Industry Trends4 min

Trends in Exterior Colors and Materials

“The use of color is widely recognized as an important strategic advantage in successfully marketing new residential developments. Color creates a sense of arrival and a sense of place – often long before a community is fully built.”

The above statement, as stated on Denver’s Stella Color+Design website, demonstrates how color is defining itself as a subset of design. Today, Stella is one of the nation’s leading exterior home color strategists in the homebuilding industry, and has prestigious clients like David Weekley Homes, KB Home and many more. Stella president Rick Overby is one of the thought leaders who spoke about 2019 color trends at this year’s NAHB International Builders’ Show, or IBS.

“One of my key points at IBS was about the need for intentional color and material design,” Overby said. “Whether you’re building in Seattle or Houston or Miami, there are a lot of visual cues all around you that make each location unique. The goal is to make thoughtful selections that are both appropriate and sophisticated.”

A visualizer tool can help you play around with home siding color options, textures and mixed materials to see what direction you might want to explore. Of course, it’s important to keep a holistic view in mind when planning a large community.

“The builders we work with have intentional brand strategies for their communities, so we really need to do our homework upfront,” says Overby. “We carefully review all the architectural plans and take a close look at all four sides of the homes in progress to make sure that colors and materials are resolving appropriately.”

Overby added, “Mixed materials help determine the style and allow for multiple color applications. For example, if you have a low-pitch roof with shake in the gable end plus lap siding and the rest of the exterior is stone, it automatically starts to read ‘Craftsman’ versus a more vertical gable with board and batten that says ‘Farmhouse.’ With Farmhouse, we might take a more monochromatic approach where it’s mainly one color with perhaps a second color that’s only on the fascia and soffit and not on the window trim.”

While Overby has fun choosing vibrant exterior home color palettes for entry-level homes that target young buyers, higher end homes usually need to be more elegant. “We’re recommending some really crisp deep charcoal and black exteriors on these upscale homes,” he says. “They also feature a variety of textures and profiles – and that’s where products like LP prefinished siding come into play. We’re seeing vertical siding paired creatively with horizontal – and sometimes a tight lap next to a wider lap where we can change color.”

Advertising agencies have long realized that color can make or break a new product. That’s also true in homebuilding – and one of the reasons why Stella now has clients nationwide, not just in the Denver area.

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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.

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Industry Trends5 min
Attracting More Millennial Homebuyers

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.

Industry Trends4 min
Some Common Misconceptions About Building Enclosures

It’s easy for small amounts of water to enter a home’s wall cavity, both during and after construction. When water evaporates it becomes a gas (water vapor) that needs to escape. If the walls can’t completely dry, a home is more likely to experience mold and rot.

Industry Trends5 min
What Architects Need to Know About Off-Site Construction

Why the “Field Verify” Approach Can’t Last Forever Last year LP invested $45 million in Entekra, one of the nation’s leading off-site homebuilders. As this type of construction gains popularity in the U.S., a number of architectural firms have asked Entekra to do presentations about how to successfully design for off-site homebuilding.