Building a home is a complex process. It involves as many as 40 different companies and more than 200 individuals working together over several months. In addition, the majority of these people are working on multiple homes at once, each at various stages of completion.
As a sales representative for a builder, it's essential that you have a solid understanding of your product. Think of a car salesperson—he can point out features like a solid steel frame, anti-lock brakes, and special polymer body paint and explain the benefits of each to a customer. This information helps convince a customer that she's buying a safe and durable car. A new home, which most people consider to be a bigger, longer-term investment than a car, deserves the same attention to its features and benefits.
Modern home construction includes construction features that: are safe and healthy, make a home last longer and require fewer repairs, give the owner more control over the interior temperature, make the home affordable to operate, and are constructed using high-quality craftsmanship. For example, in the foundation, each feature that's installed provides a different benefit for the homeowners. The anchor bolts help make the home safer. The backfill makes the home safer and more durable. And waterproofing helps create a more durable home with a healthy, controllable environment. These specific construction practices create a safe, healthy, and durable base for the home.
Like the foundation, the framing has to be safe, healthy, and durable. Its purpose is to create the basic structure of the home's floor, walls, ceiling, and roof. Since all other materials are attached to the framing, it's essential that it be constructed using beneficial practices. The beams, sill plate, floor sheathing, studs, headers, band joists, and other features all help create a home that's safe and healthy for the homeowners. As a sales representative, you need to understand each feature and its benefit in the homes you build. Being able to point out specific benefits to customers and answer their questions will increase customer satisfaction and your bottom line.
Do you know the best practices for explaining the features and benefits of a home under construction? The following questions will test your BuildIQ. Stumped, or want to learn more? Visit http://hz.buildiquniversity.com
Foundation with poured concrete footings and walls and a full-height basement
1. A homebuyer sees trades installing insulation in his home in the wall between the kitchen and the garage. He asks you why insulation is being added there. How should you respond?
A. It's to keep moisture from the kitchen from escaping into the garage.A is incorrect. Insulation has no impact on containing moisture. Insulation is added here because this is considered an exterior wall.
B. This is considered an exterior wall.B is correct. Since the garage is an unfinished space, the wall between the garage and the kitchen is considered an exterior wall. All exterior walls are insulated.
C. It's to prevent carbon monoxide from seeping through the walls.C is incorrect. Insulation has no impact on containing carbon monoxide. Insulation is added here because this is considered an exterior wall.
2. What is the purpose of the footings?
A. To help spread the load of the home from the foundation walls to the surrounding soil
A is correct. The footings are poured first and the foundation walls are attached to them. The footings receive the weight of the foundation walls and the home above them, and they transfer the weight to the surrounding earth.
B. To ensure the home is set back the appropriate distances from the property lines
B is incorrect. The surveyor's stakes are used to mark the corners of the home, ensuring it's set back the appropriate distance from the property lines.
C. To receive and support the beams and hold them in place
C is incorrect. Beam pockets are formed in the tops of the foundation walls to receive and support the beams.
3. What would you tell a customer about ventilation in her new home?
A. Ventilation in bathrooms isn't required by most building codes.
A is incorrect. Building codes require bathrooms to have vents to exhaust moisture outside. Ventilation is important in bathrooms and kitchens, where warm moist air is generated from hot water and from cooking.
B. Ventilation reduces the amount of moisture condensing on framing members.
B is correct. Ventilation reduces the amount of moisture condensing on framing members and causing wood rot, which can lead to structural damage.
C. Ventilation is an optional feature for any home.
C is incorrect. Ventilation isn't optional. It's important to the long-term safety and health of the home's occupants.
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