Whether you call them “townhomes” or “townhouses”, single-family attached housing is having a great year. NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog reports that townhome starts in the last four quarters rose 23 percent over the previous year. Townhome construction now accounts for about 13 percent of all single-family starts – its highest market share in a decade.
Townhome builders have long complained about partition walls that use shaft wall liner. “Shaft walls use fire tape,” says Wayne Baker, COO of Fleming Homes, which recently completed The Tapestry, a 99-unit townhome project in Garner, North Carolina. “Framers don’t like them, so they charge you more per square foot just to build them.”
Fortunately, there’s a smart alternative to shaft wall: LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing. For The Tapestry, Baker chose UL 350 Type B wall assemblies that incorporate LP FlameBlock sheathing. The result: a 2-hour partition wall that’s easy to install and is fire-rated on both sides.
“We were looking for an alternative to shaft walls because they’re so difficult and aggravating to build,” says Baker. “In addition, shaft wall is a more expensive system to use than the LP FlameBlock system.”
Texas-based Bransom Homes also used LP FlameBlock sheathing in lieu of shaft walls in a recent townhome project in Burleson, Texas. The Bransom team had similar reservations about using shaft wall liner for area separation walls: its weight, complex installation and how it was easily damaged on the job site. The project went faster and smoother with LP FlameBlock sheathing – and Bransom even used it for roof deck in the townhomes. “The LP FlameBlock sheathing goes in just as fast as sheet rock,” says Jake McWhirter, Branson Homes’ superintendent. “The fact that it can also be used in the roof deck makes the job so much easier.”
Word is spreading fast about how LP FlameBlock sheathing can spare townhome builders the hassles of shaft wall. “The code official in Burleson was so impressed with the LP FlameBlock product that he’s beginning to suggest it where applicable in the city,” says Randy Trussell, LP’s marketing development manager in the region.
If you’re feeling the pinch in cash flow this month, you’re not alone. In fact, 84% of all construction companies face tough cash flow challenges, enough that it stalls company growth. Without good cash-on-hand, companies find they are unable to hire more employees or take on additional projects.Continue Reading
When it comes time to house hunt, there are three primary categories of residential homebuilders to choose from: tract, spec and custom builders. There are many aspects that set each apart, but here are the basics potential homebuyers should consider to ensure they’re investing in the type of home that best fits their preferences, budget and stage of life.
Over the past 25 years, Jim Peterson has learned how to sell value to his remodeling customers. Peterson owns Rembrandt Exteriors, LLC in southern Wisconsin, an area where ordinary wood siding can take a beating. Here are some of the reasons that make engineered wood siding a smart choice that will deliver value to a homeowner.
Ice fishing has long been one of the most popular winter pastimes in Canada and the northern U.S. All you need is access to a solidly frozen lake because a flowing river doesn’t freeze thick enough. Ice fishers typically sit in simple enclosures that protect them from the elements. These go by interchangeable names like ice shack, ice shanty, fish house or ice-fishing shed. Some enthusiasts are taking things up a notch by building deluxe sheds featuring dining areas, office space and even electricity for TVs and microwaves.