Many construction companies and remodelers have been sorely challenged by the shortage of skilled laborers. As more companies struggle to find good workers and juggle projects, many are thirsty for strategies that promise to trim time.
But are these strategies for reducing labor times effective?
As companies try to find field workers, current laborers are taking on longer hours. Several publications are reporting that workers are putting in more hours per person. But while this is good for individual paychecks, it turns out productivity is dropping, decreasing by half since the 1960s.
Unfortunately, some construction companies and remodelers are already finding overworked and under-skilled laborers are taking longer to do projects. Additionally, the industry’s “rush to save time” may be impacting quality if not immediately, then further down the line. Issues including poor measurement may cause delays further down the construction pipeline when cabinet installers and plumbers are brought in. Additional watch outs include:
The skilled labor shortage isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. Therefore, one long-term solution is to identify, specify and use products that install easily and have additional benefits, like those made of engineered wood. For instance, LP’s water-resistive barrier, LP WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier system, installs with ease, eliminates the need for a secondary house wrap and allows for a cleaner jobsite. Another example is LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding. It’s easier to cut and features a lighter weight than most wood siding products. Many engineered wood products eliminate steps in the installation process and can help increase jobsite productivity.
Another long-term solution is to make a significant change, all the way back to square one.
“If your current building process is labor constrained and you can’t change the labor market, then you must change the process,” McCaughey says. “There is no labor shortage in preconstruction.”
“People talk about the workforce crisis. But there is a process and time management problem. Our Fully Integrated Off-Site Solution™ or FIOSS™ construction system can deliver 500% productivity increase over stick-built framing,” he says. “In the time it takes to complete one stick-built frame, off-site construction is able to finish 12 completed frames with three in progress after a 15-day construction period.”
Increased Safety Risks
Another problem uncovered by the labor shortage is on-the-job safety. Safety risks can range from unskilled workers performing skilled tasks to errors or accidents happening due to lack of adequate supervision, and many others in between.
Choosing products like LP SmartSide Trim & Siding can help ease overall safety risks. It helps to be vigilant in specifying construction products and materials that are easier to install and require no specialized woodworking tools, helping increase jobsite safety.
On-the-job safety and workers’ compensation insurance rates are another reason to explore off-site construction. Since all frames are made inside the factory, uniform and consistent processes and procedures increase worker safety. In the field, the structural elements are sequentially off-loaded and assembled with crane assistance for efficiency and safety.
LP Building Solutions uses engineered wood to create a portfolio of products that help professionals build smarter, better and faster. The innovations of engineered wood siding are relatively new. For instance, LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding was introduced in 1997. Thanks to its advanced manufacturing process, it is one of the most durable siding solutions available. Sometimes people are skeptical of things that are really that good. So, let’s crush a few myths with engineered wood facts.Continue Reading
Pier and beam design was among the most popular foundation techniques until the 1960s when concrete technology improved its floating slab system. Many builders use slab-on-grade construction—especially in warmer regions. We’re going to find out why professionals Jordan Smith of @jordansmithbuilds and Kyle Stumpenhorst of @rrbuildings chose pier and beam over slab-on-grade for the All-in-LP Build in Bellville, Texas. But first, let’s delve into pier and beam foundation.
From destructive hurricanes to fierce tornadoes, it seems news of catastrophic events is happening with alarming frequency. In fact, on March 3, 2020, an EF3 tornado tracked less than one mile from the LP Building Solutions headquarters in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, ripping through homes and businesses. While no traditional building can withstand the tremendous forces of disastrous weather events, it reminds us that embracing resilient construction and adopting stronger building codes could help protect our families, friends and neighbors.
As a building industry professional, recent market changes have likely impacted the way your business operates. As you adjust to a new normal, seeking out building material companies with proven efficiency and reliability from third-party testing can significantly influence the success of your business.