Facing the Construction Labor Shortage
"Housing is coming back, and I know I will be able to sell more houses this year. But can I build them? So many of the framers and construction workers left the industry during the downturn, and immigration laws have reduced the number of workers available that there are simply not enough crews and workers around to build the homes fast enough."
How Do I Reduce My Construction Cycle Time?
Shorter construction time can increase your building capacity and improve your margins all at once. A key place to capture speedier construction time is in the framing. Timber Technologies and Premier Truss and Lumber managed to do just that: reduce the amount of onsite time it takes to frame their clients' structures by half. Their building process, they say, gives them the manpower of three traditional framing crews.
How Do I Reduce My Design Time?
The final design details of a home can take a great deal of time. Codes, seismic loads, regional wind and snow loads are just some of the items that require custom modifications, even if you are working from a stock plan. To accommodate custom options on plans with any efficiency, you must start with an accurate, and buildable, 'skeleton' of the structural framing.
How Do I Control my Materials Costs?
My framing package always seems to cost more than I estimate on my houses. Even though my supplier estimates it as 'complete', there are constantly framing corrections or changes necessary on the job site, requiring a few extra beams or lumber or hangers to resolve the final structural framing before I can pass the inspection and hang drywall. How can I find a way to lock in those costs, so they don't take away from my bottom line?
How Do I Eliminate Labor from the Jobsite?
Jobsite labor is a critical issue for my business in the current housing market. Liability and litigation risks are higher than ever, unexpected changes or delays can be very costly with so many people on the jobsite, health care changes are driving up the hourly rates, and the quality and qualification of workers is much lower than it used to be, since many of the experienced framers are not available any more. If I could reduce the amount of labor required on my jobsite, it would lower my risk, help lower my variable costs, and help me improve the bottom line for each of the homes I build. How can I do that?