All posts by Michael LaFirenza

Mike LaFirenza is the lead writer for Construction Coverage. He’s a technology and finance buff who studied Mechanical Engineering at U.C. Santa Barbara. Out of school, he went on to manage SoftwareInsider, a software and business services reviews site with hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors, and a Graphiq website that later went on to be acquired by Amazon. As a child Mike would work on small home-improvement and landscaping projects with his father, who worked in construction for the city of Santa Monica. Mike spends much of his free-time researching finance, the stock market, and real estate.

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Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

The Most Expensive Zip Code in Every State

Whether someone is a first-time homebuyer or an investor looking for a rental property, navigating the real estate market can be overwhelming. Local schools, mortgage rates, and the size/condition of the property are a few factors that influence the price tag, but more than anything else, it’s “location, location, location” that dictates the cost of ...

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The Best Home Equity Line of Credit Lenders & Rates

Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are a great way for homeowners to use the equity they’ve built in their home to fund home construction projects, finance major purchases, or consolidate debt. If you want to borrow money against your home, choosing the right lender is essential. Getting a line of credit from a reputable lender ...

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Arina Habich / Alamy Stock Photo

Cities Investing the Most in New Housing

With mortgage rates up and demand for new single-family homes at historic lows, investors are paying close attention to new residential construction this year. Residential building permits and housing starts are two widely used indicators of the broader health of the economy. Increased demand for new homes nationally, and in specific geographic areas, can be ...

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Photo Credit: Sue Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

A New Home for $70k? The American Dream Gets a Remodel

Owning a home has long been considered an essential part of achieving the American dream. But with skyrocketing housing costs and stiffer borrowing requirements following the Great Recession, many have struggled to make that dream their own reality. In the midst of America’s ever-present housing crisis, a once-familiar, low-cost alternative to traditional site-built homes has ...

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Punch List

What Is a Punch List? A punch list, also punchlist or snag list, is a document created in the final stages of a construction project to provide a list of items that must be addressed before construction is considered complete and payment is issued. The list is usually made by the owner, architect or designer, ...

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RFI – Request for Information

What is an RFI? In construction, RFI is an abbreviation for Request for Information. It refers to a solicitation of details or additional information about an aspect of the project that needs clarification. RFIs may be sent to, or from, anyone involved in the construction project, including the owner, construction manager, general contractor, architect, designer, ...

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General Contractor

What is a General Contractor? A general contractor, or GC, in a construction project is the party responsible for scheduling and overseeing the day-to-day activities of a construction project. General contractors are hired to manage the project from groundbreak to its completion, providing the materials, labor, and equipment. In the UK, general contractors are more ...

Photo Credit: Maskot / Alamy Stock Photo

The Best Paying Cities for Construction Workers

The construction industry is one of the largest in the United States and, according to the Census Bureau, is currently responsible for more than $1.3 trillion in annual spending. That number is up from a modern low of $788 billion in 2011 following the Great Recession. Since then, nearly a decade of broad economic growth ...

Best Builders Risk Insurance Companies of 2019

Builders risk insurance (also known as course of construction insurance) covers buildings and other structures while they are under construction. There is a lot to know about builders risk insurance before purchasing a policy. If you aren’t already familiar with how these policies work, this guide will help you understand everything you need to know. ...