Category: White Paper

Forecasting with Confidence

Forecasting feeds the lifeline of the financial health of a company,” he says. “If owners and CEOs want to prevent profit fade during construction projects, they must equip project managers with sophisticated software tools that allow the managers to project costs accurately.

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 in scope, time, and cost. These terms often cannot be agreed upon and contractors feel coerced into signing the document. Consider not signing the change order. Origination […]

Conversion of Inches to Feet (in decimals)

Download PDF Imperial vs. metric: Length in the United States is still primarily measured using inches and feet – inches add up to feet add up to yards add up to miles. These are called Imperial units. The vastly more common way on the planet of measuring distance is by using the metric […]

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 and presented by Adrian & Adrian in Total Productivity and Quality Management for Construction. This is also discussed in many other publications. Why and when […]

Anticipate Non-Obvious Movement to Prevent Serious Injury

Executive Summary: There exist thousands of hazards on a construction site. Some are obvious, some require more intimate knowledge of the industry and its equipment. Below are some of the non-obvious, learned hazards. A bed and other leaning things. Not your mattress, but a truck bed in its upright and […]

In Choosing a Software – Best Advice is to Talk to a Friend

Executive Summary: There exists construction software to do nearly all functions in your construction company. Your best source of software advice: your friends in the industry. I’m drowning in choices. There exists software to “help” your construction company in many functions: Estimating Takeoff – two and three dimensional Accounting Job […]

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 Contractor and the A401 for General Contractor-Subcontractor were both reissued in 2017. See some of the substantive changes here. What are the changes? I recently […]

The “All Zeroes One” Code Prevents Lost A/P Invoices

Executive Summary: A key component of job cost reporting is accurate posting of accounts payable (A/P). The time between receiving the invoice in the mail and posting it to your job cost reports can be fatal to a job, or a company. The answer is to not let the invoice out of the […]

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 expensive and quicker) ways of getting paid. *I’m not a lawyer, so please make sure to consult with your attorney on any of your legal […]

The Importance of Construction Cost Estimating for Civil Engineers

In episode 066 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, Anthony Fasano talks with Scott Jennings, P.E. principal of SJ Construction Consulting, LLC about the importance of cost estimating for civil engineers. Here are some of the questions asked of Scott: Can you walk us through the process of putting together a construction […]

Make Claim Preparedness the Standard, not the Exception

Executive Summary: More and more construction jobs year after year go to litigation – or at least go “legal” as I say, by requiring the services of a lawyer. Don’t make preparing for a claim a monstrous duty towards the end of the job, prepare as you go with good […]

Invoice Your Clients Clearly and by the Rules to get Paid Quickly

Executive Summary: Invoices get paid untimely for numerous reasons. The reason for slow payment should never be because of you – the party billing. Keep billing simple and in accordance with the payer’s guidelines to get paid quicker. What is an invoice? An invoice is a document generated by you […]

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 often are quantitative. Some typical covenants are listed here. What sort of loan? In the construction industry, there’s all sorts of loans: line of credit, […]

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 persistence. Change is tough. We’re in the construction business and many of you reading this are doing it as a professional in America. Change for […]

Including the Portion of Corporate Overhead in a Bid

Executive Summary:  Determining how to account for the portion of corporate overhead to be included in a bid is a calculation that every company makes a bit differently.  Learn the definition of corporate overhead and how it is included in a bid. What is corporate overhead? Corporate overhead is the cost […]

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 technical ability. General: As a contractor, you need the following professional services on a regular basis: Legal Banking Accounting Insurance Engineering Some construction companies may […]

Balance Sheet – Knowing the Basics of Assets

Executive Summary: Knowing the basics of accounting is essential in business. Knowing the balance sheet will help you assess your own financial health as well as that of your clients or subcontractors. Here are some basics on the balance sheet and, specifically, the assets section. Just the basics. I entered as […]

Bid Unbalancing – How It’s Done To Increase Profit

Executive Summary: Contractors unbalance unit prices in their bids to take advantage of anticipated quantity overruns and underruns. An intelligent unbalancing of the unit prices can result in higher profits. Of course, that’s the contractors’ goal. Review the example provided to see how it’s done. The bid proposal. Let’s look […]

Determining Equipment Rates in Estimating

Executive Summary:  Equipment cost within an estimate is one of the most common areas to make large scale adjustments in a bid’s price. It is also a large component of a heavy/civil construction company’s bid and balance sheet. Because of these reasons, it is vital to know what your fleet […]

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 on simplicity and basic math to check your work. The Message: I travel the country frequently helping contractors. I help clients one-on-one in dirty old […]

Calculation of Workers’ Compensation (WC), General Liability (GL) & Bond in your Estimates

Executive Summary: Many estimators do not understand how workers’ compensation, general liability, and bond costs are calculated. This article discusses these calculations and how to properly include them in your bid. Workers’ Compensation (WC): Most contractors understand the reason for WC – the reason for WC is to provide wages and medical benefits to […]

Contractor Wins Acceleration Impact Cost and the Incentive Payment

Contractor Wins Acceleration Impact Cost AND the Incentive Payment (1995)1 Executive Summary: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) awarded a time sensitive bridge rehabilitation project to a contractor and, within the contract, provided a large daily incentive payment for early completion. PennDOT delayed the project and refused to pay the acceleration […]

Wages and Hours of Employees on Public Works

Wages and Hours of Employees on Public Works Chapter 104, HRS Presented by: Pamela Martin, DLIR, Wages Division, September 27, 2016 Click here to read the full PDF article. Executive Summary: We present the highlights of a presentation by the State of Hawaii’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), Wage […]

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 getting the project designed, bid, and awarded in a tight timeframe. The State of Hawaii was challenged with losing funds if the job could not […]