Author Archives: Dean Isaacson

Updated Construction Estimation Spreadsheet in CSI MasterFormat

This spreadsheet is a revision of the previous worksheet for residential and light commercial construction take-offs and project estimation used by my previous companies and which many readers of this article have and may be using today, with my permission. Before I get into the changes in this document over the previous, let me give […]
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Half Full, Half Empty or Drinking Problem

Some people see the cup as half full; some see the cup as half empty. I see the cup as fully empty because I know, left unattended, someone is going to drink the remains of the cup. Among contractors and project managers, there are several management styles. Just as there are optimistic and pessimistic people, […]
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The Case for Good Old All-American Alcoholism

The mission was to meet a truck in Spokane, take some photos of the truck and the mining equipment it was hauling. The company wanted to get the photos on the website. Accustomed as I am to accepting time-consuming projects that promise adventure but lack any remuneration, I readily accepted the task. Besides, this was […]
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Avoid Problems With A Well Written Contract

Most projects for small contractors are not large enough to warrant the use of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Form A201, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction or Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) Form C700, Standard General Conditions Of The Construction Contract. Besides, the large documents would scare off most customers who have […]
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EPA Puts the Hammer on Pre-1978 Homes

There is cause to be concerned the EPA may be a bureaucracy out of control. They are relentless in pursuit of rules to control every aspect of commerce. The recent Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule is one such example. However, the purpose of this article is to help you understand your business, perform it […]
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Cook Great American Grits the Right Way

There is quite a controversy about how to cook grits the right way. Down South, they cook it slow but if you follow the directions on the box you can cut that down to five or six minutes. With the exception of Cajun-style grits, most recipes, whether from the box or Southern, call for grits, […]
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Are You Qualified to be a Professional?

When you put your self out before the public to render a professional service, it helps to have the certifications or credentials from a professional organization or institution. Most professionals have degrees from universities or certifications from professional organizations, or both. People look for credentials because credentials help build confidence in the minds of the […]
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What is the Minimum First Aid Kit?

OSHA defines first aid as the emergency care provided for injury or sudden illness before emergency medical treatment is available. The first aid provider in the workplace is someone who is trained in the delivery of initial medical emergency procedures, using a limited amount of equipment to perform a primary assessment and intervention while awaiting […]
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Topping a Tree and God Answers Prayer

Nine years ago, when I built our home, there was a tree on the property and I built the home around it. Even the design of the home considered this tree. It sat right in the crotch between the house and the garage but it has grown much bigger now and is damaging the house. […]
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Ladder Safety and Special Construction Site Problems

OSHA requires all ladders to be able to support four times the intended load – that is passenger and tools. We don’t usually look at ladders by gross capacity, we look at ladders by type and rated capacity. For example, most construction ladders are rated “Type I” (pronounced “type one”) which have a rated capacity […]
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