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Ed Hudson, MBA
September 21, 2020

With COVID-19 Market Disruptions, Slight Needle Tilt in Attitudes Toward Offsite Construction

Prior to COVID-19, a tightening labor supply and hot housing market portended a bright future for offsite housing construction methods, such as panelization and modular. In the wake of coronavirus and rising availability of workers sidelined from other industries, at least one key driver of builders adopting offsite methods may have faded. Are builders less inclined to adopt offsite construction now? Or are there other factors making them more ready for the change? A recent survey aimed to find out the answer to these and other related questions.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
September 4, 2020

Offsite Construction is the Answer—But, to Which Question?

A lot of attention has been given to offsite building solutions in recent years, and data show that it’s quickly making inroads in multifamily and commercial construction. Offsite construction has also been touted as a solution to the shortage of skilled construction labor that has hampered housing production in the past few years. Large single-family builders have told us repeatedly how difficult it has been to keep up with housing demand because they can’t get homes built fast enough – they attribute this to the tight schedules of subcontracted labor who can’t find enough skilled workers to keep up. NAHB reports that the average cycle time for building a single-family home has increased from 6 months to 7 in the past few years.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
August 20, 2020

COVID-19 Brings New Mix of Customers, Product Sales to Pro Yards (Part II)

The national news and trade press have regularly kept us up-to-date on the COVID-19 traffic boost in home improvement warehouse (HIW) stores, largely due to their visibility with retail locations across the country and publicly-traded stock, which makes information on their performance readily available.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
August 13, 2020

COVID-19 Brings New Mix of Customers, Product Sales to Pro Yards (Part I)

Building products manufacturers, mills, and wood treatment facilities are keenly aware of the COVID-19 traffic boost in home improvement warehouse (HIW) stores, such as Home Depot, Menards, and Lowes. If they have a strong presence in those locations, these manufacturers are happy about that boost. But many who aren’t well established in HIW stores and are more dependent on lumber and building materials dealers are feeling like they’re missing an opportunity.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
July 10, 2020

New Builder Practices Report Reveals Air Tightening Strategies Among Home Builders

With most of the 2020 Builder Practices Reports now available, we’ve been anxiously reviewing each report for new trends in building products for new homes. In addition to our traditional line up of questions, the 2020 survey contained some new topics—for example, we added questions on air sealing methods for new homes.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
June 30, 2020

Do I Hear an Echo?

The 1970’s was the greatest home building decade in U.S. history in terms of the total number of new homes built—nearly 18 million residences in that decade. Fueled by the Baby Boom generation’s need for housing, there was a rental housing boom in the early 70’s, followed by a very strong starter home market, and later as the Baby Boom generation continued to move through its life cycle, began buying move-up homes like they did starter homes a decade earlier.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
June 10, 2020

The Great Outdoors: Trends from 2020 Consumer Practices Survey

For the past several years, Outdoor Living upgrades have been getting a lot more attention as homeowners seek to expand their living space from within the walls of the home to beyond those borders. Average new home size has shrunk in the past few years, but the expansion of outdoor living space has more than filled the gap the shrinking home has left.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
May 26, 2020

Changes in Consumer Remodeling Choices

Our 2020 Annual Consumer Practices Survey is complete, data compiled, and reports will be available starting this week. More than 110,000 U.S. and Canadian households participated this year and provided highly-detailed information on their remodeling activities and purchases from nearly 40 different product categories. This is an incredibly important data year as it establishes a pre-COVID-19 benchmark to measure against. The home flooring replacement market, for example, was anything but static in the preceding year.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
May 11, 2020

Brushstrokes & Chill: Interior Painting, Outdoor Living Get Boost During Stay-At-Home

Occasionally, unforeseen opportunities arise in the course of research where data can be analyzed for a purpose that was not originally intended. Collecting data from our 100,000-response Consumer Practices Survey (CPS) occurred from mid-February to mid-April 2020; this collection period spanned the period of time when we first began seeing COVID-19 as a serious threat in the Unites States and governments began restricting certain businesses and activities.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
May 1, 2020

Post-COVID-19 Market Environment for Construction Products

While in most states home construction has been considered “essential” in our COVID-19-restricted economy, that doesn’t mean that all things have been “business-as-usual.” Quite the contrary. Builders and contractors are reporting that social distancing measures and shut downs in other sectors of the economy have slowed sales, lengthened construction times, and reduced the reliability and flexibility of their workforce. As states begin allowing limited re-opening of more businesses, construction companies are focusing on how to handle a surge in demand. But will the building product industry, with its own COVID-19 curtailments, be able to sufficiently supply a robust rebound of the residential construction industry? And, just as importantly, what product mix will satisfy the needs of the new industry environment?

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