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Year: 2020

Tips for Reducing Energy Consumption in a Building

Reducing energy consumption in a building can benefit both the environment and the property owner. As a building owner, you will save money when it comes to energy costs. You will also shrink the carbon footprint of your building when you reduce its energy consumption. But, how do you reduce energy consumption in your building? Here are tips that can help you achieve this. 

Upgrade Equipment and Systems 

If constructing a new home, make sure that it has the most energy-efficient equipment and systems. But, if you are living in a house that you want to make more energy-efficient, invest in modern equipment and systems. These include HVAC and appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines. 

Build with Green Walls 

A green wall is a great option when it comes to enhancing aesthetic value while reducing appliance use. A green wall is also called a living wall. This wall takes vertical gardening to an entirely new level. It comes with plants that breathe fresh air into the living space. This makes a building more eco-friendly. It also enhances the property value. 

Install LED Bulbs 

On average, most people don’t think much about the bulbs they buy and install in their homes. However, bulbs should be a major consideration when you have an entire building that requires new bulbs. LED bulbs consume a quarter of the total energy that is consumed by conventional bulbs. They also last longer. What’s more, LED bulbs radiate minimal heat. This can reduce the money spent on air conditioning further. 

Lower Water Consumption 

Water is among the resources that are taken for granted. However, it can make your building less energy efficient. Therefore, make sure that your building doesn’t have leaks to mitigate water overuse or misuse. Fixing leaks can help in conserving water. Also, fit fixtures like faucets with aerators for restricting flow. You can also use low-flow toilets to minimize water use. 

If looking for ways to reduce energy consumption in your building, talk to your contractor about these tips. Their proper implementation can also increase the value of your property while saving you money on monthly utility bills. …

Ways to Mitigate Against Construction Delays During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Construction may have been classified alongside other essential industries in some states and countries. However, COVID-related issues can still impact your construction project negatively. Such effects can cause delays in the completion of your project. As such, it’s crucial to know how you can mitigate construction delays during this pandemic. Here are some of the best ways to do that. 

Identify Possible Causes of Delay in Your Project 

Issues with the supply chain, government restrictions, and labor shortages are some of the things that can delay your construction project. Labor shortages have always been a growing problem in the industry in most countries and states. As such, the COVID-19 pandemic can easily exacerbate it. 

If you plan to import construction materials, their suppliers might not be classified as essential service providers. Thus, their delivery might be delayed and this can occasion delay in your construction project. Therefore, take time to consider all factors that may delay the completion of your construction project and come up with appropriate mitigation measures. Your contractors and material suppliers can help you come up with a more realistic timeline during COVID-19. 

Understand the Contract 

Don’t rush to sign the contract that the contractor presents without reading it. Instead, take your time to read and understand the details of your contract. Understand the timelines and liability for any delay, as well as, the cost impacts. Essentially, understand your obligations and rights regarding delays before you sign the contract for your construction project. 

Maintain Continuous Communication 

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. Its impacts have been felt by every sector, including the construction industry. A good way to mitigate the construction delays that may be occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic is to communicate. For instance, if there will be a delay in material delivery, the supplier should communicate. If the labor shortage at the site will delay the completion of the building, the contractor should communicate. This will prevent unnecessary conflict among the involved parties. 

Understanding contractual rights, communicating effectively, and being proactive can help you mitigate against construction delays during the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow these tips to ensure that your construction project doesn’t come to a standstill due to this pandemic.  …

What Are the 5 Phases of Construction?

All construction projects generally follow a logical progression with a comprehensive schedule highlighting all the activities from the beginning to completion. While the stages may sometimes vary based on the nature of the construction activities, size of the project, and other factors, there are certain essential steps for all kinds of construction. The following are the five main phases of construction. 

Initiation 

This is the first step whereby you should start evaluating the project ahead to determine how to best prepare for it. You should properly examine the proposed solutions against your needs. You should narrow down your objectives and solutions to make sure that they align. Consult with your team to make a final informed decision. Both you and your team should be on the same page regarding the main objectives of the project. 

Planning 

The planning stage is a critical phase whereby you must clearly outline a comprehensive roadmap for the entire project. You should identify the scope of the job; the resources required for executing those activities then, create a schedule. In the plan, you need to also highlight the goals, timeframes, and resources for each activity for evaluation. Besides, it should also include a proper budget for cost estimates for all the needed materials and labor for the construction. 

Implementation 

Putting the plan into action is where most of the work will be required. Proper communication is critical at this stage to ensure that the execution is as expected. Make sure that all the highlighted resources are allocated and made available to the workers on time. As the project progresses, you should record any diversions from the initial plan. Exercise flexibility as the project may sometimes need modifications along the way. 

Performance and Evaluation 

Performance and evaluation are phases that occur simultaneously as soon as the implementation of the project begins. The main objective is to make sure that the construction is conducted as per the stipulated plan. It also entails tracking costs and specific construction tasks to see if everything is executed as planned.

Closure 

At the last stage, you should properly review the punch list to make sure that all the areas of weakness are addressed.  Confirm with your team about any other areas that you may have concerns with before handing over. 

Construction projects might seem very demanding but, understanding the basics like the five phases discussed above can make a huge difference and, prepare you to successfully tackle similar projects in the future. 

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Top 5 Question to ask a home contractor

When building a house, one of the key factors that guarantee a successful project is hiring the right construction contractor. The right contractor will provide you with quality and timely work while saving you lots of emotional and financial stress. 

To make sure that you hire the best contractor for your project, your contractor should answer the following questions to your satisfaction. In case you doubt the contractor’s answer of view on your project, you should explore other options. 

Here are 5 top questions to ask your potential candidates. 

  1. What’s your experience? 

If the contractor has over five years of experience in the construction industry, it means that they have already established a strong network of subcontractors and suppliers. Such a contractor is far way better to work on your project than a new contractor. 

However, if an inexperienced contractor can prove his abilities, then it’s worth giving them a chance. The key point is to make sure that the constructors have the skills and abilities to work with you. If the contractor is local, the better. 

To find out the contractor’s level of satisfaction, you can view his online client ratings and reviews, or ask to see his current or previous projects. If their reputation is good, then that’s an outstanding candidate to hire. 

  1. Who are your suppliers? 

A good contractor must offer quality work. It’s, therefore, important to find out the suppliers they work with. Once you get the details, dig deeper in those suppliers and find out if they offer quality products – If possible, you can visit them.

If the contractor is not comfortable telling you about their suppliers, it’s possible the suppliers are not legal or don’t offer quality products. You should not hire a contractor with such a network. 

  1. Are you licensed and insured?

If you’re going to work together with your contractor, you must ensure that they are licensed. But don’t trust their words – ask them to show you their licenses or license number. Most states require constructors to register with the state department in to conduct business. Make sure you verify that their license is valid and active. 

A good contractor should also have an insurance policy. Ask to see a copy of the policy and find out how much it covers. A good insurance policy should cover your property as well as a worker’s compensation coverage. In case the contractor is not adequately insured, you’ll be liable for any injuries or accidents that happen to the crew. 

  1. How can I get in touch with you? 

While most people Amy assume this question, it’s equally important. How will you pass information on to the contractor? You should get a physical business office, address, and phone number. If the contractor doesn’t provide these details, they are likely a scam, and you should not consider them at all, even if they promise you heaven. 

  1. What’s your price? 

While the price shouldn’t be the primary factor to determine whether a contractor is right for you, you should still discuss and agree on a certain fee before starting the project. If the contractor’s costs fall in your budget, then you can go ahead and hire them. 

Also, remember to ask them about the payment schedule. A reasonable contractor shouldn’t ask you to pay the full amount upfront. However, it’s important to discuss and agree on the terms before you begin the construction process. Make sure the fees are included in the contract.