Construction Monkey

Construction Blog

By now most of us have seen the change order and contract boat image that has been circulating around the internet over the past several years. The big boat is rightly called the change order and the small dingy is called "Original Contract". This brings forward a very interesting question about how people think. When you view the image it enters into your mind that this must be Contractor's set-up ......

If you have been involved in bidding work you have probably at one point in time been apart of the Best and Final Offer (BAFO) routine. In private work it is typically called "scoping out" the sub numbers. It is a process where you are expected to give your best and final proposal for the work after you have turned in your actual bid number. It may be preceded with a list of questions or changes in ......

So what does weight loss and construction productivity have in common? If you track the inputs you are much more likely to get better results. In 2008, a study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that shows that keeping a “food diary” may double your weight loss. What they actually found was that the more participants recorded what they ate, the more weight they lost in the ......

When managers in construction start beating the drum of more production, the message that is typically received from the crews is “you need to be working harder”. While this may be true in some instances, most of the time this is not what is being said. In construction, especially for subcontractors that are performing the labor, money is made or lost in the amount of work being put in per hour charged ......

Given the turmoil in the marketplace over the past 2 years, I have heard repeatedly from different contractors that they are looking to move into different markets. We need to focus on larger projects. We need to get into government work. We need to go after renewable energy work. We need to move into City x, y, or z. Most of these comments and business direction are said out of necessity. Everyone's ......

Building Information Modeling (or BIM) is all the rage in today's commercial and industrial construction markets. I am unaware of many large General Contractors that haven't invested a lot of money into developing a BIM department or sometimes called Virtual Construction. Even though they have invested money in technology and people, they rely heavily on us Specialty Subcontractors to provide the ......

For subcontractors, the best way to control and increase profit is by managing labor productivity. Too often, project managers, foreman, and executives focus on material buyouts, squeezing subcontractors, and cutting back on overhead to make gains on profits, but these actions pale in comparison to what can be accomplished by having highly productive labor. There is no doubt money to be made by being ......

So what does it take to be a good estimator? Being great with numbers? Having a desire to color on drawings all day? There are a few key traits I have found in my career that really separate the great estimators from the rest of them. Let's recall how I defined an estimator's job as: finding the lowest cost solution to the project as would be acceptable to the client while identifying the potential ......

If you read the first part of this series, you have looked at the photo of two boats and hopefully gained a different perspective about the photo that has been circulating around the internet. Let's take a deeper look into this photo from the Owner's point of view or that the change order boat was purchased from profits off of change orders and the base contract profits could only afford to purchase ......

One of the largest complaints I hear is "the quality of the workforce is not what it used to be". Whether I am talking to union or non-union, family owned or large business, the message continues to be the same. Besides each generation believing that they are the best generation, is there any truth to this claim? I think so. I don't have any raw statistics to give an accurate assessment, but from ......

It appears as if the market is recovering (at least there are more projects out there to be bidding on), so how can you win that work to turn it from an opportunity to revenue? There are three factors that weigh heavier than any other when it comes to winning new work and if you are bidding many different projects (which I would bet you are), you should be looking at which ones fit this criteria first ......

Business management for years has taken the advice of statisticians: that if you don’t or can’t measure something, then you can't manage it. In construction, this simple truth is the key to being successful. Management of bidding, projects, labor, or profits is not just a group of tasks that you must perform, it is taking in facts, analyzing those facts, coming to conclusions, taking action, and then ......

Measurements are critical to good construction. Not just in constructing walls, placing tiles, and balancing mechanical systems, but also in tracking contractor's performance on the project. A minute cannot go by where workers are not measuring boards, conduits, walls, concrete volumes, and hundreds of other things on a construction site, but are contractors measuring things for their own betterment? ......

For those of us in the construction industry, we know the Estimators that are more cynical than the average Joe. They appear to be more prevalent than the fun loving young estimator. The duties of an Estimator change that fun loving young kid into the cynic through years of performing one of the most difficult jobs in construction. So what makes it such a difficult job? The most difficult part of ......

Measurements are critical to good construction. Not just in constructing walls, placing tiles, and balancing mechanical systems, but also in tracking contractor's performance on the project. A minute cannot go by where workers are not measuring boards, conduits, walls, concrete volumes, and hundreds of other things on a construction site, but are contractors measuring things for their own betterment? ......

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