Readers Respond: Forecasts, optimism and reality
We asked readers for their thoughts on optimistic forecasts for residential construction in 2011. Here’s a roundup of responses.
“Our forecast is for approximately a 2% DROP in housing starts nationally. We believe, however, that Texas may hold up a little better — not much, but a little. We are overall predicting a 5% sales gain, but some of that is inflation. I am deep-down an optimistic person, but the reality of the late 1980s, early 1990s speaks loudly to me — and in those days we had far fewer foreclosures than today.”
— Byron Potter
Vice-chairman and CEO
Dallas Wholesale Builders Supply Inc.
“With unemployment high, foreclosures high, unsold home inventory high, what factors are changing that would encourage more home construction?”
— Paul Gabbard
“Way too optimistic. I think we will be lucky to meet last year’s housing starts in Colorado Springs area.”
A master kitchen wins Artisan Group photo contest
Rocky Mountain Stone in Albuquerque, N.M., won first prize in the Artisan Group photo contest for an elaborate kitchen project using Artisan Stone Collection Gold Coast granite.
The kitchen in the winning photos was designed by homeowners Greg & Shana Levenson, and fabricated and installed by Artisan Group member Rocky Mountain Stone. The contractor was Brian Matteucci Construction, and the photographer was Jerry Goffe.
The contest was open to all 35 Artisan Group member companies. Second place went to Top Master in Kansas City.
“The Levenson kitchen was our most challenging renovation ever,” said Brian Matteucci, contractor. “The only part of it that remains the same is the 8-ft. ceiling height.”
The project includes a crescent edge, apron front travertine sink and slide-in range, with a full height backsplash on the buffet.
The entire Levenson home — kitchen, master bath, game room, office, pantry, master closet, main downstairs bath, main upstairs bath, kids bath one, kids bath two, basement bar and garage — is outfitted in granite and marble tops, all fabricated by Rocky Mountain Stone.
With 35 members, the Artisan Group covers most major markets in the United States and Canada, and it can handle a variety of fabrication needs from a local to national scale.
AHMA survey helps Congress look for red tape
A survey of members of American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) reveals a majority believe health care reform will negatively impact their business.
The survey questions were prompted by Congressman Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) solicitation for input from the AHMA to help identify existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth. Issa is chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Regarding the Health Care Act, 71% expect a negative impact; 10% do not; and 19% weren’t sure.
Regarding VOC-related regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, 52% expect a negative impact; 32% did not; and 16% were not sure.
Regarding Cap & Trade legislation, 61% expect a negative impact; 16% do not; and 23% were not sure.
According to AHMA CEO Timothy Farrell, the AHMA is "encouraged by signals from Washington that a more realistic, pro-business legislative agenda will exist in the new Congress and we were happy to respond to Congressman Issa’s request for input from our association.”