PB June 2003

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Features

In some parts of the country, multifamily builders are replacing masonry parapets with 5/8-inch (15.9mm) Type X gypsum board as a roof underlayment.

Colorado-based management consultant Chuck Shinn simplifies the route to double-digit builder profitability with a set of financial ratios that target cost control.

More technologies used in the Zero Energy House

While nobody can argue that green building isn't the right thing to do, local building officials still need to be convinced about the soundness of pursuing unfamiliar development proposals or building techniques.

New countertop products offer the opportunity to forge bold buyer memory points in model home kitchens and baths.

The old HR model had these people in a strictly tactical mode, moving payroll and benefit papers, and posting jobs. Today a good HR professional is worth the same financial return as a seasoned chief financial officer.

A few recent innovations in choosing interior and exterior paint mean builders can delegate at least one chore to someone else - the buyer.

Who makes what when it comes to management, sales and amrketing, customer service/support and construction personnel.

Merchandising models targeted to families often translates to secondary bedrooms themed specifically to appeal to boys and girls. But builders are grabbing kids attention elsewhere in the model, too.

Seven standouts Professional Builder toured this spring in the Inland Empire and Orange and L.A. counties

In the residential construction industry, multiple players want to provide quality education opportunities.

The tendency to litigate against builders, developers and trade contractors for even minor repairs has risen to such a level that state legislatures have been taking action.

So, what are the right questions, and how do you ask them? There are no hard and fast rules, but help is available in getting started, including books of questions that can be used verbatim or adapted to your needs.

In a bold and unexpected pairing, Samsung's Staron solid surface has teamed with custom staircase manufacturer StairWorld Inc. to create the Staron inlaid staircase.

Creating strong, skilled leaders internally is an overriding passion at Giant K. Hovnanian Companies - because it has to be.

While there are huge demographic, lifestyle and value differences among the 61 million people who belong to the Pre-Boomer and Early Boomer generations, they have shared some common experiences that have helped differentiate them from prior retirees.

Most local builders still are trying to build too many products for too many segments, give the market share they want.

Hovnanian Enterprises' Successor Candidate Profile

As a boy, Gene McKown of Ideal Homes in Norman, Okla., went to a pie supper and witnessed an auction for the first time. After college, McKown enrolled in auction classes. Since then, his reputation as an auctioneer has grown to the point where he now...

Measure what drives your goals. Inspect what you expect monthly. Identify weaknesses and repair them. Reward and celebrate success.

The difference between a profitable land deal and one that ends up as an expensive mistake is often found in the details of the contract you draft.

Bringing your team along as you innovate is another part of the challenge. People hate change. Builder John Wesley Miller calls it the Jonah Complex: Don't tell me it's better. I like it here inside the whale.

The most dramatic change in the industry in the last five years, according to a 2002 report, is a 258% growth surge in use of fiber cement cladding.

Wall Street housing stock analyst Ivy Zelman of Credit Suisse/First Boston has come up with an interesting measure to keep her finger on the pulse of the industry.

Familiarize yourself with the legal side of interviewing.

Sales consultant Bob Schultz of New Home Specialists in Boca Raton, Fla., is a longtime advocate of the full demonstration. He estimates that only 5% to 10% of all new home sales people offer a detailed demo and not many more could offer one if asked.

The Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing is a public/private partnership dedicated to increasing the development and adoption of advanced building technologies.

Ryland Homes is offering to buy back homes for the original selling price from residents of its Lexington Manner subdivision in Butler Country, Ohio, after hazardous lead levels were discovered in yards earlier this year.

A complete list of highlights of California Senate Bill 800.

When choosing who to interview, remember to compare their qualifications and characteristics with what you're looking for - not just with each other.

Former national salesperson of the year Cydne Combs, of Prudential New Homes in Ontario, Calif., anchors her sales approach in home construction. The idea is to be a guide to help people through a complicated process.

While large national and regional builders might have the resources to be leaders in innovation, small builders with a clear sense of purpose also can be effective early adopters of technology.

Few people join the ranks of management prepared for the totality of the task because few companies in our industry invest the time and resources necessary to grow their next generation of managers and leaders.

Builders who put many of their investment eggs into the housing basket might suffer significant (and disproportionately large) losses when, and if, the housing markets turn down.

Wrong hires cost you at least two times the salary. You'd never skip due diligence on a piece of land or an acquisition, so why trust only your instinct on an investment as costly as people?

The Water and Gas Safety Valve (WAGS) from Taco, a pump and electronic control manufacturer based in Rhode Island, shuts off both the gas and water feeds to a hot water heater in the event of a leak.

A single-story, 1,995-square-foot home grows a second floor - and 600 square feet - without changing its streetscape presence.

With impact fees as high as $60,000 in some parts of the country, moderately priced homes with fees passed on by builders are increasingly out of reach for targeted buyers.

For small builders interested in experimenting with new technologies, educate yourself with whatever resources you can find and start with what you're comfortable.

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