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Over the past few years, there have been frequent discussions with our clients related to what we are seeing in the market when it comes to material and subcontractor pricing.
Since the pandemic, material pricing has been an extremely volatile part of our industry. These changing conditions have required everyone to adopt various strategies to get deals done. These strategies range from forms of procurement to combating escalation and much more.
As you can see in the table below from US Bureau of Labor Statistics, pricing is up substantially from where it was pre-pandemic. Overall project costs are up over 34% depending on type of construction. The table also indicates that continuous inflation has had a heavy impact on construction costs. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dollar had an average inflation rate of about 5.53% per year between 2020 and today. The result has been a...Read More >
Holland, OH, June 1, 2023 - The Douglas Company, a recognized industry-leading general contractor in commercial construction, proudly announces the promotion of Bruce R. Douglas to President of the company, effective July 1, 2023.
The Douglas Company was founded in 1976 by Bruce’s grandfather, Bruce Douglas, and is headquartered in Holland, Ohio, with a second office in Orlando, Florida. Bruce takes over the position from Peter Douglas, who has been President since 1992. In these 31 years, the Company has grown to be a respected national leader in senior living and multifamily construction, completing more than 13,000 units of senior living and 11,000 units of multifamily. “I’m excited for the future with Bruce and our dedicated leadership team. They, along with our other associate partners, bring tremendous energy and ability to serve our clients into the future. We have planned for this process for several years to ensure the transition...Read More >
Holland, Ohio, May 9, 2023 – The Douglas Company proudly announces the completion of HarborChase of Shaker Heights, a new assisted living and memory care community located within one of Cleveland’s most affluent suburbs, just eight miles from downtown. The Douglas Company served as general contractor for the $22.2 million community.
Co-Developers, Confluent Senior Living and Harbor Retirement Associates, selected RDL Architects to design the three-story, 108-unit community. The 106,698 square foot HarborChase is comprised of 80 assisted living units and 28 memory care units for individuals with dementia-related conditions, with every unit boasting high-end finishes. This extravagant facility offers vaulted ceilings upon entering and has a variety of amenities for residents to enjoy, including a commercial laundry service, full-service commercial kitchen, exhibit kitchen complete with a pizza oven, virtual activity room, two salons, bistro, bar, a large wellness room, private and formal dining rooms, artist studio...Read More >
Holland, Ohio, April 20, 2023 – The Douglas Company, a general contractor leader, is excited to announce our third multifamily project with owner, Pennrose, LLC. The Douglas Company will oversee the Lincoln & Gilbert Family Housing development, a $9.9 million affordable housing community in Cincinnati, Ohio. Completion is expected in April 2024.
Located in Walnut Hills, the project site was cleared of vacant and dilapidated structures to make room for the 51,847-square-foot development. Lincoln & Gilbert Family Housing will create 50 affordable housing units for individuals and families, with one, two, and three bedrooms. Designed by New Republic Architecture, the buildings will offer a modern look with excellent amenities including a community room, laundry room, on-site management, community spaces, and parking.
“The Douglas Company is proud to continue our work with Pennrose to bring quality living spaces that enrich the communities of Cincinnati,” said Tyler Stout, project manager at The Douglas...Read More >
When it comes to anchoring building components in wood-framed structures, there are two primary options to consider: conventional hold-down hardware and new tie-down offerings from either QuickTie or CLP. While both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, the trend in the framing world seems to be pushing more toward the new tie-down systems.
Conventional hold-down hardware typically involves using screws, bolts, straps, and lots of nails to secure the hardware to the framing components. This can be an effective method, but it can also be labor-intensive and time-consuming, especially when dealing with larger or more complex wood-framed structures. In addition, the use of traditional hardware can sometimes lead to damage or deformation of the material being held down, especially if excessive force or nails are applied or installation is sloppy. Also, traditional hardware has little flexibility on tolerances and does nothing to address wood shrinkage and building settlement.
Quick tie...Read More >
Active adult or age-restricted housing continues to experience strong growth, while multifamily housing development is showing signs of slowing. The active adult market hasn’t yet been flooded by national developers, leaving opportunities for real estate investors and developers who want to enter this exciting market. Active adult housing has experienced year-over-year growth every year since 2012 without any signs of slowing down, and with Baby Boomers beginning to retire and downsize, now is the perfect time to consider active adult.
Nearly all of the approximately 75 million Baby Boomers are already over age 55. As Baby Boomers begin to retire, many are looking to downsize and start a new lifestyle. However; most are not ready for assisted living or traditional senior living communities. Today’s seniors are looking for simpler lifestyles featuring single-story floor plans with little to no maintenance. Community amenities like walking trails, clubhouses, and activities are located close to...Read More >
This year marks 10 years in the industry for me, which on one hand feels like 20 years, and on the other, it feels like just yesterday I was graduating college. I was recently asked “What do you enjoy about construction?” so this made me take a minute to reflect on the past 10 years.
Honestly, the day-to-day in construction is grueling. As general contractors, we are focused on keeping the project moving so we are always dealing with resolving issues. Once you solve the problem you are working on, it’s on to the next one. This process repeats really until the project is complete. Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle but that is just the nature of the beast.
So to answer what I enjoy about construction, I was drawn to the process it takes and the impact it has on so many different people. The most enjoyable part of...Read More >
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Twenty years ago everyone would ask me why I didn’t do development on a personal basis. Development is different from construction. I understand the risks of construction, but I don’t understand those of development very well. So I would Forest Gump my way through it, thinking “Stupid is as stupid does,” knowing I am not an expert in development. It was meant to add humility and levity, not to intimate that those who do development are stupid. A better quote would have been from Clint Eastwood, who said “A man’s got to know his limitations.” I did, and I do.
About fifteen years ago a good client and friend asked if I wanted to invest in a project he was developing and we were building, so I did on my own, not as The Douglas Company. I have since invested personally in several projects, always as a relatively small percentage, with...Read More >
Holland, Ohio, 2023 February 9 – The Douglas Company and owner, Kaplan Development Group, celebrated the completion of the $12.6 million All American Assisted Living at Enfield. Located in Enfield, Connecticut, this new community offers assisted living and memory care services for older adults. This is the eighth development The Douglas Company has managed as the general contractor for the Kaplan Development Group.
Designed by EGA Architects, All American Assisted Living at Enfield features 112 residences in a spacious 55,992 square-foot living and communal space. Impressive in-house amenities include a salon, beauty parlor, bistro, media room, and an interior courtyard. The building is wood-framed and constructed on a slab on grade over a standard spread footer/stem wall. The exterior is finished with CertainTeed vinyl siding, including lap boards and “cedar” shakes, with a mix of EPDM and asphalt shingle roofing.
“The Douglas Company team is proud to bring the Kaplan Development Group projects to life...Read More >
This week basketball practice started for my son’s 1st-grade team, The Clippers, whom I get the opportunity to coach. At first glance, outside of the very dissimilar physical differences, I thought I was in one of our weekly subcontractor progress meetings. Four kids locked in and focused on having a productive practice. One kid did not want to be there, two kids wanted to complain about everything, two showed up for the snack at the end of practice and one kid showed up 10 minutes late. Yes, this season will be the constant herding of cats but then I laughed, went home, and told my wife I do this every day. Our job as the general contractor is to take the constant chaos and charter a path for everyone to follow. Below are the eight principles The Clippers are focused on this season followed by a description of how each...Read More >
Thanks to the surge in attention to construction technology over the last few years, our once dark and analog industry has benefited from many tools that help produce higher quality projects more efficiently. Here are some of the solutions The Douglas Company is making a focus this year:
- Scheduling Software - Supply chain issues and workforce shortages are expected to continue in 2023, and without a detailed and outstanding project schedule any project is going to suffer from inefficiency and lost time. As schedules get more complicated, tools that help understand their data and the effects of one task on another. The Douglas Company uses SmartPM, a web-based tool that tracks changes between schedule versions, availability of float, compression, and overall health of a schedule. This gives our project managers more information to help prioritize work on-site and focus on the right work areas.
- Project Photography - Pictures tell a thousand words,... Read More >
Some of the best teams in sports history had some Hall of Fame individual players on them. But if you don’t have a collaborative group working toward the same goal and carrying their weight, finding success can be elusive.
The same goes for preconstruction planning and execution. Owners/developers first need to align with the best partners/teammates they can regarding design, engineering, construction, operations, etc. Best practices dictate having as many members of the development team as possible present for O/A/C calls. When this happens everyone is up to speed on what their deliverables are and when they are due; decision-making is more efficient; brainstorming resolutions to hurdles is more productive and it also makes the next call more efficient without backtracking on items that have already been discussed. Preconstruction coordination should not be done in a vacuum. When we see that not all the key team members are present on...Read More >
A recent article shared in Construction Dive contained some great information we wanted to share. Just when it seems like we are all exhausted with pricing news, more comes available that pulls us right back in. The article features five charts that give some indication of the state of construction today, and where it might head. Take the time to read it ̶ it’s worth it ̶ then take a look at our commentary below.
From our standpoint, we are seeing the following on these issues:
- Architectural Billings - Our design partners are still quite busy in certain areas and sectors, particularly multifamily, yet we do know firms that have already incurred staff reductions. This is an index we watch closely.
- Construction Backlog - We have had a record backlog in 2022 like many contractors, and talk of our trade partners becoming more available hasn’t come yet - Especially the specialty trade... Read More >
Have you found yourself saying “It’s just not like it used to be”? I hear this a lot lately and if I am being honest, I have said it a couple of times myself. It seems like challenges just keep on coming. First, we had the Covid lockdowns, then the lumber shortage, now inflation, and as I write this we are on the brink of the next crisis…the rail line strikes. One thing is for sure, it’s NOT how it used to be.
But that is why I love construction. It’s never the same. If I wanted to do the same thing day in and day out I would find another occupation. New challenges are what make us grow and the ones who can adapt are the ones who will succeed.
No two projects are alike. It doesn’t matter if it’s senior living, multifamily, or commercial construction. It doesn’t even matter if...Read More >
Holland, Ohio, November 29, 2022 – John Arthur Flats located in Cincinnati, Ohio is the first LGBTQ+ friendly 55+ affordable senior housing community in the city of Cincinnati. The modern building contains 57 units offering studio, and 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. The Douglas Company was selected as the general contractor for the $9.4 million development. This is the second project working with developer, Pennrose, LLC.
New Republic Architecture created a unique design with charcoal metal panels and a custom brick blend for the exterior. The 50,000-square-foot space consists of a 3-story building with elevator service. Impressive amenities include a fitness center, large community room, wellness center, on-site laundry room, a dog park, and an outdoor terrace. On-site social and medical services geared toward LGBTQ+ needs are also available to residents.
“We are proud to be part of this collaboration with the Northside’s development arm, Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation...Read More >
Developers understand the many reasons construction projects get delayed. Financial challenges can bring a project to a standstill in the face of interest rate increases and material and equipment price volatility. There is also the ongoing challenge of finding sufficient manpower to get the job done and the weather is a factor here in the Midwest.
In the current economic environment, you may consider delaying your construction project. But before you make that decision, consider the compelling reasons to forge ahead. Being a developer is always risky and challenging. With the volatility affecting the industry today, it is important for developers to thoughtfully proceed, as opposed to delaying projects. Some perceived challenges can actually present opportunities.
Longer lead times can provide greater flexibility, which enables you to source building materials at the best possible cost. Lead times for many construction materials remain longer than normal, so think months versus weeks. Lead times...Read More >