Trends

Find out what our research experts view as important changes and trends in homes and building products.

November 20, 2018

Don’t Be a Drip! Keep Up with Plumbing Fixture Trends

Updating kitchens and bathrooms is a sure-fire way to signal that an existing home has been kept current and is market ready — but simply installing new fixtures will not necessarily do the trick. Just because something is readily available to purchase, does not mean that it is in style or on trend. Having access to data on long-term and recent usage patterns is the best way to understand current trends and forecast future ones.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

October 30, 2018

Are We There Yet? Tracking Housing Industry’s “Wild Ride”

Speaking at the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association’s (NLBMDA’s) ProDealer Industry Summit in Chicago earlier this month, Home Innovation’s Director of Market Research Ed Hudson presented analysis on the market for materials used in the construction of new homes and remodeling.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

October 22, 2018

No Slumber for Composite Lumber

Speaking at the Composite Lumber Manufacturers Association meeting earlier this month, Ed Hudson, Home Innovation’s Director of Market Research, shared his expertise on the market for outdoor structure materials used for building decks, railing, and fences based on data from our Annual Builder and Consumer Practices Surveys.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

October 5, 2018

Wood-Finish Flooring Flourishing

It’s no secret that wood flooring has become very popular in new homes and can be found in nearly every room in the house, particularly in the main living and entertaining areas of homes. Current interior design trends lean toward cost-effective products with a more luxurious, furnished appearance in these areas, and wood or wood look-alikes readily fit the bill. Over the past several years, new technologies have made many wood and wood look-alikes less expensive, more resistant to scratching and impact, able to withstand wet environments, easy-to-install, and very attractive. Engineered wood flooring has now surpassed solid wood flooring in new homes, and the new LVT category continues to push the wood look into moisture-sensitive and higher functioning areas of the home. LVT flooring products can enhance a home’s interior with the warmth, richness, and texture of more expensive, luxurious hardwood flooring. Since laminate has made only small inroads into new homes, LVT has already garnered nearly 4% of total new home flooring installations.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

September 28, 2018

Roofing Market Trends? We’ve Got You Covered (and Re-covered)

The U.S. residential roofing is big. Based on Home Innovation’s Annual Builder and Consumer Practices Reports, about 17.5 billion square feet of it was installed on homes last year. The reports also concluded that nearly 85% of total residential roofing volume is installed on existing homes as either a full or partial replacement of existing material. On average, the age of the existing roofing in full replacement was slightly more than 19 years. About one-third replaced their roof because of leaking; one third because of storm damage; and, one quarter anticipated roof failure in the near future due to a deteriorating roof. Only 3 percent stated they wanted to improve the appearance of their house, and 2 percent claimed a pre-mature failure.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

September 7, 2018

Nickel for Your Thoughts … or Your Faucets? Remodeling Finish Trends

What constitutes a trend in building products? Is something “on trend” because an interior designer says it is? Or because it’s all the rage at a kitchen and bath trade show? Or because it makes an episode of a home improvement TV program? Not necessarily. While those things may deem a product to be “trendy,” they do not truly constitute a trend. I’ve seen several home remodeling “design trend” articles recently that were very interesting and enlightening, but also contradictory in describing what’s becoming more popular in the market according to our data. The biggest disconnect I’ve seen seems to be in the discussion of faucet finishes. If you just looked at just a handful of those articles, you’d swear that all new faucets were bronze, and that neither chrome nor stainless steel finished faucets exists anymore.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

August 31, 2018

NGBS Green Certifications See Steady Growth

Since the introduction of our NGBS Green Certification program in 2009, close to 150,000 homes and apartments have become certified. As of August 2018, there were an additional 120,000 homes in-process for certification. The program has shown steady growth year after year; based on strong growth for the first half of 2018, the program is once again on target to see an increase in the annual number of units certified.

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Green Building, Energy Performance

August 17, 2018

Who’s on Deck? Outdoor Living Data Reveals Dramatic Swing in Builder Choice of Surface Materials

According to data from Home Innovation’s 2018 Annual Builder Practices Survey, more new homes are getting side & rear porches and decks than in past years, but fewer are getting on-grade patios. The inclusion of front porches and stoops on new homes, however, has fairly stable over the past decade.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

August 10, 2018

Concrete Evidence: Trends in Luxury Homes, Others in the Future?

Concrete homes are not new, and in a lot of places throughout the world they wouldn’t be described as particularly “fashionable” or trendy. There is concrete in nearly every home in the United States, particularly at the ground level and below, while above-grade portions of most residential structures are built primarily with structural wood framing. Less than 10% of new U.S. homes are constructed with above-ground concrete walls, and that hasn’t changed much over the past few decades though there has been a bit of ebb and flow.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

June 29, 2018

Home Innovation Shares Expert Insights on Fenestration at WDMA Conference

Speaking at the WDMA Technical & Manufacturing Conference in Minneapolis last week, Home Innovation’s Director of Market Research Ed Hudson shared his expertise on the market for fenestration products, based on data from our Annual Builder and Consumer Practices Surveys.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

June 21, 2018

Home Innovation Shares Expert Insights on Plastics at PROFILES 2018

Speaking at AMI’s Profiles 2018 conference in Pittsburgh earlier this month, Home Innovation’s Director of Market Research Ed Hudson shared his expert opinions on all things plastic and home building-related, based on data from our Annual Builder and Consumer Practices Surveys. Below is a link to his full presentation on how to capitalize on developments on profiles for window, door, decking, fencing, and siding applications.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

June 12, 2018

Builder Survey Data: It’s What’s on The Inside (& Outside) That Counts

Home Innovation’s 2018 Builder Practices Survey continues to reveal many new trends (and trend reversals). We touched on the interesting changes underway in the housing mix in the last Trends post. Our ongoing dive into the Annual Builder Practices Survey data has pointed to other fascinating market shifts, as well.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

June 1, 2018

New Housing Mix: Are You In or Out of the Big Picture?

The turmoil of the mid-2000’s housing market bust and Great Recession set major changes in motion for the new home market. In fact, even now we’re still trying to sort out whether it will return to its old, familiar pattern or if we’re seeing the “new normal.”

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

May 18, 2018

Consumer Spending Trends in Outdoor Living Spaces

Now that spring is officially in the air – along with plenty of pollen – it’s time to share some of the findings from our 2018 Consumer Practices Survey (CPS) on outdoor living.

The CPS is a survey of 110,000 U.S. and Canadian households that tracks hundreds of remodeling activities and materials purchases. The results of this year’s survey are now being tabulated, allowing us to see how trends in repair and remodeling purchases and activities are unfolding.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

May 3, 2018

Labor Shortage Leads to Growth Opportunities in Skills-Reducing, Efficiency-Improving Technologies

The “skill” in the construction industry’s Skilled Labor Shortage is driving market change, favoring skills-reducing and efficiency-improving innovations. More and more, this is not just a matter of simply moving the work from the jobsite to the factory. Rather, many opportunities for manufacturers seem to lie in creating technologies that can maximize efficiencies for both skilled and unskilled laborers on site, while not eliminating either role.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

April 12, 2018

Where Are We Stuffing All Our Stuff?!

There is an adage that says in any household, the things you have tend to accumulate to fill the space available for its storage. This certainly holds true in most American households. Though there are many who would say they don’t fit the stereotype, materialism and excess are often considered very “American” traits. And along with all the stuff we accumulate, comes the need to store it. Despite having the biggest homes in the world, more closets on average than any other country, as well as the most garages, somehow, we still never seem to have enough space to put everything.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

April 6, 2018

New Survey Data: Roofing Underlayment Market Report

The home re-roofing market is massive — about 16 billion square feet of existing residential roof was re-covered last year – and the majority of re-covers get at least one layer of roofing underlayment. An additional 3 billion square feet of new roofing underlayment was installed on new U.S. homes in 2017. As a roofing material, asphalt shingles have been dominant for decades, and there’s very little threatening that lead position. However, underneath those shingles and other roofing materials, there is a lot of change underway.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

March 30, 2018

Luxury Vinyl Tile Making Big Inroads—But Where?

There’s no doubt that Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is a rapidly-growing option in home re-flooring. According to Home Innovation’s 2018 Consumer Practices Survey (CPS), it now represents more than 6% of this 14 billion square-foot-per-year market just a few years after its introduction. Why this rapid success? Well, according to its manufacturers, LVT is durable. It’s easy to maintain. It’s beautiful. It’s easy to install. And it’s more comfortable underfoot that some other flooring products. But knowing which rooms consumers are installing it in gives us insight into the key drivers of this burgeoning trend.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

February 14, 2018

Continuing Growth in Green Building, Good News for Manufacturers

The trend toward building more green homes and apartments continues unabated, and with it comes a growing desire by builders to have their homes certified green. The majority of both single- and multifamily builders cite the availability of green products as the single biggest driver for future green home construction. Builders want to build green homes, but they know that the ability to find and afford green building products is critical to their success. Check out what we found in a recent survey when builders were asked about awareness of green certification programs and their effect on building products purchases.

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Green Building, Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

February 7, 2018

Why Builders Use (or Do Not Use) Integrated Construction Management Software

In our January 2018 Omnibus Survey, the 300 home builder respondents told us if they do or do not use integrated construction management software for their businesses. In a previous post, I discussed which software products respondents indicated they’re using and why. Here, I’ll go into a bit more detail on what functions are being used most by those who use integrated software solutions, as well as what keeps others from using it at all.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

February 1, 2018

What Software Are Builders Using … and Why?

Home Innovation recently prepared and included some questions on integrated construction management software usage among builders in an Omnibus Survey. The results are interesting. Find out more about who is using this software most and why.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

January 25, 2018

Trends and Opportunities in the U.S. Building Products Market

It’s well-known that the home building industry is slow to change, but some important building product changes have managed to take hold. How do you know whether your product will be a success or failure? There’s no simple answer to that, but Ed Hudson's recent presentation from the 2018 International Builders' Show sheds some light on the topic by summarizing industry trends over the past decade. With those trends comes some insight into things building product manufacturers should—and, perhaps more importantly, should not – do in their new product introductions.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products, Marketing, Survey Research

August 23, 2017

The New Face of Kitchen Cabinets

Over the past several years, there has been rapid evolution in home design in the kitchen. For kitchen floors, first ceramic tile took the place of vinyl, then hardwood took the place of ceramic tile. For countertops, granite soared to the lead, replacing solid surfacing and laminate, and now quartz is making big inroads into the granite market.

The most recent acceleration in this evolution is in cabinet styles and finishes. Flat panel doors, while long considered a low-cost option compared to raised panel doors, have now gained greater acceptance and represent more than a third of new single-family home installations and a large majority of multifamily installations.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Products

August 9, 2017

You Complete Me: New Homebuyer Remodeling Activities May Surprise You

Each year, Home Innovation Research Labs surveys more than 100,000 U.S. and Canadian households and get very detailed information on their home remodeling, repairs, and upgrades. You may assume that most remodeling or home improvement activities are conducted primarily by those who’ve either been in their house a long time and are looking for/need a change, or those who recently bought an existing home and want to do things to make it more “their own.” Our robust consumer data challenges that assumption.

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Data and Trends, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences

July 14, 2017

Market Education Key to Market Domination

There’s a mystery surrounding wood floor joists in new homes that keeps getting deeper—literally! In 2004, more than half of wood floor joists in new homes were 10 inches or less deep. Now, more than 60 percent are 12 inches or deeper.

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Data and Trends, Building Practices, Building Products

June 23, 2017

Market for Building Materials: Moving Towards the Middle?

The housing rebound continues, but its effect hasn’t been evenly distributed across the spectrum of housing types and price-points. In 2006, Multifamily represented only 16% of residential starts but surged to 35% of starts in 2015, bringing a new character to the market for home building materials. In 2016, however, while we saw a modest return to pre-2006 markets when Move-up and Starter homes ruled, Multifamily began inching its way back down from its peak the year before.

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Data and Trends, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Insulation

June 5, 2017

Insulation Usage Patterns Linked to Home Type, Pricepoint, Geography, and Builder Size

Like most data points in the building industry, insulation material usage varies widely by geographic area, the size and type of builder, and types of homes. The national survey of builders we conducted in February, 2017 sheds further light on usage patterns—confirming some stereotypes about insulation usage in new homes, but it also seems to refute others, lending insight into the market for insulation materials and systems.

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Data and Trends, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Insulation

May 19, 2017

New Survey Data:
Quartz Becoming the New Granite?

The results of Home Innovation’s annual survey of 110,000 U.S. households are in. Helped by declining prices in recent years (and the fact that Mother Nature knows how to produce some beautiful countertop material), granite is still the best-selling kitchen countertop by a sizeable margin – accounting for about 40% of home countertop replacements in 2016.

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Data and Trends, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Insulation

May 4, 2017

The Thick of It: Home Building Trends in Foam Sheathing Thickness

Recently, I shared results from our builder survey on foam wall sheathing and how its use varied by builder type, price point and type of home, and geographic areas. Now I’d like to share a few things we learned about usage patterns in thickness of foam sheathing in the same survey.

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Data and Trends, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Insulation

April 12, 2017

How do YOU get your R-value? Recent Survey Reveals Interesting Trends

Over the past few years, a lot has been said and written about continuous foam insulation in new homes, including the writing of the new building code requirements.

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Data and Trends, Energy Performance, Homebuyer Preferences, Insulation

February 2, 2017

Solar May Beat Coal in a Decade

Bloomberg New Energy Finance says solar will be the cheapest source of energy in the 2020s. Why wait to experience the benefits of solar?

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Data and Trends, Solar Energy, Energy Performance, Homebuyer Preferences

November 15, 2016

Big Changes Underway in Whole-House Re-Piping Market

While we're all happy to see the rebound of the housing market underway, smart companies aren't just watching the volume of housing starts, but also the mix of home types built. In many ways, the mix can have a bigger impact on building materials purchased than does the total number of new homes.

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Data and Trends, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing, Survey Research

September 15, 2016

Flooring Material Trends

Over the past 12 years, Home Innovation has been closely tracking the many changes in the popularity of flooring types in new homes. The biggest winners have been Solid Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood. While carpeting still remains the leader, it has fallen from 60% to 40% overall share. Vinyl flooring has also lost much of its former market share—primarily sheet vinyl—but vinyl has received a boost from the growing popularity of the luxury vinyl tile market. The market for ceramic tile in new homes has increased modestly over the past decade.

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Data and Trends, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing, Survey Research

July 1, 2016

Housing Mix is as Important As Volume

While we're all happy to see the rebound of the housing market underway, smart companies aren't just watching the volume of housing starts, but also the mix of home types built. In many ways, the mix can have a bigger impact on building materials purchased than does the total number of new homes.

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Data and Trends, Insulation, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Marketing, Survey Research

May 20, 2016

What's Up (or Down?) in New U.S. Homes?

Keeping up-to-date is critical in order to capitalize on trends and avoid being stung when your product category takes an unexpected dive. Data from our 2016 Builder Practices Reports shows some changes underway that you need to know.

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Data and Trends, Insulation, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Marketing, Survey Research

May 6, 2016

What's New in the U.S. Remodeling Industry?

Keeping up-to-date is critical in order to capitalize on trends and avoid being stung when your product category takes an unexpected dive. Data from our 2016 Consumer Practices Survey shows some unexpected changes underway that you need to know.

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Data and Trends, Insulation, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Marketing, Survey Research

February 11, 2016

New Study on Canadian Market for Building Products

For the first time since 2013, Home Innovation Research Labs is conducting the Canadian Builder Practices Survey, a study that quantifies home builder purchases of building materials. With the Canadian new home market shifting strongly from single- to multifamily, it's more important than ever to keep up on building products purchases there.

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Data and Trends, Insulation, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Marketing, Survey Research

September 2, 2014

Survey Says: Home Insulation Trend Reversal?

According to Home Innovation Research Labs' Annual Builder Practices Survey, a shift in homebuyer demographics and builder buying and building habits has created a significant shift away from spray foam insulation across the board — in walls, floors, and roofs and in each of the four Census Regions. While a one-year shift in building product usage data does not constitute a real trend, this may be signaling a change in the home insulation landscape.

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Data and Trends, Insulation, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Marketing, Survey Research

July 11, 2014

Continued Growth Expected in Green Home Building

The overall residential construction market is heating up, and experts forecast expanded activity in the green housing industry. McGraw-Hill's recent green home SmartMarket report can help builders and building product manufacturers refine their business and marketing plans to remain competitive in the changing market.

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Building Codes, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Green Building, Marketing, Survey Research

March 28, 2014

How satisfied are Owners of NGBS Green Certified homes?

When it comes to green building, consumers care about and are willing to pay for more than just energy efficiency. Consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their understanding of a comprehensive approach to green construction, and they are rewarding builders who can respond to more than just energy efficiency.

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Green Building, Marketing, Homebuyer Preferences, Survey Research

March 28, 2014

North Carolina—5% of New Housing Stock is NGBS Green Certified

North Carolina is a national leader in green housing, and the numbers prove it! The North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance (NCEEA) has released data detailing the market penetration of voluntary, third-party certified green and energy efficient homes statewide.

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Green Building, Building Codes, Data and Trends, Energy Performance

June 4, 2013

6 Reasons You Should Choose NGBS Green Certification Over LEED

Despite having tens of thousands of green home certifications under out belt, the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) and Home Innovation's NGBS Certification Program are still not as well-known as LEED. Find out why NGBS is still the best choice.

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Green Building, Marketing, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Building Practices

May 7, 2013

What Do Homebuyers Really Want in a Green Home?

When it comes to green building, consumers care about and are willing to pay for more than just energy efficiency. Consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their understanding of a comprehensive approach to green construction, and they are rewarding builders who can respond to more than just energy efficiency.

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Green Building, Marketing, Homebuyer Preferences

April 8, 2013

Switching Building Products

Fear of the unknown may discourage you from trying a new or innovative product, but the reward may far outweigh the risk. Find out the key questions you should ask to try to minimize the risk you are taking, and weigh the costs versus the benefits of making a product switch.

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Building Products, Building Practices

March 5, 2013

Key Building Practices in a Mixed-Humid Climate

After a two-year field investigation, the NAHB Research has identified some optimal building practices for preventing excessive moisture content in wood framing members and structural sheathing.

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Building Practices, Energy Performance, Insulation

February 5, 2013

Interest in Solar Energy is Heating Up

With ever-increasing energy costs, homeowners are worried about their skyrocketing utility bills and looking for ways to save energy and money. With all of the talk about "going green" and energy efficiency, people are paying more attention to environmental concerns such as global warming and smart growth. As a result, solar energy is fast becoming an option to which consumers are paying close attention. It is one of those renewable sources of energy that is viable in most parts of the country, limited only by clouds.

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Solar Energy, Energy Performance, Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Practices

January 7, 2013

Future-Proofing Your Home Designs

Consumers’ expectations of energy performance have changed. They are demanding a higher level of energy performance than ever before. To maintain a competitive edge, there’s no better time than now to figure out how your current cadre of home designs stacks up for future needs.

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Building Practices, Air Sealing Design, Energy Performance, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

December 4, 2012

Effective Moisture Management Strategies

Creating a tight building envelope is only one part of the equation in creating a high-performing, energy-efficient house. If the strategies for creating a tight building envelope are not coupled with strategies for letting accumulated moisture out of wall cavities, it can be a recipe for disaster.

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Air Sealing Design, Energy Performance, Building Practices

November 6, 2012

Consumers Are Willing to Pay for Quality

Today’s homebuyers want energy-efficient, low-maintenance, well-insulated and well-sealed homes. Data has shown that consumers are willing to pay a premium for these types of homes and that they are typically more satisfied with them than with their previous, less efficient homes.

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Building Practices, Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

October 8, 2012

Building Envelope & Air Sealing Design

The key to an energy-efficient home is largely in how the building envelope is designed. Find out some best practices identified through Home Innovation Labs work as a Building America team.

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Air Sealing Design, Energy Performance

September 5, 2012

Best Practices for Creating Affordable Green Homes

Green building, once widely perceived to be a “luxury” approach to home building, can be a viable solution for both builders and consumers in the affordable market.

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Energy Performance, Affordable Homes, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

August 8, 2012

Avoid Roofing Pitfalls

Five common roofing “hot spots” are identified as well as common sense solutions to implement with roofing trades.

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Roofing, Building Practices