Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Value Engineering Your New Home

Value Engineering: A Short History

General Electric introduced value engineering to its factories during WWII. Supply shortages during the war forced GE to get creative to meet wartime demand. To their delight, replacement alloys for steel often led to better production at a reduced cost.
These value-engineering campaigns were so successful that GE continued this approach after the war in their commercial lines. Other industries followed suit, and value engineering made it into the home construction industry in the early 1970s.

Value Engineering when dealing with residential home construction is about the same as any other industry.

When you are building a custom home for a client you are going to want to stepback and take a big picture look at the home and what you and the client are attempting to achieve. You want to make sure that the money you spend in one place will pay itself back in the future either through resale or through savings ie: in energy.

For example;

When constructing your new home your home builder will give you the option to adding more insulation into the building envelope. There are all kinds of ways of doing this and they all come with pro's and con's and also with differing price tags. What you and your building need to decide on is how much more do you want to spend on your insulation to save future money on energy use. If you spend the maximum on insulation then you will be saving the maximum amount of money on energy use going into the future. But because you spend a larger portion of money to install all that extra insulation the time that it will take to be paid back to you will be longer. Some options of insulation are so expensive that you will have to look at recouping your loses decades into the future where spending less on the insulation might have a payback of only 5 or 6 years. It all depends on what you are using for energy (gas, propane, electricity) and how you think the overall price of that energy is going to rise and at what rate. If you heat your home with electricity and you believe that the electricity rate is going to climb significantly then you might want to spend a lot more on insulation so that the return is better on your lowered electricity costs. 

All of these choices need to be decided on before you build the entire home, adding in the type of heating system, the positioning of the house on the property, the material that is used to build the house and quality that it is all done will all come in to play when value engineering your new home.

Make sure that you hire a general contractor that can do this for you and you will be able to balance the spending of monies and the savings of monies well into the future.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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