Industry Trends4 min

IBSx 2021: Looking at Top Trends, Takeaways and Innovation

The 2021 NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS) took on a new format this year. The entire event took place virtually through engaging online education sessions, networking opportunities and product demonstrations. It's a show we look forward to year after year to learn more about the trends shaping the building industry. We've captured our key takeaways here.

Homeowner Trends

In a press conference that helped kick off IBSx, Rose Quint, AVP of Survey Research, National Association of Home Builders, and Donald Ruthroff, Principal, Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, shared some trends, buyer preferences and most likely features for 2021.

  1. Home buyers are seeking larger homes in the suburbs. A recent National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) survey of more than 3,000 home buyers, both prospective and recent, shows that, for the first time since 2015, the average home size will increase in 2021. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, home buyers have a stronger preference for larger, new homes in the suburbs. Survey results also indicated that home buyers want 8% more space than they have right now, which will increase the median square footage of a home from 1,877 square feet to 2,022 square feet. Additionally, 60% of home buyers prefer new construction. With larger, new construction on the rise, it’s important for builders and contractors to specify building solutions that improve a home’s resiliency.
  2. Efficiency is driving home buyer preferences. Eco-friendly features are important considerations. The same survey found that home buyers are willing to invest in features that lower their utility bills, with the average buyer willing to spend $9,292 more upfront to save $1,000 annually on utility costs. What’s more, home buyers are inclined to spend more on homes with green certifications, specifically more than $2,000 upfront for a home certified to an above-code standard. LP manufactures uniquely engineered, innovative building solutions that meet the demands and needs of the industry, and, when properly installed, can help homeowners achieve energy savings, such as LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier.
  3. Spending on home improvements isn’t slowing down. The remodeling market declined significantly in March and April 2020, but has since rebounded. NAHB predicts that home remodeling spending will increase by 4% in 2021 and by 2% in 2022, and spending on single-family remodeling is expected to reach $285 billion this year. With LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding, homeowners can remodel with confidence because the trim and siding delivers superior protection against hail, wind, moisture, fungal decay and termites and provides advanced durability for longer-lasting beauty®

Online Skills Training

Industry professionals are craving more flexible training opportunities. According to the presentation 'Teaching Future Skilled Labor Through Tech: Re-Skill & Upskill with Blended Learning,' delivered by Ed Brady and Bethany Shean from Home Builders Institute (HBI), the typical construction worker prefers learning by watching and doing, and, when using blended learning, 73% of educators report an increase in learning engagement with 59% of learners more motivated to learn.

While the desire for blended learning, which combines online and in-person training, isn’t new to us, this session supported that we’re taking the right approach to industry training by combining in-person instruction, led by construction professionals, with on demand, video-based training through LP SkillBuilder to provide the most impactful skills training for industry professionals.

Celebrating Innovative Building Solutions

At LP, we’re constantly striving to help you build better. Even though we could not attend IBS in-person this year, we’re still starting the year off by highlighting a few of our innovative solutions through our 2021 Innovation Showcase. Check out the latest from LP and read more about how we’re moving the industry forward by viewing the complete showcase.

LP Legacy® Premium Sub-Floor Adhesive

This new product works in tandem with LP Legacy panels and LP® SolidStart® products to help create a tight seal in small gaps between panels. Proven to defend against squeaks, one can provides up to 12 times the coverage of a typical tube of conventional sub-floor adhesive.

LP WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier: Now Structural I

With greater cross-panel strength and stiffness for both walls and roofs, LP WeatherLogic panels’ water-resistive barriers create a tight envelope to protect against moisture and air.

LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding

From LP® SmartSide® ExpertFinish® Trim & Siding to the new LP® SmartSide® Outside Corners, LP SmartSide products continue to represent the best in durability and flexibility for home exteriors.

Online Training and Resources

In a time in which online resources became more important than ever, LP answered the call with LP SkillBuilder, which includes tips and tricks for installing LP SmartSide Trim & Siding, as well as exclusive content from professional builders and contractors. Video instruction on the LP Structural Solutions portfolio is also available from LP and trusted expert partners. 

Through our attendance at dozens of online educational sessions during IBS, we learned about the trends and issues impacting the industry. These sessions underscored the need for continued innovation in the industry-such as LP's latest solutions featured in our 2021 Innovation Showcase-to effectively tackle some of the industry's most pressing problems. As they say, never stop learning because life never stops teaching.

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