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How to Avoid Risks in Home Renovation Projects

Automated Trackers - SAM - Construction Management and Scheduling Software

Home renovations are one of the biggest revenue-earners for builders in the US. However, if we look at it from the perspective of a client, few undertakings are as expensive or as stressful. In short, a positive cash-earner can easily turn into your biggest nightmare.Home renovations are construction projects that are governed by complicated contracts and complex relationships.

As a contractor and builder, you are responsible for coordinating the work of dozens of subcontractors, suppliers, and laborers. At times, the services of architects, engineers, interior designers and other consultants will also have to be coordinated seamlessly. For a home renovation project to turn into a success, so many things have to go right. And it also goes without saying that all types of risk need to be managed and limited. So today, we’re listing down some tips on how you can mitigate the risks involved in home renovation projects.

1. Understand the Types of Risks Involved

The first and most common type of risk that you have to watch out for is Financial Risk. This type of risk involves going over-budget or being pressed to do so much with a very limited budget. Take note that budget overruns are often brought about by poor planning, improper coordination, and inaccurate pricing.  So what’s the end result when you fail in budget planning? For one thing, you will have endless arguments with the client, you may have to cut corners, or worse, you will have to shell out money from your own pocket just to deliver what has been promised.

In addition to budget risks, there are also risks when it comes to time and scheduling. This involves over-promising and under-delivering. Home renovations often have a limited time frame. In fact, it’s often rushed! Scheduling problems are brought about by poor coordination. The thing with scheduling problems is that it literally costs money. This might delay payments from the client and at the same time, steal valuable time that you may have otherwise spent on other, more lucrative, work. Remember, as the contractor and builder, cost control and proper scheduling should be part of your core skills.

2. Assemble a Killer Construction Team

You can assess the prowess and experience of a leader by analyzing the type of team that he or she assembles. When doing home renovation projects, it’s essential to create the right mix of experience, size and value. Every project has its unique requirements and specific obstacles (budget, design, existing architecture, client preferences etc.) so you really have to allot some serious thought process into creating the best team for each job. Assess whether or not you have the necessary manpower and equipment for each task. If not, figure out to whom you should outsource what you lack.

Automated Trackers - SAM - Construction Management and Scheduling Software

3. Define Your Build Strategy

The construction industry is highly fragmented and as a builder, you have to seamlessly integrate both the product sellers and the service providers. You also have to clearly set a timeline for every single task that will be done for a renovation. From consultation meetings to purchase dates, follow-ups to specific build milestones, all of these have to be laid out even before the project officially begins. Don’t forget to take into consideration, the specific characteristics and living arrangements of your client. (Will you have the entire place all to yourselves or does the renovation involve just isolating a certain part of the house?)

4. Be Professional in Monitoring the Construction Process

This is where you really have to dive into the details. Are the workers up to par with your standards? Is excellent craftsmanship being implemented? Are you compliant with all permits and regulations? Is the budget on track? Are all parties involved being updated with the status of the build? Maybe it’s time to go digital and use a construction scheduling software such as SAM – The Superintendent’s Automated Manager? Paper calendars and lists can only go so far. If you’re handling several builds at a time, you need to amp it up with the right technology. Click here to know more about SAM and how it helps builders in managing several projects at a single time.

Remember that as your business grows, your projects will get more and more complicated. But there lies the excitement of being a builder. So whether it’s a home renovation or a build from scratch project, you need to be on your toes and work your very best. After all, you’re building not just houses, but actual homes. 

6 Benefits of Building Modular Homes

Another building trend that has caught up in the past few years is Modular Homes. But before anything else, let’s do a quick review of what a modular building is. Modular buildings comprise of individual sections, called “modules” which are fited together in a pre-planned order. Think of them like modern lego pieces that snap into place. These modules are fabricated off-site in a manufacturing plant, built according to the exact specifications in which they will be assembled. Once the modules are ready, they are individually transported to the construction site, and then fitted together step by step.


So why would you consider adding modular buildings in your portfolio? Here are a few benefits to consider:

1. Speed

Constructing modular buildings can actually reduce your “time to occupancy” by as much as 50%. The build process is much faster because the off-site fabrication of modules can be done simultaneously with the onsite excavation, foundation installation, and any other site infrastructure setup. Usually, upon delivery of the modules, they are immediately set on the foundation and seamed together with ease.

2. Resource and Energy Efficiency

Builders of modular units swear that this method is a lot more resource efficient compared to traditional construction. It reduces energy consumption during the building process itself (up to 67%) and at the same time, also reduces energy costs for its occupants. Modular homes are also known to be eco-friendly: usually incorporating solar panels, geothermal systems (instead of traditional HVAC systems) and so on.

There are even varieties of modular homes that can be disassembled and then transplanted into a new location. There’s also no such thing as demolitions when it comes to modular homes, they are simply dismantled and reassembled according to the liking of the new owners. Talk about going green!

3. Tax Benefits

Loans taken to build or buy modular homes are often tax deductible. Even modular building purchases made without loans are tax deductible. In addition to this, when building a modular home, if you install solar panels, solar water heaters, wind turbines or geothermal systems, you can write off 30 percent of the cost of each of these systems in your taxes.

4. Durability

When done right, modular buildings can be more durable than a conventional construction build. Screws are used instead of nails, and joints are reinforced with a special glue to maintain structural integrity during transport and after set-up. In addition to this, 20% more lumbar is used in the construction of a typical modular home, which adds to its stability. And to add to that, modular wall panels are often built with durable materials that require little maintenance apart from occasional surface cleaning. Unlike with typical walls, repainting and repairs are often not needed.

5. Flexibility

Conventional buildings can be difficult to extend. Modular homes on the other hand are easier to modify. Need an additional room? Want to extend the kids’ room? In dire need of a new workshop? With modular home construction, this can be done faster and in a much cheaper way.

Automated Trackers, SAM, Construction Scheduling Software, Builder Project Management

6. Healthier Build

Since most of the pre-fabrication process happens indoors in a climate-controlled environment, your men’s work is no longer affected by weather changes. This also means less problems with mold, mildew and on-site dust. Ergo, less respiratory problems. It’s also good for the environment since you are not contributing to outdoor trash and air pollution.

In the end, our goal remains the same- to provide great homes for our clients. What do you think? Are you ready to explore the concept of modular homes?

Here’s something to explore too! Regardless of what type of build you’re doing, whether it’s modular or traditional construction, project management will always be a big challenge, especially if you’re juggling several projects at once. To aid you in streamlining your build process, and to ensure that all deadlines are met (or even exceeded), we’re inviting you to try out SAM- the Superintendent’s Automated Manager. SAM is the scheduling software of choice by some of the country’s top builders and contractors today.

Click here to know more about how SAM can aid you in better project management.

You can even try it out for free! 

According to Building Professionals, Indoor Mobile Systems Increase Property Value

Did you know that there are roughly about 2 billion smartphone users in the world today? It just proves to show how much this technology has infiltrated our daily lives. The problem is that going indoors often affects our mobile signal. The result? Slower bandwidth. Slower internet. Stressed individuals.

It is therefore critical that residents, visitors and workers have access to strong and reliable network coverage even when they are indoors or inside buildings. Despite this high demand for seamless mobile usage and cellular coverage, only an estimated two percent of commercial buildings have dedicated technology to ensure strong and reliable mobile coverage and capacity indoors. Are you a part of this 2%?

Automated Trackers, SAM, Construction Scheduling Software, Builder Project Management

An Untapped Business Opportunity?

There is a high consumer need and it could be an untapped business opportunity.

CommScope recently had a survey of construction professionals including architects, building managers, facilities managers, and real estate managers. When it comes to the benefits of connectivity, the surveyed professionals asserted that indoor wireless coverage could increase a property’s value by 28% on average. This means that a $2.5M office structure could be worth $700,000 more with a dedicated indoor cellular system.

The respondents also stated that other benefits include a 77% increase in workforce productivity, a 39% increase in visitors, and an employee consensus that indoor wireless connectivity is considered an office “essential”.

Dr. Ispran Kandasamy, Global Leader, Building Solutions, CommScope, believes building professionals should take greater responsibility.

“People are obsessed with their mobile phones and see indoor wireless coverage as important as having access to water and electricity,” said Kandasamy. “The time has come for building professionals to step forward and take ownership for connecting their tenants to mobile networks.”

The question now for home builders is this, how are you addressing this pressing need? Are your employees comfortable with the wireless mobile network signal in your offices? Are they performing at their best possible state?

And more importantly, how will you be able to incorporate this knowledge in your next home projects? Should you find a way to ensure flawless connectivity, how can you earn more from this premium benefit?

Be Mobile and Collaborate Wherever You Are

Speaking of the importance of mobility, is your construction team still bounded by geography and office walls? Wouldn’t it be great to collaborate with your entire team no matter where you are? Well, you can do so with SAM- The Superintendent’s Automated Manager. SAM is the project management tool of choice by today’s top builders. With SAM, you can update your task lists and sync your build schedules in just a few clicks. Builders have long been using SAM to coordinate tasks and juggle up to 10 projects at once.

Click here for more information about this automated construction project scheduler.