Why Are Costs on the Rise for Drywall, Plaster and Other Building Material?

installing drywallAs new home construction is predicted to grow by 14 percent into 2016, drywall and plaster costs are expected to follow suit and rise by 7.5 percent per year. The continued recovery of residential construction is apparent in industry metrics like building permit data. In fact, drywall and plaster costs aren’t the only building materials to see increases on the horizon in the three-year time frame. Plywood and particle board costs will rise by 4.8 percent and 5.3 percent respectively. Medium density fiberboard is also going up, with anticipated increases topping 5 percent. The increase in raw copper costs is expected to continue boosting prices for electrical wiring as well. Continue reading Why Are Costs on the Rise for Drywall, Plaster and Other Building Material?

The Debate Over Manhattan’s Bank of America Building, Known as the Greenest Skyscraper

Bank of America BuildingAlthough it’s been dubbed the greenest skyscraper by its supporters, some suggest the Bank of America building in Manhattan is a perfect illustration of the LEED rating system’s shortcomings. Despite being loaded with eco-friendly technology and achieving the LEED Platinum rating (the highest possible), the building is still relatively inefficient. Continue reading The Debate Over Manhattan’s Bank of America Building, Known as the Greenest Skyscraper

Lennar Homes Kick Off First Quarter of 2014 With Significant New Construction

Lennar Homes New constructionLennar Homes, one of the top general contractors in the U.S., reports significantly increased new residential construction starts in the first quarter of 2014 among its numerous regional offices throughout the United States.

The Miami-based construction and renovation firm states that some of the more notable construction increases occurred in communities such as San Bernardino, CA; Sparks, NV; and Cape Coral, FL. Other significant projects undertaken by the company have been ordered in Kissimmee, FA; Austin, TX; and Bakersfield, FL. Continue reading Lennar Homes Kick Off First Quarter of 2014 With Significant New Construction

What’s Hot in Landscape Architecture in 2014 — and How It Varies Regionally

Just as with fashion trends, landscape architecture trends are influenced by local weather and lifestyle preferences that vary from one part of the country to the other. By knowing what property owners in different regions will be looking for this year, you’ll be better able to show potential clients that you’re the right contractor to meet their needs. Continue reading What’s Hot in Landscape Architecture in 2014 — and How It Varies Regionally

5 Construction Tips to Keep Your Projects as Efficient as Possible

5 Tips to Keep Your Construction Project as Efficient as PossibleOn any construction project, efficiency translates into better profits, more satisfied customers and a better reputation in your local area. Here are five construction tips you can use right now to improve project efficiency and boost results. Continue reading 5 Construction Tips to Keep Your Projects as Efficient as Possible

Las Vegas Housing Market on the Rise as New Home Construction Takes Off

New Home Construction in Las Vegas

As national home prices fell again in December, the housing sector in Las Vegas defied the trend and demonstrated rises in prices of housing in that same month.

Reporter Christopher S. Rugabar, writing in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, indicated that home prices increased more than 25 percent in the Las Vegas area at the end of 2013.

Sales of high-end homes valued at over $1 million also remained strong in the Las Vegas area, according to Nancy Keates, writing in the Wall Street Journal.

Las Vegas new home construction also increased in the first quarter of 2014. More than 600 new residential construction permits were issued in Las Vegas and nearby communities such as Henderson, according to statistics compiled by Construction Monitor.

Costs for these new residential units ranged from modest prices in the $70,000s to upwards of $400,000. The majority of new home construction in Las Vegas during this time period averaged around $150,000.

Nationwide, the total number of residential construction projects increased for the 28th straight month as of December, 2013, according to governmental statistics cited by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This data, from the U.S. Census Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development, shows single-family construction demonstrating its 24th straight month of increase, with a 20.8 percent increase from October to November, 2013, resulting in a total of 727,000.

Multi-family housing starts increased by almost 27 percent to 364,000 over the same period, according to the NAHB.

The NAHB expects an increase in housing starts of nearly 25 percent in 2014.

Builders and construction professionals can rely on Construction Monitor for detailed, up-to-date information on construction permits issued and projects about to begin around the country. Contact us today for more information on Las Vegas new home construction and the state of the housing market in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas.

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Denver Area Sees a Housing Boom — Is It at all Related to Recreational Marijuana Laws?

The Denver housing boom in residential construction may be related to a recovery in that section of Colorado’s construction industry. However, some sources speculate that the significant uptick in home construction in the city may be in response to Colorado’s recently passed recreational marijuana laws.

Farmhouse Exterior by Denver Architects & Designers Chalet

McGraw Hill Construction, a leading news and data provider for the construction industry, reports that the value of residential construction starts in Colorado nearly doubled in the period between 2009 and 2013. New construction represents an increase from $7.9 billion in 2009 to $14.2 billion in 2013, reported Howard Pankratz in a March 5, 2014, article in the Denver Post.

In the Denver metropolitan area itself, residential starts increased a substantial 146 percent in the same period, from $2.8 billion in 2009 to $6.9 billion in 2013, Pankratz reported.

Multifamily housing was the most plentiful of the new starts, with single-family housing coming in second in the residential market, Pankratz noted.

Some of Pankratz’s sources suggested that the construction on the city’s RTD light-rail system is a major factor in the housing increase. Others, however, think the freer lifestyle allowed by Colorado’s recreational marijuana laws may be responsible for the apparent rush toward new housing in Denver.

In a January 8, 2014, article on the CBS4 Denver website, Denver area realtor Bob Costello said he’s noticed a significant increase in inquiries and new customer leads in Denver. Residential inquiries are coming in from as far away as the East Coast, with other contacts originating in the Midwest.

Both people who want to enjoy a lifestyle unafraid of the stricter marijuana laws in other parts of the country, as well as individuals who are looking for a way to make money off the easier access to marijuana, are looking to take up residence in Denver, Costello suggested.

Construction Monitor collects and distributes building permit data and construction-related information for areas throughout the country. Contact us today for more information on the Denver housing boom and to find out how our construction data can help you enter or expand in that market.

Orange County Pool and Spa Installations Are Going in Ahead of the Summer Season

While the rest of the country shivers under what seems to be a winter without end, pool and spa installations in Orange County are already picking up in advance of the official outdoor season. Homeowners are basking in balmy weather and looking forward to another classic SoCal summer. Many want the coming season to include family time around a pool or in a spa.

Pool and Spa Installations in Orange County
Modern Pool by Laguna Beach Architects & Designers Horst Architects

A thawing economy that encourages home improvement investments is also helping fuel the increase in pool and spa installations in Orange County. Contractors tracking this trend with permit data from Construction Monitor are able to exploit this gathering momentum by developing sales leads specifically targeted to areas where homeowners are receptive to pools and spa projects that enhance the quality of life and upgrade property values, as well.

In-ground pools with vinyl liners are the least expensive option for OC homeowners, according to one of the county’s leading contractors. These contracts average between $6,000 and $16,000 in southern California at large and offer the benefit of quick installation for homeowners who don’t want to wait to start the summer fun.

Still, conventional concrete pools remain the most common residential pool project in Orange County. The total cost ranges from $17,000 to $45,000. Because installation is more complex, the time span from dig to splash for a concrete pool currently runs about six to eight weeks. This means that consumers considering a concrete pool in time for summer are in the market now.

While spas are frequently included in pool installations, spas without an accompanying pool represent another aspect of the market with design/build costs ranging from $6,000 up to over $20,000 for the most elaborate designs.

County-specific information provides local pool and spa contractors with real-time updates about market shifts where these trends show up first—in county building permit data. Empowered with this inside knowledge about pool and spa installations in Orange County from Construction Monitor, contractors can more efficiently develop leads and target sales efforts for the greatest return.