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Business Advice4 min

Meeting Timelines When You’re Short-Staffed

For builders with a limited staff, it’s difficult to meet all the timelines and expectations unless every team member does an outstanding job. For example, you can quickly fall behind schedule if crew members are baffled by how to install a product – or if they think it’s been installed properly or try to take shortcuts but later have to do a costly and inefficient callback.

Here are some ways that building professionals can improve overall efficiency and stay on schedule: 

Look for products that are easy to install – As older, more experienced construction workers retire and get replaced by fewer junior ones because of the industry’s labor shortage, it’s important to find products that are easy to install. For example, traditional shaft wall assemblies are heavy and cumbersome to install. That’s why some builders are using lighter alternatives that install faster at a lower cost.

Eliminate the problems that lead to callbacks – Some inexperienced crew members don’t know the telltale signs of improper installation, whether they were done by accident or by trying to value-engineer a process. “Moisture problems are the leading cause of construction-related defects and callbacks,” says Steve Easley, one of the industry’s most respected building-science experts. “Crew members need to be able to spot installation mistakes like reverse-shingled house wrap, which allows water to get behind the cladding and can be potentially funneled into the wall rather than draining away from it. And they need to carefully follow the installation instructions for single-panel air and water barriers. They might do a great job of taping the panel seams, but forget about taping the roof/wall intersection or taping the step flashing.”

Take advantage of manufacturers’ training opportunities – “LP really goes the extra mile in on-site training through a show-and-tell approach,” says Marcelle Lacy, LP’s Senior Corporate Brand Manager for OSB and EWP. “When we’re on the job site, we can show builders how our new LP WeatherLogic Air & Water Barrier installs in fewer steps than house wrap – and tell them that the tape used for seam-sealing is specially designed with advanced adhesive properties.”

Find manufacturers who offer efficiency-boosting services – Every building solutions company has a keen interest in seeing you succeed. Some offer estimating services that help remodelers shorten the time it takes to do accurate estimates.

For builders who are short-staffed, the margin for error is razor-thin. The key is to be like football-great Peyton Manning: keep improving every day, don't make the same mistakes twice and ask for coaching when you need it.

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