Table of Contents November 2012

Editor's Notes

  • John McManusEditorial Director

    Lame Duck Limbo

    In the wake of the 2012 election, home builders must work around dramatically varying business scenarios as political, tax reform, and regulatory uncertainty reigns.



House of the Month

  • The homeowners of Lakeview Residence lead a car-centric life. A garage was a necessity, and the architects at alterstudio in Austin, Texas, saw no reason why that part of the house couldnt get a little more love than usual.

    Parking Validation

    Skylights and clerestory windows make this garage a pleasant place to spend time.


Field Report


  • Opportunistic Buyers Intend to Use a Realtor Most consumers recognize that it is a great time to buy; others are in the market because theyre tired of where they currently live. But nearly all shoppers said they intend to use a Realtor to help them with their purchase.

    Why Buy New?

    Research on home shopper preference for new construction informed a new ad campaign to increase awareness about new homes.




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    Artful Alley

    In this Austin, Texas, home, the transitional space between house and carport is high-functioning and beautiful, thanks to a woven swinging door and rainwater cisterns.


Perfect Fit

  • 1600 Artesia Square in Gardenia, Calif., is attracting predominantly Asian buyers. Some choose live/work townhomes such as these where the bottom floor can be used for a business.

    Feng Shui Focus

    MBK Homes appeals to Asian buyers with targeted marketing and design.


Game Changer

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    Double Check

    Missouri statute shields architects, designers, and engineers who engage in third-party design evaluations.



Editor's Pick

Top Shelf

Category Review

  • Heat Blocker ThermaWrap is a weather-resistive barrier incorporating a low-E metallized surface that minimizes heat gain and heat loss. The coating helps reduce radiant heat flow through walls, which in turn helps minimize summer heat gain and winter heat loss. It also works to create an R-2 thermal resistance in the wall cavity when facing a minimum -inch air space. DuPont Building Innovations. 800-448-9835.

    Water Barrier

    Your exterior siding is important, but not as vital as your housewrap.


Sound Off

Crowe's Economy

  • David CroweChief Economist NAHBWashington,

    Staying Power

    Positive yet modest trends nationwide signal that the housing recovery is here to stay.


Housing Pulse

  • Paul CardisFounder and CEO Avid

    Why the Internet Drives Housing

    The building industry has been slow to adopt new technology, but home builders must embrace digital advancements to stay afloat.



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    Taming The Beast

    Builders insist a government backstop remains critical to the continued flow of home buyer credit.

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    Climate Shift

    As homes get better at keeping the outdoors at bay, high-performance builders seek better ways to deliver indoor comfort and energy efficiency.

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    Farm Out

    Four fresh and inspired designs from the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest show how farmhouse design is a form that can be adhered to and stretched, with hugely appealing results.


Build Smart

Construction Detail

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    Frost Protection for Walk-Outs

    Frost footings add cost to a walk-out basement. Instead, you can protect the slab edge with R10 insulation, keeping frost away from the house without the need to excavate.


How To

  • 2. Use Coarse Granular Material Cover the footing drains with gravel and filter fabric. If the existing site soils contain clay or organic matter, bring in better fill to complete the backfilling. Pit run or bank run gravel makes an economical and effective fill.

    Better Backfill

    Careful backfilling reduces risks and improves quality.



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    Looking Up

    Differentiated ceiling planes add interest and help sell homes.


National Beat

Chairman's Letter

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    All Together Now

    Several working groups have been created by the NAHB to tackle issues that impact the home building industry.


NAHB Research Center Corner

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    Unanimous Vote

    New York state offers tax exemptions for NGBS certified buildings.



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    Chemical Reaction

    A Harvard-led research team devises a system that is capable of responding to different atmospheres.