Simile Construction

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Simile Construction brings Christian values to challenging projects in California. 

By Kat Zeman, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Publishing 

He had faith. In God. In himself. In his new company. When Guy Simile founded Simile Construction with his wife, Gina, he wanted it to be a faith-based business with Christian values that treated its employees and clients with integrity and committed to honesty and quality.

“Faith is something that is very important to my family,” says Joe Simile, vice president of operations. “My dad had faith that if you took care of your customers and employees, it would make the company successful. He stood by that and we’ve been very blessed with work.” 

The Modesto, Calif.-based general contractor specializes in commercial, retail, industrial and civil projects. From its award-winning Scenic Oaks Office Park to industrial offices attached to warehouse space, Simile Construction has tackled hundreds of projects in California since its inception in 1999. 

It is especially known for its work for auto dealerships, health and fitness centers, medical facilities, public works buildings and religious institutions. 

“I especially love working on car dealerships when it’s open construction,” Simile says, adding that the company specializes in open construction remodeling work. “It’s challenging. It takes a special kind of contractor to keep the client open for business during construction. It takes expertise. We have developed a system to be able to do this.”

A large number of Simile Construction’s clients are auto dealerships and many are repeat clients. “Car dealerships are changing their brand every few years,” Simile says. “There is tons of repeat work. We’ve remodeled one car dealership four times in the past 12 years.”

Challenges Welcome

Simile Construction does not shy away from challenging work. One such project is underway in Livermore, Calif., where the city decided to relocate a 125-year-old historic train depot. 

Built in 1892, the distinctive depot was an active train station until the early 1960s. The Southern Pacific tracks through the city’s downtown were removed in the 1970s, but the building stayed. “They wanted to relocate the historic train station to a new bus stop,” Simile says. Similie Construction box

The $3.5 million project, projected to be completed in May, involves carefully dismantling the historic depot, moving it several blocks and then restoring it again. 

“You have to tear it down and rebuild it in a fashion that keeps the historic integrity of the building,” Simile says. “We have to re-utilize the existing doors, windows and finishes and architectural paneling. You have to pull it off the building and rehab it. Then you have to reinstall it. It’s a touch-and-feel demolition. You’re pulling out a nail but making sure you don’t destroy the wood.”

 

 

A Transparent Process 

Simile Construction is a family-owned and operated business. Guy Simile serves as president. His wife, Gina, works for the company and his daughter, Megan Simile-Neuson, is the head of human resources. Other family members have worked for the company over the years as well.  

The company prides itself on building long-term relationships with its clients. It wants to help them plan, design and build their businesses to make them more efficient and to enhance the image they present to their own customers.

One way that Simile Construction has been able to build trust with its clients is by using a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contract. “It’s very transparent,” Simile says. “It takes away a little of the nervousness that people have when dealing with general contractors.”  

A GMP is an open-book, cost-type contract where the contractor is compensated for actual costs incurred plus a fixed fee subject to a ceiling price. “We agree on a max price and a reasonable profit margin and then we show you all the invoices,” Simile adds. “A lot of clients like that because we can provide them with multiple trade bids so they know they are getting the best price.”

The traditional and most common form of procuring construction is via a stipulated/lump sum contract. Under a lump sum contract, a single price for all construction work is agreed upon before the work begins.

“It’s easier to do a lump-sum contract project,” Simile says. “GMP contracts involve a lot of paperwork; we have to track every single invoice. But our clients like it.” 

Being a faith-based company, Simile Construction also places high value on giving back to the communities it serves. This includes hosting a number of employee-fundraisers for various charities and performing volunteer work. 

The company also donates its construction management services for a variety of community projects including the restoration of Modesto’s Historic State Theatre.

 

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