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CNC prefabricated timber vs. hand crafted on site

Comparing CNC prefabricated timber against the hand crafted on site option is a bit like a comparison of apples and oranges. The end product may be similar but getting to there is very different. With careful comparison (see attached table) CNC prefabrication saves not only time but money. I will outline some key points below.

With our fixed price turn key quote we are offering speed of completion that cannot be matched even by a very skilled onsite fabrication crew. Larger traditional hand crafted timberframe companies with highly skilled labor will normally finish 5 to 10 custom homes per year, With the same size crew we completed over ninety projects last year. In our bid, we will save weeks of construction time. One of the largest cost savings will not come from the framing budget but will come from a quicker completion and move in dates the earlier commencement of retail cash flows. With our prefabricated supply your time frame for construction will be realistic and guaranteed.

San Juan's quote is based on an actual board footage count of all of the timbers detailed in the project drawings. It is not based on using an industry or project based rule of thumb or other estimating methodology. Each piece will require precise beveling or detailed end cuts, and most will need knife plate slots and drillings for boltholes.

Onsite Framing of heavy timber and Gluelam Cost $ CNC Fabricated Timber and Gluelam Cost $
Timber Supply
  1. Timely delivery assured?
  2. Extra timber order ahead for mistakes
  3. Quick turnaround for re-supply if fabrication mistakes are made
  4. Order in 2' length increments, %waste
  5. Planed but unsealed wood shipped, Sand and finish on site if marred in transit/storage
  6. Manage shipping and transport costs
$ Timber Supply
  1. On site production sawmill and log yard dedicated solely to our timber operation.
  2. Tight grain, dense Rocky Mt Douglas fir standard.
  3. Two day turnaround for emergency replacement pieces, includes sawmill, planning, CNC Fabrication and shipping to jobsite.
  4. Rough timber cut in 6" increments as needed.
  5. Timber planed twice. Once before fabrication and once after to remove handling scuffs. Sanded and sealed prior to shipping
  6. Shipping to site is included.
Timber Storage
  1. Need sufficient space on or near the site for storage, inventory, labeling system, and sorting.
  2. Must be secure
  3. Insurance needed for stored product
$ Timber Storage
  1. Secure storage for fabricated timber at our plant
  2. Finished timbers ready and organized for just in time delivery as and when needed
  3. Insured for full value.
  1. Need indoor covered workshop area to process timber with full forklift access.
  2. If not indoors does the timber production shut down for winter.
  3. Transportation for timber between workshop and jobsite.
  4. Need power and specialized timber equipment.
  5. Precise drilling of holes for steel very difficult to do off site by hand.
  6. Need finishing room
$ Workspace
  1. Indoor workshop for all milling and finishing.
  2. Timber end sealed and finished with Timber pro UV in workshop
  3. Production year round.
  4. CNC processed holes using Steel shop CADs as base.
Crane Time
  1. Much of the project would require cut and fit handwork. Especially matching holes to steel already on the building.
  2. Many trips up and down with the crane for each piece are typical with equipment sitting idle as fixes are made.
$ Crane Time
  1. Limited crane time per piece as each piece just needs to be bolted in place. No cutting, marking and drilling.
Shop Drawings
  1. Need skilled draftsperson to create shops for onsite crew to follow.
  2. Set up review process
$ Shop Drawings
  1. A German trained timber engineer/draftsman will be full time on this project from start to finish.
  2. Shops will be sent for review
  3. Can start on project immediately
  1. Need to hire a large labor force skilled in heavy timber joinery to keep up with other trades.
  2. If not enough skilled workers are available more supervision needed, slower production.
  3. Learning curve mistakes and setbacks typical with green crew
  4. Extra Housing requirements.
$ Labor
  1. Only need a small semiskilled crew to lift and bolt timber together.
  2. Onsite Supervisor timber project manager Included in quote, with housing allowance included.
Project Management
  1. All of the above needs careful supply and workforce management to keep in budget and on time.
$ Project Management
  1. All production, supply and installation management is included.
Fit and Finish
  1. Depends on skill of crew, quality of tools and timber.
$ Fit and Finish
  1. Designed and CNC milled to a 1/64" + or - tolerance.
  1. No warrantee if timber does not fit. Redone at contractors cost.
$ Warrantee
  1. If timber is not produced to match the drawings we will replace it at our cost.
  1. Variable and hard to estimate
  2. The heavy timber could easily become a bottleneck slowing other trades and pushing out the completion date.
  3. Higher interest and lost income cost if completion date and opening is delayed
$ Cost
  1. Fixed price contract. Will hold price quoted firm for 4 months.
  2. Production schedule is well within our capabilities.
  3. Our value added engineering could reduce the cost.

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For more information please call (360) 499-6062 or contact us.