The reality is that…at some point toward the end of the construction…it actually takes more time to point out to each subcontractor the remaining minor items needing repair and then check that they have been fixed than to simply make the repairs yourself.
It takes long, for example, to walk the painter through a house and point out every minor spot needing touchup or caulking…and hope that the painter remembers everything (the blue colored adhesive dot method will be discussed in a following post) than it does to immediately paint these areas yourself as you see them. Yet this level of quality is exactly that which is expected by the average homebuyer and will be pointed out by the homebuyer to the builder during the walkthrough…if missed by the painter and not picked up by a prep crew the builder does not have.
When it is finally accepted that something extra must be added to the normal performance of subcontractor’s work to achieve quality (in production housing), the question changes from whether a prep crew is needed or not…to how good we can get the subcontractor’s work before the builder’s prep crew takes over.
The combination of good construction and a prep crew to provide the finishing touches can result in a level of quality that meets the expectations of a homebuyer. A level of relative peace and tranquility then exists on the jobsite, in the sales office, and in the main office customer service department…as opposed to “putting out fires” continually in the reactive mode to homebuyer complaints and service request letters.
This is worth the cost of the final prep crew for low to medium priced tract housing and condominiums.