Incorporating Best Practices
How the best builders adopt new materials and building techniques to boost quality and profits.
Synopsis: How do the smartest builders keep going in good times and bad? By adopting best practices. In this article, Fernando Pagés Ruiz and Rob Yagid talked to many successful, progressive builders, and they discovered common themes that help to maintain quality and ensure profits. Among the elements of success are providing consistent oversight; establishing a network of reliable employees; analyzing the effectiveness of your work; earning certifications for yourself and your projects; and embracing the value of continuing education. Other lessons include involving all parties (builders, subs, inspectors, clients) in meetings before construction begins and adopting code changes years before they are due for implementation.
Best practices loosely describe the accuracy methods used to create a well-built house, the definition of which has expanded greatly over the past 30 years. Energy performance, indoor-air quality, and locally sourced materials with low embodied energy have sidled up to quality craftsmanship and good design as the hallmarks of a great home.
Such attributes haven’t always been a priority in mainstream home design and construction. Our current housing stock and the way new homes are built are being considered more carefully by the mass market than ever before. As a result, the demand for better-built, more energy-efficient housing is on the rise; clients expect architects and builders to deliver. For many builders who want to meet that demand, expand their business, or simply build to a higher standard, questions remain: How do we get there, and how do we do it successfully?
Changing the way you build to keep pace with industry-accepted best practices, which can differ from code, can be challenging. Whether you’re simply altering the way you flash windows, choosing to use a new siding material, or opting to incorporate SIPs into your next project, the tasks can be daunting.…