Blogs



July 16, 2014

I’ve been talking to builders lately about coping with tight lot setbacks. Some build in the city, where it’s commonplace to see a new home shoehorned on a lot with 2- or 3-foot side yards.

July 08, 2014

We are living in a new era of design. No longer reserved just for the rich or those with artistic sensibilities, good design has become democratized, and extends now even to the most mundane of everyday objects—such as phones, door handles, and vegetable peelers.

July 08, 2014

Baby boomers are builders’ best friends.

July 02, 2014

From 1950 to 2013, the average new home in the United States grew from 983 square feet to 2,673 square feet, a hefty 172-percent increase in size. Current median square footage, with half of all homes above and half below, is even larger.

July 02, 2014

During a recent trip to Southern California, I was struck by the pervasiveness of far-forward planning by builders big and small.

This link will take you to the Pence & Freese 2010 Baldrige Application (They earned the Baldrige Award for Performance Excellence for the small business category)  The application at the below link is 50 pages of amazing insights to how this company applies quality management.

Deck projects can expand to include a wide range of applications, such as light-commercial projects at restaurants or hotels as well as a variety of marina and dock projects near waterways. The possibilities can be seen in a recent dock project completed by Innovative Marine Solutions Inc.

Expanding homeowners’ outdoor living spaces has become one of the top remodeling projects. The projects often involve upgrades to better-quality materials, which usually means considering the variety of composite and alternative-material deck boards on the market.

Outdoor living spaces are expanding, with larger decks and more attention to the entire yard. This trend gives homeowners ways to extend their entertaining spaces. As projects expand their scope, contractors can suggest amenities that add value while making their proposal more attractive.

June 05, 2014

In my travels working with builders all over the country, I have the opportunity to see a lot of home designs. I see good, bad, fair, and occasionally great plans and elevations. I am able to walk a lot of models each year and see in the flesh what is working and what is not.

June 05, 2014

Remember when interior designer Carole Eichen coined the term “merchandising” to describe her approach to model homes? I’m not sure how many interior designers still use that term, but I know Mary Cook isn’t crazy about it.

May has been declared “Deck Safety Month” by the North American of Deck & Railing Association, a program the group started in 2006. Today, homeowners are more aware of the need to keep their deck safe, but they often don’t know what that entails.

Perhaps two of the most famous quotes related to strategic planning are:

‘In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.’ Dwight D. Eisenhower

and

‘No strategy survives first contact with the enemy.’  Moltke the Elder.

May 12, 2014

Some years ago, a small production builder told me that he didn’t want his company to get too big. Smaller companies were nimble, he explained, and large ones were just too cumbersome to respond quickly to changing market conditions and consumer preferences.

May 12, 2014

Our ranking of the industry’s largest companies, Professional Builder’s annual Housing Giants report, reveals a lot about the home building market.

May 01, 2014

This is a transformer-type plan that offers “plug and play” options without too much of a fuss for the builder. A very popular option as of late is the multigenerational offering.  Having the ability to take a space and convert it to appeal to a family with an aging parent is priceless.

A lot has been written recently on the industry problem of getting good trades and rightly so. However, there is another problem you should not overlook, losing your current employees!

April 29, 2014

Where do you stand on mid-century modern design? Do you love it or hate it? In the San Francisco Bay area, a resurgence of interest in Joseph Eichler homes has the lovers and the haters riled up all over again.

April 21, 2014

Spring is here, regardless of the fact that it is snowing in the D.C. area as I write this at the end of March, and it’s the beginning, traditionally, of when things really start rolling in home building. The importance of the spring selling season is a given.

April 21, 2014

In home building, experience counts for a lot. It takes years and, in some cases, hard lessons learned to move forward in profitable new directions.

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