Latest Publications

Roofing Trends: Weathering the Impact

The U.S. experienced nearly 7,000 severe hail storms in 2023, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Severe Storm database. This is up from approximately 6,000 severe hail instances reported the year prior, and the nearly 5,000 hail storms reported in 2021. While weather patterns fluctuate — 2020 saw just over six thousand instances while 2019 saw over seven thousand — the trend is toward more storms that can cause damage to roofs.

Hailstorms have the potentia

Insulation and the Inflation Reduction Act

Signed into law just over a year ago in August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act is legislation designed to reduce the national deficit and lower inflation while also investing in domestic energy production, manufacturing and reducing carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030. It is the largest investment in clean energy and climate action ever ratified in the U.S., finally putting the country on a path to achieve desperately needed climate goals, including a net-zero economy by 2050.

With such sweep

Design Solutions: Digging Deep

In the heart of eastern Atlanta, a growing family found themselves in need of more space. Their home, a charming 1930s bungalow in the Lake Claire area, had already recently undergone one extensive renovation: an attic build-out, nearly doubling the original 1,100-square-foot dimensions of the home.

However, the clients realized that as their family continued to grow, they needed even more space. The solution? Excavating their 5-foot crawl space and converting it into a 9-foot-tall basement and

Outdoor Living: How to Elevate Deck Design

A deck can be more than just a functional platform for grilling and lounging. With the right design and materials, a deck can be a stylish and personalized extension of a home that reflects a client’s personality and preferences.

Choosing the right materials, knowing how to use them to the best design advantage, and intuiting which additional features will be most valued by your clients are beneficial skills to learn.

It’s not even a question that composite decking is the primary material used

Product Trends: Siding With the Times

It’s well known in the remodeling industry that trends are slow to adopt and slow to leave. Just by the nature of the beast, a lot of different moving parts and elements go into creating a noticeable trend, with everyone from early adopters to the late majority joining in to popularize a movement.

When it comes to siding, there are only so many traditional permutations of color and design homeowners have to work with if they’re looking to update the exterior of their home. However, as homeowner

Design-Build: Building Trust

Over the last few years, design-build has not been a priority for many homeowners. The design-build process is generally considered ideal for large, complex that require significant design and construction coordination. Because of this, these types of projects were largely delayed due to the pandemic. People prioritized their health and finances, and labor shortages and inventory supplies dwindled or were delayed months.

While remodelers are saying they’re still seeing fewer sales, they are s

Product Trends: Moisture Management

Rainscreen systems are nothing new; they’ve been utilized in commercial builds for decades. However, it is only recently they’ve taken off in the residential market—and for good reason. Changing climate patterns leading to more intense rainy seasons, as well as advancements in building wrap technology, have led to an increased need for and awareness of rainscreen systems.

When talking about rainscreens, it’s important to be clear on what exactly they are. “A rainscreen is actually a building de

Product Trends: Customizable Bath Faucets

It’s no secret that wellness has been top-of-mind for the last few years. Pandemic fears of contamination and contagion, as well as conversation surrounding burnout and mental health, have led homeowners’ desire to transform their homes and spaces into retreats—especially their bathrooms.

While not everyone can afford to upgrade their bathrooms to have a walk-in sauna or a multifunctional LED waterfall shower system, there are still many ways to personalize the bathroom space without sacrificin

Roofing Trends: Long-Lasting, Good-Looking

As severe and unpredictable weather events continue to worsen across the country, manufacturers are finding ways to create products that will withstand the test of time and climate change while also providing homeowners a sense of style and charm.

“Darker colors are still very much in demand,” explains Ann Iten, director of marketing for Westlake Royal Roofing Solutions. “You’re still seeing the kind of monochromatic homes—dark roof and very light paint. You’re seeing less of the multiple color

Top 500 Profile: Community Values

Jeff Titus launched Titus Built in 1995 with a degree in construction engineering and an early career working for a variety of firms, from an architecture firm to heading a national corporation’s real estate and planning division. None of it, he says, truly prepared him for running a business.

“None of that teaches you how to run a company,” he explains with a laugh. “It gets you familiar with the work. You learn what’s involved. But running a business is so, so different.” He says he made a lo

Outdoor Living: Keeping Up Appearances

Nancy Moore, owner and founder of The Porch Company, located in Nashville, Tennessee, says, “Porches have always been popular, but with the advent of COVID-19, people started to consider them a necessity. People needed outdoor living space; they couldn’t stay inside all the time. So, that has really ballooned demand.”

Moore, who has been in the industry for more than 30 years, provided some insight on how to build a weather-resistant porch that also serves to perform well for the client. The fi

Product Trends: Taking Sides

Short of an addition or replacing a roof, changing siding is one of the most comprehensive ways to increase curb appeal and freshen up the appearance of a house. Contractors are finding that homeowners are willing to try out bold new colors or mix-and-match materials in order to obtain a unique look for their homes.

“With higher interest rates, people are more willing to stay in their homes instead of upgrading and buying a new home. That fuels some additional remodeling,” says Shawn Hardy, e

Deck Accessories: Expanding Views

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our lives in more ways than can be counted. Over the last two years, we’ve seen homeowners look around their homes and decide to invest in their spaces, remodeling kitchens and bathrooms that might have fallen by the wayside over the years or converting unused space into home offices. One popular remodeling choice has been to expand living spaces into the outdoors, building decks and outdoor spaces to create a cohesive indoor-outdoor realm.


Product Trends: Visual Cleanliness

It is perhaps too obvious to say that, after two years and counting of pandemic life, we have never been so conscious of our hygiene as we are today. With a remodeling market that is still showing strong growth and only some easing in the months to come, kitchen remodels remain one of the top projects homeowners are investing in.

The faucet in particular plays a pivotal role in providing functionality as well as beauty to the space it inhabits. As one of the most used appliances in the home,

Design Solutions: Balancing Old & New

Built in the late 19th century by a wealthy lumber baron, this historic home has had only two owners after the family that built it, including the present owner who hired Entablature Design-Build for its restoration and renovation.

Chris Kornman, principal and head of day-to-day operations at Entablature, says the home remained in the original family for many years and was in very good condition, with many of its original details. “They took really good care of it, which is rare in a lot of New

Product Trends: Eyes of the Home

With today’s housing market booming, supply is low and prices are extremely high, leading many homeowners to stay put and remodel. Whether it’s finding ways to soundproof their new offices to create work-from-home peace of mind or to increase energy efficiency, many homeowners are updating their windows as their next remodeling project.

As has been the trend for the last couple of years, homeowners are choosing to update their homes with new windows that are taller and wider and have fewer sigh

Exterior Trim: Go Boldly

Though exterior aesthetics change more slowly than their interior counterparts, designers and contractors alike are seeing shifts in customer choices over the last few months. From bold colors to modern farmhouse styles, homeowners are taking the opportunity to update their homes and keep up with the Joneses.

“There seems to be two ends of the spectrum, color-wise, with alabaster and milky white trim colors trending as well as dark, nearly black trim,” says Ben Drury, brand director for Boral B

2021 Fred Case Award Finalist: Local Loyalty

Chris Stebnitz is a third-generation owner of the design-build firm Stebnitz Builders, which has been operating in Southeast Wisconsin for 49 years. “My grandfather started the company in ’72, basically doing small jobs,” he says. “It wasn’t the high-end model we have going right now, and he wasn’t big into design.”

His father and uncle took over the business later and expanded it into something that would be recognizable as the large, design-build company that it is today. Stebnitz bought the

Insulation Trends: Carbon Conscious

Climate change has been on the minds of leaders across every industry, and construction is no exception. The buildings and construction sector accounted for 35 percent of final energy use and 38 percent of total global energy and process-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2020.

As more and more mandates go into effect regulating the use of greenhouse gases and unsustainable building practices, insulation has been met with new, if uneven, mandates limiting and prohibiting the use of products th

Top 500 Profile: Measured Approach

Patrick Melson was hired as the window and siding sales manager of Midtown Home Improvements in 1999, nine years after the founding of the full-service remodeling company located in Wentzville, Missouri. Within six months, Melson found himself running all the meetings, from production to marketing.

“I didn’t get paid to run any of those meetings, but I wasn’t going to get paid at all if those departments didn’t work,” says Melson, now president of Midtown Home Improvements. At the time, the com

2021 Top 500: Proactive Approaches

To say that the past year has been difficult would be an understatement; and even as post-vaccinated Americans open their homes to improvement projects and remodeling jobs pick up, new and different obstacles keep getting in the way.

“This year has been absolutely crazy,” says Chris Powers, co-owner and member of Dream Kitchens and Baths LLC, with a bit of a laugh. “Product price increases, installer availability, all of it is just land sliding; it’s hard for a remodeling company like ourselves

Decking Trends: Demand and Delays

Lumber prices reached record highs in May and demand for home renovations is showing no signs of slowing. With the COVID-19 pandemic still at the forefront of everyone’s mind, homeowners are looking for ways to congregate outside and utilize their outdoor living space in a COVID-safe fashion. Building new decks, or updating existing decks, is one way that homeowners are maximizing their outdoor living potential.

Composite decking emerged as a sought-after alternative to pressure-treated lumber

Caulks, Sealants and Adhesives: Mind the Gaps

Filling the holes in a project should be a straightforward process for any pro. But those who’ve recently been down the caulks-and-sealants aisle at a local supplier knows that filling gaps can be anything but straightforward.

There are three complicating factors. First, there are many products to choose from today. They really do occupy an entire aisle. Second, there’s the growing trend toward multiple uses for a single product. A product might be appropriate for filling paintable holes while
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