Dem Bones

Dem Bones

Framing lumber is the skeleton of the home and not unlike those in your body a home depends on good strong bones to withstand the stresses nature delivers. Since a new home’s framing is not seen when it is completed, it seems to be given only passing consideration by the customer during the planning process.

Obviously this lack of emphasis on such a crucial element of construction is based, in my opinion, on the assumption that the builders whom one may be considering, generally use the same type and grade of lumber. That assumption may lead to one of the biggest errors one can make in selecting a contractor because it is not the least bit accurate.

There are indeed tremendous differences in the quality of framing lumber and, although unseen, it is essential to the overall quality and performance of a new home. All of the upgraded finishes and fixtures that are used to make a new home comfortable and appealing will ultimately fail to conceal the truth that these features are installed over poor quality lumber. The old adage of putting lipstick on a pig seems to be apropos.

So how, you may ask, does someone with little knowledge of lumber determine which builder is using the best quality of building materials? Truthfully, it is difficult but I suggest that the first hint may be whether the contractor you’re considering simply brings the subject up. Any builder who is making an effort to provide a quality product will want to make an effort to point out what they feel distinguishes them from the competition.

Another question that may be somewhat enlightening is to inquire where the builder purchases the lumber they will use to build your home. In my opinion, lumber purchased at big box stores or other discount outlets is nowhere near the quality offered from a lumberyard that is dedicated to servicing builders rather than walk-in retail customers. Although discount pricing from the big box stores may enable the builder to be competitively priced, using inexpensive lumber will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the overall quality of the home.

It may also be useful to know if your builder has ever actually framed a home in their career and if so how many or for how long. Having been a framing contractor for many years has given me a very strong belief that this part of the construction process is where quality is established in a home. The knowledge of what products and methods produce the best framing job is crucial to a successful project. If your builder has never famed, hopefully they have a qualified superintendent that has this knowledge.

Technological advances in growing, harvesting and milling lumber have not only enabled the timber industry to increase sustainability, it has allowed them to offer products that are straighter and stronger as well, all while keeping the cost of wood products relatively stable. There are now framing options available to builders that were not available a short time ago.

It isn’t glitzy or glamorous and you don’t even see it when a home is completed but framing lumber and framing carpentry are truly the basis that allows the quality of your home to shine through. To ignore this important facet of construction is setting oneself up for disappointment sooner or later.

About the Author:

Lynn Delagrange Inc. was formed in 1985 as L.D. Construction Inc. d.b.a. Chateaus by Delagrange. Louis Delagrange was the company’s first president and Lynn Delagrange served as vice-president for the organization. Prior to the company’s formation Louis and Lynn ( Louis’ nephew ) had worked together on several residential project with Louis as the builder and Lynn as a freelance supervisor. In 2000, Lynn purchased Louis’ portion of the company and is its president and sole owner. The name of the company was changed to Lynn Delagrange, Inc. at the time ownership had changed. Lynn began his career in construction, at the age of 13, working summers on his father’s ( A. D. Delagrange ) building company. He has spent the entirety of his time since, involved in every aspect of the construction industry. Lynn has been married to his wife Sue since 1988 and together they have two grown children. Lynn and Sue attend Pathway Church regularly and he relies on his faith as guidance in the way the company is managed. He enjoys playing golf, spectator sports and reading. Ron Schrock has been superintendent for the company for over 20 years and visits each project on a daily basis to ensure things are progressing as expected and to expedite the project in any way necessary. Ron and his wife Patty are kept busy evenings and on the weekends enjoying their riding horses. Wanda Goneau is our administrative assistant, in charge of all of the office duties. She will be the pleasant voice answering the phone when you callus as well. Wanda is devoted to her four grandchildren and loves attending their many activities. Now that you know a little bit about us, we would love to get to know you!