The Best Way to Build a New Building

dbchart_whiteDo you know the best way to build a new building?  We do!!  Most people call it design build.  Being new to the construction experience, you might wonder what is that.  It is where you choose a an architect or a general contractor to create what you want and work with those whom you have chosen.  Instead of putting the project out for bid.  Design build is typically a faster process and you are more likely to get the building you need and want.

How do you start?  Choose an Architect or a General Contractor that you feel is best suited for your building and your needs.  Do you trust them, are they reliable, how is their reputation, do they have an actual office, and so on.  Some choose an architect or contractor whose jobsite signs are more prevalent.   Some choose them from referrals from friends, family, or associates.  One way to look into an architect or  contractor is to look at their website.  You can tell a lot about a company from their website.  Do they show detailed pictures, do they have more than one page, do they update it often, and so on.  The next is a big one, check their affiliations, such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Builders Association.  Check their Better Business Bureau rating, reputation.  Next, how big is the company, do they have one employee or a dozen? The larger the company tends to distance itself from the more personable experience for the client.  Smaller companies can not do what some larger companies can, like 5 million plus projects.  You have to choose this decision usually on your own.  Newer architectural firms rely more on newer technology and 3d design and conceptualization.  Do you need that?  You will most likely pay for these additional features they offer, same goes with a general contractor.  It’s common business sense, the more they offer, typically the higher the overhead which they will make up on cost or quantity.cropped-Hard_Hat1.png

Most people do not realize the cost of the project rates the architects fee.  The higher the cost the more they make, which is fair.  However, going the Design Build approach, your contractor helps you cut costs where you don’t need them and lets you know where you might want to spend more for durability and so on.  Architects know designing buildings very well. However there are things that get missed and installed on buildings all the time, that didn’t need to be.  All in all this just costs the clients more money.  Things like the architect spec’s a certain type of lighting from a non typical brand and the light requires specialty bulbs that you cannot buy without special ordering.  Would you want a light bulb that is easy to replace or one you have to call a electrician everytime. The ceiling grid is speced with revealed edge tile.  It looks nice, however do you want it, because it costs more.  The architect specs a specific door hardware that require mortise locksets.  Which means the doors have to be specially prepped and the lockset is usually about double vs a regular lockset.  They have special features, but do you need them?

th5xal9b1sA lot of building and business owners do not understand this approach of design build.  Instead of taking the time into putting the project out for bid for the one lowest bidder.  You spend more time with one contractor designing the building how you want it and can afford.  The contractor will usually be upfront with their markup.  Usually it is around 7 to 12 percent of the project.  It usually depends on the size of the project.  The lower the percentage for the larger the project.  Some contractors will advertise or show they are bidding at 5% or lower on projects under 1 million dollars.  DO NOT BELIEVE IT!!  They are marking up other trades on their bid to get their margin, it’s a slight of hand trick.   It is not as straight forward as a bid, we at Friga Construction Co give our clients.  Once we get the contract that the client chooses us to build the project, we show them a detailed breakdown of costs.  Then at the bottom we show our percentage.  So if the client wants to do the painting we will take off the painting and they will save also from our margin.  We are not always the least expensive General Contractor out there, however we choose to build quality not quantity.  If you are looking to build a Commercial building or do some commercial remodeling to an existing building, check us out and give Eric Friga a call today @417-887-7134.

99 Problems but a New Building Should Not Be One

A business owner has at least 99 problems, but building a new building should not be one.  I mean if you build a new building, it should last for a long-time and be fairly trouble-free.  However, if you just go by low-cost numbers then there could be potential problems down the line.  There are certain things people can do to save money upfront, but they can create issues overtime.  If there are issues for potential long-term issues we try to point them out or adjust the building design, so there is no issues later on.  To us, the building stands like our reputation, if it fell apart, that would look very bad on us.  So we try to anticipate future issues. We let our clients know of long-term and short-term savings they can achieve with their new building without causing potential problems later on.

LOCATION.  Location helps with the value of the building.  You wouldn’t want to build this new building in a bad part of town or in a high crime area.  It also helps stand you apart from the others.   If the location is not that great then you will most likely you will have to spend more on advertising to attract business.  Of course most business owners would prefer prime real estate, however you will have to do your due diligence on what the increase of revenue would bring.  A million dollar lot would be prime, but is the area the lot is located in your target audience?  If you are looking for commercial properties check out Ron Stenger, Murney & Associates, Bill Beal, or the Plaza Realty.

Design build is the way to go.  By choosing a contractor then an architect, the contractor can help you through the process and provide valuable information.  Such as ways to save money upfront, but also can give recommendations of helpful design details that can prevent issues further on down the road.  Issues like, ways to prevent oil canning on metal wall panels, ways to prevent future water leak issues, minimizing maintenance of equipment, and so on.  If you are building multiple locations, efficiency is the key in your building, setup, workstations, offices, or other.  Figure out what you need for efficiency and what you can be adaptable to.  I’m not saying build your building like all of the others.  You should have a design that is unique and appealing not just utilitarian.  Working with a contractor will give you insight in where you might be able to save some money.  Also where you might spend more up front, so you can save more later on.

Energy efficiency is the way to be, use LED’s vs CFL.  LEDs usually mean fewer changes in bulbs and are more efficient.  They do cost more upfront usually, but they pay off long-term.  Try to pick out light fixtures that require less maintenance and less special order light bulbs.  Some light fixtures require certain styles  of bulbs that are special order, even at supply houses like Harry Cooper Supply.  Unless you stock those bulbs, you will have to order one every time one goes out.  If you have multiple locations that just turns out to be a headache that is not needed.  A more efficient HVAC unit is ideal, half of the time, personnel turn the thermostat to 65 degrees in the summer and 75 in the winter.   Needless to say unless you lock the thermostat, a more efficient system will help you in the long run.  You can also choose different types of glass and tinting, depending on your building.  A tinted exterior glass can help lower the utility bills.  There are several “Green” types of products that also have commercial applications and they can make your building more efficient and environmentally friendly.  Go with solar panels, to help with offsetting high usage equipment or use it for night-time lighting.  There are many features building owners can choose that are durable and help save money later on.

Building smart is better in the long-term versus doing things just to save money.  Cutting costs in construction can impact the long-term cost of the building.  I know there are buildings locally that were built within 10 years ago and they are already replacing windows, doors, and flooring.  Partly because they built the buildings with cheaper materials and they do not last as long.   It’s no different than if you bought something at Bass Pro Shops  or O’Reilly’s.  It will cost more upfront however, it will most likely last longer than if you bought the same thing at Wal-Mart.  Most people do not think about the future issues, they just look at cost.  Cost is important, however, building smart is the best way and the way to save money down the road.  So when you are ready to build, look no further than Friga Construction.  We have been building for over 30 years, give us a call @417-887-7134 or check us out online www.frigainc.com.  Friga Construction ” where your visions become reality.”