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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.

On August 8-11, the Timber Framers Guild (TFG) will hold its 2013 National Conference at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt. The event has been going on since1985 and promises something for everyone — even the kids.

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the first Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) ever held in San Diego. Previously, it had been staged in San Francisco for more than 50 years.

Where else can a former Marine, college football player, sheepherder, alligator hunter, and professional chef come together and share a commonality?

The answer, of course, is Professional Remodeler’s 40 Under 40 program. 

What do you do if a previous best-selling plan hits the skids? Dump it, pitch it, give it the old heave-ho? Possibly, but many builders are using another strategy.

In the June issue of Professional Builder, I discussed the American Classic Series by Dallas-based Darling Homes. Unfortunately there was no room for photos of the homes, so I’ve included a shot of the Lantana model here.

Gary Zajicek is my guest blogger.

I recently re-read Moby Dick and have to say that I was stunned by how vivid and modern it seemed. I felt transported to the streets of New Bedford, Mass., in the 1820s and to the decks of the whaling vessel Pequod.

There’s a 1920 California bungalow for sale in Los Angeles that is tiny (480 square feet) and expensive ($449,000) … and yet, very appealing.

An article that was published in The Atlantic a couple of weeks ago got me thinking about McMansions, which were ubiquitous during the housing bubble.

It’s been seven months since Hurricane Sandy slammed the Mid-Atlantic and New England shorelines. Sadly, for most Americans, the storm has become a distant memory.

I recently read an article written by Bill Lurz, a former colleague at Professional Builder. Bill is now editor-in-chief of AvidBuilder.com.

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