Why Should Contractors Be Licensed, Insured and Bonded?

Many industries require certification for workers or subcontractors, and the construction industry is no exception.  The essential items to look for when hiring a contractor for any major construction project include licensing, bonding, and adequate insurance.  

WHAT DO THESE TERMS MEAN?

The most common qualification is being fully insured. Having an insured contractor means that the contractor has adequate insurance protecting them, their workers, the equipment, and even the work product in case of an emergency or disaster. This guarantees that if something goes wrong, the contractor will have the funds to cover worker health costs and to repair any damages, lost materials, or lost work.  

Licensing and bonding should also be required for any contractors you are hiring. Licensing is a permit issued by the state to undertake a particular type of work, certifying that the company has met the requirements needed to operate as a contractor. Each state will have their unique requirements for licensure and each type of contractor will have a different type of license. For someone who works in multiple areas, there are general contractor licenses that will cover multiple requirements.   

Bonding means the contractor has purchased a surety bond. This bond is insurance for the owner of the property. The bond provides liability protection.  If the contractor fails to complete a job as required or contracted, the bond will provide compensation to the property owner. As examples, if a contractor leaves a job incomplete, fails to complete the work on time, or otherwise damages the project or property, then the owner will receive restitution.  

WHY ARE THESE CRITICAL WHEN SELECTING A CONTRACTOR?

A licensed, bonded and insured contractor is a contractor that is following the law. Because licensing is required to be a contractor, an unlicensed contractor is breaking the law.  They are more likely to provide less than acceptable work, and may possibly fail to hit code.  Moreover, the owner or project manager runs the risk of giving up their right to make warranty claims due to their use of unlicensed labor. Many states will provide assistance if a project is completed with shoddy workmanship, but because an unlicensed contractor does not meet the state’s requirements for work, the state may assume the owner or project manager knew this and can use it as a basis to deny assistance. 

Additionally, an uninsured contractor may leave a property owner or project manager open to liability. A licensed contractor is usually required to have worker’s compensation insurance, but someone who is unlicensed may have no insurance at all. This means that if one of their workers, or another contractor, is hurt during the project, the property owner may be expected to cover the additional costs.

Taking the time to find and hire a licensed, insured, and bonded contractor can not only ensure that your project is completed on time and to code, but it may also prevent legal or financial penalties should anything go wrong. As a licensed, insured, and bonded contractor, UBS works hard to ensure that your project is completed to the highest quality. Contact us at 303 – 466 – 7200 to learn more.

 

Using Acoustic Ceilings to Mitigate Sound

Most office spaces are crowded with people. Any layout, from cubicles, to open floor plans, will be bringing a group of people together within a finite space. As workers make calls, write reports, type emails, walk on floors above, meet clients and print letters, space becomes animated and at times, noisy.  That’s where acoustic ceilings come in.

How Do Acoustic Ceilings Work?

In commercial construction, acoustic ceilings are used to dampen sound. Sounds can come from workspaces, but can also come from HVAC and pipes run between the floor above and the acoustical ceiling. Properly installed acoustic ceilings can absorb and attenuate sounds coming from adjacent spaces. That means that a conversation in a conference room is less likely to carry over to an office located next to it.

The ceilings do this by limiting the ability of the sound waves to travel through the ceiling to other spaces. The sound will bounce off surfaces until it either dissipates or finds a route to a new location. Acoustic ceilings limit this process by absorbing sound waves, causing them to dissipate faster and giving them less opportunity to reflect off of flat surfaces like walls and glass.

Think of a racquetball court. 3 solid walls and 1 glass wall cause the sound waves of the ball to reverberate until they dissipate, and the glass provides no insulation to the noise. This allows the echoes to not only bounce around the original court but also the surrounding courts and hallways. If one of those walls was made of an acoustic material then the sound wouldn’t reverberate to the same degree and would dissipate quicker, preventing the auditory pollution from affecting the rest of the area.

In order to accomplish their dampening duties, the tiles in acoustic ceilings are usually made of mineral fiber.  However, other materials, like fiberglass, are often available as well. Each material will have a specified level of dampening capability. These levels are designated by the Ceiling Attenuation Class or CAC of the ceiling panel. The higher the CAC the better the material is at dampening sound. Mineral fiber has one of the highest CACs and is cost-effective, which is why it is such a common material for acoustic ceilings.

How to Know What Type of Acoustic Ceiling is Right for Your Job

Understanding where to put an acoustic ceiling, what type of tiles to use, or how best to hang the tiles is not an easy task. Our project managers are able to work with you to help you understand all your options and to ensure that you know exactly what will work best for you and your needs.

Contact United Builders Services for a quote on your building retrofit or new construction at 303.466.7200

The Importance of Corporate Involvement in the Community and Giving Back

At UBS we live with the belief that it is our responsibility to use our expertise and experience to give back to our Colorado community. We do this, not just because we can, but because we understand just how important it is to contribute to our community, and for corporate responsibility to be present in our day to day lives.

Giving Back is About More Than Feeling Good

One of our largest social contributions was assisting the victims of the 2013 flooding through restoring and renovating homes. The flooding, which swept through Colorado, destroying, roads, businesses, and homes, left many people without their livelihood and in need of help. We were happy to step in and work with the city of Boulder to help with rebuilding efforts.

While this was a powerful experience, and one which we were glad to be a part of, it was also a teaching moment. We were given the opportunity first hand to see how important it is for corporate entities to give back to the communities they call home. We have been a part of the Colorado community for over 2 decades, and providing the aid needed during this time of chaos and confusion was an essential part of giving back to the community.

Why Should Corporate Entities Give Back?

Many corporations have a philanthropic division, creating partnerships to provide financial and volunteer opportunities. Doing so is an essential part of many companies’ outreach to the public. Companies can often feel monolithic, but through service to the community, they can provide the same care that nonprofits, churches and community members can for one another.

There are also internal benefits for companies to give back. Investors like seeing a company with a community outreach mindset because it shows a dedication to their employees and their customers. While investors want to see a return on their investment they also want to know that their money is being used responsibly and that it creates a benefit to society.

Additionally, good social policy can help employee engagement, creativity, and personal growth, which can lead to a better work output and happiness. Employees like to feel good about their jobs. Providing them with the opportunity to give back allows them to feel good about themselves and their work place, which can directly impact their creative and collaborative skills.

How to Give Back.

Every company will give back in their own way. We found that using our expertise in construction was the right skill at the right time to help people reestablish their lives. We encourage everyone to consider ways that your organization can provide community outreach and support that comes from your skill and position in the market.  Giving back can empower both a successful work environment and a great social image.

How To Tell If A Metal Stud Framer Will Be Right For Your Job

Because of its importance to a construction project, picking a reliable company or subcontractor to handle the installation of metal stud framing is essential. However, understanding how to pick a provider can be difficult. Knowing what to look for in a contractor will smooth the way for a successful project.

Warning Signs

Every installer should have a portfolio of projects they’ve worked on. Being able to look at that portfolio can help a team leader, designer, or architect learn what the applicants’ previous work has looked like. It can also help with seeing if there have been problems with previous projects. Did the walls on a project buckle, break, or bend? That installer may have missed placing interior studs into the frame. Did the drywall break down after a flood? They may not have properly measured and placed the frames, resulting in greater flood damage. Were there repeated problems with electrical or communications wiring? They may have been using materials with sharp edges that damaged the wiring. Did doors or windows not fit in the framing as the blueprint said they should? The installer might have neglected to properly measure the studs before installation.

One of these issues alone is not a reason to doubt the capabilities of an installer, but a history of repeated issues is a cause for concern. Checking the contractor’s history is a critical step in determining if an installer will be a good fit for a project.

Other Things You Can Do

It is also important to check what materials an installer plans to use. Each manufacturer has their own warranty, and you should review the materials specifications and warranty when evaluating the installer. Understanding the installer’s process and their choice in materials is important to making sure that their work will be completed correctly and will stand the test of time.

You should also check how your installers hire subcontractors or workmen, and how they handle managing their teams, to ensure that they will work well within the ecosystem of your project. If a team has poor management or brings on unqualified labor, it can be detrimental to not only the framing installation, but also to the installation of wiring, heating, plumbing, and flooring.  Like a machine, if one component is out of place, then the rest can quickly be brought to a grinding halt.

For more info on our services, our history, and our expertise, or to see our commitment to the completion of each job, contact us today.