Home Innovation Insights

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

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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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Ed Hudson, MBA
April 22, 2020

Building Product R&D During COVID-19 Pandemic: Full Steam Ahead or On Hold?

In theory, business disruptions, even one as unexpected and drastic as COVID-19, can spur innovation in an industry as companies adapt to overcome new challenges to their economic viability. However, reality often favors the opposite end of the spectrum, where companies opt to retrench, preserve cash, and focus on short-term, revenue-generating functions as they prepare for a potential protracted downturn. This tactic likely results in reallocating dollars away from R&D and market expansion efforts. And, since these activities are generally associated with a company’s innovativeness – and further, its long-term health and viability – the chasm between the theoretical benefits and harsh reality of major disruptions widens.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
April 17, 2020

Focus Shift: Builders’ Views on Skilled Labor Shortage Change in the Face of COVID-19 Crisis

One of the hottest topics in the industry press prior to March of this year was the ongoing and growing shortage of skilled construction labor. The coverage reflected the perceptions of home builders across the country as they faced this daunting issue and its effects on their businesses. Over the past few weeks, however, with builder confidence about future sales dropping sharply in response to COVID-19, we felt it was time for us to re-assess the labor environment as a builder priority.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
April 2, 2020

Which to Pick? Energy Efficiency vs. IAQ

Growing interest in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) have some believing it will soon rival Energy Efficiency in consumers' housing-related decision making. So we put it to the test, adding a question to our 2020 Consumer Practices Survey. Take a look at my summary of what we found.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
March 18, 2020

Looking for a Needle in a Haystack? We’ve Got It!

Finding and surveying a consumer group with specific home repair or remodeling purchase experience can be challenging, at best. Sometimes, it’s like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Here’s why it can be so difficult — each year…

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