We talk to a lot of developers, builders and architects. It will come as no surprise to you that many of them say they want to create unique, custom designed projects that stand the test of time. Of course, they also say that building this way comes with a higher price tag. However, if we were to change our perspective for a moment – and for the longer-term – it can result in better projects that actually save developments money.
To illustrate this point, I want to share with you this project located just north of Seattle, Washington, The Commons at Ballard is a multi-storey, mixed residential and commercial building that is about two years old. The building’s original design called for real wood cladding on the exterior. Wood is beautiful but, as we all know, requires regular maintenance to stay looking that way. The developer was struggling with whether to use real wood.
Jason Haveruk, our Product Manager and a licensed carpenter, was asked to look at The Commons more closely. In this case, Jason recognized that the wet coastal environment of the Pacific Northwest would require several rounds of wood cladding maintenance over the next few years. And so while wood was about 30% cheaper to install than Longboard, maintaining real wood would ultimately cost the project significantly more money and interruptions.
At Longboard, we offer a 15-year low-maintenance warranty on our products’ finish. To maintain the original look of wood cladding, it must be stripped and repainted at least every five years – that’s a minimum of three maintenance cycles inside our warranty period. In the end, Jason showed the client that just one cycle of wood maintenance would cost more than the 30% increase they’d initially spend on our product.