Tag Archives: construction management

Contractor Must-Know: How to Handle Conflict During Construction

No matter how small or how big a project is, it is always prone to challenges. Oftentimes, major conflicts like claim disputes, arbitration, and litigation may even come up. These types of problems are not just time-consuming, they can be very costly too. The National Research Council estimates that $4B to $11B is spent annually in resolving these cases in the U.S. market.


And as a contractor, you often have to play the role of an unbiased outside party. You have to do whatever it takes to avoid these costly nightmares. To aid you in this, check out the following practices often upheld by Project Neutrals or Individual Dispute Review Boards.

1. Develop Trusting Relationships

You have to develop trust between all stakeholders of the project. If you’re building a home for a family, you have to consider each member’s needs, while also putting into account any homeowner, neighborhood, city, municipal, or state guidelines. In the case of people, when trust levels are high, there is less tendency for involved parties to be defensive. Conflict resolution is much easier if everyone is on the same page.

2. Be an Active Participant in the Project

In order to establish your role in a project, and to build trusting relationships among stakeholders, you shouldn’t just be a passive observant. Be an active participant! Make your significance clear. Make your presence felt. Assure them that you have their best interests in mind and that you have the capacity to make it happen. Let them see you do your stuff.

3. Communicate Clearly

Nothing spells a sure disaster more than unclear communication. We all know that construction projects can amass a lot of paperwork, documentation, permits, and so on. We have to ensure that the message of each document is crystal clear and cannot be interpreted vaguely. Not just in paperwork, you have to ensure that all modes of communication are clear. Be it text, email, calls, or in-person communication— it’s a must to deliver your instructions as clearly as possible.

4. Treat Everyone Fairly

Don’t just prioritize your client. You also have to be fair to your employees, contractors, drivers, business partners, suppliers, and so on. To avoid (and resolve) conflict, you have to make them feel that you are being fair to everyone who’s involved in the project.

5. Be a Resource Person

As the project manager or construction manager, you should be the nucleus or nerve center of knowledge. All parties concerned should be able to come to you and ask questions. Of course, it’s your job to have information ready at a moment’s notice. For this you have to maintain a stable timeline, have good reporting skills, and a firm grasp of the project’s status.

Construction can be a real pain in the behind, IF you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why it’s important to study best practices, learn from mistakes, and use whatever tools and resources you have at your disposal.

Automated Trackers believes in you! Happy building!

5 Tips to Become a Strong, Go-Getting Leader


Before we proceed with this article, take a minute to stop and think about where your construction company is right now. How many projects do you currently have on-going? How many permanent employees do you have? How much is the company earning and spending on a monthly basis? You get the picture.

Okay, now that you’ve done that. Let’s move on with how you can become a stronger go-getter who can lead your construction company to success. This important because as the leader of your construction firm, much of its direction and success has to originate from you.

But here’s the clincher, you can’t be successful at something if you’re not clear with what you want. So let’s cure that with these 5 tips on how you can get exactly what you want for your company.

1. Picture what success is going to look like

Start envisioning. Get it clear in your mind what it is that you really want for your business. How many projects do you want for this year? What would the implications be if you were to add more hires? Draft our your metrics for success. The more you clarify this, the easier it will be to achieve.

2. Write it down

Don’t just store these metrics in your head. Write them down. In fact, you can even share them with trusted advisors or key personnel. Getting it out of your head will result in accountability.

3. Gauge your current power and control

It’s always a good thing to remember just what it is that you already have power over. List down the specific areas that you can readily act on or control. Make an inventory of your current manpower and network. Review your finances. You can’t be a superhero if you don’t know what powers you have in your arsenal. Knowing this will often make it easier for you to plan out exactly how to achieve the goals you’ve set.

4. Tackle adversity head-on

If you really want to achieve your vision, you will immediately try to solve the problems and overcome the challenges. Avoiding is just procrastination, and it’s precious time that you’re wasting. Face the people who have opinions  that differ from yours and you’ll probably get some valuable insight from them. Define the obstacles that are blocking your way so you can effectively craft a solution ASAP.

5.Be persistent

You’ve set your vision. You’ve written down your goals. You’re ready to pounce on those obstacles. Now it’s time to be focused and persistent. Hold on to those dreams and don’t hold back. Be passionate about your goals. Think it, speak it, live it and breathe it. Your passion will surely trickle down to the team, once they see how dedicated you are.

If people know what your goals are, more often than not, they will more inclined to help you achieve them.

Oh and as a last note, please do your best to still fight fair and do honest business. One of your main goals should always be to provide the best service for your clientele. After all, you’re in the business of building not just houses, but also homes.

Click here to know more about how you can handle more construction projects as once.

Trend Alert: Let’s Talk Tiny Houses


What’s a Tiny House?

There’s a new trend that’s slowly taking the nation by storm and it’s all about tiny houses. And when we say tiny, we do mean really small and compact houses. All around the country, more and more people are trading in space for simplicity.

But first, let’s define what a tiny house is. Simply put, tiny houses or tiny homes refer to a small house that typically measures around 100 to 400 square feet. This is a stark contrast to the typical American home which is around 2600 square feet.

Tiny houses are also known as: micro houses, compact houses, mini houses, or little houses. Most of these structures feature an open floor plan for the first floor (living room, kitchen and bathroom), and usually, a bedroom or sleeping area up on a loft.

Small homes come in two kinds, the permanent standalone ones and the portable or movable ones on wheels. Obviously, the second type is inspired by RV living.

The typical demographic of tiny house owners are 1) young couples, 2) retirees-people over 50 years old, 3) college grads.

Buyer Motivations

While many people make tiny houses as their main residence, others purchase or build them in order to have: 1) a home office, 2) a guest suite, 3) a home for returning adult children, 4) a mobile home that will facilitate interstate travel.

Here are other reasons why buyers are going small:

  • Little to no debt (affordable)
  • Reduced carbon footprint, environmental reasons
  • Self sufficiency
  • Lower taxes
  • Fast build-time (2 months on average)
  • Lower cost for maintenance
  • Simpler lifestyle

The tiny house phenomenon is quickly catching on. According to studies, 68% of tiny house owners have no mortgage, compared to 29.3% of all U.S. homeowners. In addition, 78% of tiny house buyers completely own their home, compared to 65% of the owners of traditional houses.

People have even coined a term for the rising trend in smaller homes- they call it the Tiny House Movement.


Would you consider building tiny homes?

What about you, fellow builders? Would you consider adding tiny homes to your portfolio? They’re very easy to build and are attractive to various customer demographics.

It’s also a fun challenge in terms of design- managing good aesthetics with limited space and functionality. Is this feasible to your company as add-on side projects? If so, will you be able to juggle it efficiently with your major home projects?