7.09.2018 #fuelme | Twin Cities web site connects contractors and subs, Sonoma County builds faster, Harvey created hiccup in Houston home construction, Construction digs drones

Here’s a quick glance around the web, bringing you a taste of the news you need to know this week.


Twin Cities man is matchmaker for subs and contractors.

One Minnesota man is trying to help subcontractors and contractors in the Twin Cities find each other. His new web site, WorkMand, posts projects for subcontractors to bid on free of charge. The fee, a commission cut taken by the site, only comes out when a subcontractor wins a job. Kind of like a LinkedIn for construction, WorkMand features subcontractor profiles with documentation that helps contractors build trust with subs.

New home construction in Houston slowed down significantly after Harvey.

Home-building resources—from materials to skilled trade workers–were sucked up by the home repair needs of houses damaged by Hurricane Harvey last September, slowing down the building of new home sales in the Houston area significantly in late 2017 and early 2018. New home builds are just now gradually returning to normal, according to Metrostudy Houston Director Lawrence Dean.

Housing construction picking up in California’s Sonoma County (finally).

Sonoma County home and condo construction is finally speeding up, with certain complexes that had lagged in development finally following through on the building of proposed units, and 100 new home builds expected in the next five years. Building had slowed down dramatically in Northern California’s Sonoma County at the start of the Great Recession, but last year’s major wildfires in the area have created a new impetus to build more and faster. “We’re playing catch-up,” says Keith Woods, CEO of the North Coast Builders Exchange.

Drones rise popularity in construction more than other industries.

NBC is now reporting on how drones have really “taken off” in construction over the past year or two (our pun, not theirs)—much more than they have in mining and agriculture. The majority of drones used on construction sites are simple off-the-shelf drones from DJI, a Chinese manufacturer. McCarthy Building Companies, for example, use the DJI Phantom 4 to take aerial shots of their sites to monitor work progress and check for errors, which they say works much better than it used to with airplanes taking similar images.

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