What is a Design and Build Contractor?

In the traditional design-bid-build model used in the construction industry, the owner hires a designer on one side and a contractor on the other. Once the design phase is complete, they will invite bids from contractors for the actual construction of the final design.

Design and build is another type of contract that has become popular of late. In this type of contract, the project design and construction is undertaken by the same entity. Instead of 3 parties (owner-designer-contractor), there are only 2 entities involved.

In many cases, a design and build contractor is a general contractor who also leads the project design with a professional architect or engineer. Some design and build firms have professionals from both sides – design and construction. Other general contractors employ architects or designers to provide design services in-house, so to speak. In some cases, a design firm may partner with a construction firm for a specific project or time frame. Many such contracts allow the owner to take the design plans and go elsewhere for actual construction.

Advantages of Hiring a Design and Build Contractor

  • There are quite a few benefits in using design-build contracts for projects: The owner has to deal with only a single contract and one firm. There is no back and forth between the owner, designer, and contractor to haggle over details, costs, and schedules.
  • It saves a lot of time. The contractor doesn’t have to wait for the architect to complete the design before starting construction. For a small project, design and construction can commence at the same time. A larger project can be divided into phases with the design and construction of each phase happening simultaneously.
  • It allows the contractor and specialty subcontractors to propose better solutions to specific elements during the design stage itself. They don’t have to wait until construction begins to make changes.

That’s not to say there are no drawbacks. Sometimes, the contractor may cut corners (design-wise) to complete the project on time or within budget. They may also make design decisions in areas they have no experience with. However, the pros outweigh the cons for the most part. It’s no surprise that the number of design and build contracts has been trending upward in the last few decades. They’re used in many countries as they reduce the risks for owners and completion time of projects. If you’re starting a new construction project or remodeling an existing building, call us at 408-295-2182 for an estimate.

What Is the First Thing You Should Look for In A Residential Plumbing Company?

Plumbers are crucial when it comes to water supplies and maintenance of drainage in residential homes. Residential plumbing companies incorporate plumbers that are highly skilled, qualified and with vast experience so that they are able to meet the demands of their clients. Residential plumbers should have a professional clients relation since they interact mostly with their valuable properties.

Here are some of the key elements to focus on before hiring a residential plumbing company.

Qualifications

Just like other career fields, skilled plumbers are required to undergo through various education system and some industry approvals before they can start the actual plumbing. With the advancement of the internet and technology, fraudulent activities have significantly increased. Thus, it is crucial to check with the necessary authorities if the plumbing company has been registered and whether their staff are licensed.
Never go for a unique individual due to the chances of fraudulent activities. Go for a popular and registered residential plumbing firm such that when there are any issues, you can easily access their premises.

Reputation and Customer Reviews

A company’s rating is dominantly determined by the nature of customer feedback and the industrial reputation. If the firm has a substantial number of positive feedback, it means the previous clients were satisfied. This translates that they provide quality services as they describe.
Currently, you are able to navigate the company’s website, review their feedback and see their ratings, thanks to the advancement in technology. It is crucial to examine customer reviews, reputation and the ratings of a residential plumbing firm before opting for any.

Experiences

The level of experience determines their skills and levels of competence. A firm that has been in existence for a long time cannot be compared with beginners. To begin with, they have worked with a couple of clients and have solved numerous water and sewerage problems. Thus, you will be comfortable they will handle your property in a professional and competent manner.

Cost

Always calculate your budget before opting for any residential plumbing company. Ensure they are flexible with your budget and can accommodate several means of payment.

Don’t go for those companies that underbid. They do so because they do not have experiences, competence and the required personnel to execute their work. Consider a firm with reasonable cost. Call us today 408-295-2182

Who To Call (And Why) For Water Pressure Issues On Your Commercial Property

When you’re the property manager of a single -story or multi-story commercial building in and around San Jose, it’s important to take water pressure problems seriously. Normal water pressure ranges from 40psi to 80psi. If you have a sudden drop in water pressure from the lower to the upper floors, your boost pumps could be broken or you could have numerous leaks in your plumbing system.

Why You Should Call a Plumber for Your Water Pressure Problems

While low water pressure may not seem like a big deal, it can be disastrous for your building, depending on the cause. Common causes of low water pressure include:

  • Boost pump failures
  • Incorrect pressure switch setting
  • Malfunctioning or old water fixtures
  • Numerous small water leaks
  • Pipe corrosion
  • Pressure regulator failure
  • Problems with water valves
  • Problems with the city water supply

While it is possible that your water pressure problems are due to low pressure within the city’s water supply system, it is unlikely. It is more likely that you have a problem with the water supply system in your building, and if the problem turns out to be leaks or corroded plumbing pipes, you could be headed for a pipe blowout, which can cause extensive water damage, including mold growth and the need to replace drywall, carpets, and fixtures. If you’ve noticed a drop in water pressure or received numerous complaints about low water pressure, it’s time to call a professional plumbing contractor to evaluate your system and make the appropriate repairs.

Get Your Water Pressure Problem Solved with Help From O.C. McDonald

At O.C. McDonald, we have the expertise to diagnose your low water pressure and recommend the appropriate solutions to restore the pressure in your water lines. We can test the water pressure in your potable water lines to determine if your pressure is low, and we can pressurize your lines to determine if there are any hidden leaks. Once we’ve diagnosed the causes of your low water pressure, we can recommend the appropriate repairs and make those repairs, including replacing old, corroded and leaking plumbing pipes and adding or replacing pressure regulators and boost pumps.

To get help with your plumbing system and to diagnose the causes of your low water pressure, call us today at 408-295-2182

Best Strategy in Choosing a Contractor

It is vital that you comprehend the best strategy of narrowing down on the most reliable contractor once you have a particular project that desires professional input. Choosing the best mechanical contractor can be a very difficult errand. It is our pleasure to provide some basic guidelines in selecting a contractor that will make the process easier.

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Next Project

Often, people selectively choose an item from a store based on unique qualities necessary for efficient use. The same rule applies when you are choosing a contractor. Selecting a professional contractual worker holds an equal emphasis as buying standard equipment. For a device to function optimally, it requires proper installation and routine upkeep. If you resort to poor mechanical contractor selection policies, you expose yourself to risk. Remember that not all contractors are great and have mastered their skills. Initiating thorough research may mean the difference between expert input and getting ripped off by a quack.

Tips You Must Know in Selecting a Contractor

The expense of repairing and maintaining an improperly installed HVAC system can create a massive negative impact on your company’s profits. Ascertain that your system is installed appropriately from the beginning. All contractors must possess a license that allows them to practice in their region. Accreditation from the relevant regulatory body ascertains that they have adhered to all the necessary legal statutes and professional qualifications. Expert contractors usually go through certifications processes that are approved, and it is only through a license that you can be confident that they have completed the course. One of the surest strategies in knowing if you are settling on the best is via contacting previous clients. Based on their first-hand data on services delivered, they are going to offer you great insight on whether or not to hire the contractor. Contractors charge differently based on industry experience and expertise. It is better to hire a costly contractor that has great experience rather than an amateur. Striking a good balance between quality of work and price ought to be your target.

Ensure that the contractor:

• Possesses knowledge of different systems from various manufacturers

• Have excellent customer care and respond well to your needs

• Don’t possess a lot of legal troubles

• Offer you a list of references

After you have considered these ideas, you can have a good clue of the contractor to select.  Get in touch with us to discuss any tasks that you might have that require the expertise of a mechanical contractor.  Call 408-295-2182

Finding The Right Plumbers For In Depth Pipe Inspection

There is never a good time to experience a plumbing problem. In fact, most people experience a plumbing problem when they are least expecting it. Due to major strides made in the area of plumbing, an in-depth pipe inspection can be performed to detect and diagnose the source of the plumbing problem. Where plumbers once had to guess and devote a lot time to semi-productive troubleshooting, professional plumbers can now use video inspection to accurately resolve any plumbing problems.

What is an in-depth pipe inspection?

An in-depth pipe inspection involves the use of a camera line being used to video the internal plumbing lines within a home. The line inspection saves the plumber time in its ability to capture key information to make a solid determination about the problem. The line inspection also prevents money from being spent toward unnecessary repairs that will do little to solve the problem. The video is used to inspect the plumbing lines to identify any vulnerabilities with the plumbing.

Why do you need an in-depth pipe inspection?

An in-depth pipe inspection can identify more than just blockages. It can uncover structural issues with the lines. A cracked pipe or a problem with tree root invasion are only visible using a video camera pipe inspection. A pipe inspection can also help determine whether or not another problem affecting the sewer lines is imminent, giving the homeowner the opportunity to be proactive in addressing the matter. The process identifies both the problem and the root cause of the problem. When repairs are suggested by the plumber, the most accurate information is used to make recommendations.

What can be seen?

The video inspection can be revealing, uncovering a multitude of risks with the plumbing. Roots that have penetrated the pipe leading to drainage problems can be detected with video camera inspections. Improperly placed sewer lines are also detected during the process. The quality of the materials used in the piping can also be analyzed to gauge the life expectancy of the plumbing lines. Changes in the positioning of the pipes due to shifting may be the potential root cause for drainage problems, and this could be detected by video inspection. The workmanship of the installers can be evaluated during the inspection process.

A plumber can provide preliminary guidance on steps to take to resolve minor plumbing problems. Identifying the underlying root cause of any issue is something that can be uncovered through the use of in-depth video camera inspections. Inspections can identify the problem, extent of the problem, future risks, and structural issues that contribute to plumbing problems.

Call us for help today 408-295-2182

What To Look For In a New Construction Contractor

It’s a beautiful day and as you settle into your morning routine at the office, sipping on your second cup of java your office line rings. A pipe has burst in the lobby restroom and water is everywhere. The company’s largest client is coming by for a lunch presentation and time is of the essence. If you’re prepared, you’ll have your construction contractor on speed dial. If not, you’re going to have to move quickly to find a reliable and reputable firm that can handle the situation stat. Don’t put yourself or your business in that situation.

Identifying a new construction contractor doesn’t need to be daunting. Hopefully, you’ve not waited for a plumbing or HVAC crisis to look for a new construction company to work with. If you’re a large corporation or small to medium sized business, the same evaluation strategy applies.

Key Qualities to Look for in a New Construction Contractor

Company history. The length of time a company has been in business says a lot. There are construction contractors that come and go. Look for a business that has a solid history. Factor in how many years they’ve been in business and if they’re family owned, even better. A construction contracting company that has generations of experts behind it is a find.
Reputation. If the company has been in business for years, they must be doing something right. Take a look at their reputation. What are customers saying about their work? Do they get the job done in a professional manner? Are they dependable? If they’re keeping their clients happy and expanding their business, give them another positive check on your evaluation list.
Expertise. Your construction contractor should be well-versed in the basic mechanics of everything from piping, gas fittings, new and old construction, to HVAC and more. They should be able to handle it all. You want to use an expert firm. One that keeps up with proper licensing and training for all crew members and leads their industry when it comes to cutting edge technology.
Safety. Safety first should go without saying, but this needs to be taken into consideration. You want a new construction contractor that put this as a top responsibility.

Ready you ready to make your move? We can help, call us today at (408) 295-2182

How to Check the License of Contractors in California

Anytime you are considering having work done at your home or office, it’s important to make sure the contractor you choose is fully licensed. It’s easy to assume a contractor would not operate without a valid license; however, you might be surprised at how often contractors continue to work without the proper licensing. Fortunately, checking for a license is incredibly simple, and it can be done with just a few pieces of information.
To check for a current contractor’s license in California, simply visit the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) website. Once there, you’ll need to enter the business name, individual’s name, or license number to be shown a list of companies matching the information given. For each company listed, it will also show the contractor’s name, license number, city of business, and current status of their license.
Once you have found the contractor you’re looking for, click on the license number listed. This will give you further information on the contractor such as:

  • Business address
  • Entity type
  • Date of license issue and expiration
  • Bonding information
  • Details on their insurance

Why Checking a Contractor’s License is Important

While this may seem like a lot of effort, hiring a contractor who does not have an active license can cause serious problems for you down the road. If your contractor is unlicensed, you could personally be stuck with any repair costs due to issues with the work. It’s also in your best interest to verify that the contractor is both bonded and properly insured. Being bonded basically ensures the contractor’s customers are covered financially if the contractor’s work causes damage or is otherwise done improperly. Verifying that the contractor carries insurance that is adequate for covering your project is also a smart move. Of course, a reliable contractor will have all of this information handy for customers from the start, but it never hurts to verify since this can impact you greatly if they falsify any of the information.

Selecting the right contractor for your job can seem stressful, but it is worth researching to ensure everything is done properly. For a business you know you can trust, O.C. McDonald is here to help! Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 to get started on your next project.

Situation Where You Would Need Emergency Plumbing

There are a few different situations where emergency plumbing services would be needed. But probably the most popular would be when you have a flood on your hands, and you don’t know where it’s coming from. A flood is not a DIY project because you need to get the problem fixed pronto before any lasting damage occurs. The best option, when you need plumbing services in a hurry, is to call a professional plumbing contractor to resolve this problem quickly, and with fewer hassles.

When a flood occurs in your home, it’s usually because of a leak, that’s been hidden somewhere inside your house. The leak just got worse, and now water is seeping through a wall, or floor, and causing a flood to happen, and a mess to take over. The key is finding exactly where that leak is and getting it fixed right away.

This is where emergency plumbing services come in handy. Getting someone out to your home in a flash, and getting the problem leak fixed will prevent damage to your walls, floors, and foundation. Damage can also be done to furniture and carpeting as well if they are located where the flooding happens to be.

Emergency Plumbing Services

When a job is urgent, a professional plumber will get out to you quickly, no matter what time of day it may be. They’ll perform a thorough job in deducing where the leak is coming from and they’ll come up a plan of action to resolve the problem in the best way possible.

Often, if the flood is in the basement, the culprit could be one of the following:

  • Leaking water heater
  • Leaking water softener
  • cracked or broken drain pipe

Once the plumber has pinpointed the issue, they can determine what repairs should be given to alleviate you of the flood. Whether it’s a small repair job, or if it involves replacing a pipe or the water heater; you’re in good hands with a licensed professional who is knowledgeable about these types of plumbing issues.

If a flood occurs in your home, don’t try to tackle it yourself. Contact someone who does this kind of thing for a living. Get the job done right and avoid the possible repairs you could’ve been faced with. If the situation gets out of hand, you could end up paying tons more than you should’ve if you simply went with a professional, to begin with. Call us at 408-295-2182 any time of the day or night. We’re here for you.

How to Choose Between Good and Bad Plumbers in San Jose

There are many good and bad plumbers working in San Jose, so it is important to spot the good ones. You want to pick out a professional company before you need assistance so that you can quickly call them in the case of an emergency. Do your homework and find the best choice for your unique needs. A good company will be able to handle all of your plumbing concerns quickly, safely, and for a reasonable price.

What to Look for in a Good Plumbing Company:

  • Licensed professionals
  • Insured business
  • Experience
  • Good reputation
  • Skilled professionals with great customer service

Compare Good and Bad Plumbers

A bad company may be run by people who are not licensed. You always want to go with a professional when it comes to something as important as your plumbing needs. If minor issues aren’t fixed properly, they can turn into large problems. Licensed professionals will have the skills and tools needed to do the job right the first time.

A bad plumbing choice will be a company that has no insurance. You want to have peace of mind that your home is going to be safe when you hire a company to handle your plumbing needs. Be sure to only hire a company that is insured.

Experience is something to look for too. While a bad plumbing company may not have a lot of experience, a good choice will have years of experience. You want to know that your plumbing company has helped others in the same situation as you so that they can use their experience to quickly resolve your issues.

It is important to go with a plumbing company that has a good reputation. You want to know that your plumber will have the skills needed to complete the job well. It is important to hire a company that cares about customer service and that will clean up after themselves. Find out beforehand what type of plumbing company you are going to be hiring by researching what their past customers have to say. Avoid companies with negative comments, and go with a company that has mostly favorable reviews.

When you are looking for a quality company, we can help. Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 to learn more about our services or to make an appointment.

How Quickly Can Ductwork Fabrication Be Done

When adding a new unit or expanding the additional system, ductwork replacement may be necessary. The process requires careful planning and coordination, so this alone could affect how long a system takes to build. Ductwork fabrication can completed in a matter of days depending on several factors.

Factors affecting the amount of time it takes to complete a system

Design of system-The design of the system is a factor. A more complex design may require more planning and labor. Intricate planning may be required if there are efficiency requirements that must be made. Repairs are almost unavoidable whenever a system is being upgraded. There may be multiple temperature controls that have to be incorporated into the design, which affects complexity of the overall system. If additional supply ductworks are needed than originally required, then the size of the system is affected.

Size of the project-The size of the project may vary. For example, there may be multiple stories to account for in the planning, which could affect the amount of labor that could be required. The square footage of each room affects the length of the project.

Improvement or replacement-If the system upgrade involves simply replacing the existing unit with a similar one, then there will be little changes to the design in most cases. This means that ductwork may need moderate improvements to resolve leaks or vulnerable areas.

Quality of existing ductwork-If the ductwork is aging and failing in multiple areas, then the ductwork has to be replaced. If there are energy efficiency concerns, then the ductwork should be replaced.

Permitting-Agencies may affect the timeline. The permit application may take longer to process if working with a particular agency. The duct installation project timeline could be affected if there are any delays in processing the application.

Accessibility of the ductwork-If the ductwork isn’t accessible, then the project will take longer to complete. The ductwork can be replaced quickly if it is very accessible.

How long does it take to install a ductwork?

The ductwork project takes between 1 to 4 days. The ductwork is mostly impacted by the size of the project. If there are no unexpected challenges, then the system will take only a few days to install. In some cases, the installation can be completed in one day.

New ductwork may be required if a new HVAC system is being installed. Multiple variables affecting the timeline of the project such as the design of the system and the size of the project can also affect the overall cost of the system. Most installation projects can be completed in a matter of days.

Still have questions?  Call O.C. McDonald today (408) 295-2182