`Builder Grade` Materials and Comparing apples to apples:
By: Denis Sherlock ~
As a contractor you learn to bid projects using builder grade materials as that is how most of your compatition is going to do it and of course you would like a chance to win the bid as well.
Builder grade is kind of a generic term for lumber or materials used by developers and builders on new houses. They are not bad materials in fact they are usually very good quality as far as lumber goes, so it is what I would recommend for deck framing, plywood and misc framing lumber (way better than box store lumber).
However some people have very nice homes in very nice parts of town so they may be interested something a little nicer. For instance if one contractor bids to use 5/4 cedar decking (a fine product) and another bids to use redwood or and exotic hardwood, the estimates would be drastically different. One citation where you may choose to go with a premium product would be if you were looking to build a gazebo or an out door patio roof structure. The exposed wood that you wanted to stain and make look real nice you may not want to use wood that was meant to be inside or under a deck.
Comparing grades of materials is not just limited to lumber, as it applies to all building materials, and some may be a matter of opinion. I believe door and window builders use good quality but may lack style. If you plan to be in your home for a long time you may want to go with a premium brand. If you are fixing a rental house you may choose to go with things you can get a deal on, like builder grade carpet, vinyl and interior doors.
So If you are comparing estimates ask them what materials they are using and be sure to compare apples to apples.
If you are going to splurge on quality items I would suggest cabinets, siding, and paint, you will be glad you did.
By: Denis Sherlock ~
Often Times we are called out to do work on a commercial building. It is usually a new door, window or building a couple walls to create a couple offices. Some times it is a complete floor plan remodel in between tenants.
Recently we were tasked to repair a building that was under attack from birds that were chewing into the soffits of the building and fluttering around in the drop ceiling above the offices were people were trying to work. There was 17 bird holes around the building. It wasn't easy as they were almost 50 feet off the ground at the roof eves, and the building was backed to a creek so the 65 foot boom lift we rented only worked for the front of the building. We did end up fixing the problem in the back next to the creek with a very large ladder and brave carpenter. While we were back there we found some other problems (the main point of the story) often building owners overlook one side of the building if it backs to a green belt or if there is no parking lot on one side. This particular building was in need a power washing and paint job. We also noticed the windows were sitting on wood frames where the paint was completely wore off and unprotected.
Between that, a new soffit and an aging roof we advised a 30yr overhaul was in order. In conclusion, I would like add based on the amount of calls we have received about commercial work there seems to be a bit of a boom going on of people buying buildings and moving businesses so if any of you readers are in this situation please give us a call I will be happy to answer any questions on TI jobs as well as provide bids for improvements to Aid in contract negotiations.