A key strength in controlling costs and providing the highest quality at PCI is performing much of our own work. The benefits are impossible to calculate, but it shows at the end the project when a customer actually knows the names of our key staff members and realizes our projects are not just a revolving door of whom we could find that had an “opening” to fit your project in this month. Florida is not a union labor state; there is no training requirement to be a framer, drywaller, trim carpenter or for the majority of trades that are in the building industry.
This can lead to severe quality issues in a project as most builders rely on sub-contractors that are the lowest bid. After a mistake has been made, there are 3 common arguments:
1) Is the customer unrealistic to expect quality and mistake-free construction?
2) Who’s fault is it? (Did the concrete subcontractor pour a bad “slab” forcing the block mason “out of square” which set the framer up for failure now that the mistake is visible 3 phases too late?)
3) Who is going to pay for destroyed materials, delay and wasted labor?
Many builders using the lowest cost sub-contractor or that cannot self-perform key phases of the building process can only hope that contractors are trained, experienced and professional. “Hope” is not a reliable building strategy…
Some of our team members have been with us for over 15 years, before the economies collapse in 2008. Our thoughts are that many trades are regulated in Florida with strict licensing guidelines such as plumbing, HVAC and electrical. In many of the other areas Premier Construction completes those tasks “In House.” The majority of our framing, concrete, trim carpentry, masonry, paint, tile, drywall, and other jobs are done by our own team.
Price, quality, and scheduling are three of the benefits of having an in-house staff With the majority of custom builders in Orlando not performing the work themselves they rely on the more typical builder model of sub-contracting all of the work out and being on site for brief visits, allowing them to run more projects. Only the top builders with superior project managers and a solid process can rely on this model and deliver a successful outcome. With our self-performance approach, we’re able to have more accountable supervision on site more frequently to ensure the customer expectation is met.
Price is important to us all. Delays, excessive change orders, inability to follow through on warranty work, poor craftsmanship and other unforeseen expenses can make what looks like the lowest price actually not be the most favorable solution. Executing many of our own “key tasks” enable us to control additional layers of profit or excessive change order mark ups that will drive the cost up quickly. Change orders are a key area where builders that lead with a low price to win the contract will drastically increase profit to make up the difference of what they should have charged. After permitting and starting the project, a client often has no choice but to pay the 2,3- or 4-times normal overhead and profit amounts because it’s so difficult to change contractors after beginning the project.
Quality is a bi-product of caring. It’s an observable fact that our teams care more about the projects that we’re building from the ground up or completing multi-phase renovations, than if it’s just a typical job that they’ll never be back too. A self- serving reason is warranty. Our teams know that it’s better for costs and profitability not only to save disappointing the customer, jeopardizing the referral but also saves a great deal of money to do the job right the first time.
Scheduling is critical to builders. Unfortunately, only the General Contractor really cares about the schedule as 1 “slip to the right” can impact many other sub’s and cause irritation with the customer. Self-Performing as many of our trades as possible and were not possible, using sub-contractors with contracts that ensure their timeliness helps to reduce the scheduling “accordion effect” that plagues most projects.