Inspiration7 min

LP® FlameBlock® OSB: Perfect Fit For Today's Smaller Homes

According to Metrostudy, the average home size in the nation’s top 15 housing markets has declined over the past two years. The biggest dip was in the Charlotte, N.C. area, where average home size dropped by nearly 250 square feet. In Houston, Dallas and Austin, the average home size is now about 2 150 square feet, while in Minneapolis/St. Paul the number has shrunk to just 1,872.

These are all pricey markets, so the main impetus for downsizing is greater affordability. Empty-nesters and Millennial first-time buyers are willing to live in smaller houses if they're attractively priced and well-designed. BSB Design's upcoming Casita Square project in California will include detached homes in the 1 000 to 1 400 square foot range that sell for 150 000 $ to 175 000 $ - prices not seen in the Golden State for decades.

These houses are usually built on either small lots or by squeezing two houses on a single lot. "We often design two-story homes on small lots to maximize liveable space," says Kerrin West, president of Studio 81 International in the Sacramento area. In fast-growing Nashville, older homes are being replaced by two "tall skinnies" on one lot. Each house can only be as high as 1½ times the width, e.g., a 16-ft. wide home could be 24 feet high. Most are built six feet apart, but in some cases they're even closer.

For these zero-lot-line builds, it’s especially important to use proven fire-rated products in the exterior walls. LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing combines flame-spread resistance and burn-through resistance in a single panel. It’s ICC-certified and offers a 30-minute Class A Flame Spread Rating and 15-minute thermal barrier protection. LP FlameBlock Fire-Rated Sheathing also speeds construction time and reduces labor costs because it eliminates a layer of gypsum.

The Metrostudy report makes it clear that fewer Americans want a 4 000 square foot home surrounded by acres of grass to mow. As homes get smaller and nearer each other, fire codes will continue to get more stringent. That's why more builders are choosing products like LP FlameBlock that have been rigorously tested and certified.

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Business Advice6 min

On the Cutting Edge of Cost-Cutting

There are only two ways to boost your bottom line: increase revenue and cut costs. In this blog, we'll explore innovative ways for builders to cut costs in order to increase homebuilder profit margins - and we'll examine revenue enhancement in a future post.

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Industry Trends6 min
Where the Construction Labor Shortage Is Most Severe

According to the latest American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 4 million people now work in residential construction (both single-family and multifamily) - down from the 5 million who were employed just before the Great Recession. Although the workforce has shrunk by 20 percent nationwide, some parts of the country are experiencing less pain than others. Similarly, light commercial construction has been reportedly back on the rise post-Recession, with IBISWorld reporting that the recovery started just before 2014 and continuing steadily through 2019 (source).

Industry Trends7 min
A Commitment to Product Availability

It's frustrating when factors outside of your control cause you delays or unexpected expenses during a project. Those factors could be weather delays, insufficient staffing, breakdowns in cash flow and unreliable product availability. LP devotes significant resources each year to ensure that its product availability is second to none. Because even the most innovative building solution is useless to customers unless they know that it's available when they really need it.

Business Advice10 min
How to Prevent Lap Siding from Buckling by Using a Butt Joint

It's a silly name, but a "butt joint" is an application technique where two pieces of material are "butted" up against each other. It is the simplest joint to make, and a butt joint can be either end to end or end to face. Depending on the width of the wall, butt joints will occur where two pieces of lap siding come together, creating a vertical seam. LP® SmartSide® lap siding products are available in 16' lengths, and can help reduce the amount of seams where a butt joint would normally occur when using shorter pieces.