Industry Trends4 min

Trends To Watch This Year In Single-Family Homebuilding

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.

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Industry Trends5 min

Solutions for the Starter Home Shortage

The supply of modestly priced starter homes continues to drop nationwide. A recent report by Realtor.com found that the number of homes priced above $750,000 grew 11 percent last year, while the number of starter homes priced under $200,000 fell by 8 percent.

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News & Stories6 min
The What’s & Why’s of the LP® SmartSide® 5/50 Limited Warranty

Any building professional will tell you that the quality of a building material is only as good as its warranty. This is why LP Building Solutions created an industry-leading limited warranty for our line of LP® SmartSide® siding products. One that aims to ensure peace-of-mind for builders and homeowners.

Business Advice6 min
Why It’s Important To “Respect the Spec”

While it’s perfectly alright for a jazz musician to improvise, that approach doesn’t always work as well in homebuilding. Architects, specifiers, engineers and product reps spend many hours collaboratively choosing the right materials for each job – and an abrupt substitution to save a few dollars can ironically be very costly in terms of callbacks, design underperformance and even code violations. “Ideally, all parties involved – the architect, builder and developer – have reviewed the spec before it’s final and have agreed on all the products being used,” says Karen Alves, LP Brand Marketing Associate. “That’s because finding an ‘equivalent’ for siding or fire-rated sheathing involves not just the substrate but the codes that the product meets as well.”

Business Advice4 min
Siding That’s a Cut Above

Siding installers use many different brands of circular saws, but their preferred saw may not be as important as the siding material they are cutting with it. Some builders can sometimes be a bit removed from the importance placed on saw choice and would probably rely on their subcontractors choice, like Brent Taylor. “I don’t have much of an opinion on that because I use subcontracted labor,” says Brent Taylor, owner of O.C. Taylor in Raleigh, North Carolina, who was featured in an episode of Designing Spaces on Lifetime Network renovating a century-old house using LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding.