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J&K Roofing Breaks Ground on New Company Warehouse

J&K Roofing breaks ground

J&K Roofing breaks ground

December 16, 2011 – Wheat Ridge, Colorado – With a symbolic scoop of a shovel, construction is officially underway in Wheat Ridge on the new headquarters and warehouse of J&K Roofing.  Designed by JVB-Arch, construction of the two-story, 12,000-square foot  building is the responsibility of The Augusta Group.

In a ground-breaking ceremony, J&K leadership, along with The Augusta Group and City of Wheat Ridge officials, praised the new project which is expected to take five months with an anticipated completion in May 2012.   City of Wheat Ridge Economic Development Division Manager Steve Art and City Council member Joyce Jay were on hand to recognize the beneficial economic and labor impact the addition of J&K Roofing will bring to the area.  Mr. Art commented on the City’s newest commercial resident, “It’s businesses like J&K Roofing that are driving the economy.”

Relocating from their current address in Golden, J&K Roofing’s new headquarters and warehouse will be located at 13000 West 43rd Drive in Wheat Ridge.   As one of the top 100 roofing companies in the U.S., J&K needed a home that would allow it to scale its operations with its ever-growing demand to respond to weather events in the state. J&K Roofing selected Golden-based The Augusta Group to lead the design and construction process.   The new facility has three times the warehouse and four times the office space as their current building and will have a secured yard for material storage and warehouse equipment that the existing facility doesn’t.  Additional features include natural light in all the office and warehouse areas, efficient lighting and mechanical systems to lower the cost to operate, and an exterior that will withstand the daily use as a warehouse.

“We understand J&K’s vision as well as the desire to better address roofing needs when weather events occur; which we all know that they frequently do here in Colorado.  That’s why The Augusta Group is building a facility that will allow them to immediately respond to the needs of the Denver Metro Area and scale their business for the foreseeable future,” said Jim Ferguson, Co-Owner of The Augusta Group.

Thirty employees are initially expected to move into the new building in Wheat Ridge when construction is complete in May 2012.

About J&K Roofing J&K Roofing is a family owned roofing company that has installed more than 20,000 residential and commercial roofs since opening in 1984.  J&K Roofing installs all types of roofing materials from asphalt and heavy tri-laminate materials to wood shake and tile.  They are also a certified installer of Decra Roofing Systems and Duro-Last single-ply membrane roof systems.

J&K Roofing and The Augusta Group
Groundbreaking Ceremony

Introducing Jim Ferguson

Jim Ferguson, The Augusta Group
Jim Ferguson, The Augusta Group

We’re pleased to announce that The Augusta Group is officially in the commercial construction business. We’re excited to announce a change at the ownership level with the addition of Jim Ferguson joining Kevin Costenaro as co-parter of The Augusta Group.

Jim brings over 20 years of commercial construction management in the western United States to The Augusta Group with a global view of projects and a commitment to client satisfaction. His commercial work experience includes high tech manufacturing, large office spaces, schools, medical projects and clean rooms.  From sequencing and scheduling in the construction process, Jim has a wealth of knowledge and a collaborative work style that allows teams to be more efficient and effective in how they deliver design and construction projects. As a LEED accredited professional, Jim can incorporate green building techniques into your projects.

Growing up working on a farm in North Dakota, Jim enjoyed building and working with his hands.  He moved to Colorado to attend Colorado State University, where he majored in Agricultural Business.  Drawn to the area, Jim stayed in Colorado after graduating and joined one of the 50 largest contractors in the country and rose through the ranks to manage and run projects.  Working for a leading Colorado design-build contractor gave Jim the chance to develop his collaborative style through participation in the design process and providing input on constructability early in projects to eliminate wasted effort. Jim’s role over the last five years has been a construction executive and superintendent.

Jim’s experience and knowledge is a welcome addition to The Augusta Group. Welcome Jim!

The Economy and Labor Rates, Spring 2011

You would think that the market downturn is producing deals of a lifetime for products and labor. When in fact, materials spiked late 2010 before dropping to mid year levels and since then have remained more or less steady. In regards to labor, we’re actually seeing costs trend back upwards. You’d think that supply & demand would dictate that less projects would create bidding wars which in turn would result in super low costs – and this was definitely the case a year or two ago. However, we’ve observed that cut-rate subcontractors & tradesmen, those that were willing to work for drastically reduced rates and in many cases, work at a loss, have simply disappeared from the market. This appears to have left a vacuum which has been quickly filled by well managed companies providing higher quality craftsmanship. So not only are labor rates a bit higher as a result of the higher level abilities, they’re also increased because the competition is less intense. On one hand we’re happy to see the pool of subcontractors at a collectively higher level of quality and capability, but on the other, we realize that the days of rock bottom pricing for superior work has passed.

Wildfire Mitigation and New Homes

Video below features Kevin Costenaro and one of The Augusta Group projects in the Foothills above Golden, Colorado.

A recent rash of wildfires have hit the foothills of Colorado, most notably the Indian Gulch Fire just outside of Golden, reminding everyone of the importance of advance planning for potential wildfires. There are simple, common sense steps that we take during the construction of our homes in the Foothills communities. First, we obtain a Defensible Space permit from local authorities, which simply states that we will follow certain minimum guidelines. Second, we bring in a licensed forestry expert – one generally pre-approved by the local Zoning Department – who helps us identify the different risk zones around the home. This person will also identify and mark which trees we must remove before completion of the home. The Augusta Group takes prevention a step further by completely removing all combustible vegetation from around the home, which essentially forms a dirt perimeter of upwards of 25′. Over time, native grasses and other vegetation will return to this area but during construction we remove anything that begins growing. Here’s a list of other preventative measures:
* Build with fire-resistant materials. We like to incorporate metal or tile roofs. Stucco & stone are common in our homes, but any masonry facade would also suffice. Hardiboard material for soffits and fascias are another good practice as this material is manufactured with cement and is truly fire resistant.
* Provide adequate access and turn-around space for large vehicles, particularly fire engines. We establish the driveway and access prior to constructing the home. We keep our address posted at all times, so fire crews can quickly identify our property in case of emergency.
* Keep all excess material – especially lumber – away from the home. We manage the delivery of material to coincide with the pace of our crews so that at any given point, there is minimal lumber around the site.
* Keep all debris and trash away from the home. We set rolloff dumpsters upwind and at least 50′ from the home under construction and immediately place any lumber cut-offs, trash and debris in it.
* Establish an old fashioned telephone line at each jobsite. Unfortunately, cell phone coverage is not as reliable as we would like in some mountain areas. This helps us to quickly report any danger to the proper authorities.
* Fire extinguishers are located throughout our jobsites.

For further information please contact The Augusta Group, 303-278-9292.

Xcel Energy cuts Solar Panel subsidy

Interesting article from yesterday’s Denver Post

XcelEnergyLogo_000Could this signal the decline of the currently-robust solar PV industry? The current subsidies offer great value for property owners. We have enjoyed installing PV systems on many of our projects in recent years. Without the subsidy, most folks will not be willing to cover the additional costs, and in turn, demand for these systems will decline. Many of the smaller utility co-ops tend to follow Xcel’s lead in many areas including the subsidization of alternative energy systems and it’s not a stretch to assume they’ll follow suit.

Let’s all hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed that demand for alternative energy systems continues well in to the future.

Call us for any projects or questions on solar PV, solar thermal, wind power or geothermal.

Custom Home Completed – Garden of the Gods area in Colorado

Custom home overlooking Garden of the GodsWe have just completed a wonderful home for a fantastic client. Overlooking Garden of the Gods State Park, this home was designed by Palmer-Rajput Architects in the Classical Style of architecture, which is not commonly found in Colorado. This home epitomizes luxury living–marble flooring throughout it’s nearly 14,000 square feet, Corinthian capped columns, gold leafed ceiling domes, Swarovski crystal chandelier, glazed walls and hand carved marble fireplace surrounds.

Aside from luxury appointments, this project also includes a energy efficient details. Winter heat and summer cooling are provided exclusively by a closed loop geothermal system incorporating over a dozen 400′ deep drilled wells. This system provides constant, on-demand hot water. Additionally, we installed solar photovoltaic panels on the roof to help offset the home’s electric demand. It’s a neat thing to actually see an electric meter spin backwards!

Our clients helped make this dream home come to life with tasteful selections and a fun-loving, positive approach to every aspect of the design and construction. We wish our new friends years of comfort and enjoyment in their new home!

Homestead Road progressing nicely

rock-drilling_Golden-Gate-Canyon The fairly mild winter has allowed us to proceed through our construction stages a bit faster than originally anticipated. Our only major challenge thus far has been the discovery of pockets of solid granite where our foundation was to be set, necessitating the need for explosives — which is always fun to watch. As of this post, framing is complete and plumbers are working to install the radiant floor heating system today.

We believe that communication is the key to success. This home is being constructed for an out-of-town client who intends to make this their permanent residence once construction is completed later this year. As our client currently resides out of state, we are using email updates and video posts to communicate and show progress.

We have experience completeing projects for clients that live outside of Colorado during construction and are continually exploring better communication options including ftp sites, video posts, and online access to drawings and sketches.


Hiring The Right Builder

No other product you purchase allows you to view its assembly in the manner a new home does.  The process can take upwards of a year or more and the folks overseeing the assembly must be capable, competent, responsive and professional.  Unfortunately we quite often see folks base their hiring decisions entirely on cost, often with disastrous results.  In general, most builders charge roughly the same price – at least within a couple percent that is – which in the big picture is not a make-it or break-it expense.

We recommend first and foremost:

1.      That your personality and that of your potential builder jive…you will be working together very, very closely over the course of a year or more, and nothing is worse than dealing with someone day in and day out whose company you do not enjoy.

2.      Aside from personality, be sure to check up on your potential builder – call a couple past clients; check with the BBB and Secretary of State; ask tough questions about the financial health of the builder and his/her company; ask for copies of insurance policies; visit a current project under construction and check it out for tidiness.

3.      Think about the ability to service any repair issues or warranties after you’ve moved in to your home – a builder’s ability to cover repairs can only happen if they are still in business & operating after your home is complete.

4.      Ask about contract format – do they operate on a cost plus basis or on a fixed fee?

5.      Are their subcontractor & vendor costs disclosed?

For more comprehensive information on hiring the right builder, please do not hesitate to contact us today to help answer your questions, and as always, you can expect a zero-pressure approach from us!  We’re happy to answer questions with no obligations whatsoever

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