Questions To US Master Builder
On Real Estate Construction
Series Ten


Colm here ...

A few months ago I conducted an interview on real Estate Construction with a US Master Builder.

You want answers to real estate construction questions - you got answers on construction questions.

Question 1.

Why do roofs have to be so complicated? Why are we still using asphalt shingles? Besides being expensive to build and re-roof, all of the valleys invite leaks. What's wrong with aluminum roofing and simple roof lines?


Again, builders use what they are most comfortable using. Personally, we don't use these types of roofs in our real estate construction. Instead we use recycled metal roofs.

They come with a 20 year warranty as opposed to regular roofs and look just like whatever roof style the buyer chooses.

Most people think of metal roofs as corrugated metal roof on commercial property. This isn't the same thing. These are very stylish roofs, more durable, last long and cost about the same.

Question 2.

Why aren't houses easier to maintain? Homewoners spend a fortune on painting and repairs because non-durable materials and cheap appliances are used.


The answer goes back to the buyer, investor or developer.

Everyone wants real estate construction for as "cheaply" as they can.

Cheap equals high maintenance. Quality equals low maintenance.

Quality also means less expenses for the home owner. Carpet, roofs, painting, etc… all last longer.

Less repair and replacement means more saving in the long run.

Unfortunately, in real estate construction this is not a consideration. Therefore, foundations are deteriorating in five years, roofs need to be repaired or replaced in seven, painting every three to four years, carpet every five.

Because of inflation, costs for repair or replacement are higher than if they had just paid for the quality to begin with.

Question 3.

Why don't houses have more storage? I'm talking about the things people keep in the garage. Garages are so full junk there is no room for cars.


The garage really isn't the problem. It's the closet, pantry and other storage areas within the house which are treated by architects and builders as an "oh by the way" here's an empty space let's call it a closet.

Not much thought goes into these areas. Again, this is responsibility of the buyer, investor or developer not the builder. The builder only builds what they've been told to build.

Question 4.

Why isn't plumbing and wiring more accessible? Why don't we have things like plumbing / wiring chases and removable panels to get to plumbing?


At the risk of repeating myself this is up to the buyer, investor or developer not the builder. As builder we can recommend this or that but in the long run the person paying the bill makes the decision. In our homes, what you've mentioned is accounted for by us.


Colm's Comment: So you see, you've got responsibilities as well - most of these decisions are made by you, "the developer." Personally, in 30 years, I have never developed a residential town home or apartment that I would not 'live in myself' or invite my mother to live in.


Colm Dillon

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