The importance of safety glasses


What do flying debris, airborne dust, and shattering glass have in common?


They can all cause eye injuries.


It’s no surprise that the construction industry ranks second among occupations with the highest rate of eye injuries, given the number of potential hazards that workers face each day.


According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, three out of every five eye injuries in the workplace happen to individuals who are not wearing eye protection. More than 20,000 eye injuries occur at work each year, and reportedly cost an estimated $300 million in lost productivity, medical bills, and workers’ compensation claims.


The federal Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains safety standards for eye and face protection; in most cases, personal protective eyewear is mandatory at job sites. Safety glasses with side shields are required for environments in which concrete, metal, and wood particles are in the air.


Here are a few tips for picking the right pair of safety glasses and staying safe at work:


–Simply put, wearing safety glasses is your best defense against injury. Be sure your eyewear is OSHA-compliant and carries the approval of the American National Standards Institute. Sealed glasses provide the best protection from airborne debris.


–Workers exposed to daylong sunlight should wear safety glasses that offer protection from the sun’s ultra-violet rays. Look for glasses marked “UV400,” which provide 100-percent protection. Glasses with variable lenses stay clear indoors, and transition to a dark tint outdoors. Lenses with an anti-fog coating will prevent temperature and humidity changes from obscuring your view.


–Take steps to create a safer work environment and make an eye safety checklist. Identify primary hazards at each job site, secure objects that could fall, make sure that safety systems on power tools are functional, and designate specific areas for activities that create dust and debris. Take time at the end of each day to clean up and re-evaluate the workspace for potential issues.


–Make sure you have a first-aid kit on hand that contains an ample amount eye wash, which can be used to flush out any specks of debris.  However, a person who has suffered an eye cut or puncture should not flush the eye, and instead seek immediate medical attention.


Having the right licenses for the job are just as important as workplace safety. A Florida contractor licensing company can help individuals and companies navigate the state’s licensing requirements, with approvals as quick as 10 days. For more information on Florida contractor requirements or to get an application started, visit our Florida contractor licensing page or call 239-777-1028.

Picking the right boots will keep your feet safe  


You’ve just received a license from Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and you’re ready to get to work. But before you step onto your next job site, are your feet properly protected?


Picking the right boots will keep your feet safe, comfortable, and could even help boost productivity in the long run. Tens of thousands of foot injuries occur each year and result in lost workdays, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


While there are many different kinds of boots that offer an array of safety features, there’s a difference between work boots and safety boots. Safety boots typically have toecaps that protect your feet from heavy falling objects and sole plates that prevent nail punctures, among other features.


The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires certain types of footwear depending on the type of work involved, so it’s important to know the requirements.


Here are a few things to consider before buying:


–First, assess the hazards. Worksite conditions will dictate what kind of boots you need, whether you’re working indoors or outdoors. Are there surfaces that could become slippery? Are there heavy objects – such as pipes, beams, sharp tools, tree trunks, or rocks – that could fall at any given time? Are there live wires or conductors of electricity present? Are there any liquids that are corrosive or potentially harmful?


Pick the pair that protects you from any adverse conditions you might encounter.


Next, do some research. You’ll need boots that are durable, and keep your feet dry in wet weather. Insulated boots will keep your feet warm in cold weather. Boots with a strong outsole grip will help prevent falls from roofs or uneven surfaces.


Look online to find reviews that list safety and comfort features and note how a particular brand holds up over time. You’ll want boots that last and don’t start to rip within a few short months.


Top-rated boots for the construction industry in 2017 include the Timberland PRO Pit Boss 6-inch Steel Toe Work Boot and the Caterpillar Diagnostic Hi Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot.


Boots with composite-toe protection are made with materials such as Kevlar, carbon fiber, or plastic; while they’re lighter than steel- or aluminum-toe boots, they’re not quite as strong. However, they offer better protection from electrical hazards and decrease the risk of being shocked.


Finally, try them on before buying. While it’s tempting to buy a top-rated pair online to save time, you’ll get more for your money if you know you’ll be comfortable wearing them all day long. The right pair of boots will feel flexible and supportive.


Avoid boots that pinch your toes or ankles, and take some time to break them in before wearing them to work. Buying boots that don’t fit correctly will be a distraction, and could not only hurt your feet, but also affect your mood.


A Florida contractor licensing company can help individuals and companies navigate the state’s licensing requirements, with approvals as quick as 10 days. For more information on Florida contractor requirements or to get an application started, visit Florida contractor license page or call 239-777-1028.

Housing sales ‘heat wave’ continues into July

 Florida’s housing market continued to heat up in July, as it picked up steam for the second summer month.


Florida Realtors reported that July was a strong month for statewide housing sales, with higher median sales prices, more pending sales, and additional new listings. Single-family home sales totaled 24,546 — up 2 percent from July 2016 levels — while condo-townhouse sales totaled 9,246 – up 3.6 percent.


Sales and prices were also up in June of this year.


“Florida’s housing market gained momentum in July,” said Florida Realtors President Maria Wells in a news release. “More owners decided to put their homes up for sale. However, even with the increase in new listings, inventory remains tight and buyer demand is great. New listings for single-family existing homes rose 6.1 percent year-[to]-year, while new listings for existing condo-townhouse properties rose 5.5 percent.”


“Homes continue to sell quickly, resulting in increased pending sales – up 3.3 percent for single-family homes and up 3.6 percent for condo-townhouse units,” she added.


Statewide, the median sales price for single-family homes was $240,000 – up 7.1 percent year-to-year, while the median price for condo-townhouses was $170,950 — up 6.8 percent. July reportedly marked the 68th month in a row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year.


Nationwide, the number of housing starts and completions was mixed in July compared to the same month last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


The number of privately owned housing starts totaled 1.15 million – down 5.6 percent – while housing completions stood at 1.17 million – up 8.2 percent. Housing starts and completions have risen consistently since July 2012.


New housing starts are considered to be an indicator of economic strength, and present opportunities for contractors and workers in the construction trades. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a slight uptick in new construction industry jobs in July, with most of the increases seen in the residential construction sector.


Housing and real estate data for August 2017 was released in mid-September.


A Florida contractor licensing company can help individuals and companies navigate the state’s licensing requirements, with approvals as quick as 10 days. For more information on Florida contractor requirements or to get an application started, visit our Florida contractor’s license website or call 239-777-1028.


Report: Construction jobs increased in August


The U.S. construction industry added 28,000 jobs in August, but contractors expressed difficulties finding experienced workers.


According to reports by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Associated General Contractors of America, last month’s employment gains followed a hiring dip in July. The construction industry has added 214,000 jobs since the start of the year, including 129,000 jobs in specialty trades.


The number of unemployed individuals whose last job was in construction fell to 448,000, the lowest August total since 2000.


“Construction firms have stayed busy, adding employees in the past year at nearly twice the rate of employers throughout the economy, but more than two-thirds of contractors report[ed] difficulty finding craft workers as the number of unemployed, experienced construction workers hit a 17-year low,” AGC’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson said in a press statement. “Although construction spending has fluctuated recently, many contractors are still looking for qualified craft workers and project managers.”


An industry-wide survey in August found that 70 percent of contractor firms had difficulty finding qualified craft workers. Forty-three percent of those surveyed expect hiring will continue to be difficult over the next 12 months.


“Half or more of the 1,608 respondents said they were having trouble finding carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, concrete workers or plumbers,” Simonson noted. “Some salaried positions — notably project managers and supervisors — are also hard to fill.”


Trade association officials have urged leaders at all levels of government to take steps that help recruit and prepare more young adults for high-paying construction careers, including increased funding for technical education programs.


“Exposing students to construction as a career path will encourage more of them to pursue these high-paying careers,” AGC’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Sandherr said.


New to the industry? A Florida contractor licensing company can help individuals and companies navigate the state’s licensing requirements, with approvals as quick as 10 days. For more information on Florida contractor requirements or to get an application started, visit  our Florida contractor licensing website or call 239-777-1028.


What Does A General Contractor Do?

Do you know what a general contractor does exactly? What the position entails? There’s so many different types of contractors today that it can be hard to remember who does what. If you’re looking to hire a general contractor for work, you want to make sure he or she has the right skills you need for the job.

In the state of Florida, a general contractor is recognized as a “a contractor whose services are unlimited as to the type of work which he or she may do, who may contract for any activity requiring licensure under this part, and who may perform any work requiring licensure under this part, except as otherwise expressly provided in s. 489.113.”

In order to become a licensed general contractor, a person must show 48 months on jobs with at least 12 months as a foreman or a combination of college and experience totaling at least 48 months with at least 12 of those months as a foreman. This person must also show at least 1 year or more of experience with habitable structures bigger than 4 stories. He or she must also have responsibility in at least four of the following areas in construction: Foundation/slabs greater than 20,000 sq. ft, Masonry walls, Steel erection, Elevated slabs, Precast concrete structures, Column erection, and Formwork for structural reinforced concrete.

If you’re a homeowner and need work done in or outside your home, most likely, you’ll need to call up a general contractor. Looking to build a home theater? Game room? Home office? Hobby room? Outdoor deck? Raised ceilings? Want a second floor? Outdoor kitchen? A total remodeling? A general contractor and his team of subcontractor can plan and execute this project.

A general contractor can help a person or family renovate and improve the look of their home without them having to buy a new home to fulfill their new needs or desires.

If you or someone you know is looking to become a licensed general contractor, we can help. We are a Florida contractor licensing company who has helped thousands of contractors get their license. To learn more about this process, click our Florida general contractor page. We make the process fast and simple. To start working with us today, click our Florida contractor page or call 239-777-1028.

Hone your pitch: Bidding tips for contractors

You just had a great meeting with a client about a home improvement job, and now you’ve been asked to provide an estimate for the project. You know they’re pricing the work with other contractors, so it’s important to put your bid in writing for the homeowner to review.


When it comes to writing a bid, it’s important to be clear and communicate effectively so that your proposal is taken seriously. Consider it your business pitch.


Here a few tips for creating a winning proposal:


Presentation counts. In most cases, the format of the bid is up to you, but presentation is important. Use a professional letterhead on white-colored, business-grade paper.


On the first page, be sure to include your name (or your company’s name), the client’s name, the address of the project site, and the bid date. Write a short executive summary that provides an overview of the project, as well as your professional qualifications (including any licenses you hold) and/or relevant work experience.


Think about how you want to present the bid; offering it in person is always more effective than mailing or emailing it.


–Be detailed about the scope of the work. Provide the client with a detailed description of the work you will perform. The estimate, or quote, shouldn’t be buried; it should be easy to find.


Be sure to include the number of hours that the project will take, the date that the project will be substantially completed by, and what the final product will look like. A project timeline should include any inspection work that’s required.


Project changes are inevitable, so be sure to spell out any uncertainties that could cause potential delays, especially if you’re working on multiple projects at the same time. (For more on how to address project changes, check out Joshua Glazov’s Construction Law Today blog.)


Will subcontractors be used? That needs to be spelled out, too.


–Be clear about costs and how you’d like to be paid. Your bid should show the client how much materials will cost, and what your hourly wage is. When determining the cost of materials, be sure to factor-in time spent purchasing and transporting them.


Be clear about payment terms, including any initial deposits, partial payments, and final payment. Note how long the estimate is good for, as materials prices change over time.


Avoid mistakes. Don’t undercut your work by under-bidding; an unrealistic bid could lead to cost overruns, delays, and complaints.


It’s important to be tactful: Don’t ask to see any competing bids; it might make the client doubt that you’re giving them the best price possible.


And while it’s important to feel confident you’ll be paid once the job is complete, avoid asking for personal information that’s TOO personal, such as an individual’s credit score, employment status, the bank they use, etc.


Be timely. By offering a bid within 2-3 business days, you’re letting the client know you’re serious about the job. Not getting back to the client within 5-7 business days will likely hurt your chances.


Once the bid is approved, it’s time to draft a contract. An example of a residential contract can be found here.


Before you submit your bid, make sure you have all the right government-issued licenses to perform the job. A Florida contractor licensing company can help individuals and companies navigate the state’s licensing requirements, with approvals as quick as 10 days. For more information on Florida contractor requirements or to get an application started, visit our Florida contractor licensing page. or call 239-777-1028.