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:
Continue reading Why You Should Invest in a Construction Budget →
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? →
The “Great Recession” is in our rearview mirror, and the economy — slowly but surely — continues to recover.
Construction — like banking and real estate — was one of the key industries hit hardest by the downturn of 2008, with thousands of workers laid off, and many companies shuttering for good.
Continue reading Construction Trends: Labor Shortage in the Industry →
This month we have a special guest blogger! Henry ‘Dutch’ Hempel is a Construction Industry consultant, sought after speaker, and educator who has more than 24 years experience in the construction and design industries. His business background includes ownership and management as well as government contracting. We have personal experience working with Dutch and can’t say enough good things about him and his company!
As a Construction Industry consultant, I am often asked by individuals and companies on the ways to choose the best Contractor for their project.
My simple answer is:
“Choose the Contractor who will give you the best value and not just the lowest price.”
So what’s the difference between value and price?
I think billionaire Warren Buffet explained it best when he said:
“Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”
It’s wise to remember that construction is a service with many interdependent steps, not a commodity that is easily shopped using price as the primary means of choice.
The next question people usually ask is:
“How do I measure the value I will get from my builder?”
Continue reading Choosing the Best Contractor for Your Project →
What are the three keys to remodeling your bathroom?
As master carpenter Tim Carter put it in the Washington Post: Plan, do more planning and go over the plan a third time.
Attempting a bathroom remodel in Pennsylvania without a plan puts the project at risk of spinning out of control. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to renovating this crucial corner of your home.
Continue reading How to Plan Your Bathroom Remodel in Pennsylvania →
Did you make a resolution to finally do those upgrades to your office or to your home? A renovation project can often seem daunting, but with the right team in place it doesn’t have to be. January is already more than halfway over so let us help you get your project started in 30 days!
The first thing you’ll need is a floor plan of your space. As a design-build firm, we can offer that service in house. One of our team members will come measure up your space and get a wish list of what you want to include. We’ll create a floor plan layout as well as 3D renderings to help you visualize the project. Decide you want to change something? No problem! A few minutes worth of design change on the computer is much more economical than deciding to make a change after the construction work is already underway. See how colors blend together, get options for additional windows for natural light, the possibilities are endless!
Continue reading Three New Year Construction Resolutions →
We are excited to announce that Souder Brothers was recently featured in a spotlight article in the latest issue of US Builders Review! Click the image below to read the full article and learn about our commercial and residential construction services and our in-house floor plan/3D design capabilities. Bill Souder, owner, talks about starting a construction company during the height of the 2009 recession, and what it took to get to where we are today. See recent job photos and learn about some of our projects!
Special thanks to our partners at Emmanuel Insurance & Tague Lumber!
Buying a new home can be overwhelming, especially if the home needs work. If you’re looking at a property that you want to renovate, or add on to, having an accurate budget for the construction costs is essential before making an offer. How can you come up with a realistic budget? Consult a professional! We have helped many of our clients navigate through similar situations.
A client recently came to us while looking to purchase a 1.1-million-dollar home in Philadelphia. They planned to do extensive renovations if the price of both the house and the renovations fit into their budget. Souder Brothers took a site visit to review the project and help the owners come up with a construction wish list and a budget to go along with it. With this knowledge in hand our client was able to make an informed and educated decision regarding purchasing their new home.
Continue reading Why You Should Consult a Contractor BEFORE Buying a Home You Plan to Renovate →
When new prospective clients come to us many of them have similar questions in regard to their construction projects, whether residential construction or commercial construction. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you get a better idea of the construction process as a whole.
1. Do you charge for estimates?
We do not charge for our initial estimates. We are happy to meet with you to review the project and give you a detailed proposal outlining what is included in the scope of work for the price quoted. It’s important for us to find out as many details as possible about the project in order to give you an accurate price.
Continue reading Residential-Commercial Construction FAQs →
Springtime is arguably the most popular time of year to buy or sell a home. Putting your home up for sale or finding the right home to buy can be challenging enough without having to worry about hidden issues and costs. By expending a little extra effort upfront you can end up saving yourself lots of time, heartaches and potentially thousands of dollars in the long run. Here are 4 quick tips to be mindful of when you’re selling your home or in the market to buy a new home:
If the exterior of the home you’re looking at has stucco, it needs to be inspected. Many stucco homes, even as new as 10 years old, are failing inspection due to issues such as incorrect application, water infiltration, and mold. It’s imperative to examine this before entering into any contract as it can turn into a very pricey problem. Many buyers are unaware of this because it often can’t be seen from the outside. If water gets behind the stucco, it can start to rot the house from the inside out. Depending on the amount of damage, repairs can range from a few thousand dollars into the hundreds of thousands.
Continue reading 4 Tips To Help Home Buyers – Sellers Avoid Costly Repairs →