Small Renovation Projects For Your Apartment Complex
As the owner of an apartment complex, you understand that keeping your property in great shape is good business. An attractive apartment community is always desirable, and it will bring you clients that are excited to become residents. It also means that your tenants will probably stay longer, saving you both the time and money spent on advertising to fill empty units.
Planning and completing smaller renovation projects around your property to keep everything looking fresh and on-trend is going to pay off in the long run, and planning these types of projects far in advance will allow you to shop for labor and materials at lower costs, as well as make allowances for weather and other disruptions.
Here are some smaller renovation projects to consider for your apartment complex:
- Community spaces. Refreshing community spaces, like resurfacing pool decks or supplying those areas with brand new picnic tables and umbrellas, is a great way to add new life to your complex. A refresh is a simple project to complete, as well. Potted plants or attractive new planting beds add a nice touch, and using indigenous plant life will save you money on irrigation. If your complex has an area that stores rain runoff, it might work well to use that water for irrigation.
- Community garden. Many people are interested in using community spaces for common gardens, and this is a great way to bring your residents together, too. It promotes good health by encouraging people to spend time outdoors—a proven way to add a sense of well-being to everyone’s lifestyle.
- Building facelift. Fresh paint on exterior walls and trim will go a long way towards giving your apartment complex a great new look. Interior paint projects can also be smaller-sized projects that can bring big payoffs in resident satisfaction.
- Storage. Adding pullout-style kits to kitchen and bathroom cabinets can help reduce the space-crunch that sometimes comes with apartment living. A new trend in kitchen cabinetry that you might consider adding to units are cabinets that span one whole wall and extend floor-to-ceiling. Installing movable shelving here will allow your tenants to make the adjustments they may need for their unique belongings, and it will allow you to remove those upper cabinets over the sink and counters that many people can’t really use efficiently due to their inconvenient location; this will open up your kitchens, making them look and feel far larger. Fresh paint on new wall space will add a big wow factor.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we’re experienced in renovation projects of all shapes and sizes. Call us today and let’s talk about your ideas.
When To Prioritize A Bathroom Renovation
When it’s time for a facelift in any room of your home, it’s pretty obvious. Maybe the overall color palette styles have changed, or new fabrics and flooring are all the rage, with examples being shown off on social media and in magazines or on television. Most home interior changes can be done fairly easily and relatively inexpensively, but the bathroom can be a different matter entirely.
There are a few reasons you might need to prioritize your bathroom renovation, and we would like to share a few with you today:
LEAKS, ETC. Of course, this first reason is definitely a no-brainer. When you have leaks and malfunctions, they create all sorts of inconveniences for you and your family, so you will know immediately that it is probably time to renovate. Old pipes, an older toilet, disintegrating seals and fittings—all of these situations will require you to replace tubs, toilets, and sinks, along with all their accompanying plumbing.
NEW BATHROOM FIXTURE STYLES. Bathroom fixture styles don’t change as often as the paint shades for the year, but when new models do come on the market, they are generally really exciting. Upgraded features that add comfort and efficiency are often part of a newer offering, and many times they are more energy efficient, too. Tubs these days stand alone, away from the walls, which are much easier to keep tidy. They also lower the probability of water damage and wear to those walls. Natural lighting has been proven to be much healthier for all of us, so why not include the skylight trend in your bathroom renovation? When a renovation to your bathroom will improve your quality of life and lower your energy costs, it’s definitely time to put that renovation at the top of your to-do list.
CHANGE IN FAMILY SIZE. If you are expecting to start a family, or if you are adding to that family, a bathroom renovation may be a really good idea. Perhaps aging parents are coming to stay, or a college student is moving back home to start a new career and get his or her feet on the ground. A change in your family size is probably going to mean that your bathroom is going to experience more traffic and use, which means it is a great time to renovate and expand your space. You will have the opportunity to add newer, longer-lasting, and better quality bathroom fixtures to handle the expansion.
These are just a few of the reasons why you might want to prioritize a bathroom renovation. Call us here at Ascension General Contractors for assistance in all your renovation projects.
Updating The Flooring In Your Home
Replicating natural wood and stone are big trends this year, so, if you are planning to update the flooring in your home, you can expect to see some pretty consistent looks across the board.
As you think about the look you want to bring into your personal space, consider these top flooring design trend ideas:
- Wood flooring. This is definitely not a new look, but it’s one that has stayed with us. You will find this look in laminate, vinyl and ceramic tile, and there is no sign of this trend going out of style any time soon.
- Waterproof flooring. For many years, tile was really the only waterproof flooring option to choose from, but today you can pick from vinyl, laminate and even some carpets. You’ll be able to step out of the shower and enjoy the softness and warmth of carpet with this choice, instead of cold, hard tile. Waterproof carpeting won’t soak up water and get moldy, but are easily cleaned seconds after getting wet. Choosing waterproof flooring will be a dream come true for busy homeowners, those with children, and pet owners alike.
- Textured flooring. This choice mimics classic hardwood, and you’ll be able to find distressed or wire-brushed styles in wood, laminate, and more.
- Environmentally friendly flooring. Today’s homeowners want to know where their flooring came from and how the material might affect the environment. Using recyclable, homegrown, and natural materials is extremely important.
- Going blonde. Gray is still a thing, but blonde is also in style and making a big splash. Light and airy flooring in blonde will work with any decor, and it has the advantage of seeming to add space to your rooms.
We are seeing a resurgence of eco-friendly materials in flooring projects, such as cork and parquet planks, while tiles are getting larger with time and are available in realistic stone, including marble, limestone, and travertine. The concrete look is popular again, too.
With so many exciting new styles and trends to choose from, you can have a lot of fun updating the flooring in your home. Here at Ascension General Contractors, we’re ready to help you plan your flooring project, as well as any other home updates or renovations. Call us today!
Creating A Renovation Schedule For Your Office
When it’s time to start thinking about renovations for your office spaces, there is a lot to consider. You’ll need to create a schedule that takes all the factors of your business into account before you begin. Here are some planning points to consider as you begin to create a renovation schedule for your business:
- Your industry. You must, of course, think first about the nature of your business and how you think the year ahead will unfold. Take into account both your busy seasons and the slower ones so that renovations will be underway at a time when it will be least disruptive.
- Your workforce. Most businesses encourage their employees to request extended time off pretty far in advance for planning purposes, so if this is a practice at yours, it will be a big help as you create your renovation schedule.
- Time to begin. Once you have chosen the season you want your project to begin, you will want to plan for the ordering of supplies and materials, and you will need to schedule a planning session with the contractor you will be using.
- Your clients. You will want to alert your clients as far in advance as possible, especially if there will be any small inconveniences that may accompany the project you are undertaking. Signage with dates, directions, detours, and other important information should be placed in spots that will be easily seen and noted.
- Safety factors. Think about safety factors, as well—if detours have to happen, make sure that you place their creation on your schedule so that they can be done carefully and thoroughly. For example, if you know that a different walkway will see a lot more traffic than normal, make sure that your schedule reflects an inspection of this area, with allowance for time to make upgrades and repairs.
When you are considering renovations to your office space, it will be helpful to talk to professionals who are experienced in creating a renovation schedule. Here at Ascension General Contractors, we have the expertise needed to assist you with all your renovation needs. Call us today!
FIRST STEPS IN HIRING A CONTRACTOR
Before you ever approach a contractor, you will want to have a detailed plan in hand. A professional designer or architect can come up with a comprehensive plan that you can show your contractor, so that they know exactly what you have planned for your space. Remember that permit drawings are not complete plans and are going to contain very limited information about your final design concept; they show general information concerning layout and structure, but won’t show finishes, interior architecture, lighting, and other features. Your contractor will need these specifics to give you accurate pricing.
Here are the first steps in hiring a contractor:
LIST OF SPECIFICATIONS. The price to renovate even the smallest of spaces can vary by quite a lot, depending on fittings and fixtures. Choosing these kinds of items ahead of time will save both you and your contractor a lot of trouble during the actual construction process, because he or she will be able to order and have the items on hand, based on your list, and will know the associated costs, avoiding surprises.
RECOMMENDATIONS. Ask your designer, architect, or neighbors to recommend some builders that you can contact. Your friends and neighbors may have had work done recently, and they will be happy to let you know if they did or did not like the contractor they worked with. When talking with these recommended builders, you can share your set of plans and the specifications mentioned above so that you can receive appropriate pricing.
INSURANCE. Make sure your chosen contractor is properly insured. Accidents are an unfortunate part of the construction business. There are bound to be mishaps with all those moving pieces and all the people involved, so make sure your contractor is sufficiently covered should the worst happen.
CHECK THEIR WORK. Once your project has been bid out and you know who you want to work with, check some of their previous jobs. If you like what you find, there’s a good chance you have made the right choice for your project.
INTERVIEW. Make sure you are picking someone you trust and someone that you can easily communicate with. During your first meetings, question them as to how unexpected issues will be handled, such as change orders or design challenges.
EXTRAS. Your contractor may not have priced some items, such as bathroom accessories and such. These are known as extras, and you will want to ask your contractor how he deals with extras. You don’t want to find out later that your contractor is in the habit of using extras to get as much money from the project as possible.
TIMELINE. Find out how long your contractor thinks your project will take, and then add eight additional weeks. This will help to manage your expectations. Just know that unforeseen incidents and situations regularly come up during construction projects, so be ready.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are here to help you with your construction needs. Call us today, and let’s get started.
UPDATING YOUR BUSINESS’ LOBBY
Your lobby is where new clients will determine what kind of operation you run, and whether or not they plan to continue to do business with you. Not only do you want to draw new customers, you want to retain them for future, and the perception they have of you as a business person will dictate whether they ever come back. If your lobby is pleasant, airy, and bright, with current reading material, comfortable chairs, and even workspaces for remote workers, your clients will be happy to wait for your services. If, on the other hand, the lobby of your business is dark, cluttered, and dirty, with no place to wait in comfort, your customers will go elsewhere. A smart business person understands this very well. Is it time to update your business’ lobby?
Here are a few current design trends to help you plan your update:
- COMFORT AND ELEGANCE. You know that your visitors and clients will want to be comfortable, but designing your waiting space for comfort in a successful way can be tricky. The key will be in finding furniture and decor that can provide that comfort, but in an elegant and professional way. Modern chairs look great, but they aren’t always the best seating experience, while those that are comfortable often look more like they belong in your family room than in a business setting.
- NO CONFUSION. Your lobby area should provide clients with a clear idea of where they check in, where the restrooms are, and where to sit and wait for their services to be completed. Warm greetings are a great way to make your customers feel welcome, so make sure as you update your lobby that you place your reception person in a place where he or she can see people right as they walk in. If your reception area is large, provide clear and attractive signage that will help people find what they are looking for, or perhaps even a wayfinding kiosk.
- BRANDING. Think about the message you want your lobby to convey. Use a color palette that meshes properly with your existing marketing, and take care in selecting artwork. You have a built-in opportunity to advertise who you are and what you do here in your lobby, so take advantage of it. An attractive concept of your company logo would be a great addition to the decor of your business’ lobby.
- TECHNOLOGY. As people wait, they will be using their computers, phones, and tablets, or course, Make sure your wifi is strong and accessible to your customers. Having recharging stations and workspaces complete with outlets for remote workers to use while they wait are vital these days, and people will be much more apt to return to your business and to be happy to wait if you provide them a space that promotes this kind of comfort. Top-of-the-line televisions and programming is another way to ensure that the time your clients spend in your lobby is a pleasant one.
If it’s time to update your business’ lobby, call us here at Ascension General Contractors and let’s start planning!
THE PROCESS OF A COMMERCIAL REPAIR PROJECT
Your commercial repair project is going to be a complex undertaking with a multitude of moving pieces. A comprehensive understanding of the process will help you in ensuring that the project is completed as a quality product. The Ascension General Contractors team is here to assist you during this kind of project, and today we are sharing the phases of the process so that you know what to expect.
The process of a commercial project will include the following steps:
- PROJECT MANAGEMENT. Enlist the assistance of a company that is an expert in handling construction and repair process management; their expertise will optimize the workflow and minimize the potential for problems.
- DESIGN. During this stage, your concept will be transformed into a reality, with your objectives being evaluated as to their feasibility. An initial repair design will be created by taking your desires, goals, requirements, and potential challenges into consideration, and this design will be checked against all local building codes and regulations prior to the start of the project.
- PRECONSTRUCTION. With the design established, the next step will be the preconstruction phase. It will need to be established that the construction team is ready to work together seamlessly, and the focus then becomes the best use of time, budget and other resources. Methods for construction will be chosen next, and employees are brought on board.
- PROCUREMENT. At this point, it’s time to order materials and equipment in readiness for the start of the actual work. Having all the pieces in place to ensure that work can begin as scheduled and proceed properly is critical to the success of your commercial repair project.
- CONSTRUCTION. Then the building and repair begins. Quality control, safety, and cost management are the active concerns during this phase, and the progress should be carefully monitored to make sure that issues are handled immediately; this will keep your repair project on schedule.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are experts at managing commercial repair projects. Call us today to find out how your project can benefit from our commercial repair management services.
PREPARING YOUR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY FOR FALL
Even though summer has just begun, a smart business owner like you will be looking forward to the autumn months ahead to ensure that your commercial property is ready for the colder, more volatile weather that will be occurring at that time. Today we are sharing the primary tip that will help you with that focus: inspections.
- ROOF INSPECTION. It’s important to have your roof inspected regularly, especially in anticipation of the colder (and wetter) weather conditions. You will want to be confident that your roof is in the kind of shape necessary to withstand the elements. Regular inspections will identify problems before they become serious and allow them to be handled before bigger troubles evolve.
- PIPE INSPECTION. Plumbing that is in good repair is vital to the health of your business; downtimes due to plumbing issues and failures are costly and troublesome. Routine pipe inspections will locate leaks and other related problems so that they can be fixed in a timely manner, saving your property from water damage.
- HVAC INSPECTION. Maintaining comfortable temperatures in your property’s interiors is important, both for your workforce and your clients. Have your HVAC system checked out regularly to make sure it’s in top running form throughout the year, and going strong in readiness for the colder months. Ducts and vents should be well-maintained year-round, too.
- LANDSCAPE INSPECTION. Overhanging branches, dead shrubs, and overgrown trees: all these types of landscaping situations will need to be handled before the fall and winter set in. Plant life that is not well-maintained can create dangerous scenarios for both people and property when high winds, ice and snow, and heavy rains start to occur.
Take the necessary steps ahead of time to keep your commercial property in great repair. It will save you time, money, and trouble. The professionals at Ascension General Contractors has the experience to help you inspect your premises and keep them in shape. We can also assist you in determining if a remodel project is necessary, and when you want to expand, we are here to help!
Kitchen Updates for You to Consider
Everyone knows that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where everyone congregates and spends time together, and precious memories are created there. Keeping your kitchen updated and pleasant is a great way to provide your friends and loved ones the perfect spot for happy times.
Here are some kitchen updates for you to consider:
- Follow Tradition. Kitchen design in recent years has included trendy materials, but has now moved to a more subdued, traditional feel. Forms and shapes remain modern, but the materials give a nod to past practices and methods – natural wood, plastered walls, and polished concrete are making a comeback.
- Modern Butler’s Pantry. Wraparound counters and upper cabinets are disappearing, and in their place you will see floor-to-ceiling storage – almost like a butler’s pantry, with only one wall of lower cabinets and countertops.
- Bye, Hardware. 2019 is not the year for over-the-top brassware, as hardware is disappearing. Seamless cabinets with subtle edge pulls are here, and this allows cabinetry and countertops take center stage.
- Concealed Range Hoods. Concealed ventilation is becoming popular, and at times is even hidden in cabinet fronts, disappearing in this kitchen design trends.
- Beautiful Backsplashes. Statement backsplashes are a hot new item. Stone with a narrow ledge or shelf is growing in popularity, and updating your backsplash to this new style will make your kitchen the center of attention.
- Bold Color. Adding pops and blocks of bold color is a trend this year that has everyone talking. Do you love teal? That’s great! Your kitchen island can be teal. And you adore sunshine yellow, too; bring that happy shade into your kitchen!
- Smart Appliances. Inviting smart appliances into your kitchen is a great update idea. These items make life a lot easier and sport sleek design, as well. Stainless steel is out – you will be amazed at all the colors these products come in.
If you are considering updating your kitchen, our team here at Ascension General Contractors will be happy to talk with you about your vision. We have the expertise to bring that vision to life, as well. Call us today!
RENOVATING YOUR BUSINESS TO PREVENT STORM DAMAGE
With all the weather uncertainty these days, it’s a smart move to take steps that will keep your commercial property safe from inclement weather. Summer is on our doorstep, and along with summer comes storms, carrying lots of water, high winds, and on occasion – tornadoes.
You can ensure that your business is guarded against a weather event by undertaking some renovation projects to prevent damage from storms both this summer and in the coming months ahead. After all, it’s anyone’s guess what type of weather situations we will find ourselves in.
The most important areas of your business to renovate are:
Roofing and rain spouts. This is the most vulnerable part of any building, and in order to keep your premises free from damage, your roof needs to be in the best shape possible. If it’s not, the project planning starts here. You’ll also want to make sure that your rain gutters and downspouts are in great repair and ready to handle any downpour.
Windows and doors. When is the last time you updated your exterior windows and doors? These entrance spots are where you’ll experience damages from water and high winds, so it might be time to replace them with stronger products. You might as well go ahead and choose energy efficient models, too, in order to make the most out of your renovation.
Parking and entrances. Your parking and driving entrance areas need to be in great shape to guard against the erosion that can come from large amounts of runoff and standing water. These are spots where vehicles and people can easily be affected, so take steps to upgrade these areas before storm season comes. Don’t forget walkways – a lot of water at one time can wash away the paths and sidewalks that people need to use to get into your place of business, and not only can that cost you money, but your workforce and your clients won’t be safe.
If you are thinking about undertaking renovations that will keep your business safe from storm damage, call us here at Ascension General Contractors to go over your plans. We can help you get your renovations done in a timely and professional manner, just in time for storm season.
WHY YOU SHOULD PROBABLY UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN
2019 is all about a fresh new kitchen attitude. Whether you’re considering a total remodel or just looking for some inspiration for a simple refresh, there is a whole new crop of design trends to choose from. Updating this most popular space in your home can add value to your home and quality to your lifestyle.
Here are some reasons why updating your kitchen is a great renovation investment to make for your home:
- You’ll add a fresh style and ambience
- You’ll increase your kitchen’s versatility
- An upgrade can give you more space
- It will make your kitchen a joy to work in and increase its functionality
And here are some design trends for inspiration:
Space integration. Concealed and clever storage solutions can really free up space for entertaining and congregating.
Hardware upgrades. One new trend that can add a great ambience to your kitchen is the use of gunmetal and pewter. More natural in look, these materials add texture and depth to your cooking areas.
Open cabinets. Another attractive design trend is the replacement of upper cabinets with metal, wood, or glassshelving, doing away with the heavier aspects of full cabinetry and allowing for a more light and open feel.
Going vintage. Traditional elements and forms, such as natural stone or organic basalt tiles, rattan furniture and fixtures inspired by historic design are great ways to bring a more earth-friendly feel into your kitchen.
Adding color. White kitchens are no longer desirable. Besides being difficult to keep clean, this plain palette is, well, plain. Pops of color, such as bold counter stools, patterned light shades, or paint choices that breathe life into your home are a great way to revive your kitchen area.
Wood. There is a renewed desire to create better connections with nature. Your kitchen environment will be more welcoming with the addition to natural woods throughout. Wood is a versatile and timeless material that is fun to use, and environmentally sound, too. New trends are all about going back to basics.
Integrated appliances. From stove hoods that turn on automatically to induction cooktops with their seamless look, we will continue to see this trend everywhere. It’s no longer necessary to see appliances in every corner of your kitchen – the new look of luxury. Digital technology will also continue to drive innovation, giving you smarter and more specific home appliances targeted to your taste. Why not install a wifi-enabled espresso maker so that your cuppa can be ready before you get out of bed?
When it comes to a kitchen refresh, large or small, Ascension General Contractors is here to help you make your design dreams come to life.
When Is The Right Time For A Business Renovation?
Every business owner knows that renovations are a necessity over time. Determining the optimum time to start and complete a project like that can be difficult, however. When is the right time for a business renovation?
Here are some things to think about that will help you to get ready for that big step.
THE NEXT LEVEL. Your business has been good, but you want to get to the next level. Good is good, but great is better, and you know you need to stand out in order to attract those new customers. You are well aware that renovations are costly, but you also know it’s an investment that will pay off over time. Renovations to increase the attractive factor of your operation can take many forms:
- Repainting rooms and walls (bright colors are desirable these days – get rid of that gray!)
- Remodeling floors (everyone loves hardwood floors)
- Replacing windows and doors to increase natural light (healthy and positive)
MORALE. If your workforce morale is low, or if there have been a lot of call-outs lately, it might be time to renovate your common areas. Creating a more cheery breakroom or adding communal areas to encourage communication and collaboration might be just the ticket, and you may want to get this completed sooner rather than later. Increased productivity is something you don’t want to wait to experience.
HIGH ENERGY BILLS. A smart business owner is always interested in lowering his or her energy bills, and a caring business owner is also concerned about the effect that their business has on the environment. Energy efficient appliances, machinery, and building materials will be a huge benefit to your operation on so many levels. If you are losing money here, don’t hesitate. There are many great products out there today that will save you a bundle and help to save our environment, too. Your customers will appreciate it.
DECREASED FOOT TRAFFIC. Curb appeal works for businesses just as it does for homes. If you have seen a decrease in walk-ins, it might mean that you are due for a refresh. Renovated spaces will pique the interest of customers as they walk or drive by. Don’t be surprised if your word-of-mouth advertising picks up, too. An inviting contemporary office is a place that people want to be.
SPACE. Perhaps you are growing. That’s great, but your workforce is feeling the pinch. This would be the right time for a renovation. You will be able to revamp storage with a refresh as well as redesigning your spaces so that they are more workable and flexible, enabling you to do away with any cramped quarters.
If you think it might be time for a business renovation, call Ascension General Contractors today!
Building A Realistic Timeline For Your Renovation Project
Our days can be really hectic, and we often find ourselves running from one place to another for meetings, job requirements, or family activities. Deadlines are all around us, waiting to be met. Or not.
When it comes to your renovation project, setting the end date and the steps that need to be taken to make sure you meet your target will help keep things on track. Many contractors can be a bit misleading when it comes to their estimates concerning how long a job will take. After all, they are trying to get and keep your business. Knowing what a realistic timeline for your renovation project should include will go a long way towards keeping you aware and in the loop.
Here are some tips to help you:
BE PROACTIVE. Don’t start demolition until all the special order items have come in. That way, when it’s time to start putting everything back together, you won’t have to start doing last minute searches for your finish items.
CLEAR COMMUNICATION. Plan your timeline with your contractor and get a clear idea of what they will be doing. Are they a large outfit with several jobs going on at once? Will you have a personal project manager? Do you have unavoidable events upcoming that will determine when the job needs to be done? Let them know about these in advance, right away. Will you be responsible for any of the materials? If so, where and when do you get them?
KEEP LAST MINUTE CHANGES TO A MINIMUM. While you are building your timeline, make sure you leave some room for last minute changes, but keep those to a minimum. They will add costs and materials. Stick to the plan as much as possible. Anticipate surprises, as well. There will always be some.
START AND END DATES. Make sure your contract has clear start and end dates, and just know that you never want to enter into an agreement without an end date.
THREE MAIN FACTORS: There are three main factors that will determine the final outcome of your project: quality, speed, and price. Keep this in mind. If you focus on quantity and price, it will probably take more time than you would like to complete the job, but if you focus on speed and price, the quality will not be what you want, and you will be living with the results for a long time to come.
When it comes to your renovation projects, the Ascension General Contractors team is always here to help. Call us, and let’s get started!
Renovation Projects to Improve Your Outdoor Space
We’re all pretty happy that Spring has finally shown her face here in Nashville. We get to go outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and the beauty of the Tennessee hills. It’s also the time of year that many of us begin to think about renovations and upgrades to our homes and outdoor spaces, and we don’t blame you at all. Let’s talk about some renovation projects to improve your outdoor space:
- DECKS AND PATIOS. If you don’t already have a deck or patio, or if they are in disrepair from winter weather, let’s start here. Sanding and refinishing your deck should be on your list, and if you have a stone patio, you’ll want to replace cracked or missing stones and get rid of the weeds. When dealing with weeds, please remember to use environmentally friendly products. If you need to build a deck or patio, let’s plan one. Take into consideration what your usage will be – family get-togethers, large parties, small intimate groups? Your lifestyle will determine what you decide. If you love to cook, an outdoor kitchen may be in order – you can plan a fireplace or pizza oven, lots of counter space, or even a bar.
- GREEN THUMB. Maybe you would love to be a master gardener, and your dream has always been to enjoy a garden with winding paths and hidden fountains. Why not? Let’s sit down and talk about it! You can add a gazebo, pergola, or whimsical fencing and gates to give you the magical green spaces you have always daydreamed about. A fishpond might be just the thing!
- POOL AREA. Perhaps your pool area needs a facelift. The decking may need to be resurfaced or renovated, and as for your pool house – well, let’s just say it’s seen better days. When completed, these types of projects will greatly increase the enjoyment you, your family and friends will receive when they come to visit and spend time in your outdoor areas.
When it comes to planning projects for the outdoor spaces of your Nashville home, Ascension General Contractors is always here to help. Call us today, and let’s start planning.
Tips For Renovating Your Basement
Many homes have basements here in Nashville, and they are a great bonus when it comes to extra square footage. When you start thinking about renovating your basement, you will quickly realize that there are a lot of options for this space in your house. Here are some tips to consider when planning the renovation of your basement:
- FAMILY SIZE. If your family is growing, you might want to consider turning this into a multi-purpose playroom that can evolve as your children get older. Cabinetry that is custom-built to house toys and school projects will be handy to have over the years. You could even add a Murphy bed for sleepovers, allowing it to double as a guest area, too. If you are thinking you may need to provide space for an aging parent, do your research to make sure this space will be appropriate for them as they lose mobility.
- AIRBNB. Perhaps you are thinking about making some extra money by using this space as an AirBnB. Renovating your basement with this goal in mind might necessitate a trip to the permit office. Make sure you are safe when it comes to government and insurance requirements before you start any renovation here. If you have existing plumbing already, it will be helpful if you need to add a bathroom for your potential guests. You may want a separate entrance for your guests. If so, your renovation project will need to include those plans.
- WORKSHOP. Your basement could be the perfect place for your hobbies or side work, and renovating it to become the perfect workshop will require you to think about all of your needs. If you need ventilation because you work with wood and varnish, for example, make sure you take that into consideration.
- STUDIO. It will probably come to mind for many Nashvillians that a basement could make the perfect music studio. No surprise here. You may want to add a separate entrance for late night comings and goings, and of course there is the insulation and acoustics to consider.
When it comes to renovating your basement, Ascension General Contractors is here to help. We’ve been completing Nashville renovations for quite a while, so let’s talk about yours.
IMPROVE YOUR APARTMENT COMPLEX WITH COMMUNAL AREAS
Communal spaces are becoming more and more popular in design currently, and for good reason. These spaces are a more organized and better regulated version of our public spaces, providing all the benefits without many of the unwanted by-products, like garbage and crime.
Your apartment complex should include communal spaces. Adding them will improve your complex in several ways:
FUNCTIONALITY. No matter how architecturally perfect your building is, its functionality will be measured by how much it supports the comfort of your tenants. Communal spaces provide additional areas for them to socialize and relax in. This has the added benefit of increasing the functional value of your structure.
AESTHETICS. Communal spaces have a strong aesthetic appeal, inviting all users to spend time there. If you design open-air communal areas in your apartment complex, the outdoor landscape will be improved visually, as well as functionally. Lighting, landscaping, gazebos, walkways, fountains, outdoor kitchen and dining areas – even dance floors; any one of these choices will improve and enhance your apartment complex and your tenants’ quality of life.
INTERACTION. Buildings of all kinds do more than just provide a space for daily activities, especially apartment buildings. They bring people together from all walks of life, and social interaction follows. Positive interaction will be enhanced through attractive and available spaces scattered throughout your apartment complex, and can include areas for co-working, like a coffee shop or community center, for example. Such spaces encourage social interaction, which allows people to feel safer and more comfortable.
RETENTION. Residents who feel safe and comfortable will stay longer, which saves you as the owner both time and money. It’s also really great to interact with people you have known for a long time and have come to respect and trust.
Adding communal areas to your apartment complex will improve it in many ways. If you are considering renovating or upgrading different aspects of your property, call us here at Ascension General Contractors today, and together we can set out a plan to begin.
RENOVATION PROJECTS TO PREVENT FUTURE WATER DAMAGE
There’s a lot of renovating and upgrading going on in Nashville, whether it’s to increase square footage and make room for new family members, or because the residents are the proud owners of an existing structure that needs some love. It could even be because your home has suffered from water damage due to bad weather or faulty home accessories, such as appliances or pipes.
Whatever the case may be, when you are renovating, it’s always a good idea to think ahead while you are planning your home projects. Nashville does see quite a bit of wet weather, and more is on the way this summer. So let’s talk about some home renovation projects you can do to prevent future water damage:
- ROOFING, ETC. Probably the most vulnerable part of your home is the roof, along with the drainage system that relieves the roof of accumulated water. If you are getting ready to spend money on renovations, make sure your roof and the rain gutters and spouts are all top notch. This will ensure that you don’t suffer from wet walls and damp attics down the road.
- DRAINAGE DITCHES. Many Nashville homes in older neighborhoods are fronted by drainage ditches. This isn’t exactly a renovation project, but if you are upgrading your landscaping and redoing your driveway, take some time to bring your drainage ditch up to snuff by removing debris and doing maintenance on the ditch walls. Where it passes under your driveway will need to be well-maintained, too, to guard against issues.
- WATER AND SEWER. If it’s been many years since your pipes were replaced (and maybe they never have been, at all!) you will want to sit down with a professional and talk about upgrading all your pipes. Hard freezes and wear-and-tear will affect your water and sewer lines. And did you know that trees will send roots to pipes to try and take water from them? If you have large trees in your yard, it’s possible that they have taken hold of your lines, which could be a problem. Burst pipes cause big water damage issues.
If you need professional help during your renovation project, call us here at Ascension General Contractors today. We have years of experience in renovations, and we will be happy to sit down with you and talk about planning to prevent future water damage.
RENOVATING YOUR HOTEL LOBBY
As a hotel owner, you understand very well the power of the first impression. When your guests come to visit for the very first time, if they don’t like what they see, it may very well be their last. And word of mouth is the most powerful advertising there is. You are very aware that those unimpressed guests will tell ten people, who will tell ten people, who will tell ten people…and many times they will go to a social media review platform like Yelp to state their views. At that point, the word is out there forever.
The first place your guests will see is your lobby. This is your chance to wow them! Does your lobby need a refresh? If you are still looking at walls that are neutral or gray – which is so 2015 – it’s time for a renovation.
There are a few really exciting design trends out there for you to consider. Bold, dramatic colors have made a comeback, and they are now being used on all four walls of a room instead of just one accent wall. Get bold and creative as you come up with a new color scheme for your hotel lobby.
Celebrating your local area is also a popular trend. With this in mind, consider showcasing the artwork and photography of local artists in your lobby. It will give your guests a better sense of who you are and will highlight the culture of your community, helping them to fall in love with the area and possibly become repeat guests in the future.
Wood floors are another trend these days, with the return to natural accents in interiors. If your lobby is still carpeted, think about making a change to wood. It is easier to care for and less likely to attract pests.
Letting in more natural light is another helpful possibility when you are renovating your hotel lobby; if it is dim and dark, perhaps you can enlarge the existing windows, or even add new ones, to brighten it up. Natural light has been found to be healthy for all of us, and your guests will appreciate it.
When it comes to renovating your hotel lobby, Ascension General Contractors is here to make your dream a reality. Call us today!
THREE REASONS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BUILDING A DECK
When you are considering upgrading your home, there will be several ways you might make it more functional year-round, and the most popular of those considerations will be to add a deck. It’s a great place to host events and to spend time outside, both of which are things we all look forward to, especially when warmer weather arrives. You can design an attractive cover for rain; pergolas are popular, allowing for sunshine to peek through, and a pergola deck cover is even more beautiful when flowering vines are encouraged to grow over it, for example. Wildlife will appreciate this addition to your outdoor space, and butterflies and bees will congregate wherever flowers bloom, so add potted flowering plants to your deck when it is finished to bring the natural world to you and your guests.
Here are three reasons you should consider building a deck:
- PARTY HOSTING. Whether you are throwing a birthday bash, or just having a summer get-together, your deck will provide extra space as well as a spot to enjoy the beautiful weather. Your guests will love relaxing and lounging on a deck under the stars at night, especially.
- HOME VALUE INCREASE. A deck addition home renovation project will naturally increase the value of your home. Experts say that you can easily earn back over 70 percent of its building costs by the amount that it adds to your property value. This even exceeds the benefits of other home additions, including adding a sunroom or even an extra bathroom. Decks cost far less than many other home additions and improvements, which make them a natural go-to for homeowners who are thinking about upgrades and renovations.
- DESIGN APPEAL. Adding a deck will increase the aesthetic appeal of any home, making it more visually attractive. The stain you choose can enhance the color scheme of your home, and it is a quick build, too. The increase in space to be used is a desirable design element, and while you can’t add it to the square footage you may list at sell-point, prospective buyers will still consider it an outdoor room that can be used for patio furniture, barbecues, and bicycles, for example.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are experienced with renovations and additions of all kinds and styles. Call us today about adding a deck to your home.
HOME RENOVATION PROJECTS TO PREPARE FOR SUMMER
Now that spring weather is clearing away the colder months of winter, it’s time to get busy with home improvement projects. You can save both time and money by starting yours now, and prepare your home for summer. You will beat the crowds in line purchasing materials for their own projects, and while they are waiting, you can be playing. Contractors will also be swamped, so rates and waits will be higher and longer. Getting a head start will allow you to get competitive bids and to navigate the aisles of the home improvement centers with ease.
Here are some home renovation projects you can do now that will prepare you for summer:
WINTER LEFTOVERS. Repair the damage caused by winter weather so that you don’t end up with bigger problems later. Address a leaky roof or damaged siding by replacing what needs to be replaced. Clean all gutters and downspouts since they are bound to be full of debris. If they need to be replaced, now’s the time.
PAINTING. Paint your trim and siding now while it’s cool. This project can take a week or two when you factor in the scraping and sanding, and paint should really be applied in temperatures between 50 to 90 degrees. Waiting until summer may mean it will be just too hot.
INSULATION. Getting up in the attic to replace insulation during the hot months of summer will be miserable. Plus you may miss out on energy savings, as well, if you do it later in the year.
AIR CONDITIONING/COOLING. While you are sealing out the heat, make sure your HVAC is in prime condition, and check your ceiling fans, dehumidifiers and other cooling appliances at this time, too. Installing curtains, blinds, awnings, and other coverings now will be most welcome in July.
LANDSCAPING. Lawn and garden jobs are best done in the spring. Planting trees should be done while they are dormant since the roots are happier in cooler soil. Prune back trees and shrubs before they start sprouting new leaves, as well. This is also the perfect time to aerate your lawn and remove weeds. If you need to do irrigation work, this is the best time to get that done in preparation for summer.
OUTDOORS. Building a fence, upgrading or refinishing the pool, redoing the deck, or refreshing the play area – all these renovation projects are much more pleasant to do in spring. If you get them done now, you can enjoy them as soon as summer starts!
When you are thinking about home renovation projects that will help prepare you for summer, remember that the team at Ascension General Contractors is here to help!
TOP THREE ROOM RENOVATIONS TO INCREASE YOUR HOME’S VALUE
The renovations that will add the most value to your home tend to be focused on its exterior. It makes sense since people respond to that curb appeal right away. Having said that, once they get inside, they will appreciate all the other work you have done.
Here are the top three rooms you should consider renovating that will increase your home’s value:
BACKYARD DECK/PATIO. This renovation will hit the mark when it comes to exterior improvements by creating that outdoor room that people love. A wooden deck will add more value than a composite deck addition with the wood version bringing in an average 80 percent ROI. It is recommended that your deck be approximately 16’ x 20’, but in reality, its size should be determined by your yard and the size of the home.
KITCHEN. This is one of the most valuable home improvements since it’s often the first place a buyer will look when determining whether the home is worth its asking price. Most people will want a kitchen with lots of upgrades and newer appliances without having to actually pay for it themselves or worry about it. There is a range of improvements you can make to your kitchen that will fit your budget, such as installing stainless-steel and energy-efficient appliances, or painting cabinets and upgrading the flooring and countertops; these improvements will have a big positive impact on the value of your home. A relatively minor kitchen remodel will recoup about 80 percent of its cost while an upscale one will bring you back about 50 percent of the costs.
BATHROOM. A remodel of your bathroom, even a midrange one, will give you a return of about 70 percent. This might include updated tile, fixtures and toilets, counters, and lighting. Just like in the kitchen, doing more won’t necessarily mean you will get more, however, so keep that in mind. If you improve your bathroom to make it universally accessible, this will have a high impact on your home value since it greatly expands its desirability for any and all buyers.
If you are thinking about a home renovation and want to discuss how to increase your home value when you renovate, remember that Ascension General Contractors can help!
CREATING A RENOVATION SCHEDULE
Following a certain course of action when working on a renovation of your home will help you to avoid unnecessary work. Assess what you are going to renovate, and then set your priorities. Decide where to start and make sure that you have the time and money to get the work done before you ever begin.
The renovation schedule for your home should include:
A BUDGET. Establish the final number you can comfortably spend on the renovation. It may be a good idea to do some research to see how much projects cost on average. Consider budgeting an extra 10 to 20 percent for unexpected costs that may arise.
A CONTRACTOR. Research and select your contractor and make sure you are comfortable with him or her. Your contracts should adequately define the scope of work and the process itself to avoid future issues or disagreements.
PERMITS. Usually required in most cities, permits are critical for you to obtain. This will help you to avoid having to redo work that is not done according to code. Your contractor should be knowledgeable about your city’s latest regulations; the inspection rules change quite often.
MATERIALS. Once your permits are in place, you can begin ordering the materials you will need, such as lumber, drywall, new doors, and windows, etc.
DEMOLITION. Demolition can be completed as you have received your materials, and any framing necessary will be done at this time. This is the time for the work that happens behind the walls – plumbing, electrical, HVAC rough-ins, subfloors, and insulation. Next will come the patching, drywall hanging, and taping and sanding of surfaces.
PAINT AND FLOORING. Whether your contractor prefers completing the flooring work or doing all the painting, now is the time for these steps.
CABINETS. Once the walls and floors are done, cabinets can be installed.
FINISHING TOUCHES. At this point in your renovation schedule, it is time to add all the last little decorations and details. Light fixtures, hardware, detail painting, and backsplashes are scheduled now, for example.
When planning for your home renovation, the Ascension General Contractors team is here to help you to create a schedule for your project.
RENOVATION PROJECTS TO PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUMMER
When considering renovation projects for your business as summer approaches, you might want to think about ensuring that those renovations improve the energy efficiency of your structure. It will save you a bundle while reducing your business’ impact on the environment.
You can lower your energy expenditures to get ready for the hot days of summer in several ways, but exterior renovations are going to have the biggest positive impact. Here are a few renovation projects you can undertake to prepare your business for summer.
WINDOWS. Replacing your windows will have an impact on the energy efficiency in your place of business. Replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows can save over $300 per year in energy use, according to some sources. If you don’t think you need to actually replace them, take the time to ensure they are sealed around all edges, and use inside features such as insulated curtains.
ROOFING. There are lots of options these days for creating a cool roof, green roof or another environmentally friendly roofing surface. Most buildings will lose a lot of heat through their roofing, so take the time to inspect your insulation each year to make sure it’s in good shape and effective. Insulation helps keep the temperature in your building steady and combats seasonal heating and cooling cycles. It also protects a roof from potentially costly damage later in the year through its ability to prevent snow from melting and freezing on your roof in winter months.
INSULATED SIDING. Insulated vinyl siding has a foam backing and keeps heat inside the home and is low-maintenance, so you won’t have to repaint every few years. Using other external materials like wood, brick or stone will require you to make sure the envelope of your structure is tight and well insulated in order to avoid heating and cooling inefficiency.
EXTERIOR DOORS. Air leakage around doors reduces energy efficiency and costs money. Weatherstripping only stops a certain amount of leakage, so choose a good door that has a high Energy Star rating when you are renovating your business premises.
MISCELLANEOUS. Planting trees to shade your premises will help to prepare you for the summer, as will fixing any cracked and peeling caulking around exterior openings.
When it comes to renovations for your business, the team at Ascension General Contractors is here to help!
HOME RENOVATION PROJECTS WITH THE TOP ROI
The return on your investment, or ROI, should be top of mind when you start thinking about home renovation projects. You will want to focus on the basics of home maintenance as you begin, in order to get your home in great shape before you begin working on design elements.
Replacing the siding on your home will give you a return of approximately 90 percent on your initial investment, while replacing your roof and windows can bring upwards of 80 percent. The prospective buyer of your home will want to be able to be assured that the basic systems in your house are in good working condition: the roof doesn’t leak and the HVAC will work well during the hotter and/or colder months of the year. Few home buyers will want to take on the more costly elements of home maintenance just as they move in.
Bathroom and kitchen remodels continue to be two of the best investments that you can make in your home, with the more luxurious items, such as steam showers and granite counters being very desirable. These are the rooms that new home builders are most apt to splurge on, since buyers love luxury in these areas, so an older home that can offer such comfort will fare well on the market.
As you consider home improvements and Nashville home renovations and what you will want to do, always take the actual value of your home into account. You don’t want to spend ten or twenty thousand dollars for a futuristic kitchen with two refrigerators and the best oven/stove combo money can buy when your home’s value is under $200,000.
Here are the home improvements that will give you the biggest bang for your buck:
- Basic home maintenance. The primary focus of every homeowner should be to keep the existing structure sound. The prospective buyer will be impressed with expensive accessories, but when they hit the basement stairs and notice unpleasant odors or water leaks, they will quickly rethink their initial view. Most buyers have a set budget for how much they can spend, and if they know they will be facing expensive repairs before they even get to move the furniture in, they will probably go looking for something else.
- Kitchen or bath remodel. Often returning more than 100% of the initial costs, these are the areas in the home where a buyer can tell if money has been well-spent or not. Lots of wood, walk-in showers, or adding a second bathroom to an older home are all good investment ideas. Money spent on luxury here will pay off..
- Stellar curb appeal. If your home doesn’t look good from the street, most buyers will not come to the door. Flowers, paint, lighting – all these items matter. This area is also one of the least expensive ways to make your home look desirable and well cared for to your prospective buyers.
- Create more space. Adding room can be a really good investment, especially if you live in a hot housing market. Whether it’s a sunroom or an extra bedroom or even a home theater, these can be very enticing. People love to spread out and enjoy life, and having extra room for loved ones to visit or stay for long periods is an added plus. And then there are those who are in the short-term rental business, if your area allows for it. These folks will want another room with a bath so that they have a great offering for their guests. According to market studies, every 1,000 added square feet of space will boost the sale price of a home more than 30 percent!
If you are ready to start renovating or adding space to your home, we are here to help. Contact Ascension General Contractors today!
PLANNING AHEAD FOR FUTURE COMMERCIAL RENOVATION PROJECTS
Smart planning, in the beginning, will increase your chances for a successful commercial renovation project. It will help greatly in preventing headaches you may experience during a remodel or expansion to your business.
Here are some steps to take in planning ahead for your future commercial renovation project:
#RenovationGoals. To solidify your specific goals, ask yourself some basic questions and address them. These questions can be:
- Why are you renovating? Updates to infrastructure, installation of new technology, finishing upgrades, new tenants, changes in space or aesthetics?
- What is your project budget?
- What regulatory agencies will the renovation team be dealing with during the renovation? Government offices and their locations and processes are a good thing to know in advance.
#Team-Building. Having the right team on the project is vital. Establish your team early, and make sure all the necessary disciplines are covered. Everybody needs to be able to work well together. Make sure your team includes a qualified and reputable general contractor. He or she will be drawing from extensive field experience, which allows them to offer valuable input on your project’s preliminary budget, for example. They can also validate the feasibility of your early design concepts.
#DoYourHomework. Your team should do research on the building that is being renovated, right up front. Such research will require some additional funds, but it will probably alleviate your needing to deal with site problems later. Such an evaluation should address such items as the age and operating condition of all the mechanical and electrical systems, the condition of the building, the quality of the existing utilities, any historic elements, and the accuracy of any past site evaluations.
#ContingencyBudget. Even if you plan carefully, surprises will happen. It will be wise to establish a portion of any budget for contingency plans.
A proactive approach to your future commercial renovation project will help to minimize the pitfalls that might challenge you. It will require time and legwork up front, but it greatly improves your chance of success and will help you achieve a high-quality product that will last for years to come. If you are planning a commercial renovation project, Ascension General Contractors is here to help!
MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR YOUR COMMERCIAL BUILDING
Any commercial building is going to need regular care and cleaning to enhance its aesthetic appeal while protecting its overall investment value. Stores, banks, offices, and apartment complexes all need attention to enhance their durability and increase their longevity – it’s just good business. Keeping your property in good repair also ensures that your guests, residents, and customers will be safe from accidents that can occur due to negligence.
Assess. Your building or commercial complex will eventually need repairs over time. It will be important to inspect and assess the condition of your property on a regular basis so that you can avoid costly issues in the future. When aesthetic damage, such as peeling paint or wallpaper, shows up, they could be an indicator of a bigger problem, and routine inspections will catch these kinds of things early. Detailed record-keeping is crucial to any commercial enterprise, especially the larger location, so that your management team can keep up with the maintenance of your commercial building, so establishing a solid system of tracking those maintenance details will help to keep your property in good working order.
Timely Repair. When things break, they can be visually bothersome, annoying, costly, and even dangerous. These issues can include anything from broken locks and desk drawers to elevators and security equipment. Your property manager will need to be aware of all broken items and schedule repair as soon as possible so that you can avoid bigger trouble down the road. If you own a larger property, such as a mall or a hotel, just know that repairs will be taking place every day due to higher usage. In these cases, your liability will be increased, and a negligence lawsuit could run into the millions.
Emergencies. Flooding, fire, unexpected accidents. These events happen, no matter how vigilant the owner may be. In times of crisis, your professional construction company will be able to get your building back in order right away using their training, knowledge, and equipment.
Ascension General Contractors provides a wide range of construction and renovation services for commercial buildings. Call us today!
KEEPING YOUR RENOVATION PROJECT UNDER BUDGET
Renovations usually end up costing a lot more than the home or business owner expects, and it is unfortunately not uncommon for them to just run out of money before the project is completed. Serious cost overruns can be avoided by careful planning, however.
Here are some tips to help you keep your renovation project under budget:
A detailed budget. Create a detailed budget. Be clear on the contractor/architect fees, and be sure to note if those fees include materials of any kind. Make a room-by-room spreadsheet of all items to be purchased, and research prices. As work progresses, you will see if the prices you budgeted were either too high or low, and note these differences. This will allow you to keep track of your actuals.
Additional costs. Don’t forget additional costs, such as taxes and shipping. Lots of the major purchases you will be making will require delivery fees, and these will need to be accounted for.
Make sure your budget spreadsheet includes a column just for taxes across the board, as well.
Mistakes. Mistakes will always be made, and that will add to your renovation costs. Reserve a predetermined amount within your initial budget to be used specifically for mistakes and unforeseen issues.
Changes. As your renovation progresses, you may end up deciding to add things you hadn’t originally considered. Maybe you decide to go with more expensive bathroom pieces, for example, as you realize that the savings from their energy-efficient features will end up benefiting you; having financial allowances “baked in” to your budget will enable you to have some flexibility in such instances.
Delays. Budget for delays because they will happen. If you are renting elsewhere while work is done, allow for more time to be spent there. You may be pleasantly surprised if the project is completed ahead of schedule, but you may not.
Limits. You may be thinking that a splurge or two may be reasonable as your project begins. But these can add time spent in addition to their actual cost, and that can add up. Decide now to be careful and frugal and not to get carried away. Budget for your splurges! Also, be clear from the beginning about your financial limits with everyone involved. Others may be financially incentivized to complete your project at the high end, but you are the one who will have to live with the result.
A sharp eye. Go by the job site often. This will help you catch things that may be happening that weren’t in the original plan, preventing expensive changes that may have to be made.
When it comes to your renovation project, Ascension General Contractors is here to help!
RENOVATION TIPS TO TURN YOUR HOME INTO AN AIRBNB
There is a lot of competition out there on the Airbnb market today. Some reports claim that over 2 million people have placed their properties on this popular website! It will take some effort to turn your home into a great listing that grabs attention, but that effort will be well worth it – especially in Nashville.
Here are a few points to consider when starting this project:
- Even though an Airbnb is supposed to give the guest a local living experience, cleaning and decluttering is still going to be vital. Keep in mind that the items they are surrounded with will be considered fair game, so anything of value to you personally should be kept in your own area. Minimizing clutter makes your spaces easier to clean and turn over. You might consider a cleaning service as your space becomes more popular; if you work outside the home or want to go on vacation, it will be a big help!
- Most Airbnbs are primarily bath and bedroom areas, so if these spaces are not fresh, it will be time to renovate. New tubs, showerheads, light fixtures, and sinks are a great idea, and there are many minimalist style products on the market today – these are easy to keep up since they are low on fussy detail. They are often environmentally friendly and energy efficient, which will also save you money.
- Aesthetics. Considering these home renovation projects could be those touches that make your Airbnb stand out from the crowd. Removing walls to open up your rooms or adding a deck are two ways that could greatly enhance your guest experience.
- Safety will be an important concern for you as an Airbnb owner. Make sure that parking and entrance areas are in good repair and free from things that could cause slips, trips, and falls. If you offer a hot tub, you will want to go over this item with a fine tooth comb often to look for sharp edges and damages done by previous guests. This is a great time to enlist the help of a specialist with experience in construction and renovation.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are experienced in construction and renovation. Call us today and let’s talk about your Airbnb project!
LANDSCAPING TIPS FOR YOUR APARTMENT COMPLEX
When renovating or upgrading the grounds of your apartment complex, don’t hesitate to rethink the landscaping. An attractive walk to your front door is a pleasure for anyone after a long, hard day at work, and your tenants are no exception. On the weekends, many of your residents may enjoy taking a stroll around the property when the weather is fine, and the appearance and condition of your landscaping will encourage them to do this. The condition of your grounds will either add to, or detract from, the enjoyment your tenants receive from living in one of your units, and if their experience is positive, your occupancy rates will reflect that.
Landscaping should promote:
Safety first. Trees that are not well kept can very quickly become dangerous liabilities during storms and other kinds of bad weather. Flying branches and debris will cause costly damages, and when a big tree falls, it can be a big problem. When it comes to bushes and shrubs, these also should be well trimmed and weeded out underneath to discourage vermin.
Beauty. Everyone loves to get out of doors after a long stretch of bad weather, and spring in Tennessee can be particularly lovely. It is a documented fact that experiencing beauty in our surroundings promotes a sense of well being and is helpful for our mental health. Your tenants will benefit from beautiful grounds, and so will you.
Environment. Planting trees, shrubs, and flowers that are native to the area will save you both time and trouble since they will simply bloom where they are planted and will need no help from you other than simple maintenance. This is also good for the environment since many plants can become invasive when they are propagated in an area where they are foreign. Native species promote beneficial insects and birds, and that is always a good thing for all of us.
When it comes to landscaping for your apartment complex, contact us here at Ascension General Contractors to talk about your plan. Let’s get it done!
COMMUNICATION TIPS FOR SPEAKING WITH YOUR CONTRACTOR
Active management of your communication with your contractor will result in the best outcome possible, and establishing that communication should be number one on your construction/renovation to-do list.
Your to-do list should include:
- Establish Strong Communication. Find out how the contractor prefers to communicate with his/her clients. They may want to see you on the job site daily or weekly to discuss work, while others may prefer just talking or texting. The contractor also may direct you to communicate with the foreman or project leader at a predetermined time, especially if the company is large and has several construction sites running at the same time.
- Project Journal. Strong communication requires clear and concise record-keeping. Keep a journal to record your project’s progress, keep track of ideas or questions, and record product order numbers in this journal. It can be either paper or electronic, and it will be helpful in keeping track of product and material delivery dates and information about other trades that may be scheduled to complete subcontract work. The notes in your journal provide information that will be vital in the event of possible future disputes or confusions, should there be any. It’s not uncommon to encounter challenges as a project evolves, and any changes to the work itself should be recorded and reflected in an updated bid.
- Work Inspection. If something isn’t right, a great communicator won’t hesitate in letting others know right away. Check the work being done on your project; after the crew has left for the day is a good time to take a look at how things are going. Note in your journal any questions or concerns so that you can go over them at your next meeting. Check the location of such fixtures as doorways and windows, closets and stairs against the blueprint, and pay special attention to quality issues.
- Be a Good Customer. Being a good customer is probably the very best communication tip there is. The best way to get quality work from your contractor is to be a quality customer. Pay promptly, and be fair; don’t nitpick. Being friendly and accommodating to the team members will go a long way towards getting the job done well and in a timely manner. Get to know the team and greet them by name when you see them. Compliment work well-done, and maybe even provide drinks for all after a long, cold (or hot) day!
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are committed to doing quality work, and we know that great communication with our clients gets the job done!
HOME RENOVATION TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR HOME OFFICE
Home renovations today will often include a space that is a very recent addition for most people: the home office. Renovating this area of your home is becoming one of the most popular home improvement projects since working from home is ever more common now. With a flexible work schedule and no commute, working from the comfort of home is bringing many of us that work and life balance that is so desirable in modern life. If you work from home, even infrequently, you should consider this home renovation project!
If you don’t yet have a home office, take stock of your unused spaces around the house. An unfinished basement or attic could be perfect. You can divide these areas into two sections and have one for work and another for play.
Your home office should be a dedicated spot that will have minimal distractions, allowing for the focus that’s needed to complete your projects properly, and there are some design elements you can achieve during your home renovation that will help to achieve this type of atmosphere. Adding movable dividers will allow you to have full control of the use of the room at any given time.
- Lighting. Using LED bulbs can make a big difference in your home office. They bring a modern look to your space, as well as providing a brighter atmosphere for you to work in.
- Color. Home offices are often fairly small, so in that instance, you will want to avoid bold and bright colors, which can be overwhelming and distracting. Neutral here will be best, lending a calm and quiet vibe to your work environment.
- Furniture. Think ergonomic here; perhaps it’s time for a standing desk? You will spend many hours here, so be kind to yourself and get the best that you can afford. There is a large variety of office furniture available today to choose from.
- Flooring. Installing flooring that is easy to clean and allows for moving furniture with minimal fuss will allow you to have flexibility in your workspace, which can be important. When working on a larger project with many moving parts or elements, being able to rework the space to suit the needs of your business can be a big benefit in a home office.
Call us here at Ascension General Contractors today and let’s get started on your home office renovation.
Why Your Business Probably Needs a Roof Repair Project
You are an established business owner, and it keeps you busy. From cost management and marketing to networking and production, there’s not a moment left in the day that isn’t spoken for. You do your best, but if you are honest you have to admit that some things do go undone.
Which is why your business probably needs a roof repair project.
How long have you been in your location? If it’s been a while, think back to the last time you had your roof inspected. If it’s been a year or more, you will need to get it looked at. The last couple of years have been rough during the winter here in the Nashville area, and near constant cold and rain will take its toll on a roof. Talk with an area contractor and schedule a roof inspection. They will take a good look at interior walls and check their core to see if moisture is present as well as checking your ceilings and up behind any ceiling tiles. If there’s a problem, they will find it and will help you prevent or recover from your water damage.
Another aspect of roofing to think about is the availability of new energy efficient products these days, and that includes roofing. A roof re-do with these new products could end up saving you money in the long run! Energy costs just continue to rise, and if you are experiencing crippling energy bills, your roof may be part of the problem. Just one more reason why your business probably needs a roof repair project.
If you have been in business for the last decade or so during the Nashville boom, you have been experiencing business growth that is incredible! There’s no sign of a downturn, so you know you will be keeping busy for the foreseeable future. Keeping your business property in good repair is vital and great for your business image. If it’s been a while since you did a facelift to your premises, you probably need a roof repair project done on your business.
Ascension General Contractors is here to help you with all your construction and renovation projects.
Tips for Preventing Disaster Damage to Your Commercial Property
No one wants to see a disaster happen. And no one wants to deal with the aftermath and all the damage that a disaster can cause, least of all a commercial property owner with so much invested in that property. Fire and flooding can seriously disrupt your business and set you back for months to come. Being prepared ahead of time can help mitigate the effects of a disaster to your commercial property. Here are some tips to prevent disaster damage to your commercial property:
Neat and clean. Make sure that landscaping is kept trimmed and dead brush and branches are removed to prevent the damages that can come from flying debris. Remove trash and unused items from the foundations and fencing of your property; this kind of mess is a fire hazard.
Drainage systems. Make sure that all the systems on your commercial property are free and clear at all times. From drainage ditches to the rain gutters, they all need to be ready to receive rainwater and direct it away from your property. Parking areas and entryways should be safe for your customers and workforce.
Mold prevention. Ensure that your workforce is educated on how to prevent the establishment of a mold colony, and how to keep it from spreading if one takes hold. Everyone should be responsible to keep their own workspaces clean, dry, and safe.
Vigilance. Let your employees know that if they see a potential problem you would really appreciate it if they say something right away. Perhaps a safety award given out quarterly would be a good incentive to help keep everyone vigilant.
Routine maintenance. Having a routine maintenance schedule in place will go a long way towards keeping your commercial property in top shape and able to withstand any type of disaster, should it happen. Windows, doors, and roofing need to be in good repair in the event of a storm or other natural disaster and will be effective in preventing water damages.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are ready to help you with any type of disaster and the aftermath. Call us today!
COMMERCIAL UPKEEP TIPS TO SAVE YOU MONEY
When it comes to being a smart business owner, you know how to save money as well as make it. You also know that the upkeep of your commercial enterprise is extremely important, and that can be expensive. So today we’re going to talk about some commercial upkeep tips that will save you money!
Environmentally friendly. When you install products and appliances that are environmentally friendly, there are often tax benefits. In some instances, government rebates are available for the installation of energy efficient heating and cooling systems, as well.
Indigenous planting. You want your commercial property to look good, so landscaping is a must. Using indigenous plantings is going to be an attractive and cost-effective way to do that, saving you hundreds of dollars yearly on upkeep such as fertilizers and water. Plants that belong in your area virtually care for themselves.
Thinking ahead. Routine maintenance and regular inspection of your grounds and buildings will alert you to potential issues before they grow into huge ones. A small leak is easier to fix than a burst pipe, while a ceiling water stain is a telltale sign of a roofing weakness, and that is always smart to address right away and will save you money as well, by preventing a disaster.
Mold remediation. In the event that a mold colony begins, calling a professional mold remediation company will be a great way to save you money by preventing that colony to spread and cost thousands of dollars in damages over time. You can even lose business if a colony makes your premises unpleasant to your clients.
Energy efficient appliances. Replacing appliances and office equipment needs to be done regularly, and if you choose energy efficient items you will be doing yourself a financial favor. There are a lot of products on the market today that are cost saving and more efficient. Replacing doors and windows with more energy efficient models will save you in energy costs, as well.
When it comes to upkeep on your commercial property, we are here to help. Contact Ascension General Contractors today!
First Steps in Flood Disaster Repair
When the worst happens, it can be hard to decide what to do first. Whether flooding was caused by water falling or by a system malfunction, it helps to have a plan in place already, so that you can just get to work. We are going to share some first steps you can take in the event that you suffer from a flooding disaster:
Safety. If the event was bad enough that you had to leave your home (an event many in Nashville will remember all too well), make sure you are aware of safety upon your return. Check for visible structural damages, like warping or cracked foundations, holes or compromised water, gas, electric, water, and sewer lines. Make sure all water and electrical sources have been turned off. Even if your power isn’t working, turn off the main at the fuse box as well as all the individual fuse connections. If the power comes back on, you won’t run the risk of electrocution from the mix of standing water and electricity. Wear personal protective equipment, such as waders, gloves, and ventilation masks since the water could be contaminated.
Document damages. Before undertaking any repairs and removing water, document the damage by taking photos or videos of everything. Digital versions are best.
Insurance. Notify your insurer as soon as possible, and if the entire area has been affected, it might be a good idea to contact the headquarters. Your agent might have troubles of his or her own. Advise the representative of the state of your home and let them know what repairs you will need to do first. Follow their direction and be sure to wait for inspections if they advise you to do so, documenting the damage and communication throughout the process.
Disaster area. If your region has been declared a disaster area by the government, you will have access to increased resources, which will include public services to protect and remediate the area. This may include financial assistance.
Water removal. Once water removal has been approved, you may want to consider engaging the help of a professional water damage company. You may be able to do it yourself using a sump pump and buckets, etc., but you may not have the time or the physical strength to handle it alone.
Mold. Mold can develop within 24-48 hours of a flooding event, so remove all wet contents immediately. This should include carpeting and bedding. Photograph any items removed for insurance purposes. Mold growth can be controlled by cleaning with a non-ammonia detergent or a pine oil cleaner and by disinfecting with a 10 percent bleach solution. Mixing these is toxic, so be aware.
In the event that a flood happens to you, Ascension General Contractors is here to help!
Renovating Your Commercial Property for Spring
This Spring, consider renovating your commercial property as a very cost-effective alternative to a new property purchase or lease. As your business expands, you may experience growing pains. A well-planned renovation can give you new space or new ways to use your existing space that will help you. Or if you have truly outgrown your property, purchasing a property that has been foreclosed, abandoned, or is merely dilapidated, and implementing a renovation project here can be a much better investment than buying or leasing a brand-new property. Others may see a run-down property, but you may see a building that occupies a prime piece of commercial real estate for a fraction of the cost.
Renovating your property this Spring to suit your needs will allow you to tailor the space to your business while instantly building equity. When the time comes to sell your commercial property in the future, the time and money you spent on renovations will provide an increase in equity.
A few areas that will need attention before the summer may be:
PARKING AND ENTRYWAYS. The areas where your customers will enter your property will need to be ready for the spring showers and potholes. Ensure that your walkways and parking spaces are free of hazards to both people and vehicles.
LANDSCAPING. Large trees that have not been properly maintained may have branches that could be a hazard in high winds or heavy rains. Make sure your landscaping is trimmed and tended correctly this Spring.
ROOFING. Before the Spring rains come, make sure all roofing on your commercial property is in good repair. If work needs to be done, choose environmentally friendly, energy efficient products; oftentimes rebates are available when these kinds of products are purchased and installed.
EXTERIOR AESTHETICS. Spring is a great time to repair trim, paint, and add refreshing touches to your commercial property. If you enjoy outdoor seating for employee break areas or for customers, spiffing up these spaces will be an enjoyable addition to your workaday world.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we have experience and expertise in the areas of renovations and construction. If you are planning a Spring-time renovation of your commercial property, give us a call!
Renovating Your Apartment Complex in 2019
A renovation of your apartment complex in 2019 will bring appreciation by raising your income and lowering your expenses. When you raise the operating income on a multi-family property, you raise the value on the entire property. Here are some tips that will help you strategically renovate your apartment complex:
AESTHETICS. Turn unused utilitarian areas, such as loading zones, into resident-friendly areas by redesigning them. Stamped concrete, landscaping, barbecues and seating will created a quiet space that residents will greatly enjoy. Improvements such as these improve quality of life, as well as functioning as a great marketing tool for the property.
COMFORT. Upgrading HVAC systems to be more energy efficient will save money, and often you as the owner can receive an efficiency rebate from your local energy company, depending on the brand you purchase and install.
LAUNDRY ROOMS. These spaces often get neglected, and yet it is one place that your tenants will spend a significant amount of time. Energy efficient appliances, upgraded floor that is easy to maintain, and lots of light, will make this part of your complex a pleasure to be in. A great selling point!
GO RETRO. Mid-twentieth century is cool, these days, and if your renovations include wood floors, period carpeting, and retro paint choices, these items will attract a demographic that includes young professionals.
SECURITY AND SIZZLE. Excellent lighting in all resident areas, such as hallways, corners, streets, and parking lots, are a great choice, as will be installing security systems. You can choose to install telephone-based door locking systems; these are inexpensive and easy to use. To add “sizzle”, consider offering free WiFi or washer/dryer combos in units. Ceiling fans, trendy paint choices, fresh landscaping (maybe even a community garden space!), blinds, and other on-trend choices will attract appreciative residents.
MAINTENANCE. Have a maintenance plan in place to protect your investment and to keep your property looking top-notch. Once your renovations are completed, you will want to make sure everything stays in stellar condition for years to come.
When it comes to renovations and maintenance, you can always call on the Ascension General Contractors team. We are here to help!
As a successful business owner, you plan ahead. Sales and payroll, products and services – all these items of business are top of mind, of course, but we know you also think about those things that can be out of your control, such as bad weather, illness, and accidents. Taking steps to ensure that your business can survive natural disasters is a smart move on your part, and will help you to get back to normal as quickly as humanly possible.
Here are some tips that can help your business recover from a natural disaster:
- People come first. Set up an emergency response plan, and ensure that all your employees are familiar with it. They will need to know who to contact in the event of any natural disaster and what steps to take to preserve lives and limit any property loss. Your plan should have clear steps to follow and assigned responsibilities to people who are able to handle them. Practicing all procedures will help everyone to stay calm if a real event occurs.
- Keep in contact. You should compile a list of all important phone numbers and addresses, ensuring that contact can be made with key people after the disaster. Local and state emergency personnel, major clients, disaster restoration professionals, insurance and real estate companies, and financial institutions are all entities that you will need to reach out to. Have a strategy in place that will enable you to get the word out to the community about the state of your business and when you expect to be back to normal.
- Physical Resources. Inspect all your premises and assess the impact of the disaster when it is safe to do so. Employ a licensed professional restoration company to help you in this project. They will have the knowledge and expertise to help you decide what will need to be done to protect the safety of your workforce and others who do business with you and where you need to focus when it comes to codes and other requirements.
- Location. If you cannot afford to be out of business due to a shutdown, determine what you may need to run your business from another temporary location. You may be able to implement a reciprocity agreement with another business.
- Insurance. Be sure you understand your policy deductibles and limits before disaster ever strikes. Doing business with a professional restoration team that can work with your insurance company will be a huge benefit (and relief) when it comes to navigating all the repairs that may need to be done.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we know that recovering from a natural disaster is never easy. We have the experience and expertise to help during the toughest times.
Disruptive events – whether caused by violent weather, human error, or machinery malfunctions – are events that every business owner could face at any given time. Disaster recovery and business continuity planning (DR/BC) are those processes that will help your organization to be prepared for these types of situations and assist you in resuming business after a disruptive event. These happenings can be huge, as in an earthquake or hurricane, or something relatively small, such as computer viruses that cause malfunctioning software.
Here are some first steps you can take in your disaster recovery project:
BUSINESS IMPACT ANALYSIS. A Business Impact Analysis is a good first step. This identifies your business’s most crucial systems and processes and the effect an outage would have on the business. The greater the potential impact, the more money a company should spend to restore a system or process quickly, and this analysis will help you see what financial requirements will be demanded if and when a disruptive event occurs.
HAVE A PLAN. All DR/BC plans need to include how employees will communicate, where they will go, and how they can continue doing their jobs during the disruption. Details can vary a lot, and these details will depend on the size and scope of your business and how you conduct that business. You may need to focus on supply chain logistics, or perhaps information technology plays the most pivotal role in your enterprise, and so your plan may require a heavier focus on systems recover.
Here are some basic first steps your plan should cover:
- Develop and practice a contingency plan that includes a succession plan for yourself and the owner/CEO.
- Train backup employees to perform emergency tasks. The employees you count on to lead in an emergency will not always be available.
- Determine offsite crisis meeting places and crisis communication plans for managers, leaders, and other top executives. Practice crisis communication with employees, customers, and the outside world.
- Invest in an alternate means of communication in case the phone networks go down.
- Make sure that all employees, as well as executives, are involved in the exercises so that they get practice in responding to an emergency.
- Make business continuity exercises realistic, so that you can tap into employees’ emotions, enabling you to see how they’ll truly react when the situation gets stressful.
- Form partnerships with local emergency response teams – firefighters, police, and EMTs – to establish a good working relationship. Let them become familiar with your company and site.
- Evaluate your company’s performance during each test, and work toward constant improvement. Continuity exercises should reveal weaknesses.
Ascension General Contractors is here to help in the event of a disaster or emergency, large or small.
Prioritizing Upkeep on Your Commercial Property
As a successful business owner, you are aware that the upkeep on your commercial property should be a priority, year-round. The condition of your premises, both interior and exterior, says a lot about you as a business person and tells your story to the community at large. You always want that story to be the right story – one that exhibits you and what you do in the most positive light as a commercial enterprise that is organized, efficient, inviting, and on top of things at all times.
Here are a few basic tips you can keep in mind while prioritizing your commercial property upkeep for the coming year:
EXTERIORS MATTER. If your clients don’t come into your building, you can’t be successful. Repair and replace anything that is damaged as soon as possible, especially if the item(s) are highly visible to the public, such as windows and doors, signage and roofing, etc. Paint touch-ups and landscaping should be done continually throughout the seasons to keep your premises from looking scruffy.
THE GREAT INDOORS. Continuing indoors, keep an eye on paint, flooring, furniture, and light fixtures, and upgrade when it begins to look used and dated. You want your spaces to appear safe, clean, and intriguing to your customers so that they will want to enter your property and stay for a while.
DETAILS, DETAILS. Focusing on the details – such as restrooms, elevators, fitting rooms, showrooms, etc. – will enhance your customers’ experience, with the end result being more foot traffic and therefore, more sales. Make sure these areas are kept scrupulously clean; there is nothing more off-putting to a client than an unsanitary, odorous bathroom. Customers will notice that you pay attention to the details that ensure their comfort, and word always travels. The rule of thumb is that customers will tell ten other people about their experience, whether good or not-so-good, and those ten will tell ten others, and so on. The power of word-of-mouth is amazing! Use it to your advantage.
COMFORT. HVAC systems, water heaters, and other utilities that you depend on to keep your premises comfortable for clients and workforce need to be checked and maintained regularly to keep comfort levels up. Your commercial property should be warm in the winter and cool in the summer, no exceptions.
By prioritizing the upkeep for your commercial property, you are effectively preserving its value while increasing revenue and mitigating your costs. The team here at Ascension General Contractors is here to help you with any maintenance concerns, based on the unique needs of your business. Whether you need scheduled preventive check-ups or emergency services due to unforeseen circumstances, we’re here for you.
Top Commercial Property Renovation Trends for 2019
Every year, new technologies and trends are adopted in office and commercial spaces around the world. This constantly changing landscape offers new and exciting design opportunities and workplace innovation to business owners, and 2019 is no different. The trend towards optimization of office and business spaces is increasing exponentially this year, and are helping successful companies to gain a competitive advantage while improving their bottom line. Over the past year or so, we saw design trends that tended towards a focus on innovative workplace designs and creative use of workspaces, and 2019 is building on that focus while zeroing in on employee and customer happiness and a commitment to all things green.
Here are a few trends to keep in mind when considering upgrades and renovations to your commercial property:
- Experience. This trend incorporates many characteristics that all relate to human potential and the employee work experience. Specialized enhancements to workspaces are directed towards developing overall wellness, cultivating happiness, and building community, all of which boosts morale (and productivity). A few of the offerings here are:
- Massage therapy and chiropractor consultant spaces
- Meditation space
- Walking and running trails
- Rock climbing walls
- Espresso bars
- Gaming rooms
- Co-working Spaces. This trend was popularized by tech startups, but in its inception still closed various business entities off from one another, even while bringing them together under one roof. In the latest trend, these are coming down, and companies now are sharing the same spaces, resources, and even the same talent, vastly expanding the creative networking possibilities and idea generation for people from all kinds of business areas. This trend includes:
- Open office plan design
- Multi-use meeting space
- Unconventional creative space
- Lots of glass and green living things
- Desk space, not cubicles
- Lightweight, comfortable and portable furniture
- Old and New. This trend is focused on bringing new life to old space by renovating and re-using older existing buildings. Areas such as old warehouses and manufacturing buildings and abandoned buildings on waterfronts and railroad yards are seeing transformations into workspaces that benefit many while veering away from adding to the footprint of the city. A few hallmarks of this trend include:
- Weathered surfaces and textures
- Old World craftsmanship
- Glass and metal
- Modern furniture and artwork, often abstract
When it comes to the latest trends, the team at Ascension General Contractors is here to help you make them happen during renovations to your commercial property. Just give us a call!
The Importance of Landscaping for Your Commercial Property
As a savvy business owner, you probably have the interior of your building set up just the way you want it. You understand the importance of a modern and energy-efficient indoor environment, and you are aware of the positive impact this has on both your workforce and your clients. Have you stepped back and taken a good look at your outdoor image? Does it match your indoor image? If the curb appeal of your business location is not what it should be, it might be time to plan, or re-work, your landscaping.
The importance of landscaping for your commercial property really can’t be overstated. Here are some things to think about:
Energy. Tall, well-placed, and sturdy trees will shade your building and protect it from the elements, as well as lower your energy costs. In addition to that benefit, your workers will enjoy being able to look out at a very pleasant view from the windows, and that will have a positive impact on their mental health and productivity. Lining your walkways with attractive plants and shrubbery is very inviting to those coming in, as well.
Curb Appeal. When you are selling a home, your real estate agent will always talk about curb appeal. Potted plants, flowers. and a neat lawn can go a long way towards making a great first impression, and it’s no different with a business. As a prospective client pulls into your parking lot, you want them to feel right at home and comfortable.
Business Acumen. It shows that you are a person who cares about the details in life and that you care about appearances when the grounds of your business are well-manicured and attractive. People instinctively understand that someone who appreciates beauty and order is going to be someone who can make things happen. In earlier times, it was common for politicians and other government officials to create magnificent gardens to illustrate their strengths and positions of power in society, and a great landscaping plan can bring that same image to your own place of business.
Whether you need to create a landscaping plan and execute that plan, or you need a landscape refresh, the team at Ascension General Contractors is here to help. Call us today, and let’s get started!
Renovations Projects for Your Property That Will Save You Money
As a smart business owner, you always want to be aware of the costs involved in managing your own enterprise. From supplies and equipment to labor costs, there are many ways to save money and keep your business solvent and profitable.
When it comes time to begin planning renovations and improvements to your business premises, saving money in both the short and long run is an important consideration for the savvy business person.
Here are some renovation projects for your business that will save you money:
UPGRADING ENERGY EFFICIENCY. This is perhaps one of the key places a business owner can focus on to help save money, especially if the premises and buildings are older. Huge strides have been made in energy efficiency in the last decade or so, with many incredibly effective products on the market that will help to dramatically lower energy usage in many ways. From roofing to your HVAC system to exterior windows and doors – all these areas will have a powerful and positive effect on your energy expenses once they are in place. Continual water heaters are another addition that can bring large savings, as well.
SAFETY UPGRADES. Upgrades that improve safety on your business premises won’t necessarily bring you immediate savings, but they will protect you and your enterprise from lawsuits and worker’s compensation claims through the years. Client entrances and parking areas, office workspaces, and outbuildings housing production machinery and the employees who run those machines – all these areas can be made safer and more efficient, and that will save you money.
APPLIANCES AND MACHINERY. During a renovation, replacing old and inefficient appliances and machinery will go a long way towards cost savings, and replacing office equipment, such as computers and fax machines, will allow your workforce to complete tasks more quickly. Getting jobs done in less time will, of course, bring savings to you as a business owner, and make you look good, too!
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are committed to helping area business owners make the most of their renovation projects. If you are considering upgrades and improvements to your enterprise, give us a call today!
NEW YEAR RENOVATION RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Even though the new year is in full swing, you might still be pondering ways to improve your business property and environment. Your organization may very well need a facelift or a full-scale renovation, and there is still time to make some New Year’s Renovation Resolutions! Here are some ideas for some resolutions that will make 2019 the best business year yet:
Go Green. Saving energy and having a lighter impact on the environment is something everyone is thinking about and talking about. If your premises needs a facelift, consider making improvements that will be beneficial in this area. There are lots of environmentally friendly products on the market today, and they are almost always energy efficient as well. It will save you money, while also making a great impression on your clientele by showing them you care about the community and the world.
Go Modern. When renovating your property, consider using newer design trends for a fresh look both inside and out. Letting in more natural light or using a more minimalist influence could have a positive impact on your work force and your customers. Updating your flooring away from textiles can add a sleek look to your interior spaces, and have the benefit of being much easier to care for as well.
Go Safe. Improve your safety features and processes. If your structures have weak areas or older sections, pay special attention to those places when renovating, to make sure your premises are as safe as possible. Research new offerings on the market that can enhance the safety of your building; there are many new and innovative products to choose from today that have been created with longevity and safety in mind.
Go Big. If expansion is on the horizon, it might be time to expand your building’s footprint as well. Adding on to your space is a big project, but one that will be beneficial when business starts booming.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are in the business of helping area business owners with all of their renovation, construction, and expansion projects. If you are getting ready to make some New Year’s Renovation Resolutions for your business, give us a call! We’re ready to get started.
Top Winter Renovations for Your Business
When it comes time for winter renovations to your business, weather and energy costs will probably be top of mind. Many areas of the country suffer extreme cold and wet, and Nashville is no different. You may not experience sub-zero temperatures, but it’s still cold, with snow and ice a regular occurrence, and these types of weather conditions can cause problems to any structure and cost you money as a business owner.
Here are a few top winter renovations for your business that you may want to consider:
Roofing. This is probably the most vulnerable area of any structure when it comes to bad weather, and a problem or weakness here will affect your interiors, jeopardizing customer safety and the well-being of your workforce, machinery, and furnishings through water damages. Talk to your area professional about an inspection, which will tell you if it’s time for a new roof.
Doors and Windows. There are a lot of products on the market today that are energy-efficient and high quality, and you can save yourself a bundle by replacing your exterior doors and windows with products that are made with this in mind. Are your heating bills higher than you would like? A renovation that includes these items could be key to lowering those costs.
Flooring. If your building is still carpeted, you might want to think about moving to wood-style flooring or even linoleum. The advantage here will be that they don’t molder and smell when wet weather brings in lots of wet shoes! Mold can take hold underneath carpeting, and it can be a long time before anybody finds it, although its unpleasant odor will certainly be apparent. Your contractor will be able to help you select the best products on the market for your renovation.
Kitchen and Bath. These areas get a lot of use, of course, and renovating them will lend your business a fresh and contemporary look and feel, and this alone can often attract new customers, while installing the latest energy efficient appliances will save you money, and that’s always good.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, it’s our business to help you care for yours. Call us for your renovation needs and questions. We’re happy to help!
Prevention Tips to Keep Your Business Safe from Storm Damages
As a business owner, you know that storms can do a lot of damage to your property and holdings and can often interrupt your day-to-day operations both during and after such a weather event. You’ve invested too much time, effort, and money in your business to allow such a situation to ruin all that you have worked so hard to achieve.
Here are some storm preparation tips that can help keep your business and workforce safe:
- Inspections. Start by inspecting your building and its premises so that you, your equipment, and your employees are protected. Look for leaks in the roof or walls, cracks near doors and windows, or loose trim that can blow off and injure someone. These issues could also lead to serious water damage hazards for your business. If you are leasing your space, submit any work requests to your landlord right away so that these problems can be solved immediately.
- Maintenance and Insurance. Check your building maintenance agreement to see what processes are in place to handle issues that may arise from excess water or flooding. Safe entry and exit to your place of business are extremely important during bad weather to keep people safe and accident-free. Make sure you are well-informed when it comes to your business’s insurance coverage and warranties for equipment and machinery. The coverage should cover any storm damages and water damages or injuries that could happen during a storm or its aftermath in your area. If it does not, it may be a smart business move to upgrade your policy.
- Emergency Contacts. Compile a list of phone numbers needed during an emergency, such as police and fire department, your landlord, insurance company, plumbers, legal entities, or the utility companies in case of a power outage. Ensure that this list is easily accessible to anyone who will be in your building and store it in the cloud in case you lose your wifi or computers.
- Workforce. During a storm, people may not be able to get into work, or they may not be able to return home. Think through as many possible scenarios as you can and have a plan to handle each one. Do you need to stock up on food and blankets? Is your office equipped with flashlights, batteries, and a first aid kit? Does one of your employees have a four-wheel drive vehicle that could be used to help in an emergency? Make sure you have a plan when it comes to communication methods to employees, vendors, and emergency teams. If power is out, do you have a way to keep cell phones charged, for example? Posts on your social media accounts to let everyone know of emergency closures, etc. can be an invaluable help; assign that task to someone who you know is reliable and a good communicator. If your business can be run from a remote location, ensure that employees know what would need to be done should they have to work from home for a time. Have a chain of command in place so that information gets to everyone who needs it.
Clearly, there is a lot to think about when it comes to stormy weather and all the challenges that can pose to a business owner. Have a plan in place before Spring storms begin, and be safe. Ascension General Contractors of Nashville is here to help with renovations and repairs following weather-related damages to your business.
Fire Codes and Building Permits: Things to be Aware of When Renovating Your Business
According to some recent reports, new construction and buildings undergoing major renovations accounted for an estimated 6,300 fires between 2010 and 2014. This number underscores the need for building and business owners, contractors, facility managers, and inspecting authorities to become more aware of their local fire code requirements. These codes will cover issues that can arise during renovations and new construction, such as:
- Temporary construction use
- Equipment and storage spaces
- Proper disposal of combustible materials and waste
- Temporary heating and fuel storage
- Temporary wiring and lighting
- Site security and fire-fighting access
- First aid and fire-fighting equipment on-site
The fire hazards that can be found in buildings that are under construction or renovation will differ in many ways to those in buildings that are completed. Sprinklers, smoke detection and fire alarms often may be installed but won’t be operational until the project is completed, and this leaves the site vulnerable to loss by fire. There are often a number of combustible and ignition sources found on these sites that won’t be found in completed structures, such as debris, heating equipment, and hot work such as welding, soldering, and roofing, etc. – all the ingredients for a potential fire. Adhering to local fire codes will keep your risk to a minimum.
Obtaining the proper building permits before you begin your renovations can be done in a single step, or it may involve multiple steps, depending on the size of your project. The important thing is to make sure you have all permits in place; it can be a huge expense and headache to find that work has to be demolished and re-done because it does not adhere to codes. Many jurisdictions now offer online permitting services, which is a great convenience to the busy business person. Some of the types of permits that you can expect to be required to obtain might be:
All of these, with the exception of the building permit, will only be issued to licensed and bonded contractors.
A few tips:
- Educate yourself on your local permitting requirements
- Make sure your contractor provides you with copies of all permitting
- Post copies in full view for inspectors and other authorities to reference
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are committed to completing your project in a timely and professional manner, and this includes obtaining all required permitting and ensuring that your project adheres to all local fire safety codes.
Renovations that Can Prevent Water Damages to Your Commercial Property
Guarding your investment is a wise choice, and no one knows this better than a commercial property owner. As time passes, repairs and renovations become necessary so that your property can remain attractive and safe, and when it comes time for a renovation, thinking far ahead will save time and money in the long run.
In the South, wet weather is not unusual. This is great for vegetation, but it can be a problem for home and business owners. Whether it causes mold or damage to your structure, being prepared for these kinds of issues will be a smart business move.
Your upcoming renovation project is a great time to think about possible water damages, and evaluating what areas of your commercial property are most at risk.
Do you have a low-lying parking area for your workforce and customers? Make sure this area gets special attention, from resurfacing and grading to new parking strips and clear walkway direction for pedestrians.
In anticipation of thunderstorms and high winds, the renovation of your roofing and windows will need to be of the highest quality so that your interiors can remain safe and dry during those kinds of conditions. Windows, too, should be replaced with the best that the market has to offer. The cost expended here will be recouped in the future, when you don’t have to clean up after a heavy storm season.
The bathroom and kitchen areas are potential problems when it comes to water from a different source. Piping and fixtures need to be of good quality and properly installed so that you don’t have flooding or rotting from poor fittings. Mold can easily take hold after an issue like that occurs, and that is a whole new problem that can be a huge headache for a commercial property owner. It only takes 24-48 hours for a mold colony to start, and once it does, it can be difficult to remove. The best way to keep mold from becoming a problem is to maintain clean and dry premises, so keep this in mind during your renovation projects to your commercial property interiors.
Ascension General Contractors is here to help you get your renovation project done right.
Top Renovation Projects to Prevent Potential Damages in the Future
As a commercial property business owner, you know that being proactive and prepared will go a long way towards protecting your investments. Regular inspections and assessments of your holdings will inform you of things that need to be taken care of right away so that you can avoid issues of all kinds, including potential damage.
When it comes time to renovate your property, there are a few areas that should be top of mind when it comes to planning for the future.
Customer areas. Parking lots, walkways, waiting areas, and guest bathrooms are extremely important when it comes to safety. Every business owner knows what can happen if a customer gets injured or their property is damaged due to company negligence. Use the highest quality materials and craftsmanship when it comes to renovating and refurbishing these areas to safeguard both your customers and your business.
Building exteriors. When bad weather hits, your roofing, doors, and windows will need to be top quality and in great shape to keep weather-related damages from affecting your business and property. Regular inspections of these areas are important, as is maintenance if a problem is found. When it comes to renovation, make sure you research the best products in the industry and use them for your business holdings. Cutting costs here could cost you a lot more down the road.
Landscaping. When renovating, it often becomes necessary to re-do your landscaping, as well. Have large trees and shrubs assessed for potential issues in the future, and make sure that plants that are used are not invasive types that can cause problems to your building. The roots of a large tree or shrub can grow under walkways and parking areas, causing damages and creating hazards by pushing up the surfaces, while fast-growing ivy can wreak havoc on the exterior of your building if it decides to take hold there. Be aware of what you are planting, and get rid of anything that is a potential problem.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we take great pride in getting the job done right the first time. Call us today for your renovation needs.
Tips for Upkeeping Your Commercial Properties
Proper facility maintenance will bring many benefits to your business. You will gain, and keep, a reputation in your area for offering commercial properties that are worth the leasing price, and your tenants and lessees will be confident that their clients, products, and tools of their trade will be safe when they are in a space that is owned by you. Here are some basic tips for commercial property maintenance that should be completed throughout the year:
Start with the exterior. First impressions will be set the moment your prospective client sees your commercial property. You want to make sure that they are positively impacted and that they become a long-term customer. Keeping your locations clean, organized, and inviting will create a lasting impression, and one that will turn into word-of-mouth recommendations, as well. Repair and replace anything that is damaged or unsightly as soon as possible, whether it is windows, signage, or even just a door handle. Your landscaping should be pleasant with trees and shrubbery that are well-maintained and cared for.
Interiors, too. Take a cue from your outdoor evaluations and touch up anything that doesn’t look well taken care of. Replacement of items that are unsightly or unsafe is a must. Paint, flooring, furnishings, and light fixtures – customers notice these items right away, and they will instantly gauge how you will treat them and their business based on how you treat your own. Show them that you are a professional by maintaining your own property in a professional manner.
Utilities. Heating and air conditioning units, water heaters, and other utilities that your clients will depend on will need to be checked and serviced regularly to keep them in good shape and functioning properly. Efficient energy systems will save everyone money, too, and every tenant appreciates that kind of support.
By properly maintaining the commercial property, you are preserving its value while increasing revenue and mitigating your costs. If you need to schedule preventive checkups or emergency services due to unforeseen events, call us here at Ascension General Contractors. We’re here for you and your business.
The Best Way to Communicate with Your Contractor
Establishing a productive and successful relationship with your contractor will require a solid set of communication skills. After all, he or she is going to be the one who will help you turn your living space into the one you’ve been dreaming about. Here are some of the best ways to communicate with your contractor:
Be clear. Make sure you are in agreement with your spouse or significant other about any remodeling issues, so that your contractor doesn’t have to run interference between you. If there is a conflicting vision for the master suite, stress levels will be higher than is necessary, and completing the work will become next to impossible.
Schedule talk time. If you have questions about the project or if you want/need daily or weekly updates, set up a specific time to talk with your contractor instead of pulling them away from the job site to do so. When it comes to small details or problems that can be easily resolved, use email to communicate.
Know yourself. Assess yourself honestly and be aware of the kind of client you are likely to be so that when you choose your contractor you can be confident that they can work with you effectively. Be clear with both yourself and your contractor as to whether you are hands-on or hands-off. Are you a bit of a control freak? Be honest about it. Are you extremely concerned about costs, or is your attitude more “the sky is the limit”? Perhaps you are the creative type and truly love coming up with unusual design elements, or maybe you are traditional in your thinking; your contractor will appreciate knowing just how to approach you and your project.
Be flexible. Understand right from the start that remodeling completion dates have a tendency to come and go. Small, unavoidable changes can set the project back easily, and weather can often be an obstacle as well. Treat your start and finish dates as achievable goals, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Understand your contractor’s environment. A contractor working in an urban area often has different resources than a contractor in a rural area will have. If you are remodeling a cabin in the wilderness, be aware that your contractor very likely will have considerations when obtaining manpower and materials that another one in a city would not. Scheduling inspections may take a bit longer to set up, and travel time may be more extensive for all involved. Lumber may come from 100 miles away, and if your contractor runs short of something, it might take several days to obtain what is needed.
The team at Ascension General Contractors is committed to completing your project in a timely and professional manner.
Trends to Consider When Planning Your Apartment Renovations
Today’s apartment renter is all about one thing: amenities. Yes, they care about price and location, and the aesthetics of a building or complex are also a big consideration, but the amenities are the deal-makers or breakers these days. As an apartment property owner, this trend is something you should think seriously about when planning and designing your upcoming renovations.
- Transportation. With the advent of programs such as Uber and Lyft, along with a growing sense of environmental responsibility, many communities are taking another look at their transportation offerings. Many property owners, especially in congested urban areas, are encouraging alternatives to car ownership. Bike-rental programs are popping up, while biking trails are a plus. If you are considering re-working your parking spaces, maybe it’s time to think about a dedicated space for pick up and drop off by ride-share vehicles and a place for your tenants to park their bicycles.
- Expanding your fitness center is another possibility. Almost every apartment building or complex has a fitness space these days, but you can go to a whole new level by adding classes such as yoga or Pilates, and your renovations could include state-of-the-art equipment. Your tenants would really love the idea of saving money on a gym membership and working out at home.
- Fur babies. People are having smaller families today, and many couples are opting for pets as their family. These renters will be very attracted to a pet-friendly property, so when you plan your renovations, think about Sparky and Rover. Dog park? A pet concierge? Many people need someone to watch the dog or cat while they go on vacation or work late, and a concierge can be a great asset to your apartment complex. During the renovation, add an office for this part of your business, or maybe a small area devoted to the fur babies, complete with a dog spa or groomer.
- Community. Some apartment complexes are adding urgent-care clinics, mini-markets, and even maid services to their list of offerings. While you are planning your apartment renovation, consider adding some cutting-edge amenities that will help your tenants stay near home, saving gas and money. Providing your residents with places to pick up sundries, or even an alternative workspace, will make your property a popular place to reside.
- High tech. Apartment owners and managers are partnering with tech innovators to develop customized community apps, which enhance communication for residents, and according to a recent study, more than half of all residents nationwide said they would be willing to increase their rent by more than $20, if their unit could be a “smart apartment”. Voice sensors and voice control now allow residents to take advantage of a full menu of commands. They can pay their rent by voice, and BlueTooth technology can run their shower. Thermostats controlled by motion-detector are another amenity that you could add to your units during your renovation.
The Ascension General Contractors team is here to help you realize all your goals when it comes to your apartment renovations.
How to Prevent Delays in Your Apartment Renovation Project
As an apartment complex or building owner, avoiding costly delays is going to be one of your most important considerations when you are planning a renovation project. You will lose both time and money, and in some cases – clients or tenants, if a renovation project becomes a drawn-out affair. The inconveniences and chaos of a poorly managed renovation can be an eyesore and an irritant to everyone, and in some instances can create safety hazards on or around your property.
Here are some of the most common causes of construction/renovation delays some tips on how to prevent them from occurring or from causing unwanted delays
- Bad weather. If your renovations are outdoor projects, inclement weather can leave your project way behind schedule. It’s usually impossible to get exterior projects completed if heavy rains, sleet, ice or snow occur during the winter. Summer can bring tornadoes, severe storms, and hurricanes, as well. You can manage these eventualities by ensuring that allowances for natural disasters are built into your contract, and by rescheduling such activities as concrete pours with one eye on the weather forecasts. Ask your contractor to make sure there are water pumps on the job site so that standing water can be disposed of.
- Resource shortages. Sometimes extra work is needed, and your renovation contract did not allow for it. Running out of money will certainly bring everything to a quick halt. Establish a great business relationship with your bank ahead of time; they can be flexible with providing loans if you are a respected business in the community and have collateral to offer.
- Unreliable contractors. Crews that waste time on job sites are more common than they should be. A company may be slow to provide the tools and training to their workers, and that will cause your project to be completed much more slowly than you had envisioned. Do your research before hiring your apartment renovation contractor, and make sure they are known for timely and professional craftsmanship.
- Unexpected changes. Such changes will always be a part of a renovation project. Sometimes requirements emerge that are different from what was initially expected, and sometimes it’s due to zoning or to inspection. Managing these events is crucial, and you can prevent them from slowing work down by building allowances for these into the schedule.
When it comes to your apartment renovation project, make sure you plan ahead, and work with a contractor that you can communicate with easily and clearly. Here at Ascension General Contractors, we take pride in completing our clients’ projects in a timely and professional manner. Call us today!
Maximizing ROI in Your Commercial Renovation Projects
Ownership of a commercial property is an opportunity to maximize return on investment, or ROI, at every step, even when it means fixing things that have broken. Repairs could possibly be thought of as a drain on the owner’s resources and cash flow, but with proper planning and foresight, they can become a positive event, instead.
Here are some best practices that can help a commercial property owner maximize ROI when it comes to commercial renovations:
- Maintenance. Don’t defer it. It’s not just bad business; it will have a negative impact on your property values and can become a serious financial liability. Tackle repair issues early to save money and increase equity. That way, when it comes to renovation expenditures, you will be able to spend your money on the things that really matter.
- Professional help. No serious owner of a commercial property should be handling repairs and renovations on their own. A property management firm commitment can pay for itself by keeping your business in great shape at all times. They also can be leveraged for contacts in the contractor field. These relationships can often ensure that you get top priority when it comes to your needs and gain you discounts, as well.
- Do it right. Don’t make the mistake of continuously re-patching and re-doing repairs just to save money. A “do it right the first time” maintenance philosophy will go a long way towards attracting, and keeping, the very best tenants, improving your total returns.
- Reserves. Savvy commercial property owners understand that setting aside reserves for maintenance and repairs is a wise move. Even if resources are tight, it’s smart to contribute to a reserve account on a regular basis so that you can be prepared for replacements and other issues that will come up.
- Public relations. With a bit of forethought, you can turn your commercial renovation projects into positive public relations opportunities, generating a fresh interest and image to existing clients and a buzz in your locale among prospective new customers. Using signage, social media, and other news sources, you can propel your new look to a place that is top of mind in your town or city.
The team at Ascension General Contractors is here to help you maximize your ROI on your commercial renovation projects.
Determining a Budget for Your Commercial Renovation Project
Establishing a realistic budget is the essential first step for any business owner to take towards making sure they don’t overspend when undertaking any commercial renovation project. Budgeting is, of course, restrictive, but that is one of its biggest benefits – saving money.
Repairing the seating in your restaurant or nightclub, for example, won’t merely involve setting aside a certain amount of money. It will also require careful planning and monitoring. Your commercial contractor should be able to show you how much of a change that amount of money can give you when it comes to any redesign. Creating a simple budget plan will be essential in keeping a close eye on spending and the handling of any emerging expenses.
Here are a few steps that can assist in determining a realistic budget for your commercial renovation:
- Financial Forecast. Forecast a few months ahead, making sure that any set-aside amounts are going to be adequate to cover the whole renovation process. Gather all pay slips, bank account information, average monthly bills, and the totals of actual funds you may have invested in other projects.
- Gross Income. Estimate all the income earned, to include salary, bonuses, and interest received. This should also take into account grants and all other financial sources.
- Expenses. Determine all fixed expenses as well as discretionary money that has or will accumulate after making fixed expense payments and subtract your savings. According to experts in the industry, you should include all fixed taxes, targeted savings, and bills, such as rent, insurance, and other necessary expenditures that help with the running of your business. Discretionary expenditures will include such items as entertainment, advertising, travel, and any other miscellaneous expenses. These last items are often ignored, which will lead to an incorrect financial statement.
- Net Income. Renovations are very specific when it comes to the condition of the building and any items that will require renovating as well as the theme or design of your commercial organization. By subtracting the expenses from your gross income, you will get your revenue totals, and you can use this information to determine the extent of renovations to your commercial business that will be possible.
Determining a realistic budget for your commercial renovation will help you to stay focused on your objectives and will ensure that the budget uses current data and projections.
Ascension General Contractors – we get the job done.
What to Look for in a Commercial Restoration Contractor
When looking for a commercial restoration contractor, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind. A commercial contractor is a general contractor who specializes in commercial construction, such as the building and/or remodeling and renovation of schools, corporate offices, retail buildings, etc. You will want to make sure you choose the right company for your business needs, one that has the expertise and experience necessary to complete a commercial restoration project.
This company will need to be able to oversee all the stages of restoration, which can include:
- Supply Purchases
- Adherence with local building codes
- Zoning regulations
Most construction projects, both commercial and/or residential, require some form of licensure. Make sure that the company you are planning to work with has all the necessary licensing to do the job.
Obtaining permits and supervising all of the involved regulations can be overwhelming for any business owner who might be thinking about completing his or her own commercial restoration project. A contractor can be a vital asset when it comes to managing and guiding the progress of your restoration project from start to finish. Their skill and experience in this area could help you complete your project ahead of time and with less hassle and headache.
To find the right commercial restoration contractor, here are a few things to look for:
- The bid. In any bid, the owner will need to be sure that the proposals are detailed. Ensure all the submitted bids from all contractors are adhering to the same scope so that comparisons can be done appropriately.
- Licensure. As mentioned above, this is a critical aspect of the process. Carrying proper insurance is essential as well, for a commercial restoration contractor.
- Communication. Establishing excellent communication between owner and contractor is also vital for the successful completion of the project. Find a contractor who will work with your communication style.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are committed to seeing all of your commercial restoration projects completed in a timely and professional manner. We have the experience and expertise in this area that enables us to get the job done just the way any business owner requires. Call us today!
Some Difficulties with Commercial Repair Projects that You Might Not Have Considered
Commercial buildings, such as stores, offices, banks, and apartment complexes, need regular maintenance and repair to enhance their durability and increase their longevity. At times, these projects can bring difficulties with them that an owner might never have considered. These projects are necessary since they often will protect the investment value of the property involved as well as the safety of workers, guests, residents, and clients. Being realistic about the difficulties that can be involved will help tremendously in planning for these renovation projects.
- Assessing the property regularly, inspecting all aspects for safety and aesthetic issues are going to be important first steps in keeping a property in good condition and ready for any possible disasters. This can be the very first difficulty a property owner can experience: finding the right person or company to complete these inspections and the eventual commercial repair projects.
- If windows crack or toilets clog, someone has to repair them. Establishing a strong professional relationship with a handyman or contractor will be of the utmost importance so that an owner can call someone to fix these items and other commercial repair needs immediately. This business partnership will be a challenge to establish and nurture, but well worth the effort. These craftsmen can handle keys and digital entry, landscaping, and other exterior issues, and many other types of unforeseen repair projects both large and small.
- During any kind of repair, your business can be hindered. Doors and entryways may need to be blocked during these events, or walkways may be unsafe. Plan ahead of time for alternative ways to enter or leave your place of business. You don’t want to lose money because clients cannot reach you.
- When it becomes necessary to repair or upgrade your HVAC systems and air ducts, you will experience the challenge of maintaining a pleasant and healthy atmosphere within your commercial space for all those who will be coming and going.
Call Ascension General Contractors for all of your commercial building repairs. We provide a wide range of services for commercial buildings and have all the experience, skills, and resources to help keep your buildings in the best shape possible.
Have a Disaster Restoration Plan for Your Commercial Properties
Flooding, fire, and extreme winter-time weather can happen at any time. Business tools and machinery can be ruined, and the structures of businesses can be negatively affected, as well. A professional damage restoration company can be an important and welcomed resource during times like these; such companies are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner as well as keep you and your workforce out of harm’s way.
While these types of situations can rarely be foreseen, planning ahead in preparation for any damage will help you be prepared to handle such an event when the time arises. Some areas of your business are going to be more apt to experience damage than others during extreme weather, and having a disaster restoration plan for your commercial property will help you recover from a disaster quickly, and planning ahead will go a long way in making the restoration process even easier.
Proper planning in these areas will help:
- Basements and cellars need to be watched during wet weather since they have a number of easy entry points for water. If there is heavy rainfall during inclement weather, or if the building is near a body of water such as a lake or river, they are going to be in danger. Keep an eye open for cracks in the foundation, ceiling, and walls of these areas. Handling the aftermath of flooding and storm damage can be very expensive, but is an event that can be avoided if you plan ahead.
- A damaged roof is susceptible to the water damage that can happen in the event of a storm or fire cleanup, and the areas underneath it will suffer. If rain gutters have not been properly maintained, you may experience some problems stemming water overflow, as well. It does not take long for mold growth to begin a colony, so proper planning can be a real help here. Be ready to dry affected areas completely as soon as possible to prevent this event.
- Make sure entryways, windows, and doors are free of standing water and debris if flooding occurs. Proper planning in this area can prevent injuries and costly repairs.
- Make sure that all areas around your buildings are kept free from flammable materials and that all plants and trees are trimmed well on a regular basis to prevent fires from spreading if they occur.
Once an event occurs, it can be overwhelming to add the task of finding someone to help to your to-do list. Having established a strong business relationship beforehand with a company that works in the disaster restoration field is going to be the most important part of your plan. Ensure that they are licensed and bonded and that they have earned a great local reputation when it comes to the quality of their work.
Our team here at Ascension General Contractors is ready to help in case of disaster and the repairs your business may need in the aftermath. Call us today at (615) 750 2345, or visit our website today!
Projects for Your Business that You Shouldn’t Ignore
Every business owner wants to take their organization to the next level. If business has been good, you want the next year to be great! It might be time to consider a renovation or refurbishment; if your offices, store, or workspaces stand out, more customers and clients will be attracted to your organization. A renovation is an investment that will pay off over time with an increase of traffic.
A few projects that you shouldn’t ignore when it comes to the appearance or functions of your buildings can be:
- Repainting. A brighter palette can bring new life to an older space.
- Soundproofing. Peaceful interiors are always a benefit and can help your workers and clients focus on the task at hand with fewer distractions.
- HVAC upgrades. Comfortable environments make people want to stay longer; with changing climate conditions come challenges in maintaining interior comfort. Keep in mind that upgrades in this area can save you money; there are so many energy efficient products on the market today!
- Replacing sinks and toilets. Everyone loves an attractive bathroom or kitchen area. If these areas in your organization need a facelift, don’t hesitate to undertake this renovation project.
- Replacing carpet with hardwoods or tile. A contemporary, modern space is always inviting, and these kinds of flooring are much easier to care for, in addition to being a cost-effective renovation project.
- Replacing old, inefficient equipment. Your clients will appreciate timely and excellent work products, while your employees will do better work with tools that are excellent in their functionality.
- Upgraded lighting. New lighting can bring new life to your spaces and save you money at the same time.
- Expanded spaces. Reworking your floor plans can bring an open feel to your business, for both workers and clients. Studies have shown that a sleek and updated office space actually affects worker retention and the quality of applicants to your business in a positive way.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are in the business of making your business better. When it comes to renovations and upgrades to your organization, we have the expertise and experience to complete your projects in a timely and professional manner.
Final Steps in Completing Your Commercial Renovation Project
Your commercial renovation project is nearing completion. Here are a few final steps to consider:
- Inspections. Once all the work is completed, make sure final inspections are scheduled. It is a good idea to attend these and to see that all work is signed off on appropriately.
- Warranty. When you entered into your contract, you should have received a written copy of the warrantycovering all the work that was to be done. Ensure that you understand what is covered by reading your warranty carefully and thoroughly. The process for filing a claim and the terms of coverage should be included here. In many cases, a warranty will consist of several layers of coverage, to include manufactured components such as windows, lighting, and plumbing fixtures and appliances, for example. It is critical that you understand your role when it comes to this warranty; in some cases, you may be required to register with a manufacturer to ensure that you are covered. Before you make your final payment, confirm that you have been provided with all product and warranty information.
- Emergencies. Make sure you understand the process in the event of an emergency, such as crucial service areas like roofing, appliances, electrical, and HVAC, to name a few. Require your contractor to supply you with a list of emergency contacts for these and other important items.
- File it. Your warranty is part of the price you paid for your commercial renovation project, and is every bit as important as the cabinets that were selected and installed, and maybe even more so! File your warranty in a fireproof place such as a safety deposit box or safe and create a cloud-based digital copy as well in case of a serious event.
When it comes to commercial renovation projects, you want an experienced and respected construction company on your team. Here at Ascension General Contractors, we have that experience and we have worked hard to earn the respect of our clients. Call us today and let’s talk about your renovation project. We can get it done together!
Tips for Managing Your Business’ Renovation Projects
An improvement project for your business can be both rewarding and exciting, and it can open up new avenues for success in your venture. It can also be confusing and stressful, however, since while you are the master of your business domain, entering into the area of renovation is probably unknown territory. There are a lot of decisions that will need to be made if your project is to be a success. Here are a few tips to help:
- How do I make sure I hire the right contractor?
- Get at least three referrals for any contractor you are considering. Ask him or her to give you a list of three people they have worked with in the past and their contact information, which will allow you to call or email them for a testimonial. This will tell you immediately if you are making a good decision in working with this contractor.
- What needs to be in the contract for my protection?
- The contract should contain specific provisions, such as price and payment schedule, construction schedule, and completion date. Specific information concerning materials can be included if necessary. If you have, or need, custom work or installations done, let your contractor know right from the start.
- How do I ensure my project stays on schedule?
- Begin your relationship with your contractor with good communication, and maintain this communication throughout. Make an effort to understand the challenges they face and whether they are getting the information that they need to complete the job the way you are expecting them to. Perhaps he or she is managing several sites; this is an important fact to know when it seems like work is not getting done on a daily basis due to other business demands on their end.
- How do I keep it under budget?
- Shop around for materials and look for sales. If there are any parts of the project that come up that you can do yourself, let your contractor know and take care of it. Make sure that you discuss this eventuality before they ever begin so that they know you may be hands-on at times. Communication is key!
Ascension General Contractors is here to help you with all your renovation projects.
Dealing with Water Damage Repairs in Your Restaurant
Every day is different in the restaurant world. With the daily food and drink deliveries, menu planning, guest reservations, office work, and advertising that need to be executed, it’s a world that keeps everyone on their toes, even when things are going just right. As the owner, you have a schedule in place to keep track of everyone and everything, right down to the expiration on the food in the freezer, and that’s just all part of the job.
You know you have to be prepared for those times when something unexpected happens as well, such as a kitchen fire or missed deliveries, or when one of your staff gets hurt on the job. As a successful restaurant owner, you are someone who understands the importance of being proactive. Having a plan in place for any eventuality is always a good idea, and that is especially important in a business like yours.
One issue that can occur all too frequently in the restaurant business is water damage. Your kitchen is an area where this can happen very easily, so being ready for it will help you get back to business right away. Here are some tips on dealing with water damage repairs:
- Post directions. Let your staff know what to do, giving them specific instructions for how to handle water damage if it occurs. Put your directions in a well-travelled area of the building so that everyone knows where to go for information.
- Inspections. Official inspections are a regular part of the restaurant business, but you can conduct your own, too. This will help you find water damages when they are barely beginning, which will save you time and money. Designate someone on your staff that is thorough and trustworthy to go through the areas of your venue to look for possible trouble spots.
- Professionals. Find a professional to work with in the event that your water damages become too big for you. Research companies in your area and find one that has a great reputation for being timely, professional, and experienced.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are committed to area businesses. Let us help you get back to business as quickly as possible after water damage. Call us today!
Tips for Communicating with Your Commercial Contractor
Communication is key when it comes to working with your commercial contractor. Before you start your next project, take a look at these tips we’re sharing today to help you establish a communication system:
- Weekly Meetings. Plan weekly meetings to discuss your project’s progress. Choose a day and time that works for everyone, and use these meetings to express concerns you may have or changes you would like to see made. These meetings will also give your contractor an opportunity to do the same.
- Daily Contact. Try to connect with your contractor daily. Whether it’s in person or by phone, it will be helpful to keep the lines of communication open. Make sure you have all the contacts you may need before work begins.
- Jobsite Notes. A jobsite notebook can be a great way to communicate concerns and ask questions. Jot down your thoughts as they come to you, and leave the notebook for the contractor to use the following day. It can serve as a legal document if communications need to be reviewed at a later time.
- Establish Methods Early. Save yourself stress and trouble by interviewing your contractor before ever engaging his or her services. A company’s style of communication will often be obvious during that first contact. If red flags go up during the initial interview, that could be a hint of future issues. Take note as to whether your calls have been returned in a timely manner, and whether you were treated with attention and respect. Does it seem as though your wants and goals will be honored by this company?
- Track Record. What kind of track record does this company have when it comes to communication? Read reviews and talk to others who have used their services to see if your prospective contractor is someone you can do business with. Websites such as Yelp can be very helpful when looking to see what kind of local reputation a business may have.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we know how important good communication is to any project. We are committed to our clients and their goals. Call us today for more information.
Repairs for Your High Rise After a Disaster
- Contractor. Employing the right company to handle your repairs is extremely important. They should be bonded and insured and enjoy a solid reputation in the community for work well done. Make sure your insurance company can work with them and that there will be no restrictions involved.
- Warranties. Machinery, appliances, and technical equipment will all have warranties. Contact the appropriate entities right away and begin the process of replacing those items that have been damaged.
- Insurance Claims. Contact your adjuster immediately after any disaster and arrange for inspections of the damaged areas. Comprehensive notes should be compiled, and photos taken of all damage for reference.
- Tenants and Lessees. Keep all tenants and lessees updated concerning ongoing repairs after a disaster. If areas of your highrise are to be closed off due to a hazardous situation, make arrangements for temporary spaces to be available for your tenants during construction.
- Upgrades. This might be a great time to undertake some of the upgrades you’ve been considering. If construction is going to be fairly extensive, it could be cost effective to have older fixtures torn out and replaced while the repairs are happening. With all the innovations available today that can make your building more energy efficient, that would be another area where your highrise could be greatly improved after a disaster.
- Aftermath. If your repairs were due to flooding or other water-related issues, remember to have mold remediation experts come and assess your highrise. Once mold colonies take hold, they can create huge, ongoing problems for any property owner. For fire-related events, be sure to engage the services of a company that has extensive experience in the damage that fire can do to large buildings. The structural integrity of your highrise is of the utmost importance both to you and to everyone who occupies its spaces.
The team at Ascension General Contractors is experienced in the area of commercial disaster repair. If the worst happens, call us at (615) 750 2345 for assistance.
Keeping Your Hotel Renovations Under Budget
Whenever you are doing a major remodeling project, staying within the established budget is always essential. Here are some tips to keeping your hotel renovations under budget:
Establish Goals. Does your hotel need a facelift? Do you want to save on your energy costs? It will make it easier to set your spending limit once you are clear on what you hope to accomplish. Establish your goals before you even start, select your materials, finishings, flooring, and appliances and provide your professional contractor with a list of exactly what needs to be done and what materials are to be used. This will help tremendously in formulating an accurate budget.
Find Financing. There are many financing options available to the business owner; make sure you are aware of all the details of the option you choose. Your attorney can go over the documentation and make sure the plan you choose is best for you and your project.
Gather Quotes. Contractors will give you a free estimate for a remodeling project, but you will generally have to pay for a hard quote. This quote will give you a detailed outline of the costs and timeline for your project specifically.
Contract. A fixed-price contract, where you pay the contractor a lump sum for the project up front, is going to be your best bet to keep your costs low.
Do It Yourself. You can refurbish existing items yourself instead of buying high-cost replacements, such as lightly used furniture or artwork. You can also reduce labor costs if you are willing to do some of the smaller projects yourself, such as pulling up old flooring or removing tile. Painting is something you may be able to do yourself, or with some help, after the actual construction is complete.
Timing. You will want to consider your occupancy rates and choose a time when they are at their lowest so that you won’t lose too much business while your renovations are going on.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are ready to help you with all your remodeling needs. Call us today for a quote on your renovation project.
Renovation Projects for Your Apartment Complex
Retrofits and renovations will increase the value of your apartment complex, adding to its attractiveness and modernity while often lowering energy costs, which you can pass on to the occupants of your property.
Your future renovations can include:
Upgraded kitchens and bath areas. These two spaces are the most used spaces in any home, and any upgrade or renovation done here will appeal to prospective tenants. Install the latest in tubs and showers and replace old and porous kitchen counters with the newest materials; while more appealing visually, these are often more sanitary and easier to keep up, as well.
Complete envelope sealing. Replacement of inefficient, poorly sealed windows and doors can drastically lower the energy costs in your apartment complex.
Heating, cooling, and water heating systems. Replacement of these systems with innovative and high-efficiency systems such as instantaneous hot water heaters, combined heat and hot water systems, and heat pumps will add to the energy efficiency of your property.
Roof replacement. Replacing the roof of your commercial building increases the performance of the building’s envelope and increases its beauty and longevity.
Landscaping. Consider the orientation of your building in relation to the sun and shade your building by planting trees that will help to decrease the load on your cooling systems. Re-do the landscaping to trap and process rainwater, creating attractive exterior spaces while lowering or eliminating the amount of water used for irrigation.
In your larger remodeling projects, it’s important to keep in mind that this will be the optimum time to invest in any energy improvements you are planning to make. Adding new space in your commercial property will probably mean rethinking any involved heating and cooling systems, for example, so when it comes to replacing those systems, choosing new systems that will improve the energy performance of your property now rather than later will save you time and money in the long run.
Ascension General Contractors Is committed to all your renovation projects. Call us today at (615) 750 2345 and let’s talk about ways to upgrade and improve your apartment property.
Communication With Outside Contractors For Commercial Properties
During the construction process, communication is key; disputes often arise due to breaches in communication and expectations. Many times, commercial construction projects can have a large number of moving parts and lots of people involved, and these can include manufacturers, sales personnel, truck drivers, insurance companies, etc. All too often, a simple lack of communication can create huge issues when there are this many trades involved.
The traditional way to preserve accuracy during commercial construction is the documentation process, when all designs, specifications, contracts, schedules, and costs are clearly documented in writing. Clear, complete, and unambiguous drawings and written specifications will go a long way towards creating, and maintaining, accuracy and quality in the final product.
All participants must be integrated with the project team as a whole, and this can include engineers, architects, project managers, consultants, interior designers, landscape professionals, green building consultants, and others. As the complexity and scale of your project increases, this may demand the retention of a professional construction manager or owner’s representative – someone who can be assigned to gather, retain, and process all the communications coming from every avenue of the project. He or she can chair regular meetings and conference calls, heading up a systematic organization of project documents to ensure efficiency is maintained throughout by clear and consistent communication.
Establishing a clear chain of command will be critical for the input and distribution of information, documentation, and decisions. For a more complex project, the owner’s rep or construction manager will usually take the lead on contractual, schedule, budget, and risk management matters, while the architect will coordinate the design.
Fostering an atmosphere of trust between all team members is perhaps the most crucial piece in the communication of all parties; team members will then be far more apt to inform one another of potential problems that could adversely affect the project.
Mistakes may be unavoidable during a commercial construction project, but they can be mitigated with proper and clear communication and the effective use of construction management processes.
Our Ascension General Contractors team is here to help you complete your commercial project, under time and under budget.
How To Prioritize Your Business Renovation Projects
When considering renovation projects for your business, you will probably want to prioritize those projects, both for cost effectiveness and for planning purposes. Renovating or remodeling your business offers many benefits, but it will also require a large portion of your money and your time. Thinking through all aspects of any projects you are considering will be a helpful step to take before beginning.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself that may help you decide:
Why remodel? A business renovation is influenced by both your clients and the health of your organization and will affect everything from the design to the budget. It’s important to consider how the remodelling project will affect the future value of your property and your business venture.
What will the costs be? Cost is always a crucial factor in any remodeling project. It will give your project boundaries, so getting solid estimates for any of the projects you are considering will help you to prioritize those endeavors.
How much value will a project add? This is perhaps the most important question to get an answer to when deciding which projects will have priority. Improving the bathrooms on your property will be a wise move if they will be modernized and classy – they will add value to your spaces. Cosmetic improvements can add a lot of value to your business’ property. Is your property beginning to look shabby? You could be losing business because of it, and a renovation project that improves the overall vibe of your business might need to be at the top of the list.
How much time will be spent? When prioritizing your renovation projects, considering how long they may take will help you to decide which ones to undertake. You can lose valuable business if your premises are under construction for long periods of time or at the wrong time of the year.
Will the project improve the condition of your property? If a project will improve energy efficiency and save you money, or fix issues that have needed attention for a while, these projects might need to be at the top of the list. Upgrading your central heating and air system, for example, can add a large increase in value to your property and improve the overall condition in a big way.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we care about your business. Call us today for help with all your renovation projects.
Budgeting Tips For Your Remodel
Sticking to a budget is one of those things that no one likes to do, but that everyone knows is essential. Even when doing a major remodeling project, knowing just how much money you have to spend and then staying within that amount is essential. Here are some tips to setting your priorities and establishing a spending limit that you can live with and stick to.
Goals. Why are you renovating? Are you creating more space? Does your business need a facelift? Do you want to save on your energy costs? It will make it easier to set your spending limit once you are clear on what you hope to accomplish. Decide on the details before you even start, selecting your materials, finishings, flooring, and appliances; provide your contractor with a list of exactly what you want. This will help tremendously in formulating an accurate budget.
Financing. Unless you are paying cash for your remodel, you will need to borrow money. There are many financing options available to the business owner; make sure you are aware of all the details of the option you choose.
Quotes. Contractors will give you a free estimate for a remodeling project, but you will generally have to pay for a hard quote. This quote will give you a detailed outline of the costs and timeline for your project specifically.
Contract. A fixed-price contract, where you pay the contractor a lump sum for the project up front, is going to be your best bet to keep your costs low.
DIY. You can refurbish existing items yourself instead of buying high-cost replacements. Refinishing the cabinets in the break room yourself can save you 30 percent compared with the purchase of new cabinetry. You can reduce labor costs if you are willing to do some of the smaller projects yourself, such as pulling up carpeting or removing tile. Even painting is something you can do yourself, or with some help, after the actual construction is complete.
Timing. Contractors tend to be busier during the spring and summer, so commissioning any remodeling work during fall or winter might help you save some money.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are ready to help you with all your remodeling needs. Call us today with all your questions and concerns.
Keeping Your Business Stormproof
Storms can be devastating to a commercial building, causing damage that can take a significant amount of time and expense to repair. There are several steps you can take to prepare your business building for the wet and rainy seasonand possible flooding; preventive measures will reduce the amount of flood damage your business sustains and the time it can take to bring your operations back to normal.
- GUTTERS: Well-maintained gutter systems will be effective when it comes to diverting water to proper drainage areas. If your gutters are clogged with dead leaves and debris, rainwater can overflow and saturate the ground around the foundations causing damage there, while backed-up water can spill into wall structures. Mold damage only takes 24-48 hours to begin growing a colony inside walls and unused spaces and corners, so a regular cleaning schedule for your gutters is a good idea in helping to avoid this situation.
- STORM DRAINS: Storm drains on your business property will need to be maintained properly, as well. These are in place to move excess water away from buildings and parking areas. Your local government is usually responsible for these, but keeping an eye on them around your property will allow you to be able to report a problem to the proper authorities right away in anticipation of any possible flooding.
- RESPONSE PLAN: Have an emergency response plan ready for your employees. In the event of flooding, make sure you have a plan in place to communicate with everyone so that they know whether to come into work or not. No one should brave driving through flood waters! Listening to weather updates will be helpful here, and you’ll want to make sure you keep an emergency preparedness kit on site.
- INSURANCE. Make sure your insurance plan is up to date and know your coverages. With every storm comes the chance that your business will suffer damages, and you won’t want to be left without proper coverage after such an event. Video of your property before the storm is a great way to have proof of the condition of your business site and belongings should any questions arise after the fact.
- DOCUMENTS. Safeguard all your important documents by conducting computer backups and save hard copies for extra support in the case of critical financial documents and tax information.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we care about you and your business. Visit our website or call us at (615) 750 2345 for all your building and renovation needs.
Tips for Planning an Addition to Your Home or Business
As a business or family grows, more space will be needed, and often times, a repair specialist isn’t always in the cards. During the early stages of planning, the best point at which to start is compiling a wish list – a compilation of all the elements that will shape and influence the design. Such a list will help you prioritize and focus on your wants and needs and enable you to clearly communicate with your designers or contractors.
- Identify your key objectives. Ask yourself what the project will need to achieve and what problems it will need to solve. You need more space, but do you also need to improve the pattern of your traffic flow or add storage space? Does outdoor access need to be more convenient? Will a repair specialist or general contractor be needed?
- Inspiration. Allow yourself time to get inspired. Collect photos and plans from magazines or design websites or other general contractor blogs, and use buying guides for information on products and materials. Take a look at television shows that feature repair specialists and remodeling projects to get ideas, or tour new or remodeled buildings in your area.
- Finances. Calculating your costs and where you plan on getting the funds or financing to complete the project is an important next step. Consider credit rating and cash flow as well as any projects you might be able to complete yourself to save money.
- Site. Take a good look at the building site and where you plan on making the addition, taking all aspects of the surrounding area into consideration. Are there old growth trees that you want to preserve or views that you want to capture? Or maybe the area is unsightly and you want to screen out certain things. Take sun and wind into consideration, as well. Check for obstacles that will need to be moved or worked around, such as power lines, utility poles, or underground tanks for fuel or sewage.
- Legalities. Look into the legal restrictions and building codes, such as height restrictions, building area rations, design covenants, and historic overlays. You may be able to apply for a variance, in some cases.
- Professionals. The number or type of people you will need on your project depends on the scale, but even if your plan is small, you will need a designer to prepare the drawings to be able to apply for a building permit, while an architect can help you with the overall design if your project is more extensive. A general contractor will need to be hired to supervise the construction. You can hire individuals, or go with a design firm; the latter will be able to provide you with a package that will include everything you need to complete the project. Use word of mouth and reviews to find the best help available – Check with the Better Business Bureau, as well.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are experienced in all the aspects of bringing a building project to life.
Five Reasons to Hire a Professional Contractor
Hiring a professionally trained contractor will ensure that you are employing a qualified and experienced person to handle every aspect of your construction project or renovation project. Here are five reasons why using the services of a professional contractor is a good idea:
- Comprehensive Service. A professional general contractor will handle a construction or repair project from the beginning to its completion, covering the full service. They will work with you during the planning phase, assisting with design concepts, the purchase of your products and materials and other aspects of your construction process.
- Experience. An experienced contractor is an experienced professional. They possess the knowledge and expertise to transform all your ideas and concepts into an amazing building or renovation project. A professional knows to listen to the client carefully and makes sure that suggestions and advice are tailored to the client’s needs throughout the full service.
- Technical Know-How. Professionally trained contractors have all the knowledge that non-professionals won’t have. They know how to deal with the problems and challenges that can arise during a building project or renovation project and how to avoid common mistakes that can happen and that can be so costly to you in both time and money.
- Track Record. The expert professional contractor will have a good reputation within the community, and they will be careful to guard that reputation since they know how important it is that their clients have confidence in them and their work. Their business is an open book, and they do everything possible to ensure that the client gets ultimate satisfaction. As their prospective client, you will be able to find positive reviews and check their past projects.
- Pricing. When employing a professionally trained contractor, you won’t have to worry about escalating prices or inferior work. An expert will know how to do the job correctly and how to determine the total costs upfront so the client won’t experience any nasty surprises. A professional contractor is conducting a business that is long term. They work hard to earn and keep the trust of their clients. When you employ one, you know you will be getting a positive experience and one that will give you the satisfaction and the quality result in the building project that you deserve.
Our Ascension General Contractors team knows how to get you the best results possible. Call us today!
Knowing and Understanding Your Contract
When it comes to signing any kind of contract, everyone knows that you need to read it first. It’s so important, both legally and financially! And when it comes to contracts of a more technical nature, such as a construction contract, it’s even more important to gain a thorough understanding.
A construction contract can be defined as a legal document between a contractor and the owner of a property, wherein one party is agreeing to perform labor and services and supply the necessary materials to complete a project, while the other party is agreeing to make payment for those labors and services. Many states require a contract for this type of work. All construction contracts have certain requirements that must be included before they are legal, such as:
- Start and completion dates.
- The scope of work to be completed.
- Payment terms to include total price.
- Outline of the warranty period.
- The contractor’s license information.
A property owner needs to understand the terminology used in the contract as well so that traps and penalties can be avoided. Some clauses will be beneficial to the owner of the property, while others will be beneficial to the contractor, and it’s important to know what those are. Some common traps that can result from lack of understanding your contract can be:
- Large penalty fees for cancellation of work.
- Vague details for work to be completed, such as paint color, etc.
- Giving contractor discretion as to additional work.
- The due date for the project not included.
A property owner will want to read both sides of the contract, or the second/third pages, in order to avoid missing important information. Be aware of any ambiguous language that can void the company’s warranty or insurance coverage. Owners have the right to amend a contract in any way prior to signing, including adding or excluding anything they want or rewording portions that don’t work for them. A contract can be held by the property owner overnight to give them time to look it over carefully or consult with legal representation. High pressure sales tactics should also be resisted to avoid issues further down the road. In addition, an owner should never sign an open contract, no matter how well they know or trust the contractor they are planning on working with.
If the construction project is going to be undertaken to repair storm damages, beware of “storm chasers.” These people will visit areas after a storm has come through and do property damage assessments that may or may not be correct, and will then submit insurance claims that can be fraudulent, basing them on supposed damages that don’t actually exist or are much more minimal than their assessments claim. A property owner will need to be careful of signing anything here without a second opinion from a company that they trust; a contract from a company like this will more than likely be written to their advantage, not the owner’s.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we take pride in the quality of our work and our communication. When it comes to your property, we know you need a team of experienced professionals you can trust, whether your project entails a full remodel or repairs. Our team is here to guide you through all your residential and commercial improvements so that you can make educated decisions.
Eco-Friendly Renovations for Your Business
As a commercial property owner, you already have a list of renovation and upgrade projects that you will need to see completed over the coming years. To stay competitive, it’s always important to be aware of the trends and what customers are expecting when they are out looking for a space for their business or themselves. Concerns for the environment are at the top of everyone’s list these days, so planning eco-friendly renovations is a good business decision as well as an environmentally conscious and responsible one.
New, more eco-friendly materials and products are hitting the market these days, so while you are planning out your renovations you should have very little trouble in finding what you need to complete your eco-friendly projects.
Recycled materials. Timber, rock, and metal from demolitions or old construction can be used in your renovation. We are losing old growth forest at a rapid pace around the world, and using recycled timber will help to stem the tide of loss. Recycled materials have a unique patina gained over time and can bring beauty to your property in a way that brand new materials cannot.
Solar. Many commercial business owners are considering solar energy these days when remodeling or renovating. Solar energy can impact both your cooling and your heating costs and can often generate enough power for small items, such as fountains, etc.
Insulate. A well insulated building will use far less energy, which has a positive effect on the environment and your pocketbook.
Growing Things. Adding plants and trees that will provide your property with shade during the hotter months will lower your energy costs, while processing and removing CO2 from the air. A landscaping renovation can have an eco-friendly impact on your commercial property.
Innovative Solutions. Countertops made with paper (tree pulp from sustainably managed forests), bamboo plywood (which is a sustainable, rapidly growing wood that reaches maturity in four years or less), biodegradable hemp and wool carpeting, and composite decking; all of these products are newer to the market and can be great choices as you plan your renovations.
The Ascension General Contractors team is dedicated to Nashville area business owners. We care about the environment and are here to help you complete your eco-friendly renovations. Call us today at (615) 750 2345.
Renovation Projects to Make Your Business More Energy Efficient
The construction of zero net energy commercial buildings is on the rise as business owners and organizations are discovering that this type of construction can improve their bottom line in a big way. Remodeling or retrofitting existing buildings so that they are significantly more energy efficient is just as important as brand new construction.
Retrofits and renovations will increase the value of commercial buildings and reduce carbon emissions while lowering your energy costs, which you can pass on to the occupants of your property.
Your future energy efficient renovations can include:
Complete envelope sealing. Replacement of inefficient, poorly sealed windows and doors can drastically lower your energy costs.
Heating, cooling and water heating systems. Replacement of these systems with innovative and high-efficiency systems such as instantaneous hot water heaters, combined heat and hot water systems, and heat pumps will add to the energy efficiency of your property.
Crawlspace. Increased wall, floor, basement, and attic insulation will meet optimal performance values.
Roof replacement. Replacing the roof of your commercial building increases the performance of the building’s envelope.
Landscaping. Considering the orientation of your building in relation to the sun, shade your building by planting trees that will help to decrease the load on your cooling systems. Re-do the landscaping to trap and process rainwater, creating attractive exterior spaces while lowering or eliminating the amount of water used for irrigation.
In your larger remodeling projects, it’s important to keep in mind that this will be the optimum time to invest in any energy improvements you are planning to make. Adding new space in your commercial property will probably mean rethinking any involved heating and cooling systems, for example, so when it comes to replacing those systems, choosing new systems that will improve the energy performance of your property now rather than later will save you time and money in the long run.
Ascension General Contractors Is committed to your business renovation. Call us today at (615) 750 2345 and let’s talk about ways to make your business property more energy efficient.
Small Renovation Projects for Your Commercial Property
Your commercial property needs to be in the best condition possible year round so that your current tenants are satisfied with the spaces they occupy and your prospective tenants are attracted to all that your property has to offer them and their line of business.
Large renovations will need to be done perhaps every five to ten years, with upgrades to interior spaces that keep your property looking fresh and modern, such as replacement of large appliances, HVAC systems, and roofing, just to name a few. It might even become necessary to add square footage or remove interior walls; perhaps you are thinking more and more about adding solar panels and more efficient HVAC units throughout, and all these are pretty big, and costly, undertakings.
When these larger projects are not necessary, however, there are a lot of smaller renovations you can have done that will go a long way toward maintaining your commercial property as an attractive space for your tenants and clients. It’s important to stay on top of the current trends; there are always innovations happening in the building industry, and implementing a few of the simpler ones every year or so will keep you at the head of the pack.
Here are few smaller renovation projects to consider for your commercial property:
- Landscaping. You might not think of this aspect as an actual renovation, but remember that resource conservation and sustainability is a huge concern the world over. Your tenants and your clients will appreciate your environmentally conscious viewpoint. A re-do of your grounds that replaces thirsty foreign plants with growing things that actually belong to your area will save water used for irrigation and blend in attractively with the surrounding areas, while attracting wildlife such as birds, bees, and butterflies.
- Is the flooring in your building wearing down and starting to look shabby? Is it hard to maintain and keep clean? Perhaps it’s time to replace flooring. Check your building’s envelope, as well, and replace windows and doors that may need to go.
- Accessibility for the disabled can be overlooked, so ensure that your building is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This could mean adding a ramp in spots, and ensuring that all bathrooms can fit wheelchairs. Many older buildings have had their compliance grandfathered in, but it will be a benefit to your property if you provide full accessibility to any and all comers, while undertaking major renovations down the road could trigger the need for your property to become compliant with the ADA.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we apply our experience and expertise to all your commercial renovation projects both large and small. Call us today at (615) 750 2345.
Top Renovation Jobs for Your Office Building
Innovations in energy efficiency and changes in style trends make it a must to renovate your office building periodically. And it’s just good business to do a refresh, anyway, especially when office space is at a premium in a hot market like Nashville. You want your tenants to be comfortable and to have access to all the latest in amenities and technology, while your tenants will expect to enjoy competitive pricing when it comes to energy costs. It’s important that the building they occupy meets industry environmentally responsible standards to many people today, as well. It’s a lot to consider when thinking about renovating your office building.
We’re sharing some innovative renovation ideas with you here to help keep you on trend:
- Think Green. Being environmentally conscious and responsible is at the top of everyone’s list these days, both at home and in the workplace. How about adding green to your office building? In Hong Kong, for example, the H&H Group installed live trees in the centers of all their communal desks to add that outdoor feeling to their indoor offices.
Install energy efficient appliances in workplace kitchens and install solar panels to help conserve energy. The use of natural materials and organic textiles for your renovation will also go a long way to helping protect the environment. Although green additions can demand a larger cost up front, they bring with them the largest environmental and financial impact over time.
- Open Spaces. As the world gets ever more crowded and space is more precious than ever, using an open space design in your office building will be an attractive and unique feature for both current and potential tenants. Offices using this theory will have windows in place of walls that allow workers to see outside whenever they choose. Set up like an open-air palazzo, tables are set up in the middle of the area with no cubicle to be seen. Private offices and meeting areas are still a part of the plan, but everything is open, airy, and spacious as a whole.
- Communal Work. As the popularity of communal work spaces grows, renovating your building to allow for fluidity and flexibility will make your building more desirable to the people of today’s workforce. Prospective tenants will be looking for working environments that can be modeled to suit the needs of their business, so walls that can be moved or removed would be an attractive feature, enabling tenants to be able to meet changing space requirements within a very short time.
We live in a fascinating time where the design world is simply exploding with innovative ideas that are being created to solve the unique challenges of this 21st century world. Contact us here at Ascension General Contractors today, and we’ll start working on your renovation ideas right away! Our phone number is: (615) 750 2345.
Projects to Help You Fireproof Your Business
You want your business to be profitable, and that’s going to involve protecting it from risks. Flooding, fire, vandalism-all these types of events can cost you time and money. Every business should have a plan to keep your premises and staff safe from dangerous situations.
Let’s start with fire.
There are actually quite a few things you can do to fireproof your place of business. Here are some to help get you started:
- Keep it clean. Keeping the premises of your business clean can go a long way to preventing fires. According to the US Fire Administration, one of the biggest causes of fires is the failure to clean up surrounding areas.
- Do electrical maintenance. Periodically check all electrical wiring and installation on your premises. If you are not sure how to do this properly, contact a professional electrician to do that job. If anything is found to be faulty or broken, have it replaced or repaired immediately. Make sure all cables leading to office and warehouse equipment are organized and use power strips when there are a lot of them.
- Check the heater. The risk of fire is greater during weather in the fall and winter when it comes to your heater. If it is not properly maintained, there will always be a risk that it will overheat, no matter how high quality it may be. Change the filter and clean away dust and grime.
- Keep the kitchen neat. If you have a kitchen on your premises, it needs to be organized. Delegate this to a person or team of people who will commit to keeping it clean and tidy. Microwaves that are not maintained can explode, and leaks that are left untended can attract mold, or case slips, trips, and falls when producing standing water.
- Maintain smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Every business must have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers onsite. These items must be cared for by keeping them clean, replacing the batteries, and checking them periodically to make sure they are working.
- Use fire-resistant materials. In renovation or repair projects, consider using products that are flame retardant or fire resistant. These types of materials are readily available and can go a long way to keeping your business and workforce safe from fires.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we have the knowledge and experience to help you keep your business premises safe and fireproof. Visit our website, or call us today at (615) 750 2345.
Maintaining Value for Your Commercial Property
Commercial property ownership is one of the best investments available in the current economy. A commercial property owner can expect to receive profits that can add up to between 6 to 12 percent of their purchase price, and as a lucrative investment, it will demand a commitment of time, resources, and planning so that it can remain so.
One of the best ways to ensure that your ROI continues to be solid is by investing in going green. Pursuing a green standard for your property will both maintain, and increase, its value, with the highest standard coming from LEED certification. This acronym stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”, and is an internationally recognized building certification system. It uses third party verification that a building was designed and built or upgraded using strategies focused on areas such as energy savings and water efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, and sensitivity to that property’s impact on the environment.
Such certification will make your property attractive for both current and future tenants, and LEED-certified properties can expect occupation rates that are 20 percent higher than those that are not. In addition, their efficiency means that costs are lower for the owner and tenant alike. Both new and existing buildings can become certified, so your currently owned property can be upgraded to the green standard.
The safety of your premises is another way to maintain its value. Installation of security cameras and proper lighting are two ways to secure your building and grounds. Arrange for monthly maintenance audits and ensure that the auditor is looking for tripping hazards and building damage that could be dangerous, etc.
A clean and well-maintained property will have a solid reputation in your area and place you at the top of the list when it comes to desirable places to do business. A commercial property owner will want to avoid their building and grounds standing empty while waiting for a new tenant, so keeping your property looking both attractive and safe is a wise choice and will ensure that you are always in business. Upgrade your property when it makes sense to do so; don’t wait for things to fall apart, and eliminate clutter permanently.
Satisfied tenants will stay longer. Keep the channels of communication open and make sure they can always reach you or your property manager immediately if something goes wrong. Surveys of your tenants and their satisfaction levels are a great way to know if they think you are doing your job and will help you make adjustments or changes that will elevate their satisfaction levels. The loss of income suffered while a building or grounds stand empty can make it difficult to maintain that property at high standards, so keeping your tenants happy just makes good business sense.
The Ascension General Contractors team has your business in mind. Visit our website or call us with all your property needs. (615) 750 2345.
Commercial Cleaning Jobs to Consider for the Fall
With the change of seasons, every business owner has a new set of projects and tasks to think about that are related to weather. Summer is passing, and Fall is just around the corner; it’s a great time to complete some of your commercial cleaning jobs to get your business ready for cooler weather. People will be spending more time indoors as temperatures drop, and you will want your business atmosphere to be pleasant both for those who work there and for your clientele. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider a commercial cleaning project for your work spaces:
Professional help. Any kind of commercial cleaning needs professional help. Professionals make the job easier. Look for experienced commercial cleaning services with a long history and lots of satisfied customers. A reputable company will come to your business and make sure the job is done right, while simultaneously following your precise instructions and making your business shine.
Going green. Another important factor to consider is the health of the environment. Using environmentally sound products has a lot of advantages. Products that aren’t made from harsh chemicals can help without the potential for allergic reactions from those who come in contact with them. New products on the market today make it easier than ever to get the results that you and your customers are sure to love.
Mind the weather. When planning a seasonal job, keep the weather in mind. Sudden weather changes are quite common as the northern hemisphere moves from winter to spring or summer to fall. A business owner should make sure they have a range of dates to work with when planning any project. It’s a good idea to pencil in a few days; if there is heavy snow or high heat, the commercial cleaning service you have engaged will have the flexibility to decide on another date instead. Some cleaning projects, such as stripping and waxing floors, can be affected by temperature change, and situations like this would need to be taken into consideration.
Team effort. It helps to enlist the assistance of other members of your team when planning seasonal cleaning. Together, you can determine the best dates for the cleaning. You can also talk about the kind of cleaning that will need doing in individual spaces.
The Ascension General Contractors team is committed to assisting business and commercial property owners with all their projects and endeavors. Visit our website, or call us at (615) 750 2345.
A Disaster Preparation Plan for Your Business
As a business owner, you are always thinking about the future, and you know that disasters are something you need to be prepared for. Flooding, fire, and extreme weather can happen at any time. Possessions are often ruined, and the structures of businesses can be negatively affected. Staff can become injure
d or find themselves in dangerous situations, and these are scenarios you will want to be able to prevent or be ready for. A professional damage restoration company can be an important and welcomed resource during times like these; such companies are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner as well as keep you and your work force out of harm’s way.
A Disaster Preparation Plan for Your Business
While disastrous situations can rarely be foreseen, planning ahead in preparation for any damage will help you be prepared to handle such an event. Some areas of your business are going to be more apt to experience damage than others during extreme weather. For example, low-lying areas like basements, cellars, and parking lots are most likely to experience weather damage.
Planning ahead in these areas will help:
- Basements and cellars need to be watched during wet weather since they have a number of easy entry points for water. If there is heavy rainfall during inclement weather, or if the building is near a body of water such as a lake or river, they are going to be in danger. Keep an eye open for cracks in the foundation, ceiling, and walls of these areas. Handling the aftermath of flooding and storm damage can be very expensive, but is an event that can be avoided if you plan ahead.
- A damaged roof, either from weather or fire, is susceptible to water damage, and the areas underneath it will suffer. If rain gutters have not been properly maintained, you may experience some problems stemming from standing water, as well. It does not take long for mold growth to begin a colony, so proper planning can be a real help here. Be ready to dry affected areas completely as soon as possible to prevent this event.
- If areas such as entryways, windows, and doors are not properly sealed against wet conditions, water damage is a definite danger. Make sure they are free of standing water and debris, as well, if flooding occurs. Proper planning in this area can prevent injuries and costly repairs.
- Make sure that all areas around your buildings are kept free from flammable materials and that all plants and trees are trimmed well on a regular basis to prevent fires from spreading if they occur.
- State law requires that you post an evacuation plan in a visible place for your staff and customers. Make sure that your employees understand it and know how to carefully guide clientele to safe areas should a disaster occur. Have a phone tree established so that all employees are alerted to important information whether they are at work or at home.
Our team here at Ascension General Contractors is ready to help in case of disaster, and the repairs your business may need in the aftermath. Call us today at (615) 750 2345, or visit our website.
The Latest Trends for Your Commercial Property
A brand new set of trends is emerging in 2018 for commercial real estate. This market has been growing over the last few years, and rent in most urban areas has increased, as well. Tenants are consequently taking steps to maximize the efficiency of their living and working spaces. Here are some of the trends we are seeing:
- BEING HUMAN. Millennials are becoming a dominant part of the current workforce, and their expectations include more modern and livable workspaces. Commercial real estate developers are now creating properties with more open space and are including recreational areas and other spaces that encourage and support collaboration between workers. Occupant health, safety, and productivity are also high on the priority list these days, too. Enhancing the experience of being human is one of the main determining factors in creating work environments today and for the the foreseeable future.
- SMART BUILDINGS. The human experience is also enhanced by using smart building technology, improving comfort and making spaces more interactive and “smarter.” Customers also have access to much larger collections and libraries of information through mobile applications and dashboards, and property owners are making building data available to their customers in the same way. Building data is being used more and more to let occupants know such things as space availability, etc.
- SUSTAINABILITY. Current culture has shifted towards a green ethos; property developers, tenants, and employees alike are all seeking out more sustainable options when it comes to living and working spaces. Our society’s higher awareness of climate change is driving these sensibilities and most people understand that everyone needs to do their part. It’s also just plain good business sense to provide these features to clients and customers who desire them. Such additions to commercial properties as intelligent building controls and eco-structures are some of the developments currently becoming more common on the the market.
- FLEXIBILITY. Commercial real estate investors and tenants are looking for operational flexibility these days. New buildings must have the capability to change as tenants come and go, accommodating different company cultures and styles of doing business.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we stay informed about commercial property trends. Call us today at (615) 750 2345.
Professionalism When Using Outside Contractors on Your Commercial Properties
When using outside contractors on your commercial properties, it is important to maintain a high level of professionalism while interacting with and working with these entities. Your image and business reputation will reflect your dealings with the owners and employees of contracting companies in your area.
The members of the contractors’ profession exercise a body of unique, expert knowledge, and the totality of that knowledge is often established by a professional institution or licencing board for the county or state. Such a level of approval comes with it the ability to protect their licensed members, which in turn protects the business owner. If any disputes arise, for example, that board is the proper authority to appeal to. The business owner will want to contact that authority to find out what the established routes of communication will be for any complaint or commendation.
Professional ethics have been identified as a system of behavioral norms, concerning the relationship between the experts and the lay persons. These behavioral rules are established to make sure that unfair advantage cannot be taken by the expert over that lay person due to the latter’s lack of knowledge in the area of expertise. By the same token, those same rules need to be followed by the lay person with respect to the expert so that a pleasant and productive business relationship can be maintained. The client/lay person has a right to be informed as to the progress of the work being performed, and the continuity of this working relationship will depend on such “informed consent,” i.e. a client cannot approve work if he/she does not know it will be going forward.
Professional behavior is driven by ethical codes of business, which provide guidance for professionals of all kinds in determining appropriate action. The client can expect such ethical codes to be followed while the contractor is performing such works as is required, and the reverse is also true. A contractor should be able to expect ethical codes to be followed by their client, such as compliance with all signed and agreed upon contracts, payment schedules, and behavior on the job sites with reference to safety, etc.
Ethical codes and professional behavior are appropriate and helpful both between members of a group or profession, but they also apply to persons outside the group, serving both the organization and the public. It’s good for business for both client and contractor.
The Ascension General Contractors team is dedicated to maintaining ethical and professional relationships with our clients. Call us today for all your construction needs: (615) 750 2345.
Middle Tennessee has found itself in the path of tornadoes and floods in the past, so a commercial property owner in this area needs to be prepared for disasters. No property is disaster-proof. Having a plan in place in the event that your property suffers from such an event will help your business get back to normal as soon as possible. Below are some first steps you can take to be prepared for a disaster and the aftermath:
- PEOPLE FIRST. Establish an emergency action plan that will enable your tenants and staff to vacate your property quickly and safely, and one that directs them to gather at a safe pre-determined location a safe distance from the building. Make sure all exits are clearly marked and remain unobstructed. Everyone in your business needs to know this plan and where all exits are located so that they can evacuate both themselves and clients as quickly as possible.
- CONTACT INFORMATION. Ensure that all your employees and tenants keep you updated with current contact information. This will ensure that in the event of a disaster, everyone can be accounted for. The contacts for your security personnel, insurance agent, and property owners need to be current, too. Make sure your own is on file along with everyone involved.
- IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS. If you store sensitive documents and materials on-site, store them in fire-proof cabinets or safes. Using a cloud service for your computer-based data will help save those pieces of information. For hard copies, a safety deposit box located at your bank or credit union can be a good place to store such information.
- INSURANCE CLAIMS. Keep a digital record of all property so that when disaster hits, you have proof for your insurance agent to work with. Take pictures or film of your buildings, machinery, and furniture, etc.
- PROPERTY REPAIR. Employing the right company to handle your repairs is extremely important. Hopefully you had someone in mind before the disaster hit. They should be bonded and insured and enjoy a solid reputation in the community for work well done. Make sure your insurance company can work with them and that there will be no restrictions involved. Remember to ask about warranties for your property.
The team at Ascension General Contractors is experienced in the area of commercial disaster repair. If the worst happens, call us at (615) 750 2345 for assistance.
Communicating with the Contractor of Your Commercial Property
If you want great results when working with a contractor, you will need to actively manage communication. We’re sharing some tips here on ways to stay on top of the job and maintain strong communication with your contractor and his/her construction team.
- Avoid Allowances. An allowance is a line item in the bid the contractor will submit that refers to any work yet-to-be-determined. For example, if you haven’t chosen the plumbing for the employee bathroom yet, the contractor will submit an allowance number in the budget as a placeholder. The trouble with this will be that a wide range of price points exist for most products, so the estimate may end up being quite a bit lower than the final price. Eliminate allowances by sorting out all materials and product selections before you receive the itemized bid for the job, and do research beforehand so that an accurate ballpark price is available for all parties.
- Establish Strong Communication. Find out how the contractor prefers to communicate with his/her clients. Some will want to see you on the job site daily or weekly to discuss work, while others may prefer talking via cell phone. The contractor may want to direct you to communicate with the foreman or project leader at a predetermined time.
- Project Journal. Keep a journal to record your project’s progress. Jot down any ideas or questions, and record product order numbers here. It will also be helpful to keep track of product and material delivery dates and information about other trades that may be coming in as subcontractors. The notes in your journal can help with future disputes, should there be any.
- Track All Changes In Writing. It’s not uncommon to encounter challenges as a project evolves, and any changes to the work itself should be recorded in writing, reflected in an updated bid.
- Check All Work. Check the work being done; after the crew has left for the day is a good time to take a look at how things are going. Note in your journal any questions or concerns so that you can go over them at your next meeting. Check the location of such fixtures as doorways and windows, closets and stairs against the blueprint, and pay special attention to quality issues.
- Pay For Completed Work Only. Your contract should establish regular payments to be made as work is completed. Only pay out when you are satisfied with the work and have signed off officially. Never put down more than 10% up front.
- Be a Good Customer. One of the best ways to get quality work from your contractor is to be a quality customer. Pay promptly, and be fair; don’t nitpick. Being friendly and accommodating to the team members will go a long way towards getting the job done well and in a timely manner. Get to know the team and greet them by name when you see them. Compliment work well-done, and if it’s hot, cold drinks for all would be welcome!
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we pride ourselves on quality work and solid communication with our clients. Call us today at (615) 750 2345, or visit our website: Ascension General Contractors