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Deck projects can expand to include a wide range of applications, such as light-commercial projects at restaurants or hotels as well as a variety of marina and dock projects near waterways. The possibilities can be seen in a recent dock project completed by Innovative Marine Solutions Inc. (IMS), of Breiningsville, Pa.
Here are some tips for running a successful Roundtable event. 1.      Ensure you email those attending in advance so that they know the number of tables, which topics are being discussed at which and the order/timing of each of the topic sessions. This will allow those attending to carefully select the topics that most interest them and most importantly, to think about the topics and make notes on questions/issues they want to raise.
Above: Squash blocks installed to support load from above. Right: Load from above without squash blocks or blocking panels caused this web to buckle. Blocking panels should have also been used to provide lateral support to the joist ends.  
One of my “guilty pleasures” – you know, things that you should be embarrassed to admit you love – is the John Travolta movie, The Phenomenon. It is a sweet and sappy but scientifically intriguing yarn about an auto mechanic who has no idea why but suddenly finds incredible brain power that first astounds, and then frightens the local townsfolk. Robert Duvall, playing the country doctor, tends to Travolta as overzealous government agents try to steal him, while his girlfriend Lace tries to comfort him.
  Now that the U.S. Department of Energy’s new residential water heater regulations are in effect, it’s important to understand the new challenges builders and remodelers may be facing. The U.S. Department of Energy announced the regulations in 2010, which requires all units to comply with higher energy-efficiency standards.
Here is a structure that you can provide to your trades to help them think about Cost of Quality in their business. Cost of Quality is 3% of revenue, what is that in your company in $ For most companies the breakdown or profile of Cost of Quality is: Failure Costs 70% Appraisal Costs (Audits) 25% Prevention Costs 5% (increasing THIS will reduce failure costs) What is your profile?
For those of you that have projects with regulatory agency permits, it is imperative that you respect the Birds’ Breeding Season. If you think you know when birds’ breeding season starts, think again! First of all, there are both nesting and breeding seasons. These critical birds’ reproduction seasons actually depend on the species and climate.
It began simply. The laundry washer breaks down and a repair company is called to fix it. Quite simple.
If properly applied, top-quality exterior paint should last for up to 15 to 20 years. March marks the start of spring, a time when homeowners look to increase curb appeal and repair any damage done to the exterior of their homes from winter weather. Whether installing new products such as windows and doors or repairing damaged items – you’ll likely need paint. Stay up to date on the latest options in exterior paint to help educate and guide your customers this spring.  
Spring is here, and work is picking up as the weather warms. The Home Depot is kicking off the spring season with its first quarterly Pro Appreciation Event of 2015, including seven days of exclusive savings on tools from well-known brands like DeWalt, Makita and Milwaukee. The event runs from March 23–29 and includes an in-store appreciation day in all U.S. stores on March 26 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
With warm weather approaching, upgrades and enhancements to outdoor spaces are top of mind, especially considering that 85 percent of single-family homes in the United States include a porch, deck or some kind of outdoor living area, according to USA Today. Whether working on a porch or deck – you’ll need lumber. It’s important to study up on the pros, cons, and latest options in wood versus composite lumber to help educate and guide your customers.  
We all know we do a great job, while we all can improve our business it’s just minor stuff, things are just great. But so often we are unaware of what is really going on and how much needs to be improved. Here is the 'gorilla video', when you play it tell everyone to hold comments until you are done. Ask them to count how many times the ball was passed between the players wearing white shirts, tell them you will have questions afterward. After you play the video ask a question such as, how many passes did they make, who was the best? DON’T ask about the gorilla.
Tools and technologies are introduced every day that can help you do your job more efficiently. From new inventions to subtle enhancements, here are several innovative products that will help you save time and money.   Upgrade
The key barriers to Implementing Lean Construction have been listed in a UK Construction Industry study. These provide great insights to ensure that your lean implementation is successful. All of the barriers in this report can be overcome; it is all about planning, laying the groundwork and having top leadership support. The study found the most significant barriers were……….. 1 Lack of adequate lean awareness and understanding 2 Lack of top management commitment 3 Cultural & human attitudinal issues
A new book out called ‘The Elements of Building: A Business Handbook for Residential Builders and Tradesmen’ by Mark Kerson is a valuable read. If you are thinking of starting up a homebuilding or trade business, have a relatively new business, want to develop your staff or just have a resource book on hand this is a great book to have.
  Many winterization jobs are simple enough to add into your scope without adding substantial time or cost to ongoing jobs, and a few simple upgrades to your toolbox can help you knock it out even more quickly and effectively.
Firefighting is a well-known management term for, well running around like a headless chicken doing work that is actually not productive or profit making. Some people take great pride in being the firefighter as it is also the role given to the person that is the best ‘get it done’ problem solver in the company. However, the fires themselves are nothing to be proud off. They are the result of problems in the system and management of the company and they never go away. They get knocked off one by one and another arises.
The NHQA Application is available for download at this link http://www.probuilder.com/NHQAapp For Questions on the application, please contact Serge Ogranovitch, NHQ Award Director at Serge@Potomack.net  or by cell phone at 703 980 6565
Engineered to provide strength and consistency, Weyerhaeuser’s Trus Joist® TJI® joists are one of the most fundamental components of a solid, high-performance floor system. And with their light weight and long lengths, TJI joists are faster and easier to install than traditional framing, which can save time and money.

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