Home Innovation Insights

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

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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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Vladimir Kochkin
October 12, 2018

It’ll Cost You! Where Codes Meet Costs

There are lots of passionate individuals and companies in our industry who are working to bring about positive change. Whether developing a new product, testing a new construction technique/method, introducing a new building code provision, or advocating for a new industry policy, cost is always a factor that needs to be considered on the road to innovation. Cost can be the factor that stops a great idea from going forward.

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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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Thomas Kenney, PE
April 19, 2018

Hot or Not: How's Your Product's Thermal Performance?

With increasingly stringent energy codes, building product manufacturers are developing new products and innovative construction techniques to improve the thermal envelope. Code officials, builders, and architects want reliable thermal conductivity data. But, without testing, you can't know the U-value of the assembled component. Hot Box testing is a reliable way to capture shareable, marketable data that is far superior to modeled performance.

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Thomas Kenney, PE
April 2, 2018

Product Certification: Are You Ready for the Challenge?

For many smaller building product manufacturers, simply following best practices and common sense may work most of the time. But, for those looking to grow market share and compete on a regional or national level, that may not be enough. Having a formal quality assurance (QA) system is often the next step in your company's journey to market growth and success; and it is a must for getting your product certified as code compliant.

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Michelle Foster
March 14, 2018

True Value: NGBS Green Certification Lauded for Adding Value for Builders and Homeowners

Greenwashing. Unfortunately, it’s not a new form of consumer deception. But, fortunately, there are both new and improving means of shining a light on those who seek to deceive, as well as recognizing and rewarding those who provide true value with high-performance, green building.

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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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