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Building Materials

Lumber prices 2021

During the pandemic, lumber prices skyrocketed at the same time that remodeling demand spiked and supply chains broke down. But where does the industry stand now?

Creativity doesn't simply extend to remodelers' bump out ability and wall placement strategies. Remodelers' products are an expression and reflection of their experience and credibility. Products are what you leave behind, and they speak volumes after remodelers have walked off the site, especially if something is wrong.

A client more concerned about finish details than the budget? For some remodelers, that might be a nightmare. But if your focus is architectural integrity, it's a dream come true. These homeowners could only use their existing screened porch in nice weather, and their deck needed an upgrade. They wanted to replace both with something punchy, something unusual.

Now more than ever, your home is literally your castle. Spas and fitness centers, imported fixtures and customized, hand-made interior finishes have become the territory of Everyman, not the stuff of fairy tales. With the country's aggregate home equity reaching $9.6 trillion in 2004, it's clear that consumers are sinking more of their resources into housing.

Cooks become careless in the kitchen; old electrical wiring arcs; wildfires burn out of control. The result is the same: Home fires that can devastate the lives of the residents. Home fire property damage totaled nearly $6 billion in 2003 not including the Southern California wildfires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Denver's older neighborhoods have what every city-dweller longs for: great parks, homes with timeless character, and easy access to a complete range of urban amenities. The only drawback: The homes are small, usually at or below 1,200 square feet, with little room to grow. Most are brick bungalows, Victorians or Denver squares with cramped rooms built for working-class families of the early 20t...

For centuries, people have been warming their homes — and their feet — with radiant floor heating. Warm, clean, and efficient, radiant floor heating is increasingly popular in new homes, but it remains a rarity in remodeling, as many contractors believe radiant heating is impractical to install in an existing home.

Hurricanes in the south, unprecedented levels of construction material demand in China, record oil prices and a host of other issues drove up material costs in 2004. Ongoing increases in labor, insurance and general overhead expenses squeezed margins from another angle. How do you generate an acceptable profit when pricing seems out of control?

Widely used in Europe and Japan, tankless water heaters offer on-demand hot water and lower water heating bills. These units are so small they can be installed under a sink, on a wall or even on the exterior of the home, yielding space savings for the homeowner. A larger model can be used in place of a storage tank to supply hot water for the entire home; a small point-of-use water heater can b...

The hurricanes that pounded the Gulf and Atlantic coasts in 2004 left contractors and their customers pondering how to avoid damage when the next storm blows through. "There's no better time than when rebuilding to incorporate construction changes that will make a property less vulnerable to wind or water," says Bill Carwile, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Age...

Superior customer service is the number one way remodelers can (and should) differentiate themselves from inferior competition. In the ongoing battle for customers' trust and — ultimately — referrals, remodelers must distinguish themselves in everything from quality of materials and workmanship to the professionalism of sales personnel and work crews.

With "indoor air quality" and "energy efficiency" becoming household terms for many homeowners, it pays even for remodelers outside of environmentally conscious markets to understand what green remodeling is and how to do it. In their new book, Green Remodeling: Changing the World, One Room at a Time (New Society Publishers), authors David Johnston and Kim Master explain the basics of building ...

How many remodelers does it take to change a light bulb? At David and Ellyn Robbins's Highland Park, Ill., house it takes one — a multi-skilled carpenter, namely Bob Stone, CLC, who has 32 years of remodeling experience. Why? For one thing, the ceiling in the Robbins's entry is 20 feet high, and climbing a stepladder to change the bulb up there is beyond what the Robbinses are comfortable...

Brick: It exudes warmth, character, staying power. Brick often commands a higher resale value and naturally provides thermal mass, which offers some insulation. Under normal weather conditions, it could see a century or more of use, according to Brick Industry Association estimates. But for all its durability, brick is vulnerable to external factors that can decrease the lifespan of a brick hom...

To save the customer the cost and time of excavating the floor, installing underground piping or creating a raised floor, consider a macerating toilet.

An attractive business opportunity may be staring you in the face — the cabinet face, that is. More and more homeowners are determined to give their kitchens a new look, but kitchen remodels can be pricey, not to mention inconvenient for homeowners while the work is being done. Enter cabinet refacing, a faster, more economical yet equally stylish alternative.

Low-maintenance decking, quick-install replacement windows, sound-absorbent ceilings, indoor/outdoor masonry veneer, moisture-resistant sill pans — manufacturers keep seeking ways to make your jobs and your clients' lives easier.

Nothing transforms more than the power of light. The interior of this late 1960s-style split-level was dark and dated with 8-foot ceilings and a cramped kitchen. It presented both a challenge and an opportunity. Here's how this remodeling firm handled the challenge.

"A deck is the transition between the inside world of the home and the outside environment," says remodel carpenter Erich von Tagen. "A deck should accentuate the details of the home." In this case, while the view of a large valley and three major Cascade Range peaks from the deck couldn't be beat, the deck was an eyesore.

Sometimes older houses need more than just remodeling. They need a new vision for dark interiors, awkward spaces and outdated features. This home, owned by broadcaster Edward R. Murrow from 1946 to 1964, had become the "ugly dog of the neighborhood," homeowner Skip Sroka says. While association with Murrow gave the house importance, the structure lacked architectural significance.

What do you do with items pulled from your remodeling projects?  You can avoid transportation and landfill costs by donating surplus materials to a materials exchange — and receive a tax deduction in return. In fact, you also can increase your profitability and reduce waste.

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