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. 

Long-Term Pricing Agreements

“Locking in building product prices for a specified period is often more important than getting the ‘best’ price,” says Bob Whitten, CEO of SMA Consulting in Orlando, Florida. “It’s very smart to take the long-term view. Just tell your dealer, ‘I’ll pay you a little more if you can lock in the price for an extended period.’ They’re usually happy to make that arrangement, and it saves money over the long haul.” 

Cost Savings Through Design & Materials

Dennis Shriver, owner of Hearthside Homes in Kansas City, recently used engineered wood vertical siding to cut costs and speed installation on a 22-home project. Because the home designs featured exterior walls higher than 12 feet, there would have been a visible seam where 12 ft. siding panels met. This would have required the crew to build something down in the peak of the gable to create a shorter length or come up with an alternative to hide the seams. 

Shriver chose 16 ft. vertical siding, which eliminated the seams and saved time and money on the installation. “Instead of finding ways to disguise the seam, my crew was able to simply apply one piece, cut to length and go,” he says.

Builders can also enjoy significant savings by using materials that reduce installation steps and don’t require special tools or equipment in order to help drive construction profitability. For example, there are now air & water barrier systems that install in one step, eliminating the cost and delay of bringing in a specialty crew the next day to apply house wrap.

One key to construction cost-cutting is to choose high-performance products that make installation simpler and less expensive.

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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.”