PB May 2006

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Features

Too often, the right people in the wrong jobs make it hard for builders to work efficiently and profitably. To run an effective team, managers need to examine the entire system by which they hire, train, manage and reward their players.

Many builders report clients have a limited understanding of aging in place — but when they learn more, they're sold. The main reason people are sold on aging in place is that it often doesn't cost anything. Many aging-in-place design features don't cost anything now, but if overlooked, they'll cost a whole lot later on.

Satisfied customers need to be converted into loyal customers since loyalty can translate into a steady stream of customer referrals.

Mold continues to be an important topic to builders and homeowners, especially in light of rebuilding efforts in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast after last year's hurricanes. The Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition recently formed with the goal of providing the most reliable, user-friendly information on moisture and mold to builders and homeowners.

Successful employee retention can be attributed to the time taken to determine whether a candidate will thrive in the organization.

Cool roofs — roofs that use reflective materials to limit solar heat gain — can cut cooling loads by up to 20 percent. Conventional cool roofs have light-colored surfaces with colors that work well on commercial facilities with flat or low-sloped roofs. But homeowners prefer darker colors for their steep-slope roofs, leaving them without a cool-roof option — until now.

A survey of leading construction defects identifies those that are the highest-risk in newly constructed, single-family homes.

Ideal Homes has built one of the first zero energy home in the country priced under $200,000. The modest one-story, three-bedroom, two bathroom home produces as much energy as it consumes in a year, achieving net zero energy consumption. Ideal Homes of Norman, Okla., winner of the 2006 National Housing Quality Gold Award, prides itself on its commitment to building high-performance homes.

Three industry professionals share their best practice ideas for effective time management.

For builders erecting a home that's slab on grade or only has a crawlspace, moisture proofing is important. Builders planning on a finished basement with all the bells and whistles owe it to themselves and their customers to protect the home buyer's investment by using the best waterproofing methods.

Home builders have always faced competition, but as the industry has increased in sophistication, the competition has increased significantly. It's easy to succeed against fly-by-night operators as long as you don't compete on price. It's much more difficult to compete against quality competition that offers good craftsmanship, meets customer demand and delivers strong customer service.

Here is some universal advice to builders for keeping water from ruining tile applications.

The entire company, starting at the top, needs to demonstrate consistent behaviors that will make difficult decisions easy for employees.

A lot of small builders continue to thrive in their regions, in spite of the advantages of the Giant firms. Small companies have rebelled, defending their turf from Giants by staying flexible, taking risks and understanding the high stakes they face.

Empty nesters, retirees and affluent couples with expensive taste are Harwick Homes' target market for its newest model — The Mugello.

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, in concert with more than 20 philanthropic foundations, has found a solution to an age-old builder problem: create a sense of community between existing neighbors, city officials and developers.

A wheelchair accessibility challenged floor plan offered in an age-restricted community is reconfigured without sacrificing striking features, volume spaces and attractive exteriors.

July 2017

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