18 off the back porch

18 off the back porch

Out of the 80+ projects I’ve built in the last 10 years – this floor plan easily makes the top five list.  Designed by Locati Architects and built in the Black Bull Golf Community, this plan really hits a note for a smaller home with more than enough space to accommodate the crowds, yet not too large for the retired couple.  Take a look at the photos – the home speaks for itself.

Building Costs up 6.5% in 2009

Building Costs up 6.5% in 2009

Although we are seeing quite a drop in local building costs – the national average is still elevated over 2008.

With steel leading the way again this month, Engineering News Record reports the following figures for April 2009:

20-CITY:
1913 = 100
April 2009
Index Value
% change
Month
% change
Year
Construction Cost 8528.39 -0.1 +5.1
Common Labor 18015.79 0.0 +5.4
WAGE $/HR. 34.23 0.0 +5.4
20-CITY:
1913 = 100
April 2009
Index Value
% change
Month
% change
Year
Building Cost 4761.05 -0.1 +4.1
Skilled Labor 8112.22 0.0 +4.1
WAGE $/HR. 45.02 0.0 +4.1
20-CITY:
1913 = 100
April 2009
Index Value
% change
Month
% change
Year
Materials 2713.54 -0.3 +3.8
CEMENT $/TON 100.91 -0.8 -0.4
STEEL $/CWT 44.83 -0.2 +8.4
LUMBER $/MBF 411.60 -0.7 -4.2

Read the entire report

Six phases of a construction project

Six phases of a construction project

This pretty much sums it up in six short segments.

  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Disillusionment
  3. Panic
  4. Search for the guilty
  5. Punishment of the innocent
  6. Praise and honors for the non participants
Free Green Building Advice

Free Green Building Advice

Free green building advice – It comes at a good time: When the new-home construction market begins to recover in the next two to three years, sustainable, green construction could outpace conventional methods, with the value of green building construction starts reaching between $96 billion and $140 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s “2009 Green Outlook: Trends Driving Change” report.

BuildingGreen’s new greenbuildingadvisor.com is a one-stop database of green-building expertise. Nearly 1,000 construction drawings and other resources, including notes on building codes, installation videos, and products, detail ways to achieve sustainability for various home types and climates.

Bids fall to the bottom

Is there a benefit to the Owner as bids fall below cost?  Will the contractor be able to complete the project for the contracted price?

What a difference a year makes.  In the second quarter of 2008, construction starts had moved slightly off the record-run rate of the previous three years.  The economic bloodletting set off by the sub-prime meltdown did not really spill over into construction until the second half of the year.

Read the full artile from ENR

Tankless water heaters vs. conventional storage tank systems

This seems to be one of the hot topics we always address when working on mechanical designs.

Hot water is a hot issue for builders, architects, and remodelers these days.  Why?   Many current buyers are interested in homes that are energy efficient and economical to operate, which are factors that can be dramatically affected by a home’s hot water usage.  According to the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, water heating is the third-largest expense in most homes, accounting for 14% to 25% of a home’s expenses. In some cases, that percentage may even be higher, which means energy-conserving hot water solutions also could result in big cost savings for homeowners in this difficult economy.

Read the full article