The Steady Digital Transformation of the Construction Industry

At first glance, it might appear that the speed at which most construction companies have been adopting new technological advances has been “slower than dial-up” when compared to other industries such as communications, transportation, and manufacturing. Digitalization has helped those industries transform their business models and generate new revenues. It is only in the last decade that construction firms have begun to employ digital technologies on a grand scale. That’s somewhat understandable when you look at the nature of the construction business.

There Are Unique Challenges to the Digitalization of Construction

Unlike other industries, each construction project is unique and nearly impossible to replicate in high volumes with consistent results. On different jobs, construction professionals might be dealing with shifting budgets, schedule conflicts, accidents, failed deliveries, cybersecurity considerations, or adverse weather conditions – any of which might require changes to the original specifications of their project.

Trends Toward Digitalization Are Happening

Despite these obstacles, the pursuit of higher productivity is driving more and more construction companies to digitalize their operations wherever applicable. For example, drones are being used for site inspection and to locate potential hazards on bridges or buildings, while robots are being used for brick and mortar tasks. Other digital applications include:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

From preconstruction to operation and maintenance, AI is being applied at every stage of the construction cycle. With computer vision, AI can support digital modeling and optimize sequence tasks and blueprint divergences.

Autonomous Equipment

Sensors and GPS have opened up exciting applications for self-driving trucks, helping to fill the gap in labor shortages that are plaguing many construction companies. One such application involves using computerized machines to complete onsite excavation and grading.

Supply Chain Management

More advanced software enables companies to hire workers and procure equipment and materials by matching supply with demand. This improves productivity and transparency in competitive bidding.

Collaboration Between Job Sites and Offices

Communication breakdowns caused by the incompatibility of technology between multiple sites can be solved with mobile applications that enable real-time communication, simultaneous notetaking, and the amending of drawings and Request For Information templates. Building Information Modeling (BIM) also enables real-time changes to 3D models. When combined with virtual reality and augmented reality, BIM can create a virtual construction overlay to simulate the real construction environment.

Rapid Restoration & Construction embraces these innovative technologies as major breakthroughs, helping us in our ongoing quest for safer and more productive work processes, leading to even higher quality results.

Fall Roof Maintenance

1. Seasonal Fall Roof Maintenance, Protect Your Home From Trees

The first thing to do when it comes to fall roof maintenance is to make sure that no tree branch is within fifty feet of your home. Trees and houses are not friends! If a tree and its limbs are even close to touching your roof, you are asking for trouble. We’re talking insects, critters, even damage to your roof; keep tree limbs away from your home!

2. Inspect Your Roof and Flashings When Conducting Fall Roof Maintenance

Get up on your roof, safely and with the correct personal protective equipment, look for cracks. Pay close attention to where your roof meets your chimney or any other rising or falling parts of your roof. These areas will not be covered with regular roof material but rather a smooth metal called flashings. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the flashings as they can eventually become cracks which lead to leaks.

Even though you could climb up on your roof and play fix it, man or woman, you probably want to get a trusted professional in there at some point. Just to make sure you did not miss something that is an issue. Sure it’s fun to do it yourself, but when it comes to your roof, you may want to be a little less adventurous.

3. Your Fall Roof Maintenance Should Include Cleaning Your Gutters

Clean your gutters; it is a good idea to go into winter with clean gutters.  As the snow melts and runs off your roof, it follows the same path as rain, and therefore you want to bring as much of it off and away from your home as possible while it’s melting. The usual course of snow is that it melts when it warms up during the day and freezes up again as it cools down at night. If your gutters are not squeaky clean, the snowmelt will build up in there and drip over the sides; this will create icicles. These icicles are pretty to look at but present a major risk for tearing your gutters off your roof and even worse, falling and hurting someone.

Fall roof maintenance can help you catch problems while they are still small and can save you a lot of money and aggravation in the future. Call Rapid Restoration if you are in need of a roof inspection.

Restoration vs New Construction: Advantages and Disadvantages

There are advantages and disadvantages for every piece of commercial property from hospitals to hotels when it comes to deciding whether restoration or new construction is the best choice.  All of the pros and cons need to be thoroughly evaluated before you can make the right decision.

Technology is progressing at a rapid pace, some of the companies who are not up to date on the latest technology attempt to continue to be applicable but they generally have a difficult time and are passed by when it comes to specific large corporate jobs. Specifically, when it comes to being able to comply to the state and industry guidelines.

That’s why it is so important to look closely at the advantages and disadvantages of restoration vs new construction, especially if the company you want to do the work doesn’t meet some of the guidelines set forth.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Restoration and New Construction

The following take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of restoration and new constructions however, several other factors may play role in your final decision.

Cost – The budget will be a deciding factor in your decision to restore or build it new. Once you take into consideration the total cost for both of your options, you will know whether or not you can afford to build it new or if a restoration is more cost effective for your budget. If you only need a few updates, then ideally a restoration is the more reasonable and cost effective option.

Outdated Technology – If you have considered updating specific areas in your building to bring your technology up to date to meet the current standards, both a restoration and new building construction can be very costly. This is the type of scenario where you and the building contractor need to discuss what needs to be done and how much you can afford, and together the two of you should be able to come up with a reasonable solution that satisfies both your needs, as long as you are working with an honest contractor and not a shyster.

There are so many factors to take into consideration when trying to decide if you should restore or build new, take your time deciding and discuss your options with others who have been in your situation before you decide what to do.

Contact Rapid Restoration & Construction for more information

Should You Remodel or Rebuild Your House?

Choosing whether to remodel your rebuild your house is like none other in the world of home improvement because of its finality. Lay the wrong bathroom flooring, even one as permanent as porcelain tile, and you can always back out of it. Tear down your entire house and you have no recourse.

You might own a house that “needs a little love,” as the real estate flier put it, but really it needs truckloads of love. Like loving a child, you might be wondering if yours should be the tender love of respecting and working with what’s there–or the tough love that comes in the form of a wrecking ball and excavator.

In any case, you know that the house where you reside (or an investment property) needs so much work that you cannot take half measures. Spiffy exterior paint, whole-house flooring, toilet replacements, and everything else like that will no longer do it. You have come to the point where it is either a whole-house remodel (the kind where you have to move out) or a rip-it-down-and-build-it-new project.

Rebuild Wins Long-Term by Resetting the Clock

If you plan to be in the house for the long-term and then sell it, it is usually wiser to tear down and rebuild, at least from a purely financial perspective.

Physical elements of a home are on a timer. The minute the hammer strikes your house for the last time, that timer starts ticking. Exterior paint might last up to seven years, but more like five years in inclement climates; dishwashers, less than a decade; central A/Cs, 10 to 15 years; three-tab composite shingles, about 20 years.

On top of that, while some elements’ lifespans are staggered, many others expire at roughly the same time. In terms of cost, replacing a dishwasher is nobody’s idea of fun. But imagine having to do that in the same calendar year that you replaced your roof, gutters, and central air conditioner.

By rebuilding, you reset the clock in terms of the house’s physical nature: everything from the appliances to the house’s envelope (roofing, siding, etc.). When it comes time to sell 15 years later, you’re selling a 15-year-old house instead of one that is 40 years old. As a bonus, you had the pleasure of living in a new house during those 15 years. Buyers are intimately attuned to the age of houses. And if they aren’t, their real estate agent and house inspector will make them well aware of this fact.

Take Control of How Much You Spend

If you’re tight on money, remodeling is always the way to go. The issue is scale–your ability to scale your spending up or down (or freeze it), according to your needs.

  • Remodel: When you remodel a home, you have control over your spending. Remodeling is perfect for those who are hesitant or unwilling to make a big leap. You can remodel a small bathroom, then stop when finances are tight. Are you the recipient of a big tax refund?  Now it’s time to fix that roof. Money tight again? You can scale the roof purchase itself up or down, from a price efficient composite shingle roof to a pricier standing-seam metal roof. Money gets distributed in drips or in gushes, your choice.
  • Tear Down and Rebuild: This option is all or nothing. After your first big purchase–the demolition–you’re left with a vacant lot, committing you to build the new home. Unless you want to be the owner of a vacant lot, you must keep moving forward. Worse is to have the house that is partially complete. Structures left exposed to the elements age quickly. At a certain point, your rebuild would have to be rebuilt.

Choose If You Want Better or Cheaper

If you want better, tear down and rebuild. If you want cheaper, remodel. Even a wide-ranging whole-house remodel will still be cheaper than tearing down and building anew.

Roger Greenwald, RA, AIA, says that most of the time

the cost of tearing down and rebuilding will be about 20% higher than engaging in an extensive whole-house remodel. But the architectural benefits of tearing down and working with a clean slate can be huge: Better fundamental architectural design, all new systems, clean circulation, high quality windows, new and efficient heating and cooling systems, tall ceilings, and space designed for your personal living patterns placed where you need it.

Remodel Wins by Giving You Neat Bells and Whistles

Proponents of tearing down/rebuilding stress the coolness of new houses, with their mobile device-controlled heating systems, radiant heat flooring, master suites, and dedicated home offices.

That argument holds water, as long as you have the additional money to spend. Where that argument breaks down is that it fails to recognize that the house first has to be built. With remodels, basic elements of the house are already in place and paid for.

So, the extra cost for rebuilding mentioned above is what the person remodeling gets to spend on flashy things, like spas, man caves, and home movie theaters.

Determine the Ultimate Condition of the House

While all houses can be remodeled, not all houses should be.

Industry professionals generally agree that the following conditions merit a tear-down/rebuild, or at least swing the argument further in that direction:

  • Desired improvements cannot be contained within the existing house footprint. Thus, you want an addition. The need for additional space is certainly not the only reason for building anew; additions get built all the time. The issue is that it happens in conjunction with extensive, expensive remodels of the existing house: a double draw on your funding.
  • Foundation is bad and requires a lot of work before the house can be remodeled.
  • Are ceilings too low for your liking? Because it’s no simple matter to raise a ceiling–unless there is a plenum or empty space up there–the floor above must be removed and then rebuilt.

Be Aware of Community Restrictions

One influence on your decision comes from outside. In years past, a homeowner was free to tear down and rebuild with relative impunity. Any kind of building was always subject to zoning and permitting, but these influences were far more lenient than they are now.

Since the late 1990s, the tide has been turning toward recycling rather than throwing away, and this trend includes housing, too.

Local building departments now cast a more critical eye on aspects of rebuilding such as size. The word McMansion did not even exist until the latter part of the 20th century. Now it is bandied around all the time by city councils intent on preserving the character of cities through the preservation of its housing stock.

Even Los Angeles, traditionally the most “tear down and rebuild” area in the U.S., has begun to enact building moratoriums designed to limit the size of houses. And because few rebuilds are content to remain within the same footprint as before, they are affected by these bans, as well.