Home Innovation Insights

Insider insights on what's going on in the home building industry.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
January 25, 2019

Education & Training Key to Overcoming Builder Challenges With Energy Codes

Two weeks ago, I blogged about a summary of findings to a builder survey, where more than 250 write-in responses to the question, “What are your biggest challenges in constructing homes to meet current energy codes?” were received.

Responses varied widely. In an attempt to summarize the breadth of responses, I would say they indicated that building more energy-efficient homes means the home building industry has to change, and change can be painful — particularly painful when the industry is producing at near capacity, labor and materials costs are rising, and both management and jobsite labor are in short supply. The 85% of respondents who indicated having challenges seemed to convey that the fast pace of building code changes is disrupting the design and construction of homes, and they are trying to sort things out.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
January 11, 2019

Builders Identify Top Challenges in Meeting New Energy Code Requirements

In December 2018, Home Innovations Research Labs fielded our Omnibus Survey of 300 U.S. home builders, which included dozens of questions from sponsoring manufacturers. We also included some of our own questions to gain insight into current building construction issues.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
January 4, 2019

The Evolution of “Smart” Homes & Technology

It’s been about 30 years since Home Innovation Research Labs built the first Smart House prototype in Maryland research home park. The whole “smart home” concept has been on the verge of exploding in the market for decades, but along the way changing homes, demographics, technologies, and lifestyles have continued to evolve and caused wrinkles in the plans of companies and organizations bringing this technology to market.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
July 18, 2018

Builder Survey Data Analysis: Trends in Trim, Insulation, Sheathing, Cabinets

The data is in! Home Innovation’s 2018 Builder Practices Survey continues to reveal many new trends and reversals. Some of the most notable changes we’ve seen so far have been highlighted in my recent Trends posts. Here are a few more points I’ve found interesting during my ongoing analysis…

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Ed Hudson, MBA
May 24, 2018

Brand Study Paints Very Different Picture of Choices in New Homes and Remodeling

Trends will come and go, but one thing that’s always been consistent about the construction industry and markets for building products is that it is highly fragmented. A product manufacturer’s success in one of the many market segments almost never indicates if they can or will be successful in another market. Buyers of materials have very different purchase journeys, depending on whether it is for a production home, non-residential building, infrastructure project, home remodeling done by a professional, or a do-it-yourself undertaking.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
March 9, 2018

Building Codes and Market Change: Do Codes Lead, Follow, or Coincide with Industry Practice?

Based on my past 25 years of researching innovation in home construction, I’ve seen the impact of building code changes on market and industry practices. Normally, however, it’s industry and market adoption of superior building practices that lead to building code changes.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
February 28, 2018

Market Segmentation: Precision Helps You Communicate More Effectively

One market, one message, one ad strategy, one set of product options — sounds simple and efficient, doesn’t it? But we all know that’s not how modern marketing works. As marketers get more savvy, and buyers more discerning, lumping everyone into a single bucket is only a simple and efficient way to continue losing ground against competitors. Even “segmenting” your market by Builder, Retailer, or Contractor channels falls short of a strategy that will propel you ahead of competitors and help you make the most of your advertising, marketing, and communications budgets.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
February 22, 2018

You’re Getting Colder: Market Data Not Always What You Think

Energy codes have more stringent insulating requirements for cooler climates. So, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that a manufacturer offering a new insulation product touting better energy performance should introduce it the cooler, Northern region of the country? Perhaps. But the market doesn’t always play out the way you think it will; the way that seems most logical. As a prime example, Spray Foam Insulation has enjoyed much bigger market share in warmer climates than in cooler (see map below). Using Tableau, Home Innovation’s Builder Practices data can provide insight not readily seen using more traditional methods of analysis.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
January 17, 2018

Manufacturer Opportunities to Create Labor Shortage Solutions

Over the past several years of visiting IBS and conducting field and lab research on labor-saving materials, tools, and equipment, Home Innovation market expert Ed Hudson has seen some that have been really successful for the manufacturers who seized on the opportunity. Check out some more of his insights on providing market solutions to the current labor shortage.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
January 12, 2018

Be the Solution: New Product Strategies for Current Construction Labor Shortage

It’s no secret that there is a labor shortage in construction. But every unmet building industry need creates an opportunity for manufacturers and suppliers in that segment of the industry. Over the past several years, Home Innovation Research Labs has conducted dozens of studies on new labor-saving materials, tools, equipment, and installation techniques. Find out things we've learned that can help you be part of the solution for your customers.

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Author Bio
Ed Hudson
Ed Hudson, MBA
Director of Market Research

Ed has 20 years of experience conducting research in the home construction industry. He and his staff conduct a wide array of both qualitative and quantitative marketing research supporting the development and commercialization of new building products and technologies.