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Controlling Costs

Problems and tasks from a variety of sources intended to illustrate the way mathematics arises in life and work.



Affordable Housing. You are investigating the possibility of organizing a Habitat for Humanity project. Using information on standard building supplies obtained from a local lumber yard, design a simple home whose building materials can be obtained for $20,000.

Construction Costs. Estimate in three ways, with increasing detail, the cost of building a deck or a new family room. A rough estimate can be obtained by calculating square footage and multiplying by a cost factor provided by local building experts. To gain more precision, make a scale drawing, calculate the amount and cost of every specific type of material and then add an estimate for labor. Finally, check to see if subtle difference in size or design might reduce waste or optimize costs of important materials.

Paneling Walls. In remodeling an old warehouse, three walls are to be covered with an expensive rosewood paneling. The walls measure 14' x 8', 16' x 20', and 10' x 19', and are framed with studs spaced at 16' intervals, and cross-headers 8' high. Figure out how many 4' x 8' sheets of rosewood paneling will be needed. Try to minimize the cost of paneling and also the number of joints.




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Last Update: 12/28/98