Project Could be a Dream — Sh Boom

Remember a time when music, people and life was light-hearted and pleasant. Ah, Life Could be a Dream, Sweetheart, but how about architectural projects? The dream project is the project that compensates the provider, in my case the architect, after design and construction completion and continues to pay dividends. Why would you need a project that pays and continues to pay? Because, architecture is a labor-task profession. A design firm exerts an amount of time/labor to finish tasks and receives compensation for design or consulting task completion. It’s a laborious trade similar to other Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) trades. Effort exerted = money received, but what if the initial architectural effort paid in perpetuity? read more →

Construction Biz 101 – Billing Unmasked

The design is complete and it’s time to solicit bids. The client receives a bid summary that lists major line items and sums to a total amount. A second bid similarly lists major line items but not necessarily the same items or total. It’s the same project but the competing bid numbers are different. What the …?! Are there hidden project costs the Owner pays? The short answer is “No, there are no hidden costs, but a bid calculation combines several tangible costs with different labels such as Hard Cost, Overhead Cost and Profit. read more →

11 Oct 2018
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Eureka! — Things That Suck

Kleenex, Xerox and Coke are marketing terms that are so successful the general public uses the brand name to identify a specific product. It’s common for a consumer to request a Kleenex instead of tissue, a Xerox instead of photocopy and a Coke instead of soda. My family is guilty of the same affliction but our brand/product confusion was the Eureka instead of vacuum. Our ancient Eureka was loud, durable and sucked up everything — dirt, throw rugs, toys and small pets. Nothing sucked like the Eureka. So in our household the Eureka became a synonym for things that suck. read more →

Ugly is in the Details

Enemies are the factions that want the opposite of your best intentions. Your right is their wrong. Their action is your reaction. This polarity is especially true regarding your friends-in-survival, air and water who ironically can be a building’s worst enemies. I call this gang The infiltrators, most notably the air assassins & wiley water who lurk in the environment ready to attack your building nooks and crannies. When infiltrators attack they leave mayhem and destruction in their wake. Air and water damage is ugly. What can you do to prevent damage? Ugly is in the details! read more →

Builders — the Good, Bad & Ugly

How do builders want to be remembered? In the real estate service industry there are numerous ways to differentiate a builder from the competition. Service…product…ability, but every differentiation tactic involves the same strategy — managing expectations and every client and partner will measure a builder for how well he managed expectations. read more →

01 May 2011
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Owner As Installer – Should You Help Build It?

You’re a DITY…I’m a DITY…we’re all DITY. Pick up that hammer and join the DITY (Do-It-Yourself) world. Admit it, you’ve fallen victim to the DITY-movement. Frequent DITY shows on HGTV inspire you to build your own project. Instructional U-Tube videos empowered you to remodel your kitchen. The sheer number of home improvement stores, shows and helpful U-Tube videos inspired many owners to build IT themselves. read more →

05 Feb 2010
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How do I get a good construction estimate?

How do I get a good construction estimate? The jury is still out, but one thing is for sure; no one knows what a project costs until it’s finished. The industry and most builders will suggest they are better estimators than architects are. I agree that a builder will arrive at a price for your.. read more →

12 Dec 2009
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Owner As Builder – Should you Build It?

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Do friends call your wall in China, “great”; your arch in France “triumphal” and your tower in Paris an “eye-ful”? Do friends mock you because you built your own computer, car or man cave? Are you the envy of the neighbors because all your home improvement projects are better than glossy magazine photos? If this is true, you’re obviously skilled so why not build your own home? Building your own home is a challenge, but may be more manageable than you think. read more →

08 Dec 2009
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