One of the biggest issues facing the construction industry is the lack of trained, skilled workers. This started during the 2008 recession when about half of the skilled labor force in the home building industry found themselves out of work because their company folded. Without steady work, these painters, carpenters, masons, tile experts, and others were forced to change careers or seek employment in other industries. Even though the housing market has recovered, these professionals haven’t returned. They’re settled in other jobs now, and there’s not a huge number of replacement laborers out there.
This has resulted in construction crews needing longer to build a home, which cuts into the number of projects they can take on and reduces their overall profit. What can you do to deal with this? You can’t simply hire someone with little to no skill or experience to help build a house. One viable solution is to make use of products that have a simple, more streamlined installation process. Here are some of these simple install options.
Installing pre-finished products eliminates the need for painting, which saves time and money. Few people enjoy this type of monotonous painting, especially on trim and other small spaces where it’s important not to have drips or get paint on other places. Pre-finished siding, trim, corner boards, and other products come in a variety of different colors and stains. Everything is pre-finished, so it only has to be installed. Many of these products come with factory guarantees, too, so the homeowner can have them replaced if they get scratched or otherwise damaged. With options such as Diamond Kote, homeowners can create a custom color that perfectly matches their taste.
The only thing that you necessarily have to do with these pre-finished kits is come back and touch up the little nail holes. Other than that, it’s done once it’s hung. You can even find things such as window trims, soffits, and fiber cement siding in pre-finished versions, greatly reducing the amount of work needed.
Mitered Trim Boards
Another way of saving time is to make use of pre-made trim boards that feature mitered corners. With normal trim boards, you have to miter the corners together, and you often have to use multiple nails. This creates more little nail holes that need to be filled and covered. With boards that are mitered already, everything fits smoothly together. You can blind nail and install them without having all those extra nail holes to deal with.
As with many pre-finished or pre-made items, you do pay a little more upfront. However, because they’re much easier to install and don’t require a lot of extra time on finishing, you do save time and money in the long run. Everything is designed to fit together perfectly and be installed in a short amount of time, decreasing labor.
Pre-made shake boards also save a ton of time on installation. With traditional shake boards, you hang one at a time, layering them carefully so they look good. Pre-made shake boards area already layered and ready to go. They can be cut to the right size and angle needed, plus they come in a variety of different colors and stains. Just nail them up and it’s done. There’s no need to spend hours on siding with this pre-made option. Your siding expert, painter, and even the framing contractor can save hours of labor here.
Cut Back on Masonry Work
Masons, especially experienced masons with years of work under their belt, can be hard to find. However, with pre-made brick and stone wall panels, you don’t need a mason to hand lay bricks and stones. These panels also help avoid issues with moisture barriers and water penetration because there are fewer spaces where water can seep in.
These panels are similar to cultured stone in that it’s very hard to tell the difference between them and actual stone or brick. This can be an ideal way of providing decorative masonry that looks great without spending a lot of money. The end result here is that the finished product has that same high quality look to it that people want but is much less costly.
Using luxury vinyl tile instead of real tile is another great way of cutting down on installation time and cost. Luxury vinyl looks great, won’t crack like real tile, and even provides a little more insulation than standard tile. Luxury vinyl plank flooring is another option for those who want to have the look of wood floors without the time it takes to nail in every plank and then do all of the work needed to finish the floor.
Overall, it’s difficult to make up for the shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry, but there are ways of keeping your projects on schedule and cutting down the amount of time it takes to build a home. By looking at how to maximize the workers you do have and reduce the time it takes to install and finish certain parts of the home, you’ll find that you can save a good amount of money and still meet strict deadlines.