A Builder’s Guide to Marketable, Affordable and Durable Entry-level Homes

advice, guidance, support, results

Looking for a competitive edge in the affordable housing market? Want to save 15-20 percent on production costs? Keep reading.

First time homebuyers are price-conscious, but they also want a flexible, attractive home. This manual provides guidance and examples to builders for controlling construction costs while building marketable homes. It discusses the two key areas for improving durability — water and on-site supervision — and suggests ways to reduce callbacks. It provides builders with maintenance tips they can give to homeowners.

Based on the savings identified in the case studies, a builder who incorporates all of the MADE-to-Last techniques could save as much as 15-20 percent on the total costs of production.

The manual includes construction details, marketing tips and case studies on the following:

Expandability: build in room for growth The window head flashing was 30 lb. felt building paper inserted into a horizontal slit in the weather resistant barrier and lapped over the side window flashings.
Flexibility: plan for rooms with diverse uses
Curb appeal: enough said
Manage expectations: provide options to the affordable baseline
Financing: demonstrate how a buyer qualifies
Efficient Framing: save lumber and improve the home’s efficiency
Innovative materials: new technologies can save money and improve durability
Reduce interior/exterior details: simplify choices in key areas
Fewer/strategically placed windows: increase privacy
Clustering: reduce development costs by concentrating homes in smaller area
Manufactured housing: building indoors improves quality and controls costs
Innovative foundation systems: shorten excavation time and increase energy efficiency
Purchasing techniques: buy in volume
The text looks at ways to increase durability and prevent problems that increase maintenance costs, such as poor drainage, foundation wall cracks and water leakage, soil swelling or settlement, termites, and buckled siding. The manual includes preliminary plans for a MADE-to-last home.

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