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.

home remodel

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 ...

new-housing-denver
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 ...

manufactured home
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 ...

construction management

The Best Construction Project Management Software in 2019

Managing the moving pieces of a construction project is no easy task. To effectively manage a construction project, general contractors must monitor costs, keep teams on schedule, and maintain safety processes for the project. Fortunately, software has been created that simplifies all of these processes, and helps project managers handle the changing and complex flow ...

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 ...

construction estimating
Hero Images Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

The Best Construction Estimating Software in 2019

Construction estimating is an important step in every construction project. In order to accurately gauge the cost of a construction project, project owners and contractors must create detailed cost estimates, schedules, and construction plans. Luckily, there are many fantastic software solutions designed for these exact purposes. This guide will cover the software products that contractors ...

construction takeoff software

The Best Construction Takeoff Software of 2019

Construction takeoff is a necessary step toward estimating costs in a construction project. Contractors and project managers use blueprints to calculate the quantity and measure of materials and supplies needed for the project. That information is then used in cost estimates, project proposals, and supply order forms. However, the process of generating the takeoff data ...