These are an excellent choice as a retrofit to older homes which have non-ducted heating systems. These include homes with hydrontic heating systems, space heaters or radiant panel heaters. If you are considering an addition to an existing home and extending the existing duct work into the new space isn’t feasible, ductless mini-split heat pumps provide a good alternative. Select an Energy-Star appliance in order to ensure that you are getting the most energy-efficient option.
After the housing crash, many construction industry professionals retooled or left to pursue careers in other fields. Coupled with a drop in intake numbers, the industry is facing a lack of qualified personnel to fill positions in the coming year. When the time comes to face these shortages, how will your construction company cope? What strategies do you have in place to guarantee your continued profitability?
Modern home design is a dynamic entity that needs to grow and change with the market needs. Any builder who is building the same homes they did ten years ago will steadily be reducing the pool from which they can draw new clients. Of course the biggest influencer on the modern home is energy savings, but there are other trends to note as well. Livability is still the most important factor in home design choice and the role that technology plays is also increasing.
We’re no experts on safety, but there are some practical guidelines to onsite job safety from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These standards for construction sites help to reduce the risk of injury. Always remember to check local safety requirements and ensure that your crew is properly trained.
While the Atlantic storm season have been getting worse for builders and home owners over the last few years, this year offers a brief reprieve thanks to the El Niño effect which offers strong wind and shear which makes it difficult for hurricanes to form. Predictions from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association put the number of tropical storms at between 8 and 13 with 6 expected to develop into hurricanes.
As summer temperatures rise, homeowners will be closing up their homes and turning on the AC. But for some, that could mean subjecting home occupants to poor indoor air quality. Studies by the EPA show that the indoor air quality in homes can be two to five times worse than outside air, even if you live in the city. One unlikely candidate for causing poor indoor air quality is ducting design.
As the construction industry rebounds, construction companies are faced with increasingly problematic labor shortages that have caused delays of up to 30 days on new home builds. During the downturn, many construction professionals moved to other industries to find work which accounts for the current shortages experienced in both the building material manufacturing and construction industries. As construction slowed during the recession, the number of workers decreased from its 2006 high of 3.45 million workers to just under 2 million by March 2011.
Woodstoves have always provoked spirited debate, mostly over safety and emissions. One of the biggest objections from the EPA is the pollution which has been linked to a number of serious health risks. Now the EPA has announced new rules which govern woodstoves in an effort to mitigate some the pollution caused by our winter heating needs.
Common mistakes in installing engineered wood can create expensive problems and callbacks like telegraphing in roof shingles and flooring and squeaky or bouncy floors. Wall sheathing isn’t immune to these mistakes either and walls that rattle during strong winds or let moisture in and conditioned air out are caused by a lack of attention to details such as fastening during framing.
While home builders are interested in green features, they may be unsure of those that give them the most bang for their energy-saving buck. If you are selling homes with energy-saving features that buyers don’t understand, you are missing a valuable opportunity.