Why Design/Build Construction Could Be Right for Your Next Project

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.

blueprints for design build 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

5 Questions to Ask your Potential General Contractor

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.

Continue reading 5 Questions to Ask your Potential General Contractor

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

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

Construction Trends: Labor Shortage in the Industry

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

How to Avoid 3 Common Construction Scheduling Delays

We live in an era that values expediency. Instant gratification is crucial when it comes to how we eat, how we shop, and  — most importantly for our purposes — how we build.
One of the most common questions we get in the early stages of the construction project process is: “How soon can you start?”

The second most common? “What’s the turnaround time/how quickly can this be done?”

Time crunches have become the standard for our industry, with contractors under increasing pressure to get in, renovate or build, and get out.

And we’ve adapted accordingly, prioritizing our clients’ schedules and deadlines. We know that delays can be harmful, as there’s usually not much wiggle room built into a construction schedule.

That’s why it’s crucial to know what causes construction delays and how to avoid them. Here are three of the most common things that derail construction.

Continue reading How to Avoid 3 Common Construction Scheduling Delays

Does Your Facility Have an Emergency Natural Disaster Plan?

Preparation is key

Every time we turned on the news in 2017, it seemed like we were reading about another natural disaster.

Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Maria. Tornadoes, wildfires, and blizzards, all of them adding up to well over $200 billion in damage. And that’s not counting more localized catastrophes like sinkholes and earthquakes.

And now it’s 2018. The start of a new year is often a time to reflect on the old one, and to prepare for the months ahead. For property owners, this is particularly important to ensure your investment is protected to the best of your ability.

Continue reading Does Your Facility Have an Emergency Natural Disaster Plan?

The Crucial Checklist for Commercial Property Preventive Maintenance

Do you have a preventive maintenance checklist?

Whether you own a shopping center, office building, restaurant, or retail store, failing to invest in maintenance now will cost you in the long run.

It’s good practice to perform on-going maintenance on the big items listed below, while not neglecting small repairs either.

As a property owner, you want to do your best to ensure your investment is protected. The best practice  is to get in the habit of performing ongoing maintenance on the big-ticket components listed below (though it’s a good idea to keep up with small repairs too).

Commercial Property Preventive Maintenance
Industrial units from air

As a commercial construction general contractor, it’s our job to know not only what equipment needs to be checked and how often, but the difference in construction costs to maintain equipment versus replacing it. Here are some items that need regular reviews to make sure your commercial property is running at optimal performance.

Continue reading The Crucial Checklist for Commercial Property Preventive Maintenance

4 Reasons To Hire An Owner’s Rep – Project Manager

Why Hire an Owner’s Rep – Project Manager?

Tools of an owner's rep - project managerRenovations, additions, and new construction projects are typically sizable undertakings that come with a lot of moving parts. There’s budgeting, planning, designing, scheduling, managing – it’s very easy  to quickly become overwhelmed with how many aspects go into a successful renovation (especially when you’re trying to get it done smoothly, on time, and within budget).

What can you do to help ensure that your goal is accomplished in a timely manner, within (or as close to) your initial budget as possible? How can you undoubtedly know what avenues to explore to save the most money without sacrificing quality? How are you possibly going to hire and communicate with all the people necessary to make this happen?

If the idea of taking on a new renovation project seems daunting, then perhaps hiring an owner’s representative or project manager may be something for you to consider.

Here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea:

Continue reading 4 Reasons To Hire An Owner’s Rep – Project Manager

Before You Paint Your Space Make Sure to Avoid These 9 Common Mistakes

Are you looking for a way to upgrade a room without renovating? Try some paint. It’s a simple, cost-effective way to make your space feel brand new. Just try to avoid these common painting mistakes.

1. Small Samples

Can you really get a good idea of what a shade will look like on your walls with only an itty-bitty swatch?

Can a tiny swatch paint the picture of what your room will look like? Not really. It’s a better idea to pick a big sample or better yet, a tester can. This can give you a better idea of how the new paint will look.

Check it after it dries, and during different times of day to see how it looks under different lights.

Colour swatches book. Rainbow sample colors catalogue - 9 common painting mistakes2. Not Comparing Finishes

The finish you choose should match the purpose of the room.

You might feel uneasy about using shiny semi-gloss, but it’s more durable than flat or matte. It’s also more moisture-resistant, which makes it perfect for bathrooms and kitchens.

But flat and matte finishes still allow for easy touch-ups, so hang onto them for busy places like foyers/entrances, hallways, stairways, and kids’ spaces.

Think about the room’s undertones. Colors can look off kilter with the wrong pairings — a pink undertone with a yellow one, for example — so consider everything else in your space when choosing paint.

This includes counters, cabinets, metals, natural textures such as stone accents, and last but not least, flooring. A mahogany hardwood might look strange when paired with a cool gray paint. Make sure things tie together when you paint.

Continue reading Before You Paint Your Space Make Sure to Avoid These 9 Common Mistakes

Should I Hire an Interior Designer for My Construction Project?

office remodel in Philadelphia

Whether you are redesigning a space, remodeling, or building new construction from the ground up, there are many decisions to be made throughout the whole process. Though all of these decisions are very important one of the most critical factors to consider is the design element. What theme are you going for? What colors complement one another, and which clash? Which fixtures match your theme? If a multi-room project, how do you tie the spaces together?

If you have no idea how to answer any of these questions or where to start then it may be a good idea to consult with an interior designer before even contacting a single contractor.

Continue reading Should I Hire an Interior Designer for My Construction Project?