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Informational

Building Near Wetland 101

 

When building a new construction it’s important to not only look at the land on which you will be building but also at the land around it. If you are building near a wetland, it is important to know the specifics of what you can and can’t do along with how to go about getting a permit. As wetlands are usually protected it can be difficult to start a new build that is too close to the wetland ecosystem.

 

Wetland is important. The Environment of Protection Agency ( The EPA) defines wetlands as “areas where water covers the solid or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year” Essentially, a wetland is an area that is wet all year round or for long periods of times throughout the year. A wetland is an ecosystem and because of this, they play an essential role in the environment. 

 

There are two types of wetlands that are most commonly encountered when purchasing or looking to build on the land.

 

  1. Coastal/tidal wetlands: these, as their name suggests are found along the Atlantic, Pacific, Alaskan, and Gulf coasts.
  2. Inland/non-tidal wetlands: these are found around rivers or streams. 

 

While there other types of wetlands these are the two that you will most likely see when purchasing or building on the land.

 

Do you need a permit to build near Wetland?

If you notice that the land you wish to build on is near a wetland the first thing you should do is speak with an environmental consultant. This person will be able to survey the area and will have the training to identify plant communities that may prefer wet soils and other factors. You can also use the wetlands mapper tool to help you research your area. To be on the safe side, we would recommend going the consultant route.

 

Based on the consultants’ recommendations you will most likely need to obtain a permit to move forward with the building. If your new build will only impact half an acre or less of non-tidal wetland, you can look into the nationwide permitting process which is a little easier than going through the typical process with the US Army Corps of Engineers. 

 

The process of obtaining a permit for building near a wetland is long. Even after obtaining a permit, you may run into issues with water management around your building. 

 

 

What are the benefits of building near a wetland?

With the process of getting a permit being extremely time-consuming and daunting, why would people even want to build near a wetland? Well, there are certainly a few pros in our mind.

 

  • Privacy – Wetlands offer a high amount of privacy which to some is a huge plus.
  • Wildlife – This will vary based on your likes and dislikes but many people who do choose to build near wetlands do so because of the wildlife they will see. 
  • Investment – luxury properties that are close to wetlands in a well-connected urban area have a very high probability of appreciation when it comes to money. 

 

In Rhode Island alone, wetland takes up over 16% of the state which is pretty high compared to other parts of the US. So regardless if you plan to soak in the nature near the lake or not, it is important to understand the rules and regulations in your area.

 

 

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Informational

What Home Renovations Require Permitting

Buying your first home or even updating your existing home is an exciting time, you can make the changes you desire and enhance your living experience. Typically, the first thing people think of when making changes in the design, color options, or how the change will increase the property value. 

With significant changes, it is essential to research and understand that many times, home renovations require permits.  Surprisingly, even smaller changes often need permits as well. To save you a headache later on, before starting any projects, make sure you understand the ins and outs of building permits and when they are required.

So, what even is a building permit? 

Building permits are written authorizations issued by a city or country that allows you to continue with construction for a project. They ensure that the project minimizes any health or safety risks that may be involved. These risks cans can include things such as structural collapse, fire hazards, and even electrical issues. While going through the process may seem tedious it’s important to understand that these permits are put in place to keep your family and your neighbors safe.

What kind of home renovations require permitting?

The types of projects that require permits will vary based on where you live. Local codes will dictate which renovations need a permit but as a good rule of thumb, the following renovations typically require a permit before starting.

  • Structural Changes: Any demolition or structural changes to your property will require your contractor to obtain a permit. This includes changes to your roof, deck, flooring, etc. 
  • Additions to your home: New construction or upgrades that total more than $5,000 will require a permit if they are larger than a 200-square foot change.
  • Plumbing or electrical work: Smaller items like replacing light fixture installations do not require permits however, if you are updating wiring, outlets, or plumbing you will most likely need to submit a permit.
  • Pools: This will vary based on where you live however typically pools that hold over 24 inches of water will need a permit.

Which home improvement jobs don’t need permits?

As one may hope, smaller projects like landscaping work and others do not require a permit. Other projects that do not require a permit may include things like: 

  • Painting
  • Installing hardwood floors or carpets
  • Replacing a faucet
  • Countertops

Essentially, any cosmetic improvement will fall into the category of no permit needed. 

What happens if you don’t get a permit?

The permit process can be frustrating but, if you don’t receive a permit for your home project it can lead to major issues with your city. Not receiving a permit can result in you having to pay hefty fees or in some cases your renovation work may be destroyed as there is no way for the city to know if your work is up to code.

If you hire a trusted professional contractor to handle your home renovation they should know whether the job requires a permit or not but, as the homeowner the responsibility will fall back on you so be sure to handle your due diligence. 

All in all, it’s the safest bet to reach out to your municipality to ensure permit requirements are met, it’s also important to hire someone you trust if you are not sure where to start download the Dibbs app to find professionals near you.

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Informational

Can I Trust the Building Material Suppliers’ Quality from Online Websites?

When starting any home renovation project, it is crucial to consider both the cost of the work and the cost of the materials needed to complete the project. Oftentimes, materials may be provided by the contractor or company you are working with. However, if it is something you need to provide it’s important to know where you can look and trust that you will find the best quality. When looking to purchase materials online there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

  1. Does this material meet my requirements?
  2. What is the price of the material in the local market?
  3. Are there substitute materials that may be more affordable?
  4. How will I get the materials?

Online marketplaces are a great way to start your search for the materials you need. Dibbs is a marketplace app that allows you to bid on materials. This allows you to feel peace of mind in knowing you are getting the best price possible. As for trusting the supplier, you can easily view certifications, reviews, and more on the app.

What are the benefits of purchasing materials from an online marketplace?

Review competitor’s pricing and quality 

When purchasing materials through a marketplace the process is typically a lot easier than if you were to do it the “old-fashioned” way. With a marketplace, you can easily view multiple vendors at once, the price and materials they are offering, and more. This allows for an easy comparison from one source meaning you will not need to contact multiple suppliers – saving you a lot of time and money. 

Easily browse substitute options

In addition to reviewing cost factors, online marketplaces offer a variety of wide range brands to choose from. If you don’t see the brand you were specifically looking for you may be able to find a substitute at a better price and one that still meets your requirements. 

Convenience to browse on your own time

Convenience is probably one of the most overlooked benefits of online marketplaces. These marketplaces provide you with the ability to shop for building materials at your leisure. You can search during commercial breaks of your favorite tv show and even after typical work hours. With online marketplaces, you can contact the supplier after work hours and get a response before your work day the next day. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. 

Faster Transactions

Automation means faster checkout. Orders online are usually processed within seconds and allow for real-time updates and tracking of order status. 

Cons of buying construction building materials online

While there are a lot of pros to buying construction materials online there are also a few cons. It’s important to think of these as you decide if you will use online marketplaces or not.

Product Testing

When buying products from a local store you can touch and feel the product before purchasing them to ensure they are in fact what you are looking for. With online shopping, as expected you do not have that option. If you are using an app such as Dibbs to purchase your materials be sure to chat with the vendor first so they can confirm the product being purchased will work for you. They may even be able to provide suggestions on substitutions to help you save money.

Shipping Costs

Shipping costs can deter you from purchasing online. Be sure this is something you review purchasing products. 

All in all, the pros of buying construction materials through an online marketplace heavily outweigh the cons. Using apps such as Dibbs ensures that you are choosing the most affordable and best quality product for your job all from the ease of your home.

 

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Informational

How to Improve Energy Efficiency Through Exterior Renovations

According to EIA.Gov, the average household uses over 11 thousand kilowatt-hours of energy per year, this number may vary based on the climate where you live. With a larger focus on how households can reduce energy costs, it is important to know how you can improve this in your home. Improving energy efficiency will not only reduce your impact on the environment but will save you money.

By making some exterior improvements, some large and some small, you can make a big impact on the energy efficiency of your home. If the thought of home renovation seems daunting to you- Dibbs is here to help provide certified professionals for your job.

About every ten years or so your home will most likely need some updates and repairs. The next time you have a home renovation project think about how the renovation can reduce your energy usage and save you money.

Three renovations and updates you can make to help save energy and money.

Updating your roof.

This is probably one of the most popular options today. Creating a cool roof or using solar panels can help you save money on energy bills. Insulation is another big thing to keep in mind with your roof, many homes lose a lot of heat through the roof so be sure to check it regularly and ensure it’s in good shape.

Replace windows

According to Energy Star updating single-pan windows to double-pan windows can save you up to $340 per year! That is a large saving through a rather small update. If the budget is tight, just be sure to seal the windows around all edges and think of using specific curtains to help with insulation. Solar panels can also help to increase the value of your home.

Insulated Siding

Did you know that there is siding that offers a foam backing for insulation to help keep heat inside your home? Insulated vinyl siding is a great way to help keep energy costs down in your home. In addition, you won’t have to worry about re-painting your home every few years as the siding will provide color and efficiency.

Small changes can really improve your home’s energy efficiency. Take a few weeks out of the year to ensure your home is not only saving you money but saving energy as well. Home renovations can be daunting, always looks for ways to save time and money to remove some of the stress before starting larger projects. 

 

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Informational

5 Air Conditioning Tips for the Summer

With summer officially here, most homeowners will be turning on that air conditioner – if they haven’t already. Air conditioning systems can be pricey and account for more than 60% of your energy costs during those hot summer months. Check out these air conditioning tips to avoid issues and ensure your AC is good to go for those hotter days. 

1. Get your Air Conditioner Serviced Regularly

Prevent any problems before they occur to save both time and money during the hot summer days. Typically, an annual service should be enough to keep your AC unit in good condition and running smoothly. What happens if you continue to put off that regular maintenance check? The saying if it’s not broken don’t fix it is not true for AC units. Ignoring and prolonging those AC maintenance checks can cost you a lot of money and you may be out of cool air on the hotter days of summer. 

You can quickly search for HVAC professionals on the Dibbs app to schedule your maintenance check. 

2. Clean or Replace Filters 

At least twice a year or, quarterly you should clean and replace your filters especially if they looked clogged with dust. Not changing filters can not only cause dust to recirculate into your home but can close down the airflow and essentially decrease the efficiency of your unit. 

3. Weatherize Doors and Winters 

It may sound like a no-brainer but even the smallest leaks around doors and windows can cause your costs to skyrocket. 

4. Take Care of the Condenser

A condenser is the outdoor portion of the air conditioner or heat pump that releases or collects heat (depending on the time of the year). Many suggest covering your condenser to prevent debris such as leaves, sticks, and even bugs from entering the unit.

5. Keep Heat Producing Appliances Away from Your Thermostat

The location of your thermostat will play a big role in how effectively your AC unit runs. Placing a thermostat in a hot room or next to a sunny window will prevent the thermostat from gauging the temperature properly.

When HVAC professionals install your thermostat they will avoid placing it in hot areas of your home. 

Hiring a professional or following these air conditioning tips to ensure your AC unit is running properly can help you stay cool and save money during the summer months. And, if you end up needing a new unit do your research before committing to one, you can always receive multiple quotes on the Dibbs app for all your home projects and maintenance. 

 

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Informational

Top 8 Ways to Save on Home Renovation Projects This Summer

With the days longer in the summer, it makes it a perfect time to enhance your home with that project you have been waiting to do all year. Home renovations can be overwhelming especially when you are not sure what the costs may be. Whether your home renovation project is big or small, saving costs where you can will really add up in the long run. Check out our top 8 tips to help you save on home renovation projects this summer and get the most bang for your buck on your next home project.

  1. Stick to a budget – this may seem like one of the simpler things to do but, don’t overlook it. Before you begin your project do research. Look into what average costs are for the job and add an additional budget to that. This will allow you some wiggle room and prevent stress later on when the job is already started.
  2. Wait For Sales The Balance, shares that traditionally, spring and summer products usually go on clearance in June and July, and fall and winter merchandise usually go on sale in January after the winter holidays. With a little advance planning, you can save significant amounts of money. Start getting the list of items you will need together now and once June hits, search for those sales!
  3. Use Look A-likes – Have you been looking at adding mahogany floors to your living room? Mahogany can be quite an expense, look into more affordable options such as Khaya or Sapele. Doing this for a majority of the items you need can save you a lot of money and, no one will. notice.
  4. Use Standard Sizes – Custom sizes can often cost more than double what a normal size costs. To cut costs use standard sizing, this will also allow you to have more options when it comes to molding, color accents, and more.
  5. Re-Use Materials -Salvage yards and Habitat for Humanity ReStores are a great way to look for materials at a lower cost. Buy and sell marketplaces such as the Dibbs app is a great place to look as well. Sometimes you may find a load of lumber leftover from someone else’s project! 
  6. DIY – DIY is a growing way of home renovation and with so many people out there sharing tips and tricks why not take a try at doing your project on your own? Youtube is a great tool to utilize for this or, Facebook community groups!
  7. Enlist Help – some things aren’t better when cutting corners. When you need something done correctly, don’t be afraid to enlist help. Have a budget in mind and search for the professionals in your area.
  8. Use the Dibbs app. Dibbs is the new app for buying and selling in the marketplace. If you have a job you need to be completed by a professional, post it on Dibbs with our easy-to-use templates and let the professionals come to you. Looking for extra material for your job? Search on Dibbs and bid on a post. It’s really that easy. You can download the app today and start seeing your project come to life.

Home renovation should be exciting. Remove the stress with these tips and get started. Questions about the Dibbs app? Reach out to our support team and start saving time and money today.

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Informational

Top 10 Ways Contractors Can Reduce Job Site Costs 

Owning and operating a construction company is costly; it requires a considerable initial commitment in both time and money. In building, taking shortcuts will only have you spending more money. Because of this, it’s important to do the job right so you only have to do it once. So, as a contractor or business owner where can you reduce job site costs?

Continue reading to learn more about how to reduce job site costs without sacrificing basics.

1. Download the Dibbs App

Dibbs is a digital marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. With Dibbs, users can save time, money, and energy by discovering what you’re looking for 50% quicker.

Dibbs offers suppliers, contractors, and homebuilding owners a variety of products and services at the best possible pricing. Dibbs eliminates the friction associated with the current process of bidding, purchasing, and selling items and services in the marketplace. 

It enables users to perform jobs more efficiently, quickly, and affordably. The Dibbs app is the easiest way to help reduce job site costs.

2. Choose a standard design and layout

Customized building designs and layouts may be costly in terms of both time and money. If you’re looking to save money, go with a stock design and layout. And, if you want to maximize space, you can easily add more levels while keeping the conventional layout design.

3. Avoid making too many modifications in the middle

Revising building plans during a build is something that does occur often. If you decide to revise the project’s plan after construction has begun, it might cost you a lot of money. Before starting any build, take your time and make sure you understand the strategy and final outcome before beginning work.

4. Save money on construction materials

There are several strategies to reduce the cost of construction supplies. For example, using locally accessible bricks, cement, tiles, paints, and so forth. Another way is to invest in low-maintenance building materials to save long-term expenditures. 

The best way to do this is by using Dibbs app. On the app you can either place a bid listing the materials you need or, review posts that have the materials you are looking for – it’s that easy.

Reclaimed building materials may be utilized to create stairs and other components of the structure. Purchase supplies in bulk and negotiate a fair price.

5. Make use of contemporary technologies

In more ways than one, the arrival of technology has revolutionized the construction industry and the process of creating buildings. In a recent article, Forbes states how construction companies are embracing new technologies to gain competitive advantages. 

Don’t be afraid to use innovative technologies that may save you a lot of time and money while also reducing the possibility of human mistakes in construction.

6. Know when to rent equipment

You are not required to purchase anything you use. Rent a piece of equipment if you only need it a few times a year to save money. Heavy equipment, such as loaders, excavators, backhoes, and cranes, may be rented.

Before renting, consider how often you will use the item and how much it will cost to rent. If the cost of renting the equipment is less than the cost of owning it with maintenance and purchase, renting is the best alternative. 

If the scales tilt the other way, purchasing the equipment will save you money in the long run.

7. Use tools wisely

Control how your staff utilizes equipment on the job. Make an inventory of your tools and equipment, noting how many and what kinds you have. When a worker needs tools for a job, have them sign the equipment out. Mark all tools owned by your company to prevent them from being mistaken with employees’ equipment. This procedure of signing out helps you in two ways. For starters, it guarantees that the tools are returned to their storage room at the end of the day. By asking employees to sign their equipment in and out, you may save money on product loss. Second, it prevents employees from utilizing the incorrect tools for the task. Using the incorrect equipment may cause the tools to fail prematurely.  A worker, for example, using an underpowered drill may exert unnecessary strain on the equipment, reducing its life and potentially damaging it.

8. Employe multi-tasking employees

Hire people that can multitask and are prepared to go above and beyond their job description. The following are the advantages of employing multitasking employees:

  • Get the most out of each employee, and you’ll be able to cut down on worker downtime.
  • Complete the building project ahead of schedule, saving time and money.

9. Reduce construction waste

Reduce your garbage collection expenses by reusing and recycling as much as possible.  Choose items with little packaging and in bulk containers. You will not only save trash on your site, but you will also save money on construction expenses since your staff will be able to unpack and utilize the supplies more quickly.

10. Plan for future changes

When it comes to learning how to keep construction expenses down, don’t get hung up on rigidly adhering to the bid. Changes may occur throughout building projects, and you will lose money if you do not prepare for them.

Ideally, you should include information in the contract about your duties if the client wants a modification order. This will pay your expenses if the adjustment requires more time or supplies. Failure to prepare for change will raise your operational expenses. If you do this, you will never be caught off guard and over-budget if anything changes.

The bottom line for reducing job site costs

Although the capital needed for construction is substantial, it is feasible to lower the high expenses.  Stay focused on putting these cost-effective strategies in place and you’ll be able to slash your job site costs in half.

If you want to see how Dibbs can save you time and money, download the app today. Available on both Google Play and the App Store.

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Informational

How to Choose a General Contractor That’s Right for Your Project

Are you ready to finally start remodeling your kitchen after thinking about it for two years? You’ve gone back and forth between designs and how you want the kitchen to look and, let’s not forget about the stove. You finally choose the stove of your dreams to cook all the meals for your family and friends. Now, it’s go time. But where do you start? 

First, you need to find a contractor. Choosing a General Contractor can be stressful, especially when you haven’t had to use one in the past. Let’s break down the steps to find a contractor in your area that meets your needs.

Step 1. Download the Dibbs app

The Dibbs app allows you to post your job (the kitchen remodel) and have it reach an entire network of certified contractors. The templates on the app make it easy to use and, you can post it within minutes!

Step 2. Allow the contractors to come to you

Yup, you do not have to do the manual work of calling multiple contractors and being placed on hold only to describe what you’re looking for 3+ times. Now, with your post shared on the network, contractors will be able to contact you through the app and provide you with previous work they have done, referrals, certifications, and timeline and budget.

Step 3. Choose who you want to work with

You have received 6+ bids from contractors who want to rebuild your kitchen- you’ve asked them the questions or concerns you have and have even spoken to a few via FaceTime to show them the space. Now, you pick a winner! Through the Dibbs app, you can choose the contractor that you will work with and send a deposit if required through the secure transaction portal.

Step 4 – Let the fun begin

Now that you have the contractor – the kitchen remodel begins! Throughout your project, you can keep a timeline and budget sheet in the Dibbs app to ensure you are staying on track. Throughout the renovation process, be sure you have a “temporary” kitchen that can accommodate your cooking needs until then, we would also suggest embracing disposable silverware to keep things easy!

Step 5 – Enjoy your new Kitchen

All the work is done and now you can easily leave a review for the contractor who completed your job to help others looking for similar work. Now, it’s time to enjoy your new kitchen.

The Dibbs app makes it simple. Gone are the days of contacting multiple contractors or asking family and friends for referrals trusting that their referrals will meet your standards. Download the app today and start seeing how you can save time and money on your next home renovation.

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Informational

Dibbs Referral Program

Construction work is hard – we understand that and that is why we are looking to send you and a friend of your choice to Las Vegas for 4 nights! 

How To Enter:

The referral program is easy to enter. Follow the steps below to take advantage of this promotion.

  1. Download the Dibbs app. You can download the Dibbs app on Google Play or, the App Store. Just follow the prompts to set up your account. 
  2. Get your referral code. Visit your profile in the app and click on “Referral Program” You will then see a screen which will show your referral code and allow you to easily share it with friends in your network! Users who download the app MUST use your referral code in order for you to get credit for the download. 
  3. Refer 10 tradesmen in your network. Using the referral code in your profile – get 10 users to download the app. The 10 individuals using your code must be legitimate tradesmen and suppliers in order to qualify. This will be checked manually by a Dibb’s rep so be sure you follow this step completely to not lose your spot! 
  4. Get ready for Vegas! Once 10 tradesmen are on the app using your referral code you will receive a confirmation email. This email will let you know that you have completed the necessary steps and, that our sales team is reviewing your referrals (ensuring they are legitimate tradesmen and suppliers).
  5. Back Your Bags! Once your 10 referrals are confirmed you will receive a notification on your phone as well as an email providing you with information on your trip!

What Is Included in The Trip?

We are excited to offer you a fun-filled trip with lots of extras! When you win your trip you can expect the following to be provided to you by Dibbs.

  • 4 night stay at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino
  • Round trip flight tickets for you and a guest of your choice
  • 2 tickets to Cirque Du Soleil
  • Catered networking event hosted by Dibbs
  • A gift bag with exclusive goodies

More information including details on the flight as well as the networking event will be emailed to you after it has been confirmed you have won. 

Still, have questions? Take a look at our FAQ page for more information. Good luck!

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Informational

Digital Marketplaces in the Construction Industry

Digital marketplaces in the construction industry are not as popular as one may think. The construction industry is one of the largest sectors in the global economy yet, according to MGI’s Digital Index it is one of the largest sectors that lacks digitization. Digitalization and technology have become a way of the world and for many businesses, have made life easier and allowed time-consuming tasks to no longer be that. 

So, why is this large sector not there yet? Luke Fleury, the CEO, and Founder of Dibbs is a General Contractor himself and expresses how he doesn’t love technology and often would shy away from it because he knew he could do it manually. This is often the thought of other contractors as well. Technology is a tool that should be utilized by businesses but is sometimes overlooked due to uncertainty. 

One example of a process that could benefit from technology is the construction bidding process. The current bidding process for construction contractors is time-consuming and paper-heavy. Often, you will need to complete multiple searches if your job has more than one aspect. 

Here is what the current bidding process looks like:

  1. Create your job and submit it to multiple vendors. This means you need to re-create the same information and submit it to multiple vendors.
  2. Wait to receive all bids from multiple vendors.
  3. Compare the bids to the others you have received.
  4. Pick a winner and contact who you will be working with.
  5. Create a contract and get it signed by all parties.

You may be thinking, there has to be an easier way to do this. There is but before we dive into that let’s first look into the benefits of a digital marketplace. 

Benefits of Digital Marketplaces in the Construction Industry

A marketplace such as Dibbs allows day-to-day processes to become seamless and no longer a paper-heavy process. With the Dibbs marketplace app, you can save time and money by reaching a larger network of professionals. While other services help with the bidding process, many act as a lead generation tool rather than an all-in-one marketplace. Not to mention, the Dibbs app makes it easy for those who don’t have the time to learn new technology (we have templates that make it seamless).

A marketplace allows your network to expand and for you to reach professionals that you may not have known of without the use of technology. For example, let’s say as a contractor, you typically purchase supplies from 2 suppliers at what you think is an okay price. Using the Dibbs app, you input the materials you are looking for, and your posts reach an entire network of vendors. This means that more vendors can bid on your project. Now, because of this expanded network, you have three new suppliers who are outbidding the previous suppliers you were using. This helps you to save money, time and choose who you want to work with. 

How else can a marketplace help a business? Let’s take a look at how the COVID pandemic has influenced technology use.

The Impacts of COVID-19:

In the past two years, the global pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the construction industry. Not only has COVID made it more difficult to get the materials needed at the price required but, many companies have taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their employees, contractors, and homeowners. This includes replacing some processes with technology. Zoom calls are an example of a change that covid brought that almost every industry now uses. Additionally, many companies are now utilizing marketplaces to enhance their work from home as opposed to traveling.

All in all, every industry is taking a step forward and utilizing technology in more ways than one. In order to keep up with the growth of the construction industry and to stay competitive, businesses will need to use technology to benefit their bottom line. 

If you are tired of spending countless hours manually placing bids for construction jobs and materials, download the Dibbs app and learn how Dibbs can help you save time and money.