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Residential Construction – Estimating Software Will Save Contractors Time & Money!

It certainly isn't the easiest job in the world to manage a construction project – and it involves a lot more than knowing how to use tools and build things! Of course construction managers do years of study to learn all the complexities of their role, but onstruction

estimating is something that is only mastered through hands on, long term experience. Many contractors hold the belief that residential construction estimating software can cause more harm than good, and this was perhaps the case in the earlier stages of development. Modern day advances mean more variety is available on the market and there is a construction estimating software package that can make your life a whole lot easier.

If you want your residential construction business to be a success, it is vital that you have solid record keeping procedures and immaculate books: If the numbers aren't right the whole business could go under. Construction estimating software will enable you to keep track of every expense, every day and produce analysis and reports on demand, without getting out your calculator. So often contractors are left scratching their heads and wondering where they went wrong with the residential construction estimations that made them lose so much money each year. With the right estimation software contractors can monitor the budget, work out the productivity and costs and check schedules anytime they like, and if a problem arises, it is on record and easy to decipher solutions. Construction companies can go from running at a continuous loss to making steady and increasing profits.

For small businesses that use QuickBooks or the like for financial management, residential construction estimating software will often be compatible. Good estimating programs will work out square footage and local code requirements and devise a quote that leaves enough profit left over …

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Home Remodeling & Refurbishing With Electric Radiant Infrared Heat Units

A perfect solution to adding heat to a home during a construction or addition project is using radiant ceramic flat panel electric infrared heaters. They are cost effective, efficient, eco-friendly, and a primary heat source of comfortable absorbing heat. They even warm the floor! This solution is applicable whether building an addition on a home, adding a three season glass enclosure or patio enclosure, remodeling a home, or refurbishing an older home. These units are the perfect solution for homes that have that one room that never stays warm enough.

So the question is how does this apply to the construction and refurbishing industry of older homes, home with additions being built, or green home construction? Using electric radiant infrared flat ceramic panels offers a dual benefit. The first is to bring heat to additions being built without running new tin and without the worry of the current furnace being powerful enough to handle the additional square footage. The second is to add a more effective and efficient primary heat source to the home or addition. Particularly a heat source that utilizes green technology that operates at a savings of up to 50% over the cost to heat the same space with natural gas.

Heating electrically has historically been less expensive than heating with natural gas or oil. That is because using 1000 watts of electricity costs about 10-12 cents per hour to run. But more than that heating with electric infrared technology reduces the recovery time of heating a room. This means the heating unit does not have to operate as frequently to keep the room warm or to re-heat the room after a door or window was opened.

A quick explanation and review of the efficiency and cost savings of infrared radiant heating follows in the next two …

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Using a Handmade Glass Sink in the Bathroom – Combining Art & Function

All About Glass Sinks

The hottest trend in bathroom design today is the handmade glass sink – often referred to as a glass vessel sink – which has become the latest must-have for luxury homeowners. Combine the versatility in color and design offered by glass with the vessel mount trend and it’s no wonder that our company, Glass Artists Gallery, can barely keep up with demand. Vessel-mounted, fused, slumped, mosaic, under-mounted and hand-blown sinks have even influenced the faucet manufacturers’ designs because of their unprecedented popularity.

We find ourselves answering questions and dispelling myths surrounding sinks just about every day. This article was created to answer some of the more common questions such as “What is a handmade sink?” “Are they expensive?” “What are the differences in the glass sinks I see in the showrooms and online?” “Are they durable?”

Types of Glass Sinks

To better understand the three main categories of glass vessel sinks, it helps to understand the three main types of glassmaking:

Cold Glass — Working with glass at room temperature. Examples are mosaic glass, stained glass, glass carving and etching.

Warm Glass — The process of fusing, slumping or other kiln forming techniques at temperatures between 1100 and 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hot Glass— The process of blowing glass using a furnace that melts the glass at 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the glass is gathered on the end of a pipe, the artist forms the hot glass using a “Glory Hole” (an oven that maintains a temperature of around 1200 degrees Fahrenheit). The resulting work is then slowly cooled in an annealing oven.

With the above in mind, there are three main categories of artisan crafted glass sinks you will find at Glass Artists Gallery:

Fused & Slumped — Glass fusing is the process of joining …

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Pollution & Professional Exposures For HVAC Contractors

While HVAC Contractors are traditional contracting risks, they have become the focus of growing pollution related claims over the last several years. HVAC system installation, maintenance, and repair can create pollution conditions such as poor indoor air quality and mold. Daily jobsite operations could disturb in-place asbestos, lead, or other contaminants. Materials and equipment brought to the jobsite may spill or leak while in transit or in use during contracting activities.

HVAC Contractors also have professional liability exposures which may not be obvious to the insured since contracting is the main focus. E&O claims could arise from: (1) jobsite modifications in which malfunctions may create a direct professional responsibility for the contractor, (2) supervision of subcontractors, and (3) actual design work performed, specifically when the contractor has a perceived responsibility to comment on design aspects that he knows to be poorly developed.

The exposures described above are usually excluded from General Liability policies, so it is important for HVAC contractors to have comprehensive coverage that will protect them from potential claims and thus help secure the future of their businesses. Beacon Hill's programs division, PartnerOne Environmental, has a number of products that can effectively address the coverage needs of this class of business:

Contractors Pollution Liability

Contractors Pollution Liability insurance (CPL) is coverage designed to protect from third party claims for damages caused by "Pollution Conditions" arising from the insured's covered operations. This coverage is applicable to all types of tank contractors and is important because these pollution claims may not be covered via the General Liability form.

How does Contractors Pollution Liability coverage work?

· Generally designed to address the coverage gap created by the CGL pollution exclusions.

· Policies usually written to provide coverage for operations performed "by or on behalf" of the insured.

· Coverage is provided …

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