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So What’s Going On With the St. Pete Pier?

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St. Petersburg, Florida: water views, gulf breeze, craft beers, farmers markets, so many museums, cafés, restaurants, and festivals. It’s a little piece of paradise among the many great places we have in Tampa Bay. But for the life of me, they’ve been talking about rebuilding that pier for ages now. When is it actually going to happen?

Guess what? The back and forth is still going on. Now the city council gets to vote on whether the renovations will receive an additional $14 million that had been originally allocated for a transportation project.

Considering they had already approved over 60 mil for the renovations, that’s a big chunk of change. It reinforces that a good ol’ facelift (aka renovation) can do wonders for a location.

What do we have to look forward to?

First of all, ladies and gents, they had a Pier Beer Summer Series earlier this month (August 2017, for those of you reading this in the future). You read that right. The place hasn’t even been renovated yet, and it’s already doing cooler stuff than your usual watering holes. Seven nights in a row, each featuring a local brewery.

The pier will also showcase artwork by renowned artists; and of course, it’s walking distance from award winning restaurants and the world famous Dalí Museum.

Why is all of this so important? Because this is what a renovation project can do for a city (or on a smaller scale, a business): it revitalizes it’s venue and attracts more visitors. It brings in more money, which at the end of the day, everyone who administers a city (or runs a business) wants to do. It’s the bottom line.

The Downtown Waterfront Signature Project (as it is formally called) will be completed by late 2018. And then you’ll have another reason to boast to your out of town friends and family members about the wonders of living in Tampa Bay.

You could also follow suit and consider renovating your own business. In an environment when everyone around you is constantly improving themselves, you don’t want to stay behind. Contact us at Eclipse Building Corp. and we’ll let you know about its feasibility and your available options. You’ll be glad you did.

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IoT in the Construction Industry

 

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Siri, call Joe the contractor. One of the most exciting things about technology is how much easier they can make our lives. If you’re busy working on a renovation project and need to consult with either client or contractor, you can do so with a voice command. If you want music to start playing so that you don’t get bored, you can tell Amazon’s Alexa, to get the party started. The thought of smart buildings regulating temperature based on our needs are enough to make us think that the future is now.

And it is; but it keeps getting better: According to the International Data Corporation, IoT will be pretty common in the workplace. And the construction industry is no exception. The following are several fun things that are making this field even better:

The possibility of operating machinery remotely:

If a site is too dangerous, the weather sucks, or you’re simply short staffed, operating machines remotely is a practical solution (plus, let’s be honest: the kid in all of us would enjoy doing it. It’s the grown-up version of playing with a remote controlled toy, except now we get paid to do it.

Stop losing tools and equipment:

Raise your hand if you’ve ever misplaced a work tool (or two, or three). With the IoT, it is now easy to track where each of these devices are located. And the most awing element of IoT tools is that not only do you know where they are at all times, they can also send you messages regarding whether a specific portion of the project can be improved, such as by tightening screws or any overlooked necessary repairs.

Keep your workers safe:
We’ve addressed this issue on previous blogs, because for Eclipse Building Corp, employee safety is always a priority. Wearable technology makes things a lot easier by gauging temperature, surveying land, reviewing hard to reach places, and even preventing health issues.

Be more efficient with your time:
You could send a worker to a site, or you can send a drone, and have your worker do something where he or she could use their time more efficiently.

As leaders in our industry, at Eclipse Building Corp., we make it a point to stay updated on the latest state-of-the-art technology in construction. This enables us to implement the features that would work best for each of our projects. If you have a renovation or construction project coming up, contact us to see how we can help you.

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How To Keep Construction Workers Safe

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One of the most exciting things in life is starting a new project: moving to a new city, starting a new job, getting married, traveling to a place we’ve never been to before… And of course, building or renovating a property.

Possibility’s in the air. It’s the start of something new and of good times and profits to come. But in addition to getting your permits, surveying the property, reviewing your business lease to see if you can get stuff done, and hiring contractors, there is one specific item on your To Do list that should always be a priority: Keeping your workers safe.

Now, depending on whom you’re speaking with, you’ll get different reasons. A humanitarian will talk about how sensible it is to ensure safety and about how employees have families who love them.

A jaded attorney will tell you all about workers’ compensation claims, personal injury and wrongful death suits, and all the fun stuff that comes along with getting sued.

Either way, just make sure your bases are covered. The following are basic things you can do so that your project will go along smoothly.

  1. Are the excavation sites safe? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established standards to ensure that contractors keep their job sites safe. This means paying attention to soil components, water content in the soil, and weather changes. It also provides guidelines for depth and width of excavations.
  1. Is your scaffolding properly installed? This one may seem like a no brainer, yet we still hear stories of construction workers falling to their death. This is why you need to, once again, follow OSHA’s directives on the subject. Are the footings leveled? Are they restrained against tipping over if they’re too tall? When was the last time that specific scaffold was inspected to make sure it’s still safe to use?
  1. Do you have personal fall protection systems? Nobody’s perfect; and even in the most secure job sites, an accident could still happen. So what’s your Plan B? Are lanyards and lifelines in place? Have you tested them to make sure they work properly?

I won’t even bother detailing the importance of protective gear, because if you don’t know about that by this point, you shouldn’t be involved in any construction project.

As a business owner, anything that happens on your property may expose you to legal liability; whether from customers, or from workers. So make sure to cover yourself by only doing business with responsible contractors. Eclipse Building Corp. is a leading example of doing things by the book. Contact us, and let us help you with your project.

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Should You Buy That Fixer-Upper?

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever dreamed of quitting your job and doing something that requires your attention for only part of the year, so that you can rest or travel the rest of the time? How many of you have had this fantasy existence of spending your days on a tropical beach, while business takes care of itself at home?

For some, flipping old businesses sound like a great idea. Invest now in purchasing the property, fix it, and play for a while, then do it all over again. But before you get too excited after watching a couple of HGTV episodes, there are certain factors you must keep in mind.

1. Make sure you have the money to do so.

Don’t go into debt trying out this trend, to see how it goes. Yes, in theory, you’re buying an ugly property, make it look good, then sell it for a profit. But in addition to the down payment for the building, you’ll spend a pretty penny on materials and repairs. Study well the numbers, to make sure that you’re not just breaking even, or worse, losing money.

2. The mortgage interest rate will be higher.

If you’re purchasing an investment property, be aware that the mortgage lender will require a higher interest rate than if you were buying a residential property, or even a second home. You’ll also be expected to come up with a higher down payment. The reason for these additional expenses is because since you won’t be living in the property, lenders will consider the loan to be a riskier one: If push comes to shove and your finances take a nose dive, would you choose to continue paying for your home, or for the investment property?

Don’t even think about lying to get a better rate. That’s called occupancy fraud, and if the lender finds out, they could demand immediate payment of the remaining mortgage balance. And that’s in a good day. It could also be considered bank fraud and the consequences could be criminal charges.

3. Have a good team.

For your project to be successful, you have to have the right mortgage broker, real estate agent, contractors, and probably even a good lawyer. Cover all your bases before making such a substantial investment.

Speaking of contractors, you want to make sure you get a feasibility study, a site survey, verification of permits, a detailed estimate… Get all your ducks in a row with the right company to prevent having to pay extra for someone else to fix a mediocre job.

4. Keep in mind the surrounding neighborhood.

If you purchase a property in the middle of Skid Row, it doesn’t matter how luxurious you make it out to be, no one’s going to pay a pretty penny to live in a high crime area.

The bottom line is that flipping properties can be a profitable business, if you know how to do it right. Contact Eclipse Building Corp. for your renovation. We can assess the entire project and let you know everything that needs to be completed, from point A to point Z.

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Workers Shortage is Affecting Construction Industry

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A healthy construction industry has always been an indication of economic growth. When people have a stable income, they buy homes. When entrepreneurs open up their businesses, they renovate rental space or purchase their own real estate. When a city is doing well financially, they’ll build high-rises, stadiums, freeways… That’s the way it’s always been done.

However, times change, and with each new generation, there comes a new set of challenges; and the current environment is no exception. While technology has made our lives easier by giving us smart phones and Internet of Things to play music or give information upon command, there is one downside that has to be addressed: Fewer people are going into the construction business. Since 2015, there has been an increase of 81% of construction jobs that need to be filled.

Reasons for the shortage

As our very own Todd Whalen explained to U.S. News & World Report, the number of vocational schools has been reduced. Coupled with the fact that fewer high schools are offering similar elective options, this means that less and less young people will even get a chance to be exposed to construction as a viable career option; and those who do go into business won’t have the level of knowledge of current construction experts.

What this means for your construction or renovation project

The less people there are to compete for your business, the higher costs will be. There have already been delays in construction and renovation projects because there are simply not enough people to keep up with the demand.

Short term solution for a long term problem

If trends continue the way they have been for the past couple of years, at some point, there will be a recession in construction. If you have a project that needs immediate attention or are thinking about renovating, Eclipse Building Corp. can do the work for you. Contact us before the line goes around the block. Time is money. Get things done now.

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How Wearable Technology is Transforming Construction

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We’re all used to technology taking over every aspect of our lives: We can ask Siri for directions when we’re lost. We can tell Alexa to play our favorite music while we work. FitBit will tell us how many steps we take in a day, and even gives us a report on the quality of our sleep. And now it’s also revolutionizing the construction industry. Below are some of the products that are showing us that the future is now.

  1. Smart helmets: As if smart phones weren’t enough, now construction workers get to wear protective headgear that will provide them with intuitive instructions that will assist them to work in a more efficient, faster way. They’ll also get temperature data and information about what’s going on in the surrounding job site.
  1. Smart boots: Are you starting to see a trend here? Everything seems to be smart now. With SolePower smart boots, construction workers can be alerted of unsafe environmental conditions. Employees get to stay safe, and employers get to limit their legal exposure due to potential work related accidents.
  1. Smart glasses: So glasses have always had a reputation of adorning smart people’s faces. In addition to that fame, within our industry, they’ve been essential to protect workers’ eyes. Daqri has now designed a pair of smart glasses that distribute information from the office to the job site. So not only do they protect our eyes, they also assist in an almost instant relay of information.
  1. Smart vests: In addition to making their working conditions more enjoyable due to their efficiency, workers now get to have a trusty life saver on their shoulders: smart vests can measure their heart rate and body temperature and alert the user of any foreseeable health issues. This is not only smart, it’s an invaluable gadget that family members of construction workers will appreciate.

At Eclipse Building Corp., we pride ourselves not only on the excellence we provide in pre-construction services all the way to post-completion maintenance, but also on staying updated on technology that positively impacts the construction industry. Contact us and let’s talk about your construction or renovation project. You’ll be glad you did.

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What is Modular Construction?

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We live in an era of instant gratification. We want to buy something, we can pull out our phones and order online within minutes. New book? Movie? Your favorite band’s most recent album? Click, click, click, and done.

We can get fast food, an Uber ride within five minutes, even a date on Tinder and get married in a drive thru if you happen to be in Las Vegas. However, there are a few things we gladly wait for, in the interest of safety and practicality: If you’re traveling to a far away destination, you know it’s going to be a long flight. If you have a construction or remodeling project, it’s not going to happen overnight. So grab some snacks and have some patience.

But what if there were a way to get things done quicker within those industries as well? At least in construction, there’s modular building.

What is modular construction?

As its name implies, it is a building that is built off site, in units, that are then assembled and taken to its intended location. It is not a mobile home. In fact, when you look at a modular home, you can’t even tell the difference from a traditionally constructed one.

Why does it take less time?

Think about all the prep work that has to be done at a construction site before the construction team actually starts erecting a building. Now think of how much more efficiently time would be used if at the same time that the land is being surveyed and leveled, the actual structure were already being constructed somewhere else? Time is money, and those who use it wisely are ahead of the game.

Also, this is Florida. Think about how unbearably hot it gets during the summer; and how often we get thunderstorms. If you’re constructing outside, weather is going to cause additional delays. However, with modular construction, a lot of the work happens inside; eliminating the need to be at the environment’s mercy.

Is it safe?

It provides safer working conditions for the construction workers, since the chances of falls from great lengths is reduced, and the controlled setting takes away a lot of the risks associated with working under the elements. The materials used are the same you would expect in a traditional construction project: wood framing, steel framing, concrete, etc… Also, modular buildings have been able to withstand hurricanes without any increased security threats.

Whatever your construction or remodeling needs are, Eclipse Building Corp. can help you. Contact us and let’s talk about how we can best meet your needs.

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Green Technology in Construction

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What do you think about when you hear about recycling? Reusable canvas bags for grocery shopping? Reusable bottles instead of plastic ones? Shopping carts full of empty soda cans? Everywhere you look, you’ll see efforts to show a little love to the planet. And as it always happens when there’s a trend, the construction industry is leading in these efforts too.

When starting a construction or remodeling project, it’s useful to consider the following materials and talk with your team about its viability and practicality for your specific project.

Recycled Steel:

When you think about recycling, the images that usually come to mind tend to be disposing of paper, glass, and plastic on separate bins. But it turns out that steel is the world’s most recycled material. Sourced from old cars and appliances, recycled steel is plenty and is here to stay. And the benefits of using it are many: durability, faster assembly time, lower costs. It’s also a material that is readily available and easily assembled.

Composite Lumber:

Composite lumber is a material built of wood fibers and recycled plastic. But don’t let this fact fool you into thinking that they are of a lesser quality. They won’t splinter or rot with weather so It is often used on outside decks and patios and looks just as good, if not better, than natural lumber.

Rammed Earth:

Rammed earth consists of layers of granite and soil compacted into solid, thick walls. Some of its benefits is that it keeps the interior cool, even when it’s hot outside, noise reduction, and it’s fire resistant, since earth doesn’t burn.

Solar Panels:

No list of green energy in construction would be complete without solar panels. The benefits are many, since they protect your pocket as much as the environment: pay less on utilities, get a tax credit, and government rebates. So you get to save and decrease your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win situation.

Eclipse Building Corp. are leading experts in the construction industry. Whether you’re thinking about a large scale project or a simple remodeling, contact us and see what we can do for you.

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What Is a Punch List And Why You Should Care

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So you finally got around to renovating your business. After all, with all the benefits you can reap from the upgrade, it was a no brainer to get the project done. You’re excited about this new chapter, you already have a guest list of the people you’re inviting over to celebrate, and you have a couple of wine bottles chilling for the event.

Before you get ready to turn the page, you want to check the punch list first. No; it’s not a Fight Club newsletter. It’s a nifty little document that lists things that didn’t go exactly as planned during the construction or remodeling project. For example, if there were any incidental damages, or some of the work strayed from the original plans and they need to be modified or repaired, you’ll know about it by reviewing the punch list.

Once reviewed, the contractor and construction team would then proceed to fix everything that needs to be fixed before they get back in their trucks and drive away into the horizon.

What can you do to protect yourself?

When negotiating the contract for your construction or renovation project, make sure to include that final payment is contingent on all issues on the punch list being fixed. That way you’re not left standing in the middle of your shiny new building with two dark clouds hanging over your head: The one telling you that you were shortchanged with shoddy work, and the one that could expose you to potential legal liability if one of your clients/customers/guests comes in and gets hurt.

You should also do a walk through before and after revising the punch list, so that you can be assured that everything is perfect and you’re ready to open or re-open your business.

Another way to get your project completed by a team you can rely on to get things done right, is to contact Eclipse Building Corp. for post-construction services (or better yet, call us to do the entire project). We provide a two year warranty on all of our work, which is a lot more time than what competitors offer. Contact us to generate your punch list and to coordinate completion. Leave the worrying up to us.

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Tampa International Airport Expansion

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Tampa Bay. One of the most beautiful places to live in the continental United States. We have white sand beaches, arts and culture, and some of the best restaurants in the nation. As if that weren’t enough, we are a stone’s throw away from Disney World, and a relatively short road trip from must sees like St. Augustine and Ana Maria island.

We have tourists, without being quite as overcrowded as our neighbors in Orlando. But don’t go thinking yet that travelers haven’t discovered our little piece of paradise.

For a handful of years now, we’ve been hearing about a huge construction project at Tampa International Airport. After experiencing road closures and hype, the project is now halfway done. And now that we have more information, it’s clear that the reason for the renovations is that it’s projected that the amount of passengers expected to land here will be more than double than what we currently get. Which brings us to an undeniable truth: Wherever there’s growth and progress, there’s construction.

What does this mean for me?

If you’re a small business, it’s excellent news. Simply put, more people coming in means more people spending money in our neck of the woods. Hotels, restaurants, entertainment, all of them will get a piece of the pie… Is your business ready for this increased traffic, or is it time for some renovations?

Or if you’ve been planning on finally opening your own shop or restaurant, what are you waiting for? Eclipse Building Corp. can do a feasibility study for you and get the ball rolling on this project.

So yes, the Tampa International Airport is growing; which means that our bay area, as a whole, is also growing. Let Eclipse be a part of your project. We are so confident in our abilities to make your renovations exceed your expectations, that we offer a two year warranty on our work. Give us a call and let’s see what we can do for you.