Friday, May 25, 2018

Have a Fun and Safe Long Weekend

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tiny Houses. Answer for the Homeless or Just Hype?

Finally, someone has the intestinal fortitude to tell everyone that housing the homeless in tiny homes, garden sheds and chicken coops is not the answer to the problem and may actually become another problem on down the road.

This article by Miles Howard in The Outlook is right on the money.

You can’t just put homeless people
in tiny houses

Rather than confront America’s housing crisis head-on, some cities are asking homeowners to build tiny rental units in their backyard.

For decades, the pinnacle of the American Dream was to own a sprawling house with acres of kitchen space, multiple guest rooms, and a pool shaped like a Fender Stratocaster. This is why many Millennials grew up watching MTV Cribs, and probably also why so much porn is filmed in mansions. But not long after the 2007 housing market crash, a different kind of real estate dream was born: chucking the expensive mortgage payments and downsizing to something simpler, easier to maintain, and above all, smaller.

Model of the Plugin House at Boston's City Hall plaza. 

The tiny house has been called a spiritual cousin of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, the ultimate “simple living” book and a fixture on high school reading lists in America. Starting around 2008, people inspired by that dream built the first wave of tiny houses: cute, exquisitely designed little dwellings that compressed the essentials of a home into a compact space rarely larger than 400 square feet. Their finished wood floors and paneling, recessed mood lighting, and kitchen counters with built-in dog beds made them a fixture on Instagram and in lifestyle magazines.

But today, tiny houses are more than a fad for people looking to trade in their suburban homes and city apartments for something smaller and quirkier. Across a handful of prohibitively expensive U.S. cities, tiny homes are being presented as an affordable housing solution, and in some places, as a way to house the homeless.

CLICK HERE to read the entire ‘must read’ article

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Modular Home Factory Seeks QA Manager

B&B Micro Manufacturing, Inc. of North Adams, Massachusetts is hiring an in-house quality assurance manager for residential single-family modular construction.

B&B currently builds stick built-homes (via B&B Quality Construction) as well as RVIA-certified tiny house RVs, via B&B Micro Manufacturing.) We are applying for a license to become a modular manufacturer in the state of Massachusetts and will be expanding our manufacturing facility.

The Modular QA Manager will be able to properly judge our products with knowledge of building codes and at least five years' experience with modular construction. This person will be responsible for record keeping, document design and control, control of inspection procedures and, when necessary, work with the company president to design and implement production changes. This person will work closely with our TPIA and our field inspector.

Interested candidates can submit their resume and a letter of interest to Katie Jackson at"

PBC Today’s Top Technology Advances in Construction

Planning and Building Control Today, a publication in England, has named these the Top Trends in construction today.
1. Virtual Reality Virtual reality was initially created as an instrument to make video games more immersive but, as the technology has developed, it’s branched into several other sectors, namely that of the construction industry. 2. Augmented Reality Augmented reality is a live, duplicated view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by a computer-generated sensory input. Virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one, while augmented reality takes the real world and adds to it with — in the case of architecture — a 3D model of your design. 3. Modular construction Whilst modular construction may not be entirely new to the industry, it is certainly experiencing a rise in popularity and gaining lots of media attention. This could be down to the fact that modular construction offers an affordable, sustainable and efficient construction solution. 4. 3D and 4D modelling Today, building companies that wholly use 2D representations are relying on outdated methods. It’s likely that 3D modelling is the BIM we are most familiar with – 3D models from BIM look like the world around us. They’re transferrable. With data embedded in the model, they add a dimension present in the world that can’t be achieved in 2D. 5. Offsite Offsite techniques have been around for a while, but its ever-expanding adoption throughout the industry is creating much debate around its possibility of addressing some the housing shortage issues. 6. Drones/UAVs Drones are rapidly replacing traditional land-surveillance methods and in turn changing the way the construction industry works. Drones offer several benefits on building sites: they allow builders an edge on their competition, help save time for land developers during site surveys, and assist the process of meeting safety standards. Not only can drones offer these advantages, but they are also now more affordable than ever! 7. Green/Sustainable construction Sustainable construction encompasses almost all levels of construction, from the design of buildings to the materials and technologies utilised, right down to the energy and resource efficiency of a building. 8. 3D printing 3D printing can play a massive role in reducing construction waste. It also increases efficiencies during the building process and allows materials to be reused at the end of the building’s life, rather than ending up as landfill. 9. BIM BIM is the process of creating and managing information digitally across a construction projects life-cycle. It is the digital description of absolutely every aspect of the built asset. BIM can offer so many advantages from smoother collaboration to a constant supply chain of information that can help assess the risks and vulnerabilities of a project. CLICK HERE to read the entire PBC Today article

Guerdon Promotes Michael Merle to Vice President of Business Development

Guerdon Modular buildings, the leading manufacturer of large-scale, commercial modular construction projects in the Western US and Canada, has promoted Michael Merle from hospitality division director to vice president of business development. This announcement follows the retirement of Dan Horne who held the business development position for 17 years.

Michael Merle, VP of Business Development

“Michael’s promotion is part of a succession plan that has been Guerdon’s strategy for quite some time,” said Jerry Goodwin, Guerdon CEO. “He is well equipped to manage Guerdon’s growing business development efforts and we are all looking forward to where Michael will take us.”

Merle will lead Guerdon’s business development team in all aspects of new business. As hospitality division director, he grew Guerdon’s hospitality segment from limited offerings to more than 80% of the company’s current pipeline.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Valerie Jurik-Henry Joins Better Living Express as AIP Advisor

Being a national speaker on Aging In Place, I often hear about services and product manufactures that are jumping on the AIP bandwagon. Aging In Place is a term used to describe helping people to remain living in their house throughout life when possible.

When you consider that we all age from the moment we are born until the last breath we take, then you must consider that structures remain the same while its occupants are always changing.

Our abilities change, our likes and dislikes and so on.

Many of us may have a personal story or know of someone who is entwined in an older adult’s life. Living at home isn’t easy for them due to the design. Maybe it’s the many steps to go up and down, or the bathroom with a tub that’s impossible to get in so they just stop using it, maybe it’s the fact that their laundry room and master bedroom is upstairs, and the walk up and down has become a challenge.

At one time our immediate thought to the person we see living in this quandary was “where are you going to go and live now?” The immediate thought by the adult children was usually to send their parent(s) to a nursing home.

Introducing Better Living Express. BLE is dedicated to helping those who are in need of helping themselves or a loved one find a place to live in that’s manageable.

BLE has a series of Better Living Cottages ranging from 600 – 980 sq/ft, one floor living with a sense of security in mind. BLE also offers a full line of Additions and Suites.

I personally feel that when a company can look forward and fill a national need of providing secure and affordable housing as a solution for so many– they are on my A Team! Contact me at

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Another New Modular Factory Opens in Hull, England

60 jobs created in Hull with the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Ottringham, East Yorkshire, England.

The Thurston Group has expanded its manufacturing presence further with the opening of a new six-acre manufacturing facility.

The new factory will produce bespoke modular accommodation for a variety of sectors, including education, healthcare, construction, commercial, housing, rail and defense.

Jonathan Petch, CEO of Thurston Group, said: “This opening takes place against the backdrop of an uprising in the building industry, where modern methods of construction are increasingly being embraced.

“Faster, cost-effective and more flexible, there is now a huge amount of support for modular construction’s ability to address many of the challenges we face in terms of supply and demand for accommodation in both the public and private sectors.”

The Thurston Group provides modular and portable buildings for use in every industry and market sector, including health, education, transport, construction, defense, and housing. .

Matthew Goff, managing director for Thurston Group, commented: “Thurston is delighted to be establishing its latest manufacturing facility and generating employment in Hull. Initially, 60 new jobs are being created, and this number will rise over the next 12 months.

“We look forward to operating from our new Hull base and to playing an active role in the locality in the years ahead.”

Friday, May 18, 2018

Site Builders Facing Higher Costs than Modular Construction

You hear a lot of advantages of modular construction over site building but two things are having major impacts on both.

The cost to build a new home continues to rise for a multitude of reasons: chief among them are a tariff on imported Canadian lumber and an ongoing construction worker shortage.
The 20 percent tariff on Canadian lumber, which was instituted late last year, has added approximately $6,000 to the cost of the average home being built today. Both the modular home and the site building industries are sharing the pain on this one.

Modular has a slight advantage here because much of the lumber that didn’t go into the actual framing of the walls is used for bracing for kitchen cabinets and bathroom accessories, wall bracing and even for fuel to heat the modular production line in the Winter.

Extra lumber at the site built jobsite is usually just thrown in the dumpster.

Even though the tariff may be 20 percent the price on lumber for some areas of the country has actually risen between 45 to 50 percent in recent months.

Tariffs put in place in March on imported steel and aluminum – 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum – have had less of an impact on the single-family home construction market than they have on the cost to build a multi-unit housing facility, like an apartment complex.

According to the National Apartment Association, the tariffs are expected to add $250,000 to $450,000 to future projects.

As for the worker shortage, it has growndrastically in many regions amid the ongoing construction boom with estimates of 1,000,000 new jobs needed in the new construction industry this year.

The labor shortage is adding about two months and about $5,000 to the cost of every single site built job while the more steady workforce employed by the modular industry has not felt the need to raise costs to their builders regarding labor costs.

While both the tariff and labor problems are impacting both modular and site built, the modular industry is not being forced to raise the price of their homes as fast as site builders and today, that is a good advantage to have!

Related Article: It's Not a Labor Shortage, It's a Labor Shortage

$63 Million in new Modular Construction in San Francisco

Two micro-unit housing projects in San Francisco's Tenderloin will soon to start construction.

Developer Forge Land Co. filed building permits valued at $33 million for the 98-unit 145 Leavenworth St. project and $30 million for the 136-unit 361 Turk St. project.

Forge's units will range from 250 square feet to 440 square feet. The developer is planning to use pre-fabricated steel assembled outside of San Francisco to bring costs down, but haven't identified a factory.

More developers are embracing modular construction as a way to save money. But San Francisco's construction unions are largely opposed to the practice because jobs are shifted outside of the city.

As if we hadn’t heard this before.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Forest, Mississippi Passes Ordinance Banning Tiny Houses

Both the modular housing and manufactured housing industries have been following the rise of Tiny Houses as an “Affordable” alternative to standard housing but this new Ordinance adopted by Forest, MS governing body spells out in no uncertain terms that Tiny Houses and Tiny Houses on Wheels will not be welcome within city limits.
Look for more cities, towns and counties throughout the US to begin banning them even though there is a new provision in the 2018 IRC regulations for them.

Below is the article with some of the reasons excerpted. To read the entire article, click on the Headline below:


Most everyone has either seen, or read about, the very popular practice of repurposing utility sheds and storage sheds as a residential home. There are numerous television shows that highlight the growing trend of tiny homes, and do-it-yourself transformations for these low-cost buildings.

Some citizens may believe that this ordinance is directed at this affordable and highly popular alternative to building or renting. Numerous aspects about this new trend are concerning to Forest Mayor Nancy Chambers, but she specifies safety as the leading factor, “we want safe affordable housing for everyone and a utility shed is just that, a utility shed,” Chambers said.

City of Forest Code and Zone Officer, David Chamblee added, “we have been seeing more and more of these sheds in the past year.” Many people are “living in sheds that are not up to codes and not built for human occupancy.”

Chanblee went on to say, “sellers put features that make a shed appear to be a home but that does not make it safe.”

When a building, that was not built to be a home, is purchased to serve as a family dwelling there are several problems that the owner can encounter. The city of Forest, through Ordinance 465, is working to clarify those problems and clearly state what the city will recognize as single and multi-family domiciles.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article and the new ordinance