The Modern Builder – 5 Ways Home Builders Cut Costs

Many home builders’ idea of cutting costs is to cut corners, something no one really wants. In this article, we will show how they do this, while showing the remedies to deal with them.

Using inferior material

This is one of the most common cheats a builder inflicts on a customer. They might go and buy a cheap version of plywood, for example, but when it comes time to bill you, you’re charged for a much higher end product!

Remedy: If you have reason to believe something’s up, consider hiring an inspector. Sure, it does cost money to do that, but better to have a professional visit the site periodically to make sure the job is getting done, and with the materials you paid for. The alternative is to discover the shoddy workmanship after you’ve moved in. If something is wrong, the contractor should fix it.

Missing steps

Nailing your frame into the foundation instead of bolting it, putting paint on your walls without using primer first or not using sheetrock screws on your drywall are just a few other acts of unprofessionalism still in operation.

Remedy: Again, an independent inspector could be a helpful ally here. Most of these failures are not immediately noticeable. They usually show up well after you move in, and it’s not likely that the original contractor is going to be willing to fix it.

Inexperienced or untrained workers

Contractors will try to “cut costs” by hiring untrained or inexperienced workers instead of trained, skilled professionals. But the chances of quality going into your home are going to be slim to none.

Remedy: They say “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” Before any building goes on, ask your contractor about their labor force. Are they trained? Are they licensed? These questions should be satisfactorily answered at this point.

Leaving out quality to support the upgrades

Let’s say you want a granite top installed over your cabinets. Are your cabinets strong enough to take them? Commercial-grade appliances are bigger and much heavier. Can your floor support it? Contractors will either not check this or ignore it. Can you imagine the consequences?

Remedy: Once again, prevention prevails. If you’re determined to have upgrades, make sure your contractor is prepared to install the support needed for them.

Installing sub-capacity systems

To illustrate, imagine trying to use a 5000 BTU window air conditioner to cool a 5000 square foot home. It’s not going to happen, is it? In like manner, contractors may install a central air unit that cannot handle the capacity of the home.

Remedy: Don’t be afraid to ask questions beforehand. It’s your home, so you have a right to know what systems are going into it, and whether or not they’re adequate. The other option, especially if your contractor is acting funny, is to do your research. Visit hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowes and ask them what systems you should expect.

You may find that there are things in your home that you can do to save money. For instance, Outlet covers and light switch covers are very easy to install. It is just a matter of screwing a few screws. Your home will probably have tons of those. That little project could save hundreds in labor. When your home is completed, you may be ready to add some fun things, like a pool. If you plan to DIY, be sure that you can handle the workmanship and have a way to haul the equipment. If you don’t have the means to transport it, there are options, like vehicle rentals, that are available.

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