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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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.