Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 41
work - rather than by the hour. Piece work is great for avoiding cost
overruns but it can encourage workers to skimp on time-consuming
It's an issue that many out-of-town general contractors struggle
to grasp, but Craft Construction has experience working in that
environment and understands how to counteract the problem. The
company has identified subcontractors that can manage piecework
efficiently and have strong supervisors, while less familiar contractors tend to throw more bodies at the problem to ensure the work is
Knowing how to handle those kinds of situations is why clients
turn to Craft Construction. "It's all South Florida experience," Harden
says. "We're extremely versed in building and what it takes to get a
building done with quality and speed in South Florida."
Craft Construction's expertise and reputation in the region have
made it a go-to general contractor for hotel projects. Hotels now
make up 75 percent of the company's profile. Other recent projects
include the 142-room Wyndham Garden Inn in Dania Beach, Fla.,
ALOFT Hotel in Aventura, Fla., Four Seasons Community House and
Pool Cabana in Parkland, Fla., AC Hotel by Marriott and Fairfield
Suites in Doral, Fla., and the 127-room Hampton Inn near Miami International Airport. The Hampton Inn opened in mid-October while
the Wyndham has topped out at seven stores and is on track to open
minimizing interruption to the other work going on around the site.
"We orchestrated that with them and it worked out very well with
them and us," Harden says.
Reliable and fast work like the kind Champion Glass performed
on the Wyndham helps Craft Construction beat deadlines and
strengthen client relationships. The Miami Airport Hampton, for
example, was turned over a month ahead of schedule, allowing the
hotel to open earlier and start earning revenue. Staying on schedule
is especially important for tourism-driven markets such as south
Florida that have well-defined busy seasons. A delayed building
can put the financial viability of the entire project in jeopardy. "If
we can get the hotels open for that peak season it makes it a hell of a
lot easier to get repeat business," Director of Business Development
Amy Jennings says.
With new projects popping up all over Miami-Dade County, Craft
Construction must add to its family of subcontractors to keep pace
and ensure it continues to deliver projects on time. "We have a pretty
nice sub base going on and we're expanding that every chance we
can," Jennings says.
Craft Construction knows that no two projects are exactly alike
and that every project has its own unique challenges. Maintaining
their flexibility of service and effectively working with their subcontractors helps to manage those unique projects challenges. "We
always want to distinguish Craft Construction from our competitors,"
Barry Craft says.
By sticking to a modest project load of about six buildings at any one
time and staying in the south Florida market, Barry Craft and Steve
Harden can deliver on their promise to provide personal service.
Craft attends two out of every four weekly owner meetings for all
projects while Harden visits all the job sites every week to attend
meetings in-person. Both Craft and Harden are very big on staying
current on all projects. "We never want to be in a situation where an
owner asks us about an issue before we have heard and are working
on a resolution," Harden says.
Further, every job has a full-time project coordinator, superintendent, project manager and sometimes even an assistant project
manager on site every day to ensure building standards are met.
By having all those team members directly involved in a project,
Craft Construction ensures that clients receive a high level of service
and are more likely to become repeat customers. "We target the
developers we can build and maintain a relationship with and that
do continual work in our area," Harden says.
Just as it cultivates its clients, Craft Construction also strives to
build lasting relationships with subcontractors. Companies such
as Champion Glass, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based installer of hurricane-resistant windows, have proved their worth on multiple
projects. Most recently, Craft Construction enlisted Champion
Glass to install windows for the Wyndham Garden Inn project in
"They did one half of the building in one weekend, meaning a Saturday, and they glazed the second half the next weekend," Harden
says. In all, the window installation took only three working days,
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM