminary budget cost), spending a significant amount of money on architects, engineers, and construction documents, and finding out after they’ve already invested thousands that their plan is over their budget. Let us help you make sure this doesn’t happen to you!
For large (and small) construction projects, a good starting point is to get a realistic budget from an industry expert. A good general contractor will be able to provide ballpark line item costs for your project based on their knowledge and experience from past projects. Many contractors do charge a fee for these services. In an ideal world, we like to get involved with a construction project as early as possible during the planning phase and work with the architect to provide our clients with the best experience and service possible.
Why should you pay for budget pricing up front? Think about it this way: you can either a) pay a minimal fee up front to a contractor to get a realistic budget for your project and adjust your plans as necessary or b) make a significantly larger investment to get full-blown design drawings and risk finding out that your project is over budget before it even starts.
So, how does it work? Our process is simple:
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In our last blog we talked about the responsibilities of a project manager. Another essential member of your construction team is the superintendent or field supervisor. This person will be on site every day for the duration of your project. Your superintendent will report to the project manager and is responsible for managing the day to day activities of construction on the job site, including coordinating with any specialty contractors that will be working on the project.
At Souder Brothers our superintendents are always working superintendents. What does this mean to you? We don’t have supervisors who stand around all day and ‘supervise’. Our field supervisors are working with their hands contributing to the progress of the project while simultaneously supervising our other carpenters on site as well as the other trades. They’ll keep track of the schedule to make sure tasks are being completed in the proper order to keep the project moving forward.
Continue reading Your Construction Team: What is My Superintendent Responsible For? →
Knowing the roles of each member of your construction team is important. When you are interviewing general contractors for your project, make sure you know who will be part of your team. Some companies hand off responsibilities between the estimating and actual construction stages of the project, so the person you meet up front may no longer be involved when the project gets underway. It would be in your best interest to meet the whole team before deciding to move forward to make sure that you have a good feeling about your future project manager and everyone else involved. You’ll be working closely with them through the rest of your project. At Souder Brothers you will have the same team dedicated to your project from start to finish. Our goal is to build strong, lasting relationships with our clients.
Continue reading Your Construction Team: What is My Project Manager Responsible For? →
When a contractor/customer relationship doesn’t work out, there seems to be a lot of finger pointing about who did what, and how the project went so wrong. We’ve heard horror stories from our customers about previous bad experiences they’ve had with other general contractors. It’s a sad realization that more unfortunately than not this seems to be the norm. It’s always our goal to make sure that our customers are thrilled with not only the end result, but also the entire construction process. We’ve touched on this subject before, and hope that sharing these tips will help keep you from finding yourself in a similar situation.
Continue reading How to Navigate the General Contractor Selection Process →
When you’re working on a residential or commercial remodel project, there are a few things we as contractors find it helpful if our customers are aware of. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about the construction process, what you will be responsible for as the owner, and what you should expect from your contractor.
1. Your budget is just that: a budget.
Budgets are a great idea, and important to have. However, keep in mind that a budget needs to be flexible. You may have a number in mind that you aren’t willing to go over but it’s important to realize that some items may be more expensive than you anticipated, while others might be less. Inevitably, even with the best planning in place, unexpected issues often arise. Be realistic about actual construction costs, and build yourself a 10-15% cushion for any surprises that may arise.
Continue reading 5 Things Your Contractor Wants You to Know →
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to design your dream home or office without having to worry about money? As that’s unfortunately not a reality for most of us, we’re here to help you out with a few tips on how to refine your office or home renovation concept to fit your budget.
In case you’re not familiar with design/build construction, let’s review the basics. The design/build approach is when a single entity (in most cases, the General Contractor) is responsible for the entirety of the construction project from the design phase through completion of construction.
Why choose design/build over a more traditional design/bid/build approach? We’ll tell you! Design/build construction allows for …
Continue reading Why Design/Build Construction Could Be Right for Your Next Project →
If it’s your first time working with a general contractor, or even if you’ve been through construction projects before, it’s important to know what questions to ask a potential contractor. These are some questions we get asked regularly, and we hope the information is helpful to you if you’re about to take on a renovation project.
What type of clients do you work with?
Most general contractors have a niche market where they focus their talents. Some contractors will only work in certain markets, while others have a wide variety. Here at Souder Brothers we specialize in commercial and high end residential projects. We have experience in many other markets as well, and with 40 years in the industry we have the know-how to help you succeed on any type of project.
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We’ve all heard the horror stories about construction projects gone wrong. How do projects get to that point? Is it a lack of planning? Poor choice of contractor? Unrealistic expectations? It can be a combination of all of these things. Let us offer some pro tips on how you can avoid having issues during your commercial or residential construction project.
1. Determine your budget – then add at least 10%
Even with the best planning in place, unforeseen issues in construction always arise. How can you plan for something you don’t know about? Set yourself up with a construction contingency for these items. The construction process is a complex one, but by being prepared at the start of a project you can minimize the impact of unexpected items.
Continue reading 3 Tips to Keep Your Construction Project Running Smoothly, Start to Finish →