John Fulmer

Freelance Writer

John Fulmer is a freelance writer based in Joppa, Md., and former editor of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. He can be reached at

Articles by John Fulmer

February 2004
Most people probably think the term “building renovation” is reserved for “This Old House” or historic-preservation showcases—a once-grand downtown theater. They’re important projects but make up a small part of the renovation sector. For many electrical contractors, renovation construction involves upgrading fairly new buildings in areas such as retail and healthcare. READ MORE
January 2004
Construction software has changed the way many contractors do their jobs. But the choices can be daunting and confusing to the first-time buyer, most of whom start out looking at estimating software. Some couple with digitizers (see sidebar), others are AutoCAD-based and one uses scanned drawings. READ MORE
November 2003
When Ernie Audet Jr. wants a new piece of equipment quickly, he rents. Audet wastes time and money when he lacks equipment needed for a job. Rental equipment is a $25 billion industry and almost all contractors—large and small—depend on it. Audet’s firm, E. W. Audet & Sons in Providence, R.I., has 150 employees and does just about any kind of installation along the East Coast. READ MORE
October 2003
Sears’ decision to set up a new department store in downtown Chicago after a long absence was a point of civic pride. Sears represents Chicago; it is part of the Second City’s proud personality. After all, the mighty Sears Tower, the country’s tallest building, is pure, unadulterated one-upmanship, a poke at the Big Apple’s famous skyline. READ MORE
October 2003
Chances are, the buildings of tomorrow will be smarter, safer, more automated and computerized than the buildings in which we now live, work, shop and play. Sunlight will be used with maximum efficiency to boost indoor lighting. Lighting will work in concert with security. Security will mesh with life safety systems and HVAC will monitor itself for minimum energy consumption. READ MORE
September 2003
In the late 1980s, when Accubid Systems president Giovanni Marcelli was developing his estimating software company, he bought an IBM computer with a 10-megabyte hard disk and 640 kilobytes of memory. “At the time we bought it, the IBM folks told us we would never need anything bigger,” Marcelli said. In 15 years, that cutting-edge equipment became a fossil. READ MORE
July 2003
It’s almost certain your company will add equipment and tools to its inventory this year. What’s less certain is whether you will buy outright or lease. Neither choice is all good or all bad, but the result will make a difference on your balance sheet and tax statements. Purchasing, however, is the overwhelming first choice. READ MORE
June 2003
Patience is a virtue with complicated projects of this nature. A bustling airport is a sign of a vibrant community with a healthy economy; however, it doesn’t make for a great construction site. Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), one of North America’s busiest and fastest growing, sits in the middle of the U.S.’s fourth-ranked metropolitan area. READ MORE