As you know, homeowners expect a custom home to offer more than a specific square footage or floor plan design. Increasingly, they want sustainable materials and technologies that help reduce the impact of climate change or reduce energy and water usage.
They also want their new custom home to better fit their overall lifestyle. Space for home offices and shorter commutes to business meetings and school functions are all part of the purchase equation in today’s construction industry.
Before submitting your next quote, review the following trends:
Construction companies use green building to address environmental priorities
A new generation of home buyer is concerned about the environment, but buyers don’t always know how to put those concerns to practice when building a custom home. And they don’t often know how to weigh the upfront cost of features like solar panels and heat pumps against the long-term benefits of lower energy and water bills.
Increasingly, custom home builders like you serve as an advisor and teacher to help the home buyer address their concerns while staying realistic and within budget.
There are many approaches to building green. Some of the larger issues include:
- Sourcing sustainable materials — choices range from recycled materials, to prefabricated steel components, to buying local to cut down on fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. As a builder you need to identify the right dealers that can advise you on the best green construction approach for each project. The best dealers are willing to collaborate via modern cloud-based software that dramatically speeds up your quoting time.
- Protecting indoor air quality — paints, floor coverings and wallboard can contain harmful chemicals that over time release into the home. Be sure to consult with your dealer to source safer materials. Also, be sure when bidding a project, that project plans have addressed the potential threat of radon gas at the project site. To meet housing needs, cities are converting former industrial and commercial areas to residential, and these sites can present unique challenges. Site and foundation design will impact your material choices.
- Using energy smart mechanical systems – green homes strive to use energy and water more efficiently. Finding the right mechanical equipment for your project means consulting with experienced subcontractors who know how to meet modern specifications for insulating materials, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), solar, and low-flow appliances and fixtures. Scheduling experienced subs whose skills are in high demand can be challenging. Increasingly, builders do more of this administrative work using construction management software instead of relying on text messages, email and handwritten notes.
Need for affordable housing generating plans for smart cities
City and local governments want home builders and neighborhood developers to play an active role in planning what’s increasingly referred to as smart cities and neighborhoods. These next-generation areas offer more than tech-enabled homes with sensors for monitoring energy and water consumption. These neighborhoods are central places to shop and work so that 15-minute walks or bike rides become practical alternatives to commuting by automobile. Things to keep in mind:
- Custom home builders need to participate in local civic planning that guides creation of microcommunities within a city. With many smart community initiatives pushing higher density housing on smaller lots, custom home builders need to represent their end of the market that often requires tradeoffs for larger homes and lots. In some communities, builders have worked with local government to construct multifamily housing that on the outside uses the same materials and construction as a single-family home.
- Builders need to factor in the time-intensive process for project permits. While most custom builders don’t need to worry about the many months required to approve an entire housing development, small builders still need work permits that can take weeks to approve. Smart builders use scheduling software that easily updates multiple tasks and schedules when permits are delayed.
Navigate construction trends using the right construction management software
Builders have more time to keep up with the latest construction trends when using modern, cloud-based construction technology. Software speeds administrative tasks like material takeoffs and estimating so that builders have more time to research new material trends and to participate in the local government processes that impact how they work.
When using software, builders like you also can efficiently keep track of prospective customers and their contact information in a centralized place that is easy to manage and access from wherever you have an internet connection.
The right construction management software also helps you successfully manage another, less fortunate, construction industry trend—the rising cost of doing business.
Use efficient technology to combat rising material costs
Today, builders often see material costs increase even during the course of a single home build. Most projects come in over budget due to building material shortages or simply due to general inflation pushing up the cost of business for everyone.
Modern construction estimating software helps you create detailed estimates that ensure your profitability. The cost estimate allows you to break projects down to specific tasks that can be shared online with dealers. Dealers can then quickly consult with you on most recent material prices that best meet your goals and your budget. With these in hand, you can quickly return an accurate quote to the homeowner.
Plan your subs and trades ahead of time to make the best of labor shortages
The best management software does more than estimating. It also helps you avoid problems when your project is under way and construction workers are hard to find. Schedule all the tasks laid out in your estimate to ensure the necessary materials are at your construction site when your subs need them. With labor shortages being so common in today’s market, you can’t risk subs leaving your job site with work unfinished because necessary materials didn’t arrive on time.
How you can take advantage of today’s construction industry trends
Builders like you need to be well-versed how to take advantage of the latest trends in green building and smart cities. Construction management software can free up the administrative time needed for traditional tasks like material takeoffs and dealer communication so that you can devote more time to researching these new trends.
Buildxact offers an all-in-one platform that can help you achieve these goals. Learn more about affordable monthly pricing. You also can book a demo or start right away with a no-hassle 14-day free trial.