I’m a strong believer that you can get a quality product at a reasonable price. Especially in the construction industry. A good contractor should learn and grow to build up industry contacts that give them good deals and develop methods that increase efficiency. Even using employees that demand top end pay should be a cost saving method in the long run as those employees will have higher skills and their work won’t need to be fixed or touched up later. Higher paid employees are also happier and tend to stay with a company longer which can down on turn over. A good contractor should be able to provide a high quality product at a reasonable price.
There’s a limit though.
I’ve been finding myself in situations lately where customers are choosing much cheaper products but expecting top of the line work. One of those products being a manufactured home. I’m not a complete naysayer of manufactured homes. Depending on the needs of the buyer, a manufactured home can be a good way to go depending on your situation. One thing that attracts people to a manufactured home is the low price tag, but that will always come with lower quality. I’m experiencing people who are buying manufactured homes and are baffled when they find blemishes in the quality.
I’m a firm believer that people should always put out a top quality product, but you can only do so much with a limited amount of money. If you are choosing to pay less money for a product, you should expect to get an inferior product. If you only want to pay $15,000 for a Kia Rio, don’t expect the car’s quality to be at the same level as a $60,000 Mercedes. This same principle applies to home construction as well. If you are going to get a manufactured home at $100 per square foot, you aren’t going to get the same quality as if you hired a custom home builder and paid $200 per square foot. It’s not going to happen. Manufactured home builders sacrifice a lot in the way of quality in order to get the price of their product down.
- Low quality, finger jointed framing.
- LP exterior trim that doesn’t hold up to weather.
- Vinyl flooring that is not glued down.
- Drywall that is stapled to the framing instead of screwed.
- Cheap door hardware.
- Cheap plumbing fixtures.
- Cheap lighting fixtures.
- Most importantly: minimum wage, unskilled labor.
These homes are built on an assembly line by low wage employees. The goal is to crank out the homes as fast as possible and to keep costs as low as possible. That is a recipe for a home with a lot of quality issues. You just can’t reasonably expect to get a home that cheap and still have it be a high quality product.
I encourage everyone to shop around for a good deal. Get multiple bids from contractors and compare prices. It’s natural to want to get the most for your money. Just remember that the goal is to get the $60,000 Mercedes for $52,000, not to get a Kia Rio and be upset when it isn’t a Mercedes.