Builder Tips


Windows provide more than just light — it’s time to dive into the processes, benefits, and options with various building materials. Windows don’t simply emanate light into rooms anymore. Today they can affect everything from biophilic design to circadian rhythm to energy efficiency. Whether you’re a designer, contractor, or builder, there are many considerations to think about when choosing the best windows for a homeowner’s project. It’s important to have a solid understanding of the following topics when approaching a project. Performance classifications and gradesTestingManufacturing processesPerformance benefitsDesign options of various window types Each of these considerations align with the 2017 edition of the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS), which currently defines the performance requirements for windows, doors, and skylights made of aluminum, vinyl, ABS plastics, fiberglass, cellulosic composites, and wood.

Choosing windows with the right performance grade for your project is about more than standing up to harsh weather. It’s also about meeting building codes and improving the life and safety of the structure without over specifying (and overspending). Learn the basics and how to calculate the PG rating you need in this short but information-packed video.

Recruiting new talent and bringing them up to speed is a tall order when faced with demanding projects. Here’s how builders and remodelers can maximize productivity from their current workers to make room for growth. It’s no secret that the construction industry is struggling to recruit young workers. That’s why in today’s constrained labor market, it’s more important than ever that builders and remodelers have strategies for motivating their crews to accomplish more with less help. If this sounds like your situation, here are a few ideas to consider to help your workers and managers be more efficient in the long run.

Keeping occupants safe and sound when the power goes out Whether caused by storms, wildfires, or something else, power outages are a fact of life. While the majority are inconvenient, extreme events can sometimes knock electricity out for weeks. Building homes for passive survivability helps keep occupants safe and comfortable during periods of power outages. A remodeling project is an opportunity to counsel clients on features that improve the home’s resiliency and stays comfortable for days without power. “It’s called passive survivability,” says Alex Wilson, president of the Resilient Design Institute in Brattleboro, Vt. “It’s about designing and building homes that remain habitable if they lose power.” The basics aren’t complicated. They include a super-efficient envelope with good insulation and air sealing. High-performance windows that take advantage of passive solar gain and natural ventilation are key to resilient homes built for passive survivability. Solar panels and home batteries further improve a home’s resilience during an…

Selecting windows and exterior doors for coastal environments According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 127 million Americans—40 percent of the US population—live in coastal counties as of 2016. That means 40 percent of homes are subjected to the climate, weather, salt, moisture, and wind that come with close proximity to large bodies of water. For coastal homes, window and door choices are not just aesthetic and energy-efficiency decisions—they are crucial to the building’s longevity and survival. Selecting exterior doors and windows designed to stand up to harsh coastal conditions provides your customers extra peace of mind and helps ensure the safety, resilience, and lasting value of their homes.

Discover a breadth of updated traditional windows and doors for every budget Updated traditional, or transitional style, is a modern celebration of the past. It pays homage to the region’s classic architecture while elevating those historical ties with modern trends like clean lines, natural light, and open floorplans for peaceful and comfortable living. For builders and remodelers, the breadth of influence in this style makes product selection challenging. With so many windows and doors to choose from across different materials and designs, it’s difficult—and time-consuming—to find products within your budget that achieve the look you want.

Strategies and tactics to help you survive and thrive in a pandemic economy. It may not be business as usual, but it’s definitely business. That’s one way to view the homebuilding industry’s uneasy coexistence with a pandemic. In fact, if you take a bird’s eye view of the present challenges, you’ll discover enough encouraging developments to lift the spirits of nearly any homebuilder: Growing populationRock-bottom mortgage ratesLow inventories for new and existing for-sale homesSurging 55 and older buyers Consider home inventory, for example. Homebuyer demand easily outpaces the number of homes for sale, which explains stable home prices. Perhaps most encouraging for homebuilders, the marketplace for existing homes plummeted 24 percent for the 12-month period ending in April, as prospective sellers elected to stay put. Even with positive fundamentals, the fog of pandemic uncertainty leaves many builders with understandable concerns. How are your peers keeping projects rolling? What can you learn from others about business practices…

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