The construction trade has run in the blood of the Prost family for eight generations. This extensive background in construction led Paul Prost to open Prost Builders business in Jefferson City, Missouri, in 1949. His brother, Jay, later joined him in his dream to build a quality construction firm. In 1963, Paul and Jay had expanded the company enough to necessitate a satellite office in Columbia, Missouri. For several years now we have branched out, covering all of Missouri and the surrounding states.

  • General Contractors in Missouri, Member of Prost Builders

    Jay Prost

  • Missouri General Contractors, Prost Builders Company Owner

    Paul Prost

  • Vaughn Prost, Prost Builders Company's Member

    Vaughn Prost


Q: How should I select my Architect/Engineer?

A: Before selecting your architect/engineer, list the important considerations in your order of priority. Here is a sample priority list for a successful entrepreneur wanting to build a new office for his business:

  • Safety
  • Location
  • Function
  • Energy cost
  • Function
  • Maintenance cost
  • Compliance with regulations
  • Initial cost
  • Completion date
  • Minimum stress
  • Completion date
  • Financing

Q: Should my contractor contractual relationship be established by bidding or negotiating? Here are some comparisons between bidding or negotiating:

A: Competitive Bidding a Contract:

  1. More risk for owner
  2. More risk for contractor
  3. Set up adversarial relationship among contractor, architect/engineer and owner
  4. Contractor protects self interest
  5. Gets low cost bids
  6. High charges for change orders
  7. No contractor involvement during planning stage
  8. Requires good estimator
  9. Emphasizes price
  10. Makes the assumption that the quality will be the same no matter who works on the project
  11. Price is the deciding factor
  12. Legal costs can be much higher

Negotiating a Contract:

  1. Less risk for owner
  2. Less risk for contractor
  3. Sets up team relationship among contractor, architect/engineer, and owner
  4. Contractor works for owner
  5. Emphasized quality
  6. Reasonable charges for change orders
  7. Heavy contractor involvement during planning stage
  8. Requires good conceptual estimator
  9. Emphasizes service
  10. Chooses contractor and subcontractors on the basis of work and track record
  11. Considers experience, quality, reliability, on-time completion, and creativity
  12. Legal costs usually lower

Q: What is the design/build approach to construction?

A: In the design/build approach, the owner contracts with one firm to provide both design and construction services. It is often called a TURN-KEY contract. The design/build approach replaces the traditional method of awarding separate contracts for design and for construction. On a design/build job the contractor and architect/engineer are allied and work together to serve the owner. The owner, contractor, and architect/engineer work as a TEAM to design and build a project that satisfies the needs of the owner. This TEAM approach eliminates the tendency to blame the other guy if a discrepancy occurs. Team members focus on solving problems rather than placing blame.

Q: How do I select my contractor?

A: We are often tempted to choose a contractor based on a low bid. We will save money, we think. Resist the temptation. Change orders can substantially escalate an original bid. If your job is not completed on time, interest costs rise, and earnings from occupying the new facility fall.

Meet with the owner and the key employee who will be managing your job.

Here is a checklist you can use for selecting your contractor:

  • Look at both recent and past jobs.
  • Talk to past customers.
  • Check credit history and financial stability.
  • Check payment reputation.
  • Check litigation history.
  • Meet with the owners and the key employee who will be managing your job.
  • Look at job control techniques.
  • Check current workload. Can they really handle your job?
  • Ask specific questions regarding your job and weigh the answers.
  • Can you communicate openly with this contractor?
  • Ask the contractor to show evidence that he has a Total Quality Management program that works.

Q: What are the advantages of design/build?

A: The advantages of design/build are:

  • You get early cost input from the contractor. A price is put on conceptual design ideas as they are developed.
  • A GUARANTEED MAXIMUM PRICE can be determined early, right after the scope of the project is established.
  • Time can be saved because construction can begin before the design is completed. Example: architect could be completing interior designs while the site and foundation work is underway.
  • The need for high cost change orders is eliminated.
  • Architectural and engineering fees are kept to a minimum, and determined from the beginning.
  • Contractor fees are kept to a minimum, and determined from the beginning.
  • Legal fees are kept to a minimum by eliminating the adversary roles.
  • Construction costs are minimized by using the latest systems and methods that the contractor KNOWS are cost effective.
  • Chances for misunderstandings are minimized with the team approach.
  • You get the best ideas from your team members due to the cooperative team spirit.
  • Realistic completion dates are established by the contractor who will do the work.
  • You can take advantage of special services such as preliminary feasibility study, value engineering, and life cycle cost analysis.

Q: What can I do to reduce my building energy costs?

A: Here are some things you can do to reduce your building energy costs:

  • Do an energy efficiency audit by a certified technician and implement the recommendations from the audit.
  • Install a ground source heat pump for geothermal heating, ventilating and cooling system
  • Install solar electric energy systems in Ameren UE, KC P&L and Empire Electric utility service areas
  • Install solar hot water heating
  • Install solar air heating
  • Install other green building techniques

Q: Is a net zero energy building possible?

A: Yes! With very creative design and construction techniques, a net zero energy building is possible. If you are interested we can get into the details!