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Pouring the Slab and Framing the Walls

Contractors building a small house in the White Mountains begin construction work

Posted on Oct 13 2015 by Brian Post

Editor's note: This is the second in a series of blogs chronicling the design and construction of a house owned by Brian Post and Kyra Salancy. The first blog in the series was titled Building a Small House in the White Mountains.

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Image Credits:

  1. All photos: Brian Post and Kyra Salancy

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Smart Scheduling Helps Projects to Finish on Time

Whether you’re a pro or a homeowner contracting your own project, meticulous planning will help you to stay on time and on budget

Posted on May 19 2015 by Michael Patterson

It’s been said that stereotypes are stereotypes because they contain a grain of truth. While “two weeks” may be funny, it hits close enough to home that whatever smile we contractors may have is a bit pinched, and whatever smiles our clients may have are knowing ones. I’m all for smiles, but I’d rather they be the satisfied grins of contractors and homeowners whose jobs went according to plan. Scheduling a project well ensures that satisfied grins are the rule.

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Image Credits:

  1. ZEPHYR/Photodisc/Getty Images

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Trade Contractor Management — Part 5

Use brainstorming sessions to create your own company checklists and nail down your specifications

Posted on Aug 22 2012 by Carl Seville

The most time-intensive part of creating a trade contractor management program is creating your company’s specifications for each trade which, in turn, provide you with the information to include in your checklists. To get started, assemble any and all material you have that includes standard specifications. Plans and spec books from previous jobs, your own subcontracts, trade contractor management books and programs, and your own experience are good places to start.

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Image Credits:

  1. Justin Russell

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Trade Contractor Management — Part 4

Control documents: Using checklists to manage quality on the jobsite

Posted on Aug 6 2012 by Carl Seville

It’s time to get into the nuts and bolts of trade contractor management — the control documents — what I refer to as the field checklists. Since these checklists are a key part of a larger process, it is important to understand just how the process works.

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Trade Contractor Management — Part 2

Why you need one and what they are made of

Posted on Jul 12 2012 by Carl Seville

Before you commit to the time and energy required to put together a complete management system for your trade contractors, you may want to know what you will ultimately get out of it. A good system will help you get more consistent, high quality work, reduce confusion and problems, help new trade contractors get up to speed quickly, improve your back office operations, and avoid confusion throughout the company. Sound interesting?

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Trade Contractor Management: Creating Programs That Work

Creating an effective system in your business is the gift that keeps on giving

Posted on Jun 26 2012 by Carl Seville

Way back when I was a contractor, I always found it useful to develop well-organized systems to use in running our business. Whenever I was asked the same question twice, it was time to create standards and procedures for employees and trade contractors to refer to.

I called these the gifts that kept on giving: once you had them you could stop trying to remember what you said the last time and just refer people to the appropriate documents. Eventually they learn, and the questions become less frequent.

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