Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal, the SpaceX project, and the promising new Tesla Motor Company, is the kind of entrepreneur you want to have in your neighborhood. He is the Bill Gates of his generation, creating good, high-paying jobs that will likely last for years.
Not so long ago basements were merely utility space, but those days are gone. Two projects presented in the September edition of Custom Builder include basements that figure prominently in their respective plans.
There’s a lot of testosterone on the jobsite. And there’s always plenty of stress. This can be an explosive combination.
Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and countless other destructive weather events cost billions of dollars in damage in North America every year. Specifically, storm damage accounted for more than $110 billion in 2012 alone. These storms leave devastating footprints that take communities years to recover.
Three stories jolted me in quick succession last week.
A good predictor tool for rework and cost impact on a construction project is the Field Rework Index (FRI). Take a past project on which you have good data on rework, waste and costs. Then cast your mind back to the design and construction stages of that project and then score each of the question listed below from 1-5, with 1 being the best rating. You can also do this evaluation as a team. See if this score is giving an accurate estimate of rework and cost impact based on your hard data on that past project.
This 2,800-square-foot plan utilizes Lean design to combat narrow-lot woes.
In the fall of 1998, I attended my first Benchmark Conference as a new senior editor on Professional Builder magazine. What struck me about the gathering was the camaraderie among industry competitors. It was a large group, about 300 attendees, and yet it felt like a small reunion of old friends. And, as our columnist Scott Sedam told me when I met him there, not only was it a reunion of old friends, but it was also a continuation of the same conversation—how to sell more, build better, build faster and drop more money to the bottom line.
As we continue to distance ourselves from an economic downturn that had a deep impact on the remodeling industry, one key variable is still evolving at a brisk pace and that is the introduction of new products to the remodeling industry. Rarely a day goes by without a new product announcement landing in an email in box of the Professional Remodeler editorial staff. Of course, the pace picks up in the days and weeks prior to the industry’s major trade shows when dozens of new products are unveiled.
We were winning by several touchdowns when I got the nod. “Just hand the ball off, stay in bounds, & keep the clock running...”
Benchmarking is a technique in which a company measures its performance against that of best in class companies, determines how those companies achieved their performance levels and uses the information to improve its own performance. Subjects that can be benchmarked include strategies, operations and processes. (ASQ) There are two forms of benchmarking: Performance: analysis of relative business performance through key performance metrics. Process/Functional: analysis of key processes and functions. The process for benchmarking is:
Imagine you are in a cement box quickly filling up with water. The box is sealed on all sides, yet you still find a way out and survive. How? I will get back to that one. This week we have a plan that works to solve the riddles presented by today’s buyers. Let’s take a closer look:
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit a group of homes that were featured in Chicago’s first GreenBuilt Home Tour. Sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council-Illinois Chapter, the tour included 16 sites that are third-party certified, including the area’s first Passive House, DOE Challenge Homes, LEED-certified homes, and National Green Building Standard-certified homes.
Remodeling and custom home building are similar in that both are ‘high touch’ relationships. Not to say that production home building is not high touch; but there is a gap. People who build one-of-a-kind custom houses expect a lot of your time when they commission you to design and/or build their next home. Nobody wants to feel like they are ‘owned’ for any period of time, but if you were somehow able to crawl into the mindset of most clients, they feel like they ‘own’ a good portion of your time during the building process.