Construction Book Review of ‘Starting Your Career as a Contractor’

book review of construction book
Construction books are few and far apart these days, and the one reviewed here fits well for those considering careers as contractors. (Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo)

A construction book review for aspiring contractors and those already in business who need a handy reference for managing a contractor business.

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Tame Fast Track Construction Projects Before You Own Them

fast-track-construction-projects -need-taming-right-up-front
Taming fast track construction projects begins by not taking on the ones you shouldn’t. (Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo)

Fast track construction projects always seem to drop out of the sky. One minute your portfolio, or your current project, is flying along nicely, and then suddenly somebody’s got a project they want to get off the ground like yesterday.

When the client is a regular, you feel a lot more anxiety about it then when it’s somebody you’ve never worked with before. But in both cases you’ve got to make some far reaching decisions pretty fast. Here are some ideas for keeping things in perspective and it starts with understanding the fast track beast.

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Construction Training: Ideas and Resources for Making it Happen

construction training is a dynamic puzzle
Construction training is a vital part of a successful construction business, and everyone holds one of the pieces. Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo)

There’s much more to construction training than learning the technical aspects of how to do a job. There are also supporting and amplifying skills, and knowledge, that turn acceptable performers into exceptional performers. These ‘other’ skills are increasingly needed in construction because of complexity.

Oxford Economics took a deep look at the human resources challenges in the near future and found that 66% of companies are coming up short in putting together a workforce that will meet their business goals. Basically, business leaders are out of touch with what people want from their employers in “incentives, benefits and training.”

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Behavior Based Project Management Harnesses People Power

behavior based project management succeeds where other approaches fail
Behavior based project management brings empowerment from emotions to the project. (Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo)

Behavior based project management harnesses the emotional quotient of the project team. That’s important because there is continuing evidence that projects of all types fail to meet their objectives.

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Deliver Competitive Bids Using Highly Accurate Estimates

keep competitive bids on the level with exact estimating
Competitive bids are encouraged when the estimate is on the level, and accurate. (Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo)

Competitive bids are essential in winning construction contracts, but making them competitive might require adjusting the estimate.

In construction, there is a natural and continual conflict between thorough estimates and turning in competitive bids. In a way, many contractors delude themselves when they rely on spotty estimates, thinking that if they include what it will really cost for the project, they won’t win the bid. But that sets up a scenario where if they win the bid they’ll have to:

  • make up for unaccounted costs through change orders, materials selections or other means; or
  • rob money from overhead to make up for shortfalls; or
  • loose money.

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Top 5 Restaurant Construction Trends for 2015

restaurant construction trends include casual styleRestaurant construction trends for 2015 are focusing on history, simplicity and nature. Here are five that are figuring prominently this year.

By Rodolfo Farber and Alfredo Jaime, of Jaime Partners

Incorporating the Old with the New

Keeping the historical elements of a building enhances the project overall. This is going to continue being a central theme in restaurant construction trends wherever history is being preserved. Using key pieces of a building during a renovation keeps the style and history of the location while maintaining its design and features.

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Labor Law Clamp Down Coming for Construction

labor law scrutiny increasing for construction
Increasing scrutiny for labor law violations in construction could signal a leveling of competitive advantage for those following the rules. (Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo)

Construction firms that regularly skirt labor law to gain unfair competitive advantages by misclassifying workers and hiring people who aren’t legally allowed to work in the U.S., are going to face closer scrutiny this year, according to a report published in the National Law Review.

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Be An Employer of Choice and Beat the Craft Worker Shortage

An employer of choice will attract more craft workers
Craft worker shortages include welders, carpenters and iron workers. (Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo)

Top construction personnel executives recently said being an ’employer of choice’ was the most effective way to recruit and retain trade workers, according to FMI’s “Craft Labor Recruiting and Retention 2015 Survey Report.”  But what exactly does employer of choice mean, and how do you get there?

Surprisingly it doesn’t mean your company has to get listed by a prominent magazine, or that you have to encourage your workforce to send in nominations to somebody. It’s really more about understanding the hallmarks of an employer of choice, and then nurturing those in your company.

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