Monday, January 24, 2011


There are signs that new house building just might be on the slow and deliberate path out of the pit.  One of the signs is that it is happening without the Fed having to give any incentives like last year's $8,000 tax credit.  We should see the number of new house starts pushing 405-415,000 this year and heading upwards toward the magic number of 600,000 by the end of 2014.  Good news for all of us.

There are signs that our industry should get ready for changes that consumers and home designers are starting to ask about.

If you are a factory owner and you still haven't tuned into what the gurus of our industry are predicting, it's not too late as these changes in buying and building will take a decade to really kick in.  Some have already begun and others are still being discussed.

Here are just some of the areas that are due to begin changing over the next couple of years.

A Holistic Approach will begin to place a high priority on integrating natural resources, health and community concerns into building design.  This new approach examines the impact of all elements inside the building, ranging from water conservation and indoor air quality to minimization of waste and toxin emissions.

Expect smaller, more efficient homes that reduces waste building materials and utilizes the latest technologies.  The homes will soon have to have computerized monitoring systems that can download the latest apps to make the home increasing more efficient.

With two or even three generations living together, home designs will need to accommodate each one in their own private living/sleeping areas with shared kitchens and gathering rooms.  Tri-level homes will begin to show up with shared areas in the middle level, the active generation on the top level and the oldest on the ground level.

Green construction techniques will be expected in new homes and even better Energy Star ratings than today.  With the cost of heating and cooling homes rising faster than most families can continue to afford, our industry must be on the cutting edge of this movement.

Modular housing offers the most effective way to bring these changes to the housing industry.  We have to start being more proactive in our approach to marketing what we already are doing in the areas of Green construction and energy efficiency.  We are letting our site built competition set the tone for what we can do better than anyone else because it's all "built into our homes."


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