Category: News

The Construction Daily Report: Why & What

Executive Summary:  The importance of the daily report cannot be overstated.  Knowing whyto write them and whatto put in the report is critical for defense of yourself, and offense […]

Spearin and Modified Total Cost Method Adopted in Missouri

One of contractors’ most reliable defenses, the Spearin Doctrine, has been upheld in a Missouri Court. Certainly, for Missourians, this is a good thing, and to the extent, others may be able to reference this case or use a similar approach in claims, is a win for the construction industry.

Training: Now I see the Value

The benefits of training can be great for numerous reasons. You’re making capitalinvestments, you should also treat your employeesas an asset worthy of investment too.

Choosing a Construction Consultant

Executive Summary:  Once the decision is made to engage a consultant, choosing the firm to assist you can be one of the biggest challenges. Consider asking key […]

Construction Claims Hierarchy

Construction claims are an unfortunate part of the construction process in today’s world. When you have a claim, know the order of hierarchy in your presentation of the data for maximum remuneration from the client.

Engineering or Communication Failure?

Basic communication would have prevented mass casualties in Kansas City in 1981. Almost 40 years later, we still should be learning from the tragedy at […]

Construction is a Battlefield

I was surfing the web recently and I saw an article by a construction management student. I read it, and it was good. It talked […]

Is that a “Pinky Ring”?

Yup.  It’s a “pinky ring”.  Get over it.  Respect it.  Keep reading. I wear one on the outside finger of my right hand. If you […]

Importance of Timely Notification

I have not done the official research on what are the most common causes of success or failure in a construction claim, but I would […]

Contract favors the non-drafting party

If you get into a contract dispute, and you did not draft the contract agreement, know that the rule of contra proferentem adopts the interpretation […]

Inventory Tracking: A Money Saver

Executive Summary: Construction companies have inventories that should be managed to improve efficiency and, in turn, improve the bottom line. Consider a mobile solution or […]

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 […]

The Unilateral Change Order

  Executive Summary: The purpose of a change order is to add work to an existing contract. Ideally, this work is added with mutually agreeable terms […]

Project Management Triple Constraint

Executive Summary: There’s an adage, fast/cheap/good, pick any two. This relates to the Project Management Triple Constraint. It also has other names like Iron Triangle […]

Cost versus Price

Executive Summary: Cost and price are two different measures of money in a construction bid. Knowing the difference is fundamental and can improve profit. What […]

Two for Today: Taxes and Fuel

Download PDF Executive Summary: Do two things today to improve your company: (1) check to make sure you are current on your 940 and 941 […]

A Quickie on DEF

Executive Summary: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency implemented a rule on May 11, 2004 [QR1] which rocked the construction industry. It has made DEF (Diesel […]

Credit Unions versus Banks

Executive Summary: A credit union is a viable option for many small businesses. Consider the advantages of a credit union over a traditional bank. What […]

Standardized Contracts and ConsensusDocs: a Win-Win

Download PDF Executive Summary: Standardized contracts provide tremendous benefit to the construction industry – they benefit the owner and the contractor. ConsensusDocs is the leading standardized […]

A Cheap Lawyer

Download PDF Executive Summary: Construction projects are becoming more and more litigious. The cost of outside counsel is practically its own line item in a […]

Letters – Keep them Simple & Discrete

Download PDF   Executive Summary: Written communication is a skill every good project manager must have. Knowing how to write a letter is critical during […]

Temperature Effects on Productivity

Download PDF Executive Summary: Effects of weather on labor productivity can be difficult to quantify. Consider efficiency factors generated by the National Electrical Contractor’s Association […]

Unbalancing a Bid and Cash Flow

Executive Summary:  Cash flow is vital to a contractor’s survival.  Taking advantage of setting unit prices in a bid, and also knowing cash strangle points […]

Build your Business into a Machine

Download PDF Executive Summary: Without solid processes and controls in place, too many decisions can be left in the hands of employees who approach things in […]

Divisional Separation: Pure Crap

Executive Summary: Companies lose money and affect reputation by divisive behavior between divisions. Work to make this better by improving morale, efficiency, and the bottom […]

Why Hire a Management Consultant?

  Executive Summary: Consultants sometimes carry a bad rap for what they do. They’re expensive and actual or perceived value is not recognized in their […]

I See Claims…

Download PDF Executive Summary: Construction is a litigious business. Often times the signs were right in front of you from day one. Pay attention and […]

Proposal Terms and Conditions

  Listen Read PDF Executive Summary: Submitting a clear and concise proposal is an important step in getting the project off on the right foot. […]

It’s Concrete, not Cement.

Executive Summary: Defining concrete and cement. The common misconception. Once a month or so it seems I’m watching the news or listening to the radio […]

Construction Contract Review Basics

Executive Summary:  Each day we hand contracts down to our subs or we are signing contracts down from Owners or General Contractors.  Know some of […]

Top 3 Reasons to Leave Spreadsheets

Executive Summary:  The electronic spreadsheet is arguably the most common tool used in the industry for everything from construction documentation to estimating to human resources.  […]

Dead is the Handshake

Executive Summary: The “Steel Team” composed of fabricator and erector joined together to sue the owner and general contractor for failure to pay on changes. […]

Top 5 Uh-Oh Signs of a Client

Executive Summary: If you do not have a relationship with a client, or you are moving to a different management team within a familiar client, […]

Changes in the 2017 AIA A201/A101/A401 Documents

Executive Summary: Probably the most common construction contract documents in use in America are the AIA (American Institute of Architects) documents. The A101/A201 for Owner-General […]

An Alternative to Eichleay: HOOP!

Executive Summary: Contractors delayed by the owner often want to be reimbursed ‘x’ dollars per ‘y’ days for the cost of home office overhead. Most […]

Getting Paid: Some Suggestions

Executive Summary: The law* provides the rules of getting paid in construction. Sometimes contractors must use the law, other times there are other easier (less […]

What’s a Banking Covenant?

Executive Summary: What are banking covenants? Banking covenants are conditions put upon a borrower by the bank. Although they can be general in nature, they […]

The Power of Habit

Executive Summary: Although policies can be created overnight, getting them to function and last in your organization takes time. Read here about the value of […]

Small Tools Tracking Software – Get It!

Executive Summary: Estimates vary on the financial loss suffered by contractors due to lost or stolen tools. Pick any number you want, it’s certainly worth […]

Choosing a Professional Services Provider

Executive Summary: There are many factors in determining who should provide your firm professional services. Read on to find that it’s more than just their […]

The Good and the Bad of Contracting

Executive Summary:  Contracting can be the most fantastic of businesses, but also one of the toughest.  Read about some of the things that make it […]

Consistency Results in Predictability

Executive Summary:  Sustaining a business, and more so growing a business, relies heavily on consistency in business practices.  Start today with improving your company’s practices […]

Killer Clauses: No Damages for Delay

Executive Summary:  A presentation on March 8, 2017at the 98th Annual AGC Convention reviewed ten (10) “killer clauses” in contracts.  The “No Damages for Delay […]

Need it or Want it?

Executive Summary: Develop behavioral cost controls in your employees by incubating a need versus want mentality on purchases. The ATM perception. Things look great – […]

Profit Fade – Avoiding It

Executive Summary: Reduce profit fade at the end of your projects by adjusting building habits and getting the right people in place to finish your […]

The Engineer Was Negligent

As published in Civil Engineering, February 2017  Click for PDF The Law in the June 2016 issue ( “Engineer Found Negligent for Not Verifying Product […]

Why track extra costs… and how?

Executive Summary: Whether you use a functional cost coding system to track the cost of your original scope or not, it is imperative that you […]

Notice – When in doubt, write it out!

Executive Summary: Looking at a recent case in the state of Washington, a contractor attempted to be compensated for additional cost resulting from the project […]

Do Something Awkward Every Day

Executive Summary: As a manager, it may be often that you run into a situation in which you must do something outside of your comfort […]

Owner Paralysis – i.e. Vapor Lock

Executive Summary: When a tragic event happens, even the roughest and tumble executives can suffer from decisional paralysis. I don’t mean physical paralysis in your […]

Incentive Clauses: Do they Work?

Executive Summary: Engineers have wondered if incentive clauses are a benefit to Owners in producing a timely, or accelerated, contract completion. My experience has been […]

The $5 Casio: Your Best Tool

Executive Summary: With all of today’s fancy and complex tools available in the marketplace, nothing is more important than simple calculations (and common sense). Rely […]

Embezzlement: Password Protection

Executive Summary:  Protecting your company passwords is like protecting any other asset.  Protect them or risk losing confidential information and/or thousands of dollars. What is […]

Choosing a Professional Services Provider

Executive Summary:  How do you pick an attorney, a banker, a certified public accountant, an insurance agent, or an engineer? General:  As a contractor, you […]

No good deed goes unpunished

Proverb #1: No good deed goes unpunished. I’ve got a couple of these proverbs up my sleeve when it comes to construction. This one I normally […]

Calculation of Owner’s Estimate

SJCC received the call to assist with the Owner’s estimate on this project due to the magnitude of the job and the accelerated pace of […]