You might not recognize the builder and remodeler customers most likely to help keep your business afloat this year. Some of those who bought from you in the past have been transformed by this recession into companies that are building a much different type of home. Remodelers likely will account for a bigger share of business, if only because some of your builder customers have moved into that line of work. And because of federal stimulus and energy programs, a slew of potential customers in the public sectors have more money to spend than ever before. Here's a look at some of those potential new customers, followed by reports on the evolution of both builders and the kinds of homes they're creating. One of these groups could be the one that tosses the lifesaver that helps your LBM operation move out of trouble in 2010. Are you ready to grab the ring?
Government-funded building groups like public housing authorities, military home builders and affordable housing agencies are flush with stimulus money and ready to get to work. By Bendix Anderson
New House on the Block
Take note, dealers: Your builders aren't putting up the same kinds of houses they did a few years ago. Their changing ways will have a direct impact on what and how you sell. By Andy Carlo
The Vultures Are Circling
Demanded by some, reviled by others, the supersized McMansion has shrunk. But that diet might not last long.