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Architectural Wonders in Florida

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Living in the Sunshine State, we are no strangers to being surrounded by beautiful things: white sand beaches, palm trees, lakes everywhere, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, ocean and bay views… You get the picture. This is why so many renowned architects have chosen our home to erect their creations.

  1. The Skyway Bridge: Kicking off our list is a construction in our very own Tampa Bay. What better way to remind drivers to forget the stresses of life and work and just relax, than by having ocean views from both sides of the car? The same way that driving down the Courtney Campbell Causeway can make you feel like you’re on vacation, the Skyway Bridge amps up the excitement by making you feel like you’re climbing your way to heaven.
  1. St. Augustine: If you travel to the old town of any European city (or if you go to San Juan, Puerto Rico), chances are high that you’d feel charmed by he cobblestone streets and historic buildings and fortresses. And we get to be lucky enough to have a similar environment in our very own State. From Victorian Inns to horse drawn carriages, when you visit St. Augustine’s historic district, you feel like you’ve traveled through time.
  1. Dalí Museum: Making our way back to our Bay Area, St. Petersburg waterfront real estate boasts the Dalí Museum. From its impressive glass dome, to the maze right next door to it, you almost feel like you’ve stepped into one of the famous surrealist artist’s paintings. And it’s not just the outside of the building. Walking inside and looking up at the giant spiral staircase underneath the glass dome is a bit reminiscent of being at the Louvre in Paris.
  1. Lewis House: Moving on to Tallahassee, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Lewis House aka the Spring House. From the outside, it looks like a ship moored on dry land. From the inside, you feel like you are in some sort of medieval room in the middle of a forest. And honestly, how fun does that sound?
  1. Ca’d’zan Mansion: Speaking of medieval, Sarasota is the proud home to Ca’d’zan Mansion, a structure that reflects a perfect cohesion between the riads of Morocco and the medieval castles of Europe.

The truth is that when it comes to architecture, we have nothing to envy of other places. With a creative design, an original vision, and a team of experts working together, you can take a construction idea and turn it into an extraordinary project. And when it comes to hiring a contractor who will make sure that your projects come out as stellar as you envision, Eclipse Building Corp. is ready to help you.

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How To Know Whether You’re Ready To Renovate Your Business

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Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you probably like to be practical about how you spend your money. Maybe you opened your business 10 years ago, and since you’re profitable, you’re not caring much about upkeeping the façade. And this may be ok if you are renting or own space in a beautiful location.

But what if you originally chose that location because it was the only one you could afford when you first opened your doors? If you have the means for an upgrade now, you might want to consider remodeling your business. If you’re not sure if it’s the time to do so, consider the following:

Optics: In an age of instant gratification and social media, it’s common knowledge that image is everything. If you visit two different law firms to help you draft a business contract, and one of them looks like it should be featured in Architectural Digest, and the other one looks like the headquarters for a cockroach convention, which one would you hire?

Employee Morale: When you read about the coolest places to work at, Google, Facebook, and Mindvalley always top the list. And it’s not because they have ping pong tables or offer free lunches (although I’m sure that also has a lot to do with it). But people spend the vast majority of waking hours at the office. Look around. If your workers remind you of Joe from Joe vs. the Volcano, you have to be proactive. Study your layout and color scheme carefully. If it looks like a prison or like your grandma’s kitchen in 1962, it’s time for a facelift. Even Forbes agrees with it.

Increased Profits: At the end of the day, profits are the reason you’re in business. Even if you’ve been around for a while and have a handful of loyal customers, competition will continue to pop up at a steady pace. So you need to stay relevant. One of those ways is to renovate your storefront. The return on your investment might be worth it.

Whether you’re ready to get your renovation project started, or would just like to consult with construction experts about its viability and other related issues, at Eclipse Building Corp, we are ready to assist you. Give us a call. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

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Why Pursue a Career in Construction?

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What did you want to be when you grew up? Most of us had an ideal career choice in our minds when we were barely old enough to ride a bicycle. Whether the projected decision had to do with what our parents did for a living, or what we thought would be the most fun, it was good to dream of the future before adult responsibilities such as bills and supporting a family got in the way.

Fast forward to the current times. A whopping 70% of Americans hate their jobs. Are you one of them? Or are you about to finish school and unsure about your next step? If construction has never been on your radar, below is a list of the top reasons why it might be a beneficial option to pursue:

  1. There are available jobs: Millennials make about 40% of unemployment recipients. The problem isn’t that they don’t want to work. The problem is that in this economy, it’s difficult to find a job. Meanwhile, there are over 200,000 construction jobs that need to be filled. This means that unlike over saturated markets, such as the legal field and teaching, once you graduate, there will be available positions to be filled.
  1. There are plenty of roles: If you like manual labor and being in the middle of the action, you can be a construction worker. If you’re a nerd, you can go into construction engineering. If you’re into math and accounting, you could be a quantity surveyor. If you like knowing the big picture and coming up with the details to make it happen, you could be a project manager.
  1. There’s no time to get bored: We’ve all had those jobs where we constantly look at the clock and wonder if it’s even working. Or jobs where customers are calling all day to complain. Or jobs where you have to do the same exact thing for an 8 hour shift and you can feel your mind getting numb. Construction provides you with different projects that will keep you busy, away from that ringing phone with petty whiners, and with plenty of variety.
  1. What you do matters: Ask your friends whether they think what they do at work every day has a significant impact on others’ lives. Granted, a doctor will say yes. *Some* lawyers can honestly answer yes. Teachers get a big, resounding yes. And with construction, you get to join that club of people who do important stuff. The construction industry is essential. Thanks to it, we have places to live, work, and party.

When you’re happy with what you do, it shows; not only in your end product, but also in your quality of life. At Eclipse Building Corp., we love what we do, and have plenty of projects that reflect that. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the construction industry, we highly encourage it. If you’re not, but need a construction or renovation project, we are your people. Contact us, and let’s get things started.

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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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Things To Keep In Mind Before Remodeling Your Business

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If you own a restaurant, you know you have to pour your heart and soul into your business. Long working hours, a million things on your To Do List; plus being in compliance with the D.B.P.R. regulations and making sure your employees are all on the same page.

And sometimes, there is one extra item that somehow crept its way onto your extensive wish list: Remodeling your business space. And that’s a great idea. The benefits of giving your restaurant a face lift are many.

But before you get started, there are several things you have to keep in mind to have a successful remodeling project.

  1. Review the terms of your business lease: There is nothing that will put a damper on your plans like getting all excited about getting a project started, only to find out that you can’t do what you want to do. If you need assistance in figuring out esoteric construction terms, Eclipse Building Corp. can help you review the document and see what you can do under the existing terms.
  1. Your budget. You know how you set aside a specific amount of money for your project? Try setting aside a bit more, because chances are high that additional expenses are going to come up. Prioritize what is non-negotiable, and if the trivialities are racking up your bill beyond what you can realistically spend, modify accordingly.
  1. Your target market: Do you cater to hipsters? Make sure you keep a nerd vibe going on in your dining room. Maybe include a few abstract artworks on the walls, or play 90s music from indie bands. It may be your restaurant, but it’s also theirs. If your clientele fits another description, integrate their preferences into your design. Make them feel at home and give them a reason to keep returning.
  1. Hire the right construction management firm: This is not the area to scrimp. If you hire a contractor who’s going to cut corners, you’re going to spend a whole lot more money trying to get their mistakes fixed. Research their credentials, look at their past projects, seek out references and reviews.

Eclipse Building Corp. can help you in every step of your renovation project, from planning, to reviewing your lease, to construction, to post-renovation maintenance. Call us and find out firsthand what it is to work with a company whose modus operandi is excellence. Your business and your guests will appreciate it.

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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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Construction Management Basics

 

meeting-2284501_640We’ve all seen reality shows like The Apprentice, where each team had a project manager who would draft a plan and delegate tasks according to each person’s abilities.

When it comes to construction, there’s an entire team of managers who oversee the process to make sure that you end up with exactly what you want. The following are some of the leaders who make magic happen in construction:

Project Manager: These people have a full plate. They make sure all the pieces of the construction puzzle are aligned correctly. From the design process to the final details once the project is completed, project managers make it all happen, on time and on budget.

Quantity Surveyor:
Anything you want done will cost you money. However, you want to make sure all funds spent are well invested and that you get to save money when it’s prudent to do so. The QS is the one who keeps everyone’s feet on the ground. He or she will study the project and estimate costs for construction, materials, labor, repairs, etc… to make sure you stay on budget.

Scheduler: It’s really exciting to start on a project you’ve been planning for months (maybe ever years); but in order to make your project profitable, it has to be finished on time. This is where the scheduler comes in. If you have an ambitious project, it’s going to take a while to get it done. It’s good to have a timeframe in which you can expect the project to be completed.

Contract Manager: So you presented your bid and it was approved. Now you need subcontractors to get all hands on deck. Who’s doing the plumbing? Who’s doing the electric? Landscaping? Who’s installing tiles and windows? The list is long, and the contract manager makes sure that everything is coordinated seamlessly.

Keeping all these roles in mind can be overwhelming, and if you don’t know much about the construction industry, trying to coordinate everything is a recipe for stressing out to oblivion. This is where Eclipse Building Corp. comes in. When you hire us, we take care of all the details, so you can finish each day knowing that everything’s running smoothly. Give us a call to discuss your project. You give us the info; we’ll give you peace of mind.

The Impact of 3-D Printing in Construction

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Remember when 3-D meant wearing funny looking plastic glasses to watch a movie and either (a) become immersed in that fantasy world, or (b) come out with a migraine and needing a nap?

Today, 3-D means so much more. Hospitals are using it to create organs for transplants, and the auto industry is using it to construct auto parts. The trend has also greatly impacted construction. Companies in China and the Netherlands have constructed homes within a 24-hour period, utilizing 3D printing. And we’re not talking about tiny houses or trailers here. These are real life, regular sized homes. What’s more, the houses were built on-site, with recycled materials, at a significant fraction of usual construction costs: $5,000.00. Yes, you read that right. You can build a house for five grand.

What does this mean for the construction industry?

Before panic sets in, let’s look at it objectively. Did films come to an end thanks to the ubiquitous use of the Internet? Blockbuster may have had to shut its doors; yet Netflix and Hulu have made a killing streaming movies on demand. What’s the difference between one company’s demise and the other two that are still thriving? Evolving with the times and adapting to technology.

With some 3D printing, the large-scale printers print the materials, but workers are still needed to put together the homes; while with others, the entire project can be done by the printer. There are a lot of benefits for both the end user and the builder: a significant reduction in construction costs, less harm done to the environment, and the ability of completing expansive projects in less time. In addition, this means that the recent workers shortage won’t have a long-term effect within the field; which is more than what could be said about those funny looking glasses.

How Rebuilding is a Lesson in Resilience

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Where were you on September 11, 2001? That’s a question all of us can answer, down to what we were wearing and what we were doing when that first plane hit the twin towers. It was indisputably, one of the darkest days in our country’s history.

After the shock, the heartbreak, the memorial services, the rescue efforts, and the rubble cleanups, New York City, center of the financial universe, was left with a gaping hole that seemed to represent the void we felt collectively as a nation. It was one of the few times every single person in the United States seemed to unite. All of a sudden, trivial things didn’t matter anymore. We were all in this together.

Fifteen years later, at the same site, stands One World Trade Center, 104 stories and 3 million square feet of steel and glass that remind us how, despite the towers and our morale being completely leveled, we got together and rebuilt the iconic location in downtown Manhattan.

A Lesson in Resilience

Rebuilding the World Trade Center meant so much more than erecting a skyscraper. It shone a light on the capacity of humanity to get back up when the unthinkable happens.

The same can be said of reconstructing Miami after Hurricane Andrew; or New Orleans after Katrina. Although there are industries that exist purely as a luxury or for entertainment value, the construction industry has taught us through the ages, that not only is the field essential for socioeconomic progress, but it also shows one of the greatest strengths of the human spirit: resilience.

Bouncing back from adversity doesn’t always have to occur at such a large scale. Sometimes a home or business floods, or experiences some sort of damage that requires reconstruction. Once we recover from the shock, or the anger, or the sadness, or any of the myriad of emotions we experience after a negative event, it’s time to act. Let Eclipse Buliding Corp. help.

Why You Should Renovate Your Business

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Does the inside of your business look like The Brady Bunch’s kitchen? If so, it’s high time you do something about it. If you want to attract guests and customers and remain competitive as new restaurants and cafés open up, you have to get with the program.

Have you been to First Watch in downtown Tampa lately? Just a month ago, they looked like they were straight out of a 1970s low-budget film. Today, it looks like a trendy restaurant for writers and hipsters. And it’s always full.

There are many benefits to redoing your business’ façade; among them:

  1. Attract new customers: If you wanna make more money (and who doesn’t?), you gotta invest money. Everyone knows that. Even when you’ve been running your business for a while, you have to keep reinventing yourself to stay relevant. Get more clients, get more people who want to work for you, and stop getting lumped with passé locales. Your business is not a fad. Evolve with the times to ensure longevity.
  1. Maximize your space: Be honest: Is your current layout the most optimal for your day-to-day business needs? Renovating your workspace can be geared towards using all of your square footage more efficiently: Make it easier for delivery trucks to unload merchandise, increase the flow of natural light, get more storage space or a floor plan that makes employee interaction easier.
  2. Stay competitive: Pick up a newspaper (or go online, I don’t care), and pay close attention: The entire Tampa Bay area is teeming with new restaurants and coffee shops to appease to all kinds of clientele. Wanna sit on a big couch and work on your laptop all day while eating croissants and chai tea lattes? Go to Oxford Exchange in South Tampa. Want a more cozy ambiance with a fireplace to boot? Try Green Springs Bistro in Safety Harbor. Even going to the mall shows you how the traditional low-budget looks of times past won’t longer cut it. International Plaza makes you feel like you can actually eat a gourmet pizza at their food court.

Convinced, but don’t know where to start? Not a problem. Eclipse Building Corp. can help you review your business lease to determine the viability of the project; assist you in obtaining all necessary approvals and permits; and get all the work done. We’ll even do a 10-month follow up and give you a two-year warranty on our work, which is longer than what competitors offer. Contact us and let’s get this started.