This year, I took the list alphabetically. One by one, A to Z (or more accurately, W), I’ve reviewed each blog submitted as a nominee for the 2016 Best Construction Blog competition. These reviews have opened eyes to the possibilities in solid blogging and all of the blogs with one unfortunate exception were indeed worthy of review and participation in the competition. (I assessed one blog that provided no useful information, with every post being a “pitch” to order the company’s products, and elected not to review it publicly.)
The final entry,Whirlwind Steel’s Blog, certainly has been a worthy contender in the competition in previous years, and continues to provide relevant and useful information. A good example of why this blog works well can be found in the entry: 9 ways to minimize construction costs.
While this business — which provides prefabricated steel buildings — certainly promotes its own product, the advice here has relevance for everyone, even if you are not ordering a prefabricated steel structure. Yet the advice reflects the company’s authority point — and that means it is especially relevant if you are considering steel buildings. A key element of its value, to me, is that the advice would be relevant even if you elected to purchase the structure from one of Whirlwind’s competitors — though you will certainly want to heed the advice to check whether the steel is produced by an AISC-certified fabricator.
Certified fabricators have gone to the trouble of making certain their manufacturing process follows AISC standards and is audited by a third party. Only then does the steel go through the pre-fabrication process. You can be certain the not just the incoming steel was inspected; you know it went through a rigorously planned process during fabrication.
As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t simply go for the lowest priced structure, do your due diligence and once you find a reputable vendor, stick with them. A good fabricator will be happy to collaborate with you to provide the best product for your needs.
We’ve published a special feature in conjunction with the upcoming AISC conference in Orlando, which you can view in the most recent issue of Florida Construction News and Canadian Design and Construction Report.
There’s plenty of other useful advice in this post, which I think should be a checklist for any construction project, with the foundation concept — plan everything carefully in conjunction with all key participants and then stick to the plan — representing solid business practice. Then, rightfully, check and double check everything to make sure things are going according to plan.
Start the punch list early
If you wait until the very end to do a walkthrough to make sure everything is completed correctly, you may wind up with nasty surprises that waste time and cost money. Some companies start the punchlist a month before completion.
In addition, make someone accountable for the punchlist and for ensuring anything incomplete or incorrect has been taken care of before the end of the project.
If you begin with a realistic plan, use certified fabricators, and request standard members as much as possible, you will have come a long way in adhering to your budget for a new building. Make sure you have the orders correct and check items as they arrive will save both time and money while showing due diligence. End as you began, by carefully checking that everything is completed correctly as far before the project due date as possible to mitigate time overruns due to errors and omissions.
Whirlwind Steel’s blog certainly is a worthy entry in the 2016 Best Construction Blog competition. Popular voting continues until March 31.