How to Reduce Material Costs When Completing a Residential Build

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The summer building season is right around the corner (or at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves in this cold weather). While long summer days give you more construction projects and more daylight hours to complete them, increased demand can raise the cost of materials. In addition, year-over-year material costs are rising at an average rate of 3-4%, with some materials like gypsum hitting an increase of 7%. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce your material costs without compromising quality. 

Consider Prefabrication
Prefabricated components have two major advantages over traditionally sourced materials. First, they virtually eliminate waste. You only purchase, pay for and use what you need. The second advantage is reduced labor costs. You may not need as many people on the job, and your workers can focus solely on the build rather than using their time to transport, measure, cut and fit raw materials. Your lower labor costs can offset rising materials costs. 

Utilize Lean Design and Construction
Lean design and construction methods focus on building a collaborative relationship between design and construction teams, in which everyone uses software and tools to help boost productivity and reduce waste. Lean construction can reduce material waste by roughly 64% while boosting employee accountability and satisfaction. It may also reduce safety hazards and increasing profits for all involved parties. 

Use BIM Instead of CAD
Computer-aided design (CAD) has long been standard in the construction industry. However, building information modeling (BIM) is next-level technology that can save you money. BIM software can analyze every step of your new construction project, from conceptual design to construction logistics, to let you know exactly what to expect. Think of BIM as your personal architectural assistant. 

For example, if your customer requests a change, you can use BIM to determine exactly what quantity of which materials you need and how much they will cost. This allows you to create an accurate quote and reduce material waste. You can also use BIM in tandem with lean construction and prefabrication to further streamline your materials usage. 

Collaborate with Construction Field Management Software
Field management software – like Buildertrend  gives open access via the cloud to all stakeholders, including design teams, property owners, general contractors and laborers. Whether at home, in the office, or on a remote jobsite, everyone can access design drawings, blueprints, plan notes, budgets and other details of the project. This keeps all involved parties on the same page and promotes collaboration. Using a software prevents the waste that often occurs when misunderstandings lead to re-dos, and it reduces labor costs by minimizing the time workers spend looking for information. 

Materials costs continue to rise, and you can’t avoid using the materials you need. Incorporating technology, getting everyone on the same page, adding prefabrication, and utilizing lean design and construction software can help offset these increased costs by reducing waste and lowering labor costs. Working smarter  not harder  is always the best way to minimize costs and increase profits. 

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