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Measuring Lumber During Construction

Fight Back Against Rising Costs and Tariffs Through Value Engineering

Have you recently been presented with challenging decisions in an attempt to find cost savings — Should I use a gas furnace or heat pump? Should I consider changing my foundation type or moving to a different window? How much would I save without a radiant barrier roof deck? What impact will these changes have on my HERS scores and utility rebates?

Although our local housing market continues to show signs of strength, rising costs and the impacts of tariffs are taking a toll on the building industry. The NAHB finds that the composite price for lumber is up 79% since the beginning of 2016. “These lumber cost hikes have increased the sales price of a typical newly built single-family home by about $9,000”. There are reportedly 6,000 additional products under the most recent wave of tariffs that will continue to impact the housing market. In many cases these issues are making it hard to remain cost competitive.  

Recent Tariffs

  • 20% Import Tariff on Canadian Softwood Lumber
  • 10% Tariff on $200 Billion in Chinese Imports (Has potential to jump to 25% by the New Year)

Value Engineering in Unique Market Conditions

In these unique market conditions, a reliable energy rater’s expertise and modeling insights can help you make smart decisions when it comes to value engineering your homes. Bringing a broad understanding of home performance, an energy rater can help you navigate these decisions while taking into account their impact on performance, energy savings, and cost implications.

Pro Tips for Cutting Cost

HVAC System

Did you know that by reducing your home’s infiltration levels you may be able to reduce the required tonnage of the HVAC system saving you hundreds? Many times this can be accomplished with minimal supplies and careful attention to detail.

Utility Incentives

Careful planning can ensure you’re meeting buyer expectations while maximizing your incentive potential. In some cases you may be able to increase your incentives 2-3x by making an equipment change!

Warranty Calls

How much is warranty call avoidance worth? Perhaps an upgraded ventilation system or encapsulated crawl space would not only be a sales differentiator but also save you time and money in the long term by improving customer satisfaction.

Framing

When was the last time you priced out your framing package to consider advanced framing techniques or a 2×6 assembly? Moving to 24” on center or an advanced framing package may actually save on your framing and insulation packages while drastically improving your home’s performance.  Bonus Pro Tip – This will also help to reduce the required HVAC tonnage on the home!

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If you’re looking to optimize your product in response to external market pressures or buyer demand, give us a call! We’re here as a resource the help you find the nexus between home performance and cost savings.

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