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Home building professionals from around the world filled the exhibit halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center on Jan. 21-23 as IBS and KBIS once again combined for the annual Design & Construction Week (DCW), which drew a total of approximately 90,000 attendees.

"The strong attendance at this year's show reflects the positive outlook for the home building industry and the enthusiasm that our attendees have for the future," said Geoff Cassidy, NAHB senior vice president of exhibitions and meetings. "Attendees continue to seek the innovative products, education sessions and networking opportunities that only IBS can provide."

Exhibit space for IBS totaled approximately 600,000 square feet, where more than 1,400 exhibitors displayed the latest in building products and technology.

In all, DCW featured more than 2,000 exhibitors occupying more than one million square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits. Many of the exhibitors noted the strong foot traffic this year.

"It's been a great show for us," said Darren Salapka, vice president of builder experience at Allegion Home, a representative at the Schlage booth. "We've had a lot of traffic, a lot of good interactions and really good meetings throughout the day."

In addition to meeting suppliers and seeing product demos throughout the three-day show, attendees networked with peers and attended any of more than 140 education sessions led by experts on a wide range of industry topics.

Next year, IBS and Design & Construction Week will be in Orlando Feb. 9-11, 2021.


NAHB identifies top features
and design trends for 2020

Walk-in master bedroom closets, low-emissivity (low-e) windows and laundry rooms are the most likely features in typical new homes in 2020, based on a survey of single-family home builders. Energy-efficient features such as efficient lighting, programmable thermostats and ENERGY STAR appliances will also be likely, as will open design concepts such as great rooms and nine-plus-foot ceilings on the first floor. Energy-efficient or eco-friendly features not likely to be included in new homes, however, are cork flooring in main-level living areas, geothermal heat pumps and solar water heating and cooling.

Consumers continue to desire smaller homes, not only in overall square footage, but also the number of features, such as bedrooms and bathrooms. This four-year downward trend has led to the smallest average home size since 2011 at 2,520 square feet--only 20 square feet above the average in 2007, the pre-recession peak. The percentage of homes incorporating four-plus bedrooms, three-plus full bathrooms and three-plus car garages have also dropped to levels not seen since 2012.

"This points to an industry trying to meet the demands of the entry-level home buyer," said Rose Quint, NAHB assistant vice president of survey research. "Builders are struggling to meet these demands, however, because of factors such as restrictive zoning regulations and lot prices, with the price of a new lot in 2019 averaging $57,000."

NAHB also examined preferences among first-time buyers and repeat buyers to help builders determine what features are most likely to resonate in the market in 2020. When asked which they prefer, the majority of both first-time buyers and repeat buyers would rather have a smaller home with high-quality products and services than a bigger home with fewer amenities. The top features desired by both groups include:

·  Laundry rooms
·  ENERGY STAR windows
·  Hardwood flooring
·  Walk-in pantries
·  Patios
·  Ceiling fans
·  Kitchen double sink

These trends are reflected in this year's Best in American Living Award (BALA) winners as well. For example, designers are including flex spaces that add increased functionality to laundry rooms, hardwood flooring and wood finishes to add warmth and character both inside and outside the home, and creating outdoor spaces that seamlessly integrate with indoor living.

"Every year, winners of the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) showcase the best of what the home building industry has to offer," said Donald J. Ruthroff of the Dahlin Group Architecture Planning. "As the chair of the BALA Subcommittee and BALA Judging, I am privileged to see projects from across the nation and those projects help me identify the design trends that drive discussions in our offices, with our clients, and at the Builders' Show."

Designers are also working to address attainability concerns by developing multifamily and higher-density projects that feel more like single-family homes to meet consumer interest at more affordable price points.

More consumer data is available in NAHB's What Home Buyers Really Want report.


Arcadia Homes named NAHB Custom Home Builder of the Year;
Finalists from North Carolina and Wisconsin Recognized

Arcadia Homes in Charlotte, N.C., has been honored as the Custom Home Builder of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders Custom Home Builders Committee. Sponsored by Sherwin-Williams, the award was presented at a ceremony in Las Vegas during the NAHB International Builders' Show.

Arcadia closes 12-18 fully custom homes a year ranging from $1.5-$15 million. Jeremy Schumacher is the president and managing partner, and David "AJ" Foard is the vice president and managing partner.

"Arcadia has built a legacy of quality homes and has built a second or third home for dozens of clients," a NAHB press release noted. "The firm emphasizes a culture of integrity and transparency. At Arcadia, home building is not just a job, but a calling. They demonstrate this passion through a commitment to integration: In order to advance the building process into the twenty-first century, Arcadia has invested in a cloud-based project management software, BuildTrend, that helps people at every step of the process collaborate and ultimately delivers a top-notch product to the client. New hires and interns are paired with the top project managers right off the bat, providing a strong education and professional integration experience. 

"Arcadia is distinguished in being the first company to construct a LEED Platinum certified home in North Carolina. Interestingly, though, the only difference between that home and their other, non-certified homes, is that they completed the process for the certification: standard procedure is to build each and every home to that designation."

"For more than four decades I have worked with and observed exceptional builders across America," said Carl Monroe, a member of the Society of Honored Associates. "On occasion, there will be a firm that rises above the rest. Case in point, Arcadia Homes — I have met most everyone in their growing organization, and they all want to be there. And it shows. They have incredibly high ethical standards, as advertised, and live them."



Mark Batson, owner of Tongue & Groove Design + Build (T&G) in Wilmington, N.C., believes that serving as a single-source solution for taking his clients from project inception to completion and beyond is key in creating beautiful, quality homes. As a boutique builder, T&G focuses on fewer, yet more personalized projects. With a small staff totaling 20 employees, Batson's company takes on about six projects at a time and will complete three to four annually. Each custom project ranges in budget from $1 million to $6 million. T&G's brand promise is to never compromise quality or coolness. 

While T&G's construction services are kept local to New Hanover and Pender County, the company embraces innovative tools to collaborate with soon-to-be residents of the coastal city interested in building a custom home. By using 3D renderings and aerial drone footage, T&G is able to involve clients in the creation of their new home.

Mike Hartman, president and general manager of Hartman Homes in Hudson, Wis., also prides himself on strict attention to creative detail when building a custom home. Hartman says that the component paramount to his company's success is the standard of excellence that permeates each detail; by using the same high-quality team of subcontractors consistently, he can guarantee uniform excellence in each of the 20-25 homes that Hartman builds each year. With projects ranging from $450,000 to $2 million across the Twin Cities Metro and Western Wisconsin, Hartman is able to meet a wide array of client needs.

Hartman says that living and working in the upper Midwest can present weather-related building challenges throughout the year, but that their experienced team combats the various elements during the four building seasons to complete each home in a manageable timeline.


Aging-in-place specialists honored
with National NAHB Remodelers Awards

The NAHB Remodelers announced the winners of its annual Homes for Life awards, recognizing excellence in aging-in-place and universal design remodeling projects. The awards were presented at the NAHB Remodelers All-Stars Celebration in Las Vegas during the NAHB International Builders' Show.

The 2019 Homes for Life awards include five winners and five categories. Reiko Lewis, CAPS, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD + C, of Honolulu, Hawaii, won the Two-Story Remodel category; Nea Poole, AIA, of Midlothian, Va., won the Whole House/Multi-Room Remodel category; Iris Chadab, CAPS, NKBA, of Windows to the Walls Interiors LLC of Alexandria, Va., won the Multi-Generational Remodel; Robert and Evelyn Lenton from the Lenton Company of Palmdale, Cali., won the Bath Remodel category; and Bonnie Lewis, CAPS, Allied ASID, Assoc. IIDA, of Scottsdale, Ariz., won for the Best Overall Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) design.

"These remodelers specializing in aging-in-place help home owners' dreams come true by implementing custom solutions to last a lifetime," said 2019 NAHB Remodelers Chair Tim Ellis, CAPS, CGP, CGR, GMR, Master CGP, of Bel Air, Md. "The Homes for Life projects exemplify innovative home design that prioritizes safety and style for any age or ability."

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists are remodelers, general contractors, designers, architects, health care professionals and others who have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically pleasing, barrier-free living environments to help home owners live in their homes safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level.


Longtime NAHB remodelers members
inducted into National Remodeling Hall of Fame

NAHB Remodelers inducted Dan Bawden, CAPS, GMB, CGR, CGP, a remodeler from Houston and Robert Criner, CAPS, CGP, GMR, a remodeler from Yorktown, Va., into the National Remodeling Hall of Fame for their contributions to the remodeling industry. Bawden and Criner were recognized at the NAHB Remodelers All-Stars Celebration during the NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS) in Las Vegas.

"As a member of NAHB and NAHB Remodelers for over 28 years, Dan Bawden has had a profound impact on the remodeling industry at the local, state and national levels through the creation of the CAPS program and being one of the best instructors nationwide," said the 2019 Chair of NAHB Remodelers, Tim Ellis, CAPS, CGP, CGR, GMR, Master CGP, of Bel Air, Md. "Robert Criner has been an NAHB and NAHBR member for 39 years. He has been instrumental in government regulations that affect remodelers and has represented the industry numerous times in front of the EPA, DOJ, SBA and OMB. It is an honor to induct both Dan and Robert into the National Remodeling Hall of Fame for their irreplaceable contributions to our industry."

Bawden has been an NAHB and NAHB Remodelers member since 1991. Bawden has more than 35 years in the remodeling business and is also a licensed attorney. He was instrumental in the creation of NAHB's Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation program, a partnership with the NAHB Research Center (now known as Home Innovation Research Labs) and AARP, in 2002. He is a past president of the Greater Houston Builders Association and was the first remodeler named to the position. During his tenure as the Houston president, Bawden worked with NAHB to start the Certified Graduate Remodeling (CGR) College in Houston. He was named Texas Remodeler of the Year four times, Houston Remodeler of the Year twice, was the 2005 Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) of the Year and the 2011 CAPS Educator of the Year. He continues to teach classes to builders and remodelers across the country.

In 2013, Criner was named the NAHB Remodeler of the Year. He was the nation's first recipient of the NAHB Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) designation in 1989 and NAHB Graduate Master Remodeler (GMR) designation in 2008. He served on the CGR Board of Governors and earned the CGB, GMB, CGP, and CAPS designations from NAHB. Criner has served the Peninsula Home Builders Association and Remodelers Council as a member of the board of directors. An active member of the Peninsula community, Criner has volunteered and held leadership positions with American Red Cross Hampton Roads, York County Board of Zoning Appeals, Peninsula Habitat for Humanity Advisory Board and New Horizons Educational Foundation.