Builder Tips


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…

Advice for managing today’s labor and materials challenges Rising materials costs and a shortage of skilled labor have been persistent challenges for years, and they have become more acute in 2020. Here are some helpful tips and strategies for navigating today’s unpredictable building environment while setting your business up for long-term success. Mitigating materials issues A 2018 survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that the rising price of building materials was the biggest problem housing developers faced. As the impact of COVID reverberates through global supply chains, the pricing and availability of building supplies have become even more unpredictable. Adopting practices that provide your business with greater flexibility is like putting on shock absorbers for the bumpy road ahead. Four flexible practices to consider include: Escalation clauses: Have a construction attorney draft provisions for your contracts that address adjustments of fees and payments to account for fluctuations…

Next-gen coating transforms the look and performance of our vinyl products. Have you ever tried to paint vinyl? It’s not easy. Adhesion to vinyl, a plastic material, is tricky at best. What’s more, vinyl reacts to changing temperatures by expanding or contracting. You know what that does to most paints. For vinyl window and patio door manufacturers, the coating question is especially challenging. How do you offer on-trend exterior colors like black or bronze on affordable, high-performing vinyl windows and patio doors without risking costly warranty claims?

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