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.”

 

 

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.

Image is Everything

1212or-07+work-truck-heaven-work-truck-show+image-is-everything-quoteThere are those that say image is not that important, they’re wrong, image is everything.  Would you rather go into an older looking shopping center, mall, office, etc. or a new building?  More people than not, would rather go into a newer & more modern place to do business.  One might think just because it’s new doesn’t mean it is already better.  It has to fit in with the times, usually it means brighter lighting, unique modern exterior look, a cleaner look inside & not jammed pack with merchandise.  Architects can go more into detail of what is current & stylish today.  My main focus is pointing out what could you do to improve your sales from a building standpoint.

small-office-building-designLike I said before, just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s better.  It needs to fit with your business, how do you want to be viewed towards your future or current clients?  A law office most likely won’t have the same style of building as say a Cox Health Clinic.  As goes with a Keller Williams office building won’t look like a telemarketers’.  Try to step back & look at how your business might look to people.  Do you see where you can improve?  Most people do not even think that the building or office they work in has an effect on their clients or customers, but it does.

cool_buildings_products_01There is the cost to improve your office or building’s image. It might require you to look at building a new building or remodeling your current one.  Look at it this way, do you have enough business that you do not need new clientele?  What is the potential for new clients or customers with a remodeled office or new building?  Building new can be more expensive than just remodeling a current building or office.  Then again it can go the other way as well, it just depends on what you want to do.  th3Z0VI5Z6Either way you can make energy efficiency improvements to save on overhead.

Nowadays everyone has to stay current or you fall behind the competition in each & every business.  The building in which you do business is no different.  Does the Fazolis down the road look more inviting than your italian restaurant.  Is a newer or updated Holiday Inn across town, more traveler friendly than your hotel & so on.  If you do decide you need to update or build a new building, give Friga Construction a call @ 417-887-7134 or check us out @ www.frigainc.com.  Talk to Randy, if you don’t know how to proceed, he will work with you to get you through the process.  We are a local family owned business that has been in business for over 40 years.  Our excellent reputation is one of the reasons we are the Springfield’s Best Commercial Contractor.  Always remember @ Friga Construction “your visions become reality.”

 

Are Your Windows a Clear Choice?

Andersen100-Gliding-3Are Your Windows a Clear Choice?  I mean do you know the differences in the different windows and window manufactures?  Most people do not, they see a window for what it is.  It’s clear and protects the inside of the home from the elements.  Well, there is a lot more to a window than meets the eye.

andersen_replacement_doors_folding_la_skyline_sWindows have come along way from what they used to be.  The older windows consisted of wood frame & sashes with single pane glass with weights.   Overtime the windows aged by rotting if the painting wasn’t kept up.  The energy efficiency performance of the old windows are extremely low.  If that stuff didn’t bother you then try operating them after 40 years of being painted, a lot of them are painted shut.  Things changed, the industry noticed the importance in the efficiency of doors and windows.  I have seen testing on new windows where they shot a 2×4 through it, to see if meets certain new requirements.   There are many choices of windows and brands to choose from, which one should you choose?  I would say it depends on what you want in the window.  Do you want the best there is?  Is interior or exterior colors important to match?  Cost is usually a factor.  How efficient do you want it and so on.

The options vary on each brand of window, however there are some standards offered by all manufacturers.  For instance, they will ask you if you want a vinyl or wood window.  Vinyl is usually cheaper & you can have some of the benefits of the wood windows, such as Low E glass, double pane, with grills.  Low maintenance, longevity, & efficiency.  The wood windows are more sturdy, they don’t warp or sag like vinyl can.  You can get more color options & wood interior choices.  The efficiency, longevity, & resale value are there as well.  There are different types of glass that you can get, some offer a double pane Low E glass which is efficient & there are some that offer more panes such as a three pane.  Most people go with the double pane and don’t spring for the extra cost on the added glass panes.  There are some neat features that manufactures offer as well.  For example, blinds inside the glass or storm proofing such as Andersen Window’s StormWatch.  The wood windows and doors today are either wrapped in vinyl or metal so the wood doesn’t touch the elements.

Andersen%20Windows%203AndersenPella, & Marvin are the some of the biggest names in residential & commercial windows & doors.  Each manufacture has their own high & low-end products.  You should choose which brand you believe is going to make you happy over the long run.  However, we are an Andersen Certified Installer, which means we know how to install them properly & we give a two-year installation warranty on their windows & doors.  We tend to lean toward Andersen as the brand we use, but everyone has their own preference.  Each manufacture has their specific way they recommend to install their window.  However, there is a set pattern all of them follow.  Installing windows & doors correctly plays a major part in how the window or door functions.  Nowadays, installers & builders must meet these new requirements.  If they don’t meet the requirements of the window or door manufacture & the window fails.  The manufacture says, sorry the installer installed them incorrectly & the warranty is void.  That would make anyone mad.  You are buying the installation as much as you’re buying the window or door.  The correct installation means you have a manufactures warranty.

Your window & door checklist should go as follows:  What do I want or expect in the product; price, efficiency, colors, & etc.? Do I want vinyl or wood windows?  Choose a manufacturer who you feel is what you want.  Who is my installer; the cheapest or Certified by the manufacturer to make sure you get your warranty?

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Just because you are getting a new house or remodel doesn’t mean your windows or doors are going to be what you want.  Make sure you find out the details and choose accordingly.  Windows and doors are a really big part of efficiency, which means how much money is saved.  Like I stated before you are buying the installation as much as the window.  We are an Certified Andersen Window & Door Installer, we have been through their hands on training in Minnesota (granted it was in February, I had never saw trucks drive across a frozen 80 ft river before then).  We have insurance, a member of Springfield’s Home Builders Association, & are a member of Springfield’s Best.  Give us a call @ 417-887-7134.

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.” 
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