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.

Name That Mood

Name That Mood. I mean, what mood do you want your business clientele to leave your office or business with?  Do you want repeat business, most would say yes.  If you want them to feel excited like they just purchased a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, then you have to give them that feeling.  I don’t mean give them the car.  I mean give them that excited type of feeling when they leave your business or the best feeling you deem necessary for a repeat client.  A professional can only do so much, the other is up to the image you leave in the clients’ mind.  By image, I mean the appearance of your building, your office, or your factory.  A lot has to do with appearance in business.  Example:  Are you more likely to shop at an outdated store or a new store.  Kmart is an excellent example of how not to run your business.  They have not had a face lift in over 25 years, everyone else keeps updating and changing.

Think about the perception of the client and the experience that you give them.  The nicer the facility, usually the more people feel comfortable and the more they are willing to pay more for items just because of the experience.  Look at Bass Pro Shops, they are all about the experience, decorations galore, yet you will not leave out of there without spending the full MSRP for the items.  I usually leave happy after a purchase, my wife not necessarily.

Think outside the box, a dental, medical, or other type of office, try modern ceiling designs or wall designs.  Architect’s are ideal for this updated creativity.  An easy detail that attracts clients, adding an aquarium, saltwater aquariums are ideal, but expensive.  They are unique, they give clients a “cool, you don’t normally see that kind of thing” experience.  I have noticed small businesses must address the “Image Look or they will be run over by competitors.  Our construction company is no different.  If you don’t stay current, you become irrelevant, unfortunately.  As a business you must keep changing/adapting, sometimes that means changing your building.  If you are needing a building change, then give us a call @ 417-887-7134 ask for Randy.  We can help, I try to keep us socially updated, my dad, not so much.  However, he is a pro at helping clients cut unnecessary costs on projects.  He is definitely a creative thinker, which helps out in dealing with architects and creative designs.

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  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 @  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.”