On a wallboard-hanging job, when you get an open-ended specification, what are the major factors that help you in deciding which brand to use?
Editor’s Note: Several anonymous responses are not included with these answers because they all said the same thing: Price.
Availability, price, name recognition and quality … not necessarily in that order, period.
—Alan Castro, President,
Advanced Specialty Const. Inc.,
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
PRICE, PRICE, PRICE, and the service reputation from the local supplier (stocking and sales support).
If there are a lot of cuts, then we factor in the ease of cutting that exists on certain brands and types of gypsum board and base our evaluation on the most cost effective one from our standpoint.
—Howard F. Hopson,
Hopson Specialty Systems,
Forty Fort, PA
The ones that the supplier that I like the best offers.
Since the products available for specific applications within our industry have become relatively standardized, I find that brand-specific purchasing is not as important as it once was, for example, back when USG products were the world standard and deservedly so. Unless I have knowledge of a widespread problem with a specific brand’s product, cost is the primary factor in deciding which products to use on a project. Further, cost is the only factor I consider at the bidding stage. Upon the award of the contract, I evaluate the project for owner’s/designer’s errors and/or omissions, and suggest appropriate product choices in the event that I discover problems. Unique applications or specific owner concerns may lead to a single brand option, but usually, brand choices still remain open. For my business, I depend on my vendors to stock and sell products from manufacturers who have a proven track record for quality, price and availability. They know, to a much greater degree than I do, the negative impact of selling products that do not meet minimum quality standards. Imagine yourself, for a brief moment, being the owner of a cargo ship load (millions of square feet) of that Indonesian drywall available a few years ago, which was virtually unusable due to glaring defects in the product resulting from quality control issues in a new startup plant!
In true evaluation of an open-ended spec, the main factor might be to consider the use of “unit responsibility” for the complete drywall system. The wallboard (where some major defect problems, at times, do occur) and the rest of the components used should be compatible as an acceptable system that offers quality assurance and manufactures responsibility in event of any problems … major gypsum companies provide unit responsibility. Why risk it with a cheap price for an off-brand gyp board?
—L.A. “Laddy” Dale,
Dale Enterprises Inc.,
Grand Junction, Colorado
As long as it is a major manufacturer I will use whatever my distributor has available to him.