Why Builders Have to Look at Alternatives to Wood Framing, Now!
Residential builders have few alternatives when it comes to wood-frame construction. But what many builders actually need in a wood-frame alternative is a commercial-grade, cost-effective, proven solution that fits the needs and demands of 21st century homeowners. These homeowners realize that the technology that needs to be put into their homes today doesn’t match the 19th century construction technology in which their houses are actually being built.
Today, homeowner expectations around energy efficiency, low maintenance, resiliency, comfort and health are changing. They want a different homeownership EXPERIENCE. They are concerned with the health and safety issues, such as moisture, windstorms and fire, that are a big risk with wood framing. The current building codes are also making wood framing more difficult, risky and expensive to build with. In addition, lumber tariffs and shortages of labor and trades is driving up the cost of conventionally built homes.
Homeowners are increasingly demanding and expecting more performance for their dollars. However, builders are stuck between trying to get traditional building systems to meet these performance goals while keeping projects within budget. For the modern builder, the answer to many of these challenges is simpler than most might think.
One commercial building technology that has been increasingly used to construct high-performance homes in the southern United States is the Bautex Wall System. Bautex is an insulated structural wall system that simplifies construction, accelerates schedules, lowers costs and increases building performance compared to traditional wall assemblies like wood framing. This insulated concrete block (ICB) building system completely replaces exterior framing, sheathing, insulation and house wrap all in one, integrated solution that is installed by one trade.
So, with building systems like Bautex available in the marketplace, what is keeping builders from quickly adopting these powerful technologies? Answering that question and breaking down their reasons may give builders the confidence and reassurance that now is the right time to move forward.
Reasons Why Builders Are Apprehensive to Alternatives
1) The way I build today is good enough. Let’s see.
The most important decision you will make when building a new home is the building system you select. The performance, durability, ease of maintenance, and the cost to operate and repair the home is dependent on the way you choose to build.
However, achieving a healthy, safe and resilient home is simply not possible using antiquated 19th century technologies like wood framing because they are low performing, require constant maintenance, and do not provide the level of protection and value that today’s homeowners are demanding. Some builders have succeeded in achieving marginally better energy efficiency with wood framing, but they are still providing significantly less energy performance that more advanced building systems.
Additionally, modern wood frame construction practices have done little to improve performance in other areas including health, safety, comfort and resiliency. Wood framed homes continue to be vulnerable to moisture- and rot-related health issues. Insulating with spray foam also significantly increases fuel loads and fire risk.
For homeowners who want safe and comfortable homes that are easy and efficient to operate and maintain, wood framing is simply not up to the task.
2) Building better costs too much. Does it?
Over the years, builders have experimented with different building products and techniques to achieve a higher performing home, but most of these have still been based on wood frame construction. At best, they have achieved marginally better performance, but, based on this experience, many builders have concluded that it costs too much to build a better home. The possibilities with wood framing are simply too limited and costly, but builders should not stop there.
Fortunately, the Bautex Wall System does not have these same limitations and provides the quality living and homeownership experiences today’s home buyers want, at competitive price points. By simplifying construction of a home into one integrated structural envelope system, Bautex makes high-performance construction affordable. Best of all, building a home with Bautex has proven to be cost-effective across a wide range of home sizes and construction budgets.
3) Changing my process is too difficult. Is it really?
The installation of Bautex walls are the first step after the foundation and is usually done in one continuous process. Once completed, construction of the rest of the home continues as normal, except plumbing and electrical that are cut and recessed into the Bautex walls in a simple and fast process that does not add cost to the project or greatly change the building process.
Unlike some alternative building systems, Bautex does not require specialized installation crews, giving builders the flexibility to choose the right team for each project. Builders continue to work with the trades they already know and work with daily.
Builders also benefit by working directly with the experts at Bautex and not through dealers or distributors. To ensure projects get started fast and on the right track, Bautex provides training and support to both builders and their subcontractor trades. Bautex has the right team and a proven process to help projects move forward efficiently and make builders successful.
Successful Projects, Real Results
Of course, the best indicator that it is time to move forward with considering alternatives to wood frame construction is seeing others build successfully. Over the years, Bautex has completed many residential projects across a broad range of budgets and home styles.
Bautex homes are now being successfully constructed in the South, Southwest, Midwest and Gulf Coast of the United States. Builders are confirming that building with Bautex is straight forward and cost effective, and homeowners are enjoying a better living experience in their Bautex homes.
When you build a Bautex home, you work directly with the Bautex team of construction veterans who will guide you in building the home your clients are demanding. Bautex offers a formal training program for builders and their subcontractors, which gives them preferred contractor pricing and extended access to Bautex technical services and contractor support.
Schedule an introduction to Bautex or a contractor training by calling Bautex at (855) 922‑8839 or by email at [email protected]bautexsystems.com. You can also send us your latest building plans for a full project evaluation.