Larry King and Katt Williams: Now It’s Your Turn Executive Summary. Reflecting on your career and your life is always fun and interesting. Try this with yourself or with a friend. Larry King’s questions. My social media feed recently brought me to an interview by Larry King of Katt Williams. […]
Measured Mile: It’s Not Just for Contractors
Measured Mile: It’s Not Just for Contractors Executive Summary. The measured mile is a common term used in claims by Contractors. It is the term used to describe the production rate that forms a basis of financial reimbursement. Owners would be well-suited to collect production rates during the work too. […]
Partner, But Not Necessarily Via Partnering
Partner, But Not Necessarily Via Partnering Executive Summary. Partnering was created decades ago to bring the Contractor and Owner together in a semi-formal setting to align goals. Partnering session(s) can be effective, but so can a beer and a burger. Roots of partnering. The Construction Industry Institute defines the purpose […]
Stroke: You’re Having One Right Now
Stroke: You’re Having One Right Now Executive Summary. A stroke is when blood flow to the brain stops. A quick response (on the radio I hear that one hour is the maximum time you have to get to a hospital) is critical in reducing brain injury and other complications. How […]
Contractor Estimating: Drop the Curtain
Contractor Estimating: Drop the Curtain Executive Summary. Lots of times we hear from Engineers that Contractors have fat and contingencies in their estimates. On a low bid wins scenario, that’s just not the case. Look behind the curtain here at some real numbers. What job are we talking about here? […]
New Civil Grads: Three Roads, Choose One!
New Civil Grads: Three Roads, Choose One! Executive Summary. A recent discussion with a soon-to-be civil engineering graduate spurred this article on what your options are heading towards “the real world.” Here’s your three options in my mind. What’s a civil engineer? Simply put, civil engineers improve the quality of […]
Construction in Thailand: 1st and 3rd World Combined
Construction in Thailand: 1st and 3rd World Combined Executive Summary. A quick visit to Thailand revealed some interesting construction and engineering – a mixture of 1st and 3rd world construction! The trip. Thailand is in southeast Asia. That’s southwest of Japan and south of China. Both Laos and Vietnam border […]
Your Last Choice: The Total Cost Claim Approach
Your Last Choice: The Total Cost Claim Approach Executive Summary. In a claim situation, when choosing a method of claim recovery, the total cost claim method is usually the weakest choice. A recent court case put another nail in that coffin. ASCE recently caught my eye. I am a member […]
What is Extended Performance?
What is Extended Performance? Executive Summary. Generally speaking, the cost associated with time loss on a contract are called extended performance costs. Here’s a brief talk on extended performance. What is extended performance? Let’s break down theterm. Extended refers to the duration of the contract having gone longer than was […]
Mindset Differences – Major Leaguers v. Minor Leaguers
Mindset Differences – Major Leaguers v. Minor Leaguers Executive Summary. There’s a different mindset between major league contractors and minor league contractors. Here’s three ways they differ. Graduating to the big leagues. You’re in the elite group when you score an A+ on all of the bonding 3 C’s: character, […]
An Offering of a Contractor’s Standard of Care
An Offering of a Contractor’s Standard of Care Executive Summary. Many are familiar with a design professional’s standard of care (SOC). Why don’t contractors have a standard of care? This is the start. Research by the author – nothing. Go to Google, go to agc.org, go to abc.org, go to […]
Business In Hawaii Is The Same, But Totally Different
Business In Hawaii Is The Same, But Totally Different Executive Summary. Business in Hawaii is just like in other states, but yet so different. Read on for your guide to doing business in Hawaii. Kamaaina status. Kamaaina (pronounced “kaa-ma-eye-na”) is a Hawaiian word used to describe someone originally from Hawaii, […]
Trench Talk: Clem Conceicao, Crane Operator
Trench Talk: Clem Conceicao, Crane Operator Executive Summary. Listen to my discussion with Mr. Clem Conceicao, long time operator of friction cranes, tower cranes, and squirt booms in Hawaii. Running a crane, or any piece of equipment. Being an operator of any piece of equipment carries an obligation of safety […]
How to Start a Professional Construction Company
How to Start a Professional Construction Company Executive Summary. If you’ve ever wanted to start your own construction company, here’s the process. What do you want to do? First thing to do is figure out what you want to do. Heavy/civil, window installation, frame houses, industrial coatings – what? This […]
What’s the Difference Between Unit Price and Lump Sum Bids?
What’s the Difference Between Unit Price and Lump Sum Bids? Executive Summary. Prices in construction bids are usually received in one of two ways: unit prices or lump sum. Here we discuss differences and pros and cons of collecting construction bids via these two methods. Two ways. Pricing for construction […]
The Low Bid Model – Time to Go?
The Low Bid Model – Time to Go? Executive Summary. Although great in concept, the low bid model of construction proposal award is severely flawed. Here’s a quick evaluation of the two primary evaluation methods used by Owners in the award of construction projects. You evaluate which is best for […]
Utility Drawings 101: The Plan and Profile
Utility Drawings 101: The Plan and Profile Executive Summary. Learn the basics of how to read a utility plan and profile. One thing is consistent: no drawings are the same. You’ll learn enough here to talk intelligently. Utilities as a component of the site plan. Drawings used to construct the […]
Subsurface Disclaimers Don’t Hold – Travelers v. U.S.
Subsurface Disclaimers Don’t Hold – Travelers v. U.S. Executive Summary. The age old issue of whether or not the geotechnical information in, or associated with, the bid package can be relied upon has been in and out of courtrooms across the country. Perhaps the federal case which is the most […]
Parkinson’s Law – Hoping to Quantify Pacing
Parkinson’s Law – Hoping to Quantify Pacing Executive Summary. Parkinson’s Law states that “…work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” (Parkinson, C. N., The Economist, November, 1955) It explains worker behavior, but may not support well now an Owner’s quantitative offense to Contractor-induced conscious project […]
The Preparatory Meeting: Priceless
The Preparatory Meeting: Priceless Executive Summary. Federal construction work usually requires three phases of quality control within the work: the preparatory, initial, and follow-up phases. If you, as a contractor or owner, do not want to try incorporating all three just try one. Try the preparatory phase.The Feds and the […]
Legal Jargon and Process 101
Legal Jargon and Process 101 Executive Summary. Being in management, middle or upper, will likely land you close to a courtroom. At least you will be exposed to the legal process. Here are some of the basics from a non-lawyer. What sort of events would expose me to legal jargon? […]
Bonds and Bonding Capacity 101
Bonds and Bonding Capacity 101 Executive Summary. If you’ve ever wondered how bonding capacity is earned and calculated, it may be a bit fuzzier than you think. But it does rely on numbers. Read on for the basics. What is bonding? You’ve heard people say “The job is bonded.” or […]
Construction is Broken – Give me the Onsite EOR
Construction is Broken – Give me the Onsite EOR Executive Summary. Contractors are told to build projects in record time without having complete information. It’s not fair to the Engineer, the Contractor, the Owner, or the Taxpayer. There’s an easy fix which will get the project most of the way […]
The Importance of As-Builts
The Importance of As-Builts Executive Summary. As-builts are critical to future projects and can save Owners thousands or millions of dollars. As-builts can also save lives. Do them and do them contemporaneously (which means as you go, not after the fact). What are as-builts? As-builts are drawing set(s), either paper […]
University Cooperative Education – the Real Deal!
University Cooperative Education – the Real Deal! Executive Summary. Most resume readers consider professional experience, as an engineer or construction professional, as starting upon graduation. In a cooperative education program, it’s starts during college. What is cooperative education? Cooperative education (or co-op) is time spent during your college education out […]
Water in the Hole! What’s it Mean?
Water in the Hole! What’s it Mean? Executive Summary. Water in an excavation can tell a story. It can provide valuable information if you watch it carefully. Here are some things to look for in that trench.Why do I care about water? Just so you know – as an aside […]
Smartsheet™ – A Contractor’s Dream
Smartsheet™ – A Contractor’s Dream Executive Summary. It’s like Excel™, but not Excel™. It’s a great fit for logging: submittals, RFIs, letter, potential change orders, et cetera. Read on for a quick review of this not-so-heard-of product in our industry. Recommended! What is Smartsheet™? Smartsheet™ is a NYSE-traded cloud-based software […]
Pipe Encasement Flotation – Archimedes was the Man!
Pipe Encasement Flotation – Archimedes was the Man! Executive Summary. Ever prepped to pour a concrete encasement and lost sleep over whether or not it would float during the pour? Learn here how easy it is to calculate that buoyancy force. Archimedes was the man. Archimedes was a Greek mathematician […]
I Wrote a Children’s Book Because I Could
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes Executive Summary. Nothing better than getting your kids interested in what you do for a living by reading to them to sleep at night about the glorious business of asphalt milling! Then fill it back in with asphalt! Good times! Try reading fun rhymes to […]
Don’t Be Charlie Brown’s Teacher
Executive summary. If you are interested in communicating information to your audience, and you want your audience to absorb and remember what you’re saying, communicate effectively. Communicate using vocabulary, tempo, brevity, and body language that your client understands and wants. It’s not about you. It’s about them. They need to get […]
Top 10: Basic Business Etiquette
Executive Summary: Landing the work has enough challenges in meeting the scope, schedule, and cost requirements of the client. You’re defeating yourself if you can’t be polite and practice simple business etiquette. Low hanging fruit. If your client has been kind enough to consider doing business with you, don’t give […]