Tag Archives: Construction Scheduling Software

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.

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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! 

Is Housing an important political issue? Most homebuyers don’t realize that it is.

A recent survey conducted last month by Redfin Real Estate Brokerage, showed that most homebuyers don’t see Housing as an important political issue for this year’s elections.


When asked about how a newly-elected president can affect the housing market, 75% of the respondents believed that the winner won’t affect the industry that much. 15% said that the next president can worsen the current housing market, while only 11% believed that out next leader can improve it.

For the average homebuyer, an individual’s decision to purchase a house is personal, not political. 29% of the survey respondents stated that their decision to buy was brought about by a major life event such as a wedding or having kids. The second most-cited reason for buying, according to the survey, was rent fluctuations- usually, the rent is becoming too high for most people.

Issues such as rent hikes, school quality, accessible city infrastructure, sufficient parking spaces, the availability of green spaces, urban planning and zoning, property taxes… all of these factors are unquestionably political. These are the most common considerations for people before purchasing a house, and we can’t deny that they are linked to good governance.

State and local races are therefore the concern of every citizen.

But what about for the national candidates? Well, housing accounts for roughly 18% of our nation’s economy. Taxpayers back most US home loans, whether directly or indirectly. The Federal Reserve sets monetary policy, which then in turn affects mortgage rates. The US Congress determines fiscal policy and therefore has the power to decide on issues about mortgage tax deductions and tax breaks. Furthermore, national environmental and safety laws can hugely affect how and where your house will be built.

According to Redfin Chief Economist, Nela Richardson, “Housing is seen by the government as an engine of wealth creation for the middle class. With income inequality a growing concern, housing still plays a crucial role in economic well-being for most families and that’s an issue worth voting for.”

In addition, our next president will also be forced to set a national housing agenda whether he wants to or not.

So in the end, your vote still does matter. As homeowners, builders, and contractors, we all have a stake in this. As informed industry professionals, let us do our part in reminding the public about how every vote truly counts.


To know more about how builders and contractors can efficiently address stringent project management requirements, let us introduce you to SAM. 

2016 Tech Trends for the Construction Industry

Today we’re listing down some of the hottest construction industry trends that we foresee will be more prevalent in 2016. Keep an eye out because it could be time for you to incorporate them now into your business.


Inspection Drones

Drones have been the hot-topic of 2015. Everyday consumers may be getting most of the fun, but businesses are using it too. From movie-making to extreme sports and even to wedding photography, these flying cameras have proven that they can be useful in getting valuable perspectives. The same is true for construction. A drone can be very handy for jobsite inspections, especially for areas that are harder to reach on foot. Think bridge undersides, unfinished floors, roofs, and so on. It’s also pretty cool to use for your company’s marketing and documentation pursuits.

Wearable Technology

We all know the hazards involved in a construction site. And with the advent of wearable tech that can monitor a person’s vital signs, you can expect construction companies to assimilate these health-tech with worker safety. A smart watch may alert health personnel if a person’s blood sugar has dropped or if someone’s heartbeat is going dangerously fast. This way, workers in remote locations can easily ask for and receive first aid assistance.

More and More Automation for Construction Sites

Constructions in 2016 will surely be marked by high automation and high quality. Every year, we see more and more of those modular construction projects that take a fraction of time to build compared to typical builds. 3D printing is also poised to create a bigger impact in the manufacturing of materials.

Cloud Adoption

While some businesses have long been harnessing the benefits of cloud computing, some are still yet to follow. This year, we’ll probably see more and more companies adopting cloud storage and cloud strategies. For the construction industry, the cloud offers process streamlining, stakeholder accountability and critical mobile access.

Stringent Tech Security

Hacking, viruses, malware, these are threats to any kind of business. As we become more tech-savvy and tech-reliant in 2016, companies are now becoming more aware of the risks that comes with network and security vulnerabilities. It’s a must to protect our proprietary data, financial info, and client credentials. Even blueprints and plans need to be safeguarded whether you’re on physical or cloud storage.

Planning and Management Software Become More Important

Mobile (remote) collaboration and automated project status reporting will continue to be a necessity for construction companies. And because of this, project management software and scheduling applications will continue to be in demand this year. As clients become more impatient, they want projects done fast and demand for instant information.

What about you? What do you expect to see more of this year? Do you have any new tech adoptions or breakthrough discoveries to share with us?

If you’re interested in knowing more about Automated Trackers’ patented project management and scheduling tool, click here to get a free online demonstration. 

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.