Who’s the Boss?

Who’s the boss of your project?  I mean do you want to run it or pay someone who knows how?  There are some people who might think being their own general contractor will be cheaper and fairly like-a-boss-duckeasy.  As a General Contractor , we have found that being in charge of construction projects are not necessarily easy.  Just thinking, all you have to do is call the subcontractors and make sure they show up is a recipe for issues.  Just because we make the project go smoothly or look easy, doesn’t mean it is.  There is a lot of issues with a construction project that most people don’t know about. Regardless if it is a commercial or residential project all construction projects have their own skill level required to run them.

You have your location & know what you want.  First you get an Architect,  you tell them what you want.  They design it accordingly to your requirements & city codes & regulations.  Second they send it off to the city for review.  The city plan reviewers, look over it & might pass it or require more to meet the regulations.  Next, you get your plans, you notice certain things in it that you do not want or need.  You might decide to build it like you want regardless of the drawing.  However, you do that then you must get an addendum from the Architect for each change or the building inspectors will fail it.  Regardless, you decide that you can save money being your own contractor, so you move into the next phase

It’s easy until you get started.  The moment the first nail or stake gets driven, the project becomes its own project. Do not think this is a side project or weekend project, because that will result in issues at the beginning.  The excavator has grade issues with the city streets, the plans are not correct to the actual layout.  So you have to work the issues out , then you move on a week or two later.  The soil engineer has issues with compaction, they will require pad stabilization, you have to work out that issue.  The pad is ready, here comes the plumber and electrician with a new set of issues.  The way the plans are versus the way the sewer, water. & gas are, are sometimes different.  Everyday there are a new set of problems you face with your project.  Being a General Contractor in business over 40 years we still deal with issues with inspections.   Sometimes it seems every new project, the inspectors are always coming up with something new or different just to keep you on your toes.  rules-construction-stupid-demotivational-poster-1211578574

You finally get the steel or wood framing done and next comes the drywall and no issues so far.  If there were problems they are gone now…& so you may think.  2d85fba232cce78afa1bb2e17d9f924dDoes everything meet ADA standards & do they meet occupational code standards.  The inspectors have not said anything about this so far, so why worry?  They will bring it up if it is an issue, regardless if they haven’t told you it may be an issue, you may or may not get the same inspector for the whole project.  Next step is usually correcting the last step if not done right, that could mean redoing finished work.  Next up the paint goes on, the trim work, & misc finish work goes on.  Time for the final inspection, the occupancy inspection.  It’s the most critical one.  Do I have the right signage, the ADA compliance, the labeling on the electrical panel, fire suppression, & so on?    Being a General Contractor is not for the faint of heart, it’s harder than it looks.  All the time this project is going on, you will have to constantly check and call the “subs” to make sure they are showing up and doing what is required.   More often than not, after a client chooses to be their own General Contractor the next time they have a project, they find a General Contractor that is affordable & knows what they’re doing, like Friga Construction Co.

Dealing with the city governments or counties can be a major issue in itself.  After being in business for over 40 years we still have issues with inspectors and plan reviewers requiring new requirements on projects.  Each inspector has his or her interpretation of the codes & how the building is being built.  Regardless the mood the inspector is in, you would hope they would work with you to get your new business or business expansion open.  I recently talked to a Springfield city council member about the building department and its deficiencies as far as its lack in efficiencies &  he said “we are working on it one step at a time.”  I guess that’s progress in city terms.  IF you have a project that needs to be built, don’t leave it to yourself to figure out, call Friga Construction Co. @ 417-887-7134.  We offer less pain and more gain in your next building project.

Is your Deck up to Spec?

75Have you wondered if your deck is up to spec?  Does it meet the current building codes?  If it is 7 to 10 years old then probably not.  We have had several clients who had scary decks before we took them down and built new ones.  Some of the decks couldn’t hold more than two or so people at one time.  Some shook when you would walk on them.  Some had to have temporary bracing so it didn’t collapse.  If you have a deck and that sounds similar, then you could potentially have problems.

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Most people don’t even give it a second thought of their deck collapsing.  People need to look at the warning signs such as those mentioned above.  Even if your deck seems to be fine, but is older, you must check certain things on them to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for a lawsuit later in life with friends.  Let me give you a checklist of sorts to go by to check out your deck to avoid problems.

The Checklist:

  1.  Check the first row of deck boards closest to the home.  If they have rot, that is not a good sign.  Right below that board is the ledger and it should have flashing.
  2. Check the ledger board, Check for rot, check for minimum 1/2in lag bolts every 12 to 16 inches.  If you do have rot or just nails holding the ledger on, the ledger is vulnerable to failing.
  3. Check the posts, do they have rot on the bottom, are they fastened to the ground or concrete.
  4. Check the stairs make sure no rot is found.
  5. The deck boards should be free of rot or curling.  You don’t want a trip hazard or fall through the deck.
  6. Check to see if the deck is warping, such as sagging in the middle.
  7. Check hand rails and pickets to ensure rigidity so no one falls off the deck leaning on it.mcm-deck-connections
As a rule of measure I will give you some of the major points on the decks we build today:
1. 6×6 posts for support with no more than 8 ft. spacing.
2. Minimum 2×10 joists for smaller spans, also they have to have joist hangers.
3. The spacing on the joists are 16 inches max.
4. The stairs usually have 4 stringers  and are made out of a 2×12, (they hold the stair treads)Maximum 7 inches tall.
5. The ledger has flashing behind it and the ledger lag bolts are 1/2in  spaced in between each joists  in a certain pattern.
6. Then posts are on a post base fastened to a concrete pier and notched to the deck band boards.
7. The hand rail varies, but cabling or picket spacing can not be more than 4 inches in between.
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After learning of a local homeowner that had a deck collapse from KY3 news in Springfield, MO. This needs to be known to all homeowners with decks.  The Home Builders Association has names of local professionals that can evaluate your deck if you are concerned.  If your deck sounds similar to what is currently built, then you should have nothing to worry about.  If you do have a deck that is a problem or need to change the way it looks, then give us a call  @ 417-887-7134 to set up an appointment.  We are Friga Construction Co., Inc. “where you’re visions become reality.” 

Build New or just Renew.

Should I build new or just renew an existing building or home?  That is a question that comes up a lot in business owners’ and homeowners’ minds.  By renew, we mean remodeling an existing building or home.  Remodeling might entail an addition for more space or just an update or face lift.  This blog will go over the pluses and minuses of building new versus remodeling. Land_for_sale,_Omagh_-_geograph_org_uk_-_869589 Building new has its advantages and disadvantages.  The advantages of building a new buildibusiness-locationng like an O’Reilly’s, Comfort Inn, etc. are; a new appearance, usually less maintenance, can be a better location, more efficient, and most people enjoy shopping or staying in a newer building.  Which could mean more revenue for your business.  The Disadvantages of a new building versus a remodeled building are; can be more expensive, higher costs do not guarantee a more profitable return.  The hassle of dealing with a city or county on zoning issues, stormwater drainage, and impact fees. If you know you want to build new and just need a property to look at, Murney & Associates or Plaza Realty can be a place to look.

IMG_0027    The advantages of a remodeled or addition on to an existing building are; usually cheaper than building new.  If you have a existing business running in that location, you can usually keep it open when the building is getting remodeled.  You usually do not have to get the city or county zoning involved, just the plan reviewers and inspectors.  The Disadvantages of remodeling are; Sometimes a city or county makes you upgrade the electrical, plumbing, or hvac to current codes.

Building a new home has a lot of advantages.  You can live where you want, build what you want.  Make it more efficient from the start.  Include new technologies in the structure, storm room, alarm system, vacuum  system, and home automation.  Everything will be new and updated.  There is of course a down side to new as well.  You have to buy the lot and it’s harder for financing.  Everything will have to meet current codes.    Remodeling is what a lot of homeowners choose to do, it’s advantages are; live in the same home where you are familiar with neighbors and the neighborhood.  Make your home how you want it.  Cheaper than building new, depending on what is being upgraded.  On the flipside, remodeling a home has its disadvantages.  You live in your home while its being remodeled.  Inconvenience of not being able to use the certain areas being remodeled.  It can cost more than you think, you would never believe how some homes were built years ago.

It all boils down to the individual and what he or she wants and can afford.  At Friga Construction Co., we build what our clients want.  If you want to remodel your home or business, we will try to make it less inconvenient as possible & give the clients ideas to make your dream a reality & the Meeks Design Center helps.  If you want to build new, we can direct you to an architect and work with you through the whole process.  Remember we are “where your visions become reality.”  Give us a call today.logoframe

Maintenance Free Home? Ideas for free.

Have you ever heard of a maintenance free home?  Most people would laugh at the thought.  Thinking you are selling ever sharp kitchen knifes or always clean dishes.  A maintenance free home is becoming closer to reality.  The products I’ve listed are longer lasting and more durable than products of back in the day.  You must tackle this challenge by getting a game plan together.  Step 1.  Think about what is your maintenance issues in the interior and on the exterior of  your home. Step 2. Make a list for interior and for exterior.

                                                                                                 corian-countertops

Interior maintenance issues usually include countertops, flooring, painting, and fixtures.  Countertops: Corian or solid surface countertops are a very popular choice.  They are fairly easy to fix scratches, many colors, and easy to clean.  Another popular choice is granite countertops.  They are easy to clean, nice colors, and it’s hard to scratch.  Of course, as with anything that is usually easier and less maintenance, it tends to be more expensive.    However, they typically last longer and bring better home sale values.

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Flooring:  Laminate flooring is very popular and requires less maintenance than carpets.  There are many color choices and they resist scratching very well.  Painting:  Sherwin Williams has some new latex paints that make cleaning splatters of food or whatever on walls easier and it hides previous dark colors with one coat.  Fixtures:  There are a multitude of fixtures out there that claim to be under warranty and cheap.  However, there’s a catch, you might be fixing that faucet once a year.  Sure it’s cheaper, but the hassle of fixing it is a pain.  Opt for brands like Kohler, Moen, and Delta and shop at plumbing supply stores for the better quality.  There are different models for Lowes and Home Depot stores.

Exterior maintenances issues, there are many, however I will address the three biggest issues:  Windows, Siding, and Roofing.  Windows:  Not all windows are created equal and each brand holds its own claims.  I am a big believer in Andersen windows and doors as a great product.  One, because we are a Certified Andersen window installer and I have seen the testing and the longevity of the windows.  Pella does make great windows as well as I’m sure Marvin does.  You want to pick a higher grade of window and one with Low E or better of glass for efficiency.  Siding:  Vinyl siding, Hardie siding, and prefinished metal siding.  Vinyl is easy to clean, however is more brittle with age and weed eaters usually like to bust the bottom row.  Hardie siding is becoming more common like brick.  It can be unfinished or prefinished for long durability.  Metal Siding durable, has several colors, and it lasts a very long time.

Roofing:  Architectural shingles are becoming the more popular choice in roofing.  They last longer than 3 tab shingles and look better.  Metal roofing can last a very long time when properly installed.  However, it is not typical on homes.  They are always coming out with new products for roofing.  They have some roofing materials that are composite and last longer than shingles.  There is a newer shingle that is supposed to be more energy efficient by reducing the heat from the roof.

If you are having issues with maintenance in your home or business, give us a call.  We can fix your maintenance issues and give ideas about which product is best suited for you.  If this article still leaves you lost about maintenance free products, do an online search for maintenance free home products.  If you do know what you want then give us a call at Friga Construction, “where visions become reality.”

Aging in Place: Home Remodel Ideas

In 2030 the number of people aged over 65 will soar to about 72.1 million, or 1 in 5 Americans.

A survey conducted in November 2012 by AARP of 1,616 adults ages 45 and older found that fewer than half of the respondents have a half-bath on the main level of their home, an entrance without steps, door handles that are levers instead of knobs, or doorways that are wider than standard.

Now think about your home or your parent’s home…is there an entrance to the home without steps? Probably not. Are all the door handles in the house knobs instead of levers? Most likely. How about the hardware on the kitchen cabinets; go take a look at them. Are they small handles and knobs?

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These are pictures of beautiful kitchens but one thing is similar: the hardware on the cabinets could become a problem to someone aging in their own home who can no longer have a tight grip on simple things like a cabinet knob. Or there isn’t any hardware on the cabinets at all.

Below are some of the type of hardware that should be installed instead.

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There are other things to consider when keeping a parent or elder adult in their own home to age:

-Raising the height of the dishwasher to reduce strain of loading and unloading

-Installing a shallow sink, hands free faucet that is mounted on the side and incorporate an anti-scald device to prevent burns

-Along with different hardware for cabinets, adding pull out shelves for the lower cabinets and pull down shelves for upper cabinets

-Making sure that there is a bathroom on the main level

-Moving the laundry room to the main level and making sure there is plenty of space to navigate

-Replacing washer and dryer with front loader appliances with large buttons or push knobs

-The different flooring throughout the house should be a non-slip surface; remove rugs because of the trip hazards

When you are ready to make some changes to your home or someone else’s home to make it more aging in place friendly, contact us at Friga Construction.  Sometimes the littlest, simplest changes can make all the difference in the world.