Free Plans and Lumber Yards - Stop It

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Dschneller
Dschneller's picture
Free Plans and Lumber Yards - Stop It

My area has been saturated with lumber yards doing house plans for free.  Anybody else having this issue in your area?  Hard to compete with something that is free.  People will forgo quality product for a freebie.  

 

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Free Plans

I've never heard of that happening before. I know in Tulsa and Houston the lumber yards will do a material take-off for free but I never heard of them drawing up house plans. The free materials take-offs are what have prevented me from offering SoftList materials list. Why would they pay me to do something that the lumber yard will do for free? Although you have to consider that the lumber yard might not be sending out the most efficient size of materials. The more waste that is produced the more money they make so they don't have an incentive for materials efficiency.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com

cbe
cbe's picture
My area has been saturated

My area has been saturated with lumber yards doing house plans for free.  Anybody else having this issue in your area?  Hard to compete with something that is free.  People will forgo quality product for a freebie.  

 

I haven't seen this personally.  But around here the lumber yards do the material take-offs so they have rooms filled with other people's plans.  It would be a serious conflict for them to start drafting b/c they have a free library to pull plans and re-draw someone else's work.

- Cory

Dschneller
Dschneller's picture
In Jefferson City Mo there

In Jefferson City Mo there are now all 3-lumber yards that are doing this to complete with each other for business. I know for a fact they are coping copyrighted plans.  I hope this does not spread to my other cites I service. 

 

elddesign
elddesign's picture
*Free* plans

I work for a lumberyard that draws *free* plans.  We have clients sign a contract saying they will use our materials when it comes time to build.  If the client takes our plans to another yard (rare), they get billed for the plans.  

cbe
cbe's picture
Are you an employee of the

Are you an employee of the lumber yard or do they sub the work out to local design firms?  I came VERY close to purchasing Envisioneer by Cadsoft a year ago.  One of the things that I remember is that their design software geared towards lumber yards.  It never really dawned on me that the lumber yards can benefit from this as a benefit for both marketing and efficiency.  One lumber yard handles about 50% of my plans.  They are licensed contractors and also build houses on occasion.  I can see them going this route.

elddesign
elddesign's picture
employee

I am an employee of the lumberyard.  We have 2 designers using softplan, and 2 that draw by hand.  We do not use softlist for our material takeoffs, but are thinking about trying it out.  We have decided not to build on the side because we do not want to compete with our customers (contractors and developers).  We do get plans drawn by independent designers from customers, and if the plan *works* (meaning we don't have to redraw) we offer a discount on materials.