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.

December 10, 2013

Move-up buyers are a fickle bunch, and this blog entry focuses on a Lean Design for that group. It is actually an excerpt from a future House Review article that will appear in next February’s Professional Builder. Let’s take a closer look at this 3,700-square-foot home.

ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover challenged Veridian Homes (of Madison WI) in 2008 to build a home for a family in need.  The home builder’s quality management practices and innovation culture were the foundation of the project’s success, as the team used modified approaches and creative solutions to

During the last 50 years, the rate of growth of households has outpaced that of population growth in the U.S. The total number of households more than doubled during that period, increasing from 53 million in 1960 to 115 million in 2010 and 117 million in 2012.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Schumacher from Schumacher Homes a few years back while doing plan reviews at the International Builders' Show. Besides the fact that she is witty and charming, she is also brimming with wisdom.

March 24, 2014

As regular readers know, I rarely miss an opportunity to mention Frank Lloyd Wright in my blog. That goes for his descendants, too. FLW’s grandson, Eric Lloyd Wright, will be featured in the April issue of the Design Innovation newsletter.

March 24, 2014

Late last month the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, more commonly known as builder confidence, fell by 10 points from 56 to 46. It was the largest single monthly drop in three decades, beating the nine-point drop immediately after 9/11.

St. Patrick was a man who very early in life was made aware of his strengths and weaknesses.

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.


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