Industry Trends4 min

A Mid-Year Look at 2019 Exterior Trends

While many building professionals actively seek out exterior trends at the start of the new year, it’s important to keep on top of trends as we approach the latter half of 2019. Taking a mid-year look at what industry trends have dominated so far and what’s to come will ensure you are delivering your customers timely recommendations when it comes to their home’s aesthetic.

Longevity in Aesthetic & Material

So far, 2019’s overarching exterior theme is longevity. Homeowners are seeking out products and styles that prove to be timeless, but have the durability to last over time. Amy Pierce, Market Development Manager for LP Building Solutions, recognizes the growing demand for long-lasting building materials and says, “With LP® SmartSide® siding products, homeowners like that they can achieve a wide variety of looks for lasting curb appeal, but also have peace of mind that their home is built with advanced durability to ensure longevity.”

Shift to Siding as a Focal Point

In terms of siding materials, Craig Kuhnle, Territory Sales Manager of the Southeast Region for LP Building Solutions, has seen a shift from brick and stone exteriors to other siding options. He explains, “This may signify that both builders and homeowners are looking at siding as more of a focal point of the home than an accent. Using versatile materials, such as LP® SmartSide® siding products, gives them a broader mix of exterior styles to explore.”

Focus on Sleek & Smooth

Both Pierce and Kunhle have also noticed homeowners straying from textured siding and gravitating toward a smoother appearance. According to Kuhnle, “This was a key reason why LP Building Solutions crafted LP® SmartSide® Smooth Trim & Siding, one of the company’s biggest innovations.” Pierce goes on to speak to the popularity of the Modern Farmhouse design in relation to smooth siding options saying, “Using a sleek, smooth finish on the Modern Farmhouse adds an interesting juxtaposition to its natural finishes that strike a balance between classic and contemporary.”

All in all, Pierce and Kunhle both agree that homeowners are becoming more educated about their siding options and in tune to exterior trends, prompting builders to stay ahead of the curb when it comes to trending designs. To stay on top of the latest trends, check back into our professional blog trends section for regular updates

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Protecting Your Business From Subcontractor Mistakes

Both general contractors and building product dealers have a lot on the line when they use subs, so it’s important to understand subcontractor liability. It’s common for both dealers and Big Box retailers to hire a subcontractor to install materials like hardwood flooring purchased at their stores. GCs likewise have relationships with many trade subcontractors.

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Industry Trends8 min
Building Smarter Starts With Smashing Silos

One of the most vexing problems in home construction is that productivity isn’t rising fast enough – even though there are fabulous productivity tools everywhere you look. Making a process lean and efficient isn’t always the answer, according to John Murphy from the consulting firm FMI. Sometimes a process can be scrapped entirely, which in turn causes productivity to soar. But it can only happen when all the key stakeholders – developers, designers, manufacturers and builders – tear down their respective silos and start collaborating more effectively.

Industry Trends7 min
A Solution for the Labor Shortage?

The on-going shortage of skilled labor in the construction field is forcing manufacturers to find creative ways to deal with it, particularly in product design and training. First, the products themselves need to be intuitive and designed to eliminate unnecessary mistakes. Sub-flooring products offer a good example of how to design for easy installation.

Industry Trends5 min
Strong Demand for “Zero Energy Ready” Homes

Homebuyers are quickly realizing that there’s a new symbol of excellence in energy-efficient homebuilding: the Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) certification from the U.S. Department of Energy DOE. Currently only select builders meet the levels of excellence and quality required for ZERH certification – but their numbers are growing as homebuyers learn more about the program.