Everybody Poops, Everybody Toots, But We Like to Do it In Style

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Restroom upgrade afterImagine group of kids ranging in age from four to ten years old. A wave of giggles starts in the back corner while you’re teaching, oblivious to the apparent two-dimensional offense. Yep. Somebody passed gas, or as one of the kids will inevitably shout, “He farted!” causing the rest of the group to erupt in laughter almost as violently as Mt. Vesuvius reigned down terror on Pompeii.

Hopefully, most of us have grown out of the giggles, but we have to do what we have to do. The thing is, we like to do it in nice places where we feel safe and clean.

Selling a restroom addition or upgrade to a home owner usually isn’t an insurmountable obstacle. The fact of the matter is that upgrading or adding facilities increases a home’s value. That’s money in the bank.

“According to RealEstate.com, a new full bathroom adds around 20 percent to a home’s value.” ~ Tony Guerra, “How Much Does a New Bathroom Increase the Value of a House?

From pink marble bathrooms to full-spa accommodations, luxury bathrooms are not new. Not only can you buy a multi-function toilet from Toto for about $6,500, there’s even a water closet (that’s construction jargon for toilet) made out of gold that costs around $5 million. Now that’s a throne!

Homes, we get. That’s where we spend a lot of our time primping and prepping for the day or relaxing at night. But what about retail establishments and workplaces? Continue reading

Project Profile: Anne Street Fire Damage Repairs

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Anne Street - Before and afterWe are proud to announce the completion of the design-build restoration to a building recently damaged by a neighbor’s fire.

The client took the opportunity, since much of the roof structure was damaged, to replace the entire roof with four-ply built-up roof system. Six skylights were replaced and two were added, increasing the natural light throughout the warehouse. Additionally, a self-flashing galvanized steel roof access hatch was installed.

A 3-ton heat pump unit was replaced and it was relocated onto a factory curb to minimize leak potential.

During reroofing is the best time for a volunteer seismic retrofit of the building and that is precisely what our client opted for. We also replaced the tilt-up panel that had been compromised structurally (it bowed outward) with two new concrete tilt-up panels (learn more about that by watching the video here). Continue reading

It’s No Mystery Why Design-Build is Your Best Bet

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Winchester Mystery House 001 by Cowgirl Jules, on Flickr

Winchester Mystery House 001 by Cowgirl Jules, on Flickr

Growing up in  Central California, I was always fascinated by the stories I had heard and read about San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House. To this day, I haven’t been inside, but its fascination lingers.

Mrs. Winchester orchestrated construction on her house, interior and exterior, continually, until she died. To most of us that is the making of a nightmare. But it’s her methods that are most curious.

The website describes her building design:

Winchester Mystery House by InSapphoWeTrust, on Flickr

Winchester Mystery House by InSapphoWeTrust, on Flickr

“According to legend, Mrs. Winchester enacted a nightly séance to help with her building plans and for protection from ‘bad’ spirits. While she sometimes drew up simple sketches of the building ideas, there were never any blueprints….or building inspectors! In the morning, she would meet with John Hansen, her dutiful foreman, and go over new changes and additions.”

Her unorthodox methodology explains the random building anomalies – chimneys, roof lines, hidden passageways, doors that open to brick walls, and stairs that go nowhere. Was she really confusing the spirits, or just confused?

Traditional Design & Construction:

Mrs. Winchester’s building method is, by no means, traditional. Most building owners and tenants hire an architect or space planner, go through the (sometimes long) design process. After the drawings are submitted to the City, the client (or their construction manager) invites three (or more) general contractors to bid, collect and sometimes answer RFIs, and award the contract to the lowest bid, presuming that bid has everything covered.

As an owner, you can go that route. But we think there’s a better way.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

It’s no secret that Riggins Construction & Management, Inc. specializes in design-build tenant improvements and new building construction, especially since Tom Riggins has a construction engineering degree from Cal Poly. Our approach to construction from an engineering background allows us to streamline the entire process for you, our client. Continue reading

Buying a Building is a Risky Business – Get a Survey First

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Risk. We all crave it to one extent or another. Whether we surf 20′ waves, mountain bike on a narrow path in the dark, or cross the street where there’s no crosswalk, risk is part of our daily lives. And, to be truthful, every decision has a degree of risk.

An example of a low-level risk is when you’re at a diner. You could order the cheeseburger with onion rings and run the risk of an upset stomach. The risk is whether or not the momentary pleasure is worth future discomfort.

People often say the “bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.” That may be true but the risk is still big in that scenario.

When you start looking for a building, presumably with your real estate broker, emotion sets in. You may feel charmed, intrigued, and, well, ready to make the deal. Endorphins kick in. Like eating the cheeseburger and savoring all of its flavors, you have now entered the lizard brain zone where logic is not welcome. Continue reading

Pinterest Boards: So not a 2×4? – #ConstChat Recap


Pinterest for Contractors #ConstChatConstruction Chat was started May 8, 2014, to build community among the construction-inclined.

This weekly chat is hosted by Riggins Construction Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  We’d love you to join us, if you’re free next week.

(I put a reminder in my calendar. Otherwise, even I would forget.)

This week’s topic focused on Pinterest:

Q1: What prompted you to start a Pinterest account?

Continue reading

Construction Chat Questions 8/21/14: Pinterest for Contractors


Pinterest for Contractors #ConstChatAre you in the construction industry? Do you want to build up your following? Are you looking to connect with the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) community?

You’re in luck!

Joining our weekly Twitter Chat may just be the right thing for you.

Construction Chat is was started May 8, 2014, and is hosted by us on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Check us out on Tagboard!

How to Join a Chat:

1. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (but don’t forget to add #ConstChat manually after your tweet or we won’t see your tweet).

2. Use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and make a column for #ConstChat (but don’t forget to put #ConstChat manually after your tweet).

3. Go to the Twubs page for #ConstChat.

4. My preferred method is using TweetChat. Just go here and log in with your Twitter account. You can even highlight the moderator so you don’t miss questions. Continue reading

Water Conservation is for Everyone – #ConstChat Recap


#ConstChat Water Conservation 8/14/14Construction Chat was started May 8, 2014, to build community among the construction-inclined.

This weekly chat is hosted by Riggins Construction Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  We’d love you to join us, if you’re free next week.

(I put a reminder in my calendar. Otherwise, even I would forget.)

This week’s topic:

This week’s topic was water conservation.

Save Our Water and Water: Use It Wisely are two good websites for more resources.

Continue reading

Construction Chat Questions 8/14/14: Water Conservation


#ConstChat Water Conservation 8/14/14Are you in construction? Do you want to build up your following? Are you looking to connect with the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) community?

You’re in luck!

Joining our weekly Twitter Chat may just be the right thing for you.

Construction Chat is was started May 8, 2014, and is hosted by us on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Check us out on Tagboard!

How to Join a Chat:

1. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (but don’t forget to add #ConstChat manually after your tweet or we won’t see your tweet).

2. Use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and make a column for #ConstChat (but don’t forget to put #ConstChat manually after your tweet).

3. Go to the Twubs page for #ConstChat.

4. My preferred method is using TweetChat. Just go here and log in with your Twitter account. You can even highlight the moderator so you don’t miss questions. Continue reading

Okay. I took photos. Now What? – #ConstChat Recap


#ConstChat Managing PhotoaConstruction Chat was started May 8, 2014, to build community among the construction-inclined.

This weekly chat is hosted by Riggins Construction Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  We’d love you to join us, if you’re free next week.

(I put a reminder in my calendar. Otherwise, even I would forget.)

This week’s topic:

This week’s topic was suggested by North County Scaffold.

Because I’ve been downloading and organizing photos for the last fourteen years, here are some of my tips.

Downloading:

If you don’t download your photos on a regular basis, you’ll be facing your kitchen after Thanksgiving. It’s overwhelming and you don’t know where to start. As much as you have the ability, download and sort on a daily basis. It’s the equivalent to clean as you cook.

If your camera is a point and shoot, download the photos after each event and/or day. It’s helpful if the photos are located on some centralized computer/server. Whatever works for your office. This makes it easier to organize. If you wait a week, you could have a thousand photos to organize. This is even more difficult if you’re not the photographer. I learned this the hard way in my early days in roofing. A roof is a roof is a roof. Which roof is it?

If your photos are taken on a mobile device, you may have a cloud-based service that auto uploads. (iCloud for us). Google Plus and Dropbox have free options. But you still need to organize them (file). Just because it automatically downloads to iPhoto or Dropbox doesn’t mean that either one of those programs is going to organize (sort, file) your photos for you.

Organization:

Why do I harp on organization? Will you be able to find that photo a month from now? How about a year? Five years? You never know why or when you’ll need a photo. It could be a warranty issue or even something you want to show a potential client.

Organize the photos the same way you organize your jobs. If by address, then make folders by address and date. Rename the files if possible. Here, we file by job number. So each photo is named for the job number, date, and then series. Since we use iPhoto, this is an easy batch change once the event is created. All of the photos for each job are separated by date in “events,” I use iPhoto, then I make an album for the whole job.

For example, photos for job 14141 taken today are named: 14141-080814-1, 14141-080814-2, etc.

Continue reading

What’s Your Water Cooler? Mine is Twitter


Twitter is the water cooler. It continually amazes me when people ask if you can really get to know people on Twitter. Yes, you really can get to know people on Twitter.

Often non-users have a notion that the conversations on Twitter are senseless and meaningless. Do they think we have epic conversations about how to solve the universe’s problems in real life? No.

In every office around this country, we all talk about the small things around the water cooler every single day of our lives – the commute, the weather, last night’s American Idol episode.

We all snack, use the restrooms, walk out of the lobby, check the network printer. And in those moments we bump into each other and small talk ensues.

Twitter is just an extension of that basic human behavior. If, that is, you choose to participate.

In our recent interview by MyFixItUpLife.Com, Theresa from My Fix It Up Life asks,

“Is it a bonding experience being on Twitter?”

After Carol answers, I chimed in:

“It’s the water cooler without geography; this is how we bond as humans.”

Mark:

“You’re a genius!”

Did he say that because I am? No. But it suddenly clicked in his brain. I love those lightbulb moments. Click play below (or here) to watch that moment.

Does that strike you as odd?

Maybe factory workers still have to work in silence, but gone are the days where creative employees are discouraged from taking with one another.

TDC Collaborative SpaceCorporate offices are now specifically designed to include collaboration. We’ve noticed this in a few of our recent projects as well where even tables will be set aside for impromptu meetings. Continue reading

Construction Chat Questions 8/7/14: Managing Photos


#ConstChat Managing PhotoaAre you in construction? Do you want to build up your following? Are you looking to connect with the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) community?

You’re in luck!

Joining our weekly Twitter Chat may just be the right thing for you.

Construction Chat is was started May 8, 2014, and is hosted by us on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Check us out on Tagboard!

How to Join a Chat:

1. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (but don’t forget to add #ConstChat manually after your tweet or we won’t see your tweet).

2. Use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and make a column for #ConstChat (but don’t forget to put #ConstChat manually after your tweet).

3. Go to the Twubs page for #ConstChat.

4. My preferred method is using TweetChat. Just go here and log in with your Twitter account. You can even highlight the moderator so you don’t miss questions. Continue reading

If you can, insulate – #ConstChat Recap


#ConstChat 7/17/14 Topic: InsulationConstruction Chat was started May 8, 2014, to build community among the construction-inclined.

This weekly chat is hosted by Riggins Construction Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  We’d love you to join us, if you’re free next week.

(I put a reminder in my calendar. Otherwise, even I would forget.)

This week’s topic:

Insulation, suggestion from Window Works.

Continue reading

Overcoming Challenges – #ConstChat Recap


#ConstChat ChallengesConstruction Chat was started May 8, 2014, to build community among the construction-inclined.

This weekly chat is hosted by Riggins Construction Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  We’d love you to join us, if you’re free next week.

(I put a reminder in my calendar. Otherwise, even I would forget.)

This week’s topic:

I was taking to a friend who works in the grocery industry who said she’s “just blue-collar” so professional development isn’t that critical. Of course I disagree. But we do discount ourselves? And it got me to thinking about us in construction. Are we “just” blue collar?

Continue reading

Construction Chat Questions 7/24/14: Challenges


#ConstChat ChallengesAre you in construction? Do you want to build up your following? Are you looking to connect with the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) community?

You’re in luck!

Joining our weekly Twitter Chat may just be the right thing for you.

Construction Chat is was started May 8, 2014, and is hosted by us on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Check us out on Tagboard!

How to Join a Chat:

1. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (but don’t forget to add #ConstChat manually after your tweet or we won’t see your tweet).

2. Use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and make a column for #ConstChat (but don’t forget to put #ConstChat manually after your tweet).

3. Go to the Twubs page for #ConstChat.

4. My preferred method is using TweetChat. Just go here and log in with your Twitter account. You can even highlight the moderator so you don’t miss questions. Continue reading