Second Quarter Economic Indicator – A look back

2023 Q1 economic indicators

As we quickly pass Q2 and move into Q3, we are starting to understand better how the year will shape up. I recently had a chance to review The Conference Board’s (TCB) website for a description of what they see ahead. TCB’s mission is to be a “member-driven think tank that delivers Trusted Insights for What’s Ahead to help our members improve performance and better serve society.”  In a bullet point summary, TCB’s most recent update included:

  • Real GDP rose by 2.4% in Q2 ahead of the expected 1.8% forecasted. This resulted from a weakening demand in consumer consumption being more than offset by business investment.
  • Consumer consumption growth of both goods and services cooled in Q2. This trend is expected to continue for the remainder of 2023 due to three factors:
    • real disposable income is down;
    • pandemic excess savings are gone, and consumers are carrying historic debt levels;
    • mandatory student loan repayments are set to resume.
  • Business investment did more than offset the decrease in consumer spending in Q2, showing sizable spends in transportation equipment, facility structures and intellectual property products. However, this information came with a warning: TCB expects weakening consumer demand throughout the remainder of 2023, combined with high interest rates to reverse business spending trends.

A couple of examples from Q2 Miles-McClellan bidding and budgeting efforts:

Craig Richards, Vice President, “Our division originally bid a sizeable renovation project to a large, international CM firm. During Q3, 2021, the wall protection package was worth $6.7M and was removed from the scope of work due to being over budget. The package was rebid during Q2 of 2023 at $7.6M. This was a 13% increase in 18 months.”

Matt Recchiuti, Vice President, “Our team recently rebid a steel package. Our original steel package was quoted at $53,500 in February 2023, and after the project rebid in August 2023, the final (unchanged) steel package was purchased for $58,000. This is almost a 17% annualized increase in steel pricing.” 

Kevin Joseph, Project Executive, “One notable and frustrating reality that my team faces is the fact that more than half of the projects we bid this past quarter were so far over budget that the project could not proceed. It seems that across various industries and types of projects, owner’s budgets have not caught up with the price increases that exist in Central Ohio. Some owners mention that they plan to wait to rebid work once prices decrease, but we have not seen any indication that this is a realistic plan.”

While at times it may feel like we are spinning our wheels with all the budgets and rebidding, we would rather provide realistic, inclusive budgets and bids then submit low numbers with the hope of winning and not failing.

Using Our Construction Experience to Build Excellence


Building excellence and exceeding client expectations has been our core philosophy for over 45 years, and it is our exceptional team that allows us to accomplish this mission. Throughout the years, our team members have worked on a magnitude of different complex projects for clients of all sizes in all industries. This provides our clients with many advantages. Whatever your construction project or needs, we have the skills and expertise to ensure your satisfaction!

Let’s explore how we can make our construction experience work for you.

Diverse Expertise

From residential, commercial, healthcare, higher education, manufacturing, and hotels, we have done it all!  Having this knowledge and experience allows us to handle different project complexities and requirements effectively. Wherever there is a construction challenge, we have a smarter construction solution.

We Know the Industry

Our range of experience means we know the intricacies of a variety of industries and their environments. Every industry has unique needs that must be met, best practices that must be observed and certain technology that is required to help operations run more smoothly. We have had years of experience working within these different guidelines depending on our client, which is why we are confident we are more than prepared to handle even the most complex details of your construction project.

We Build Lifelong Relationship

Being a top construction company since 1978, and having numerous team members with a vast array of broad construction experience, means we have built strong relationships with our clients, suppliers, subcontractors, architects, engineers and other industry partners. This also allows us to provide a variety of different services that other construction companies can’t offer. Whatever your dreams are for your next construction project, we know an expert that can turn that vision into a reality!

Efficient Project Management

Having broad construction experience means our project management systems and processes have been refined to be as efficient as possible. Every Miles-McClellan project is guided by some of the most respected and experienced construction professionals in the industry along with an IMMPact team that shares insights and knowledge with each other to achieve building excellence.

Client Satisfaction is Top Priority

Experienced construction firms recognize the significance of pleasing the client. This is why at Miles-McClellan Construction, we stress communication, transparency and collaboration throughout the life of a construction project. We want to know all of our clients’ needs, get their feedback and help them with tough decisions. This results in building lifelong relationships.

How can our broad construction experience make your next project a success? Contact us and let’s work together to find out!

Miles-McClellan Construction vice president Brad Bloomberg LEED AP Helps Improve Safety at Columbus City Schools With HVAC Renovation

HVAC Renovation

When many think of construction projects, they immediately envision work that involves creating or updating the aesthetic aspects of a facility. At Miles-McClellan Construction, however, some of our most rewarding construction projects involve renovating critical components of a space that cannot necessarily be appreciated at first glance. When performing a design build of HVAC systems, it is crucial the various HVAC components and coordination of materials are timed correctly to ensure a successful installation. For our work with Columbus City Schools, under the direction of Miles-McClellan Construction vice president and project lead Brad Bloomberg LEED AP, improving HVAC systems has been an important part of building success and creating a safer space for students and the community.

In 2021, Miles-McClellan Construction was hired by Columbus City Schools to replace the HVAC systems and make electrical upgrades at Brookhaven High School and Dominion Middle School in an effort to improve the learning environment at both buildings. In addition to HVAC system upgrades, Miles-McClellan Construction was also given the task of making interior repairs, envelope repairs and site improvements in accordance with the design criteria. With the leadership of Brad and a strong IMMPact team, this project was completed on time and under the allocated budget.

“I enjoy how the construction industry always brings new challenges and creates new opportunities with each project to bid and builds.”

– Brad Bloomberg LEED AP, Miles-McClellan Construction vice president

In 2022, Columbus City Schools hired Miles-McClellan Construction to make HVAC and electrical upgrades at Valleyview Elementary School, Westgate Elementary School and West Broad Elementary School. Matt and his team realized that these projects required the replacement of the HVAC systems, new electrical service and both structural and architectural elements to support the new systems. All team members worked strategically to make sure all of the design, build and necessary components were in place, resulting in this project being completed on-time and without issues. These projects also minimized environmental hazards and supported student health. Projects such as this are not only fulfilling but continue our mission of building excellence in the community.

Strong leaders such as Brad and a talented, dedicated team make Miles-McClellan Construction the construction company that can do it all. From reviving the look of physical structures to improving the behind-the-scenes systems that keep the citizens of our community safe and healthy, we build success from start to finish.

We are up to the challenge of ensuring every construction project is a success! Contact us today and meet Brad and more faces behind the spaces that make an impact in the community!

Exceptional Design-Build Services Start With Exceptional Leadership

Design-Build Services

At Miles-McClellan Construction, we know that great leaders achieve great results. This is why our design-build construction projects are guided by experienced project leaders and strategically mapped out by an integrated, cohesive IMMPact team that holds each other accountable to building excellence.

With design-build construction projects, a design-build firm such as Miles-McClellan Construction works with our architect partner as they are designing the project. This approach offers several benefits, including enhanced coordination of materials, improved communication, efficient scheduling, increased project speed and better oversight and control. Let’s explore the process involved with design-build projects, and why it’s quickly becoming the top project delivery method.

Scheduling

At Miles-McClellan Construction, we always strive to complete projects on time. We make sure we understand project goals early, and always communicate risks to the whole team from the very beginning, which increases the opportunity for savings and efficient planning. Using the design-build integrated approach allows the construction schedule to be developed concurrently with the design process and identify potential bottlenecks. During design and pre-construction we also analyze the marketplace for current labor force availability, material order backlogs and current/future bidding schedules of major projects in the area. This gives us the opportunity to time our bid around the surpluses to ensure the most competitive pricing.

Coordination of Materials

For our design-build projects, our IMMPACT teams start collaborating from the early stages. This collaboration enables us to identify and select the best materials for your project, and stay on budget and within schedule. Material purchasing requires taking several different factors into consideration, such as availability, cost-effectiveness, sustainability and staying compliant with building codes and regulations. Working in sync throughout this process allows us to streamline material procurement, reduce delays and have materials delivered on time to your construction site. We also

Communication

Communicate, communicate, communicate! Effective communication is crucial in design-build projects, which is why our IMMPact team approach is incredibly effective. It promotes knowledge sharing and enables our team members to trust one another and collectively hold each other accountable to build excellence and ensure client satisfaction. This efficient communication helps address potential issues, minimize delays, resolve conflicts and keeps everyone informed throughout the project.

Completion, Oversight and Control

Our integrated design-build approach means that we are responsible for overseeing and controlling the entire project from start to finish. This provides a higher level of accountability, and also gives us the authority to make decisions promptly, resolve issues promptly and ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. Construction is a puzzle with many solutions, some of which are more cost effective than others.

Led by talented, experienced leaders and our IMMPact teams, design-build construction projects offer enhanced coordination of materials, streamlined communication, optimized scheduling and the assurance that our clients receive a high level of excellence and customer satisfaction from pre-construction to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Are you ready to make an IMMPact with your next design-build project? Then contact Miles-McClellan Construction and discover how we can help you build excellence!

Fourth Quarter Economic Indicator – Looking Ahead

2022 Q4 economic indicators
Going into the first quarter of any year, we expect the bid market to pick up with the expectation of spring projects that have been in design throughout the winter. What we are seeing is a mixed bag of trends, and we hope sharing these trends with you will help you plan your pending projects.

Below is a quick summary of what we have been seeing over the last 60 days:

  • The broad trend speaks to the rising interest rates and rising construction costs. The private market has slowed down. Our private clients request budgets, but only some projects are heading into construction. We have currently been bidding and working on more public projects. We don’t expect this to continue because the slowdown in demand will drive construction pricing lower, which will eventually offset the rising interest rates in proformas.
  • There has been an increased sense of urgency to get formal approval for change orders on our existing projects and across all types of projects we work on. Subcontractors are hesitant to hold their pricing for over a few weeks, so we are forced to push owners and construction managers to get signed approval to lock in pricing. We support our subcontractor team in this effort, but in return and to help protect our clients, we ask for secured manpower so that our clients receive the service on time.
  • Owner’s preconstruction budgets continue to underestimate the cost of future construction. This creates rebid situations for public and private projects, resulting in project delays and frustrated owners before the project starts. We recommend multiple looks at the budgets you are creating today: one by your architect and one by your contractor. Then lock the project leaders in a room until they agree on the budget.

As a recent example, we bid on a health clinic in early August 2022. It was a competitive bid and Miles-McClellan was not the lower bidder. Our bid was 94% over the owner’s budget, coming in at $1.4M. The owner and architect rebid the project after taking the time to redesign and go through value engineering. The revised budget was raised 55% over the original budget, and our revised bid in October 2023 was submitted just above the revised budget. We were awarded the project 14 months after the initial bid.

While at times it may feel like we are spinning our wheels with all the budgets and rebidding, we would rather provide realistic, inclusive budgets and bids then submit low numbers with the hope of winning and not failing.

Self-Performing Various Trades Offers Many Project Benefits

Miles-McClellan Construction has been a part of building thriving communities since 1978. Not only do we understand how to manage construction, we know how to construct the building—and all that comes with it.

At Miles-McClellan we can handle all aspects of a project, from owner’s representation to complete project management to masonry to concrete to caulking! That’s because of the vast specialized experience our team has – including self-performing work in multiple construction trades.

There are a lot of benefits of keeping your project within the Miles-McClellan Construction team of professionals:

  • We are in control of the project schedule, so our ability to self-perform the work mitigates delays!
  • We manage the communication with our team so our clients always know the correct status of their project.
  • Our ability to control more of the trades without having to sub out work creates time and cost efficiencies!
  • Plus, we can guarantee the same Building Excellence standard that Miles-McClellan is known for!

When you work with Miles-McClellan Construction, one of our expert Vice Presidents will lead a group we call an IMMPact Team. This team works closely with clients throughout the entire project, enabling our team to work quickly, be more flexible and responsive to what our clients’ need. This is one more advantage that differentiate us from other commercial construction companies.

the Miles-McClellan Difference

Miles-McClellan Construction takes great pride in building success to grow  thriving communities. Contact us today to learn more about how our ability to self-perform various construction trades can add value to your next commercial construction project. We build success by Building Excellence!

Miles-McClellan Construction Builds Vital Retail and Dining Experiences for Charlotte, North Carolina Communities

 

No industry was affected more by the global pandemic than the restaurant and retail industries, but both industries are on the rebound. In fact, earlier this year these industries were predicted to grow between 6 and 8 percent by the end of this year. And with the remarkable population growth, the retail establishments and restaurants are thriving in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Miles-McClellan is proud to be a part of that growth with our retail and restaurant partners who are an integral part of Charlotte’s growth.

Here are some of Miles-McClellan’s commercial construction projects that help make North Carolina a great place to live, work and play.

Festive Food & Music

Loretta’s is a high-volume restaurant with private function space serving French, Creole, and southern cuisine, featuring live jazz, neo soul and gospel music.

Miles-McClellan managed the demolition of the original building to construct a 7,500-SF back-to-shell space as well as finishing the beautiful, fun space with upscale VIP areas, liquor lockers and a custom bar.

Head to Beatties Ford Road

As part of a community revitalization of an area rich in history but in need of change, Miles-McClellan was hired to help redevelop a neighborhood block to include shopping, banking, dining and more. Miles-McClellan managed the renovation of the existing retail space at 2020 Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte including renovation to the shell of the building and finishing out one of the tenant spaces for a juice bar. In addition, Miles-McClellan served as the general contractor for the renovation of an existing building for the new 1,600-SF BW Sweets and for the renovation of existing space for Mackins Bridal Boutique, both across the street from the 2020 Beatties Ford Road project.

Tacos, Anyone?

When Ohio-based Condado Tacos made its North Carolina debut in Charlotte, Miles-McClellan was there to complete a 4,600-SF interior build out for the restaurant in an existing multi-story building. The work included interior finishes, non-bearing demising walls, ceilings, lighting, food service equipment and exterior changes, including new patio railing and the addition of a new overhead door within the existing storefront opening.

Discover Charlotte’s New Man Cave and Add Some Joy to Your Home

Miles-McClellan is excited to be a part of bringing a luxury furniture design showroom and a new home décor stall retailer to Charlotte. The Miles-McClellan team managed a 7,600-SF retail interior build out for Amodernary Furniture Design at SouthPark and an 88,000-SF renovation for Southern Lion in the Carolina Place Mall, which will feature vender stalls offering furniture, home décor, accessories, art and clothing, a café, meeting spaces and a “man cave” complete with TVs and lounge chairs.

Retail and restaurants have always played vital roles in the business, social, economic and artistic soul of a thriving society. Miles-McClellan takes great pride in building success by building thriving communities. Contact us today to bring great dining and shopping experiences to your community. We build success by Building Excellence!

Q3 2022 Economic Indicators

Q3 2022 Economic Indicators Both our Q1 and Q2 2022 Economic Indicator reports emphasized the effect inflation is having on our industry. It continues to be my goal to share both published trends and commentary as well as local Miles-McClellan experiences.

ENR’s Economics Report on future material and labor price trends, “2022 Third Quarterly Cost Report” was just released and I’m including some information from that report here.

To kick off the report, Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge Construction Network, is quoted as saying, “The construction sector has turned into a tale of two worlds. First, the nonresidential sector has been a solid performer as manufacturing, public works and data center construction have flourished. Conversely, single-family construction continued to trend sharply lower as rising mortgage rates have led to worsening affordability. The question, though, is how the entire construction sector will react to still higher interest rates over the coming quarters as the Federal Reserve continues its inflation battle with aggressive rate hikes.”

The report goes on to focus on both materials and labor.  It details 15 different construction inputs and notes that prices vary, year-to-date, from -6.0% (copper), to +22.6% (asphalt paving). Of the 15 areas tracked, 12 were higher since January 2022 and all 12 categories were up by double digits through August 2022. The article does go on to explain why ENR anticipates soft lumber and steel to start moving downward in 2023, but acknowledges the trends really depend on how increasing interest rates affect demand.

Labor rates also continue to rise, however, now at a much faster pace. Both union and non-union wages had been averaging between 2-3% annual increases, however, the numbers jumped to 4-5% average increases in 2022. According to Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America, “I believe we’re in a prolonged period of 5% wage increases or even more for craftworkers.”

At M-M, we will continue to work very hard for our clients to control unwanted price increases and schedule delays. Our strategy has been to maintain strong relationships with constant communications with our subcontractors and suppliers so that we have the most up-to-date information to share on each of our projects.

Building Community Excellence, One Structure at a Time

Miles McClellan is involved in a number of community events and projects
At Miles-McClellan, we recently celebrated Construction Inclusion Week, an annual event that harnesses the collective power of general contractors, specialty contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to build awareness and improve diversity and inclusion in the construction industry across the nation.

The celebration which took place between October 17–21 centered around five daily themes, including commitment & accountability, belonging, supplier diversity, workplace culture and community engagement. As we participated in these daily themes, we were reminded of why we do what we do.

We are not only Building Excellence in our structures, but we are building excellent communities — inclusive communities in which our team is proud to live, work, participate and give back.

We Build Communities We Are Proud To Live In

What makes someone proud to live in their community? Though the answer is not particularly clear and is not the same for every community, three factors stand out — safety, security and access to health care. Miles-McClellan has built safter communities through projects like the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the Mooresville Fire Station 6 in North Carolina

It is our commitment to not only make it easier to protect communities, but also to be a part of the construction of facilities that make it easier for our community heroes to do their jobs and take care of themselves by offering gyms, kitchens, rest areas and recreation.

We have improved access to great healthcare for everyone in Columbus by being a part of projects at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, OhioHealth and Whitehall Heart of Ohio Family Health Center.

Some other important factors in community pride are arts, culture and beauty. We couldn’t be prouder of the work we have done to enhance these community assets, including projects with Franklin Park Conservatory and the Pizzuti Collection Art Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, and the Chatham County Agriculture & Civic Center in Pittsboro, NC.

We Build Communities We Are Proud To Work In

Connection, collaboration, accessibility are assets of great working communities. By building structures that make it easier to commute, park and build strong partnerships, Miles-McClellan is building community pride.

Community pride requires a thriving workforce with access to education and training. Miles-McClellan has led construction projects for all levels of education, from Isaac Dickson Elementary in Asheville, North Carolina to Marietta College’s Harrison Hall in Ohio. And we build offices and facilities anyone would be proud to work in, like the Honda Aircraft Co. World Headquarters and Research Development facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, projects for Scotts Miracle-Gro in Ohio and Proctor & Gamble production facilities in both North and South Carolina. 

We Build Communities We Are Proud To Give Back To

We have witnessed how communities have been strengthened through infrastructure, but it is our goal to strengthen them even further through corporate giving, volunteerism and meaningful partnerships.

As a company we support 58 non-profit organizations, provide paid internships and donate to causes important to our employees and clients.

Over the years, we have built a variety schools, hospitals, health centers, libraries, fire and police stations, churches, museums, restaurants, hotels and more. With each project, we have left more than a building; we have left a legacy for every hand, head and heart who helped build these structures and every man, women and child who use them.

Making an IMMPact in the communities we serve is at the core of all our projects, and our commitment to our people, our clients and our communities is unwavering. Contact Miles-McClellan for more information about our projects, our team or our community support.

Miles-McClellan General Superintendent, Steve Johnson, Shares Advice for Owners as They Start a Construction Project

Building Excellence requires communication, collaboration and connection. As part of your IMMPact team, it’s my job and my commitment to you to set the right expectations and gain your trust as you approach your construction project. You can have the confidence in knowing that the success of your project is as important to us as it is to you. We take pride in the final product, and if my name is behind the building, you can be assured I will do everything possible to make sure the work is done right and on time and budget.

Your best money and time spent is during the pre-construction. Everyone has their own opinions about how to get projects done, so creating a shared vision and plan is a great starting point. This can be accomplished by walking the property early in the process, as well as after drawings are completed, to make adjustments and to get on the same page prior to project approval and permit submissions. Once construction begins, it’s very difficult to stop or change, so let me share some tips on creating the vision and expectations for your project before construction begins.

Have a Blueprint for Construction Success

Nothing slows down construction progress more than change orders and revisions. Therefore, it is important to have your drawings complete prior to starting construction. Avoid changing the plan if possible. Finalize the details of your project early on to ensure it is “buildable” and to provide more inclusive plans to sub-contractors, so they can provide their most accurate bids.

One thing to consider before starting construction is that unforeseen circumstances are bound to happen. They always do. So, trusting your construction team and making sure there is enough contingency in the budget can help to avoid uncomfortable conversations and surprises throughout the process.

Be Realistic About Your Involvement in the Construction Process

Construction is time-consuming. Be realistic in assessing how much time you can devote to the project and be sure to choose a contractor you trust so you can give the right amount of attention to your project and to your company’s operations and overall well-being.

Don’t Judge a Bid by Its Cover Price

My mother always told me, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Seemingly minor details can significantly affect the price you pay in the end. For example, a low bid may look attractive on the surface, but it may not include things like materials and installation costs. Make sure to ask questions about what is included in the pricing and where the project team costs can be found. You will need to be able to put each bid into perspective to accurately assess whether you are getting a fair price per square foot. Working with a construction company you trust can avoid costly surprises.

Ask Questions About Your Project — Lots of Questions!

Clear communication is vital in any partnership, and we know you need a clear picture of what is happening with your investment. As construction professionals, we sometimes use industry jargon or explain techniques and processes using technical terms. It’s a second language to us, and we often forget that we are speaking a language not everyone knows. So, ask questions! Ask until you understand the answer! Ask until you have no more questions! Your construction team should guide you through the process and take the time to explain everything so everyone is on the same page and there aren’t any assumptions that can turn negative.

Remember, your project’s success is also a personal success to every construction professional who works on your facility. Your team at Miles-McClellan wants to make sure your project is set up for success from the very beginning. We are on your side. That’s why Miles-McClellan strives for Building Excellence through relationships with communication, collaboration and connection that results in exceeding client expectations.

Contact Miles-McClellan to learn more about how we strive to resolve issues before they become problems.