Category Archives: Community

PJC works with Chamber on St. Pete Store

PJ Callaghan recently worked with the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce on a renovation project to create the new “St. Pete Store” as well as enhance the Chamber’s official Visitor Center.

The St. Pete Store will offer an array of jury-selected products that are only “Made in St. Pete.” And the Chamber’s Visitor Center is the primary go-to for information about things-to-do in and around St. Petersburg.

We were glad to be able to provide both design services and construction services at cost for this important project for the Chamber and the City of St. Petersburg.

More information HERE (and here).



The Need-to-Know’s re: Notice to Owner

Whether you’re a developer taking on a multi-million dollar condominium project or a homeowner finally adding that extra bedroom on your house, you should be aware of the laws impacting your property interests. The importance of hiring an experienced contractor and having regular communication cannot be understated. At PJ Callaghan, we receive questions and calls about Notice to Owner (NTO) letters on a regular basis.

This month we took a few minutes to sit down with Ryan Griffin, a partner with Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP. Johnson Pope is a premier regional law firm in Tampa Bay. Ryan breaks down the legal jargon around Notice to Owner (“NTO”) and what to do if you find yourself with a NTO letter. Haven’t signed a contract yet? Stay tuned, next month we’ll highlight best practices to protect both parties when structuring contracts…

Ryan Griffin Johnson Pope“Under Florida law, those who perform work on your property or provide materials and are not paid-in-full, have the right to enforce their claim for payment against your property in the form of a construction lien. While you may talk to your general contractor (GC) daily, you may not know what subcontractors or material suppliers (collectively: “Subcontractors”) are being hired and paid by the GC to complete every aspect of your project.

“In an ideal world you pay your GC and they turn around and pay their Subcontractors promptly. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Even if you pay your GC in full, if the GC fails to pay its Subcontractors, under Florida law they can look to your property for payment via a construction lien. While the thought of a lien on your property can be daunting, there are some simple things to remember and precautions to take to ensure the construction project does not become a nightmare.”

Step One: Identify yourself and others working on your project

“Florida law provides a number of mechanisms to assist an owner in identifying the GCs, and Subcontractors that will be working on your project. One of these mechanism is filing a Notice of Commencement at the outset of your project. This also notifies the GC and Subcontractor of who you are and how they can contact you if there is an issue (i.e. non-payment by the GC). You should also be aware that you have the right to request in writing from the GC a list of all Subcontractors who have a contract with the GC. This is a great way to keep track of and verify whether all subcontractors have been paid when it’s time to pay your GC.”

Step Two: Obtain releases before paying your GC

“To best protect yourself, get the GC to have the Subcontractors issue you a Release of Lien before making any final payments for work performed. A Release of Lien is a written statement that removes your property from the threat of lien. If your contract with the GC calls for partial payments before the work is completed, get a Partial Release of Lien covering all Subcontractors’ work and materials used to that point. Upon completion of the project, and before you make the last payment to your GC, obtain an affidavit from your GC that specifies all unpaid parties who performed labor, services or provided services or materials to your property. Make sure that your GC provides you with final releases from these parties before you make the final payment.”

Step Three: Save all documentation

“In order for a Subcontractor to attempt to obtain a lien, it must go through many steps (i.e. send a proper Notice to Owner, perform work on your property, file a Claim of Lien, etc.). Each of these steps has a proper procedure and technical requirements. If the Subcontractor has not taken the appropriate steps, they may not have a valid Claim of Lien. The notices, receipts, releases, copies of payments, etc. that you have saved will be critical to your defense against a Claim of Lien.”

Step Four: Contact a lawyer/Contesting A Lien

“In the event that you need to contest a lien or defend a lien foreclosure, due to the complexity and time sensitivity involved, I would advise you to immediately contact a lawyer that specializes in this area of the law.”

About Ryan Griffin:

Ryan has a B.S.B.A. from the University of Florida and a J.D. and M.B.A. from Stetson. He is certified as a Florida Supreme Court Civil Court Mediator to practice in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Southern, Middle & Northern Districts of Florida. Ryan is a state and federal trial lawyer and certified court mediator. Ryan’s practice areas include: construction litigation, real estate law, commercial litigation and other business disputes.1006123_472265246188502_1579577636_n

Based in St. Petersburg, Ryan’s civic involvements include: Past President of the ARC of Tampa Bay (formerly UPARC), Board of Governors of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Lawyers for Literacy and Partners in Self-Sufficiency (which assists low-income families in achieving economic self-sufficiency).

About Johnson Pope:

Founded in 1973, Johnson Pope is a premier Tampa Bay regional law firm with offices in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa. The full-service firm employs 50+ attorneys and a total staff of over 200. Johnson Pope is AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and is consistently recognized by the Best Lawyers in America, as well as Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, among other honors.

New 3D capability helps clients visualize projects

Engineers, architects and contractors regularly work with two-dimensional drawing to complete projects. This is a skill that takes years to perfect and hone. For the lay(wo)man, two-dimensional, black-and-white drawing can be challenging to read or interpret and yet this is the phase in which clients are asked to make many important decisions.

In some cases a client may see a project as it’s physically coming together and realize it’s not as they envisioned, then adjustments must be made. Adjustments often mean added cost, as well as increased time to complete projects.

3D color drawings can answer questions and show clients more realistically what a proposed project will look like. Understandable drawings empower construction managers to communicate more clearly with customers. And we all know thorough communication makes for better outcomes.

“Three dimensional color drawings give clients the opportunity to provide meaningful input into their projects because they’re working with visualizations that make sense to everybody.” Tobin Robeck, SVP, PJ Callaghan

3D images aren’t just about helping clients visualize projects – they help us too. For example, the software provides clash detection to quickly identify potential problems very early in the construction process. Maybe a proposed electrical wiring placement clashes with an air conditioning duct. Catching something like that in the drawing phase takes a couple minutes to fix, catching an issue like that once we’re in the field costs more time and resources.


This image shows where the proposal has a clash. This allows the drawings to be adjusted to avoid expensive complications down the line.
This image shows where a proposal had a clash. The technology helps make specific adjustments early to help avoid expensive changes later.
The Revit image scan be viewed on free software with any PC. We have used this technology to help such clients as Con-way Freight and our St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce where a buildout is currently underway (more on that project soon).

Protecting Metal Roofs During Rainy Season


headerDid you know your metal roof should be inspected every 10-15 years? Many folks assume because it’s metal, it’ll last a lifetime. And this is true, but what’s easy to forget is the smaller pieces can fail, such as cracked and dried gaskets, rusted screws, and old roof panel stoppers. And while these can seem like minor problems, when it rains, it pours. And if your roof isn’t fully sealed, rain can wreak havoc: damaging insulation, ruining warehouse equipment and causing mold.



1. If you have a drop ceiling, check for stains on the tiles.

2. For buildings that do not have a ceiling, be on the lookout for sagging insulation. The white vinyl backing to the insulation might resemble a water balloon protruding from the wall.

3. Other signs, such as rust on the roof panels, or fiberglass strands showing on skylights, can be tell tales of impending roof leaks.

And, if you don’t know how and where to walk on your metal roof, you could be doing even more damage, causing even more failure points for future leaks.

If you are qualified to hop up on the roof and look at the leak yourself, let’s talk about the three most common mistakes people make when trying to fix a leaky metal roof.


1. While sealant may seem like a good idea, it’s a short-term fix. A very short-term fix. Plus, it has a tendency to dry out and make future repairs more difficult and costly.

2. Some think it would be a good idea to build a new roof over the old roof. While there are several problems with this, the main issue comes when you’re unable to find the old leaks because you’ve just gone and covered them up. Your insulation and other materials near the roof could still be damaged and in need of replacement…This band-aid technique is a definite no-go.

3. Some people attempt to cover their old insulation with fresh insulation, apparently thinking: sure the roof is leaking, but at least this new insulation will keep the rain from dripping into the warehouse…First of all, the second your insulation is damaged by water, you may need to consider replacement. Mold, mildew and other problems arise when insulation gets wet, so just covering it with new insulation is going to do nothing but mask an existing issue.

If you want to save time and energy, give us a call. We can come out and do a free roof inspection. If we find any issues, we’ll give you a quote and let you decide your next steps. We’ve been in the game for a while now, and we’re offering this service because we know what can happen when a roof isn’t properly cared for.

Give us a call or shoot us an email to set up your free metal roof inspection!

PJC featured in FL Business Observer

P.J. Callaghan has been doing business in Florida for 67 years, working with many leading organizations around the state.

A full-page feature this month in the Florida Business Observer logo-2013btouches on that history along with some of what we’re doing to stay ahead of the curve and continually innovate and communicate.

From updating our graphic identity (for the first time since the 1977), to expanding our construction services over the years, to utilizing steel far outside the industrial arena, to getting further involved in the community – we’re proud of where we’ve come from, where we’re going, and to be recognized by the Business Observer for these efforts.

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SVP Burket appointed to college advisory committee

SVP Tom Burket has been selected to serve on St. Petersburg College (SPC)’s Building Arts & Engineering Technology Advisory Committee. 

SPC’s Building Arts programs include such focuses as Architectural Design, Construction Technology, Drafting, and Design Technology. And certificate programs focus on such areas as Sustainable Design. 

SPC-TSSPC maintains a series of advisory committees “to provide oversight and make sure our educational programs remain on-point and effective.” Further information about the advisory role is available at The one-year appointment is effective today, July 1. 

In the confirmation letter to Burket, college president William D. Law said, “The college values the expertise and experience you will bring to the program and appreciates your willingness to assist.” 

Burket said, “As a growing construction company, we’re glad to do what we can to help bolster, promote, and support Tampa Bay’s strength in technical education.” 

Contributing to the St. Pete evolution

A family-run construction company with roots around Tampa Bay, P.J. Callaghan is proud to play a role in the development of several community institutions in the vibrant and continually evolving St. Petersburg. The work and the organizations are varied – a common thread is that each is a valued presence, bringing something meaningful to the way-of-life in St. Pete.

PJC is set to begin a 15,000 square-foot addition of new classrooms and offices for Northwest Church of Christ. PJC was able to save significant budget for the church with creative value-engineering as well as a discount on labor costs. Multiple PJC employees attend the church (a nod to the company’s familial natuJANUARY 2015 016 - Copyre).

Recent clients also include: The reinvented Oyster Bar on downtown’s Central Avenue (overhauled entrance, and interior work); Pier design contender St. Pete Design Group (helped outfit design studio); and long-successful, nonprofit, abilities-focused PARC (pro bono horticultural project).

Enthusiastic about the community, PJC also is an active member with the St. Petersburg Chamber and has leaders involved with several local civic endeavors, from Engage St. Pete to the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

A pillar of PJC’s business is in working with neighbors and friends and helping others where possible. SVP Tobin Robeck said, “We should do these things, and we want to do them – plus we truly believe that helping build a stronger community makes for stronger businesses and residents within it.”

President John Burket added, “We love this area – and we think it’s pretty cool to continue to make our marks on the community.”