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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Industry Trends5 min

Solutions for the Starter Home Shortage

The supply of modestly priced starter homes continues to drop nationwide. A recent report by Realtor.com found that the number of homes priced above $750,000 grew 11 percent last year, while the number of starter homes priced under $200,000 fell by 8 percent.

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News & Stories6 min
The What’s & Why’s of the LP® SmartSide® 5/50 Limited Warranty

Any building professional will tell you that the quality of a building material is only as good as its warranty. This is why LP Building Solutions created an industry-leading limited warranty for our line of LP® SmartSide® siding products. One that aims to ensure peace-of-mind for builders and homeowners.

Business Advice6 min
Why It’s Important To “Respect the Spec”

While it’s perfectly alright for a jazz musician to improvise, that approach doesn’t always work as well in homebuilding. Architects, specifiers, engineers and product reps spend many hours collaboratively choosing the right materials for each job – and an abrupt substitution to save a few dollars can ironically be very costly in terms of callbacks, design underperformance and even code violations. “Ideally, all parties involved – the architect, builder and developer – have reviewed the spec before it’s final and have agreed on all the products being used,” says Karen Alves, LP Brand Marketing Associate. “That’s because finding an ‘equivalent’ for siding or fire-rated sheathing involves not just the substrate but the codes that the product meets as well.”