What Does it Take to be a Good Construction Contractor?

In a Nutshell, the Problem is…There is No Clear Answer to the Question

Last week I wrote about what’s missing when rebuilding after a disaster. It turns out that it’s the same thing that’s missing in everyday construction.

There’s simply a lack of good construction contractors.

So, what does it mean to be a “good construction contractor”?

As I was searching for ideas and answers to this question, I found very little and I mean, VERY LITTLE about it. Apparently, either nobody knows what it takes, or everyone assumes everybody already knows.

In my web search I found one article that spoke to it and one that kind of spoke to it.

The one that kind of spoke to it listed the following…

Signs of a good contractor –

  • Clean record, within reason
  • Responsive and punctual
  • Listens to your ideas
  • All hired work is accompanied with written contracts
  • Provides written estimates

Are you kidding me? Doesn’t this go without saying. And what about a clean record, within reason. This is a little concerning.

Signs of a bad contractor –

  • Licensing abnormalities
  • Habitually late or doesn’t return calls
  • Avoids permits, zoning and building codes
  • Speaks poorly of clients and associates
  • Many lawsuits against them

These are definitely signs of a bad contractor.

The better of the two articles spoke about construction workers, not contractors. It listed 12 skills, several of which would also fit for a good contractor. Those were…

  • Skills specific to “actual construction” – Need to know the things required to do the job they’ve been hired to do.
  • Problem-solving skills – Every construction job has unexpected problems that pop up. It’s important to be able to find solutions to keep production moving forward.
  • Reading and analytical skills – Contractors need to be able to read blueprints and scopes of work and understand them.
  • Listening skills – Talking is easy, but listening is critical to comprehending what the customer wants and what they don’t.
  • Communication skills – Being able to communicate both verbally and in writing are important to successful construction projects.
  • Decision making skills – The problem-solving skills will be no good if no decision gets made. It doesn’t mean that every decision is going to be the right one, but no decision is definitely the wrong one.
  • Organizational skills – This is one of the most important (and often most lacking). Time spent looking for missing tools, materials, papers, etc. leads to an unfocused project and cost time and money.
  • Technological skills – This is a newer skill that is becoming more and more important. The day of the fax is about gone. Computers, tablets and smart phones are how information is being shared…and it’s only going to increase.
  • Skill of working well with others – We need to remember that we’re all trying to accomplish the same thing. Working together as a team rather than fighting and not getting along is not productive or healthy.

This list is a good starting point, but it’s the lack of information on this topic that’s so concerning. It’s no wonder there is such a huge divide between construction customers and contractors.

A “good construction contractor” seems to be a rare and undefined treasure.

I’m going to continue digging to uncover what it takes to be a “GOOD CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR”.

If you have any thoughts about what you think a good construction contractor is, share your thoughts in the comments below.

We Are All Important to the Building of God’s Kingdom

No Matter How Small We Are in the Big Picture

Way too often we tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough or don’t have what it takes to do that thing…whatever that thing is. This perception is very good at keeping us from doing the things we’ve been designed to do.

We look around and see what everybody else is doing and from the outside it looks amazing. We have to remember that we are not designed to do what they are.

Each of us is here for our own specific purpose.

Or maybe we’ve been convinced that because we grew up in a certain place or look a certain way that we aren’t capable of doing anything great. We are too easily persuaded by these outside forces.

Some people thought Jesus wasn’t anything special. After all he was from Nazareth. In John 1:46 Nathanael said about Jesus, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

A concrete foundation is made up of sand, cement and water. All of these things are made up of very small individual pieces. A grain of sand, a particle of cement and a drop of water. Each of them by themselves is tiny and seemingly insignificant. However, without them each serving their specific purpose the skyscraper wouldn’t stand. Their role is vital to the outcome.

It takes a collection of different components to build a skyscraper, each serving their individual purpose. Each of us are like these small pieces. We are vital to the outcome.

Accept your part in supporting the kingdom.

This past weekend we had a movie marathon. And watched the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. These are some of my favorites and if you haven’t seen them, I would highly recommend it. These movies are based on the classic fantasy novels and children’s books by J.R.R. Tolkien.

In the story, the Hobbits are small little creatures. Just happy to be living their peaceful little lives…when called to do something big and out of their comfort zone. We are all called to do these kinds of things, we just have to be willing to.

Maybe fantasy isn’t your thing. But the story is a great one of good versus evil and how no matter how small and inadequate we see ourselves, if we’re willing, we can make a big difference.

Remember, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or how you look. What matters is your willingness to step out in faith and go where you’ve been called.

Whats It Take to Be A Good Samaritan?

 

 

It’s Less Difficult Than You Might Think

 

 

The story of the Good Samaritan is one of the most popular stories in all of literature, most everyone has heard it. What is it that makes this story so popular? It’s because it goes right to the heart of who we are made to be. We’re told to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” Also, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”


This is what a Good Samaritan does.


A Good Samaritan puts others needs above their own. They look for ways to help others. This is true in every area of life: work, family, play, it doesn’t matter.

 

 

We’ve become separated from and distant to others. This is in part to the excess use of social media, electronic communication, etc. It’s much easier to be less civil to someone digitally than in person.


As human beings we were made to be connected, it’s in our DNA.

 


Albert Einstein put it like this, “A human being is a part of the whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”


Helping others is how we free ourselves.


In the final two episodes of the “Seinfeld” show the main actors of the show witness an overweight man getting carjacked while they’re waiting on a plane. Instead of helping him, they crack jokes about his size while Kramer films it all on his camcorder, then proceed to walk away. The victim notices this and tells the reporting officer, who arrests them for not helping the man. At their trial the District Attorney’s opening statement is, “the defendants have ignored their Good Samaritan Law and mocked the victim of a mugging.” Comedy tends to follow social reality. Just because comedy does, this doesn’t mean we have to. We can choose our reality.

 


To be a Good Samaritan doesn’t mean that we have to rescue someone from a burning building, save someone who’s drowning, or stop a carjacking, it means we need to show compassion. Being a Good Samaritan can be as simple as opening a door or helping someone who has fallen.


Being a Good Samaritan is simple, it means caring enough to do something to help others.