Industry Trends7 min

A Solution for the Labor Shortage?

How Product Design and Training Are Mitigating the Lack of Skilled Labor

The on-going shortage of skilled labor in the construction field is forcing manufacturers to find creative ways to deal with it, particularly in product design and training. First, the products themselves need to be intuitive and designed to eliminate unnecessary mistakes. Sub-flooring products offer a good example of how to design for easy installation.

Check out these eight common sub-floor installation mistakes and how to avoid them.

Secondly, training materials industry-wide are getting more visual and concise. Helpful infographics and installation videos are replacing text-only installation instructions. 

“I would challenge all manufacturers to greatly expand their use of video and start YouTube channels so that construction newcomers can watch a video rather than getting bogged down reading installation instructions,” says Shawn Van Dyke, a leading construction industry coach, author and speaker. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.”

Watch this video to learn about the advantages of using LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding products and how to install them.

Van Dyke feels that brilliantly designed products and training materials are only part of the solution to the nagging labor shortage problem. “It’s no secret that the value of a traditional college education is not what it used to be, but parents keep telling their kids that it’s the only path to a high-paying career. These students and their families are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, and about 40 percent of college students go to school for six years and don’t get even get a degree. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence is wiping out a lot of white-collar jobs in medicine, finance and law. Many young people could have lucrative careers as carpenters and electricians, but their parents still aren’t encouraging that path.”

LP, however, is active in supporting the early development of students studying design and construction. LP supports the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s annual studio design challenge in conjunction with the Nashville Civic Design Center. Additionally, LP supported the Fredericksburg Independent School District in its pursuit of the 2017 Best in American Living Award by donating LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding and offering training. The FISD high school students built the award-winning home with the help of the Hill Country Builders Association. 

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Business Advice6 min

Plywood Vs. LP® SmartSide® for Sheds

For years, plywood materials such as T1-11 shed siding have been a top choice for outdoor structures. They can be used for everything from shed flooring and walls to furniture, which makes them a convenient option—but they’re not the only option. Despite plywood being top-of-mind for many, engineered wood products can help boast a greater value when it comes to outdoor structures.

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News & Stories7 min
Learn From Industry Experts: Best Practices for Multigenerational Construction

A multigenerational workforce is not a new concept, but as a new community of tech-savvy builders enters the industry the gap between generations may seem wider than ever. Though there are some natural challenges that come with it, a multigenerational workforce also provides a more curious and diverse environment for all skill levels and ages.

Business Advice5 min
What Does Energy Star Certified Mean?

Environmentally friendly living continues to be top-of-mind for homeowners. Because many want homes that are built for energy efficiency, professional builders must prepare to discuss this topic with their clients and to provide options for a build that promotes energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact.

Business Advice6 min
Storage and Handling 101: LP Structural Solutions

Before installation begins, proper storage and handling is critical as you receive products onto the jobsite. When products are handled properly and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, you can help avoid damage to new products, use what you order, and help ensure that the product will perform as intended once installed.