March 2007 Table of Contents

Table of Contents
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The term custom home conjures up a certain image in the minds of many consumers—a large home, for starters. They may envision a palatial exterior, soaring interior spaces, exquisite finishes, every amenity, fabulous kitchens and baths, to-die-for outdoor entertainment areas. But mostly they think ... large. And they're not far off. Read more

Trend Spotting Trend Spotting

Kitchens and baths sell more houses than any other space in the home. They are also, perhaps, the subject of more home shows than any other area in the house (except maybe the garden). What you put in the kitchen and bath, then, is extremely important. So how can you know what's hot and what buyers want? Read more

Consumer Advocacy On the Record

A REVAMPED TEXAS RESIDENTIAL Construction Commission Web site allows consumers to conduct background checks on builders and remodelers with whom they are considering doing business. Visitors to can search the state's online database for the scoop on a builder's registration status, history of construction defects, state inspection reports, and any administrative actions taken against the company. The site also indicates whether a builder has achieved “Texas Star Builder” status, having met certain criteria in education, training, financial stability, insurance, customer service, and adherence to stringent building standards. Read more

Mixed Signals Returning to Its Roots?

WHEN THE HOME DEPOT retained Lehman Brothers in February to evaluate the long-range future of its $12 billion HD Supply business unit, the home-improvement retail giant may have finally waved the white flag on its quest to gain a stronger foothold with professional and commercial customers. Read more

Technology Marketing At Your Service

IN SOME OF ITS NEW COMMUNITIES IN THE southeast, D.R. Horton is gaining notoriety by offering a unique technology package that includes a 24/7 “tech concierge” who will take home buyers' calls and either troubleshoot a tech problem over the phone or send out a technician. Read more

Product Innovation Building a Better Nail

AS A GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCHING how to make houses more hurricane-resistant, Ed Sutt looked at the damage from hurricanes Marilyn and Opal, which hit the Caribbean and the Florida Panhandle in 1995, and saw that much of it was related to the nails not holding. So, Sutt started working on a new design that would keep the nail shank from withdrawing from framing and the nail head from pulling through sheathing. Read more

House Blend: March 2007

- A Florida circuit court awardds Pulte Homes $1.16 million for impact fees it paid to cover school construction in Osceola County. - Builders looking to get out from under pricey inventory build-ups must be more aggressive in liquidating finished units, according to a report from Wachovia Capital Markets. - When home buyers are on the fence about which house to buy, it's often a special function room that snags the swing vote. Read more

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