Construction Monkey

Construction Blog

Revit: An Asset or a Cool Cartoon? According to Wikipedia, Autodesk Revit is architectural building information management (BIM) software for Microsoft Windows, developed by Autodesk. It allows a user to design with parametric modeling and drafting elements. BIM is a revolutionary new Computer Aided Design (CAD) paradigm that allows for intelligent, 3D virtual rendering and parametric object-based ......

As one of the most dangerous industries on the planet, construction focuses significantly on safety. Our industry is focused on the health and safety of our tradesmen and for good reason. Good talent is very difficult to find and none of us find any project so important that we need to hurt anyone. Back in the early days of high rises, it was considered acceptable to kill a person per floor, boy have ......

We have recently decided to introduce an incentive program for our superintendents in order to improve productivity and ensure that the schedule is met and customer satisfaction is attained. Here is a synopses of the program... Bonuses are to be awarded and evaluated on a project by project basis. In order to qualify for a bonus the projectmust have a contract amount of $30,000 or greater and pass ......

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 ......

Even though the health debate is not yet over and the full scope of health care reform is not known (or even if there will be reform), I think it is important to look at how it can impact the subcontracting industry. Required Health Care for All One of the most important parts of the legislation is that everyone will be covered in someway. I doubt that this provision can be dropped from the bill ......

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 ......

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? ......

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 ......

pro·duc·tiv·i·ty (pro'duk-tiv'i-te, prod'?k-) n. The rate at which goods or services are produced especially output per unit cost of labor. Or if you prefer how much does it cost to install a unit. For subcontractors this is a very critical item since the majority of our profit is dependent on the productivity rate. It is also much more difficult in construction since the units and the ability to ......

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 ......

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 ......

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 ......

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 ......

As subcontractors we buy the vast majority of our material through Distributors. The system was established well before my time and benefited almost everyone along the supply chain. Manufacturers had someone that could stock their materials locally and provide credit and payment for delivery (thus insulating manufacturers from Owner's, General's and Subcontractor's inability to pay). The subcontractor ......