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Builders face 2010 with cautious optimism

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As we roamed the show floor at the 2010 International Builders Show, talking with builders, reporting on the new products and key trends we found in Las Vegas, one thing was clear: The worst of the worst is likely behind us, and builders and suppliers are eagerly taking an “optimistic but realistic” approach to 2010.

Those words, spoken by Jeff Seidel of JB Sterling, are representative of much of what we heard and saw at IBS. Susan Marvin, president of Marvin Windows and doors, said that the way to fight through a challenging year is to continue to listen to what consumers want. Increasingly, that means delivering efficient products and sustainable construction practices. The feeling among many in attendance was that continued government incentives and increased demand for remodeling — particularly remodeling to improve both livability and sustainability — will help support the industry in 2010.

“Green” is on everyone’s mind, and with President Obama’s proposed “cash for caulkers” energy-efficiency incentive program on the horizon, that’s not going to change any time soon. Beyond the ubiquitous demand for “green,” this report from MarketWatch points out other trends to watch for in 2010:

  • Homeowners getting comfortable with fewer luxuries
  • With more homeowners “right-sizing” into smaller or more practical spaces, better organization will be key
  • Increased demand for practical appliances, like freezers, which help homeowners stock up and save money on food