Construction Bargain Strategies
13-7. New technology savings - Electronic Edition
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Owner-builder Steve G. told me: “I decided on Fastfoot footing form which is a fabric form that uses no lumber, and is fast. It’s awesome. You have to have yokes, which you can reuse, and they cost, but other than that, it’s a real bargain. You can get perfectly level footings.
Although there’s a risk in using untried technologies, sometimes they just plain make sense. Today’s sheetrock was forty years in the wilderness before being universally accepted by construction people. Structural Insulated Panels have been earning their spurs for several decades and are well proven in most climates. Other examples that save time or money could be Insulated Concrete Forms, wood foundations, and steel framing. For some people Insulated Concrete Forms, the Fast Form footing product and insulated flex tubes for HVAC are also examples of a more do-it-yourself technology that lends itself to simple installations that even an amateur can perform. Owner-builder Jeff R. studied panelized construction when he planned his new home: “I am doing panelized construction, and I’m going after the Canadian market. Panelized is starting at $20 a lineal foot per floor. Manufactured in a controlled atmosphere with good quality. When your first floor is decked they deliver it. They can erect a ranch-style house in one day. AdvanTech has a 50-year warranty. Say it comes apart or swells, floor or roof; the mfr. will replace and pay for the labor. The cost on that is more money than OSB but pennies shy of plywood. More glue than an OSB. When sent through its final pressing points it knurls it for easy walking when you do a roof. Usually you do 7/16’’ on the outside of a structure. When they do tongue and groove on a floor, you should leave a nickel’s worth of space in each seam. With the AdvanTech, they have left out the nickel’s space, it is self-spaced. With 2x4’s and 2x6’s, you have a certain percentage of culls. I hand select everything. On a whole house that’s impossible. But this stuff is done in a controlled environment. You need to be plumb, level and square. You will get a blueprint in color when your stuff is ready to be shipped. You get a nice field assembly when it’s erected.”
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