Choosing a Contractor
Start with your friends and family and then check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of members in your area. You can also talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements, says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time.
Once you’ve assembled a list, Tom recommends that you make a quick call to each of your prospects and ask them the following questions:
• Do they take on projects of your size?
• Are they willing to provide financial references, from suppliers or banks?
• Can they give you a list of previous clients?
• How many other projects would they have going at the same time?
• How long have they worked with their subcontractors?
The answers to these questions will reveal the company’s availability, reliability, how much attention they’ll be able to give your project and how smoothly the work will go.
Planning Your Construction Project
The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as “the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality, and participating objectives.” In the case of construction project management, you can simply take PMI’s definition and put it into a construction context for a definition of a construction project manager.
Construction project management involves the planning, coordination, and control over the various tasks involved in construction projects. This could include different types of construction projects, like agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, heavy civil, and environmental.
It typically includes complex tasks that change dramatically from project to project, and requires skills like strong communication, knowledge of the building process, and problem solving.
Financing Your Building Project
Residential building projects are typically funded either by the owner’s cash or by a construction loan from a bank. A construction loan is a short-term loan taken out by the owner or builder to fund the construction. Loan types vary over time and from bank to bank, but the typical construction loan is interest only and paid out as work progresses according to a draw schedule. When the project is completed, the loan is either refinanced into a traditional mortgage or it automatically converts to a conventional mortgage, a so-called one-time-close or construction-to-permanent loan.
What’s Your Budget?
You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you run out of money before a project is completed, or are forced to stretch yourself too thin or move into an unfinished home. So setting a realistic budget at the outset is critical.
Unless you are paying cash for your project, you will need a construction loan to pay for the materials and labor, and you can use it to buy the land as well. Construction loans are a little more complicated than conventional mortgage loans because you are borrowing money on something that doesn’t yet exist. The bank wants assurances that you (and your contractor if you are hiring one) can get the house built on time and on budget.
“Sustainability” is one of the world’s most talked about but least understood words. Its meaning is often clouded by differing interpretations and by a tendency for the subject to be treated superficially. For most companies, countries and individuals who do take the subject seriously the concept of sustainability embraces the preservation of the environment as well as critical development-related issues such as the efficient use of resources, continual social progress, stable economic growth, and the eradication of poverty.
Project entry 2011 “Medium rise timber office b…In the world of construction, buildings have the capacity to make a major contribution to a more sustainable future for our planet. The OECD, for instance, estimates that buildings in developed countries account for more than forty percent of energy consumption over their lifetime (incorporating raw material production, construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning). Add to this the fact that for the first time in human history over half of the world’s population now lives in urban environments and it’s clear that sustainable buildings have become vital cornerstones for securing long-term environmental, economic and social viability.
The pace of change means we don’t have the luxury of time. With urban populations worldwide swelling by around one million people every week, there’s an urgent need to come up with clever ideas that optimize the sustainable performance of the buildings that we live and work in.
Innovations in Construction
Cement is one of the most widely used materials in construction, but also one of the largest contributors to harmful carbon emissions, said to be responsible for around 7 per cent of annual global emissions. Cracking is a major problem in construction, usually caused by exposure to water and chemicals. Researchers at Bath University are looking to develop a self-healing concrete, using a mix containing bacteria within microcapsules, which will germinate when water enters a crack in the concrete to produce limestone, plugging the crack before water and oxygen has a chance to corrode the steel reinforcement.
- Self-Healing Concrete
- Thermal Bridging
- Photovoltaic Glazing
- Kinetic Footfall
- Kinetic Roads
- Predictive Software
- 3D Modeling
- Modular Construction
- Cloud Collaboration
- Assest Mapping