Delayed two hours at O’Hare as I tried to embark to Las Vegas for the 2019 IBS/KBIS Show in Las Vegas, one thing was for certain, I was traveling to warmer temperatures. Or so I thought. I left Chicago in a blizzard and touched down at McCarron Intl. to a spattering of light rain and, WTF, snowfall.
But the chilly temps didn’t put a damper on one of, if not the “hottest” show since the two associations started exhibiting together. This may sound too cliche, but the buzz was palpable. While in the working press room, I overheard one National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) exec say that the show was the best in terms of income, booth number and size, and attendance projections—since the economic downturn.
In fact, the numbers are in, and they concur with the NAHB gentleman: more than 67,000 home building professionals from around the world filled the exhibit halls, and the IBS and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) once again combined for the annual Design & Construction Week, which drew a total of more than 100,000 attendees.
Inside the Trends
Information from the show conveyed that spending on residential improvements will continue to grow over the next two years at a gradual pace, according to experts at a press conference hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Professional remodelers from across the country agreed with the forecast, citing increased consumer confidence and demand.
NAHB predicts that remodeling spending for owner-occupied single-family homes will increase 1.6% in 2019 and another 1.1% in 2020.
“Remodeler confidence continues to remain at a high level, as remodeling spending reached $172 billion in 2018,” said 2018 NAHB Remodelers Chair Joanne Theunissen, CGP, CGR, a remodeler from Mt. Pleasant, Mich. “Although there is steady consumer demand in all areas of the country, the biggest challenges continue to be the costs of labor and materials to meet the interest.”
While multifamily housing starts in 2018 came very close to the sector’s 2015 peak, production levels are expected to moderate somewhat in 2019 and will stabilize in a range that that is considered normal, according to data announced by NAHB.
“Multifamily starts will begin to level off through 2019, edging 2% lower this year at about 379,000 units, approaching the level that was the pre-recession norm,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, AVP, Forecasting and Analysis for NAHB. “The great majority of 2018’s units were in buildings with 50 or more apartments.”
The National Kitchen & Bath Association released the results of its extensive “Size of Market Study and Outlook,” revealing a value of $644 billion in sales of products and materials aimed at the residential kitchen and bath market in 2017. This total includes $330 billion from the construction of new homes and $314 billion from residential remodeling and replacement (R&R) projects. Construction of new houses rose 8.6% in 2017, to reach a market size of $330 billion. Remodeling and improvement of existing homes (i.e., residential remodeling) amounted to $314 billion in 2017. This is 6.4% higher than it was in 2016.
NAHB announced other K&B trends, which include farmhouse styles incorporating ample amounts of wood; engineered quartz countertops for color flexibility; vinyl and resilient flooring, especially for aging in place; wireless controls, and open interior and exterior spaces in the kitchen; and higher-end fixture installations in the bathroom, such as wall-mounted sinks, faucets and toilets.
Quick Product Round-Up
The Hub’s Tim Ward talks with Ryan Kim, CEO of Phyn, the joint venture between Uponor North America and Belkin. Here, they discuss one of Phyn Plus’ enhancements—freeze alert. When the temperature drops, the water pressure slowly rises as ice crystals begin to form inside plumbing pipes. Phyn Plus sends alerts related to freeze pressure build-ups anywhere in the home before they lead to pipe bursts. Other leak detectors use a built-in temperature sensor to indicate the water is cold where the device is located, often in a utility closet or basement that may be warmer than an exposed pipe on the other side of the property.
We also did talk with Scott Zins, account manager, Intelligent Water, about the ProSquad, plumbers certified to install the product. Although Phyn Plus can be acquired from the Phyn website, the ProSquad team is still considered vital in the sales of the product. The list of contractors are listed on the website for recommended installation. Also, the warranty is extended if installed by a ProSquad certified installer, and if water damage is incurred after installation, Uponor does offer a deductible payout.
Highly successful in the European market and launching Q4-ish in North America, Viega’s smart control allows homeowners to control temperatures by individual room or zone via thermostats in each room or remotely through a website. It’s programmable and, like “smart thermostats,” it can over time anticipate homeowners’ patterns and preferences and adjust temperatures accordingly. It also can be used to lower energy use when a homeowner is on vacation or absent for a period of time. It has been proven to reduce energy use by 30%.
Rinnai North America launched its new I-Series Boiler for the residential market. In 2018 Rinnai launched its M-Series boiler, which offers many benefits to installers such as a compact design, easy installation and ease of service. This year, Rinnai is expanding its presence in the North American boiler market with the new I-Series Boiler launch.
The I-Series Boiler has a unique advantage to homeowners with the ability for simultaneous usage of home heating and domestic hot water production. That means, if the heat is running and someone in the home wants to take a shower, the heat is not interrupted as it is with many traditional boilers in existing homes. The technology also includes an innovative bypass servo valve, which enables precise control of the hot water temperature.
This boiler is available in both combi and heat-only models and comes standard with multi-zone heating control.
Finally, check out this video from the show floor. OLFA is introducing some pretty cool new products. Carl Cottrell was pretty enthusiastic talking about the new offerings.