Recent Articles

  • Just How Much is Your Disconnected Jobsite Costing You?

    Article written by Andy Holtmann and appears on the Viewpoint blog

    One of the biggest hurdles to successful construction projects is the disconnect between the workers in the field and those in the back office. Not having the most up to date project information in the field can mean miscommunication, mistakes, delays and added costs. Meanwhile, the project can suffer in the back office as data needed from the field can be hard to collect or incomplete, leading to delays or errors in billing, inaccurate cost accounting and a disconnect over actual job progress. Plus, contractors’ back office staff can be buried in paperwork and manual processes like re-entering data into different systems, taking valuable time away from more important tasks or forcing extra labor overhead costs.

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  • Are There Tax Incentives Your Company Is Missing Out On?

    Article is a guest post on the Viewpoint blog

    There are tax incentives construction firms can take advantage of that could add thousands of dollars to the bottom line.

    The voluminous changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) leave taxpayers uncertain about the future on tax credits and deductions. Typically creating unforeseen obstacles, there are now unprecedented opportunities for many taxpayers as it relates to R&D tax credits. The two most power tax incentives we’ll discuss here are the R&D Tax Credit and 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction.

    R&D Tax Credits for Construction

    Whether you are a general contractor or specialty subcontractor, you could be eligible for significant R&D tax credits. Check out this video for more on how to qualify. It’s common for our mid-sized construction clients to see $50,000 or more per year in net federal credits.

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  • Construction Adds 5,000 Jobs in November

    According to data released last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 5,000 net new jobs in November. During the past 12 months, the industry has added 282,000 net new construction jobs, which translates into a 4 percent increase in total industry-wide employment.

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC)

    Nonresidential Construction Employment Slows Down in November, Says ABC

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 7—Construction employment expanded by 5,000 net new jobs in November, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data conducted by Associated Builders and Contractors today. During the past 12 months, the industry has added 282,000 net new construction jobs, which translates into a 4 percent increase in total industry-wide employment.

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  • Nonresidential Construction Spending Rises Modestly in October

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $763.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate for October, increased 0.1% and is a 7.3% increase over the same time last year
    • Water supply (+23 percent), lodging (+18.9 percent) and amusement and recreation (+16.2 percent) have generated the largest increases among nonresidential construction segments over the past 12 months.
    • “While demand for construction services remained strong throughout the year, many contractors indicate that profit margins are under pressure. Given the ongoing dearth of available, skilled construction workers, that is likely to continue into 2019. However, materials price dynamics could be far different given a slowing global economy and expectations for a strong U.S. dollar next year.”

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

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  • ABC Predicts Construction Sector Will Remain Strong in 2019

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 4—Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu forecasts another strong year for construction sector performance, yet warns about inflationary pressures, according to a 2019 economic outlook published today in Construction Executive magazine.

    Job growth, high backlog and healthy infrastructure investment all spell good news for the industry. However, historically low unemployment has created a construction workforce shortage of an estimated 500,000 positions, which is leading to increased compensation costs.

    “U.S. economic performance has been brilliant of late. Sure, there has been a considerable volume of negativity regarding the propriety of tariffs, shifting immigration policy, etc., but the headline statistics make it clear that domestic economic performance is solid,” said Basu. “Nowhere is this more evident than the U.S. labor market. As of July, there were a record-setting 6.94 million job openings in the United States, and construction unemployment reached a low of 3.6 percent in October.”

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  • Nonresidential Spending Retains Momentum in September

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $767.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate for September, fell 0.3% but remains historically elevated and increased 8.9% on a year-ago basis
    • August’s estimate was revised almost a full percent higher from $762.7 billion to $769.1 billion, the highest level in the history of the series.
    • “Unlike previous instances of rapid construction growth, this one is led by a neatly balanced combination of private and public spending growth.”

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 1— National nonresidential construction spending fell 0.3 percent in September but remains historically elevated, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today. Total nonresidential spending stood at $767.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate in September, an increase of 8.9 percent on a year-ago basis.

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  • Construction Adds 23,000 Jobs in September

    According to data released last month by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 23,000 net new jobs in September, following 23,000 in August, 18,000 in July, 13,000 in June and 29,000 in May.

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC)

    Full release

    Construction Industry Adds 23,000 Jobs in September, Says ABC

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 5—The U.S. construction industry added 23,000 net new positions in September, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    During the last 12 months, the industry has added 315,000 net new jobs, an increase of 4.5 percent. Nonresidential construction employment expanded by 18,600 net jobs on a monthly basis, while the residential sector added just 4,400 net positions.

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  • Construction Will Hold Steady in 2019, Says Dodge

    Article written by Alisa Zevin and appears on enr.com

    U.S. construction starts will hold steady in 2019 after a modest 3% uptick in 2018, according to the 2019 Dodge Construction Outlook. Starts are expected to hit $808.3 billion, only 0.2% higher than 2018’s $806.8 billion.

    “Over the past three years, the expansion for the U.S. construction industry has shown deceleration in its rate of growth, a pattern that typically takes place as an expansion matures,” says Robert A. Murray, chief economist at Dodge Data & Analytics.

    For the non-residential sector side, the volume of commercial work is expected to drop 3%, with rising vacancy rates in the coming year slightly dampening construction, says Murray, who provided the 2019 market update in National Harbor, Md., on Oct. 25.

    Retail construction continues to decline, largely due to the shift to online shopping, while hotel construction will slow following a 10% boost in 2018. Office and manufacturing buildings, however, will see small increases, at 1% and 2%, respectively. Institutional building, such as educational and healthcare structures, will rise 3%.

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  • 6 Ways Contractors Can Save Money with Technology

    Article written by Andy Holtmann and appears on the Viewpoint blog

    Save money on your construction projects with these six cost-saving methods that use technology.

    If there’s one thing all contractors are interested in, it’s cutting costs. Construction projects all too easily run over budget and behind schedule, and in an industry with thin profit margins, that can be a big problem. Luckily, the construction industry is beginning to innovate by introducing new technologies which help increase productivity, reduce costs and provide sound ROI.

    Find out how your construction contracting business can benefit from today’s popular and up-and-coming technology tools with these cost saving ideas for construction companies.

    1. Improve Project Planning and Execution with BIM

    Building information modeling (BIM) is growing increasingly popular in construction, and for good reason. This 3D modeling tool establishes one master design for everyone to work from, all the way from the planning stages of a project through execution. BIM can even help building owners with maintenance down the road.

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  • How to Hire Good People During the Labor Shortage

    Article written by Andy Holtmann and appears on the Viewpoint blog

    Practical tips for hiring construction workers who will stick around, plus advice for employee retention

    We’ve been discussing the construction labor shortage here at Surveyor for a while now. Many contractors are struggling to find skilled workers, which is especially challenging during a time when there’s no shortage of work to do. Construction also faces high turnover rates, so even when contractors do find good workers, retaining them isn’t always easy.

    So how do you make your company stand out to attract good workers? We’ve compiled a list of tips for hiring and keeping the best construction employees.

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