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.
Your home’s exterior serves as an important first impression and may make or break your property’s value. So, sometimes it is what’s on the outside that matters most. With summer in full swing, it’s time to take on those much-needed outdoor projects that were neglected during the winter months. You may have several home improvement projects you want to tackle, so how do you know which will provide the best value?Continue Reading
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.
Summer outdoor entertaining season is officially here! Ensure the atmosphere is just right for guests by creating eye-pleasing symmetry among your home’s exterior, landscaping and outdoor elements. And much of that eye-pleasing symmetry starts with a harmonious color palette. One of the best (and easiest) ways to ensure your home’s exterior and outdoor color scheme is working together? Buy a color wheel at an art supply or home improvement store to effortlessly reference color cohesion before getting started on any projects (however big or small).
About half of America’s would-be homebuyers are Millennials, but many have postponed their first home purchase because of sizeable student loan balances and lifestyle choices. However, there are clear signals that more Millennials are now ready and willing to take on a home mortgage. That’s especially true in metro areas that rank high on WalletHub’s “Fun Index,” U.S. News & World Report’s “Quality of Life” index, and Meyers Research’s “Housing Availability” metric. According to the real estate market analysis, there were seven metro areas where building permits grew by 15 percent or more last year, including Orlando, Houston and Minneapolis.