Design Smarter (and Other Ways to Reduce Material Waste on a Jobsite and Tackle Your Budget)

You’ve heard it from every corner of the housing industry. Control costs to boost profitability and to increase your ability to deliver a more affordable product.


No matter the age or maturity of your company, every stage of the building process presents opportunities to cut costs.


Let’s say you often get your framing material estimates wrong, and you need to issue variance purchase orders. It doesn’t have to continue to be that way. By partnering with your component and lumber supplier, and using 3D BIM modeling in your design process, you can predict – down to the level of a 2×4 – super-accurate material quantities, because the takeoffs have come from a thorough digital pre-build of the structure. This will not only help you control costs, but it’s one of the most vital ways to reduce material waste on a jobsite.


But controlling costs is just part of the battle.  Now, customers are demanding more bang for their buck in the form of more options and greater customization.  Are you prepared to offer them, in a cost-controlled and affordable manner? How do you meet that need?


Number one, use synthetics. You may already use some synthetics in your homes, but have you considered the less likely shortcuts? Faux stone, for instance, will give you that individual look buyers are seeking without breaking the bank. Mixing up your materials, too, offers that custom-built feel.


Walls in general can customize a home inexpensively, whether you’re adding a painted-wood wall or putting in art niches. You may want to embrace the accent wall. Trendy for the past several years, accent walls are also a great way to add color and dynamism to a room.


Instead of putting in doors, you can also consider transition walls. This will give customers the open floor plans they desire, while still delineating one space from another. It’s a bonus that this doubles as a cost-cutting step.


Finally, less is more when it comes to specialty windows. While they can add considerable curb appeal, one window, in the right place, can have the same effect as multiple windows that are less well-placed. You can also design windows to include both standard and special-ordered transoms.


Cost-conscious design is no longer a secondary consideration to builders– or to home buyers. Now, more than ever, it needs to remain front and center throughout the whole process, from the design stage to the finishing touches.