Industry Trends6 min

55+ Housing Is Booming Coast to Coast

The mood of builders in the 55+ single-family sector can be described in just two words: very optimistic. Earlier this year, the NAHB 55+ Housing Market Index scored its highest builder confidence rating since the index was introduced in 2008.

Although 55+ housing has historically been strong in both the Southeast and Southwest U.S., it’s surprisingly robust in all parts of the country. “The truth is that most Boomer retirees are staying close to home or moving closer to where their grandchildren live,” says Steve Moore, a senior partner at BSB Design and chair of NAHB’s “Best Of 55+ Housing” awards subcommittee. “There are plenty of hotspots for 55+ housing outside the Sunbelt. We’re seeing strong activity in the Carolinas and the East Coast markets of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. Even the coastal areas outside Boston are doing well.”

Building in a coastal region? Learn more about air and water barriers for moisture management. Building in a sunny, southern region? Consider using a radiant barrier sheathing, which is designed to lower attic temperatures and help homeowners have lower cooling costs.

BSB Design was founded in 1966 by legendary architect Jack Bloodgood in Des Moines, Iowa, and the firm now has 10 offices across the U.S. Although BSB doesn’t exclusively design 55+ housing, they’ve been excelling in that space for more than 30 years. Some of their latest projects include Anets Woods of Northbrook in Illinois with its charming gable dormer detailing and the Spanish mission-style Corsica at Talis Park in Naples, Florida. 

Fifty years ago, 55+ housing really meant a “retirement village” and probably would have included a bingo room and shuffleboard deck. But that’s not the case at Minto Communities’ Latitude Margaritaville in Daytona Beach, winner of last year’s Best Of 55+ Housing award. The community obviously draws its inspiration from musician Jimmy Buffett, featuring colorful, island-style home exteriors, resort-caliber amenities and even a bandshell in the town square for concerts and dancing. 

Keep low-maintenance aesthetics top of mind for 55+ residents/homeowners. LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding is engineered to deliver advanced durability and longer-lasting curb appeal. Extend the curb appeal all the way to the property line with an engineered wood shed or performance fencing.

“LP is proud of its long association with architects and builders in the 55+ housing sector,” says Scott Lockyear, National Sales Manager – Specified Markets at LP. “Homes in these communities are noted for their vibrant exteriors, and many are choosing LP siding products with smooth and cedar textures, a variety of styles and versatility of design.”

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Industry Trends6 min

Where the Construction Labor Shortage Is Most Severe

According to the latest American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 4 million people now work in residential construction (both single-family and multifamily) – down from the 5 million who were employed just before the Great Recession. Although the workforce has shrunk by 20 percent nationwide, some parts of the country are experiencing less pain than others. Similarly, light commercial construction has been reportedly back on the rise post-Recession, with IBISWorld reporting that the recovery started just before 2014 and continuing steadily through 2019 (source).

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Industry Trends7 min
A Commitment to Product Availability

It’s frustrating when factors outside of your control cause you delays or unexpected expenses during a project. Those factors could be weather delays, insufficient staffing, breakdowns in cash flow and unreliable product availability. LP devotes significant resources each year to ensure that its product availability is second to none. Because even the most innovative building solution is useless to customers unless they know that it’s available when they really need it.

Business Advice10 min
How to Prevent Lap Siding from Buckling by Using a Butt Joint

It’s a silly name, but a “butt joint” is an application technique where two pieces of material are “butted” up against each other. It is the simplest joint to make, and a butt joint can be either end to end or end to face. Depending on the width of the wall, butt joints will occur where two pieces of lap siding come together, creating a vertical seam. LP® SmartSide® lap siding products are available in 16’ lengths, and can help reduce the amount of seams where a butt joint would normally occur when using shorter pieces.

Industry Trends7 min
Why You Should Rely On Data Rather Than Instinct

For many years, construction pros have relied on experience and gut instinct more than on data, but that’s rapidly changing. Many banks, investment groups and insurance companies now need a construction data analysis to help identify potential risks before okaying a construction deal. And in the field, builders need easy access to actionable information – both at the lot level and company-wide – to help boost quality, control costs and manage trade partners.