Top 10 Building Products for 2015

2015 was a very good year for the home building industry. Interest rates are still low and there are lots of new innovative products and designs being introduced to consumers.

Candy’sDirt.com asked Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber to create a LifestylistList for 2015, and to say it was difficult to narrow it down to 10 products is an understatement!

Here’s the LifestylistList for 2015.

In a few days we’ll be heading back to Las Vegas for the 2016 Design and Construction Week – be sure and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter , Pinterest and Google+ to see real time the new products and trends we discover at the show.

Myths about Factory Built Housing

HomeMart Drake 15 63 HomeMart Drake 15 93It’s amazing how many myths are out there about modular and factory built homes – especially that they aren’t built well or will “blow away” in a storm.

Clayton Homes has been getting a lot of press about their new modular homes and even traditional builders are starting to take notice. As a Lifestylist® I have spent a lot of time in both and would be happy to live in either. They have done a great job in their Blog dispelling some of the rumors about this very efficient form of housing.

 

The Lifestylist® Brands Awarded Best Model Home Merchandising

R and R Ashford 12 R&R Ashford May 14 20We are so proud to announce that at the recent MHI Congress and Expo The Lifestylst Brands was awarded the Best Model Home award for a retail center. This home was built by SE Homes of Texas, and was owned by R & R Mobile Homes in DeRidder, LA.

This is a great honor and we love having the opportunity to help these great clients sell homes.

The Limitations of Modular Housing

It seems like people are finally beginning to realize that factory built housing may be a better way to build – I’ve had two site builders ask me if the projects that we are working on might be more efficient if we do a modular build instead of the way they traditionally build. What’s really great is these are both commercial projects – one is a clubhouse and one is transitional housing for 14 so I’m really proud of my clients for looking at all options. In fact, Champion Homes is doing quite a few commercial builds, including hotels for a major hotel company – I can’t wait to see (and stay in) the finished buildings.

Many people have the misconception that using modular construction is very limiting – I’m always surprised with how many people think you can only do 1 story. In fact, all construction has some limitations, but with modular you can build multi story buildings just as you can with site built.

This beautiful home in Montana that was built by the EnergyMate division of Patriot Homes is an example of what can be accomplished using modular construction. It has a 2 story family room and rock fireplace in it -they just completed the fireplace on-site with rocks they found on the ranch.

Before you make a decision on who is going to be building your next home or building, you might contact one of the many fine modular builders that might be the right fit for you.

If you need recommendations on who might be a good fit for you, feel free to contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com and we’ll be happy to share our list of qualified builders with you.

What is a Lifestylist?

 

 

 

One of the questions I always get asked is exactly what is a Lifestylist®, and what is unique about the Lifestylist® Lifestyle. The second most asked question is what makes me a Trailer Diva!

The Lifestylist philosophy is about “Life Celebrating Style”. Our clients life and style is what dictates how a Lifestylist® works with you. My favorite example is I had a client in Phoenix, Arizona that was a major Phoenix Suns fan, and their team colors are orange and purple. The client wanted their entire home done in these colors. What they wanted is what they got, complete with a child’s room with a hardwood floor striped like a basketball court. They wanted to stylishly celebrate their interests and love of their home team and we did!

I just spoke to a friend who’s dog just dug up their entire garden and her daughter slammed the door on the neighbor’s hand – all in about 30 minutes time. Her needs and lifestyle are completely different from my son – no kids, no dogs, and lives in front of his computer. What my style is wouldn’t work well for either of them which is why I need to understand the client and what their “hot buttons” are. It’s takes extra time and sleuthing to achieve this – many times the client has trouble putting into words exactly what they are looking for but they know it when they see it. I take the responsibility very seriously – a person’s environment can truly change their lives in a positive or negative way. If someone is happy in their home their quality of life improves.

Next to being a mother, becoming a Lifestylist® is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’m looking forward to expanding the concept and what it offers in the years to come. – we will be launching a new food line this Spring!

Factory Built Housing Intrigues Builders at the International Builders Show

What a great, busy month this has been! This Lifestylist® has show houses to plan, new products to design and great conventions to attend… there just aren’t enough hours in the day for all of the great opportunities that are ahead of us!

Last week I attended the International Builders Show in Orlando and after attending this convention for over 20 years I think this year was one of my favorites.

I am so proud to be a part of the National Association of Home Builders and to be involved in the modular side of home building. This was the year when I saw home builders really taking notice of what benefits factory built construction could offer them, and not only did we do a great job of talking about it – we also showed them.

There are meetings that go on before the Builders Show starts that help put in place best practices to promote and grow the housing industry. Councils cover various specialty groups, and I was impressed to see that Kevin Flaherty, Vice President of Marketing for Champion Homes was not only attending these meetings, he is also acting as Vice Chairman for the Building Systems Council. “The New Champion” is really showing their strength and commitment to the factory built housing industry, and not only are they active with NAHB, they are also becoming more active with the Manufactured Housing Institute. Kevin was a presenter in the NAHB News Conference “Industry Study: Characteristics of Modular Homes” and had great facts and figures about why consumers should consider buying a modular home.

Palm Harbor Homes presented three beautiful factory built homes in the Professional Builder Show Village showing a “Net Zero Eco-Home” that was a 399 sq. ft. park model, a modular duplex, and a modular luxury home. Tony Lucas the designer for Palm Harbor always does an outstanding job, but what he did with the Net Zero home really got people’s attention. Tony added the architectural details on the exteriors that made you want to know and see more which is a lot of what you want a show home to do. It was interesting because another builder brought a home for the first time and it was in neutral colors and without much exterior interest, and many people (including myself) passed it by. I heard the home was beautiful inside, but only found that out after the show was over.

Builders were fascinated by the fact that the three homes were installed, furnished and decors added in 8 days. This was proof of one of the many benefits that factory built housing offers – time savings which results in cost savings. Will these homes result in sales for Palm Harbor? Ron Powell, President of Manufacturing for Palm Harbor Homes stated that “I haven’t seen the statistics, but our internal feeling is that attendance at Show Village was better than last year. There were more attendees with solid projects in the immediate future. In the last few years, there were a lot of attendees trying to flesh-out ideas. This year, they’ve got land and are ready to go.”

Besides having market driven homes at the show, I was also impressed to see Joe Stegmayer – the Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cavco Industries, a director and officer of Fleetwood Homes, Inc.  and Palm Harbor Homes, Inc. ,and a director of Palm Harbor Villages, Inc working the show. How he has time to even attend something like this is amazing, and I said working not attending the show because every time I saw him he was helping a potential customer or answering questions. And in his “spare” time he is serving as the Chairman of the Board for The Manufactured Housing Institute. His hands on approach to the factory built housing industry is one of the reasons it will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.

One of the highlights of this year’s show for me was getting to hear Ben Bernanke speak about the state of our economy and what’s ahead for housing. More on that later, but to see more images from this year’s International Builders Show, visit and “like” our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/lifestylelist. I took over 2,000 photographs and I’m anxious to share my favorites with you.

Modular Home Design Trends

It’s been a busy month! I’ve been traveling coast to coast to see the latest trends in housing, interiors, and furniture.

I get lots of emails about the differences in decorating a modular home vs a site built one, but truly there shouldn’t be any difference unless you are dealing with a modular home that has board and batten walls instead of tape and textured drywall. What’s amazing to me is how often modular housing drives or starts trends that then are used in site built homes. Due to the sheer volume of how many homes we build there is more of an opportunity to try out new things and see how they work.

One of the biggest trends I am seeing in modular and site built housing is islands in the kitchens that continue to grow in size and importance. Using a different stain or color on the island is a great way to make it stand out and to really add some impact and storage to a space. An area that modular housing has always offered more for your money is in the cabinets that are offered – many times you have twice as many cabinets in a modular home as what is offered in a comparable site builders home.

Stainless appliances have been around for quite awhile now, but they can also break the budget of many homeowners. What has become very popular are black appliances – they are usually priced more reasonably than stainless, I find them easier to keep clean than white or bisque ones, and they really can make a statement in any size kitchen.

Being a Lifestylist is all about understanding the lifestyle of a potential homeowner and what their needs are. Sharing what I see and learn is one of the favorite parts of what I do. I’m hoping to spend more time this year talking about upcoming trends and how they can fit into your lifestyle.