Industry Trends5 min

2018 Housing Forecast: Steady Year Ahead

As we kick off 2018, builders, architects and product manufacturers are making their predictions and looking for new opportunities in the year ahead.

Panelists at NAHB’s 2018 Housing & Economic Outlook presentation at IBS were cautiously optimistic about the coming year. They foresee 5% growth in single-family starts and strong growth in residential remodeling in 2018. Although they predict that multifamily starts will level off this year, activity won’t drop as sharply as in 2017. The consensus is that there will be steady housing growth in the year ahead.

Perhaps the biggest challenge on the horizon is that housing demand is outpacing construction due to labor and land availability constraints. New entry-level buyers will have to contend with rising home prices and mortgage rates.

Here are some other trends that will impact the homebuilding business this year:

Products and practices that improve worker health and safetyOSHA’s tough new regulations on respirable crystalline silica may cause some builders to look for alternatives to products like fiber cement siding. LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding products are a great replacement for fiber cement siding because they do not use silica or silica-based products as a raw material and are not subject to OSHA’s new regulations.

More products designed for easy installation – Due to the ongoing shortage of skilled labor, products need to be easy for entry-level workers to install. For example, there’s a shift away from installing shaft wall liner in favor of U350 wall assemblies (featuring LP® FlameBlock® Sheathing) that are faster and easier to install.

The push for partnerships – At the recent Hanley Wood HIVE conference, AOL co-founder Steve Case encouraged the construction industry to find new synergies from partnerships and alliances. A good example would be how LP leveraged Gorilla Glue Technology® in engineering LP® Legacy® Premium Sub-Flooring.

As we begin the new year, the mortgage market is stable, and the vast majority of metropolitan housing markets are faring well (324 in positive territory, with just 7 negative nationwide). The stage is set for stability and growth in 2018, but every year brings unexpected developments. Thanks to LP product innovation, you’ll have high-performance solutions to meet any challenge ahead.

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Business Advice7 min

What to Do When You Uncover Asbestos

Most re-siding projects are on older homes, so it’s a good bet you’ve seen your share of asbestos siding if you operate in the business of siding renovations. Asbestos is a silicate mineral that was commonly added to cement board siding for durability and resistance to fire and weather during the 1920s to 1980s.

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Industry Trends6 min
Choosing Durable Building Materials for Distinct Coastal Design

As an architect, putting your stamp of approval on building materials that stand the test of time is one of your top priorities. Multifamily builds when located on the coast, bring their own challenges from the start. With coastal weather conditions, you have unique durability challenges to consider. Coastal weather conditions include increased moisture, heat, humidity, and inclement weather—and your building materials must withstand them all. SAGA Construction, Inc., located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, is no stranger to the coast’s weather. When they embarked on a recent multifamily project, Cambridge Cove, SAGA executed a design with building materials that would appeal across demographics (homeowners and vacationers alike) while emphasizing durability. Let’s see how they did it.

Business Advice6 min
How to Sell Value in Construction

On custom homes, builders and developers sometimes avoid value-added building materials for a variety of reasons. They might veto those products if the upfront cost is more expensive than standard materials, when in fact the value-added solutions can often lower the long-term cost of ownership for the buyers. In addition, they might fear that crews aren’t as familiar with the value-added materials, which could add to construction time or impact proper installation.

Business Advice7 min
Not All Siding Is Created Equal

If you are in the process of selecting the right siding type for your project, it is important to know the differences between the substrates. Engineered wood siding is made by combining treated wood strands and adhesive resins. The resulting product is a compositing material stronger than traditional wood. LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding products are made with a proprietary process that offers superior protection against hail, wind, moisture, fungal decay and termites – delivering Advanced Durability For Longer Lasting Beauty®.