9. February 2013

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High Quality Concrete Formwork at Affordable Cost

With a conglomeration of highly skilled workmen specialized in solid concrete work, you will find every type of concrete formwork done immaculately and with high precision with guaranteed durability for many years. There are formworks which are permanent and temporary. While permanent formworks are made for the purpose for staying at the same place, the temporary ones are constructed only to be removed when the major infra structure is completed.

These formworks used for various designs and erected before pouring the concrete pertain to various structures which include flooring, foundation, slabs, beams, walls and columns. The expertise with which these fabrications are done speak of the highly technical skill and quality of the workmen who have been in this industry for long years and are well versed with architectural designing and proportions of concrete mixtures. These structures can be anything between a few inches to a few feet depending on the strength required for providing ample support.

Wooden frames are often used for holding the concrete in cases where patios which are not more than six inches thick, sidewalks and slabs are built which helps in retaining and shaping the material. This type of formwork is cheaper than any other kind of formwork. Steel frames are used for pouring concrete where walls of high thickness are constructed to hold on massive weights. Insulated formwork is another type of form which has become popular due to the reason that buildings become energy efficient and provides enhanced insulation to homes.

There are forms which are used for constructing decorative structures which are nontraditional and demands high precision and artistry. Acrylic glass and boards laminated with melamine are used for decorative formwork and relates to furniture, sinks, counter tops and other decorative concrete structures. You will find artisans at work to give an immaculate finish to these structures which are highly artistic and attractive. The table form concrete formwork is being used in modern day construction, where the main advantage lies in their reuse and can be transported to any part of the construction site without being dismantled. This type of form is often used while constructing beams of various specifications.

The precision with which these formworks are designed speak of high efficiency and vast knowledge about concrete construction. Years of experience and knowledge of the latest technology being behind every formwork make these forms have superior quality and high durability to be favored by architects, owners and builders.

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6. February 2013

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Why Construction Projects Fail, Make Yours a Success

Avoiding the Common Pitfalls

It is easy to have a construction project derailed. Without a good architect, engineers, and a competent contractor who speak regularly to the project manager assigned to the project by the business owner, a construction project can become everybody’s worst nightmare. Much project failure during the design phase can be avoided by dealing with these five factors: Constituent Alignment, Schedule and Budget Management, Performance Measurement, Project Scope Definition and Management, and Critical Project Communication.

Each is discussed below, along with suggestions on avoiding the classic pitfalls during the design phases and later with the construction phase.

Constituent Alignment

Successful construction projects require time, effort, and expertise. It does not matter if it’s a new office building, an addition to a medical center, or a new school. Whatever the type of construction project, it requires an engaged set of stakeholders. This means that all participants from the owner of the business to the architect and contractor have to be committed to spending time and thinking about the project. Key players must develop a cohesive project strategy and make sure that the resulting plans are really what the company or business wants. This means direct engagement with the architect in the beginning and later with the contractor. It is essential that the person assigned to the project is the person that can most contribute to its successful outcome and is available for meetings and not traveling all the time. It is important that the person assigned to the project is familiar with the way the business or company works and its day-to-day operations.

Pitfall Avoidance: One of the best practices is to establish a clear set of goals and objectives for the construction project at the very beginning. The progress of the plans should be gauged against the initial goals and objectives. If these are not laid out in the beginning, and the program, goals, and objectives are constantly changing, the architect will grow frustrated and nothing will be accomplished.  A project manager who represents the business owner or the owner himself should be the direct link with the architect. The architect will then communicate with his engineering consultants. Consistent communication in a written format should be established from the beginning of the design project.

Schedule and Budget Management

If the schedule and budget are critical to the construction, then a proper schedule should be adopted at the beginning of the project. A consulting estimator should be part of the design team. As the plans progress, the estimator and the project scheduler can keep the construction team apprised of where the project stands.

Pitfall Avoidance: Make sure that during the design phase, a project estimator is part of the team. Make sure that the last estimate done is near the time the project is to be bid. If the project plans sit around for two years before the project is bid, it is very unlikely that the project budget will be accurate. Prices for materials generally only go up. But projects bid during a down economy will more likely bid at a lower price due to competition among construction firm. In addition, labor costs are likely to be lower.

Once bids are taken and the general contractor is selected, make sure that the contractor chooses a good computer program for project scheduling. But not only must he have the right program, he must have people on staff who know how to use it or he must have a consultant that generates update of the schedule at least once every two weeks. I have known contractors who have tried to save money by saying that they have the program, but when their staff does not know how to use the program, they refuse to pay a consultant to generate updates.

Performance Measurement

It is important that regular client meetings are conducted between the architect and project manager and/or the owner. Anyone whose opinion counts should be at these meetings.

Pitfall Avoidance:   Allowing departments to have a voice and vote and not to be present at the meetings is a recipe for disaster and for slowing down the progress of the work. This cannot be stressed enough!

Project Scope Definition and Management

The project scope must be clear, concise, and unambiguous. The program or distribution of the spaces or rooms must be spelled out in the beginning. This written scope must be clearly and commonly understood by the architect, the project stakeholders, and team members.   Everyone must agree on this program before any designing is done!

Pitfall Avoidance:   Make sure that everyone is clear on the program and the necessary relationship between particular spaces. For example, if the owner wants his office next to the warehouse, for whatever reason, this should be stated in the program. Changes to the program once the design is underway will cause a request for additional fees from the architect and engineers and delays will be caused to the completion of the plans. On the other hand, a clearly defined scope of work and program will almost always result in a successful outcome, where everyone will be pleased with the results.

Critical Project Communication

It is important that all departments be notified of upcoming meetings with the architect.

Pitfall Avoidance:  At the project kickoff and every subsequent meeting, all interested parties should be present. If all the parties are not present at the meeting, and later they want to make changes to the plans, there will be impacts on the costs and delivery schedule.

What about the Expectation of Failure?

Although everyone has heard horror stories of construction projects, executing the above steps will go a long way to assuring a solid start and solid plans from which to build a successful project.

Conclusion

Businesses require extensive capital to build a headquarters, subsidiary, or expand the ones they have. In order to avoid a disastrous outcome, it would be wise to follow the above steps with clear objectives and goals, and clear communication between appropriate parties, without back and forth changes off-schedule that are non-productive.

The project will have a better chance of success if the pitfalls described above are avoided. Having a seasoned architect with knowledge of construction systems and code requirements, will also help you to navigate the challenges, and position you well for a successful project.

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2. February 2013

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Tips for Planning a Home Extension

Extensions will allow you to add extra space onto your existing home without have to sell and move to another location. If you are considering an extension then it is a good idea to make a rough plan of what you want it to look like, and how large you will want it to be. Once your have done this, you can get a building designer to create a full professional plan that is tailored to your wants and needs. It is essential that your extension complements the existing exterior of your home, and that it uses the space in an efficient manner. This article provides you will several top tips that will help you to plan your dream extension in no time.

Size and Shape

The first thing to consider is the rough size that you would like the extension to be. You can work this out by figuring out the reasons why you want the extension and also calculating the amount of space that you have to work with. Is it going to be a ground floor extension, a first floor extension or both? Are you making a games room or a dining room where you need a set amount of space to entertain guests? Remember, when it comes to choosing the size of the extension you will also need to consider your budget.

The shape of the extension is also important. You can make a rough plan of your home and then use a pencil to experiment with the area and what shape you would like the extension to be. A building designer will be able to take a look at your plans to tell you if they are practical and functional, and then they will be able to use the information that you provided to create a full architectural plan which can be passed onto the building team.

Special Features and Appearance

A great extension will blend in or complement the house and its surroundings. You can do this by choosing to have it made out of identical or similar building materials that the house is made from. You can also choose to have the same shape, size windows and other features to bring it all together.

Planning Permission and Listed Buildings

Depending on the state or country that you live in, it is almost always a legal requirement to gain planning permission before starting to construct an extension. Listed buildings will often have different rules and regulations regarding extensions. This is to protect and preserve old properties and their features. A building specialist or your local council will be able to advise you on the building laws regarding your current property.

Where to Find Building Designers and Builders

In order to get your rough plan made into an actual extension you will need to hire a building design team, as well as a building team. The right building team will be able to manage all aspects of the construction process. You can find a building design team as well as a builders by searching for their websites online. All major companies will have a website which will list more information on the services that they offer. Always check that you are using a trusted and reputable company to ensure that you will be receiving a high quality service.

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28. January 2013

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Get Everything You Want by Purchasing New Homes

Instead of purchasing a place that has been up for several years and making repairs in order to make it more appealing and habitable, consider contacting a new homes builder. Now is the perfect time for you to purchase land and turn it into your dream space. By having your place newly constructed, you can have a house that is safe, worth its full value and comes with a warranty on the workmanship. You won’t be able to get that by purchasing the more distressed homes that are in the market. You don’t know how well the previous owners cared for those properties. You don’t have to inherit or purchase a lot of what-ifs and maybes. With new homes, you know exactly what you are getting.

One of the challenges that many prospective buyers face is finding a good neighborhood to put down some roots in. While they may find a few properties that look promising, ultimately the deal breaker is when they start to explore the neighborhood and get a good look at the community. If you shop for new homes, you don’t have to worry about any deal breakers. All of the other properties in community are of equal or more value. This means that your property value will stay up and not sink, since there are no distressed properties around. Your neighbors all have similar or the same tastes as far as community. This means that instead of neglecting their properties and letting them deteriorate, everyone takes pride in their houses and works to keep them looking great.

By purchasing new homes, you get more of what you want, instead of what you don’t want. If you were to purchase a place that is older and already constructed, you have to spend a great deal more time looking for the place you want to live in. You may have a list of preferences you prefer, however, in order to find a place to live, you would end up having to compromise or omit some of those preferences. Properties that are built to your expectations and desires leave nothing to your imagination. You have control over what you get. You don’t have to invest any money for renovations in order to get your dream place. You look at the models and floor plans and let the builders know what you are looking for.

Believe it or not, it is much easier and more convenient to purchase new homes than it is older ones. There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through in order to get everything approved for purchase so you can close. You have to spend money on contractors to inspect the place, make repairs and research the property’s history. Assuming that everything checks out okay, it can still be several months before you can finally call yourself the owner. With newly constructed properties, you can omit several steps and start moving your things in much sooner.

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