‘Tis the season when we receive many holiday cards here at JRF Headquarters and while we appreciate them all, this year, one really has stood out as it has “before” and “after” pictures of one of our projects! It gives us so much fulfillment, pride and warm gooey feelings to see that one of our valued clients used our work on their Christmas card. Nothing brings Team JRF more happiness than a satisfied customer. If the client is happy then The Boss is happy and it spreads throughout the company from there. We truly believe that each project should be built as if it were our own. To have that level of commitment from your staff, it takes a great leader. Therefore, on behalf of everyone here at JRF, we would like to thank J.R. for another great year. Team JRF looks forward to 2017 and all it has to offer and wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year – especially The Boss!
Earlier involvement between developers, design teams, and builders is a growing trend that we are seeing in the construction industry. And it’s one we are quite fond of at JRF. Even during the design process, we can work with the owner to ensure a comprehensive building plan that is both time and cost effective.
How the traditional process works
Typically, we are invited after the design process is completed to bid on a project via an architect or an owner. We then do extensive research to qualify each proposal, making sure it includes all required items and accounts for all plans and specifications. A detailed scope of work will also accompany our bid so the owner knows exactly what’s included in our proposal.
Although this process is customary, there are some potential disadvantages. The cost of the design, in terms of both time and money, has already been expended before the project cost is determined. If the project pricing is above budget, this requires rework of the design and multiple pricing iterations, which requires additional time and redesign fees. Bringing the owner, architect, and builder together as a team on the front end can eliminate these pitfalls.
Plan sooner. Build sooner.
Owners often see a loss in momentum between the design, bid, and production phases. Involving a trusted builder from the early stages eliminates that loss, which leads to quicker project completion.
Communication is key for a successful build, and the sooner that communication can happen the better. We like to work with developers/owners and their engineering firms early in the design stage. This allows for effective constructability meetings so we can better identify overall budgeting, pricing, and materials ordering. Doing all of this creates better lead times, which in turn allows a more aggressive build plan and gives us ample time to anticipate supplier and subcontractor schedules.
While early involvement is not appropriate for every build, it’s something we are doing more of in today’s market. From the blueprints to breaking ground, it allows for a much smoother process.
Don’t wait until spring. Contact us to start planning your next build now.
It’s not always easy to get things done in the winter. Especially when those things involve constructing new buildings. So when longtime client, Thomas English, needed a project completed during one of Indiana’s harshest winters, he called on JRF to get the job done.
The snow and ice of January was still on the ground when JRF began construction in February on the new Mattress Firm in Plainfield, Indiana. This 4,560 square foot, steel-supported building required special care and consideration during the construction process through times of undesirable weather.
The project combined two parcels of land to accommodate the building, which included an additional access drive from a side street. The spring thaw brought with it soft soils, so stabilizing the land became a major priority in final stages of the project. But despite the slight delays for weather-related events, JRF completed the project on time.
Not every day is full of sunshine and perfect temperatures in the construction world. We prepare for the rough winters and the saturated springs so that we can continue to deliver quality buildings. And with rumors of another unforgiving winter on the horizon, JRF is fully prepared to face whatever Mother Nature can dish out.
Later this summer, the Greater Indianapolis Habitat for Humanity will be hosting their first official Women Build. That’s right, all 300 of the volunteers will be rocking the XX chromosome and not only constructing the building, but raising the entire $75,000 required to fund the new home for a well-deserving family in Lawrence.
Our own Jamie Gardner is a team leader for the build. Along with the help of two other JRF team members, Brittani Gerstorff and Susan Hauer, and 12 other ladies, Team Builder Babes is tasked to raise at least $3,750 to support the overall build project.
But Jamie has loftier goals. “We are trying to raise twice the $250/person required from team members. I set our overall team goal at $7,500 because the amazing women on my team are as committed to giving back to their community as I am.”
The team has already raised almost $3,000, and they will be hosting a garage sale on June 14th to support the effort. If you’re a garage sale connoisseur or simply want to support the cause, you can check out the goods at 11543 Raleigh Lane in Fishers. They’ll be out there bright and early at 8 a.m.
Then in August, the team will converge at the build site and tack on the house’s exterior siding and trim. Jamie actually chose this specific day so she could fulfill a lifelong dream. “I’ve worked in construction for more than 25 years, and I’ve never gotten to use a nail gun.”
Who Are We Building For?
Breyona Brown always dreamed of owning a home. Growing up with four siblings and raised by her single mother, she’s no stranger to hard work and faith. Now, with a one-year old boy herself, she wanted to find a place of her own where she could have some peace-of-mind.
She works as a medical assistant at IU Hospital, and is excited to take part in building her new home, where she can settle in with her son and finish her training to be a nurse.
As she says in her profile, words can’t describe how grateful she is to Habitat for Humanity, not only for her new home, but for their guidance and help in setting her up to succeed as a homeowner.
To qualify for a Habitat home, Breyona built up what Habitat refers to as “sweat equity”, dedicating 300 hours towards financial education, homeownership education classes, and building her own house and the homes of other Habitat participants.
It’s All about Empowering Women
This is one of Jamie’s favorite parts about Habitat. They don’t just provide a home. They actually take the time, and ask potential homeowners to take the time, to set them up for future success, to convince them that they can. Which is exactly why Jamie is so excited about the Women Build project.
“I’ve worked in construction all my life, but always in an office. Since I’ve bought a house I’ve gotten into building things, furniture and DIY. My friends are amazed at what I have accomplished, but it’s actually not that difficult and incredibly empowering! I think a lot of women think they can’t do it because it’s ‘construction’ which is typically a guy thing. But I want to do this to show women that they can. We can.”
How Can You Help
You can support the Habitat Women Build project and Jamie’s team by donating on the Habitat for Humanity website. And don’t forget about the garage sale on June 14th, where all the proceeds go towards Jamie’s Builder Babes and their team fundraising effort for the build.