Craig DeFinis enjoys watching a craftsperson lose 15 minutes of work time about as much as he likes discovering that he just left his wallet in the back seat of a taxi. As the owner of Pittsburgh plumbing and HVAC contractor DeFinis Mechanical Contractors, he grants his union plumbers a quarter-hour morning break, even though his contract doesn’t require it, and hopes the workers don’t stretch it the way the half-hour lunch break sometimes goes to 45 minutes. Because each worker costs about $60 an hour in wages and benefits, extra minutes add up over the long run. “Multiply that
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.