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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Business Advice6 min

On the Cutting Edge of Cost-Cutting

There are only two ways to boost your bottom line: increase revenue and cut costs. In this blog, we'll explore innovative ways for builders to cut costs in order to increase homebuilder profit margins - and we'll examine revenue enhancement in a future post.

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Industry Trends6 min
Where the Construction Labor Shortage Is Most Severe

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).

Industry Trends7 min
A Commitment to Product Availability

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.

Business Advice10 min
How to Prevent Lap Siding from Buckling by Using a Butt Joint

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.