Oncology Hematology Care — Satisfaction!

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OHC (Oncology Hematology Care Inc.), is a premier group of physicians and staff dedicated to the treatment of cancer and disorders of the blood. They are the largest independent group of their type in the region.

Perry Contracting began their working relationship with OHC in 2009 with the construction of OHC’s 8000 square foot Anderson office in the Mercy Hospital medical office building. Since that time we have completed dozens of projects for OHC, some as simple as modifying small offices up to the recent construction of their 10,000 square foot Eden Park state of the art treatment facility.

In the summer of 2015, OHC needed to vacate their Wilmington office and were under severe time constraints to renovate and open in a new Wilmington location. Because of the way we performed for them in the past, OHC turned to Perry Contracting Inc., to meet this challenge. We had one month to renovate the new space for OHC in order for them to have no down time and the resulting inconvenience for their patients. We overcame unforeseen issues along the way such as walls planned to be removed for the remodel that were found to be structural and required significant framing modifications. We also found much of the wiring not to be medical grade, even though the facility had been previously used as a medical office, requiring much of the space to be rewired. Despite all of the surprises and the challenge of such a short schedule, Perry Contracting achieved the required completion date and OHC opened their new Wilmington facility on time.

Upon the completion of this project, the business manager for OHC wrote the following letter of recommendation.

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July 10, 2015

Dear Interested Parties,

Over the last 10 years OHC has worked with Perry Contracting on numerous projects from small retro fitting of some of our clinics to building out entirely new state of the art cancer centers.

Perry has always been a partner, not just another vendor and always understands OHC’s mission of putting patients first and what we desire from the project at hand.

Their level of diligence, competence, insight and understanding OHC’s needs and requirements and the inter-action with OHC is what you always desire and rarely achieve in today’s business environment and landscape. Perry’s ability to be that partner has led to OHC making beneficial and impactful adjustments to projects under Perry’s guidance and suggestions.

The levels of professionalism, skill sets, quality of work, honesty and integrity that the Perry team exhibits sets them apart from almost all other vendors we have encountered over the years. OHC, in projects in which we do not have the lead have encountered some big name contractors who could take some leads and lessons from Perry Contracting.

Perry’s ability to work in concert with our architect has avoided some pitfalls that I know exist between other architects and contractors. This has always led to smooth transitions throughout projects. Under Jim Perry’s leadership they always bring projects home on schedule and just recently performed a herculean task in bringing home a substantial project within a very short time frame. We seriously doubt that others could have performed that task. That’s what great partners do.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are desirous of anything further.

David Ritter
Director – Facilities and Procurement Management
OHC Specialists in Cancer & Blood Disorders

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A Contrarian Investment Approach to Construction

The economy has ended a 6 year bull run. The Fed has raised interest rates and is no longer pumping liquidity into the market. And economic volatility seems to be the new norm. These things directly influence business owners of companies large and small on their decisions whether to expand their business, cut back, or sit tight. In times of uncertainty, the easiest thing to do is to save your capital and wait to see how things play out, but you may be passing up a chance to expand to a new location or renovate your existing facility at a bargain price.

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There are countless adages of investing wisdom recited daily on financial news shows and in magazines and newspapers. Some of them include: “buy low-sell high,” “when making investment decisions, your emotions are often a reverse indicator of what you ought to be doing,” and, “the secret to investing is to figure out the value of something – and then pay a lot less.” It is easy to understand how these sayings apply to the stock market and investing, but many owners may not realize that this wisdom applies to their construction projects as well. And it applies especially well for what we are calling a Contrarian Approach to Construction.

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In the stock market, the basics of being a contrarian investor are to buy when everyone is selling and to sell when everyone is buying. This approach is easily translated for business owners and their construction projects, and it goes like this: build when no one else is building and be miles ahead of your competitors once they finally break ground – then repeat. While many businesses put off projects for more certain economic times, they are passing up a literal sale on construction. Contrarian Owners will take advantage of this sale, and there is a good reason why.

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General contractors experience the same ups and downs of the economy that all businesses do, and when things get slow, the price of new buildings and renovation projects get lower to entice owners to build. This factor is multiplied for an owner by the fact that most projects require a number of trades to complete. That means that the owner can realize a savings from every subcontractor (think plumber, electrician, painter, etc.) that bids on a project. Consider that fact for a project which requires 10-15 different subcontractors, and an owner can gain some very significant savings. These savings could be used for upgraded equipment that competitors don’t have or could be used for marketing in a time when your competitors can’t afford to advertise. This is how Contrarian Owners can get miles ahead of their competition. Once everyone else decides to make facility improvements to catch up to the Contrarian Owner types, the economy will be on the upswing, prices will have increased, and those who waited will be paying a premium for construction. The “waiters” may not be able to afford the cutting edge equipment that the Contrarian Owner was able to buy, or they may not be able to afford any advertising to attract customers to their new facility after paying the construction bill.

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And now the disclaimer: no investment is without risk. Contrarian Owners must be careful to avoid desperate general contractors in a time like this. Some general contractors will take projects at paper thin margins or even zero margin to secure a job. This is not good for the contractor or the owner. When a scenario like this occurs, the owner can expect to battle the contractor over cost for the duration of the project. Because the contractor has little to no profit margin on the job, he will submit frequent and likely inflated change orders at every opportunity to try and gain any margin possible. This makes for a miserable project experience for the owner and very likely will lead to a low quality end product.

There is a way for Contrarian Owners to avoid the scenario described above, and that is to develop a relationship with a quality general contractor (read Perry Contracting, Inc.) that has a good reputation in the community and a long history of delivering quality projects. A general contractor like this values relationships with owners above all else and will go to great lengths to ensure those relationships are preserved. A general contractor like this will have strong ties to quality subcontractors in the community with similar values, and he will use those subs on all projects hence protecting the owner from sub-par work and shoddy installations. A general contractor like this will produce a well built, high quality, and affordable completed project for the Contrarian Owner. So the next time your competitors are ready to bury their head in the sand to wait for a sunnier day re the economy, use this to your advantage. Consider where you could be when others are playing catch up. Build when others are not. Be a Contrarian Owner.

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Written by Luke Perry. For questions about this blog contact Luke at lperry@perrycontractinginc.com



 

The Importance Of Project Budgets

The Importance of Having a Project Budget at the Onset of Design

A potential source of frustration and disappointment for an owner at the outset of a project is discovering that the design they have fallen in love with and put so much effort and thought into is too costly. This happens more often than you might think on commercial and residential construction projects, and when it does, the ramifications are many. Frustration and disappointment on the part of the owner can be easily understood. The design team can feel as if they have let the owner down. The bidders that priced the project are concerned they have wasted their time bidding something that will not be built or are concerned they will have to start the whole process over again with a scaled down design.

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Aside from these emotional issues, the economic impact of having no clear understanding of the project budget at the outset is significant for all parties involved. For example, the owner has paid for a complete design they may not be able to use and will likely spend more design dollars to modify the plans. The bidders have spent numerous hours of fruitless estimating time, and the design team may feel compelled to cut their margin so as reduce the frustration on the owner’s part. Finally, the enthusiasm and excitement that should accompany the start of a project has been dampened even if the project goes forward in a reduced fashion. It is the antithesis of a win-win situation.

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With all of the potential negatives of embarking on a design without a firm grasp of the owner’s budget, why would anyone ever do it? It is possible that occasionally the budget question is never asked. Since that is or should be one of the first questions asked by the designer during the initial designer / owner meeting, a more likely reason this occurs is that the owner says they have no budget; they have no idea what their project might cost. They might ask the designer to incorporate all their needs and desires into an attractive design in order to learn the cost. As detailed above, this approach usually doesn’t end well. At this juncture the designer should probe deeper to see if there truly is a price range the owner has in mind. If the owner has no budget, the designer should, and probably often does, attempt to give the owner an idea of what the project might cost on a square foot basis or perhaps in terms of a price range. This ‘first blush’ estimate can be very helpful for the process provided the designer has a firm grasp on costs for the owner’s type of project. However, if the designer does not have a good feel for the costs of the project type at hand, there are several steps that might be taken.

A simple solution to the above problem would be for the designer to contact a contractor with experience building the type of project in question. Once the designer has imparted the project particulars, including any unique features, to the contractor, the contractor should be able, with minimal effort, to provide the designer a reasonable estimate of square foot cost for the project. If, however, the project at hand is uncommon, a different and more involved process for ascertaining a preliminary budget estimate is required.

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The process for unique/uncommon projects requires that the owner incur costs from the designer to prepare preliminary sketches and information that can be passed on to a selected contractor for their use in preparing an estimate. The owner should anticipate compensating the contractor as well for his efforts in calculating a budget range for the project. The less information provided to the contractor, the more effort the contractor must expend filling in informational blanks and investigating existing conditions. In turn, the owner should anticipate compensating the contractor for his increased effort.

When preparing preliminary budgets for unique or uncommon projects, a good designer and contractor team will be able to communicate to the owner the level of precision they feel they have ascertained with their efforts. They will also often outline conditions or potential issues which may have a large impact on costs. The owner, likewise, should communicate the level of precision that he/she is comfortable with. As one might expect, more precise budgets require more effort and are therefore more expensive to produce. The owner, designer, and contractor should ensure a balanced approach to preparing preliminary budgets which satisfies the owner’s need for precision vs. the cost of preparing the budget.

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The process to generate a preliminary budget for a non-standard type project should follow these steps:

* Designer advises the client that to establish a budget will require compensated work on the part of the designer and a contractor / estimator. A fee range for this work can be established and the contractor may offer to deduct part of his fee from the cost of the actual project should he ultimately be selected to perform the work.

* Once the client has authorized the preliminary estimate work, the designer can prepare the sketches and narrative the contractor will use to prepare a preliminary budget estimate. Bear in mind, the less time spent by the designer at this stage, the less information provided to the contractor and the higher the contractor’s cost to prepare the estimate

* The contractor will likely need to solicit budget pricing from subcontractors for portions of the work. The more complex and unique the project, the more subcontractors the contractor may need to involve. If there is not adequate information provided to the contractor that he can pass on to the subcontractors, the contractor himself must clarify scope and provide enough information to the subcontractor to enable them to prepare pricing.

* The contractor will require a few days to a few weeks to develop a meaningful estimate depending on the complexity of the project

* When the budget is complete a meeting should be held to review the initial estimate, determine if the owner has sufficient funds for the project as conceived, and or discuss possible modifications to reduce the project cost.

It is always ideal for the owner to have a budget in mind when thinking of taking on a construction project. It is better still if the designer can easily confirm the budget is adequate for the owner’s needs and wishes.
Should that not be the case, the processes outlined above should get the team to a reasonable preliminary budget which will allow all those involved to avoid the negative consequences of pursuing a design that exceeds the owner’s financial capacity.

For questions about this article feel free to contact Jim Perry at Perry Contracting Inc. at pci@perrycontractinginc.com



 

Project Goals, A Bit Of Sage Advice

Owners, especially those for whom construction projects are seldom tackled, may wonder what the most efficient way is to manage their projects from inception to completion.

From a contractor’s standpoint, we suggest the following steps:

1. Clearly define the goals of your project, such as type of area needed, number of employees the space must accommodate, how you want the space to feel, and when you would like to move in.

2. Spend some time looking online at photos of spaces that you like. It may also help to visit a few facilities to see how others have designed their spaces. By doing this, you will enhance the productivity of your initial meetings with your architect/designer, which will save you time and money.

3. Seek out an architect or general contractor (GC) you trust and want to work with. Referrals and references are most helpful at this stage. Interviewing two to four firms should be more than sufficient to find one you are comfortable working with who has expertise in your type of project.

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4. Have the company you select assist you with putting together the rest of your team. For instance, if you have first chosen the GC, have him provide you with a list of two to four architects and/or designers. Meet with them to review your needs/wish list. This will give them the ability to start space planning and select finishes.

5. Share your budget range with the chosen architect at the first meeting. Too often, this does not happen early enough, resulting in unaffordable designs and dashed hopes. If you are concerned that your project design may be over your budget, the architect should be able to provide a reality check. If you have already selected your GC, he can certainly provide a realistic budget estimate based on preliminary plans. Realistic schedule estimates can begin at this point.

6. If it has been determined that your budget might not cover your project, now is an ideal time to discuss possible value engineering ideas. Your GC should be able to offer several suggestions and project modifications to help bring the design and material selections in alignment with your budget. This is also a good time to revisit the preliminary project schedule with the GC.

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7. Complete finish selections and construction drawings.

8. Have GC re-price project. This time, the price given will be the basis of your contract. Have the GC list out any allowances or assumptions that were made due to lack of information on the initial drawings.

9. Review GC’s final proposal. Make sure to read all of the clarifications as they may have excluded items.

10. Sign a contract with the GC. We recommend using AIA Document A101 (standard form of agreement between owner and contractor). Once the contract is official, your GC can then authorize the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical subs to begin their designs/permit drawings.

11. Apply for permits and let the adventure begin!

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Bonus tip: Stay in contact with your GC throughout the project. Determine if regular meetings are required or if emails/phone conversations will suffice. You are the client and the communication should be structured to meet your needs.

For questions on this project management blog, feel free to contact Mike Cronin via Twitter @mtlookoutmike or e-mail at mcronin@perrycontractinginc.com.



 

St. John Fisher Elevator

Perry Contracting Inc. was recently involved in the design phase of renovations at St. John Fisher Parish in Newtown, Ohio. This article describes the installation of a Machine Roomless (MRL) elevator, only the third elevator of this type to be installed in Cincinnati.

Traditionally, low rise buildings have had hydraulic elevators that require a machine room to house the hydraulic pump, fluid reservoir, and other elevator equipment. This machine room occupies valuable floor space and requires construction dollars to build it and maintenance dollars to condition and light it.

Recent innovations in elevator technology have made it possible, in many instances, to eliminate the machine room. This is accomplished by placing the hydraulic reservoir and pump in the elevator pit just below the elevator cab, and placing the elevator electronics panel in the wall of the elevator shaft adjacent to the door. This new type of elevator is referred to as a Machine Roomless (MRL) elevator. I had read several articles about MRL elevators in trade magazines and thought it could be of benefit to our clients that require elevators.

Prior to our involvement in the project, the plan had been to install a conventional hydraulic elevator with a machine room carved out of their already cramped lower level storage. It seemed to be the perfect opportunity for us to recommend the new style MRL elevator. We held discussions with ThyssenKrupp about their MRL elevator design and reviewed the existing conditions at St. John Fisher. Satisfied that the MRL elevator presented a better option than a traditional elevator with a machine room, and with the blessing (pun intended) of the parish building committee, Perry Contracting partnered with ThyssenKrupp to install a new MRL Elevator.

While it is slightly more expensive initially, this added cost is more than offset by the savings of not having to build the machine room. Combine the net savings in project cost of an MRL elevator with the floor space we were able to preserve in St. John Fisher’s already cramped storage area, and this decision was a big win for the parish.

If you have any questions about our experience with the MRL elevator, feel free to contact me.

For some great visuals and more information on ThyssenKrupp’s MRL Elevator visit www.enduramrl.com

Jim Perry

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Another Project Completed by Perry Contracting.

Another project completed and we couldn’t be more pleased. Along with our carefully chosen Sub Contractors this was an excellent team effort!
Thank you UC Health for choosing us as your partners in this project.

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The Benefits Of Concrete Flooring

When you initially think of concrete floors, you probably think “cold,” “prison like” or “industrial.” But with its ability to take on color and a polished sheen, coupled with its many benefits, concrete may become your new favorite on future projects. Be prepared to have your mind blown by how beautiful, elegant and warm a concrete floor can look.

Here are some of the benefits of concrete flooring;

Easy care – The only maintenance required of concrete floors is weekly mopping with soapy water.

Economical – The cost of concrete floors is very low, sometimes several dollars less per square foot than carpeting, vinyl or tile flooring.

Longevity – A floor that has been polished and maintained can be expected to last a hundred years or more.

Versatility – For exterior applications, silicone-based penetrating sealers can be used to avoid the wet look. Indoors, staining and polishing can change the look completely. Concrete flooring can also be stamped with wood-grain imprints for a wood-like look. The same goes for tiling stamps.

Other decorative effects, like scoring in grid pattern lines, with a high-gloss seal, the floor can be transformed to look like limestone. An acrylic sealer could be used in the interior application to give it that wet look.

Of course you want to take into consideration noise levels and the use of memory foam floor mats for those that will be standing for long periods of time.

Ask us if concrete flooring is the right choice for your next commercial project!

A few examples of the versatility of concrete flooring;

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Dental and Medical Construction

As mentioned in previous social media posts, Perry Contracting has vast knowledge of medical and dental construction and renovation.

Currently, we are working on several medical projects. You might remember recently reading about one of these: the Oncology Hematology Center in Eden Park, we are happy to announce that this project has been successfully completed!

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As unique as the needs are for medical, they are even more so for dental projects, which can provide many different types of challenges. If the office is still seeing patients, we have to be flexible to work around the doctors’ schedules to ensure successful patient appointments, privacy, and uninterrupted experience.

Medical facilities are now moving towards a more comfortable, homelike setting, with designs much less sterile than they used to be. This actually creates another challenge in the design and construction, as there is a higher level of fit and finish to build out.

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One of the complex challenges associated with dental projects is the involvement of medical gas and more under-floor services. Dental offices often perform full procedures in the same space that a medical facility will use just for exams.

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Another factor for medical job sites is HEPA requirements. There are very specific air quality standards when doing construction on a medical facility still in operation during the construction phase. Special measures must be taken in every phase of the project and upheld by all of our sub-contractors, which is why it is so important to have strong, trusting relationships with them, many of whom we have been working with for over ten years!

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And finally, we must adhere very strictly to completion dates as patients and procedures may be scheduled based on the timeline that we have either set out or agreed to.

So, it is crucial that you partner with a contractor who has proven experience in these areas when thinking about your next medical or dental project.

We are so excited to present our progress in the next few weeks on several of our latest successful medical projects.

Stay tuned.



 

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day from Perry Contracting!

Perry Contracting is a proud member of the US Green Building Council. We strongly believe that protecting our natural resources is the best gift that we can give to our children and future generations. This mindset is part of very project that we are involved with. As a matter of fact, we just completed two projects where we converted all lighting to LED, reducing our clients’ carbon footprints and securing rebates for them, as well.

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We always suggest reusing materials when possible. Currently, we are wrapping up a medical project where all cabinetry and doors were re-purposed. Not only is this an excellent use of materials, but it significantly reduces costs for our clients.

When you visit the Perry Contracting office, you may notice that it seems a little dim in the large lobby of our office. When possible, we try to turn all lights off in rooms or areas that are not in use. We are also happy to say that we fill up our large and small recycling containers each week, and managed to reduce the amount of waste that was thrown in our trash can in the last year.

Simple little steps like this can make a large impact if we all follow!

What does your company do to reduce waste and save energy?



 

Sage Financial Grand Opening

We are so pleased to have celebrated the Grand Opening of Sage Financial’s new office here in Cincinnati.

With a fantastic architect, a great vision from the owners, and an excellent team of sub-contractors, Perry Contracting was able to complete this gorgeous renovation.

The new Sage Financial office is a great example of a contemporary design, perfectly utilizing mixed materials to offer a very uplifting, comfortable, and inviting environment.

Enjoy these before and after images.

Congratulations to Sage Financial! May you have many, many years of success!

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