News, Trends, Community - November

Disaster/Insurance Restoration

Flood House

J acksonville, Fla.-based Paul Davis Restoration, a national franchise company and provider of fire, water and mold damage restoration services for residential and commercial properties, has opened a training center in Jacksonville. The centerpiece of the facility is the “flood” house training module—a full-scale, fully functional residential structure built within the new facility.

In accordance with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, the house is designed to be completely flooded with thousands of gallons of water under controlled circumstances as part of the IICRC Applied Structural Drying course and other related courses.

The 1,700-square-foot home has a full-size bedroom, living room, kitchen, dining area and bathroom. It also includes furniture, appliances, a variety of flooring types, home décor and electronics. For more information about Paul Davis Restoration, visit www.pdrestoration.com.

Online Remodelers Poll

What Kind of Jobs Have You Taken?

Next month’s question:
Have the size and scope of remodeling jobs your company has completed in the past 12 months increased or decreased?

To vote, go to: www.qualfiedrmodeler.com/1909235. Votes must be received by Nov. 20 to be published in the December issue of Qualified Remodeler.

"As of October 1, 476,000 home-renovation contractors have successfully completed the training required under the EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule.”

National Association of Home Builders

Exterior Design

CertainTeed Launches Contest

Valley Forge, Pa.-based CertainTeed Corp. is calling on building professionals to post videos of their exterior design projects using the company’s products on YouTube as part of a new contest. The winner will receive an Apple iPad. For more information and rules, visit www.certainteed.com/yourtake.

Surfacing Materials

Cast Polymer Demand

U.S. demand for cast polymers is forecast to gain 5.4 percent annually through 2014, reaching 216 million square feet, according to The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market-research firm. A rebound in housing will be a key driver of growth, researchers said, adding that cast polymers will seize market share from traditional decorative surfacing materials, such as laminate. Demand for engineered stone is forecast to gain 11 percent annually to 53 million square feet in 2014, claiming the fastest growth of any cast polymer product.

Energy Efficiency

Refrigerators to Become More Efficient

Most new refrigerators will be 25 percent more efficient starting in 2014 as a result of new efficiency standards announced by the U.S. Department of Energy. According to the proposed rule, a typical new 20-cubic-foot refrigerator with the freezer on top would use about 390 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy per year, down from about 900 kWh per year in 1990 and about 1,700 kWh per year in the early 1970s.

Home-appliance manufacturers and efficiency, environmental and consumer advocates have agreed to jointly pursue with Congress and the administration new standards for six categories of home appliances (refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and room air conditioners). These groups also recommend Energy Star-qualification criteria incorporate credit for smart-grid capability and a package of targeted tax credits aimed at fostering the market for super-efficient appliances. Read more about the agreement at www.aham.org/agreement.

The table (on the right) shows the percent of energy savings achieved by the proposed standards relative to current standards for select categories.

Universal Design

Two Homes for Life Awards Given

The National Association of Home Builders Remodelers Council, or NAHB Remodelers, recently announced two winners of its fourth annual Homes for Life Award, recognizing excellent remodeling work for aging-in-place and universal design. Sponsored by Bayport, Minn.-based Andersen Windows, the awards were presented during the NAHB Remodelers gala held in Baltimore during the Remodeling Show.

Jeannine Clark, CAPS, of Mannigan Design, Pasadena, Calif., won in the Major Space remodel category for integrating aging-in-place and universal design features so they were invisible but improved the function and access of the home.

Carla Aston, ASID, RID, CAPS, of Aston Design Studio, The Woodlands, Texas, won in the Single Space remodel category for remodeling the bathroom of a paralyzed male client. Aston created a luxurious ambiance, incorporating slate, granite and mahogany features for a rich color scheme.

For more information, visit www.nahb.org/remodel.

The average number of rooms that homeowners plan to remodel fell from 3.7 in 2007 to 2.7 in 2010.

Remodelormove.com

Home prices

Home Prices Remain Stable

Data through July from New York-based Standard & Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show the annual growth rates in 16 of the 20 metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, and the 10- and 20-city composites slowed compared to June 2010.

The 10-city composite is up 4.1 percent and the 20-city composite is up 3.2 percent from where they were in July 2009. For June they were reported as up 5 and 4.2 percent, respectively. Although home prices increased in most markets in July vs. June, 15 MSAs and both composites saw these monthly rates moderate in July.

“Home prices crept forward in July. Ten of the 20 cities saw year-over-year gains and only one­­—Las Vegas—made a new bottom as the impact of the first-time home-buyer program continued to fade away,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “The year-over-year growth rates for 16 of the cities and both composites weakened in July compared to June. Anyone looking for home prices to return to the lofty 2005-06 levels might be disappointed. Judging from the recent behavior of the housing market, stable prices seem more likely.”

For more information, visit www.homeprice.standardandpoors.com.

Extreme Makeover

Ply Gem Windows Selected

Cary, N.C.-based Ply Gem Windows was selected by modular builder, Excel Homes, based in Camp Hill, Pa., to supply 83 windows and 15 patio doors for the season premiere of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The project, which is located in Baltimore, is the largest home in the show’s history at more than 11,000 square feet. It was built by Excel Homes and the Baltimore-based Maryland Community Builders’ Foundation, the charitable arm of the Home Builders Association of Maryland with the help of Artisan Fine Homes, Towson, Md. For more information, visit www.plygemwindows.com.

More than 12 percent of respondents report they plan to use expensive materials in their remodel; almost 50 percent report they are excited to start their remodeling project; and 84 percent plan to start in the next 12 months.

Remodelormove.com

Home-energy Improvements

Selling Is a Challenge

Convincing millions of Americans to divert their time and resources into upgrading their homes to eliminate energy waste is a challenge, according to a report from researchers at the Berkeley, Calif.-based Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Although intended for policy makers and energy-efficiency program designers, the report, titled “Driving Demand for Home Energy Improvements,” offers insight for remodelers who may want to target the energy-efficiency market. “Language is powerful,” the report says. It notes that words like “retrofit” and “audit” often have negative connotations to consumers. The authors recommend experimenting with language people have more experience with and using vivid examples to help personalize general information. The report itself uses the terms “home-energy improvements” and “upgrades” instead of “retrofits.” Rather than “audit,” the report refers to “energy assessment” while noting “no one has found the silver bullet for the best language to use in the home-performance improvement industry.”

“It’s important to find an appealing draw, such as health, comfort, energy security, competition or community engagement,” says Charles Goldman, a co-author. “It’s not enough to provide information about energy efficiency—[remodelers] must sell something people already want.”

To download the report, visit drivingdemand.lbl.gov.

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