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Project Superintendent
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When I first started building schools, the standard was 16 months to build a typical 120,000 sf building. The last few years it went down to 14 months, the one I am on now has a 12 month duration. And that includes all site work, infrastructure etc. Seems the school boards can't get their funding in place quick enough to give the contractor a decent finish date, they always have to be open in the fall when the school year starts, no matter when the contract is let. We have built nearly 100 schools in the last 20 years, and haven't been late yet. This one will be close!
 

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When I first started building schools, the standard was 16 months to build a typical 120,000 sf building. The last few years it went down to 14 months, the one I am on now has a 12 month duration. And that includes all site work, infrastructure etc. Seems the school boards can't get their funding in place quick enough to give the contractor a decent finish date, they always have to be open in the fall when the school year starts, no matter when the contract is let. We have built nearly 100 schools in the last 20 years, and haven't been late yet. This one will be close!
That's the problem with new construction IMO, the schedule matters more than the quality.
 

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When i first started roofing 30yrs ago, the new build sites would shut down over the winter period, but that hasnt happened for along time now(not that there much new build going on!) i work right through but we dont have the snow you guys get, its more of a wet climite here, we still lose work days through too much rain and when when its frosty but can get by.
Cheers
Dave
The thing about the Dave, is safety is safety, it doesn't matter what type of roof you are installing. However if you are primarily doing slate and tile those materials are less weather sensative than asphalt shingles and single ply products which are very adhesive sensative. We used to try to plan cedar and torch on for winter.
 

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Project Superintendent
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That's the problem with new construction IMO, the schedule matters more than the quality.
And that is what my job is all about, maintaining quality while staying on schedule. One thing I will say, if a project is a month or two late, people will forget about that 5 years from now, but a piece of crap building is forever!
 

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On the commercial side, I see most buildings, especially fast food, lasting 20 years before getting torn down or majorly remodeled. On the residential side, I beleive homes are typially built now to last 50 years on average, getting one major remodel about 20-25 years.
 

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Project Superintendent
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On the commercial side, I see most buildings, especially fast food, lasting 20 years before getting torn down or majorly remodeled. On the residential side, I beleive homes are typially built now to last 50 years on average, getting one major remodel about 20-25 years.
Schools seem to push the envelope on building life around here. With all the growth that this area had (up until last year) there was a lot of pressure to keep the old school buildings open with minimum maintenance while building new schools to keep up with the growth. Then when the school board has to rezone, whoever gets left in the old buildings feels they have been discriminated against. The latest method around this is the "magnet school". Make the old buildings magnet schools for gifted or talented students, then they feel like they are priveledged to go to school in the old building.

Some of the problems associated with old, poorly maintained buildings include asbestos, radon gas, and the biggy the last few years: Mold.
 

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There is a library right down the street from my office. It's a pretty nice 2 story library, looks better than any library I grew up using, and they are buildign a brand new monster library next door. When the new library is complete they will be tearing down the old one. I scoff as I say old. It was built in the late 80's, and just got a new roof about 4 years ago. I see nothing wrong with it, other than the village just wanted a bigger more bad @$$ library. It seems these villages pride themselves on displaying their wealth in the form of libraries.
 

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Commercial Roofing
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Summer is hit or miss just like winter. However we can accomplish alot more during summer than we can during winter since we can work half days in summer, start extra early like 6 am and be off the job before it gets too hot to work... and we're really only talking about a few weeks out of the year where we have our summer slow down.

You can find many many posts where I spell out how I try to earn 12 months of overhead in 10 months. I plan on a 10 month year every year. Yeah still winter does sting, but it'd sting more to have to fix all those winter time mistakes, mistakes costing profit, when we should spend the profitable months putting down profitable roofing, not fixing mistakes.

And yes I have been told I charge too much by many many people. I charge about 20% more than the "going rate" for my area. I've seen guys charging 50% less than me for seemingly the same work (on paper).



People, Stop for a minute and think to yourselves, if you need to subject yourselves to the hashest weather and conditions just to pay the bills; you're probably doing something wrong. We need not be slaves to this trade. That's the problem, too many tradesmen without the forethought or business sense to think about saving for the down time. Then we are forced to slave away and take risks not only to our workmanship but also to our own selves. Bah humbug I say! It should not be like that!

We shouldn't need to work 60 hour weeks 50 weeks out of the year to pay our bills. Why do you think consumers typically have such a low opinion of contractors? On the surface it appears we don't even respect ourselves, they way we make ourselves suffer. What's that called? Sado Masachism? Self induced pain.
My daughter once pointed out (when she was 12 years old) that anyone who had to work more than 40 hours a week to make a decent living should find a better job (or trade, or career). It made a lot of sense then, and it makes even more sense now.

The problem that many encounter is the notion that more hours/longer hours somehow equate to more productivity. That is almost never the case, except in an exceptionally short time span. Whether they know it or not, most people "automatically adjust" their activities to compensate for working long hours. In short, they work at a slower pace than they would if they knew they were only going to work eight hours (or less).

Some of the best roofers I know rarely work more than six hours a day and make substantially more than those who work long hours at a slower pace. They have only one speed--fast. The minute they start slowing down, they leave the jobsite.

I know it sounds weird, and it took me many years to fully adopt it as a routine. However, I generally accomplish more in five or six hours a day than most accomplish in a much longer time span. I much prefer working as I do to the "daylight to dark seven days a week" routine of my foolish younger years in roofing.

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention. I don't work in winter unless it is an emergency for a client.
 
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