Home Improvement Projects are Worth Cost and Time

WASHINGTON— Homeowners who decide to undergo a home improvement project, whether it be interior or exterior modifications, often find that the task was worth the investment and time, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors®, with insights from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, an examination of 20 projects, surveyed Realtors®, consumers who have taken on home renovation projects and members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Remodeling Impact: Project – 3 Top Joy Score Project The report examines…

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Native Landscaping Sells Houses

Increase the value of a home with environmentally-friendly natural landscaping By Kitty Connolly This past April, the American Society of Landscape Architects released its 2018 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey, a members’ annual rating of the expected popularity of design elements. For the sixth year in a row, native plants were top of the list (either #1 or #2). Southern California real estate listings often call out yards as “water-saving” or “native landscape,” whether or not the description is accurate. In stark contrast, the National Association of Realtors 2018 Remodeling…

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California Energy Commission Expert Panel

The leaders in changing codes share insight, advice, and more as builders prepare for Title 24 changes By CHRIS OLVERA, PETER STRAIT, MAZI SHIRAKH, AMBER BECK Chris Olvera, Supervisor of the Outreach Education Unit Peter Strait, Supervisor of Standards Development Unit Mazi Shirakh, Lead for ZNE and PV Requirements for Standards Amber Beck, Public Information Officer What are the key changes to Title 24 being enacted January 1st? Chris Olvera: As a summary for the changes for residential buildings: We have updates for the thermal envelope, which includes insulation for high-performance…

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Construction Execs Optimistic About Homebuilding Business

Advanced technology and the entrance of millennial buyers into the market are fueling market growth By RICK BECHTEL It is still a good time to build homes. Residential builders surveying the construction landscape predict more business over the coming two years, grounding their optimism in expectations of steady interest rates and sustained demand. Despite signs that the cycles for residential real estate and interest rates are in their late stages, industry execs believe that in the near-term, conditions will remain favorable for homebuilding and construction lending. In April, construction and building…

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Resolving the Construction Labor Shortage

Three key strategies that can help combat the current labor shortage in the homebuilding industry By DON NEFF The building industry is facing a shortage of skilled labor that needs to be addressed if our goal is ramping up housing production. In California alone, Governor Gavin Newsom has a stated goal of 3.5MM new homes by 2025, or 500,000 homes per year. This production goal is very lofty given the industry’s actual delivery trends over the past 10-20 years. Across all construction trades, the housing industry is constrained by a severe labor…

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Five Construction Tech Tools to Increase Efficiency

More and more contractors are utilizing technology to increase efficiency than ever before by Dale Thornberry Contractors and tools go together better than macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and spaghetti and meatballs. And while many construction industry professionals have certain tools they prefer over others, whether it be a specific brand or a favorite app, there are always opportunities for improvement – especially when it comes to new and exciting technology. The introduction of technology to the construction industry paved the way for the creation of tools to…

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Navigating High Performing Building Envelopes

Homeowners will have the best long-term results when their homes are designed, engineered and built as a system rather than as individual components by Allan Burk and Brian St. Germain Year over year, new homes are being built to higher energy standards. Organizations like the U.S. Department of Energy, RESNET, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are holding builders to higher standards. The numbers show that these energy codes and incentives have proven effective. According to RESNET, over two million homes have now been energy- rated and homes built to…

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A Tale of Two Buildings

Withee Malcolm takes on urban infill in Los Angeles, California with two communities and an amenity-rich design approach By Sergio Flores Two new market rate apartment buildings designed by Withee Malcolm Architects (WMA), one in Hollywood and one in Pasadena, Calif., are designed to suit very specific markets. While both multifamily communities include some of the same amenities, each building has a distinct contextual concept within their urban infill environments. Located in the heart of Hollywood, The Highland Residences is a six-story, 30,000-square-foot development comprised of 76 apartments in 22…

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California Growth and the Construction Paradox

As the Golden State leads the way in job opportunity, a lack of housing keeps positions unfilled  By CHRISTOPHER THORNBERG, PHD It is often said that generals always fight the last war—and this applies to that still highly overused and abused political catchphrase, “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Such rhetoric about creating new jobs continues to be attached to the rollout of almost any new government policy, regardless of the veracity or relevance of the claim. Times change, as do economic realities, and creating jobs is not our challenge or problem today….

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Solutions to the Construction Labor Crisis

According to a new report from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), half of surveyed companies are finding it difficult to fill positions in the field as well as in the office BY PATRICK DUFFY In general, it’s a great time to be working in the building industry. Annualized single-family new home sales in November 2017 rose nearly 27 percent year-over-year to 733,000 units, while construction spending for the year rose to a record high of $1.26 trillion. Annualized housing starts reached nearly 1.3 million by the end of…

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