The three main buckets of costs to build a home: cost of land, cost of materials and cost of labor. Regarding labor costs to build a house, it’s getting tougher to ensure high efficiency on the jobsite as highly skilled Boomer-age construction pros retire. One way to accomplish that is to use high-performance building products that deliver lasting results yet are easy to work with and install.
What’s a high-performance building product? Think of products that will eliminate steps in the installation process or use familiar installation practices yet provide an additional feature or benefit.
Here are a few examples:
LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding
Joe Nitti, co-owner of Nitti Development in the Chicago area, says that his crews have saved time and labor thanks to the workability of LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding products. “They’re light, so it’s easy for the guys to lift and install them,” he says.
LP WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier
“You can keep jobsite efficiency high with an air and water barrier system that installs in one step without having to bring in a separate crew the next day to apply house wrap,” says LP field tech Juan Urquiza. “In many cases, the house wrap crew comes from a different city. When you use LP’s new air and water barrier solution, you eliminate the wait time and expense of paying a specialty crew.”
LP Legacy® Premium Sub-flooring
On sub-flooring jobs, efficiency decreases when the crew must sand sub-flooring that’s been exposed to rain for a number of months during a build. But sub-flooring manufacturers keep making giant strides in moisture resistance. Some sub-flooring products offer 100- and even 200-day no-sand warranties, but LP Legacy® sub-flooring now comes with a Covered Until It’s Covered® no-sand warranty.
LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier
It requires no additional skills or training for crews to install a radiant barrier in the roof, yet the long-term results of a radiant barrier surpass that of conventional roof sheathing. LP TechShield radiant barrier blocks up to 97% of the radiant heat in the roof panel from emitting into a home’s attic, reducing an attic’s temperature by up to 30° F and helping curb cooling costs. Using this product in place of conventional sheathing may help builders qualify for Green Building credits, energy rebates and lower HERS scores.
LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing
Installing shaft wall can be an efficiency-killer for less experienced crews. As an alternative to shaft wall, some construction companies are now switching to assemblies that use fire-rated OSB sheathing. They’re lighter and less cumbersome than shaft wall so they can be installed faster.
High-performance building solutions are helping construction teams maintain peak efficiency in this period when their most highly skilled employees are getting replaced by junior ones.
According to the latest American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 4 million people now work in residential construction (both single-family and multifamily) – down from the 5 million who were employed just before the Great Recession. Although the workforce has shrunk by 20 percent nationwide, some parts of the country are experiencing less pain than others. Similarly, light commercial construction has been reportedly back on the rise post-Recession, with IBISWorld reporting that the recovery started just before 2014 and continuing steadily through 2019 (source).Continue Reading
It’s frustrating when factors outside of your control cause you delays or unexpected expenses during a project. Those factors could be weather delays, insufficient staffing, breakdowns in cash flow and unreliable product availability. LP devotes significant resources each year to ensure that its product availability is second to none. Because even the most innovative building solution is useless to customers unless they know that it’s available when they really need it.
It’s a silly name, but a “butt joint” is an application technique where two pieces of material are “butted” up against each other. It is the simplest joint to make, and a butt joint can be either end to end or end to face. Depending on the width of the wall, butt joints will occur where two pieces of lap siding come together, creating a vertical seam. LP® SmartSide® lap siding products are available in 16’ lengths, and can help reduce the amount of seams where a butt joint would normally occur when using shorter pieces.
For many years, construction pros have relied on experience and gut instinct more than on data, but that’s rapidly changing. Many banks, investment groups and insurance companies now need a construction data analysis to help identify potential risks before okaying a construction deal. And in the field, builders need easy access to actionable information – both at the lot level and company-wide – to help boost quality, control costs and manage trade partners.