The residential construction industry’s largest trade show wrapped up Thursday evening and with it, the rapid-fire release of new products, trend reports, housing data, and other industry initiatives. We pulled the news most relevant to the LBM sector and recapped the highlights below. Looking for our full coverage of the show? You can find it here.
Dealers are gearing up for growth. The 50-some dealers who attended our breakfast event at the show Wednesday reported a successful 2012 thanks to acquisitions, better metrics, new hires, and the development of mobile tech in-house to improve the selling process. One challenge an increasingly digital marketplace is already forcing them to contend with: online retailers that can undercut on price and product availability. L.E.K. Consulting’s Rob Rourke says contractors still prefer independents to big-boxes and the Internet as a source of product expertise. He encourages dealers to capitalize on that edge by adding more product specs as well as product availability and pricing information to their websites.Here’s the full recap.
84 Lumber launched a build-American campaign. “We Build American” is the national retailer’s attempt to raise awareness of U.S.-made products as more manufacturers begin to differentiate among their line items by origin. The company's goal is for construction professionals to begin to ask their material suppliers for more information on purchasing American-made products. Read more.
Manufacturers embraced tech. Whether via mobile apps, new materials, or stylish design solutions, product makers found innovative ways to add value to their newest products. Follow our reporters via video around the show floor for an inside look at why technology was one of this year’s biggest game-changers.
Key markets in 2013. Housing’s continued recovery during 2013 will be pushed by a new residential construction revival in Austin, Texas; Dallas; Houston; Minneapolis; Orange County, Calif.; Philadelphia; Phoenix, Ariz.; Raleigh, N.C.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C., ProSales’ parent company Hanley Wood’s chief economist Jonathan Smoke told attendees. Washington, D.C., remains the top repair and remodel market in the U.S., he says. Follow Smoke on Twitter @SmokeOnHousing for real-time housing-market intelligence updates.
Bold design ruled at this year’s New American Home. Built in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nev., the home boasts four levels covering a 17,261 footprint with 6,721 square feet of conditioned space. Tyler Jones, president of BlueHeron, the design-build firm that ran point on the project, told Builder that the team “intentionally pushed the envelope with this house.” But did the builders’ experimentation with Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired design, efficient materials, and its resulting hefty price tag put this year’s project in a category that can’t be easily replicated by builders? The Wall Street Journal asked three design and construction professionals to review the home’s plans and share their thoughts. Here's what they said.
IBS and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show to join forces. The shows will co-locate in 2014 in Las Vegas and will pick up the Surfaces show in 2015, combining to form “Design and Construction Week” through 2016, the National Association of Home Builders announced this week.
Residential design is getting personal. Interior spaces are opening up and families are coming together in multi-generational living arrangements while a growing number of homeowners are refitting their homes with products that will allow them to age in place. Custom Home magazine editor Amy Albert runs through 21 hot design trends worth learning about.