Feeling a little worn out at work? That's no surprise. The Associated General Contractors of America estimates that a majority of the 2 million construction workers who lost their jobs during the Great Recession have either retired or found careers in other industries. That leaves many builders and remodelers with trouble finding skilled workers and consequently doing more of work themselves.
Some states have been developing programs to alleviate the problem, but in the meantime, builders and remodelers facing labor shortages may also be battling construction delays. In some cases, pros are choosing new materials to help simplify the construction process and reduce the number of workers needed on site. So, as you look forward to the long Labor Day weekend, take a load off and check out six products that can help give you a well-deserved break on the jobsite.
Dust Away Drywall Compound
As if construction didn't involve enough labor on its own, the clean-up afterward is sure to wipe out any crew at the end of a long day. Give drywall crews a little break in the clean-up department with Dust Away drywall compound and Renovation Mud. When the sanding the materials, the particles are designed to clump together and fall to the floor, reducing airborne dust and making clean-up easier. CertainTeed | 800.233.8990 | certainteed.com
Moistop Rigid Corner Shield
Instead of juggling flashing tape and awkward cuts with a blade, try Moistop Rigid CornerShield to flash window corners in one easy step. The product is compatible with self-adhered flashing and membrane products and fits most windows to prevent moisture intrusion. Fortifiber | 800.773.4777 | fortifiber.com
ZIP System Sheathing and Tape
From sheathing to housewrap to finished siding, cladding the exterior of a home can be one of the most labor intensive parts of construction. Huber Engineered Woods helps alleviate a good portion of that with its ZIP System - engineered wood impregnated with a vapor barrier. When installed with ZIP System tape, the products reduce installation time by up to 40% compared with traditional sheathing-plus-underlayment installations. The specialized tape helps seal the seams and for a fully protected weather barrier. Huber Engineered Woods | 800.933.9220 | huberwood.com
Milwaukee Jobsite Backpack
Milwaukee's new Jobsite Backpack gives contractors a more convenient, hands-free way to haul tools to and from work, and up and down ladders. A sturdy plastic bottom keeps the bag standing upright when it's set down, and numerous pockets accommodate hand tools and larger items like drills. A padded interior pocket helps protect laptops and tablets under rough jobsite conditions. Available fall 2014. Milwaukee | 800.729.3878 | milwaukeetool.com
Musselbound Adhesive Tile Mats
Peel-and-stick sheets of Musselbound adhesive tile mat let contractors complete small tiling jobs quickly and easily without requiring an additional trade on-site. The adhesive offers a longer working time for both wall and tile contact than similar products and isn't permanently set until it's firmly pressed into place by the installer. On the tile side, adhesive completely covers the sheet, so there's no minimum tile size requirement. Musselbound | musselbound.com
CAMO Edge Pro Fasteners
Camo Edge Pro is the latest addition to the brand's Hidden Deck Fastening System and is the first collated screw system for edge-fastening wood, composite, or PVC deck boards, the maker says. In addition to eliminating issues related to face-fastening, such as splitting, cracking, and fastener pops, Edge Pro doesn't require the use of hidden clips, and installs with a collated tool from a standing position, both speeding installation and saving the installers back. Edge Pro is compatible with any type of deck board, including treated wood, which can be installed with no gap or with secondary spacers to create a required gap size. National Nail | nationalnail.com