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.
The construction industry is competitive and in order to get ahead, you must consistently deliver quality in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest possible cost. Your most important asset is your team, but many managers have difficulty finding the right people. If you are experiencing a high employee turnover or have trouble finding the right employees, there are ways in which to create a culture of teamwork and support that cultivate a good work ethic
David Sukonick is one of the leading designers and builders of wooden floors for performers with over 300 professional dance floors under his belt. David has undertaken many unique designs and specializes in the sprung sub floor. Says David of his unusual choice in construction design: “It is definitely an unusual field and to my knowledge I may be the only person that specializes solely in the design and installation of custom dance floors.”
When the builder came to us with complaints of telegraphing through his roof shingles they assumed it was edge swell and the fault lay with the roof sheathing. Most often, swollen edges and buckling panels are caused by common installation mistakes.
As building codes focus on environmentally-friendly materials and clients become more demanding, many builders are turning to greener products. The wood industry is one of the leading renewables and has had many decades to perfect its sustainability with certifications and controlled plantations. Many newer products on the market, like bamboo, make lofty promises of sustainability but can actually be quite harmful to the environment.