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What are some of the biggest struggles in construction?

Need better understanding on what common tasks to look follow to if i decided to pursuit in this type of occupations.

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Ed’s Answer

Wow, that's a pretty broad question when you consider that almost everything around us was "constructed" and there are different levels of participation and investment depending on the project. Lauren pointed out lost of concerns involved in the project management side of things and before that is even taken into account there is the engineering and architectural side of it entailing it's own set of skills and challenges. The general contractor, their subs and local code enforcement bring up the final "boots on the ground" phase consisting of a whole different set of challenges.

The first step for any construction is fulfilling a need and securing the funding. There may be a desperate need but no funding as with our crumbling infrastructure. The next step requires engineering, depending on the project may disciplines may be required. Typical commercial construction projects require an architect, civil, electrical, HVAC, fire alarms, sprinkler system, communications, plumbing, mill work, and many smaller details including ceiling, floors, paint and finishes. This engineering or "planning" phase can take a year or longer. At this point usually less than 10 people have been involved

The final step starts when a general contractor is hired for the project, The general contractor is like the head coach and the team explodes into the hundreds if not thousands at this point. The GC will take bids from all the subs that want to work on the project and selects them depending on price and ability. The GC will use this information to create a budget and a schedule, this part of the project could take up to another year to accomplish. The challenges for each subcontractor at this point is to have a work force that is skilled, capable and available. They also need to be able to secure the materials needed and a whole different part of the industry is involved with this. Each of the subs and the GC will then "pull permits" which is actually a fancy way of saying they notify the county, state or federal officials that they are going to start construction and reviews and inspections begin.

I hope this helps you understand that there are many people involved in construction and they all face their own unique challenges the one thing everyone shares in common is the satisfaction that comes from completing something tangible that everyone can be proud of.

Ed recommends the following next steps:

You could take drafting or AutoCAD courses in high school, college or online to get a feel for the design, and engineering side of construction
You could volunteer at something like Habitat for Humanity to get a good feel for the hands on side of construction
You could get a part time job at hardware store and get a feel for the logistics side of construction
You could go to your local code enforcement office and interview an inspector, they might even let you ride along.
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Lauren’s Answer

Currently, some of the biggest challenges in the construction industry are supply chain issues, material prices, and subcontractor labor. Due to increased freight/shipping costs, prices of materials have risen substantially (especially those that are sourced internationally) and lead times can be as long as nine months to a year on certain materials. This has significantly increased the budget and timeline of most projects. In addition, it is difficult to find reliable trade partners and subcontractors that also provide high quality work, which has a negative effect on general contractors; however, if you’re interested in learning a trade, you’ll have plenty of work in today’s market especially if you can be reliable (show up when needed), skilled (produce better quality work than your competitors), and reasonably priced. This could vary from market to market (this answer is based on the growth seen in Austin, TX). There’s a large need for skilled trades of all kinds for remodeling, new home building, and commercial building.

Lauren recommends the following next steps:

Make a list of all of the trades you’d be interested in learning.
Research what materials are used for each trade.
Research vendors that you could source materials from and analyze their costs and lead times.
Decide on a trade and learn the skills required through a trade school, available online/local trainings, or a company that offers apprenticeship.
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