Blogs



“Breakthrough means change, a dynamic, decisive movement to new, higher levels of performance……..Breakthrough is, then, the creation of good (or at least, necessary) changes, whereas control is the prevention of bad changes. Each is necessary for survival and health of the company.

August 26, 2014

When home builders are asked which information they deem most critical to the improvement of their businesses, info about new products is always near the top of the list. And for good reason.

August 25, 2014

A recent blog post on the Estes Builders website got me thinking about what my ultimate home office would look like.  I’ve been working from home for a little over four years now, and I’ve identified a few flaws in my situation.

Since 2006, the North American Deck & Railing Association has annually promoted “Deck Safety Month” each spring.

“Of the primary goals of Quality, Cost and Delivery, Quality should always have the highest priority.

July 21, 2014

Back to the Cabin: More Inspiration for the Classic American Getaway. This companion piece to 2001’s “The Cabin” is a collection of 37 inspiring designs from across North America, with architect and “cabinologist” Dale Mulfinger offering fresh insight and seasoned strategies.

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.

Pages

Overlay Init