When do You Need a Permit? (Part 2) Zoning Application

As part of a multi-part series on the most common types of permits, this entry addresses the 6 considerations of zoning applications. Click here to read the first part where I explain these 6 considerations in detail. This week’s news story is right out of my back yard here in Bucks County Pennsylvania where we…

Pricing models what are they and when are they used?

Many property Owners and construction professionals have the misconception that the only way to solicit pricing for design and construction services is to request a fixed price lump sum quote. There certainly are occasions when fixed price lump sum quotes are a good choice, but this should not be taken for granted. In order to…

How Much Time Should Procurement Take?

In an article posted on December 4, 2016 the Bangkok Post announced that the First Batch of air-conditioned NGV buses have arrived.  The article reports that these buses will be delivered by December 29 following a procurement cycle that took FOURTEEN (14) years! That’s right!  The next time you complain about the time it takes…

Blacklisting

In an article published on Friday November 18, 2016, Morning Star reports Blacklisting Firms Still Given Public-Sector Contracts. This is a story that goes back to 2009 when the now defunct “Consulting Association” (a trade organization operating in the UK) was raided by the British government uncovering a list of 3000 blacklisted construction workers.  Workers…

Are you a Project Manager?

One of the most important yet commonly overlooked roles in construction is the Project Manager (PM). Project Managers are responsible for driving the scope, schedule, and budget on a project. They oversee all of the project team to ensure that each is meeting their obligations. Project Managers coordinate various parts of a project to ensure smooth…

Best Practices for Managing sub-contractors

In most construction projects, General Contractors (GC) use sub-contractors.  Sub-contractors perform the majority of the work, but most Owners spend little to no time considering who their sub-contractors are. While it is not prudent to get too far into who the GC’s sub-contractors are (doing so adds liability to you), it is prudent to establish…

Why you need a milestone schedule and how to create one.

One of the most important parts of any project is it’s schedule.  The schedule of a project impacts cost and quality.  If your solicitation is silent on schedule, bidders will be forced to make assumptions.  Invariably, their assumptions will vary causing your quotes to have a wide spread. Publishing a schedule brings it’s own set…

What are the phases of work of a typical project?

No matter how big or small, all construction projects follow the same basic phases of work. Spending an appropriate amount of time (relative to project complexity) at each phase can mean the difference between the success or failure of your project.  If you try to skip a phase or fail to perform the proper due…

Working without a contract? The reasons why Owner’s should never allow it.

In Today’s HGTV world where entire room renovations happen “While you were out” and “Restaurant Impossible” re-brands failing eateries in a weekend, the notion that construction can happen quickly is all too prevalent.  These shows don’t reveal the pre-work that goes into performing these miraculous transformations and they don’t account for the incredible amount of man-power that goes…