Saturday, March 25, 2017

Residential Construction Costs

A lot of the modern affordable apartment housing projects "look good." However, they don't always have efficient designs. The structural designs are often inefficient, and the units include numerous unnecessary features. Ideally, a person or family should wish to rent until they can afford to buy a starter house. An entry level/affordable house should be efficient as well. People can improve their homes when they can afford to, thereby not including the improvements in the financing.

When apartments have excessive luxury features, this adds a lot to the costs. If the housing is financed, the costs can double. So, if unnecessary features are included, these cost double as well. If the costs of construction can be cut by 50%, for example, twice as many units can be built on the same budget. Modern building codes make including some unnecessary features more expensive.

If these projects receive public funding, and the costs are cut, the same resources can be placed toward more housing. "Sustainable" is a popular buzz word. A small unit with limited window space doesn't use much energy at any rate. Many of the newer houses are so large that they use a lot of energy regardless of the efficiency of individual components. People should watch that the financially challenged aren't taxed disproportionately when it comes to environmental issues and housing.

Some of the inefficient/unnecessary features often included in modern affordable apartment projects are:

* Expensive on demand water heaters

* Washers and dryers (dryers should be given lowest priority)

* Expensive windows

* Excessive/expensive lighting

* Too many cabinets

* Garbage disposals

* Dishwashers

* Unnecessary hips and valleys in the roofing

* Microwaves

* Too much porch/covered porch space

* Interior wall (sound) insulation

* Sometimes central air conditioning isn't really necessary in mild climates

For examples, most people own microwaves and they're cheap, and lamps are cheap.

Residential Construction Costs

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Globalization and Competition

If people opt for globalization, they need to compete. The alternative to this is protectionism. Regulations can affect a local economy's ability to compete on a global scale. Examples include building regulations and workers compensation. For example, does a competing economy require compensation coverage for its workers and what does it cost? One solution to this is reducing the costs of compensation through education. Sometimes people take more risks when insured.

Building regulations can become cumbersome. Regulations such as these were put in place because of a lack of regulation and the resulting consequences. However, as is often the case with bureaucracies, special interests can become a problem over time and the regulators can be inefficient. The regulators, such as inspectors, need to minimize control issues and facilitate development.

Michigan has recently reduced several regulatory barriers to competition. There can be negative consequences, such as environmental concerns. On the other hand, globalization has environmental effects as well.

Facilities designs need to be efficient in order to minimize waste such as scrap building materials. Some of the safety and energy efficiency requirements are probably a bit excessive. Inspections should be as non-serial as possible. Contractors build their reputations on quality, and this should be taken into consideration. Companies need many incentives to build domestic facilities, as competing economies may offer more competitive incentives.

Globalization and Competition