According to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Boral Bricks, 59 percent of all home owners with a siding preference would choose brick for their homes. The study was commissioned by Boral Bricks, Inc. to determine current consumer preferences for siding.
The survey, conducted in October, asked participants which type of siding they prefer on a home. Possible answers included brick, vinyl, stucco, fiber cement/composite and other; participants were allowed to choose more than one option. For the 1,144 home owners with a siding preference, brick was the leading choice with nearly two of every three respondents selecting it. Vinyl came in second (37 percent), followed by stucco (19 percent), fiber cement/composite (14 percent), and other (11 percent).
“This research shows brick is still the overwhelming choice for home owners who have a say in their exterior cladding,” said Bob Kepford, president, Boral Bricks, Inc. “Coming out of the recession, home owners will likely be in their homes longer than in recent years, and they should insist their builders use the most sustainable siding option to ensure it holds up to the elements. Brick has also proven to help homes increase in value, which is important with slower real estate appreciation expected in the future.”
According to U.S. Census data on siding for new homes, builders have increasingly opted for lap siding products over the last ten years. These products may provide more ease of installation; however, they don’t offer the consumer benefits home owners appreciate with brick including the fact that it is virtually maintenance free, extremely durable, locally sourced and sustainable.
Visit BoralBricks.com for the complete survey results.
Harris Interactive fielded the Siding Preferences study on behalf of Boral Bricks from October 12-14, 2009 via its QuickQuery online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,073 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older of which 1,114 are home owners. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Brian Remsberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Boral Bricks:
Boral Bricks is the largest clay brick and paver manufacturer in the United States. Boral Bricks Inc. is the largest operating company of Boral USA, a holding company that owns Boralʼs U.S. operation. Boral Bricks Inc. is headquartered in Roswell, GA. For additional information, please visit www.boralbricks.com or call 800-5-BORAL-5.
By Don Logay
As the unofficial “What’s New Guru” of the home improvement industry, I attend numerous trade shows throughout the year and scour lots of magazines and trade publications looking for new and exciting products, intriguing concepts and “gotta have” gadgets that make life just a little bit better.
My checklist for “Hot Home Products” includes simplicity, ingenuity, affordability, and great end results. Here are a few of my most recent finds and all-time favorites:
1. Giani Granite Countertop Paint
Got a kitchen countertop that’s seen better days? Laminate chipped and discolored? Solid surface counter stained and scratched? Giani is the world’s first granite paint kit for countertop makeovers. Get the premium “look” of granite at a fraction of the cost — with lots of extra benefits too. Water-based paint kits come in five realistic-looking color combinations and include everything needed to go “granite” in three easy steps in 24-hours or less. One $39.95 kit covers 35 square feet (16 running feet of 24-inch wide counter). Available at paint and hardware stores nationwide. Visit www.GianiGranite.com or call 1-800-650-5699.
2. One2Flush Dual Flush Conversion Kit
Saving water is as “easy as 1, 2…” with the brand new award-winning One2Flush toilet conversion kit. In about 20-minutes, you can quickly and easily turn a standard water-guzzling tank-type toilet into an eco-friendly, high-efficiency, water-saving dual flush model. University tests prove One2Flush — with its “half flush for liquids and full flush for solids” — reduces water use by more than 38 percent and can save an average family over 10 percent on monthly water bills. Fits all standard two-piece toilets, 1.6-gallon flush and up. Starts paying for itself immediately. Available nationwide at most hardware stores (Ace, True Value, Do-It-Best). For more information visit www.one2flush.com. Continue reading »
By Erica Christoffer, Contributing Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Some home owners are starting to take on improvement projects they previously pushed off due to financial constraints.
For the third straight quarter, the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) reported slight increases in its Remodeling Market Index (RMI). Although still far from ideal, NAHB chief economist David Croew said that markets are no longer deteriorating to the levels they were earlier this year.
The RMI is calculated through the use of member surveys that ask remodelers to describe the current market conditions and future expectations. Last month, NAHB released the most recent RMI, which rose from 34.2 to 38.7 from the previous quarter.
“Some remodelers are receiving more calls for bids, but it is still extremely difficult to close a sale,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Greg Miedema in a statement. The index remains below the break-even point of 50, and has been since the last quarter of 2005.
Many home owners are unable to secure a home equity loan or other lines of credit, which is holding up remodeling projects, Miedeman said.
But signs of continued improvement are on the horizon with the report showing a rise in calls for bids from 38.8 to 46.5, appointments for proposals growing from 40.3 to 43.5, and the amount of work committed for the next three months up from 23.3 to 27.5. The backlog of remodeling jobs also climbed from 34.4 to 37.2.
For more information, visit: www.nahb.org/remodel
By Erica Christoffer, Contributing Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Walls are a key element of home staging. They are the canvas showcasing the greatest attributes of a house. But where do you start when preparing a home for sale? Staging Diva Debra Gould, president of Toronto-based Six Elements Inc., offers up five rules of thumb for handling walls in home staging.
1. Remove personal pictures: Those wedding portraits and baby pictures have to come down, as do diplomas and awards. Personal items such as these are distracting to potential buyers. You want them to focus on the home itself, not who the current home owners are.
2. Pay attention to the condition of the walls: If the walls are beat up, dirty or chipped, it can distract a buyer and negatively impact the sale price. “Paint is the cheapest, easiest, and fastest fix you can do on a house,” says Gould. The colors, she says should be fairly neutral, but not to the point of boring. Select an interesting neutral color palette with three to four tones, or colors that compliment the existing features of the room.
3. Hang mirrors: Big or small, round or square—there is a mirror out there for every style of home. “Mirrors are a great way to visually enhance a room and to help the room appear brighter,” says Gould. Mirrors can provide subtle stylish appeal or an anchoring focal point. Another benefit: they don’t cost a lot! But it is important to think about what the mirror will reflect—avoid unattractive or cluttered areas of the home.
4. Get some art: Select art work that accents the best qualities of a room. No controversial pieces, violent scenes, or religious art. “With staging, what you want to do is enable the buyer’s eye to move around the room and take in everything,” says Gould, and the art should help achieve that goal, not hinder it.
5. Stay in proportion: Small pieces of décor get can get lost on large walls, while giant prints can be overbearing in an area with only a little wall space. Mirrors, paintings, and other elements of décor should relate to the furniture around it, Gould says. Consider the composition before you get out the hammer.
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is president of Six Elements Inc. and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. An entrepreneur for 20 years and author of several guides, Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide. She also offers a Directory of Home Stagers and a free home stager locator service. For more information, visit www.stagingdiva.com.