1. National Estimator Cloud Quarterly Cost Update Summary - JULY 2022

    Craftsman’s National Estimator Cloud includes 10 costbooks which are updated quarterly. Here’s a partial summary of recent costbook-specific updates. CONSTRUCTION, JULY 2022 — sections (and pages) updated: OSB  (203) Plywood (202-204, 460) Carpentry (32-37, 39-51, 56-57, 61-62, 67, 98-100, 283, 331, 389-397, 403, 476, 591, 593) Concrete Formwork (87-89, 93, 338-346, 352-353, 360, 363-369, 377-378) Framing […]

  2. Set the I-Codes Free

    I’m old enough to remember when the building code was a slim little volume — slipped easily into the back pocket of my overalls. Not true now. The code comes in 15 flavors, has thousands of pages and carries a price tag to match. The International Residential Code by itself is well over $100, whether […]

  3. Construction Contractor or Consultant?

    Change is inevitable, even in the construction industry. One of those changes is construction consulting, sometimes called CM (construction management) consulting – or CM for short. Veteran builders will remember a time when residential contractors did most framing and finishing with their own crews. Today, a residential contractor with payroll is the exception. Most let […]

  4. Tips for Solar Contractors

    Most of solar installation contracts I’ve seen are pretty weak. They don’t cover the essentials and won’t hold up in court. Here’s why. Solar installation is construction contracting. No state exempts solar work from compliance with construction contract law. From what I’ve seen, solar contractors don’t understand that yet. Whether structured as a lease, a […]

  5. Do CM Contractors Need a License?

    Last month I listed advantages of construction management (CM) contracting over traditional general contracting. For example, construction contracting is a highly regulated occupation – liens, payments, codes, inspections, bonding, insurance, etc. CM contractors avoid most of these headaches. But if your state requires construction contractors to be licensed, do CM contractors need a license? That’s […]

  6. Maryland Custom Home Contracts

    If there’s a load limit on construction contracts, Maryland must be getting close. The legislators in Annapolis require 21 distinct notices and disclosures in custom home building contracts. As a class, buyers of custom homes in Maryland must be among the best protected anywhere. Omitting any of these disclosures carries heavy consequences. More on that […]

  7. Checklist for New York Contractors

    Staying legal in the New York construction contracting business begins with licensing. New York State licenses only asbestos contractors. But that doesn’t make licensing a trivial issue in New York. Cities and counties in New York are free to require a license for any type of construction activity. And many municipal governments do exactly that. […]

  8. Directions to the New Jersey Supreme Court

    Not many home improvement contractors get their day at the supreme court. But it happened in New Jersey earlier this year. And there’s a lesson here for residential contractors in many other states. I’ll explain. Jo Anne and Tom Heath selected Czar, Inc., a Patterson, NJ cabinet shop, to install kitchen cabinets and woodwork in […]

  9. Checklist for Florida Contractors

    I’m asked occasionally to recommend a simple 2-page construction contract. Where can I get a contract like that? If you see one of these two-page wonders, you can be sure it’s junk – at least in the State of Florida. The legislators in Tallahassee have seen to that. Every valid Florida construction contract will include […]

  10. What Connecticut Home Builders and eBay Have in Common

    July 1, 2009 was a red letter day for residential contractors in Connecticut. The Nutmeg State adopted a protocol that eBay, Amazon, and others have used for years. These Web vendors make it easy for customers to know who they’re dealing with. eBay calls it their “Feedback Profile.” Click the link and you’ll see ratings […]

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