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ConstructionCalc: The POWER TOOLS of Structural Software!

Think Inside the Box

Who: Beazer Homes.

Where: Southern California.

What's notable: Challenged by tough building and fire codes, Beazer exploited team planning, disciplined design and value-engineering to become the nation's fifth largest homebuilder.

Beazer Homes, Southern California, builds in one of the most restrictive regulatory environments in the United States yet manages to value-engineer floor plans that compete in a cutthroat real estate market. Balancing quality and value is not just a noble goal¾it's a matter of survival. A disciplined approach has helped the company become the fifth largest homebuilder in the nation. Here's how they do it:

  • Beazer's marketing and design team decides on the basic shape of homes they will build in a given subdivision¾either rectangular or square. Beazer's architects have learned to live within the constraints of cost-effective design, but what you see are great looking, family-friendly homes.
  • Accommodating the unique challenges of Southern California's earthquake and fire regulations can limit any builder's cost-cutting options. A value-engineering team that includes a structural engineer, framer, plumber, HVAC subcontractor and purchasing agent find the most economical approach together.
  • Purchasing agents watch lumber markets like commodities. If they determine that lumber costs will go down, they might delay a project a few weeks to save tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Inspired by Henry Ford, Beazer uses an assembly-line approach to building. For example, instead of having a foundation subcontractor trench, form, install steel and pour one house at a time, Beazer employs a trenching company to excavate twenty homes at once, followed by forming and rebar crews and then finishers to pour the concrete.

Sometimes you must spend money to achieve a cost-effective solution. When Beazer decided to build leak-proof homes, it spent more on the shell. But warranty costs have dropped significantly.

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