Specifying the Use of Surface Protection Products on Historic Interiors During Construction

Projects involving historic interiors range from the meticulous restoration of a classic movie theatre to renovations of abandoned lofts for new residences. The size of the building, significance of the interiors, and scope of work will determine how best to protect interior finishes during construction work. All work involving historic buildings, however, shares the need to properly plan for and specify appropriate temporary surface protection products. Without such provisions, unnecessary damage can result which will require additional funds and can lead to complete loss of certain interior finishes. Relying on the contractor to protect interiors without specifying such surface protection puts historic material and finishes at unnecessary risk. Protective measures must be specified in the construction specifications for the job. Although general contract language may make reference to “protecting existing construction” and may require that the contractor “restore any damage to its original condition at no additional cost” the general nature of the language affords little protection to existing historic finishes or features. Rather than provide adequate protection, some contractors deliberately elect to repair damage, believing it is cheaper. Therefore the best practice for historic interiors involves specifying protection of all historic architectural features and finishes using temporary surface protection products.

An important difference between protecting historic interior features and finishes and protecting new interior features and finishes during construction is in the timing of the construction schedule. In new work, finishes such as cabinetry and flooring are installed late in the construction schedule, after mechanical and electrical systems and other high impact work are completed, thus not exposing the finishes to major construction operations. In preservation work, however, existing interior finishes are exposed to all the high impact and potentially damaging construction phases of the project. Important architectural features which are easily removed should be stored off site, if possible, to protect them from vandalism, theft and damage during construction. Lighting fixtures, fireplace mantels, and interior doors are typical examples. Access by construction personnel to spaces with significant features and finishes should be restricted, except for their work relating directly to the preservation of such spaces. Spaces with restricted access should be identified by the planning team and indicated in the construction documents in order to allow the contractor to include any associated costs in his price proposal. For spaces such as halls and lobbies, it may not be practicable to limit access, and for all interior spaces, some construction work may be required. In such circumstances, interior finishes must be physically isolated from construction operations by means of protective barriers and coverings such as the Zipwall Systems. Such surfaces are generally limited to flooring, walls up to approximately 6 foot height, and special construction such as staircases. Flooring should be protected from damage caused by abrasion, falling objects and there are a variety of floor protection products available from companies that specialize in surface protection.

Temporary protection during construction can involve covering historic features, such as floors and walls, as well as using temporary doors to control the passage of workers and the inevitable dust and dirt. Prominently located fire extinguishers are mandatory. Where protection from spilled liquids is required, a layer of water resistant surface protection should be used. In projects where electrical systems are being upgraded the use of fire rated protection should be used. Care should be taken in choosing the appropriate floor protection to ensure that moisture from spilled liquids is not trapped against the historic flooring or that newly installed or repaired flooring can breathe. Care should also be taken to avoid coverings such as rosin paper, could potentially stain the historic flooring. Historic stairways, balustrades, balconies, fireplaces, door surrounds, window surrounds, and other components will also need to be protected from construction damage. There are a variety of surface protection products on the market including Swiftwrap handrail protection, Ram Jamb door jamb protection, DoorGuard temporary door protection and others. It makes sense to contact a surface protection expert in order to choose the best temporary protection for the project.

Specifying temporary protection of historic interiors during construction is the responsibility of both the architect and contractor. Most general conditions of a construction contract contain language such as: “The Contractor shall be solely responsible for and have control over construction means, methods, techniques, sequences and procedures and for coordinating all portions of the work. For preservation projects, it is recommended that temporary protection of historic interiors during construction be specified in a separate Division 1 specification section to ensure that required provisions are not overlooked by bidders. By creating a separate section in a price proposal, the bidder will be inclined to treat the “special project procedures” as an added cost rather than a part of the temporary facilities required for any alteration project. The contractor’s project manager can thus anticipate making reasonable expenditures for providing specified temporary surface protection during construction. To ensure the adequacy of temporary protection measures in projects involving a construction manager, temporary protection is often best provided by the construction manager, who normally works for the owner on a cost-plus-fee basis. Temporary surface protection should generally be specified as to the product name, type and company where products are available.

Conditions prior to commencement of construction should be photographically documented by the contractor. For small projects, a videotape survey may also be an effective supplement to existing conditions photographs. The owner may wish to document existing conditions independent of the contractor in order to avoid any future dispute regarding damage caused by construction operations as opposed to pre-existing damage. Temporary protection of historic interiors during construction, an essential component of any preservation project, is largely a construction management issue. A successful protection program is the result of careful pre-planning, thorough project specific specifications, owner vigilance, contract enforcement, and contractor diligence. Cost savings can be realized by minimizing damage to the historic structure in the course of construction work and the proper use of temporary surface protection products.

Challenges Faced by Commercial General Contractors

Despite a rise in production last year, the construction industry is still likely to make a sluggish recovery. As the economy continues to recover from its recent downswing, the commercial construction industry also continues to grow. However, the industry is still encountering challenges that can affect businesses and investors. When it comes to effectively addressing and handling these challenges, hiring an experienced commercial general contractor is a good way to ensure that your project goes smoothly and successfully. Things are looking up a bit for the construction industry though.

New construction starts have been strong in recent months, construction spending rose throughout much of 2011, the production of construction materials has been up for six months in a row, and Caterpillar, Inc. and other large companies have posted strong earnings reports for the past couple of quarters a hopeful sign that small and mid-sized companies will also do better. However, the industry still faces plenty of challenges. Small companies for the most part are struggling because of the sluggish economy, increased competition, rising insurance costs and a shortage of excellent workers. The largest challenge, by far, commercial general contractors say, is the economy. Although the unemployment rate is dropping and the U.S. economy is showing other signs of recovery, economists and others say the recovery of the construction market will lag behind the overall economic recovery.

Commercial general contractors say homeowners and other customers are savvier in the wake of the recession and typically get three or four estimates before they decide whom to hire. This means commercial general contractors are competing for work against two or three of their peers now, compared to one or none before the recession.

People used to call and say, ‘Come do this job for me,’ and they’d get around to asking what it would cost. Yet another challenge is rising insurance costs. Insurance market conditions for U.S. construction firms began deteriorating in the second half of 2011, and that is expected to continue this year. Large losses and reduced investment returns caused many U.S. insurers to seek rate increases in 2011. As a result, rates for various construction product lines, such as general liability, builders risk, excess casualty and others, rose, forcing up costs for commercial general contractors, who passed them on to their customers. Cost overruns. Sometimes, projects can get “carried away” and can end up costing significantly more than anticipated. This can occur if materials need to be changed, if there are unexpected delays or additions, or if the planning got out of hand and the building ended up a bit more showy than originally anticipated.

How to Know If Your Product Truly is Organic

Today we see the words “all natural” and “organic” thrown around quite liberally. Most countries have their own rules and regulations as to what constitutes a natural or organic product, but in general there are commonalities that most countries find acceptable.

Sadly, most people aren’t aware or even armed with the proper knowledge to determine if something truly is all natural or not. In fact, for years many soft drink companies were using high fructose corn syrup to sweeten their beverages instead of sugar. Today you will see a few companies boasting that they use “real sugar”, because it is a natural product. This is just one example of how companies love to trick consumers.

So what is the difference between an organic product and a natural one? Here are a few examples:

For organic food, the pesticides used should not be toxic, the farmers don’t harm the soil or wildlife when growing the product, and the seeds aren’t modified in any way. While there are other criteria such as soil testing and soil erosion, the examples above are the most generally accepted in many countries.

If you have ever shopped at a well known organic food store such as “Whole Foods” or similar counterparts, you will discover that many of the foods have been certified organic. Depending on what state you live in, the criteria can be very stringent or more relaxed. However, I wouldn’t recommend buying a product that claims to be organic unless it is certified.

Natural products don’t follow such stringent guidelines as organic foods, but in general are healthier alternatives to regular processed foods. Most natural foods do not contain artificial preservatives or additives and don’t receive any antibiotics or growth hormones.

Health food stores that sell all natural foods like GNC will generally test their products to make sure they follow very strict processing guidelines. However, be wary of foods on your local grocery shelves that claim to be all natural. There are numerous ways for these companies to get around the guidelines for slapping an “all natural” label on their foods.

In general, it is best to buy only organic food, but because of the expense, it is not always practical. In the end the only real way to protect yourself is through self-education and being diligent about reading product labels.

General Wholesale – Tips in Finding Children’s Clothes For Your General Wholesale Clothing

When you talk about general wholesale clothing business, it simply means selling different types, kinds, and varieties of clothes to the general public. However, wholesalers do not only sell their clothing products to the general crowd but also to retailers and other entrepreneurs. This type of business ranked as one of the most popular and most engaged business worldwide. Most especially online, millions of entrepreneurs established their clothing business and trying to compete to be a one of the powersellers. One of the main reasons for its popularity is because of its speed in generating an income. Other than that, this type of business never loses potential customers.

Children’s clothing topped as the most purchased clothing among the variety of clothes sold in a general wholesale business. Most customers are able to purchase children’s clothes at very low prices. Even selling the products to a very low price still wholesalers can generate big income because when they purchased these products from their suppliers in bulk and with great discounts in every income.

In this type of business, big companies are not the only one offering wholesale clothing but thousands of suppliers are listed on reliable directories online. Some websites may require a little payment, but there are also other with free listings. But with even among with these suppliers, it is not still easy an easy tasks to find kid’s clothing with very good quality plus good discounts.

For newbies in this kind of business, they need to find an internet site having children’s clothing products with big discounts or at a very low price. These clothing must also have high quality, in perfect condition, and having different sizes, shapes, and styles. Buying these products is in bulk so the more you purchased, the bigger your discounts. Kid’s clothing is considered vintage in nature so customers always search from rack to rack when shopping. Others children’s clothing that are easy to find are vintage inspired clothing which can give a more classic punk look to children. In these kinds of apparels, they will be able to enjoy the style for a long time.