Things to consider before landing your first construction job

Posted by Christy Le on Feb 22, 2017 1:56:04 PM

So you want to be a construction superstar? By all means, earn your education, certifications and training. Take on internships and build your resume. But what is it really like to work in the construction industry? And what should you know before you jump in? We're here to offer advice the books won't teach you. Here are 4 things construction professionals today wished they knew before landing their first construction job.

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1. Determine the desired pace of your career

In commercial construction an important consideration is how long you want to spend working on a single project. If you want to experience a diverse portfolio of projects for top name brands (think Google, Airbnb, Uber, PayPal, Facebook), look for a mid-sized, tenant improvement firm with projects that average 8-14 weeks of construction per project. This will ensure that within the first year, you will have a handful of projects under your belt. If you fancy building big structures such as bridges, large campuses or high rises, be prepared to wrap up your first project in about 2-3 years--these projects are massive, and include many moving parts and you will not likely be exposed to the full spectrum of the project.

"Working for large contractors on high profile jobs is a huge waste of time. Bridges, towers, hospital, etc... Your career will move at a snails pace. Find a mid size, growing company that can give you the ability to grow at a rapid rate. " -- Nathan Drainville, Project Manager

2. Thick skin goes a long way

Having the resilience to take on challenges as they come will help more than you know. Commercial construction can be stressful. This is a challenging profession, both mentally and physically. Ready yourself for changes, and be quick to react and adapt so you can stay proactive to meet schedule deadlines.

"Nothing ever goes perfectly in construction and you should be good at improvising and problem solving when things get tough." -- Bryan Mendes, Construction Management Intern.

3. Trade secrets from the field

If you are considering going into field construction instead of the project management route, you can expect your own set of unique benefits, challenges and excitement. After all, you will literally be where the magic happens. Be prepared for the union vs. non-union dynamic, inconsistent work schedules and a tradition of trade secrets that get passed from generation to generation.

"Life in construction has a way of creating a sort of passion for us. So does the diverse group of people you'll encounter and learn from. The people create this atmosphere where they count on you (as the future of the trade) to keep it going and not let them down." -- Walter Torres, Superintendent

4. Be a doer, a seller and a process guru

One of the biggest missed opportunities in construction comes from pigeon-holing yourself into a certain role. An engineer is not just an engineer and a tradesman is more than a tradesman. In this industry, those who thrive are the ones who can be client-facing, the technical expert on the jobsite, and a process maven in the office. You are selling a service, and each employee has the opportunity to win work by positively representing your company in the office and the field.

"Engineering classes provide theoretical knowledge and techniques, but don't ignore practical business training such mastering your elevator pitch, understanding accounting and financial reports and the art of relationship-building." -- Craig Jones, Principal

Topics: construction, jobs, construction management, project management, career path, career advice, career, cre jobs, construction career

Top 20 Interior Features - Celebrating 20 Years w/ 20 Favorites

Posted by Christy Le on Jun 13, 2016 8:00:00 AM

In celebration of our 20 year anniversary, we’re sharing 20 of our favorite things -- from tools to travel destinations and everything in between. 

This month we highlight 20 of Skyline's most requested and unique finishes that guarantee the "wow-factor" in any office space.



Edison Light Bulbs

These bulbs are the trendiest thing since kale salad.  
From restaurants to offices and even outdoor patios,
these strands can class up any space.




Bold Paint Colors

An easy and cost effective way to add a POP to any space,
we are digging the come back of bold, vibrant colors.
Eye catching, affordable, effective--what's not to love?



Tinted Glass + Window Film

Decorated glass office fronts and intricate window film are wildly popular 
to add a hint of privacy, while tying design elements into the overall brand. 


Lithium Technologies 


The Industrial Look

Steel, exposed ceilings, unfinished wood and metal studs give an
industrial feel and we are seeing this look come to life all over the Bay Area.


 Galvanize Cafe


Reclaimed Wood

The reclaimed wood trend is everywhere. No doubt you've seen it before.
But its beauty is in its versatility -- it suits a funky tech space just as well as a sophisticated VC firm.
Rolling barn wood doors, reclaimed wood walls and live edge tables are trends we see time and time again.


Perkins Coie



Channel your inner child and scribble on the walls? Yes please.
IdeaPaint allows you to create a custom dry-erase or chalk board on virtually any surface, 
transforming the space into a hub of creativity and collaboration.... especially loved by our tech clients.


Lithium Technologies


Living Walls

Living walls make a dramatic statement in any space.
These vertical gardens are low maintenance, sustainable and have been proven
to reduce stress, enhance indoor air quality, and improve mental health. Two thumbs up.





We're convinced there is no better way to get from point A to point B.
We geek out over slides and love the challenge of their technical installation.




Art Walls

Traditional frames are being replaced with custom installations commissioned by local artists.
See the graffiti wall below... double whammy to capture a company's culture and support local artists.




Ceiling Clouds

The popularity of exposed ceilings was quickly followed by the necessity for ceiling clouds. 
These installations lower noise levels and distortion while enhancing acoustics. 


 BMC Software


Custom Staircases

Custom staircases require extra planning and coordination but the end result is always stunning,
especially when the staircase doubles as a lounge area or incorporates a slide.




Professional Kitchens

With so many requests for full blown commercial kitchen's lately,
we're starting to get a little jealous of the our client's #workperks.
Who doesn't love a hot free meal, a specially designed wine fridge or multiple kegerators?




Scratch and Sniff Wallpaper

Possibly one of the funkiest features trending, but the walls really are in fact scratch and sniff.  
Hope bananas are your jam if you reserve this phone room for your next conference call.




Video Walls

Large multi-screen video walls are perfect for dynamic signage,
interactive content and strong messaging in any Executive Briefing Center or lobby.





Workplace libraries offer a quiet place to think and work during the day,
but in the evening they double as the meeting place to enter a hidden retro bar.  




Sophisticated Mill Work

Who needs drywall when you can trick out your walls and ceilings with custom mill work.
Luxurious spaces are using wood as a distinguishing feature in their design. Just gorgeous.


ValueAct Capital 


Funky Flooring

Grass in the office? Why not?
Non-traditional flooring is an easy way to make a statement and show separation of spaces.


Big Fish 


Decorated Ceilings

Aside from their aesthetic appeal, heavily designed ceilings offer additional opportunities
for lighting and sound. The office below designed their ceiling to look like airplane wings.  We approve.


Clarium Capital 


Non-Traditional Furniture

In our opinion, swinging in these suspended chairs would be the perfect way to clear writers block.  
Love that firms are adopting swinging chairs, hammocks and all kinds of alternative seating. 



Facet Wall Panels

Out with the boring straight hallways, in with these tricky, asymmetrical wall panels.
Love the added dimension.




Topics: cool office, projects, interior, contractor, tenant improvement, construction, interior design, GC, unique, features

Top 20 Skyline Projects - Celebrating 20 Years w/ 20 Favorites

Posted by Christy Le on Apr 12, 2016 3:00:00 AM


In celebration of our 20 year anniversary, each month we’re sharing 20 of our employees favorite things -- from tools to travel destinations and everything in between.

This month we highlight 20 of the most popular construction projects built since 1996.  Our team put their heads together to vote on spaces that display dramatically unique features, challenging and careful coordination and awesome partnerships with our clients. 

It was no easy feat to rank this list. If we missed any projects you enjoyed working, please share in the comments below.




St. Jude Medical

Sunnyvale  |  131,500 sq. ft.
[See more photos here]


Why we loved it

  •   What started as a retrofit to an old, tired
              building quickly became the demolition
              and ground-up construction of an entirely
              new space.





ValueAct_Photo-BruceDamonte_18.jpgValueAct Capital

San Francisco  |  36,000 sq. ft


Why we loved it

  • Stunning eucalyptus millwork
  • Cathedral style ceilings
  • Metal panel ceilings
  • Wood walls





Health Plan of San Mateo

San Mateo  |  109,000 sq. ft.

Why we loved it

  • An aggressive project schedule
  • Amazing fitness center that rivals
            most private fitness clubs
  • Main break room that feels like a fancy cafe
  • Stellar client and architect creating a
            seamless project delivery





Santa Clara  |  63,000 sq. ft.
[See more photos here]


Why we loved it

  • Cool design features
  • Nostalgia effect: all the conference
           and huddle rooms are named after





Oakland  |  100,000+ sq. ft.
[See more photos here]

Why we loved it

  • Themed collaboration areas with
            bright colors and funky graphics
  • RADIO banquette seating that
            illuminates when occupied
  • Voice recording studios






Pleasanton  |  314,000 sq. ft. 
[See more photos here]

Why we loved it

  • Multiple interconnecting staircases
            joining spaces for functionality
  • Sound-proof recording studio
  • Collaborative team partnership
            between client, architect and contractor






San Francisco  |  90,000 sq. ft.
[See more photos here]

Why we loved it

  • 40+ different light fixtures
    • An awesome all-hands collaboration /
              game room / multi-purpose space
    • Sound room with Buzzi noise
             cancellation panels





San Francisco  |  82,500 sq. ft.
[See more photos here]


Why we loved it

  • Asymmetrical designed vortex hallways
  • All-hands space with stadium style seating
  • Custom designed, fully equipped bar featuring
            multiple kegerators... still waiting for our invitation
            to the party!




Palo Alto  |  70,000 sq. ft.

Why we loved it

  • Working with a rock-star project team
  • Cool structural features like exposed
            barrel truss ceilings
  • Hired a helicopter to lift HVAC units to roof 





Lumina Sales Center

San Francisco  |  6,000 sq. ft.


Why we loved it

  • Renovation of a historical building
  • Luxurious showroom with interactive
            video wall and full scale model
  • Showroom reception area built to
            replicate residential tower lobby
            with fine imported finishes






Spectrum Equity

San Francisco  |  11,000 sq. ft.


Why we loved it

  • Reclaimed wood used
            from a French barn
  • Live edge wood tables 
  • Custom leather banquettes
  • Overall a stunning space







Mountain View  |  54,000 sq. ft.
[See more photos here]


Why we loved it

  • Graffiti artwork all over the walls
  • Sliding board doors for meeting rooms
  • Vinyl wood plank flooring







San Francisco  |  54,000 sq. ft.


Why we loved it

  • Cave room for naps
  • Raw steel media wall
  • Funky fixtures







General Assembly

San Francisco  |  26,300 sq. ft.


Why we loved it

  • Historical building (circa 1920)
  • Chalkboard and white board "IdeaPaint"
  • Classrooms with glass storefront doors







San Francisco & Santa Clara  |  98,000 sq. ft.


Why we loved it

  • Awesome lobbies with green tinted glass
  • Free standing glass marker boards 
  • Super bright and colorful spaces




Server Farm Realty

Santa Clara  |  30,000 sq. ft.


Why we loved it

  • State of the art data center
  • Received LEED Silver certification
    • Extensive building upgrades 
              and a new exterior facade





San Bruno  |  106,100 sq. ft.


Why we loved it

  • Game room
  • Fitness studio
  • Seamless project delivery






Adam Zuur's Office

San Francisco  |  300 sq. ft.


Why we loved it

  •  Imaginative design features
  • Careful and tedious execution
  • A priceless end product





Topics: projects, interior, contractor, tenant improvement, construction, interior design, GC