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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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
July 10, 2015

Data Hot Off the Spreadsheets!

According to Home Innovation's latest Annual Builder Practices Survey, the home building industry is finally climbing out of the doldrums, and some exciting and unexpected opportunities are revealing themselves. For over 30 years, our annual survey and reports have tracked market shares of building material categories. Find out what the latest data tell us.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
September 12, 2014

Don’t Get Caught Flat Footed with Market Changes

As a building product manufacturer, it’s important to base your assessment of market change on reliable data and not the latest industry hype. Find out how our product usage data helps vigilant product managers spot changes as they're beginning to happen, when there's still time to act and not just re-act.

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Michelle Foster
July 16, 2014

Align Your Green Home Marketing with Your Buyers' Values, Not Your Own

One of the most significant obstacles to green home building is the prevailing builder myth that ALL consumers ONLY care about energy efficiency because an energy-efficient home will cost less to operate. It's just not that simple. While many consumers do care about energy efficiency, and a portion of those care about it specifically because a more efficient home, apartment, or car will save them money, that only tells part of the story. Find out more about the other pieces of the green home marketing puzzle that builders must learn to solve.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
July 3, 2014

Exterior Materials Trends from Annual Builder Practices Survey

With new single-family housing starts up 16 percent from the previous year, 2013 brought some needed relief to a beleaguered industry. What did that mean for building products usage? After comparing data from our 2013 Annual Builder Practices Reports to the previous year, what we saw largely met our expectations. However, there were a few surprises that may signal some fundamental changes in builder preferences for new home materials. Take a look at what we observed for residential exterior materials.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
May 1, 2014

Time to Rethink Canada

Some U.S. manufacturers of building materials have overlooked Canada as an important part of their market development efforts, instead concentrating on expanding their presence into new U.S. geographies or penetrating deeper into existing markets. This may have been rational, for example, in 2005 when the Canadian housing market about 1/10th the size of the U.S. market (measured in new homes completed). Last year, Canada’s housing market was about 1/5th the size of the U.S. market. The stability of the Canadian housing market is also noteworthy, and the anemic rebound of the U.S. new home market are more reasons to take a closer look at Canada.

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