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Construction Industry Accounting & CPA Services in Houston TX

Construction Industry Accounting & CPA Services in Houston TX

For years we have worked with all types of construction contractors… everything from commercial and residential general contractors, to subs like roofers, electricians, commercial plumbers, HVAC and utility contractors. You could say it’s in our blood.

You see, our founder’s (Jim Trippon CPA) father was a custom homebuilder, and Jim grew up pounding nails. In fact Jim could install 3 tab shingles and roof flashing before he ever got his first drivers license, let alone before he went to college to become a CPA.

We have found that very few CPAs have a passion for the construction industry. Most don’t even know that many of their contractor clients qualify for a special deduction to save them 6% on their federal income tax every year.

What we’re talking about is the Domestic Production Activities Deduction (which can be deducted using IRS Form 8903). This special deduction allows many construction contractors to deduct 6% of net income derived from qualified “production” activities. There are some limitations, but most construction contractors that do new construction projects can qualify.

There has never been a more crucial time for construction contractors to pay more attention to their tax preparation and tax accounting details. By reducing their tax liability, construction contractors can protect themselves against increasing taxes and income assessments by the IRS. Here are a few tips on how to effectively reduce your tax liability in the construction industry.

Maximize capital asset deductions. Recent tax laws have increased the fixed asset cost expense up to $250,000 for construction contractors. Construction contractors can take advantage of this deduction as long as less than $800,000 of the company’s assets are in service within the given year.

Capital Gains & Dividend tax rate increases. Under the current law, expect it to change with the new presidential administration, capital gains and dividend are taxed at 15%. This issue is something that you will definitely want to consult with your tax CPA. These tax rates are under close watch Congress and the presidential administration.

Tax Rebate. Most of the economic stimulus checks have been delivered. However, there are additional funds that may be available. The economic stimulus checks were actually an advance on the 2008 tax liabilities. The amount of each person’s check was based on income from 2007 & 2008. So if there was significant changes in income there may be additional rebate funds that are available.

Depreciation Deductions. Investments in equipment can be partially deducted in the first year of use. Contractors are allowed to deduct of the cost investments made in a calendar year during the first year of use. Construction contractors can then depreciate the remaining half of the asset purchase over its normal useful life.

Beware of the “Kiddie Tax.” Since most construction contracting companies are family owned and operated, the kiddie tax has been extended to require excess unearned income of full-time students under 24 years of age, to be taxed as marginal income at the parent’s current tax rate. This may not apply if the student’s earnings equal of their support. You will definitely want to consult with your tax CPA regarding retirement planning options and monetary gifts to avoid increasing your tax liability on dependents over 18 years of age.

If you would like to work with a CPA firm that understands the construction industry and will work hard to make sure you do not pay a penny more than you owe give us a call at 713-661-1040.

At Trippon & Company CPAs we use our 30 years of experience in construction industry to minimize your Federal tax liability. Call us at 713-661-1040 and put our experience at work for you TODAY!

Construction Site Sediment Control… Simple Solutions To A Complex Challenge

Anyone dealing with construction site regulation compliance issues knows that it’s not an easy job. Federal, state and local laws impact many facets of construction work, and keeping up with what seem to be constant changes can be overwhelming.

Compliance with the laws is vital, though, no matter how new they are. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) takes its job of enforcing laws very seriously, as evidenced on a page of its website listing companies that have made violations and the millions of dollars in fines they’ve received.

Of special concern on new construction projects is erosion and sediment control. Storm water runoff from construction sites carries with it enormous amounts of sediment and debris that, if allowed to enter waterways that feed into rivers, streams, lakes and oceans, will damage ecosystems and kill wildlife.

The Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 now includes regulations mandating sediment and erosion control solutions for every construction site affecting one or more acres of land, and smaller ones associated with larger developments or sales. Before the ground on their sites is disturbed in any way, operators of these sites must submit erosion and sediment control plans detailing the erosion and sediment control solutions they will use to prevent erosion and control sediment runoff.

In addition to the erosion and sediment control plan, each construction site operator also must submit a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) and obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) construction storm water permit prior to beginning any project. An SWPPP identifies every pollution source that could enter storm water runoff from a given site, and a detailed account of the actions that will be taken to control and filter sediment, thus keeping it and the pollutants out of waterways.

Developing Your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan: A Guide for Construction Sites, details the steps that must be taken to develop and execute an SWPPP. This free handbook from the EPA includes an SWPPP template that can be customized by each site operator, a sample inspection form and two sample SWPPPs. It’s applicable throughout the United States, in combination with state or EPA NPDES permits.

Though the NPDES is a federally regulated program, most states authorize their own NPDES permits. If work is being done in Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or New Mexico, however, or on most tribal lands within the U.S., permits must be obtained from the EPA.

The Storm Water Resource Locator found on the Construction Industry Compliance Assistance Center’s website is a valuable tool for construction site operators. Use it to find NPDES permit forms, SWPPP requirements, and regulations for erosion and sediment control and storm water management for each state.

Of course, following the laws regarding erosion and sediment control is even more important than understanding them, and the easiest way to ensure complete compliance is to rely on products and expertise provided by a company that has made meeting regulatory requirements its business.

Erosion and sediment control professionals are available to help developers overcome even their most difficult site challenges, with know-how and products for every need. One call to a sediment control expert can save a company countless hours of research into the law and sediment control methods, not to mention thousands – if not millions – of dollars in fines if regulations are not met precisely.

Once professional sediment control products are on a construction site, they continue to save contractors time and money. They’re made for quick installation, so they can be set up in minutes and then virtually forgotten about until runoff occurs.

Products are available that sit in front of curb inlets, within curb inlets, around and under storm grates, and more. All are made to allow storm water to pass into storm systems while filtering sediment and pollutants out.

After a rainfall or any type of watering has taken place, professional sediment control products can be inspected and cleaned out easily. Sediment and debris trapped within the products’ filters are removed quickly, so the products can be reused time and time again, making them hassle-free and extremely cost efficient.

Finding a reputable, reliable sediment control company should be on any developer’s “to do” list when planning a project. Utilizing the expertise of a company dedicated to sediment control saves construction professionals valuable time, countless dollars and unnecessary worry by helping ensure complete compliancy with complex laws from start to finish.

Gas Station Construction Planning Essentials

Gas station construction is amongst the most demanding constructional processes and requires the creation of well-designed and detailed plans. Gas stations have to be compatible with tight state/local regulations and ensure utmost convenience for their customers, besides being commercially viable. Many factors need to be determined in the conception of gas station construction and some of these include:

Location

Location or site selection is the most fundamental aspect of any gas station construction plan. The ideal property for gas or service stations should be such that they do not contravene any rules or policies regarding proximity to residential or educational facilities. There are many local administrations that prohibit the presence of fuelling stations near public spaces such as public libraries or institutions that have children and dependents.

Access

While developing a gas station construction plan, it is imperative to ensure that easy entrance and exit points are created for customers. This includes, planning the ideal number of curb cuts on the way to the fueling point and the dedicated frontage area along the streets.

* It is essential to create a certain margin from the adjacent properties since gas station construction, sometimes turns out to be a repeated process in the form of infrastructure updates and installation of new equipment.

* Congestion is often found at gas stations and creation of free access in the form of off-street parking facilities is a simple way to solve this issue.

Fuel-pumping Areas

A crucial factor governing the gas station construction process is the planned location of the fuel pump platforms. Their location often dictates the need of constructing canopies immediately or in the near future. Further, it has to be established whether the canopies have to be created in a movable or fixed format since, there might be plans for future development and widening of the fueling lanes.

Construction of Facility Walls

There are many state-based local administrations that have reservations against the creation of elevated service station walls and often scrutinize the distance of these walls from the street frontage. Example: At the time of conceptualizing gas station construction, it is crucial to decide the location of facilities like the automated car washing area. Often, local rules suggest that such noisy areas need to be separated from adjacent properties by masonry walls of a certain minimum height and thickness. Further:

* The location of the facility walls shouldn’t hinder the view along the ingress/egress areas of the service station since this directly hampers vehicular visibility and poses a threat to the safety of site.

* The material, texture and color of the walls should be compatible to provide maximum visibility during poor daylight or nighttime (in relation to the amount of artificial lighting).

Other Considerations For Gas Station Construction Planning

* The need for a solid or wired fenced wall to be erected along the site

* Requirement of exterior lighting and how it should be deflected away from nearby residential areas (if any)

* The need to place signs and provision of spaces for putting-up promotional displays

* The need to provide paved pathways along the driving, parking, service and storage areas

* Warehouse needs and the extent of stocking of inflammable products

* Dedicated spaces that are needed for parking rental trucks and trailers Creation of temporary canopies that might be needed for storage purposes.

Two Functional Essentials

Another aspect that has gained prominence in the last decade is creation of proper resources for water recycling and maintenance of air quality while planning a gas station construction.

* Water recycling systems refer to the disposal and re-use of water according to state or federal guidelines

* Air quality mechanisms refer to installation of equipments that control the amount of air entering/exiting through mechanical or natural vents and their ability to neutralize noxious air pollutants

Gas station construction is an exhaustive process and is best handled by professionals who are adept at handling structural planning and legal/procedural compatibility related issues.

Evaluating the 4 P’s of a Construction Project

Evaluating the 4 Ps of a Construction Project

This article has been prepared to assist you during the contractor selection process of your construction project. The material is based on information provided by Architectural, Manufacturer, and Trade Associations, as well as Consumer Protection groups. They provide this information as “Contractor Selection Criteria Guidelines” for building owners.

If you do your homework, and take the time to make the proper decisions, you will be one of the satisfied owners and not one of the victims. Generally, most dissatisfied construction project victims limited their focus to

“How Much Will the Project Cost” and
“When Can The Work Get Started”

However, authorities have suggested focusing on many other questions before awarding your project to anyone.
Contracting is not a process that most building owners are familiar with. There is a lot to learn before awarding your project, such as, what products are available and which procedures to use.

Therefore, its vital to know that you can rely on the contractor you choose to give you good advice about those products and procedures that may be new to you.

The critical factor in a successful contracting project is selecting the right contractor.

Architect Associations, Building Material Manufacturers, Trade Associations and Consumer Protection Agencies have published guidelines for selecting a contractor.

In this article, we have condensed that wealth of information into the four critical areas, which today we call the:

4 Ps of Owner Protection
1.PROBLEMS: What are the problems that are causing the need for construction?
2.PRODUCTS: What products and procedures solve those problems?
3.PEOPLE: Who is the contractor to install the products and how do you qualify him/her?
4.PRICE: How do you determine if the price quoted is fair and competitive?

SELECTING A CONTRACTOR

The critical success factor in any construction project is the contractor. A qualified, professional, experienced contractor knows what results are required for Owner Satisfaction as well as what will lead to dissatisfaction down the road.

Allow yourself a minimum of 1 hour to sit down with each contractor. Both of you need to explore the problems, products and prices. You will be surprised at how many options and questions can be discussed with a professional contractor.

Taking only 1 hour of time getting to now and quality the contractor prior to awarding your project can save endless hours of time dealing with dissatisfaction.

Most dissatisfaction involves an owner who did not fully know what they selected or committed themselves to. A professional contractor will take pride in his work and will have no problem discussing your options, his previous experience and his list of satisfied customers

Ask these questions:
WHAT IS THE FULL NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE COMPANY?

DOES THE COMPANY CARRY INSURANCE AND IS THE COVERAGE ADEQUATE?

IS THE COMPANY A LICENSED CONTRACTOR?
IS THE CONTRACTOR A MEMBER OF A TRADE ASSOCIATION AND IN GOOD STANDING?

HOW LONG HAS THE CONTRACTOR BEEN IN BUSINESS?

WHAT IS THE CONTRACTORS TRACK RECORD FOR HANDLING COMPLAINTS?

WHAT IS THE COMPANYS WORKMANSHIP WARRANTY?

Our next article will go into detail about each of these questions, the specifics and how to spot a good contractor.
Stay tuned! Castro Roofing

d Construction Planning For Building Information Modeling Services

Construction projects for 4D construction planning are scheduled according to availability of resources and depend on many external factors. As the time progresses these parameters also change and hence it is important to keep a check on activities to finish the project without any significant delays. The popular 4D building information model does not help in establishing relationship between the schedule and sequence of construction activities to be carried out during the project execution. A 4D model incorporates time as added 4th dimension and hence improves quality and accuracy of the entire building life cycle management.

BIM 4D Modeling makes a reliable digital representation of the building available for design decision making, high-quality construction document production, 4D construction planning, and performance predictions, and cost estimates. Having the ability to keep information up-to-date and accessible in an integrated digital environment gives architects, engineers, builders, and owners a clear overall vision of all their projects, as well as the ability to make informed decisions faster.

To get clear idea one has to link 3D model of the structure and construction schedule of the project, so that the status of the project can be easily reviewed in the form of 3D model at any instance of time. The model so developed can assist the planning members in visualizing the details of the construction work at any point of time. This can help them to take better decisions both during the pre and post construction stages. 4D-model construction planning provides a comprehensive information platform for project schedules and site plans to serve the objective of site management and construction planning.

There are various debates in favor and in against BIM but the actual fact is that it introduces an exceptional opportunity for design industry to create a cohesive, holistic virtual building model, information-rich with the emerged contribution of all disciplines. It removes the conflict among services and quick changes as all the engineering information is comprised already within the model.

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Metal Sheets And Building Construction Work

Metals are essential objects for home construction at every stage. Right from the beginning you need metals to construct various portions of your home or office building. Metal rods are essential for any construction work because they provide base for huge architectural installations and support the whole building.

Metal rods are not the only product used in building construction. There are various works where metals are used before, during and after construction. These days’ metals are also used in furnishing as the base and support for glass, they are also used in making doors, grills and shutters for security. People now trust over electronic or mechanical security devices, even though importance of iron gates, and grills are still on place at every level.

Another popular and essential use of metal sheets is into Air Conditioning systems. Thin Aluminium sheets are used in central air conditioning system of large buildings. Metals sheets are not only part of less important portions of construction work, there are several examples of skyscrapers which are an example of architecture in terms of its size and design both. These buildings often use heavy metal sheets in construction, the foundation is always based on metal rods for almost every cases.

In some examples metal sheets are also used for providing extra features to a building. One fine example is Chrysler Building located on east side of Manhattan in New York which was the world tallest building before the final construction of the Empire State Building. The Chrysler Building’s crown is made of several stainless steel sheets in organized manners. Other uses of metals are into construction of suspension bridges.

Metals and metal sheets are widely used in construction of secondary portions of home. Personal parking lots, servant quarters, animal sheds, roof tops, terrace gardens and security cabins are often made by using different metal sheets or sometimes by using wooden frames along with metal sheets for addition of certain modules or to provide different look. There are several advantages of using metal sheets in such installations, like portability, less expenses, as well as the multi purpose usage prospects. This is the reason behind increasing use and popularity of metal sheets in building construction.

Construction Equipments Supplier – Understand How To Select A Right Manufacturer!

Construction is the lifeline of modern economy. The defined goal and target in it, can be attained using great equipments with higher success rate and accuracy. The greatest civilization of the past has reached their peak using tool and equipments of different types. Now with the advancement of the technology, it has become much easier for mankind to reach the peak of modern civilization. The construction equipment suppliers are the one who provide this equipment to the builder and the construction worker, so that the work can be completed timely.

Construction Equipments Supplier deals in different kind of equipments used during construction of a project take place. These equipments may include simple tools to the most complex tool available in todays time. Some of the examples of such tool are the trucks, material transport vehicles, cranes, bulldozers etc. Most of the equipment are generally given on contact basis and are generally return back to the supplier after the completion of the project. However there are options available were these can be given to the construction company completely.

Construction Equipments Supplier deals in various types of equipment, a list of some of the crucial equipments and their usage is given below.

Cranes: This is specially designed machine which are used to transfer material faster from low lying areas to the higher areas. The crane is a generally used to outperform the human beings by transferring things at faster pace. Generally a crane is used to carry material like huge concrete mixes, fragile materials like glass or granite bars to higher locations in the uncompleted buildings. Please note that a crane is huge construction instrument and hence need especially experienced operator.

Bulldozer: The Construction Equipments Supplier provides bulldozer as per the need of the clients. The bulldozer is a special equipment which help in leveling ground and also cleaning huge debris of waste materials. Bulldozer is a must for all construction firm and help in getting advantage over human labor force.

Others: Apart from this two major equipment there are other important equipments without which the construction sector would be incomplete. Some of such equipments are specially designed elevator. These elevators are used at the site of construction and are specially designed to provide faster completion to the transport works and raw materials from one place to another. Some of the other important equipment that Construction Equipments Supplier provides remains equally important for the construction to get better output.

One should ensure that the equipments that the supplier provides should be well validated and examined. If the criteria are not meet the clients have full rights to reject the contract of product delivery. The supplier should also ensure that the product quality is maintained and a thorough check is made before the delivery of the product is made. The supplier should also check that is the equipment should be return back in working condition in case there is equipment return contact.

Construction Boom In India Will Create High Demands For Civil Engineers In Near Future

Civil Engineering is considered to be one of the core branches today. Also we see new and new structures coming up every day so civil engineers will definitely not be without job. It has better prospects in India and in abroad as well. It has very bright future after specialization in the academic field. As believed, Civil engineering involves not only field but also involves office and desk works like estimation, analysis, designing, tendering etc. It is a field which has very broad scope.

People think that compared to other branches of engineering, Civil Engineering is the least lucrative with no jobs available for those who graduate. On the other hand one gets multiple job offers from software companies if you are doing other branches of engineering and your starting salary will be mind boggling by Indian standards. On the other hand a Civil Engineering undergraduate starts with a salary as low as Rs. 3000-4000/month, so that brings up a question, who wants to take a job as a Civil Engineer when the difference in starting salary is over Rs. 25,000 or more at times.

According to the policies of Central Government for the development of infrastructure, demand for civil engineers is going to rise in next five years. Civil engineers get good salary with job security. Presently, the demand for Civil engineering course is much higher because of the boom in this sector. Civil engineers are people who mainly deal with new ideas to develop infrastructure. Now days, the presence of private players in the industry has also been increasing the quality of work. Since the quality and the manpower facilities are sufficient, they are in a position to fulfill the national and international demand. Many new and modern projects relating to this sector have also begun.

A job of a Civil engineer requires lot of experience in specific fields to meet the changing demands in this sector. Adequate efforts are from the part of the government is done for the speedy execution of the developmental projects in India. As there are adequate manpower in India, it is possible to achieve this objective. A significant increase in the number of projects in this sector has come up partly because of the high quality work involved in it. As the industry is developing, it is creating in employment opportunities for skilled engineers. One cannot imagine a situation, with out the civil engineering sector in a country.

The Civil engineering discipline has been evolving and many new concepts are being introduced nowadays. Various facilities namely the roadways, bridges, buildings etc are the significant aspects in infrastructure. Every nation is being engaged in expanding its developmental aspects so as to survive with the competition with other nations. Its a fact that a major chunk of investment is done in this area in the country which will change the very face of the nation as a whole. This is mainly made possible with the help of civil engineers. There is an increase in pay for a Civil Engineer with about 5 years experience is phenomenal. This is a trend that is observed not only in India but also in Middle East and the US.

Chicago Construction Accident Attorney at Lane and Lane

It is widely known that many accidents occur on construction sites, workers are supposed to be well looked after, and there are meant to be many safety precautions taken so that no accidents happen. The reason for this is that when accidents to happen, the construction company is left wide open to lawsuits and can lose a lot of money, this is why they usually do their utmost to see that all safety issues are seen to, and all workers are working in a secure environment. However, many accidents do occur on construction sites, and people are being wronged out there getting injured in environments where they’re supposed to be safe.

Construction accidents come in many forms, there are Construction Equipment Accidents, Falls from Ladders and Scaffolding Collapses, Falling Objects, Electrocutions and Arc Flash, Inadequate Supervision, Collapses of Walls, Columns or Roofs and Crane Accidents. Each of these is a legitimate area in which you can file a lawsuit against the construction company you work or worked for. It can be hard sometimes to tell who is at fault when it comes to construction accidents, but professional lawyers can narrow everything down, and uncover the truth, and give the victim what they deserve.

When workers have fallen victim to an accident at their construction site, that must have workers compensation insurance. Construction companies and contractors must by law carry workers’ compensation insurance, and it doesn’t matter how big the company is, these is a legality. If this is missed by the company, they will feel the full brunt of the law, and the victim will be able to take full throttle in the case.

One company which offers comforting, effective and professional law assistance is Lane and Lane LLC law offices. Lane and Lane are a family run company, and have an outstanding track record behind them of legal cases won. They always do their best to see that people get what they deserve in situations, and nobody is mistreated. They work closely with their clients, making sure that everything is covered right down to the last detail, this way, they are armed with everything they need to know about an incident, and they can take full control and give their clients a much higher chance of receiving compensation. Lane and Lane offer many legal attorneys from Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney’s to Birth Injury attorneys.

It is essential that as a victim you get in touch with a company like Lane and Lane as soon as possible, as vital evidence can be lost in the early stages after an accident, whether it be a photo, skid mark, message anything. If you get in contact right away, you will be able to preserve everything that’s needed to win the case for you, otherwise you may not get a second chance to receive what’s rightfully yours.

Lane and Lane law offices have won many construction accident cases, and even set some policies straight, preventing future incidents from occurring. They are working towards creating a better future for construction workers all over, and showing the government what is right and wrong with the ways things have been set at first.

What You Should Know About Theft of Construction Equipment

People often think that it’s basically impossible for construction equipment to be stolen, since it would be pretty noticeable if someone started driving a crane down the street. But, many construction equipment thefts are easy to conduct for quite a few different reasons. It’s actually really easy to get away with, and has become commonplace in countries such as the US, Canada, Japan and Europe. People should, therefore, be made aware of such thefts going on in their areas.

Because construction equipment doesn’t come with doors or locks, they are easy for burglars to break into. Thieves feel that hi-jacking construction vehicles is a piece of cake compared to most other types of vehicles. And people won’t be able to tell if the equipment being driven is being operated by a thief or construction worker. Most people wouldn’t recognize a piece of construction equipment if it was camouflaged somehow.

Thieves find it beneficial to steal this kind of equipment because it can command a high price on the black market. Forklifts alone can fetch a price of $12,000 to $50,000, and thieves could sell a generator for $150,00 a pop. Because constructions sites often have lots of these kinds of equipment, it’s easy money for clever thieves. Criminals are very fond of stealing construction vehicles for these reasons, not to mention the fact that most construction sites are unsecured and the vehicles are left out in the open with no protection.

The problem has become too severe to be ignored any longer. According to statisticians in Japan, roughly 450 pieces of construction equipment was stolen in 2008 alone. While in the united states, the National Insurance Crime Bureau found that nearly a billion dollars in construction equipment is stolen and sold each year on the black market.

To date, numerous government agencies and manufacturers of construction equipment have tried their best to prevent this theft from continuing. In the UK, construction equipment registration systems make it easier for the police and the companies who own the equipment to recover their stolen goods.

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