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March 13, 2014

Although recovery for home building has been looking up for a while—with new-home starts in 2013 up 18 percent over 2012 and new-home sales in January at their highest level since July 2008—coming out of the housing recession completely is proving harder than any of us thought it would be.

While analysts continue to argue about whether or not the dip in housing sales in the first two months of 2014 is weather-related or not, it might be helpful to step back and take a look at the last few years to gain some perspective about where the market may be heading.

The Wells Fargo/NAHB Builder Confidence survey, for February, reported a historic drop in Builder Confidence. The report was hyped and in some cases further embellished on many television stations and in print sources.

 

This is a case study by ASQ and its a great example of how quality tools can be applied to the construction industry.

February 26, 2014

Maybe you saw the New York Times article “In Housing, Big is Back (Not Counting the Extras).” While it doesn’t overtly herald the return of the McMansion, the implication is

February 26, 2014

The volume of technology news from the Consumer Electronics Show held last month in Las Vegas was enormous. For our team of editors, viewing this stream of tech news from the perspective of builders has been like trying to drink from a fire hose. There is so much that builders should know.

The boom and bust cycle of the first decade of the 21st century had an enormous effect on U.S. homeownership rates. The overall rate in the U.S.

“Two approaches to improvement to avoid: systems without passion and passion without systems” Tom Peters, Thriving on Chaos, 1987 

This is a powerful quote to ponder, as is the need for constantly “Going back to the Basics” the hallmark of Vince Lombardi.

January 27, 2014

Business often is equated to card games like poker, where minimum bets are required so a player can keep a seat at the table.

As we recover from the holidays and look back on the year, it appears we should all give thanks that 2013 has shaped up to be a pretty good year for residential construction and the economy in general.

January 20, 2014

If you’ve never been to Savannah, Ga., by all means go, especially if you love 18th and 19th century architecture. I just returned from a four-day trip to this beautiful city and would return in a heartbeat.

“How will my investment in a criteria/award program impact my bottom-line?” is a question commonly asked by senior leaders. In other words, “What’s in it for my organization?”

There are a whole range of quality management tools and techniques and that includes Lean and Six Sigma. Includes being the key word. They are not by themselves ‘Quality Management’.

December 20, 2013

New projections from Freddie Mac suggest a sea-change in housing in 2014. 

December 19, 2013

I’ve come to the conclusion that American residential architecture, like America itself, is a melting pot. I would even argue that the true American house style is eclectic. Certainly there are many eclectic American neighborhoods.  

November 21, 2013

I’m looking forward to the new movies being released in December, particularly the next installment of “The Hobbit.” One film I doubt will be coming to a theater near you, though, is about urban planning, and I’m giving it a big thumbs-up.  

November 15, 2013

There is a veritable geyser of data tracking housing today. From existing-home sales, to house prices, to new-home permits, to starts—housing metrics abound. We know more now about home building activity than we ever have before.

November 08, 2013

Ed is a close friend of mine.
He’s 33.
He’s married with two daughters, ages 7 and 4.

I have taken quite the respite from my blogging activities, despite statistics that showed a growing readership.  For whatever reasons, I felt the blogging juice just didn’t justify the squeeze.  I wrote of topics ranging from referral sales, to customer service, to ultra-marathon running in an a

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