Builder Tips


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?

A home for all ages marries accessibility and aesthetics that the whole family can appreciate. Brought to you by JELD-WEN More homeowners are planning on their parents and adult children moving in with them. Studies show that the number of multigenerational households—defined as a home with more than two adult generations or grandparents and grandchildren younger than 25—is on the upswing. According to Pew Research Center, 2016 saw a record 20 percent of Americans living in multigenerational households,[1] compared to just 12 percent in the 1980s. And a recent survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting says that as many as 41 percent of home-buying Americans are looking for homes that can accommodate an elderly parent or adult child.[2] What does this mean for builders and remodelers? A shift in demand and business model. Not only are more homeowners looking for more home, but there’s also the challenge of marrying…

Technologies and business practices from other industries can be game changers for home building Brought to you by JELD-WEN It’s easy to criticize some builders’ resistance to new technology, but given the complexities of this business and the huge financial risks, their hesitance is understandable. Established methods can seem safer and more predictable than changes that may or may not pay off. However, a growing number of builders understand that their survival will ultimately depend on their willingness to adopt new business practices and technologies. These practices usually aren’t complicated. In fact, they tend to be proven, mainstream, and even obvious. The key is having the mind-set to embrace them. Case in point: Russ and Scott Murfey of San Diego‒based Murfey Company, a 10-year-old builder/developer of single and multifamily homes and commercial projects, say that the careful application of new technologies and ideas has helped them build a thriving business.

This engineered approach to code compliance is becoming more popular as builders understand its benefits. Brought to you by JELD-WEN When it comes to energy code compliance, the performance path is the road less traveled, but that’s changing as builders learn more about its advantages. The prescriptive path, historically the more common approach, has the builder adhere to a specific set of construction details and get them confirmed by an inspector. “It has been our experience that the majority [of builders] go prescriptive,” writes Ekotrope, a company that makes energy simulation software. The prescriptive path long made sense for many builders: there’s no need to change architectural designs or purchasing processes. The move to performance started in 2009 when the code began mandating R-20 walls for the prescriptive path, which would have required builders to upgrade from 2×4 to more-expensive 2×6 walls.

Some industry pros share their strategies for pursuing high performance. Brought to you by JELD-WEN The path to a high-performance or net zero home is a well-trod one. It’s supported by proven building science principles refined over decades. These principles apply to remodeling as well as to new construction. The path to net zero is pretty straightforward: Create a super-efficient building shell with lots of insulation, low air leakage, and the best windows and doors possibleAdd high-efficiency HVACUse nontoxic materials and install fresh air ventilation But your results are all about the details. Here are some ideas to help you get started with net zero or improve your next net zero project.

Industry experts weigh in on the benefits of this increasingly popular home-building approach. Brought to you by JELD-WEN There are many ways to describe the promise and, to some, the hype of the growing home builder and remodeler interest in modular home construction. The term is a broad one. Modular home construction can include everything from roof trusses and wall-panel systems all the way up to volumetric modules of fully equipped and finished rooms. Few dispute the need for an alternative home-building method. Here’s a snapshot of five industry experts, why they have adopted modular home construction, and why they believe this is just the beginning for this promising building approach.

Tim Winter of Paradigm Building Group discusses one memorable success story Brought to you by JELD-WEN It can sometimes happen that a new build and a remodel converge, making it hard to tell where the one begins and the other ends. Paradigm Building Group, a full-service design-build construction firm based in northern Virginia, recently completed just such a project for a client in Falls Church. Specialists in custom homes and large-scale additions and renovations, Paradigm ended up taking the client’s existing home down to the foundation, collaborating with the owner on a new design that completely reimagined the house from the ground up.

Yes, it’s about reducing waste, but it’s also a mindset shift with far-reaching payoffs Brought to you by JELD-WEN Jobsite waste bleeds profits in ways builders don’t consider. Take the example of trips to supply houses to pick up forgotten items or exchange incorrect ones. “We have hard evidence from 5,000 suppliers and trades that the total cost can be as much as $10,000 per home,” says consultant Scott Sedam. That’s 50 trips at roughly $200 per trip in labor and overhead. It’s just one of many examples of hidden waste that impacts the vast majority of projects, no matter their size. The upside, Sedam says, is it’s all preventable. As president of True North, a consulting company in South Lyon, Michigan, he helps production builders implement Lean construction. Lean is a continuous improvement philosophy that came from auto manufacturing: Toyota used it to grow into one of the world’s largest car makers.…

For quick refreshes or in-depth training, many in the building industry use training videos, animations, and even virtual reality to help workers get the job done right. This video learning revolution has come to the building trades and is filling a much-needed role in skills training for many in the workforce. These days, everyone looks at how-to videos to train themselves on all types of tasks—from changing your cell-phone battery to knitting a scarf. And for construction training, there are numerous advantages to using digital tools for training that can help savvy companies up their productivity and quality, all while increasing the knowledge of their workers and managers. “The biggest shortfall in our industry is the lack of training of any sort,” says Mark LaLiberte, president of Construction Instruction, Inc. (CI). “That’s a big problem when you realize that we create complex structures meant to last a century.” The combination…

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