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Basement bumps up home's resale value
Builders looking to meet the needs of homebuyers should start looking below ground level when constructing new homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Improving on Nature
November 13, 2008
by By Laura Glass and Mark Ward Sr.
Talk to any contractor and you’ll hear the same thing. There’s no guarantee when it comes to lumber.
On any given delivery, pieces can be warped or have knots that make them too weak for construction. The unusable wood must be recycled, dumped or resold at a loss. Thus many builders and lumber dealers are taking a look at engineered wood products as a way to contain costs and control overhead.
Though engineered wood has been on the market for half a century, technological advances have enabled manufacturers to improve quality, increase the number and variety of applications and offer more competitive prices. Still, the upfront cost of dimensional lumber remains less.
“But if you’re really comparing apples to apples, you must look at the total cost of the project,” says Steve Wozny, co-owner of Starwood Rafter in Independence, Wis., makers of glued laminated (glulam) timber arch rafters and beams. “You can save money by reducing labor costs, and you don’t need as much product because less framing is necessary.”
Ohio Timberland, a manufacturer of nail laminated columns in Stryker, Ohio, markets exclusively to the post-frame industry. President and engineer Mike Burkholder points out that, because “one of the greatest benefits of engineered products is their strength,” builders can do more with less.
Added strength also means more design flexibility, notes co-owner Tom Niska of Timber Technologies LLC, a maker of glulam columns and beams in Colfax, Wis.
“More people are using engineered wood products because they can do designs that weren’t possible before, while getting more bang for their buck,” Niska says. Though the homebuilding industry was initially the leader in the use of engineered products, he reports, now the post-frame sector is getting on board.
“It takes time for new products to gain acceptance, but we’re finding more unique and efficient ways to use engineered wood products,” agrees marketing manager Greg Wells of Weyerhaeuser, a manufacturer of residential building products based Boise, Idaho.
But Leo Shirek, manager of research and product development for Wick Building Systems in Mazomanie, Wis., says the trend toward increased use of engineered wood is unmistakable.
“In the early 1990s,” he observes, “engineered wood products started to become more popular. Since then, we’ve incorporated more of it into our product line. Also, increased usage of engineered wood helps forestry companies replace the larger-growth trees which have become depleted.”
The team at Graber Post Buildings in Montgomery, Ind., sees the post-frame industry from every angle. As sales manager Mark...