New rule no. 2 : :
Don't build from the outside in -- try to build from the inside out
Don't insert your components into fixed openings , they may or may not fit ; ;
position your components before you close them in .
For example :
Don't wall in your kitchen before you hang the wall cabinets and set the appliances .
It's a lot quicker and easier to dimension the kitchen to fit the cabinets and erect the end wall after they are all in place .
Set your bathtub before you close in the end of the bathroom .
Don't try to wrestle a 400-lb. tub Af through a narrow doorway .
Finish your plumbing before you frame it in ( most economical framing is a thin non-bearing partition on either side of the pipes ) .
Finish installing and connecting up your furnace and your water heater before you wall them in .
There is no better way to waste time than trying to install a furnace in a finished Af closet .
Don't position your studs before you insert your windows in conventional construction ; ;
that way you may pay more to shim the window into place than you paid for the window .
You can save all that shimming time if you set your windows in one , two , three order -- first the stud on one side , then the window , then the stud on the other side .
Install your disappearing stair ( or stairs ) to the attic and finish your overhead ducts before you drywall the ceiling .
Don't close in your house until everything has been carried in .
Last wall Bob Schmitt erects is the wall between the house and garage .
That way he can truck his parts right indoors and unload them under the roof .
No auto maker would dream of putting the head on the engine before he fitted the pistons in the block .
And trailer makers , those most industrialized and therefore most efficient of homebuilders , say they save hundreds of dollars by always building from the inside out .
New rule no. 3 : rethink everything to get all the big savings the revolution in materials handling offers you
This revolution is the biggest build-better-for-less news of all , because : 1 .
It makes it easy to handle much heavier units , so you can plan to build with much bigger and heavier prefabricated components like those shown in the pictures alongside .
It makes materials handling the only construction cost that ( like earthmoving and roadbuilding ) should be lower today than in 1929 .
It changes the answers to `` Who should do what , and where '' ? ?
It lessens the need for costly on-site fabrication and increases the chance for shop fabrication , where almost everything can be made better and cheaper .
It changes the answers on when to do what at the site .
For example , instead of putting in your driveways last ( as many builders do ) you can now save money by putting them in first .
Instead of closing the house in first ( as most builders do ) you can now cut your costs by not closing it in until you have to ( see p 121 ) .
It changes the answers on builder-dealer relations .
Not so long ago many builders were finding they could cut their costs by `` buying direct '' and short-cutting the dealer .
But now many of these same builders are finding they can cut their costs more by teaming up with a dealer who has volume enough to afford the most efficient specialized equipment to deliver everything just where it is needed -- drywall inside the house , siding along the sides , trusses on the walls , roofing on the roof , etc. .
Says Clarence Thompson : `` We dealers must earn our mark-up by performing a service for the builder cheaper than he could do it himself '' .
The revolution now under way in materials handling makes this much easier .
The revolution is well under way , but much more remains to be done
Five years ago a House & Home Round Table cosponsored by the Lumber Dealers' Research Council reported unhappily :
`` Only one lumber dealer in ten is equipped to handle unit loads ; ;
only one box car in eight has the wide doors needed for unit loads ; ;
only one producer in a hundred is equipped to package and ship unit loads ; ;
only one builder in a thousand is equipped to receive unit loads .
`` So from raw materials to finished erection the costs of materials handling ( most of it inefficient ) add up to one-fourth of the total construction cost of housing '' .
`` That House & Home Round Table was the real starting point for today's revolution in materials handling '' , says Clarence Thompson , long chairman of the Lumber Dealers' Research Council .
`` It made our whole industry recognize the need for a new kind of teamwork between manufacturer , carrier , equipment maker , dealer , and builder , all working together to cut the cost of materials handling .
Before that we lumber dealers were working almost single-handed on the problem '' .
Here is where things stand today :
Almost all of the 3,000 lumber dealers who cater primarily to the new-house market and supply 90% of this year's new houses are mechanized .
There are few areas left where a builder cannot find a dealer equipped to save him money by delivering everything at lower cost just where his workmen will need it .
Practically all bulky housing products can now be ordered in standard units palletized or unitized for mechanical handling -- including lumber , asphalt shingles , glass block , face brick , plaster , lime , hardboard , gypsum wallboard and sheathing , cement , insulation sheathing , floor tile , acoustical tile , plaster base , and asbestos shingles .
Truck and materials-handling equipment makers now offer specialized units to meet almost every homebuilding need .
For some significant new items see the pictures .
More than 50% of all lumber is unitized ; ;
an NLRDA survey found that at least 492 lumber mills will strap their shipments for mechanized handling .
Of these , 376 said they make no extra charge for strapping in standard units , because they save enough on mechanized carloading to offset their strapping cost .
Most of the others will swallow their $.50 to $3 charge rather than lose a good customer .
`` With a 15,500-lb. fork-lift , dealers can unload unitized lumber from wide-door box cars for $.30/mbf compared with $1.65 or more to unload loose lumber one piece at a time '' , says James Wright of Aj .
Lumber dealers and lumber manufacturers have agreed on a standard unit for unitized shipments -- 48'' '' wide by a nominal 30'' '' high ( or six McCracken packets 24'' '' wide by nominal 7'' '' high ) .
These units make it easy to load as much as 48,000 bd/ft ( say 120,000 lb in a 50' box car ) much more than the average for loose-loaded cars .
The railroads have responded by adding 20,000 more box cars with doors 12' or wider for forklift unloading ( a 21% increase while the total number of box cars was falling 6% ) and by cutting their freight rates twice on lumber shipped in heavily loaded cars .
First was a 1958 cut of more than 50% on that portion of the load in excess of 40,000 lb ; ;
later came a 1961 cut on the West Coast ( still pending elsewhere ) of $.07/cwt on 70,000 lb-plus carloads ( which works out to more than $4/mbf on that portion of the load in excess of 70,000 lb .
More unitized lumber is being shipped on flat cars , and NLRDA studies show that flat cars loaded with the new Type 6-B floating-load method can be unloaded for as little as $.054/mbf .
For long hauls these shipments should be protected with water-proof paper .
This costs from $.75 to $2.30/mbf , but the cover can pay off if the lumber is to be stored in the open .
These carriers cut handling costs for the dealer -- and the builder
Says NRLDA's James Wright : `` Since 1958 carriers that move material from the yard to the job site have undergone more radical changes than any of the dealer's other equipment '' .
The reason : today's components and lumber packages are far too bulky to be handled by a truckdriver and a helper .
So manufacturers have pioneered a new type of vehicle -- the self-unloading carrier .
It cuts the lumber dealer's cost because it takes only one man -- the driver -- to unload it , and because it unloads in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of hand unloading .
And it helps the builder because it can handle a more efficiently packaged load , can deliver it to the best spot ( in some cases , right on the roof or inside the house ) , and never takes any of the builder's high-priced labor to help unload it .
Says Wright : `` Our survey shows that one third of the retail dealers plan to increase the mechanization of their materials handling in the coming two years .
And most of the gain will be in self-unloading vehicles '' .
New rule no. 4 : :
Restudy what your men do , to help them waste less of the time you pay for
Half the manhours you pay for on most jobs are wasted because the job was not planned right , so the right tools were not handy at the right place at the right time , or the right materials were not delivered to the handiest spots or materials were not stacked in the right order for erection , or you bought cheap materials that took too long to fit , or your workmen had to come back twice to finish a job they could have done on one trip .
Even `` America's most efficient builder '' , Bob Schmitt of Berea , hopes to cut his labor costs another $2,000 per house as a result of the time-&-motion studies now being completed on his operation by industrial efficiency engineers from the Stanley Works .
Already this study has suggested ways to cut his foundation manhours from 170 to 105 by eliminating idle time and wasted motion .
Builder Eddie Carr of Washington , past president of NAHB , cut his bricklaying costs $150 a house by adopting the `` SCR masonry process '' worked out after careful time-&-motion studies by the Structural Clay Products Research Foundation to help bricklayers do better work for less .
A midwestern builder cut his labor costs per thousand bricks from $81 to $43.50 by adopting this same process , cut them another $7.50 to $36 by buying his bricks in convenient , easy-to-spot 100-brick packages .
The SCR process , with its precision corner-posts , its precision guide lines , its working level scaffold , and its hand-level brick supply takes eight manhours to get set , but once ready it makes it easy for bricklayers to lay a thousand bricks a day .
See page 156 .
One good way to cut your labor waste is to make sure you are using just the right number of men in each crew .
Reports Jim Lendrum : `` By studying men on the job , we found that two men -- a carpenter and a helper -- can lay a floor faster than three .
We found that three men -- two carpenters and a helper -- can put up wall panels or trusses more economically than four men -- because four men don't make two teams ; ;
they make one inefficient three-men-and-a-helper team .
We found that wherever you can use two teams on a job , five men , not four , is the magic number '' .
No house was ever built that could not have been built better for less if the work had been better planned and the work better scheduled .
New rule no. 5 : :
Don't waste any $.10-a-minute time on green lumber to save $.03 a stud
This is the most penny-wise , pound-foolish chisel a builder can commit .
Green lumber was all very well back in the days of wet plaster , when the framing lumber was bound to swell and then shrink as tons of water dried out the gypsum .
But now that all production builders build with drywall and all smart builders build with panels , green lumber is an anachronism you cannot afford .
Green studs cost about $.65 ; ;
dry studs cost less than $.03 more .
So if a green stud makes a carpenter or a drywall finisher or anybody else waste even 20 seconds , the green stud becomes more expensive than a dry stud .