Commercial Remodeling in Lincoln – June 2021
Over the five years to 2020, the Commercial Property Remodeling industry benefited from strong overall economic growth, according to IBISWorld. As rising commercial construction activity and corporate profit levels rose in the middle of the period, demand for remodeling services trended upward. Businesses responded by expanding or opening new shops altogether, supporting increased demand for the industry’s remodeling services. Overall, IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue rose at an annualized rate of 4.4% to $35.8 billion in the five years to 2020, despite an estimated 11.3% decline in 2020 alone. The pandemic definitely created challenges and did slow remodeling projects for a period, as businesses struggled to survive with existing expenses. Things are picking up for the industry again, and local business owners are starting to look at remodeling projects that can make them stand out.
If the location of your business works well for you but you want to step things up a bit, anything from a new paint job to construction of focus walls, remodeled facilities, new electrical efficiencies, building automation, or a full-on expansion can shine the spotlight on your products and services without the huge headaches and price tags that come with moving or building from scratch. Remodeling can bring new life to your brands, reorganize your spaces to make them operate more effectively, upgrade technologies to remain relevant, instigate more safety measures in light of COVID, or expand to fit more products, services, or space for employees, tenants, or storage. Whatever your needs, remodeling your business can come with big benefits, including improving its visual appeal, boosting its reputation, creating additional space and customers, and lifting morale among employees, to name a few.
Before embarking on a commercial remodeling project, however, it is crucial that you vet your contractors and subcontractors well, to make sure you are choosing companies with integrity, a good reputation, reviews, and references for similar work, and a priority for clear and frequent communication with you throughout your remodeling project. Your workplace is an extension of your brand. It tells your clients who you are as a company. It should be comfortable, clean, and updated in a way that supports optimal productivity, collaboration, and efficiency. If your business is lacking in any of these areas, it’s probably time for an update. Fortunately, Lincoln is a home to a host of impressive remodeling contractors and subcontractors that fit the bill. So, we talked to a few about what they have to offer and some of the hottest trends and products in the commercial remodeling industry.
Setting the Tone
When it comes to attracting positive attention to your business, the siding you choose for your building remodel is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Not only does the exterior of your building extend the first impression of your business, but it also provides a protective barrier from Nebraska’s elements, can help improve your building’s energy efficiency, helps define the personality of your company, and may even set the tone and character for the commercial area where it stands. With this in mind, it is critical that you choose a siding manufacturer with a solid reputation of quality and dependability to get the job done right. We recommend contacting Continental Siding Manufacturing (sidingmfg.com).
“What’s most important to you when you’re choosing a siding company?” asked Continental Founder Jerry O’Neal. “Is it the experience of the company, the friendliness of the staff, or the durability of the product? For many, it’s all three, and that’s why there’s Continental Manufacturing. We are a longstanding siding manufacturer that has emerged as a leader in the industry because of our premium seamless siding that offers extraordinary durability, energy efficiency, and longevity. Plus, we only work with established contractors who are financially solid and have excellent reputations. In business since 1982, we operate on the belief that delivering a positive remodeling experience to our customers is a priority. We offer individualized customer service and a streamlined installation process that takes care of you from beginning to end.”
Throughout the pandemic, most manufacturers have dealt with six-, seven-, even eight-week delays for basic materials. Not Continental, though. They have had no delays in providing materials to their clients in a timely fashion, be it siding materials, soffit materials, trim coil, or the like. Continental keeps all of their products in stock at their warehouse right here in Omaha, so you don’t have to wait. They are ready to deliver the products when you need them, and they are always up-to-date on the latest trends.
“In the current environment, more people are doing larger projects that offer a good return on their investments,” Jerry said. “There’s a number of newer trends that are popular right now, for instance black soffit and facia and black windows on the exterior—and the new patented polymer wall systems are very, very popular right now.”
Continental manufactures their own seamless polymer cladding and created the Perma-Strate Wall System®, which is a patented method of installation that makes the product completely seamless, and it fixes common problems seen throughout the industry. What’s more, they sell only wholesale, and you can save thousands buying directly from the manufacturer!
“There are a few things that set us apart from anybody else in the industry,” Jerry said. “That includes our patented polymer wall systems, manufactured in Missouri and Nebraska. We are also able to satisfy contractor and builder needs for products without delay. When it comes to major projects such as hotels and apartment buildings, we can not only provide the products but can actually manufacture the polymer in any color desired and cut to the length needed to accomplish the job and limit labor expenses in doing so. I guess you’d say the key to Continental Siding Manufacturing is that we are the manufacturing company that operates the way the business community deserves!”
Adaptability and Flexibility
If we’ve learned anything in pandemic times, it is that change is inevitable, and we have to learn to adapt. That includes changing up your business space to meet the requirements of the times. One way to do that is to work with AOI Corporation (aoicorp.com), which provides construction general contracting, pre-manufactured interior construction solutions, and an impressive selection of functional and attractive office furnishings. While commercial remodeling business stalled early in the pandemic, as uncertainty reigned, AOI now is seeing an uptick in business with the arrival of a new normal.
“Now that we are seeing the beginning of re-entry, the need to adjust to new norms will be what drives a lot of renovation efforts,” said AOI Vice President of Marketing & Business Development Patrick Jensen. “With over 70% of companies opting for some sort of work from home and in-office hybrid, the role offices play will need to adapt and change. Office workers reentering the workplace after working from home will have different needs. Their expectations on what they want out of an office environment and how it should function for them has changed.”
For those who are more productive at home, the focus will be on collaborative spaces, meeting spaces and areas for serendipitous interaction that is in higher demand. Heads-down work of the traditional office may be saved for the home office, where distractions can be more tightly controlled. Those who have more distractions at home will be looking to the office for a space with less interruptions and more productivity.
“What the pandemic taught us about the future of the design and construction for all environments is that adaptability and flexibility need to be built into the design from day one,” Patrick said. “Facilities need to be change-ready. Executing projects without this in mind will ultimately leave an organization flatfooted and struggling to adapt or needing to spend large sums in order to meet future challenges.”
Changes in technology, workflow, regulations, staffing, disasters all highlight the need for environments to flex and adapt. Pre-manufactured interior solutions offered by AOI—including DIRTT and the new Herman Miller furnishings like OE1—are keenly focused on solving this issue for businesses. AOI does a fabulous job of helping you create a fully integrated, customized approach to creating far more than an office space for you.
“We provide a complete solution for the built environment through our construction, furniture and pre-manufactured interior construction groups,” Patrick said. “Products and services can be utilized individually or combined as part of a holistic approach developed in close collaboration with our clients and their design teams. Business owners considering remodeling should come to us because our various business units make us informed of the latest concepts, technologies, and direction the built environment is moving in. We are consultative in our approach to helping clients solve their problems. We streamline the process and help them maximize their investments while achieving their goals!”
Choose Your Delivery Method
Cheever Construction (cheeverconstruction.com) is a 100% employee-owned construction management company that has been in business for 60 years, completed nearly 900 jobs, and operates with a single vision in mind: To build food futures for their clients, employees, and the community. Cheever Construction President Justin Kurtzer said selecting the correct delivery method can have a direct impact on the outcome of the project. Numerous items will factor into your decision, including the size of the project, complexity of the project, project type, and overall delivery schedule. While there are many delivery methods, the three most often used include design-bid-build, construction management, and design build.
“A construction-management approach begins with a business owner hiring a construction manager early in the planning process to provide pre-construction services, working with the architect and/or engineer (under separate contracts with the owner) to establish the project program, constructability, and schedule, and establish benchmark budgets in a team environment,” Kurtzer said.
With a design-bid-build delivery, a business owner hires an architect to design the remodel in full, creating both a plan and specifications to fulfill the owner’s program requirements. The project goes out for competitive bid to a select group of general contractors, or as “open-to-all.” Some of the advantages of this delivery method are its single point of responsibility for construction, compliance with public bidding policies, construction documents that clearly define the scope of work, and a project cost that is established through the bidding process.
Because the project design might not be complete when remodeling construction begins, the construction manager typically provides services on a cost-plus-fee basis, sometimes including a guaranteed maximum price. Advantages include the contractor having input during the design; the owner being included in the bid process and selection of subcontractors; the scope being defined during design; the cost and schedule are guaranteed; and design and construction can overlap to accelerate project delivery.
With a design-build approach, a business hires, under a single contract, the construction manager and design professional, which combine services to provide a single point of accountability for the entire project. The entity is responsible for delivering both the design documents and completing construction according to the owner’s requirements. Some advantages of this approach is that the contractor has input during design; the price is guaranteed; there is a single point of responsibility for construction; and design and construction can overlap to accelerate project delivery.
“Whichever method you choose,” Kurtzer said, “Cheever Construction approaches each project with consistent objectives for success. We utilize an effective schedule coupled with the quality and skill from our subcontractors and combined with our field craftsmen,” he said. “Cheever Construction takes pride in all of the relationships that we have entered into. We strive to make each project the precursor to the next project, while building a lasting relationship with everyone involved.”
Whether you’re looking to build an addition onto your business, put on a fresh, new roof, or change up the space usage on the interior, Xtream General Contracting (xtreamcontractor.com) can handle the job. This family-owned and operated business is a licensed general contractor in accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and their crew has more than 25 years or experience in construction and remodeling. They provide knowledgeable project managers and employees, who come together to build your project with quality and confidence in mind. They excel in commercial, industrial, and residential interior and exterior construction, remodeling, and restoration, including everything from framing, drywall, plumbing, windows and doors, complete commercial remodels, tile and flooring, electrical, carpentry, flooring, cabinetry, siding, concrete, painting, staining, building decks, patios, landscaping, lawn care, and snow removal, so you get the whole package in one!
“Now that commercial businesses are open, their confidence in economic growth is increasing, and they are more comfortable with doing some remodeling projects,” said Xtream General Managers and CEO Michael Cubas. “We as a company are here to stay for a long time. Our goal is to establish a great relationship with our Lincoln community, and we are a company with integrity. We are idealists who believe that, by investing time in our local community, it will invest in us.
Xtream General Contracting has an amazing team of dedicated employees who all share the pride of building quality products. Each team member has to be the right fit, work well with the team, and share the values behind the company. The Xtream General Contracting team has become a big family, and each one adds to the whole of the company. They work together efficiently and quickly, while still prioritizing each customer’s wants and needs.
“We offer quality workmanship, superb work ethic, and competitive pricing which separates us from the rest,” Michael said. “We are confident you will be pleased with work we have done as well as the ability to track projects we currently have in progress. Xtream General Contracting is ready to tackle any of your remodeling needs. We offer impeccable service and competitive pricing, so that you can get the look and functionality you want for your business. We want to give you great results and service during each phase of your remodeling project, all while you maintain your sanity! There are a lot of options out there, but we think you’ll find that working with us will prove to be one of the best decisions you could make.”
Upping the WOW Factor
Whatever your remodeling project, Zeng Granite, Inc. (zenggranite.com) can give your commercial space the WOW factor that it deserves and that will capture the attention of your customers and potential customers. They deliver high-quality, beautiful quartz and granite countertops, large-slab wall features for floor-to-ceiling fireplaces or focal walls, and more. They are a perfect addition to apartment remodels, too, as they can create features and finishing touches that will draw renters in and give your building that stunning look of luxury without breaking the bank.
“Zeng Granite, Inc. has provided commercial services for more than 20 years,” said Integrator Jennifer Haralson, who is the person bringing a sense of urgency and coordination across her team to make your project on-time and beautiful. “We are excellent in our project management skills for large scale remodels and new construction. We assist general contractors with their countertops in granite and quartz, and we also provide design services and stone fabrication for beautiful focal walls, reception desks, and public-restroom areas. We can even make your logo out of stone and lay into a desk or wall!”
Zeng has witnessed significant demand for remodeling projects, including residential, commercial, and apartment buildings. For the stone portions of any remodeling project, it’s a good idea to hire a company like Zeng, with professional stone fabricators because they have a trained staff to handle all of the challenges that come with commercial or business remodels. They can direct business owners to the perfect materials for achieving the look and function desired, at the same time keeping everyone on the job site safe, even with the challenges that the pandemic has delivered.
“We are being asked to quote often for restaurants, retirement communities, and apartment complexes,” Jennifer said. “With the pandemic, we are seeing some materials delayed in shipping and are experiencing price increases for freight and materials, but we’re getting the jobs done and done right, regardless!”
Some of the latest trends in stone surfaces are amazingly thin and beautiful ultra-compact surfaces and porcelain tiles. The “tiles” for these products are sometimes as large as 10-feet-by-6-feet slabs that are only 4 millimeters thick. Because of the complexity of installation, however, Jennifer recommends doing your homework before hiring someone for any job involving remodeling of your home or business.
“There are some fantastic new products coming from the East and West Coasts that designers and business owners are excited about,” Jennifer said. “These include the ultra-compacts and porcelain large scale tiles. The tiles are 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide, so there are very few grout lines to disrupt the beauty of the stone. They do, however, require a specialized fabrication and installation process, which Zeng Granite is certified to complete. Be sure to get many references for your contractors before you start your remodeling project. A nice website and one interview is not enough to see if they will give you what they promise. Zeng Granite works with selected builders in Lincoln and Omaha who hold the same values as we do: Family. Education. Safety. Longevity through Quality.”
Benefits of Remodeling
Oftentimes, remodeling your business can be far more efficient all-around than starting from scratch to get the new amenities or space you want to add to your site. In fact, there are a lot of benefits that stem from remodeling over new construction.
“Constructing a new building is beneficial in that it gives you control over every aspect of the design throughout every layer of the building,” said Tru-Built Construction Co-owner Bo Jones. “However, sometimes the best option is to take an existing building and make improvements.”
Tru-Built takes pride in offering premier commercial renovation and remodeling services, with some projects including transforming the former The Post & Nickel building into a mixed-use one that incorporates Chase Bank, Lululemon Athletica, and Madida Clothing commercial spaces, plus leased condo spaces on the upper floors. In reality, that building is actually four separate buildings, built side-to-side. That served up some challenges of its own, including varying floor levels, split plumbing and electric, and working on the remodel in the tight confines of the downtown area.
“Regardless of the challenges, we ended up with a unique building with some fabulous features,” Bo said. “We preserved the original wood floors, the old billboard ads on the brick walls, and restored the big windows that were filled in with brick over the years. The group of owners committed to a complete renovation, including re-footing the basement, adding new structural walls and beams, supporting the floor joists and roof trusses with steel, installing new wall framing, and new electric, heating, cooling, plumbing, fire protection, drywall, paint, windows, cabinets, and more. It basically is a completely new building and exemplifies the benefits of using what you have instead of starting from scratch!”
Other Tru-Built renovations include the 1421 P St. apartments, the Willa Cather Museum, QP Ace Hardware on 27th St., the Aristos Apartments at 40th and Yankee Hill, the Grand Manse Penthouse Suite, LeadBelly, and the Old Spaghetti Works building.
Bo advises special caution to any business considering a remodel: Pay particular attention to the roof. “In addition to negatively affecting the exterior look of your business,” he said, “a failing roof can cause expensive and unpleasant problems with leaking, energy loss, and other issues. It can downright negate all of your work if the roof isn’t in shape to protect it!”
Tru-Built Construction has been around in Lincoln since the early 2000s. They know the Lincoln community. Since they began offering their services, they’ve grown larger, completed countless remodels, custom home projects, and more. The Tru-Built reputation of having an expert team dedicated to high-quality work and making people’s vision come true is well-earned.
Taking ‘Creative’ to New Heights
If you want to take “creative” to new heights and like the idea of having a general contractor, builder, and designer for your remodeling project all in one, be sure to check out Jonathan Curtis Design (facebook.com/jonathancurtisdesign). They truly do it all, and they have tremendous experience on their side to manage and carry out any remodel you can imagine, offering progressive ideas and skills that will make it a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
“We’re a pretty unique company doing what we do,” said Owner Jonathan Curtis. “From fine cabinetry to building an outdoor space, addition, roofing, the whole thing, we have incredibly talented artisans on our team to bring your visions to life. We’re not an ordinary contractor. We talk to you from a vantage point of real-world experience, knowing how to build for you, maintaining an eye for detail, keeping up with design trends, and coming up with some of my own. It makes for a unique hybrid.”
Design services by Jonathan Curtis Design include virtually everything but the furnishing. They have expertise in color and texture pairing, material selection, scaling to size and fit, and maximizing use of space, so the function of your business truly meets your evolving needs. In short, they provide cohesive thinking to create the character you want your business to exude.
Automating for Efficiency
A huge trend for commercial remodel projects is building automation—intelligent, data-enabled automation and related controls. Since the desire to improve efficiency and effectiveness is never-ending, companies like Engineered Controls (engineeredcontrols.com) are in high demand. By providing essential instrumentation, Engineered Controls offers affordable integrated building control and automation systems that make your buildings smarter and more efficient.
These systems save energy, lower operational costs, and enable productive and secure environments. Building automation platforms can connect your HVAC, lighting, safety, and security systems, enabling them to talk to each other in a single language, on a single platform. This gives business owners information to make better decisions, save money, feel safer, and improve the way their building function.
“As most building owners know, energy is the single largest expense in a building’s total operating budget,” said Engineered Controls President and CEO Pat Killeen. “In fact, 30% of it is used inefficiently or unnecessarily. One of the best ways to keep those costs down is to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce energy use and integrate a quality control system.”
Engineered Controls designs, installs, manages, and services building management and security solutions for buildings and facilities of all sizes and types. For more than 20 years, they have been dedicated to designing easy-to-use building automation and security systems that provide the highest possible energy efficiency, while ensuring occupant comfort and maintaining a safe and secure workplace.
“As a technology contractor, our vision is to participate in projects that transform the way buildings are designed, built, and operated, and to create environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work,” Pat said. “From the integration of new control technologies into our design, to the contracting work we engage in, Engineered Controls is participating in the service and construction of buildings for now and well into the future.”
Engineered Controls offers a comprehensive energy evaluation program to customers in which Energy and Environmental Optimization (EEO)-program-certified professionals can quickly assess your building’s current state and consult with you on the goals and objectives of your energy efficiency project.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure!” Pat exclaimed. “Evaluating your energy usage and potential waste by metering the current electrical systems you have in place can open up the door to great savings in the long run. You might find it’s time to upgrade, and that is where we come in.”
Engineered Controls offers many energy-related products, including variable frequency drives (VFDs) designed specifically for commercial buildings. VFDs control the speed of a three-phase AC motor, while resulting in energy savings. They save energy because the motor does not require as much current at lower speeds. VFDs monitor building systems constantly and provide automatic adjustment of fan speeds for optimal energy usage.
“We live in an era in which buildings of any size and shape can become intelligent buildings,” Pat said. “With open-protocol technology, they can connect multiple subsystems together, on one network, rather than operating them all independently—maximizing energy efficiency, lowering maintenance costs, and providing centralized building control.”
Most new construction these days includes some level of building automation, but if you are operating out of an older space, incorporating building automation and control systems into your remodeling goals has the potential to really improve your business.
Although building automation systems have existed since the 1970s, Pat said recent systems save time and money on internal comfort conditions, individual room control, improved building reliability and life, and quick and effective responses to HVAC and security problems: “The systems also provide information on problems in the building, allow for computerized maintenance scheduling, are easy and effective for employees to use, and easily detect problems,” he said.
Hiring the RIGHT Electrician
Virtually every commercial remodel will require hiring an electrician. First, your business can’t operate without electricity and, second, it’s critical that your wiring be professionally maintained to keep employees and clients safe. Be sure to consider energy efficiency—which really comes into play on the electrical side of things. This is why so many businesses have made the decision to convert to LED lighting. Being greener is not only great for the environment but also great for your pocketbook. LED lighting is said to use 50–90% less electricity, which can end up totaling a lot of money’s worth of savings on your annual electric costs.
Although many contractors offer electrical services, it’s important to research providers to determine who is most qualified for your particular job. Jon Eicher, project manager for ABC Electric in Lincoln, recommends checking seven key factors about an electrician before hiring one for your project, noting that ABC Electric meets all of these criteria.
First—and regardless of the size of the remodeling project—be sure that your electrician is fully licensed and insured. In Nebraska, electrical contractors are required to have a license that demonstrates they have completed the education and field training necessary to perform jobs safely and correctly. It’s also crucial that licensed electricians have the proper insurance to protect you from getting stuck paying for any possible damages. Second, check into the types of jobs an electrician has traditionally done and make sure the experience meshes with your project.
“Some contractors may only focus on residential jobs, while others may specialize in lighting,” Jon said. “If you’re doing a commercial remodel, you want to identify your project needs and make sure the professional you choose is experienced in that area.
Third, it is vital to find out who from a company actually will be performing the work: “Ideally, you’ll want a contractor that uses their own employees, not subcontractors,” Jon said. “Subcontractors may not be covered by insurance or have the experience your project requires.
Fourth, professional electricians must stay current on their education about ever-changing electric codes. The National Electric Code is routinely updated to address changes in technology and new safety requirements, and your electrician must stay informed of every new rule to ensure that your project is completed in a compliant fashion. What’s more, having up-to-date knowledge about codes can help streamline your permitting needs.
Fifth, you want to choose an electrician who prices services based on the specific materials and labor required to complete your commercial remodel. If the company charges a flat rate, you could end up paying more than you should have.
Sixth, you want to choose a provider that offers emergency support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you know they will be there in the event of any emergencies during your project duration. You don’t want to wait for a solution. Finally, Jon recommends reviewing an electrician’s guarantee policies.
“Warranties and guarantees can protect you from additional costs if you need to fix problems with any work that your electrician provides during your remodel,” he said. “Ask your contractor what their guarantees cover and how long the protection is valid.”
Exceeding Your Expectations
As Arnold Palmer said, “The road to success is always under construction.” That’s a motto under which Kingery Construction (kccobuilders.com) operates in their quest to help businesses in the community emerge, grow, and sustain their places of business. They offer general contracting, design-bid-build, design-bid, pre-bond/pre-construction assistance, and construction management services. Kingery can assist in all phases of your construction project, from knowing where to start and how to organize in the early stages of planning through to moving forward with a design and serving as your partner and resource for the successful completion of your project.
As you contemplate remodeling projects, Kingery recommends that you consider concentrating a large portion of your budget into highlighting your customer-focused spaces. The first step, however, is to select a contractor prior to creating your design.
“This will help to ensure that the project runs more smoothly and that suggested design concepts are viable in the space being remodeled,” said Kingery Vice President Rick Wintermute. “Also be sure to verify design efficiency with your contractor, regarding construction costs to help your project stay on budget and within your desired schedule. Finally, utilize your contractor to educate you about the plans, so that the vision and final product are what you are expecting.”
Some of the latest commercial-remodeling trends that Kingery has witnessed include an uptick in the use of repurposed materials, both as a way to reuse items already in the space and a way to provide a greener building process. Businesses also are doing some remodeling projects to increase health and safety protocols long-term. Because of the exciting new developments in technology and the construction industry, options for the design of efficient, high-quality, aesthetically appealing architecture have expanded. These new developments make the completion of building projects more efficient and improve the results, too.
“During the last 97 years, Kingery Construction has had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects for educational entities, hospitals, churches, commercial, governmental, industrial, and private projects,” Rick said. “With this experience comes the ability to foresee the particular challenges that each project could potentially face. Our promise is to complete your project on time and on budget, while meeting your needs and exceeding your expectations.”
The Restoration Experts
Restoration jobs might be different than the more typical “remodeling” project, but they are crucial components of reworking commercial structures. The family-owned McGill Restoration (mcgillrestoration.com) specializes in large-scale, complex projects in the concrete and masonry segments of the industry, including parking garages, stadiums, and other commercial structures. In 2020, they celebrated 35 years in business, and over the last four consecutive years, Inc. magazine has recognized as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately owned businesses in the U.S. Their projects regularly win industry awards for excellence, as well, and all of which are important to the aging infrastructure of our communities and nation.
“Restoration requires an in-depth understanding of a structure’s history and details,” said McGill Vice President of Operations Ben Russell. “Researching the building, the materials, and the best techniques is essential to providing a beautifully restored project. Asking the right questions helps you plan properly: When was it built? What is it going to be used for in the future? These questions will provide a lot of answers to the type of materials that must be used in its restoration. When it comes to the planning and execution of a project, consulting with industry experts alleviates a lot of headaches.”
Ben said one of the biggest trends in commercial remodeling today is preservation of aging buildings in the area, where business owners are restoring older buildings or converting older spaces into modern designs. If you are considering restoring an older building, though, you can’t overestimate the importance of research in preparing for a restoration project. That research is the key to how you go about restoring a building and how authentic your end result is.
The shutdowns that came with the COVID-19 pandemic actually made restoration and remodeling project easier—for McGill and their clients alike. The timing of the closures helped businesses accomplish some crucial work, at a time when they couldn’t run normal operations. Some of the jobs McGill took on included work on the Bergan Mercy Hospital parking garage, Eagle Parking garage, Southbridge Condominiums, and Nebraska Medical Center. Parking structures that normally would have been full of cars (at hospitals, retail outlets, offices, and the like) were mostly empty due to closures, thus allowing McGill Construction to perform their work without having to block off stalls or spend time and staff to redirect traffic.
McGill has achieved excelled growth by investing in new technologies. That includes investing in and designing custom Business Intelligence (BI) tools that allows them to maintain a holistic and accurate view of their job and workforce capacity in real time for now and in the future. As a result, customers receive more accurate start and completion dates, as this data allows McGill to better align their pipeline of work with sales and project management. They have also invested in integrated accounting and estimation technologies to take the business to the next level, as well as timekeeping and human-resources tools with features such as GPS geofencing and other controls for more accurate time punches.
“These technological advancements have allowed McGill Restoration to significantly invest in our hiring processes and employee development,” Ben said. “One of McGill’s greatest secrets to success if having a reliable and highly knowledgeable workforce.”
The Problem Solvers
REGA Engineering Group (regaengineering.com) may not physically construct or remodel commercial buildings, but the work they do is crucial to the success of any commercial construction-related project. REGA has been providing civil engineering, surveying, land development, forensic engineering, landscape architecture, and obstruction observation to its clients since 2003. Now licensed in 13 states, they offer experience in commercial site development, ALTA surveys, floodplain development, energy efficiency, landscape architecture, and—recently added—investigative engineering. Their multi-state experience has helped them grow in their knowledge and problem-solving abilities.
REGA’s diverse experience in public and private civil engineering projects is evident in the projects they have tackled, including site development and grading, recreational facilities, pedestrian/recreation trail design, roadway plans, profiles and design, parking lot design, parking arrangement for on-grade and structural configurations, storm and sanitary sewer analysis and design, storm sewer drainage studies, detention facilities, potable water-system design, and soil erosion controls for temporary and permanent installations and utility relocations.
“We are in charge of surveying and care for things like water quality, stormwater drainage, and this requires construction observance throughout every commercial project we take on,” said REGA President Dan Rosenthal. “Construction observation can be the most critical service provided for any construction project. Full-time observation by our engineering professionals is the best defense against problems during and after construction. It’s crucial to ensure that management plans for water and drainage meet the needs of everything they affect, including lots and corners, roads, floodplains, and more.”
With more than 40 years of experience in surveying, REGA Engineering Group also provides site surveying, construction as-built surveying, and topographic surveying and construction staking. Their surveyors have broad experience in all facets of large and small projects, including private, commercial, and governmental, facility construction layout, roads, and utilities. The company has worked on many topographic surveying projects for Lincoln, Omaha, Auburn, Columbus, Falls City, Fremont, Nebraska City, and other communities throughout the Midwest.
REGA Engineering Group recently joined the Investigative Engineers Association Member Firm (I-ENG-A), a nationwide network of independently owned engineering firms that provide forensic investigative engineering services. Members of I-ENG-A provide services that investigate, document, test, and secure property/evidence, allowing accurate reporting for the property and casualty insurance industry. By joining the network, REGA Engineering Group now has access to I-ENG-A’s broad-based knowledge and skill of its other members, including forensic engineering training and a database of information that assists with comprehensive, cost-effective claims settlement. The new addition of expertise will provide a quicker turnaround time and fewer fees for REGA clients.
“The investigative engineers at REGA reconstruct the events that give rise to property, casualty, and liability claims,” Dan explained. “Services requested by the clients of investigative engineers include auto/component failure analysis, cause and origin, scope and damages, mitigation measures, subrogation claims, fire and arson investigation, structural analysis/review, traffic accident reconstruction, slip and fall analysis, product failure analysis, mold contamination investigation, earth movement analysis, and laboratory testing. Basically, we are the on-site problem solvers!”
Streamline Your Way to Savings
Sometimes, a remodeling project isn’t about construction, but savings. Streamline Energy Solutions (streamlineenergysolutions.com) has a team of energy-efficiency specialists who have the goal of saving you money by making changes to your building through air sealing, energy audits, insulation, solar attic fans, and duct sealing. They have a strong reputation for truly listening to clients’ needs and achieving the results they are looking for. Streamline’s qualified team will also ensure that your home or business meets code requirements, all with energy efficiency in mind.
“Planning an energy smart building during the design phase of your project is a strategy that will produce both a long-term return on investment and help ensure a comfortable environment,” said Streamline Co-founder and BPI-Certified Auditor Jen Keller. “Weatherization measures installed at the building stage will always be worth the investment. Knowing where to insulate during construction will help ensure a more energy efficient building.”
Streamline’s experienced technicians will ensure that all areas of a build—attic, walls, floor, crawl space, etc.—are insulated to the highest standards to ensure that codes are met. They can also help you install smart thermostats that will save an average of 10-12% on heating bills and about 15% on your cooling bills.
With a combined total of 16 years of experience in the industry, Streamline’s co-founders Jen Keller and Nathan Capps came together to provide a holistic approach to energy efficiency. Their energy auditing services, coupled with a variety of weatherization upgrades maximize your savings while minimizing your energy usage. Their core values are excellence, integrity, customer satisfaction, and responsibility, and they show in the host of tremendous reviews and five-star ratings they get from customer after customer.
If you find that your energy bills have increased or your employees or clients are too warm in your building, it’s important to realize that things like insulation codes change over time, and you may be experiencing the need for upgrades. Keeping your insulation updated will mean improved energy efficiency, reduced energy costs, the comfort of your family clients, and employees, and more.
Spruce Up Your Exterior
For businesses that are looking for a more historical, classic design to spruce up their building’s exterior, brick is always a stable choice—and has the big advantage of being low-maintenance. Established in 1881, Yankee Hill Brick works with local contractors to supply quality brick of all varieties and colors. Brick is an ideal material for siding and retaining walls and it continues to be a popular choice for its charming aesthetic. Yankee Hill produces its own clay mixes and high temperature firing kiln to produce a range of looks for their own brickwork. In addition to their own bricks, they also import a selection of bricks from other manufacturers, chosen to complement the local Nebraska market.
Yankee Hill Brick’s face brick is made using the highest quality materials and the most advanced manufacturing techniques. Their on-site mining facilities produce unique clay blends that allow them to produce a wide range of colors to fit any architectural design requirement. Face brick is used for its look, color, and texture to add a beautiful quality to certain buildings. Just a few of the many distinctive styles of face brick include the following:
- Standard face brick, available in numerous colors, notable for its smooth, sharp look.
- Tumble face brick, notable for a rugged look without sharp corners.
- Antique face brick, notable for a stone-like texture.
- Iron spot face brick, notable for a subtle, consistent texture of spots and marks.
The folks at Yankee Hill Brick pride themselves on offering only the best brick products, something contractors have learned and come to rely on. Their products are specified on many award-winning projects. The combination of quality, color, and pristine makes Yankee Hill Brick an attractive choice for architects and design-build first throughout Nebraska, the United States, and internationally.
When business growth or changes spur the need for reorganization or redesign of your space, don’t forget to consider remodeling as opposed to new construction. Sometimes, you can accomplish more change than you might think in your existing space. Fortunately, Lincoln is home to the full slate of reputable experts you could possibly need to get the job done—and done right. Reach out to these folks if you need some input or are ready to get going on your commercial remodeling project. They’ll help you from start to finish!