Any project can suffer setbacks. How you plan for these possible setbacks is the key to helping keep projects on time and under budget. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to minimize overages of both time and money. Choosing the right products, the right people, investing in quality, and minimizing waste are some of the best ways to keep costs in control. This article will outline how drywall subcontractors and general contractors can use these tactics to save time and money.
The Right Products
Product selection is fundamental. Knowing and selecting the best or most appropriate material for a given job can make or break a project’s success. After all, a mistake in product selection can cause you to waste money not only on the product itself, but also on labor. This can double (or more than double) the cost of the error. Online tools like Trim-Tex’s shape finder can help you quickly select the right product for any drywall project. To help with product selection, find a good materials supplier/dealer. A good supplier stays up-to-date on new products and solutions. They will help you find the best product for your needs, not just take your order.
As you likely have experienced, selecting a cheap material to cut costs can end up costing you more in the end. Choosing a less durable product can lead to callbacks, and time spent working for free. This is especially true in the drywall finishing industry. Not all corner beads are made to withstand the dents and dings corners face. If you want to ensure your supplier is giving you the strongest vinyl bead on the market, just look for the tiny T punchouts in the mud leg, and you know you have Trim-Tex. Another cost of low quality materials is the ease in which they are damaged. Nothing like throwing money down the drain when you have to discard material that was damaged on transportation to the jobsite. Furthermore, selecting low quality materials can damage your reputation due to poor performance from daily wear and tear. Selecting quality products reflects highly on your work and your company, it can be hard enough to win bids, don’t let material choice get in the way.
You can save tremendously by choosing the right product for the job. Choose products that are designed for the task at hand, made from high quality material, and resistant to damage. Find ways to stay current on new building methods and product releases to be aware of your options. Follow your favorite drywall industry brands like USG, Advance Tools, TapeTech, and Trim-Tex on social media to get the latest insights.
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Investing in Quality
Whether you’re picking suppliers for the job or ordering materials, choosing the best now can save you lots of time and money down the road. When it comes to choosing who you work with, pick companies/partners that offer a level of service you would put your name on. If you encounter challenges, a reliable partner can help you get out of a jam. Similarly, brands backed by high performance and warranties can safeguard you against unexpected costs later on. For example, vinyl corner bead offers better durability than traditional steel beads and can save you lots of time and money when it comes time to completing that punch list.
Spending a little more up front by choosing a great carpenter who builds exceptional framing will save you time hanging and finishing your drywall. In this way, you can recover the upfront expense while delivering superior service.
Work with experts whenever you can, especially for niche work or areas outside of your own skillset. Consulting with the best can help you avoid issues you may not have predicted on your own, or help you come up with innovative solutions that save time and money. Working with other top-notch professionals will make you better at your job; you’ll learn tips and tricks on one job that you can bring with you to future projects.
Similarly, working with modern materials allows you to lower costs by increasing efficiency. Poor quality products or low-level craftsmanship costs you money at every step. It can leave you behind schedule, paying additional (or even overtime) labor hours to work around or correct mistakes and problems resulting from bad materials.
Even products that can appear to be an added cost, can in the end save you time and money. For instance, drywall finishers often consider Buttboard a luxury product or added cost. However, contractors that do new home construction find that buttboard pays for itself by saving time (and man hours) by eliminating the need for extensive feathering and smoothing of the butt-joint. If products exist for saving time and money finishing drywall, imagine the solutions available for helping move entire projects along faster.
To some degree, minimizing waste occurs naturally when choosing the best materials and investing in quality products. A good product expertly installed will produce little waste.
Consider, for example, finishing drywall with vinyl beads, rather than metal. Vinyl does not rust or dent like metal, virtually eliminating waste due to damage. All it takes is a little bad weather on a jobsite to cause metal bead to rust and then need to be thrown out. A bump during installation or transport, and the metal bead is permanently dented, costing you money.
Still, when it comes to waste, it’s important to think through the project from start to finish: understand the potential sticking points, stay up to date on materials and techniques, and ask experts for help. Who better to ask for help than the manufacturer of the products you plan to use? In today’s digital age many manufacturers offer online installation tips and videos. Have a drywall finishing question? Contact Trim-Tex Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-874-2333
Drywall is a low cost versatile material. This often means contractors don’t have a problem wasting it, however, contractors can turn drywall waste into upgrades (and profits). Custom installations, like those designed by drywall artist Frank Kobetich, can be made from scraps that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Drywall art is a great way to stay another day on the jobsite and make more pay. Minimizing waste in creative ways like this allows you to reduce environmental impact, offer a special upgrade to your client, and make extra money in the process.
Critical Cost Savings in Commercial Drywall
Efficiency is particularly crucial in hospitality, healthcare, education, and offices. The scale of these large use buildings means that even small errors can lead to huge expense, costing projects lots of money. Additionally, the amount of traffic these buildings will see can, itself, cause long-term, repetitive expenses. Using up-to-date building techniques and materials will create a longer-lasting, lower-maintenance building, which will make property owners and building management for years to come. Let’s look at some solutions to trouble spots in large, public, commercial, and mixed-use properties.
Multiple Occupancy - Hotels, Dormitories, Apartments
Finishing a large number of shower surrounds? Shower Bead is ideal for making quick work of finishing around the surround. The bead has an extra-long mud leg and a tear-off strip that allows you to finish these tricky areas quickly. Shower bead also eliminates the need for paper tape, which can be a food source for mold, minimizing maintenance cost for the life of the building.
The corners of walls in high traffic areas need added protection. Corner Guard is ideal for buildings where people frequently move in and out, such as dorms, hotels, or apartments protecting the walls from furniture and luggage. Trim-Tex Corner Guard is made of a rigid but flexible vinyl that is easy to trim to length for installation. Trim-Tex Corner Guards can be purchased wherever you purchase other Trim-Tex products, saving you time.
Large fire-rated walls are going to require expansion protection. This expansion must also maintain the fire-rating for the wall. Previously adding a fire-rated expansion joint required multiple products with their own installation requirements. With Fire-Rated 093V you get twice the expansion control of zinc beads with a factory applied intumescent tape that expands when exposed to heat all in one, saving big on labor costs.
Exposed concrete ceiling decks give dwellings the industrial, loft-like feelings that is popular in multi-family new construction. Deflection Bead was created to solve the issue of how to finish the gap between the top of the drywall and the concrete deck. Traditionally caulk has been used to fill this gap, however the installation process is labor intensive and over time yellows and cracks. Deflection bead utilizes a flexible gasket that expand and contracts as the building moves while retaining a clean finished corner. Installation of the bead is similar to that of your standard L bead, eliminating the need for caulking. Deflection bead can also be used for fire-rated walls, check out how to create a fire-rated head of wall assembly.
Healthcare facilities offer their own unique set of finishing challenges. Not only will these solutions save you time and money, they will keep the occupants and owner of the building safe and healthy as well. Clean rooms present a finishing challenge as they do not have baseboard. Instead the drywall must smoothly transition into the epoxy flooring. The Demarcation bead creates a transition point with a mud bump that allows the two materials to cleanly transition.
Healthcare facilities also have the challenge of heavy foot traffic and the use of many types of carts and dollies transporting equipment and materials throughout the facility. This kind of traffic requires corners that can take a lot of wear and tear. Mud Set Bullnose is the strongest corner bead available, the Trim-Tex testing lab has done extensive to perfect the bead. Another benefit of a Bullnose bead is the safety it provides for children, the elderly, or patients with disabilities. Bullnose round shape eliminates the hazard of falling into a sharp corner.
As for the exam rooms, Flat Access Panels are idea for where frequent access to plumbing or electrical may be necessary. A Flat Access Panel makes it easy for maintenance to perform adjustments or repairs quickly and efficiently. Additionally, Flat Access Panels are made of Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG), this material is mold resistant and blends nearly seamlessly into the drywall keeping exam rooms clean while reducing the places for dust to collect or rust to form.
Professional Buildings, Educational, and Government
Offices, professional buildings, and educational institutions allow for architects to get a bit creative with adding architectural details to the interior. Reveals are an easy way to add visual interest or accents. Most contractors think of metal when they think of reveals. However, architects and contractors alike will be happy to know that vinyl Shadow and Reveal Beads offer the same great look at a reduced cost and with simpler installation. One of the biggest benefits of vinyl reveals is there is no longer a need for custom ordering to fit curved designs! Vinyl reveals have built in flexibility for finishing curving walls and soffits. Vinyl Shadow and Reveal beads are also paintable, and if you are looking for the metal look, Silver Vinyl Reveal is nearly indistinguishable from its metal counterpart. If you are looking to remodel a commercial space, check out our Commercial Remodeling series that covers easy details to modernize a space with reveal and shadow beads.
If you aren’t already using Tear Away L Bead to finish your drywall returns, we know you haven’t been in the drywall game very long, fear not, you how come to the right place! You can get product new, installation tips, and industry outlook every month with the Trim-Tex Newsletter. Trim-Tex Tear Away L Bead has a tear-away strip that ensures a clean finished edge every time you use it. It also protects other building substrates from compound and tape to speed up the finishing process. Have a gap that could use a seal? Check out Tear Away Super Seal!
Expansion, expansion, expansion! There isn't a commercial building that doesn't need to address the concerns of building expansion and movement. Vinyl finishing solutions shine when it comes to addressing movement. The properties of vinyl make the products inherently flexible. 093V isn't the only option when it comes to expansion products. Hideaway Expansion offers a more subtle expansion joint. Even vinyl reveals can be used for expansion protection with up to 1/8" of built in movement protection.
Another drywall industry standard is the J Bead, this bead finishes rough drywall edges under door and window encasements. The bead slips over the rough edge of the drywall to create a finished edge.