5 men presenting at Design and Construction Week event

The Design and Construction week show is massive. Fact: one person can’t take it all in. Recognizing that, we developed a “divide and conquer” strategy.

As she usually does at these shows, Patricia Lynn spent most of her time on the show floor and in seminars, involving herself in press booth tours and lectures where she could discover the latest trends in the industry that would be of interest to homeowners.

One must-attend event for Patricia was the tour of,and reception, at The New American Home. Here the leading suppliers, designers, and builders of this trend-setting house were recognized and had the opportunity to speak. One of the interesting facts from this house is that it achieved Emerald status under the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) and rated a HERS score of -13!  We involve ourselves in this front-line research so that our clients have the benefit of materials being used in their marketing that aren’t available from other sources.

Role Reversal: Attending Design and Construction as a Sales Manager

Although our Sales Manager, Mark Stephenson, has attended many a Builder’s Show and Kitchen & Bath Show in the past, this is his first time attending, not as a remodeler but as a representative of RT Marketing. In this capacity, he was using the Show to understand how he can best communicate with remodelers across the country—in a way that makes sense to them—this stark reality: if they let RT Marketing manage their company marketing programs they will be better off.

Tim Ellis receiving 2014 NAHB Remodeler of the Year.

I get a lot out of the show through attending NAHB Remodelers sub-committee meetings and striking up conversations at the Remodelers Central. During these times I find out the latest of what’s happening for remodelers around the country—what’s affecting their business and how they are trying to improve their businesses in order to succeed. While doing this I enjoy the friendship of some whom I consider to be the best around.

One Remodeler’s Central highlight was a reception, sponsored by NAHB Remodelers and Qualified Remodeler magazine for Tim Ellis, recognizing him as the 2014 NAHB Remodeler of the Year. We are particularly proud of him for achieving this recognition, and are very happy to have him as a client. Throughout the year we’ll be working with his company to make sure he gets maximum marketing benefit from this recognition.

Here are some intriguing tidbits I picked up during the show:



  • The fifth edition of McGraw Hill’s Smart Market Report is coming this spring. It will be having a greater emphasis on healthy homes. It will also include research on 50+ Green.
  • Home Innovation Research Labs is conducting consumer surveys on green-related terms that resonate.  “Green” doesn’t. “High Performance” does. And they are looking for others to use.
  • The NGBS has  completed 45,000 green certifications to date, with 50,000 additional multi-family units in the pipeline. This is considerably ahead of LEEDS for residential builders and remodelers.


  • NAHB Remodelers Public Affairs group just launched a Facebook page. Discussions on this page will keep you up-to-date on business, design and economic trends in the remodeling market. This page will be oriented to both the industry and the general public. Also feel free to share it!
  • The new NAHB website is still under construction. The original target date was IBS. Now they are saying it will be ready by June.


  • David Crowe in his Economic Report said that in 2014 they were anticipating 7 million existing home sales that didn’t take place. This indicates something positive for remodeling. It also shows that in 2015 there is a lot of growth left.
  • The Remodeling Marketing Index (RMI) has been over 50 for 2 years now.
  • NAHB anticipates a 3% increase in remodeling activity in 2015, which brings it close to the level of the early 2000s. New home sales are still about half of what they were earlier.

Trade Show

  • An agreement has just been signed that will co-locate IBS and KBIS for the next 4 years. 2016 will be in Vegas. This will be followed by 2 years in Orlando. After that it will go back to Vegas.
  • During the first year in Orlando (2017) there will be a remodeled home in addition to The New American Home.

Legislative & Regulatory

  • A growing emphasis on solar technology.
  • New 2015 DOE regulations on water heaters will affect home builders and remodelers. All new equipment will be taller and wider than older units. If the unit is 55 gallons or more, the requirements are even more significant. If it’s a gas-fired product, fully condensing combustion technology is required. Electric water heaters will need to integrate heat pumps to meet the new requirements. These units will be noisier than existing units and will require a 10’ x 10’ room (or ducting) to operate properly.
  • OSHA. An injury must be reported within 24 hours. A death within 8 hours. $72,000 fine for failing to report.
  • OSHA’s Confined Spaces—Final Rule is pending to be issued in March 2015.
  • The EPA has proposed a change to the recertification process for the lead paint rule that would eliminate the hands-on training requirement and make the way for online training. See more at NAHB.

Article by Robert Kraay, President Edited: 2019