Industry Trends5 min

How “Attainable” Are New Homes?

When people talk about home “affordability” it boils down to one number: the asking price. But home “attainability” is a more complex equation. Attainability refers to a prospective buyer’s ability to find an entry-level home (no easy task these days), obtain a loan and pay for 30 years of ancillary costs like utilities, maintenance and insurance.

Here’s a shocking statistic that shows why home attainability is out of reach for millions: according to government figures, the median net salary of U.S. workers is $31,561. That means that after taxes, 50% of American workers take home less than that amount.

Some cities are now homebuyer magnets because they offer a real shot at attainability. In El Paso, for example, a worker can qualify for a new home loan with an annual gross salary of just $32,185. In Oklahoma City, a gross salary of $33,507 is all that’s required. There are many other cities across America that have ample attainable housing, including Roanoke, Va., Battle Creek, Mich., and Binghamton, N.Y. 

Builders in these communities are providing plenty of starter homes, not just high-end models. In El Paso, half of all new homes cost less than $158,000. That makes the long-term costs of insuring and maintaining a home much easier to bear.

The bottom line: we can’t all live in Beverly Hills. Fortunately, there are still builders who understand that society benefits greatly when housing is attainable.

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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.