Accurate measurements and pricing help builders plan better. But the last few years have made it a challenge for builders to manage their businesses. From supply shortages to housing market shifts, the construction industry has been unpredictable.
Our Estimating and EWP Design Team works hard to ensure that customers are satisfied with the outcome of their projects, but in our industry, that requires efficient processes and the right technology.
Talbert’s Estimating & EWP Design is at the forefront of technological innovation by bringing 3D BIM modeling to our building material estimating and design process. We talked with our team to learn a little more about how they’re making estimation more precise so that customers don’t encounter any surprises on the project and can enjoy the home they’re in.
The Importance of Precision in Construction
The world of construction has undergone some massive shifts just in the last year, but experts in the industry have a positive outlook.
“As U.S. companies begin to reshore their overseas manufacturing, construction will hit another bright spot in 2023,” writes Gigi Woods for For Construction Pros. Furthermore Dodge Data & Analytics Chief Economist Richard Branch predicts $51 billion in manufacturing construction in 2023.
For many builders, planning ahead means working with a supplier who supports your projects and their success. The team at Talbert knows how overwhelming some aspects of a project can be, and our Estimation and EWP Design team is dedicated to making projects more seamless (and predictable).
Brent Davis manages the team, which also includes Ginny Oakley and Stephen Wright. They use MiTek Supply software for whole-house estimates and BC Framer for engineered wood framing and floor system designs. It’s this technology that makes projects run more smoothly, so we talked with the team at Talbert about how they help customers through the process.
The Challenges of Accuracy in Estimation
“Estimating used to be handled with pencil and paper and just making a list of materials. Then someone had to manually input all of that information for the takeoff,” says Brent. “This method is much more accurate and efficient.”
The MiTek program helps the Talbert team pull all of the information they need to make an estimate because it’s integrated with the model that is built from a customer’s plans. “We’ve got MiTek set up so that you can just click and put in a wall. And it picks up all of the information about the materials for that wall,” explains Brent. That kind of precision helps to guarantee a smoother, more successful project, and Mitek’s technology provides builders with what they need to get the job done right the first time.
Everything from the drywall to the sheathing to the cladding on the wall is accounted for. “We can see each individual stud on the 3D model,” explains Brent. And from this highly detailed model, Talbert can create a customer’s list of materials and their pricing. This streamlines the project and speeds up the process of takeoff. “It’s really incredible software,” says Brent.
There are fewer opportunities for error when using MiTek software because everyone on a project is looking at the same model and using the same measurements and instructions for building. “When you bring in an architect and engineer and contractor on a project, you’re also bringing in more opinions and feedback,” explains Brent. Having that many points of input can create confusion for teams, especially on a busy job site.
The estimation software and Talbert’s process help eliminate any guesswork from a project, which ultimately saves the customer time, energy and money.
Project Efficiency + Precision in Building
A majority of the Estimation team’s projects are custom, single-family homes. “They range in size from 1,500 square feet to large million-dollar homes. We’ve also done tiny homes,” says Brent.
No matter how big a project is, working with the Estimation team means customers get the time and attention needed for a precise estimate. Every customer has access to the model so that they’re able to understand the plan of construction, the materials used and what goes into the estimate. Here’s how the whole process breaks down:
Brent Davis handles incoming requests for estimates. He speaks with the homeowner or building about the project requirements and their vision for the home.
The team uses MiTek Supply to kick off the project and starts building the 3D model of the home.
Talbert sends the models to MiTek’s Platinum Global office for review. This ensures any potential design issues are avoided, and the model is sent back to Talbert for a final review with the team (Ginny and Stephen).
While the 3D model is designed, the MiTek Supply program pulls in and logs any materials needed for the home.
An extensive, detailed bill-of-materials (BOM) is generated for the customer. This includes the usage of each product, along with shipping details so that all materials are tracked and delivered to the correct area of the future job site.
The customer winds up with a 3D model, in addition to the bill of materials. “We give them basic tutorials on how to use the program and view the model, and encourage them to dig around in it,” says Brent. Access to a 3D model of the house plan helps customers visualize their project much more clearly.
The material list also organizes all of the products based on the part of the house they’re building. “Material gets shipped out there, and sometimes people grab the wrong materials,” says Brent. “But this prevents that.” Each shipping package can be tracked, so there’s no confusion about which materials will be used or where a product should be installed.
Tech-Driven Success on Every Project
Working with Talbert’s team means that builders and homeowners can rest easy knowing that they’re getting the home they had in mind. And for custom homes, that’s especially important because a floor plan doesn’t always give customers the whole picture.
“This really helps to give the customers a new perspective on their project when they’re able to see the 3D model,” says Brent. Part of Talbert’s commitment to customers is a smoother project and excellent customer service. Using MiTek’s Supply software helps support that goal, and aligns with Talbert’s Core Values.
This kind of innovation is needed in building today, and it’s been a topic of discussion for the last several years among construction industry professionals. “It’s not a matter of if but rather how great the need for advanced technology is in the construction industry,” says John Gillett for Construction Executive. “From job safety and quality control to AI software that can predict the potential for error and offer corrections or avoidance tactics, these resources — already available to so many other industries and organizations — can elevate the skilled construction worker as well as the industry as a whole.”
Technology like MiTek Supply allows builders and homeowners to see the ins and outs of a project, giving them a full view of everything needed to get the job done, so no one is left guessing or wondering about the plan ahead. This transparency and precision during the process lead to more successful projects and happier customers.
“We hope the rest of the industry catches on because it’s a really useful tool,” says Brent.
If you’re ready to see how our team can help streamline your next project, reach out to us today — we can’t wait to hear from you!