Tag Archives: custom home builder

IF YOU DON’T SEE A CONSTRUCTION FLAW… IS IT THERE?

There is a right and wrong way to do pretty much anything, and at Crown Construction Contracting we do it right and strive for continuous improvement.

On a residential development I was involved with years ago I marked out walls that were out of plumb and decking and stair treads that needed to be secured properly.  The response from the framer stays with me as he stated that the items would be addressed if they make the punch list…or it’s not a flaw if the homeowner doesn’t see it and it survives the warranty period.  He fixed it but only after tearing everything marked with orange paint out with a sledgehammer.

As we traveled around the country we have had subcontractors argue if we are building a Swiss Watch, and say our expectations are exceeding industry standards.  When it was all said and done the installations were right.

Our uncompromising attitude toward quality is right.  Add up all the attention paid to detail and the customer gets a great product.  It doesn’t matter if it is a house, restaurant, office or industrial building.  If the components are right and installed right the result is right and is also reflected in an on time and budget project.

Currently we work with some of the most experienced subcontractors in the area.  We make a great team as not only are we like minded in a business sense but we have the same uncompromising attitude toward quality.  We all watch out for each other and punch out the project as we go.  This attitude not only results in a great product but is somewhat self serving as it avoids doing things twice.  You know the saying about not having time to do it right the first time…

A friend of ours has a beautiful house in an upscale local development.  They investigated the builder, saw his houses, and contracted for a design-build project.  As you read this the wood floors are cupped throughout the first floor, drywall is water damaged in multiple locations and one room is infested with mold.  The culprit; poorly installed roof flashing and ice and water shield.  It is the things you don’t see that matter the most in construction.

Contact us or stop by our office to discuss your next project.  Our passion for excellence combined with our business ethics and resumes make us unlike any other contractor in the area.  Our staff includes highly educated, LEED accredited professionals who are creative, current on the latest construction materials, methods and design and dedicated to our customers and community.

Emil Turean, President

Crown Construction Contracting

NWI CONTRACTOR BUILDS ON NATIONAL SUCCESS

Businesses and home owners in Northwest Indiana now have the opportunity to build their next project with the nationally acclaimed staff at Crown Construction Contracting, located at 560 N Indiana Avenue in Crown Point.  The knowledge gained from completing successful commercial and residential projects across 16 states including award winning locations on Chicago’s Mag Mile, combined with Crown’s business ethics, teamwork and motivation makes them unlike any other General Contractor in the area.

Crown’s team brings over 70 years of construction and management experience gained on projects including some completed under the most severe site conditions imaginable, with schedules previously thought unattainable. LEED accredited professionals with MS and BS in Business are on staff.  Field operations and in-house safety program are managed by Crown’s General Field Superintendent.

In addition to staying current on design, construction materials, means and methods, Crown has relationships with the most talented architects and designers in the area resulting in the premier construction team in NWI.

All projects, residential or commercial, are managed with the same unique approach that brought years of success to Crown’s past clients that include nationally recognized owners and architects.

Clients working with Crown Construction Contracting are immediately part of a cohesive team dedicated to the success of their project.  Communication of cost and schedule is current, clear and transparent.  All team members are held accountable and responsible.  Through on going strategic team management potential problems are identified and resolved minimizing impact on cost and project schedule.

For a successful project and to see how Crown Construction Contracting will add value to your next project visit them at their office, call or e-mail them.  Crown is also active on Facebook, Houzz and Pinterest.

http://www.crownbuilds.com

http://www.houzz.com/pro/crownconstructionin/__public

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crown-Construction-Contracting/1420513534844348

http://www.pinterest.com/ccc560/

560 N Indiana Avenue  Crown Point, IN

Phone (219) 488-2400

Character Above All

Ethics seem to be popping up all over.  Politicians are signing ethics agreements, schools are teaching it and contractors are building ethically.  Are there business ethics?  We believe the same as Peter Drucker that no, there are just ethics.

Our staff has worked at various companies and struggled with their cultures, which is why, being like minded, we are here.  We grew tired of hearing “it’s just business” and the end result being if the action made money than it was OK no matter the expense to others.

Looking back all of us at Crown credit our character that we bring to our jobs to our parents.  When we say we treat a customer’s projects and money like it was our own, we do, as it is our nature.

My first and strongest introduction to ethics was when I was very young and found an inexpensive ball in a large open field, not near any houses including my own.  As soon as my Mom saw it she said to take it back right where I found it as it was not mine and someone will be looking for it.  So I did.

This lesson has stayed with me for decades twofold.  One being if it is not yours and you didn’t earn it, then don’t take it.  Two being the beginning of my empathy for others thinking about how someone was missing the ball.  Combine this with the Golden Rule and you have the basis for the character that we at Crown share with our customers, families and throughout life in general.

We like an Inc. Magazine article “The Only Ethics Guide You’ll Ever Need” (http://www.inc.com/harvey-mackay/the-only-ethics-guide-you-need.html) that listed the following questions.  If an action in question fails any one of the tests, just don’t do it.

  • Is it legal?
  • How will it make you feel about yourself?
  • How do others feel about it?
  • How would you feel if your actions were made public?
  • Does the behavior make sense?  Will it hurt others?
  • Is it fair?
  • Will people in authority approve?
  • How would you feel if someone did the same thing to you?
  • Will something negative happen if you don’t make a decision?
  • (Our favorite) Would you do this if your mother was watching?

We’re not perfect and you can be sure that we have all have done things growing up that failed the last test, but all that has combined to make us who we and Crown are today.  We feel that our culture combined with our unparalleled construction and management experience makes us the best choice for your residential and commercial projects in Northwest Indiana and surrounding areas.

Emil Turean, Principal

Crown Construction

When to Hire a Public Adjuster

Earlier this year, one of our clients sustained serious damage from ice dams that formed during our treacherous winter.  Several areas of her oak hardwood flooring were cupped and buckled on much of the first floor of the house (almost 1600SF), walls were stained, cracking and tape joints were exposed, and window trims, floor base and door casings discolored in black (a possible indication of mold).

Our client contacted her insurance agent to file a claim for repairs, and he came to her home to make an evaluation as expected.  He then recommended a few of his favorite disaster repair companies to work up pricing so they could move along with the process and send her a check for the “agreed to” amount.

We opted to price up the work with our subcontractors, so our client would have a basis of comparison to the recommended contractors.  When pricing was complete by each party, it was determined that the other two bids were substantially lower and seemed to be lacking much of the appropriate work, which would in turn, devalue and depreciate the client’s home and home value.  She voiced her concerns to her agent, and asked many questions hope to understand why so many items were left out.  After her insurance premium had been increased over 40% per year, and received no response from the agent, she received a check in the mail for the lesser amount of the two prices submitted.

We suggested she contact a public adjuster to fight the needed work.  Public adjusters can help by:

  • Providing an educated opinion in his area of expertise
  • Evaluating your current homeowner insurance policy to determine what you are entitled to and what the insurer is required to provide legally
  • As public adjusters charge a fee (either hourly or based on a percentage of the settlement), there is incentive to reach a maximized agreement
  • Eliminating the stress you may feel by dealing with the insurance company (especially if they are unresponsive)

If you are in a situation where you feel you are not being treated fairly, and your claim is in excess of $10,000, it might be time to contact a public adjuster.

The process is on-going with this client, but we’ll post an update when a conclusion has been reached.

Amanda Regelin

Senior Project Manager (Residential and Commercial Divisions)

Please feel free to contact us at info@crownbuilds.com or 219-488-2400 for more useful tips, and don’t forget to view our latest projects at http://crownconstructionin.houzz.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crown-Construction-Contracting/1420513534844348

http://www.crownbuilds.com

 

Tips on finding the RIGHT general contractor for YOU!

Finding a general contractor is not an easy task for a homeowner.  Firstly, there are several contractors who lack the experience, precision, and commitment.  Secondly, the process of selecting a company that will be managing your biggest life investment must be researched carefully.  Finally, recommendations from friends and architects who have experience with the contractor, contractor references, and testimonials will assist in making this difficult decision.

Things have changed significantly in the construction industry since the United States entered a recession.  Contractors are neglecting to carry the proper insurance policies for general liability and worker’s compensation, which places liability in the homeowner’s lap, should something go wrong on the jobsite (http://www.angieslist.com/articles/what-are-risks-hiring-unlicensed-contractor.htm).  Contractors are requesting payments in cash, and commitments to projects without formal contracts or scheduling.  This can be dangerous for homeowners who trust their contractors to pay suppliers and subcontractors on time (or if at all).

We suggest the following in your quest for the right GC: (Additional suggestions from other reputable sources can be found at http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20539027,00.html, http://www.networx.com/article/top-3-things-to-look-for-in-a-general-co)

  • Investigate the contractor’s experience through website and other social media.  Read testimonials and contact their references.  Consider the high quality in the contractor’s past work and his abilities to manage previous projects depending on size, details and difficulty.
  • When a contractor does not treat your project as a priority, or refuses to break down your pricing, consider this a red flag.  A GC that is committed to you and offers an “open book” has nothing to hide.
  • Make sure your contractor is insured properly and forwards insurance certificates and a subcontractor list of workers on your jobsite.  Consider a builder’s risk policy on your project during construction.  Your contractor can have this policy issued through his insurer for approximately 1% of total construction costs (http://www.insurance4usa.com/home-insurance-whilebeingbuilt.cfm).
  • Carefully consider when a contractor refuses to work anything but “cash only”, without a contract or schedule, and without the proper legal paperwork for payout procedures (http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=16070471).  Require your contractor and his subcontractors and suppliers to issue waivers of lien with each payout.  Unless you have very deep pockets, and enjoy giving money away, consider comprehensive pricing up-front to assist you in keeping track of where your money is going.  An honest contractor that runs a true general contracting business will have no problem offering this in his services.
  • The best project will be completed by the contractor who has made you a priority, and has been involved since day one.  Make sure you understand what is included in the proposal, and be careful not to jump on the low bid…As the old saying goes “Pick any two”, cost, quality or schedule.

o        Design something quickly and to a high standard, but then it will not be cheap.

o        Design something quickly and cheaply, but it will not be of high quality.

o        Design something with high quality and cheaply, but it will take a relatively long time.

 

  • Shopping bids between contractors (i.e. showing a contractor another contractor’s bid) is unethical and tends to contaminate bids by losing the “apple-to-apple” comparison, especially in conceptual budgets.  Crown does not bid shop with our subcontractors – each price on your proposal is the price the subcontractor is paid.

Please feel free to contact us at info@crownbuilds.com or 219-488-2400 for more useful tips, and don’t forget to view our latest projects at http://crownconstructionin.houzz.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crown-Construction-Contracting/1420513534844348

 

Keeping Your Job Site Clean…and Safe!

In the busy, ever-changing atmosphere of construction sites, it is essential to maintain cleanliness and orderly job sites for many reasons including safety, protection of existing and new materials and finishes, and establishing integrity and pride in your organization.

Many steps can be taken to ensure your site is clean and safe.  Crown Construction Contracting has an in-house safety committee to monitor our safety records and job site superintendent and subcontractor meetings on a weekly basis.  Keeping all parties aware of cleanliness and safety can reduce the potential for lawsuits against the parties involved, including most importantly, your client!

According to OSHA, the top frequently cited infractions include fall protection, hazard communication, scaffolding, respiratory protection, electrical and wiring, industrial trucks, ladders, and electrical systems design (OSHA, n.d.).  Toolboxtopics.com is a wonderful site to access safety meeting guidelines for your job sites. It is important to identify potential construction hazards before an accident occurs.  Some of these hazards include bad housekeeping, tripping hazards (electrical cords and power tools), proper electrical grounding, proper installation and maintenance of scaffolding and ladders,  slippery surfaces such as oil, ice or water, proper lighting in darker areas, and workers without protective gear (hard hats, safety vests and eye protection).

Protection of existing and new materials and finishes is essential to every project.   Costs should be anticipated up-front, included in the general conditions of your project, and communicated with your client.  Each subcontractor should also anticipate the use of protection such as, dust barrier walls (for remodeling), masonite for floor protection, surface shields to eliminate construction dust and debris from entering ductwork, surface protection of cabinetry and counter tops, as well as special care to the exterior landscaping to minimize disruption to every area of the project.  Taking these important preventive steps will not only result in a smoother running project, but eliminate expenses and schedule delays for unanticipated repair work.

Some examples of protection can be found at https://www.zipwall.com/, http://www.surfaceshields.com/duct-protection, http://www.surfaceprotection.com/cabinetprotection.aspx, and http://www.ramboard.com/.

Finally, maintain a clean and organized job site, not only to eliminate confusion and the risk of lost or damaged material, but to reinforce the commitment your company and team members have to your projects.  Leaving a job site in a state of disrepair can give the impression that the overall job will not be one of utmost quality, and can leave a lasting impression to your clients that will easily translate into a word of mouth failure to future potential customers.

Please feel free to contact us at info@crownbuilds.com or 219-488-2400 for more useful tips, and don’t forget to view our latest projects at http://crownconstructionin.houzz.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crown-Construction-Contracting/1420513534844348

Tool Box Topics (n.d.).  Identifying Construction Hazards.  Retrieved from toolboxtopics.com

United States Department of Labor (n.d.).  Occupational Safety & Health Administration.  Commonly Used Statistics.  Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html