Souder Brothers Construction 2020 Year in Review

What a year it has been!  Last year was not the one we were expecting, but it was a year we will remember forever.  Although many industries began, and continue, to struggle, we also got to witness business owners digging deep to find new and creative ways to keep their business afloat under unprecedented circumstances.  From outdoor dining and zoom meetings to renovating offices for employee safety, 2020 was not short on creativity. 

We at Souder Brothers kept busy this year by improving the health and safety of our client’s businesses with general upgrades and renovations for their employees to come back to.  We would like to extend an enormous thank you to all of our clients who trusted us with this crucial task. We feel so fortunate that we are able to help businesses adjust to a new normal and bring their creative ideas to life. 

Two of our highlights from last year were our projects at Manor College and Fred BeansCARSTAR:

Manor College

Read more about the renovation journey for the Manor College dorms and see more transformation photos on our project page.  We discuss the challenges that we faced, how we overcame them, our client’s reaction, and more!

Constructed in the 1960s, the Manor College dorm was outdated. Boasting original design and finishes, the dorm did not align with the institution’s 21st-century programs and curriculum. Manor charged us with designing and renovating the dorm to elevate the college’s residence life and appeal. The essential priorities included upgrading to ADA-compliant bathrooms, updating kitchenettes, and modernizing dorm room aesthetics, complete with Blue Jay-inspired finishes and décor.

Fred Beans Newtown CARSTAR

Read more about the renovation journey for CARSTAR and see more transformation photos on our project page.  We discuss the challenges that we faced, how we overcame them, the final results, and more!

As a growing company, Fred Beans Newtown CARSTAR was quickly running out of adequate space for office teams, service staff, customers, and vehicles. They didn’t have enough workspace, customer waiting, or service bay areas to deliver their desired service level. To alleviate cramped workspaces for office and service staff and create ample accommodations to repair more vehicles, CARSTAR required commercial additions and construction to expand and reconfigure its interior and exterior operations.

Both of these projects were completed in 2020 and presented us with virus-related challenges we had never faced before.  Some of those challenges included new health and safety protocols as well as extended lead times for sourcing materials.   Their completion represents our dedication to doing whatever it takes to deliver the highest quality work for our clients and we are very proud of the results.   

We are so grateful to all of our clients who made 2020 an incredible year despite the many challenges thrown our way.  We plan to continue this momentum throughout 2021 and look forward to helping more businesses prepare for a new way of life and seeing them thrive as customers, employees, and residents return.    

Time is Money: 4 Tips for Completing Construction Projects on Time

Completing Construction Projects on Time

When embarking on a construction project, each day that passes on an unfinished site is a day that the space could be open for business and potential revenue is being lost.  We understand that time is money and do our best to work efficiently with our clients to meet their deadlines.  Here are 4 tips for helping your general contractor stay on schedule and to ensure you’re completing construction projects on time.

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Three Ways to Save Money During Your Commercial Construction Project

Three construction workers standing in a construction site

If you’re about to start a commercial renovation project, there are a lot of things to consider. Schedules, budgets, design selections, and so much more. Nobody wants to overpay for any type of service, including construction. Here are a few of our tips on how to save money during your renovation.

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The Souder Brothers Difference: How We Deliver Success

Does your contractor care about your project as much as you do? They should!

Here at Souder Brothers, the success of a project and the happiness of our clients is our top priority. Good enough is not good enough for us. What’s the difference between us and the other guy? Let us tell you:

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Six Signs It’s Time to Remodel Your Commercial Space

Are you proud of your business?

We don’t mean your employees or what you and they have accomplished. We mean the building itself. Are you happy with what you see when you walk in each day, or is time for a change?

Here are six signs it might be time to invest in some commercial building remodeling.

An old, terrible conference room in a crummy commercial building
If your conference room looks like this, it’s due for a remodel.

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Commercial Construction: Get Answers to Clients’ Frequently Asked Questions

When business owners or managers are faced with heading up a construction project they may feel overwhelmed if it’s a new experience for them. You might be thinking ‘where do I start?’ If you’re in the planning phase of your project you’ve come to the right place.

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Why You Should Invest in a Construction Budget

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:

construction budget

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Your Construction Team: What is My Superintendent Responsible For?

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.

Project superintendent and foreman discussing plans at construction site.
Project superintendent and foreman discussing plans at construction site.

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.

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Your Construction Team: What is My Project Manager Responsible For?

construction project manager

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.

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3 Tips to Keep Your Construction Project Running Smoothly, Start to Finish

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.

bucks county construction

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