Category Archives: Technology

Improving Market Drives Demand for More Exhibit Space at IBS/KBIS

Today’s photos are those of Archival Designs‘ Award Winning Luxury House Plan Maxwell Court.

Gearing up for the return of a healthy home building and remodeling market, manufacturers and suppliers have stepped up plans for exhibit spaces for the new Design and Construction Week, when the International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) join forces for a mega-exhibit in Las Vegas Feb. 4-6, 2014.

So far, exhibit sales are up by 16% over last year. More than 60 companies that had left the show during the building downturn have returned, with the result of more than 20,000 square feet of new exhibit space being signed. Meanwhile, nearly 90 other companies have increased the size of their exhibit spaces by a total of more than 30,000 square feet, and exhibit space for KBIS is already 90% sold.

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Among those companies returning to the show are such names as Electrolux Home Appliances, Pro Build Holdings, Masterbrand Cabinets, BSH Appliances, Caesarstone USA, Rinnai and Viega. As NAHB noted in a recent press release reporting the expanding exhibitor base, clearly, the co-location of these two great events, together with the steady climb in home building and remodeling projects, is being well received by our industry’s’ manufacturers and suppliers. We hope you’re looking forward to the first annual Design and Construction Week as much as we are on Feb. 4-6, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For information on exhibiting, contact Michael Currier (800-368-5242  x8698).

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NAHB Says Farewell to Carl A.S. Coan, Jr.

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We are sad to report the passing of Carl A.S. Coan, Jr., a lifelong advocate of housing who helped draft the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and who served as NAHB’s vice president of government affairs and legislative counsel in the 1970s.

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A graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, Carl served his country as an Army lieutenant before beginning a career with the U.S. government in which he served in such capacities as an attorney for the Federal Housing Administration and Deputy Director of the Redevelopment Division of HUD’s Urban Renewal Assistance Administration before becoming Assistant General Counsel for Legislative Policy at HUD in 1967. In that post, he played an integral role in shaping federal housing policy including the landmark Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968.

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He left the government to become NAHB’s deputy legislative counsel in 1969 and later rose to the head of our government affairs division. In 1977, he entered private law practice, becoming a founding partner at Coan & Lyons and specializing in housing and urban affairs, real estate, legislation and fair housing. He also continued to serve his community in numerous roles, including a three-year stint as vice president of the National Housing Conference where he became a Life Director in 2000.

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In recent years, Carl had been working with the Georgetown Law Library to bring together the papers of two generations of the Coan family and their fight to bring to reality the Declaration of National Housing Policy, set out in the Housing Act of 1949, of a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family. His father, Carl Coan, Sr., was a staff director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Housing for 16 years whose efforts earned him induction into the National Housing Hall of Fame — so it’s not hard to understand where Carl derived his interest in national housing policy. Carl Coan, Jr., passed away on June 15 at his home in Falls Church, Va., at the age of 79, but his legacy of promoting fair and decent housing for all Americans will carry on in the national policies he helped to craft. Click here to view his full obituary.

Choose from more than 400 house plan designs that we offer in a wide range of styles and sizes.  Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and palladian homes, English manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and colonial house plans.  Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 to 14,814 sf, and Newport classic house designs range from 1500 to 5000 sf.  Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world.  Please feel free to search our house designs offered.  Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubai, and one could be just for you!

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NAHB Introduces Advocacy App for Smartphones and iPad

Just in time for the biggest grassroots lobbying event of the year for the nation’s housing professionals, our association has unveiled a new NAHB Advocacy App for

iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices. The app brings the ability to participate in key

lobbying activities straight to your fingertips, making it super-easy to add your powerful voice to those of your fellow home builders, remodelers and associates as we fight to improve the climate in which our members do business. Not only that, but over the next few months, the app will be expanded and regularly updated to provide real-time news updates, legislative alerts and more.

In preparation for your travels to Capitol Hill as part of this week’s Legislative Conference, the NAHB Advocacy App offers the following features:

  • Calendar of the day’s events
  • Talking points on various policy issues
  • Directory of congressional contacts
  • Map of Capitol Hill
  • NAHB Member Legislative Conference guide with staff contacts
  • Live Twitter updates and social media sharing
  • Legislative Conference feedback form

The NAHB Advocacy App, available as of May 31, can be downloaded free of charge through the Apple App Store and Google Play — NAHB has even developed a quick tutorial video to show you how. You don’t have to be a “techno-geek” to employ this smart resource that adds even greater value to your NAHB membership, so why not put it in your virtual toolbox right now?

How to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims

The thoughts of the entire NAHB federation are with the victims of the Oklahoma tornados of May 19 and 20. NAHB immediately reached out to Executive Officers in the state to ensure everyone was safe and to offer support.

Many NAHB members have asked how they can help the victims of these tragic events. Accordingly, we wanted to pass on the following information from the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association (COHBA) and the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa, who are coordinating assistance efforts on behalf of the home building community:

  • The COHBA charitable foundation is accepting gifts of money. Checks can be made to “Oklahoma Home Builders Foundation” and mailed to P.O. Box 14005, Oklahoma City, OK 73113.
  • COHBA and the HBA of Greater Tulsa are also coordinating efforts to collect food, water and clothes, as well as shovels, rakes, gloves, dust masks, buckets, tote bags and items to help families sift through the rubble of what used to be their homes to find cherished items.

You should also know that NAHB provides disaster preparation and recovery resources to consumers and home builders at nahb.org/disasterresources, including radio PSA scripts to warn consumers about unscrupulous contractors following a disaster; links to disaster government assistance information from FEMA, HUD and the Red Cross; and articles on disaster preparedness and recovery.

Busy Week in Washington as AD&C, Lead Paint Bills Introduced
If you missed the latest edition of NAHB’s Washington Update, you may have missed reading about two critically important pieces of legislation that were introduced with strong NAHB support on May 21 and 22:

The Home Building Lending Improvement Act of 2013

At NAHB’s urging, Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) introduced this bipartisan legislation on May 21 that would discourage lenders from calling construction loans where payments are current and would establish regulatory guidelines to allow the banking industry to restore lending for viable home building projects. The bill, S.1002, is very similar to NAHB-supported legislation to resolve the ongoing credit problems for home builders that was introduced in the House earlier this year by Reps. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.).

The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2013

The very next day, responding to concerns from NAHB and affiliated trade groups, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and 21 original co-sponsors introduced bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives that would make much-needed improvements to the EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule. This bill, H.R. 2093, is identical to legislation introduced in the last Congress. It would restore the opt-out provision for homes without children or pregnant women; allow remodelers to correct paperwork errors without facing full penalties; provide an exemption for emergency renovations; and make it easier for remodelers to obtain recertification training.

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Today’s house plan photos are those of Archival Designs‘ Luxury House Plan, Brookhaven.

Choose from more than 400 house plan designs that we offer in a wide range of styles and sizes. Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and palladian homes, English manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian Villas, French chateaux, and colonial house plans.  Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 sf t 14,814 sf, and Newport classic house designs range from 1500 sf to 5000 sf.  Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world.  Please feel free to search our house designs offered.  Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubai, and one could be just for you!

What Today’s Home Buyers Really Want

Highlights from a popular new NAHB Economics study indicate that energy-efficient appliances and laundry rooms top buyers’ wish lists, while elevators and tub-less master bathrooms fall flat.

NAHB’s newly published study, What Home Buyers Really Want, is a treasure trove of information on consumer preferences in today’s marketplace, and was the subject of a recent episode of Housing Now TV. As a helpful entry on this in NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog explains, today’s buyers seem to be more focused on practical vs. luxurious amenities in their homes. In support of this observation, four of the top most wanted features in a home have to do with saving energy, with 94% of home buyers desiring energy-star rated appliances, 91% preferring an energy-star rated home, 89% demanding energy-star rated windows, and 88% saying they want ceiling fans. Continuing with the practical theme, fully 93% of buyers want a laundry room, with 57% considering it essential to their home selection. Moreover, nine out of 10 buyers want a linen closet in the bathroom to help keep towels and toiletries organized, while space in the garage to store bikes, sports equipment or gardening tools is on 86% of buyers’ wish lists.

Just as important, according to 85% of survey respondents, is having a walk-in pantry in the kitchen.

On the flip side, 70% of buyers said they would be unlikely to buy a home that included an elevator and 51% discarded the option of having only a shower stall in the master bathroom with no tub.

Looking at community preferences, 66% of buyers do not want to live in a golf course community, while 56% reject the idea of living in a high density community, 48% do not want a gated community, and 44% would not buy a home in a mixed-use community.

Also growing out of favor are two-story family rooms and entry foyers, with 43% and 38% of buyers saying “no” to those features in the survey, respectively.

New Study Looks at Builders’ and Remodelers’ Use of Info Technology

A newly published NAHB Economics study sheds new light on how builders and remodelers are employing various forms of information technology in their daily work. Interestingly, the survey finds that, while the use of common information technology such as smart phones, laptops, I-pads, mobile aps and GPS has become fairly commonplace among today’s builders and remodelers, so far, these tools have been used more for managing internal operations than interacting with customers. A handy summary of the findings on the NAHB Eye on Housing blog notes that at least 80% of builders use the technology for internal management of their businesses, management of individual projects and internal communications with staff, while about half use the technology to select products and to help make client presentations. Further use of the technology to interact with customers — either by allowing customers to track progress of a project or allowing the builder to track customer satisfaction after the project is completed — is limited to about 20% of builders.

Meanwhile, remodelers are slightly less likely to use technology for staff communications, but slightly more likely to use the technology for client presentations and product selection.  Remodelers are also more likely than single-family builders to use GPS, possibly reflecting the relative difficulty of locating isolated addresses in existing neighborhoods vs. construction sites in a new subdivision.

Choose from more than 400 house plan designs that we offer in a wide range of styles and sizes. Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and palladian homes, English manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and colonial house plans.  Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 sf to 14,814 sf. Our Newport classic house designs range from 1500 to 5000 sf. Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world.  Please feel free to search our house designs we offer.  Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubain, and one could be just for you!

Today’s photos are those of Archival Designs‘ Luxury House Plan, Corrineaux Esatate.