The vitality of single-family homebuilding in 2019 will depend on many things that are out of the industry’s control: how often the Fed raises interest rates, whether wildfires will once again sweep across western Canada and the U.S, and much more.
Here are three trends that are likely to impact single-family construction this year:
Offsite construction will continue to gain traction – Using European precision-machining, factory-built homes now meet the tightest tolerances and greatly reduce material waste. The process is dramatically reducing installation time and costs – and will be used by even more builders next year.
Meeting fire codes will get more difficult as lot sizes shrink – According to NAHB’s latest figures, the median lot size of a new single-family detached home is now about 8,560 square feet – down from 10,000 square feet in the early 1990s. Many new homes are zero lot line projects, where the house comes right up to the property line. Products like LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing are helping builders meet increasingly stringent fire codes for these homes that are often just a few feet apart.
More communities will strive to eliminate land development bottlenecks – The shortage of available lots is constricting growth in the construction field. Many forward-looking jurisdictions are taking steps to speed the approval process. In 2019, look for many more cities and states to implement one-stop permitting (“fast-tracking”) and other reforms like combining public hearings for faster community input.
Overall, most experts predict that the U.S. economy’s strong tailwinds – including record-low unemployment – will set the stage for a strong year ahead in single-family homebuilding.
At LP, we understand the challenging dynamics of the building industry—deadlines, limited skilled workforces, potential liabilities, reputation management and inventory shortages, just to name a few—and how those are amplified during this time of unparalleled unknown amid COVID-19.Continue Reading
While LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing offers both flame-spread and burn-through resistance, it’s important to remember these are different concepts as they relate to construction and the code. Flame spread is the propagation of flame across the surface of a material and can be minimized with “fire retardants” that delay ignition. Burn through is the penetration of flame through an assembly and is countered by the “fire resistance” of the assembly. And then there is the notion of “fireproof” materials. As a refresher, let’s ask a few experts the definition of each term.
In the building business, in-person communication has always been a vital component in talking to potential clients in a personable, efficient way. With social distancing disrupting common business practices, like in-person meetings, building professionals have had to pivot plans to adjust to the current landscape while maintaining a steady stream of business.
LP® Structural Solutions products help you build better and stronger. To make our high-performance products even easier to install, here are a few Structural Solutions installation tips from pro contractors Jordan Smith of @jordansmithbuilds and Kyle Stumpenhorst of @rrbuildings: