Rising Costs of Lumber and It’s Effect on Value Engineering

Housing Costs Rise Alongside Lumber Costs

Several factors have led to the staggering increase of lumber costs over the last year. A lack of existing housing inventory, increase in new construction, import tariffs, and a pandemic that forced lumber mills to shut down, are just a few issues that caused lumber prices to increase over 340% from a year ago. To exacerbate this, there are no sign of the lumber prices reducing or even stabilizing any time soon. According to the NAHB, the lumber price increase have increased an average new home’s construction cost by approximately $36,000 and increased the market value of existing homes by $13,000.

Value Engineering to Reduce Costs

With this unexpected premium added to construction costs, EVStudio and it’s clients have been looking for innovative ways to value engineer projects under development. Often considered part of value engineering is the removal of features, but, the true definition is the targeted approach of providing functions in a project at a lower cost. In that vein, we strive to maintain all the necessary functions that were originally designed, and what typically make a project successful, while finding creative solutions to reduce costs to make the project feasible from a cost perspective.

For example, on a recent project, rather than eliminating a storefront awning to cut costs we chose to reduce it’s depth. Completely eliminating the awning would have a detrimental effect on both the adjoining space’s indoor environment and would negatively impact the exterior aesthetic. This ultimately kept the design intent and function of the awning while reducing the size of the supporting structural members and quantity of steel. Lastly, finding solutions for value engineering that minimize the associated redesign time and fees will be critical in ensuring that the project has the best chance to be completed on time and on budget.

If you have any questions regarding value engineering or would like to explore a new project please reach out to our team here at EVstudio.


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