PB June 2006

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Illinois' northeastern counties have the state's hottest housing markets, as new home buyers continue to move farther in search of more home at an affordable price.

Sales people answer these questions: What do you do to reverse the trend and turn around your sales performance? What role does attitude play in the turnaround? And how do you maintain a positive attitude when sales are hard to come by?

The hottest products are called vertical spas, shower towers, performance showers and carwashes. And consumers are clamoring for them. Here are a few installation tips for builders and plumbers.

Columnist Scott Sedam talks about the critical importance of builder/supplier/trade relationships. "There is a new paradigm of high-level cooperation," he says. "And though rarely practiced, it works."

A mix of rising interest rates and house prices typically favor the rental housing market. Read how things could be different this time around.

A look at the types of things that can motivate employees, and how motivation can be used as an assessment tool when interviewing candidates.

The Home Builders Institute (HBI) has partnered with Beazer Homes and Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT) to launch Team Builders.

A new American Institute of Architects survey uncovers the latest design trends, catering to communities complete with shopping and transportation, and allowing space for gatherings.

Production builders should look before they go leaping into on-your-lot building as a sideline operation. While it sounds like a good idea on the surface, the process for scattered lot development has its own complexities.

Outdoor rooms can be fun, fancy and free. One thing is certain: buyers want them, and more builders are delivering the outdoor rooms customers crave. Read about the design trends going into outdoor spaces.

Strategic planning does far more than plot a course for your company. In truth, I believe its value is greater for the cohesive effect it has on your employees.

Many builders assume they need a hot, sunny state to even consider installing a photovoltaic (PV) system. While there is a benefit to being in these areas, homes in colder climates may be equally good — or even better — candidates.

Columnist Paul Cardis talks about the meaning of teamwork and how to build it more effectively by implementing a Neighborhood Quality Team approach.

A bevy of experts chime in on what they see as the must-have features for today's home buyers.

Old world classic designs, Low-E4 glass and mahogany are featured in some of the latest window and door products.

The latest data the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD released shows the inventory of completed but unsold new houses on the market reached 128,000 in March — the highest level ever recorded since 1973.

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