Builder Blog from Integrity Windows and Doors

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Boomerang buyers return to home ownership

August 27th, 2014 by Berit Griffin


They’re baaaaaaack.

So-called “boomerang buyers” — those who lost their home to foreclosure or short sale between 2007 and 2013 — will be responsible for about 10 percent of all U.S. home purchases in 2014, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC).  The percentage of boomerang buyers is only expected to increase in 2015 and 2016.

This a very encouraging trend within the housing recovery. More Americans are regaining the ability to borrow from lenders, and they still consider home ownership a worthwhile investment.

The Washington Post has an excellent write-up that features several boomerang buyers who are returning to home ownership wiser than ever. As one lender said,

“One woman I worked with recently told me that when she graduated from college, she took every credit card she was offered and had no concept of managing money. She and her husband had kids and bought a house, and then her husband left and she lost the house. Now she’s rebuilt her credit and has a good job and could qualify for a $350,000 loan, but she’s buying a $150,000 home because she wants to feel more comfortable that she can afford the payments.”

You can read the full Washington Post story here.

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Over the past year, BUILDER Magazine has ramped up video production on its website. (We strongly recommend bookmarking their video section and checking in frequently!) Recently, BUILDER and Custom Home senior editor Shelley Hutchins spoke with Chase Rynd of the National Building Museum about challenges that face the housing industry over the next decade.

Rynd discusses the importance of educating current and future homeowners about the correlation between between better building and improved health, comfort and budgets.

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Now that the winners of the 2014 Integrity Red Diamond Achiever Award program have been announced, from time to time over the next few months, we’ll feature winning projects here on the Builder Blog.

First project up: The Beach House (Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.) from Luke Perisich at Blue Sky Building Company.

According to Perisich’s project entry, The Beach House is located on beachfront, so it needed a good, strong IZ3-rated window that was also able to have the beauty of wood. The solution? Integrity’s Wood-Ultrex IMPACT products. Perisich also mentioned simulated divided lites (SDL) made a nice fit for the home’s coastal design.

This isn’t Blue Sky Building Company’s first run at Red Diamond Achiever Award glory. The company also won our award in 2012 for the The 40th Street Project in Shallotte, N.C.







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Builders report availability of key supplies improving

August 15th, 2014 by Berit Griffin

Over the past few years, many economists within the industry have blamed supply and labor shortages along with strict lending regulations for slowing a more robust housing recovery.

However, it appears one of those factors — supply shortages — is a little closer to being resolved.

According to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders, only 15% of builders reported some or serious shortages of trusses or clay bricks, the highest incidence among the more than 20 materials builders were asked about. Fourteen percent reported shortages of each windows/doors, gypsum wall board, and cabinets.

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We’re curious what your experience has been this summer. Have you seen the availability of supplies improve? If not, which building material has caused the greatest inconvenience?

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New Aspen Art Museum a masterpiece all its own

August 13th, 2014 by Berit Griffin

If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting Aspen, Colo., it’s almost certain you were taken back by its surrounding natural beauty. As one of the most picturesque cities in the country, it’s no easy task to create a modern commercial structure that stands out.

Charged with designing the new Aspen Art Museum, architect Shigeru Ban has defied the odds and created a masterwork that blends natural accents with angles and shapes that are simply marvelous. The museum, itself, may be the grandest piece in the collection. Take a look…









[Photos from Inhabitat]

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The National Association of Home Builders has good news for those who have evolved their green and sustainable building practices.

The NAHB is will be adding green/sustainable categories to many of its existing programs, including the Best in American Living Awards, The Nationals, the 50+ Housing Awards, the multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards. Winners in each program will automatically be entered in the NAHB’s Green Awards program.

The Green Awards program, itself, is adding several categories to encouraging great participation and spread recognition. Best in Green categories will include:

  • 50+ Home or Community
  • Single-Family Production Home
  • Single-Family Custom Home
  • Multifamily Project
  • Interior Project
  • Remodeling Project
  • Development
  • Sales and Marketing Strategy
  • Systems-Built Home

“Green and sustainable building is no longer just a niche, we now see it in nearly every segment of the building industry,” said NAHB chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “As such, it made sense to expand the NAHB Green Awards to offer additional opportunities to reward the great work in sustainable building practices we see across the entire industry.”

Winners for the Green Awards will be announced at IBS 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, or to apply for an award, please visit

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Builders in the state of Minnesota will face a unique dilemma starting in January 2015. Governor Mark Dayton has led the charge on legislation that will require homes of 4,500 square feet or more to have a sprinkler system. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Gov. Dayton “was persuaded by fire officials’ arguments that home sprinklers would reduce deaths and better protect firefighters who must enter burning homes.”

“I simply do not see how we can further jeopardize the lives of the individuals whose mission is to protect the public and who risk their lives on a daily basis,” Dayton wrote in a 2011 veto letter.

Local builders are less than thrilled about the measure, which could add thousands to constructions costs and price out potential buyers. The average cost of sprinkler installation has been estimated at $4,200-$4,500 per home, and in some cases, much more.

“This is really a case of Governor Dayton ramming a $10,000-20,000 expense down the throats of new home buyers,” said Shawn Nelson, president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. “This is simply bad policy, everyone knows that, and it’s time for the governor to work with the industry and come up with a better way to do this.”

As a builder, where do you land on this issue? Is the safety for families and firefighters worth the price tag, or is this an overreach?

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Stairways that wow custom-home clients

August 1st, 2014 by Berit Griffin

When it comes to designing and building custom homes, few features have the potential to impress like a stairway. Part form, part function, stairways present unlimited options for your consumers — many of which they probably haven’t even considered.

Bottom line: When a client comes to you seeking a custom home design with no real preconceptions and direction, the stairway is a great place to start if you’re looking for a centerpiece. Just check out some of these incredible designs from

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While our judging panel continues to review entries for the Integrity Red Diamond Achiever Award program, the vote for this year’s People’s Choice is heating up. After a few weeks of voting, the field has been trimmed by the general public to 10 very impressive finalists.

You can view them here.

We encourage you to check out these breathtaking projects from some of the industry’s best and brightest. The current round of voting ends five days from now, so vote for your project once per day until then!

Do you have a favorite among the finalists? If so, which project is your favorite and why do you love it?

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Young adults have always been attracted to large metropolitan cities like moths to a flame. There is an irresistible pull — entertainment, shopping, dining, nightlife, the sheer hustle and bustle.

Not all major U.S. cities are viewed equally by millennials, though. New research from the National Associations of REALTORS examined metro markets most attractive to first-time homebuyers who fall into the age group. Their study factored current housing conditions and housing affordability, job creation, and population trends in 100 metro areas across the country.

“Limited job prospects, student debt, and flat wage growth have combined with tight credit conditions and low inventory to price millennials out of some of the top cities such as New York and San Francisco,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “However, NAR research finds that there are other metro areas millennials are moving to where job growth is strong and home ownership is more attainable. These markets are well-positioned to soon experience a rise in first-time buyers as the economy improves.”

The top metro areas included:

  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Minneapolis
  • New Orleans
  • Ogden, Utah
  • Salt Lake City
  • Seattle

NAR also identified the following markets with high potential for attracting millennial home buyers:

  • Madison, Wis.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Washington, D.C.

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