Table of Contents February 2008

Editor's Notes

  • The Survivors

    Only the fortunate will be attending this year's NAHB convention.



  • Show Motion

    Things may not be as rosy for the home building industry as they were, say, two years ago, but the show must go on. Of course, by “show” we mean the International Builders’ Show, which is taking place this year for the last time (for a while) in the land that Mickey Mouse built—Orlando, Fla. From...


Inside Story

  • Claim Your Winnings

    The Florida State Supreme Court rules that an insurance company must pay builders for defects claims.

  • Sellers’ Remorse

    Mountains of unsold inventory spurred extravagant sales incentives. But customer relations and the perceived value of a house got lost in the shuffle.

  • Free for All

    A Dallas 'burb is looking to attract development by waiving fees for builders.


Success Stories

  • Green Chi

    A Silicon Valley infill project balances energy efficiency and energy flow.

  • Rebel Sell

    Peek inside the homes in venerable neighborhoods in and around Raleigh, N.C., and you’ll likely encounter a preponderance of dark-glazed cabinetry, crown molding, tray ceilings, and ordered rooms with walls intersecting at 90-degree angles.


Top Shelf

Green House

  • Gateway to Green

    One knock on sustainable housing is that it’s pricey. Green is good, some say, but only for those who can afford it. Not at EcoUrban Homes, a St. Louis start-up that’s bringing green to the masses with LEED Platinum–rated prefabricated homes for urban infill sites throughout the city—and maybe...

  • A New Mold Standard

    A risk management expert works with PATH to employ new protocols for preventing and mitigating mold in new homes.

  • Air Apparent

    The GreenT line of hardwood plywood panels from Springfield, Ore.-based Timber Products Co. ( is now available with resins containing no added urea formaldehyde, thus reducing emissions that can degrade indoor air quality. The proprietary process also helps the panel line...

  • Call for Entries

    The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in Switzerland is soliciting entries through Feb. 29, 2008, for the annual Holcim Awards, a global program with a $2 million purse.

  • Land(scape) Value

    The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is spearheading a rating system for landscape design and implementation to supplement other green building programs. The Sustainable Sites Initiative focuses on soils, water, vegetation, materials and waste, and energy, and will include a pilot...

  • Green by Design

    A sincere effort to improve energy and resource efficiency has sparked the resurgence of professional architects in housing.


Business Update

  • Advice to Builders

    Still looking for a New Year's resolution worth keeping? Try cutting costs in 2008.

  • Tips To Live By

    Chuck Shinn offers suggestions on how builders can trim fat from their construction processes.


Sales Strategies

  • Why Buy New?

    Sales pros share responses to buyers weighing the choice between new and existing homes.

  • R U Ready 2 Buy?

    What’s the one thing that virtually every new-home buyer (and new-home sales agent) has in common? They all have cell phones. And if they’re in their 20s or 30s, chances are they’re using text messaging on a regular basis.

  • Driving Traffic

    Most new-home sales agents have fond memories of seeing a steady stream of prospects walk through the door. In today’s market, you need a strategy for generating traffic. Fortunately, there are only two limits on the number of ways to do this—your creativity and your willingness to work hard. Here...


Industry Insight

  • Stacked Deck

    In the current market, the banks hold all the cards.



  • Paint by Numbers

    Q: I have some homes that need exterior painting, and cold weather is closing in. My painters say they can paint outdoors when it’s as cold as 35 degrees F. Should I be worried?


First Draft

  • Hearth to Hearth

    Q & A: Double-Sided Fireplace Designs. These days I'm building smaller and smarter with an emphasis on innovative design. Fireplaces are an upgrade that most new-home buyers expect, but standard applications can be pretty boring. How can I make them more integral to my plans and show-stopping in...


Seiders' Economy

  • Brighter Horizons

    After a turbulent downturn, the bottom of the housing cycle is now in view.


Digital Home

  • Custom Control

    A Las Vegas builder now offers Control 4 as standard.

  • Livin’ the Life

    EI’s new system lets builders offer a digital concierge service.

  • No Strings

    Builders looking to put a package of Z-Wave products together will want to include the wireless thermostat from Residential Control Systems. The wireless system lets home buyers manage their HVAC system with a remote, over a PC, or with a cell phone. The unit works with all standard gas/electric...



The Interview

  • Accentuate the Positive

    Sandy Dunn of West Virginia brings a legacy of political involvement and a “can do” mindset to the NAHB’s presidency.



  • World Changers

    In times like these, people often turn inward, focusing only on their own problems. This year's Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award recipients, however, took a different path and are changing lives in the U.S. and around the world.

  • Navigating The Downturn

    Ever the optimists, a clear majority—55 percent—of the 744 home builders who responded to our "State of the Industry" survey say 2008 is the year the downturn hits bottom and the industry begins to recover.

  • Cash Flow

    Now more than ever, managing cash flow is crucial, as builders seek to survive and thrive during the downturn.

  • Ripped Off

    To say that jobsite theft is rampant in home building would be an understatement. In a recent Builder survey, 90 percent of respondents said they had been victims of theft within the past year. Losses ran from lumber and copper wiring to office supplies and diesel fuel. Of those who reported thefts...

  • Tradewinds: Builder's 2008 Show Home

    Of course, post-industrial houses do have their benefits (indoor plumbing, beer fridges, hi-def surround sound), so the task becomes figuring out how to integrate antiquity’s greatest green lessons into designs that meet the lifestyle demands of today. That is what Tradewinds, our show home for the...


National Beat

  • Small-Sized Success

    Seminars for smaller and newly started Eastern hardwood manufacturers are scheduled for 2008.

  • New Terms

    The House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 12 completed its markup of the Emergency Home Ownership and Mortgage Equity Protection Act of 2007. Introduced by Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), the measure would allow bankruptcy judges to reduce the value of a home loan, extend the terms of the loan, lower the...

  • Green Day

    In recognition of the phenomenal growth of green building, the NAHB will celebrate Green Day on Thursday, Feb. 14, at the International Builders' Show in Orlando, Fla. On Green Day, the association will officially launch the NAHB National Green Building Program and will unveil the new Certified...

  • Deep End

    Proposed legislation that would broaden the authority of the Clean Water Act is a leap in the wrong direction, the NAHB told the U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works on Dec. 13. The NAHB has long supported the goals of the Clean Water Act, which is called into play when homes are...

  • Back in Action

    Everybody knows that Congress tends todrag its feet when making decisions on the major issues of the day. But as we saw by the tail end of last year, that definitely was not the case when it came time to consider what to do to stop the nation’s deepening mortgage credit crunch and build a new...


Last Word

Other Articles

  • What Jobsite Thieves Are After

    Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred.

  • Make Your Jobsites More Secure

    Tips from the field on reducing theft.

  • Source It

    Looking for more information on systems, fixtures, and finishes inside Tradewinds, the 2008 BUILDER show home? Try this list of suppliers, tradesmen, and artisans.

  • Prep Talk

    At Shinn seminar, builders get a dose of reality to go with survival strategies.

  • The New American Home 2008

    With authentic detailing and conveniences to suit the modern boomer, this stately Gulf Coast plantation home brings a fresh look to Orlando’s luxury market.

  • World

    This year’s winners have used home building to help thousands of poor families.

  • Back Inside OutBusiness CasualEscape ArtistryBehind the ScenesAbout the Project SponsorsTech Away

    Passive thermodynamics have heated and cooled homes for thousands of years. Builder’s 2008 show home marries classical architectural principles with high-performance building systems in a residence that’s built to last. Distributor Electronics Source, using its expertise in consumer electronics...

  • One-Day Seminar for Hardwood Manufacturers

    Seminars for smaller and newly started Eastern hardwood manufacturers are scheduled for 2008.

  • Cold Weather Painting

  • Panel MembersPolycarbon DatingGraba WipeLock It UpCopper TopTongue in TeakHybrid HeatNeed a Light?