Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal, the SpaceX project, and the promising new Tesla Motor Company, is the kind of entrepreneur you want to have in your neighborhood. He is the Bill Gates of his generation, creating good, high-paying jobs that will likely last for years. 

Not so long ago basements were merely utility space, but those days are gone. Two projects presented in the September edition of Custom Builder include basements that figure prominently in their respective plans.

There’s a lot of testosterone on the jobsite. And there’s always plenty of stress. This can be an explosive combination.

Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and countless other destructive weather events cost billions of dollars in damage in North America every year. Specifically, storm damage accounted for more than $110 billion in 2012 alone.


Three stories jolted me in quick succession last week.

A good predictor tool for rework and cost impact on a construction project is the Field Rework Index (FRI).

This 2,800-square-foot plan utilizes Lean design to combat narrow-lot woes.

In the fall of 1998, I attended my first Benchmark Conference as a new senior editor on Professional Builder magazine. What struck me about the gathering was the camaraderie among industry competitors.

As we continue to distance ourselves from an economic downturn that had a deep impact on the remodeling industry, one key variable is still evolving at a brisk pace and that is the introduction of new products to the remodeling industry.


We were winning by several touchdowns when I got the nod. “Just hand the ball off, stay in bounds, & keep the clock running...” 

Benchmarking is a technique in which a company measures its performance against that of best in class companies, determines how those companies achieved their performance levels and uses the information to improve its own performance.

Imagine you are in a cement box quickly filling up with water. The box is sealed on all sides, yet you still find a way out and survive. How? I will get back to that one. This week we have a plan that works to solve the riddles presented by today’s buyers.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit a group of homes that were featured in Chicago’s first GreenBuilt Home Tour. Sponsored by the U.S.

Remodeling and custom home building are similar in that both are ‘high touch’ relationships. Not to say that production home building is not high touch; but there is a gap.


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