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Building Materials

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This Pro's Pick saves on labor, time, and cost—for both pros and homeowners.

After suffering damage in a tornado, Lincoln Windows is shipping products again

NAHB is pursuing litigation with the EPA over removal of opt-out provision in lead paint rules

Fourth survey shows growing popularity of green remodeling, but challenges persist

There's plenty of green product labels out there. The NAHB Research Center offers an evaluation of the major programs.

Prices for residential construction materials continue to rise as energy costs increase, according the latest Producer Price Index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Residential building materials prices rose 4.3 percent between January 2010 and January 2011, outpacing prices for general materials.

Georgia Gulf Corp., which markets vinyl siding and other products under the Royal Groups brand, has bought the Exterior Portfolio by Crane business

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has so far been unable to persuade Chinese makers of defective drywall to compensate U.S. homeowners, Insurance Journal reported. The drywall in question was imported to the U.S. after Hurricane Katrina as part of the effort to rebuild damaged homes. Approximately 4,000 homeowners have since filed complaints about the product.

Construction material prices have risen in the last year, while finished-building price indexes remained flat, adding additional financial stress to builders and contractors already facing the effects of high unemployment. An analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America reported that material prices rose 0.5 percent in November and 4.8 percent in the last year. The producer price indexes rose 0.4 percent in November, and 3.5 percent in the last year.

NSF International announced last week at the Greenbuild show in Chicago that it has developed a Sustainable Product Assurance program to help increase consumer confidence in “green” products. The program will include the development of national standards and procedures to verify a product’s environmental or social claims.

Major U.S. drywall produces plan to raise prices by up to 25 percent in the next month, according to a report by The Philadelphia Inquirer. USG Corp. announced the price increase Nov. 3., followed by similar price increase announcements from CertainTeed Corp., National Gypsum Co., Lafarge, and Temple-Inland Inc.

A settlement was reached last week for some of the homeowners who filed suit against a Chinese manufacturers over faulty drywall. A New Orleans federal judge signed off on the settlement, in which Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Company agreed to pay repair and relocation costs for 300 homeowners in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The mix-and-match approach to home siding is still popular, and manufacturers are
offering new ways to meet consumer demand

The EPA lead rule continues to pose challenges for remodelers

Future prices for lumber rose the maximum permitted by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as a jump in U.S. housing starts revived prospects for construction materials. Lumber futures for November delivery rose the CME’s $10 daily limit, or 4.5 percent, to settle at $232 per 1,000 board feet at 1:10 p.m. in Chicago.

Green remodeling is an ever-changing process with innovations in building science and technology affecting it constantly. To do it successfully, one needs to educate crews, subcontractors and consumers.

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