Construction Business Project Delays and Responsibility

construction business projects

If you’ve bid on and won a project, it’s assumed you understand the risks, including delayed delivery of materials and equipment. As the pandemic proved, you can’t always factor delay risks into a bid. But you can’t bid without some guarantee that you can deliver the project on time and within budget. Contract-wise, you’ve assumed responsibility.

The Devil’s in the (Contract Details) For Construction Business Projects

A 2020 report on worldwide Construction Claims states the global average value of a construction delay dispute to be a staggering US$30.7 million… The report also indicates that the average dispute took 15 months to reconcile.Plan Academy

Types of delays affecting your contract:

  • Concurrent delays – Two or more parties involved
  • Critical delays – Impact project delivery date
  • Excusable delays – Outside of the contractor’s control
    • Compensable excusable delays – Caused by the owner or the owner’s team. The contractor may receive more time and financial compensation.
    • Noncompensible excusable delays – Beyond anyone’s control (Force majeure)
  • Non-critical delays – Little to no impact
  • Non-excusable delays – Occurred as a result of something the contractor should have been able to control

Most contracts state the contractor has an amount of time to report a delay. This time should be used to mitigate the delay; seek alternative materials or suppliers. Construction business contractors are legally required to try to mitigate every delay.

Quinn Murphy, an attorney with Sandberg Phoenix in St. Louis, said anyone claiming delays due to the pandemic, “….particularly those who entered into a contract after it became widespread in March 2020, will have to prove that the delay was directly related to the pandemic.”

If you signed a contract for the construction business after the pandemic was firmly in place, you may have a hard time claiming delays due to COVID-19. “They’re going to have a really hard time alleging the pandemic is an excuse,” Murphy concluded.

Need-to-Know Information

Never sign a contract for a large project without legal support. But you can’t bid on and win contracts if you don’t know your demographics. Contact Construction Monitor with questions about business leads for your company.

Construction Industry Remains Union-Strong

construction industry

The February 2020 unemployment rate was low: 3.5%. But by December, it was 6.7%. In tough economic times, most of us will take work when and where we can get it.

Less pay for more work thrives during chaos. Despite the pandemic layoffs, 2020 union membership remained strong in the construction industry.

Construction Industry Unions Thrive Despite Pandemic

Construction industry union membership percentages dipped in 2019 but actually increased in 2020 to 12.7%. In 2019, nonunion wages for construction industry workers were 29% less than union members’ wages.

However, union wages decreased from $1,240/week in 2019 to $1,234/week in 2020. Nonunion members’ salaries went up, from $868/week to $920/week.

The Economic Policy Institute says the 2020 pandemic emphasized what unions have been trying to change for decades: U.S. labor law fails to protect working people. 

In spite of their critical role in providing necessary services, these (construction industry) workers have been working
without access to fundamental protections like personal
protective equipment or paid sick leave.
epi.org

Few take campaign promises seriously, but we can always hope. If the Biden presidency follows-through, the Build Back Better energy plan will add more union jobs this year.

Construction Monitor Increases Work Opportunities for Businesses Like Yours

You’d be surprised at the number of “unofficial” construction industry companies that use building permit data to make marketing decisions. A food truck owner can learn where job sites will be located in the spring and summer by studying building permit applications this week.

One savvy light fixtures salesperson looks for bathroom and kitchen remodeling permits. “If you’re getting a plumbing overhaul, replacing old lighting with modern, ‘smart’ adds an affordable feel-good factor to a renovation expense,” she says.

Construction industry companies use our data analytics to chase leads and build business. Learn more about how we can customize the information you need. Email, call 800-925-6085, or contact Construction Monitor.

Marijuana and Construction Contractor Business Employees

construction drug test

Marijuana legalization recently passed in six states. Others may follow. If not already, marijuana use may eventually become legal in your state. As a construction contractor business owner or manager, you’ll have to plan for it.

Sooner is better than later.

Marijuana Use Among Employees: What Are Your Contractor Business Responsibilities and Rights?

Medical marijuana prescriptions for approved conditions vary. Connecticut approves marijuana in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Colorado does not.

Recreational marijuana is now legal in:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Meanwhile, none of these states is in-compliance with the federal law which says marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug; a controlled substance with no medical use, and a high potential for addiction.

Before You Request a Drug Test

You have the right to request and enforce employee drug testing. But you must know the laws of your state; if an employee tests positive for marijuana but the drug test itself is “illegal,” you may not be able to take action.

In some states, random drug screens are not legal. In other states, random drug testing is legal only if you can prove you had just cause.

If the employee:

  • Appears intoxicated at work
  • Holds a safety-sensitive position
  • Is returning to work after a drug rehabilitation program
  • Was involved in a work-related accident that resulted in injury/property damage

Some states have procedural requirements.

The employer must:

  • Administer the test in a way that maximizes privacy
  • Give the applicant/employee opportunity to challenge the results
  • Pay for some/all testing costs
  • Provide advance notice to applicant/employee
  • Use a state-certified lab

Some states (Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) have no restrictions for employment drug testing.

The only recourse an employee has to challenge the testing is to prove it was administered as a result of or led to:

  • Defamation
  • Discrimination – age, disability, gender, race
  • Invasion of privacy

Construction Monitor for Construction Data

Even the most basic statistics we offer can be valuable information to the right construction contractor business developer. If that’s you, we’d like to share ways to grow your business using our tools:

Contact Construction Monitor today.

Data and The Construction Industry

data construction industry

A “data warehouse” isn’t a large building with garage doors and a loading dock. A data warehouse is a construction industry company’s accumulated information. The data can originate from many sources and is used to drive management decisions.

Construction Industry Sees Data Center Boom

The construction industry may have been slow to embrace technology and big data, but we’re making up for it. Today, it’s not surprising that construction industry companies have so much technology that they need filing cabinets (“data warehouses”) in clouds.

What no one saw coming was the increased need for data centers. Data centers are real, on-the-ground buildings. And the construction industry is seeing a lot of new-build projects, thanks to the need for more data centers.

Construction industry writer Zachary Phillips says U.S. states are heavily competing to land projects for internet companies needing physical space to accommodate computer systems. The companies have names like “Amazon,” “Facebook,” and “Google.”

“…Northern Virginia has become known as ‘Data Center Alley’ because of the tech-focused companies that have flocked to the area,” says Phillips. Amazon has established a major presence (they call it a “cloud cluster”) in Fairfax and Loudon counties of Virginia and plans more development.

Facebook is looking further north, toward the Chicago area to build an $800 million data center this year. This project should employ over 1,000 construction industry workers to complete the infrastructure requirements and new-build.

Google is checking out areas in California, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington for data center construction.

Construction Monitor: The Source for U.S. Construction Industry Data

Construction Monitor…makes building permit information available to suppliers, subcontractors, and building industry professionals in the construction industry. Construction Monitor provides records of residential, commercial, swimming pool, and solar building permits in a searchable database.Wikipedia

Construction Monitor lead-generation service is available in 89 U.S. markets, making it the nation’s largest provider of real-time building permit data. We have information that can give you “the leading edge” in the construction industry market. Let us explain how to use it.

Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor today.

Are You Offering the Right Services?

construction services

If 2020 were an appliance, it would be a Cuisinart®. Businesses have been processed and pulverized beyond recognition, and construction services are no exception.

“Survival of the fittest” was coined by British philosopher Herbert Spencer. We often believe the strongest survive, but that’s not always the case. Those most adaptable to change not only survive; they thrive.

Building permit data reflects construction trends here (your “neck of the woods”) and now (weekly updates). The information tells you which direction our industry is heading and is the first clue you need to adapt.

Using Building Permit Data to Expand Your Services

If you sell floor coverings and notice a lot of retail spaces
in the works, but your current product line has nothing
durable enough for commercial use… Chances
are you’re missing out on sales.
David Mineer, CEO

Maybe your marketing focus is on new-home builds. You cultivate that business because that’s what has worked for you for the last 10 years.

Building permit data shows you new home construction is down, but swimming pools and home renovations that cultivate lifestyle are up – way up in some areas. Families are staying home; workers are working from home. People want their homes to be more fun, more comforting.

Your first clue was in your Construction Monitor building permit data report. How fast you respond – adapt – is what sets your company apart from others. Building permit data has driven many companies to revamp their entire approach to business development.

Contact Construction Monitor: Then Be Prepared to Adapt

Home improvements have seen a whopping 140% growth this year. But that’s just one segment of the construction industry changes we’re seeing.

“Green” construction is critical. Improved working conditions to attract better talent is necessary. We’re using modular construction to speed-up project turnaround times. We’re adapting materials to overcome shortages.

Our construction industry is meeting challenges head-on.

If you’re not using analytics from building permit data, ask questions. Learn more. And be prepared to adapt your construction services to take you beyond business survival to profit. Call 800.925.6085 (International 435.586.1205) or contact us today.

Using Construction Technology in the Age of COVID-19

Construction Technology

Without discounting the pain the 2020 pandemic has caused for so many, it’s pretty safe to say most of us are sick of coronavirus. Still, some good things are emerging from these hard times.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to find safer and smarter ways of building homes and offices,” said the World Economic Forum in August 2020.

  • Big data and AI (artificial intelligence) during architectural design and construction process are rapidly transforming construction technology.
  • Digital technology is driving prefab housing. This creates highly sustainable, high-quality housing faster.

9 Focal Points for Post-COVID Construction Technology

Global management authority McKinsey doesn’t mince words when it says the construction industry has performed unsatisfactorily for quite some time. We’ve ignored ecosystem development, even though it accounts for 13% of global GDP (gross domestic products). “Time and costs overruns are the norm,” says a recent report.

The pandemic has accelerated changes we’ve been slow to adopt. Post-COVID-19 construction technology will focus on:

  1. Digitalization
  2. Industrial approaches
  3. Lower costs
  4. New materials
  5. New profit sources
  6. Offsite manufacturing
  7. Skills scarcity
  8. Specialization
  9. Sustainability

Ways We’re Improving Construction Technology

Building Information Modeling (BIM) became more widely used during the pandemic lockdown. We worked on our projects virtually because we weren’t able to work on them in-person. This encouraged more communication and more collaboration.

We’re using AI designs for testing on virtual platforms. We can make smarter, more knowledgeable decisions about costs, requirements, and commitments. We can make those decisions early-on, which speeds up the entire construction process.

Offsite manufacturing is meeting the challenges of less labor onsite due to social distancing. Onsite construction – before COVID-19 – was at best an “uncontrolled environment.” Construction technology can support a safer work environment by analyzing activities and anticipating required worker movements. We can adjust workflows to separate people or create workgroups and shifts to reduce risks.

Construction Monitor: One of the Most Valued Construction Technology Sources in the United States

Every week we compile big data on thousands of U.S. residential, commercial, and solar construction projects nationwide. You can use our information to

  • Follow sales leads
  • Identify competitors, newcomers, and top contractors
  • Make better bids
  • Track construction statistics

Get a free sample edition for your area and contact Construction Monitor us to learn ways construction technology can increase your business.

Using Big Data in Construction to Predict a Contractor’s Next Move

big data in construction

Without competitors, there would be no need for strategy. – Keniche Ohmae

There’s nothing wrong with watching “the big boys” of construction and learning from their successes. Mentorship can take you to a better place, business-wise, and faster than you imagined.

Your competitors are the same-size companies bidding on the same jobs as you. You need big data in construction for predicting their next moves. You can imitate other construction contractors (but never copy). Your honesty, integrity, and work ethics should make your business a standalone.

Big data in construction can give you the information edge to strategize business development.

Big Data in Construction

In 2014, you may not have known what “big data” meant. Big data is using statistics to gain business insight. Using big data in construction is one way to get ahead of the competition.

Many in the industry are just learning the ins and outs of big data in construction. Some immediately began using analytics and business intelligence (BI) to better manage project bids, finances, and opportunities. Cautious companies chose to “wait and see.”

Data analytics for real-time leads is now an affordable – and necessary – way for contracting companies of every size to thrive.

The construction industry’s big data advantage is “the ability…to compare (profitability, days outstanding of accounts receivable, cash flow, and other financial metrics) against similar-sized contractors,” says Constructor magazine.

Your competitors are usually local. But track the progress and moves made by other companies in similar demographics. What do they know you don’t? Find out. Then examine their strategies to see if they are workable for your reality.

Construction Monitor: So Much Big Data, So Little Time

Using historical data, you can predict costs. But convert dollars-then to dollars-now, as cash values rise and fall in predictable patterns. Meanwhile, if it seems as if the world is spinning at warp speed, it is. Don’t waste more time spinning your wheels.

Contact Construction Monitor to learn more about other contractors. Then use that big data for business development.

Using Big Data for Construction Business Development

Construction Business Development

You hear terms like “actionable insights,” “business intelligence,” and “tools” but they’re not talking about screwdrivers, IQ, or 5-year plans. Big data is a reality impacting every segment of the construction industry.

When it comes to construction business development and management, what you don’t know can hurt you.

Construction Business Development: Managing Information

Let’s talk about one large construction project.

  • The project involves approximately:
    • 130 million emails
    • 55 million documents
    • 12 million workflows
  • 13% of construction teams’ working hours are spent looking for project data/information
  • 95.5% of all data captured goes unused
  • 30% of engineering/construction companies use software apps that don’t integrate with one another

Building a Better Toolbox

The “right tools” are what you need to manage big data, and more importantly, increase business opportunities. For many years, some construction industry-related organizations simply avoided the issue. (They may be out of business by now.)

But what are the right tools?

Your first task is to admit your current data is all over the place. Gather the information you have from various employees’ hard drives, blueprints, log sheets, PDFs, cloud storage, and even Rolodexes (Yes, some still use them.) and “integrate” the data into one location.

‘We’re Looking for It…’

If you could harness the time spent by various teams “looking for” information, you’d be able to corral the next decade. Follow the leaders in the construction industry and switch to:

  • BIM (building information modeling)
    • Collaboration
    • Automated workflows between employees and stakeholders
    • Supplier collaboration for transactions
  • Connected jobsites
  • Equipment locators/tracking
  • Geolocators
  • Materials movements
  • Prefabrication methods
  • Tracking sensors
  • Virtual reality
  • Wearables

The Best Business-Building Tool for Construction Business Development

Analytics software for your business depends on the size of your organization and growth trends. But knowledgeable business development for the construction industry depends on Construction Monitor. We analyze between 8,000-12,000 new building permits every week.

“I hear people say there aren’t many jobs,” said one Construction Monitor representative, “And I then retrieve real-time, local construction business development information in minutes.”

The jobs are there. 

We’re not “just selling” construction business development information. We’re selling the support and business-building tools that go with it. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more about construction business development for your company.

Using Construction Data as a Home Builder

home builder

Today, construction data drives residential development.

That data is shared with creditors, backers, shareholders, and pretty much everyone inside and outside our industry. “There are powerful analytical tools now available to guide a residential construction company’s course,” said Jonathan Smoke, national research professional. “There’s opportunity at every level.”

How to Use Construction Data Tools

There are thousands of home builders with fewer than 50 employees. They use building permit information in several ways:

  • Begin with real-time leads – This tool presents building permits as they are entered even before they are published. Real-time. The construction data is raw, and small companies act quickly to align themselves with housing developers.
  • Learn from statisticsBasic statistics provide an overview of all construction. This is how you get an overview of what’s new in your corner of the world. Or the entire country, if you wish. You must specify:
    • Company type
    • Construction type
    • Area
    • County
    • Jurisdiction
    • Date range
  • Detailed statistics are more comprehensive – You can compare time periods to see detailed construction data indicators for growth. Click “update” to see building permits sorted into class and type. If there’s a hyperlinked word in this report, click it for even more detail.
  • Manage your website’s current photos and content – Once you follow-up on leads, your potential customers will want to know who you are. They want to see examples of your work. They should see your website, read its content, look at your examples and feel. They should feel as if your work will make their project better.

Understand Construction Data Tools: User Manual

Our user manual is full of details and how-tos that explain ways to use building permits tools’ construction data. But we don’t give you the manual, wish you good luck, then disappear.

Let our sales and support professionals answer any and all questions. Now or later. We have plenty of success stories and would like your company to be one of them.

Contact Construction Monitor today.

How to Use Building Permits in Your Solar Business

building permits

Green energy was getting an even greater foothold on our country earlier this year. The economy was stable, and we were amid one of the longest-running bull markets as of March 11, 2020. Property owners felt they had the financial security they needed to invest in something all of us feel passionately about; preservation of our planet through the use of solar and wind energy.

Residential solar development was hit hard by COID-19.

“We laid off…carpenters…installers, service technicians, HVAC installers,” said one energy company representative. The company has since hired everyone back.

There are hopes for a COVID-19 economic stimulus package for green energy. Congress has been asked to offer tax credits for 2020-2021 solar and wind energy installations.

Construction Class: ‘Solar’

You can use building permit information for up-to-the-day business development leads and marketing strategy.

Solar installations usually require up to 3 permits:

  1. Building
  2. Electrical
  3. Solar photovoltaic (PV)

There are various ways to use permit data for sales leads:

  • Area of country
    1. State
    2. County
    3. City/municipality
    4. Zipcode
    5. Address
  • Date range
  • Permit type/class (solar)
  • Types of applicants
    • Architects
    • Builders
    • Contractors
    • Developers/tenants
    • Owners

(As an example, Construction Monitor’s Powersearch for solar permits reveals 1-25 of more than 25 solar installation permit applications in Anchorage, Alaska.)

Using the most effective building permit database in the country is relatively easy. The hard part is putting the data to work.

In a perfect world, you’d have a sales development and marketing department that would pull, sort, and present the information you need to win business. You might even have a direct sales professional that is almost as knowledgeable as you.

In a small business setting, you’ll likely be the research and development department, marketing, and direct sales. After you’ve pulled your weekly update for building permits in your area, you’ve got to pick up the phone.

Visit subdivisions.

Print some flyers. (Mailing label-generation tools are available on the database, too.)

If you’re curious about how it works (It does work!) request a free, area-specific edition for current sales leads. You can search for residential or commercial permit information. Or you can select solar alternative energy permits. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.