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    Why hasn’t prefab construction taken over yet? – Fast Company - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Marc A. Bovet wanted to build a house, but when it came to the actual construction, he was overwhelmed with options. He had bought an empty lot and hired an architect to design a custom home in Montreal for his wife and four kids. He had all the permits and approvals, so he began looking for builders. When quotes started coming in, he was stunned to see that the highest estimate was almost twice as expensive as the lowest.

    So thats where you go, Wait a second here. This is the same set of plans,' he says. I even called back the architect to say, Did you send the same set of plans to everyone? Because theres something totally wrong.'

    That experience led Bovet to develop a system that uses robotic manufacturing to wring inefficiencies out of the building process. Though about 15 years old, the system is taking on new urgency as climate emergencies like wildfires force more and more homeowners to rebuild. But the system has limitations that underscore the wildly complex nature of the construction industry. Prefab methods, like Bovets, have long been held up as a solution to a range of housing problems. But in building and construction, theres no easy fix.

    An entrepreneur who had run a mens clothing line and marketing agency before becoming director at the international transportation company Bombardier, Bovet had a sense for production. The bids he was getting for his home project seemed completely arbitrary, and he wanted to understand why. So he started showing up to construction sites and asking contractors questions about the building process. Almost every question he asked got a different answer at each building site. There was no standard building approach, and the ultimate cost to build his house would depend primarily on however his builder chose to embark on the project. For Bovet, this seemed like a problem that needed solving.

    He saw a solution in industrialization, but he knew that prefabrication and modular construction had been tried many different times in many ways. So he hired a researcher to look into all the different systems and patents that had been developed over the years. We got into this micro-level research, figuring out what Frank Lloyd Wright had done; even Edison, the light bulb guy, had his own prefab system. Mies van der Rohe. Le Corbusier. You name them. From engineers to architects, everybody had their own perspective, he says.

    Bovet and his researcher found that developing a building system wasnt the main challenge. The bigger problem they needed to solve was labor. There have been shortages in labor and skilled tradespeople in the homebuilding industry for years, as workers have fled construction jobs tied to the volatile housing market in the years since the great recession and shifted to higher-paying jobs in other sectors. More than 80% of builders have reported shortages of framing crews and carpenters, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Availability of labor remains builders top concern.

    So Bovet began looking for ways to make a process-based industrial building system that could be assembled even without skilled craftspeople. Because you spend three or four years to plan your project, you get some architects, youve bought the land, youve got your financing, and now 80% of builders cannot get carpenters to put it up, he says. You dont have the labor. And even more so now, with COVID. So what do you do? You scrap your project? Or you try to find a platform. Well, the platform is what we offer.

    Bovets platform is called the Bone Structure, a steel-based construction system that is robotically manufactured, cut, and shipped to the building site where its fastened together with little more than screws and a drill. The company offers dozens of predesigned home models to choose from, and can also be used as the structural system for architect-designed projects. Made mostly with recycled steel and with foam insulation that can reduce energy costs up to 90% compared to a traditionally constructed home, the Bone Structure system can meet environmental certifications like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and has been used in hundreds of homes, mainly across Canada.

    It can be built almost months faster than traditional construction, which is how the company began marketing itself in wildfire-damaged regions of California, especially after the fires of 2017 and 2018 that devastated towns like Paradise and claimed homes in cities like Santa Rosa.

    Brendan Kelly is an architect based in Napa, and he learned about Bone Structure like many people in the regionthrough presentations given after the 2017 fires. His firm had a client who wanted to rebuild a home that was destroyed in Santa Rosa, and Kelly went to see if the system could help. I was very sensitive because Id seen things happen in the fall and winter after the fires, with a lot of companies and builders coming in, and I think kind of taking advantage of some of these victims, he says.

    Builders were getting people to sign construction contracts and locking in prices on rebuilds that might not have been the best deals for people who had lost nearly everything, according to Kelly. Everybody wanted their houses back so quickly, he says. So I went [to the presentation] ready to sort of challenge them.

    But he was won over. The initial part I liked about Bone was that it was a system of building, he says. Like many architects interested in the processes and systems involved in construction, Kelly is a self-described geek for industrialized systems and prefabrication. I drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago.

    And so had his client, a retired engineer. Though Kelly had already designed the home to be constructed out of wood, he reworked the drawings to function with the Bone system. After less than a year of construction, the home had been rebuilt to be zero net energy, 100% electric, and powered by solar panels. And though the construction time was faster than a traditional wood-frame house, Kelly says the cost ended up being about the same. Theres no budget version of Bone, he says.

    The system is laser-cut and shipped to the building site in a precise package. But its not always easy to fit in with the way homes are permitted and approved. Anders Lasater is an architect based in Laguna Beach, California, and one of his clients had come to him asking about new prefab systems they might be able to use on a duplex project. Lasater had seen a Bone presentation and suggested they take a look. The client was enthusiastic, and Lasater began working out how to adapt his design to the Bone Structure system.

    If you went to their website and looked at any of their designs, theyre very rectangular. Theyre boxes. Theyre really simple because their system tends to work best when you have a simplified essential geometry, he says. And in our case, we had a little more complication to deal with.

    The duplex he had designed was a V-shaped combination of volumes, with an angular courtyard and atrium in the middle. Adapting the off-kilter plan to the grid-centric Bone system required some long conversations with Bones engineering team. It also required a fair amount of convincing in the citys building department. Theyd never seen anything like it before, so it was like speaking a foreign language with those guys, Lasater says. That was a little challenging.

    Eventually the city, the architects, and the Bone Structure team got on the same page, and the project got built. A city building official even brought his community college class to tour the construction site. In some ways I think the challenge was one that normally we would have avoided, but Im really pleased with the result, Lasater says. Once we got it all approved, it went without any problems.

    He says he would be open to using the system again, but it may be better applied on a more simplified design, and may even be more economical to use on a multiunit project. It will probably take you as long to build 15 as it took us to build our one, he says.

    That may be where systems like Bone Structure make the most sense, according to Caitlin Mueller, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning, where she leads a group researching architecture, structural engineering, and digital fabrication. The speed of construction of these systems, where things can be prefabricated and quickly and easily assembled is a very big advantage, for example, in developing countries, she says.

    In developed countries, on the other hand, processes and building practices have been set for decades, and may be slow to change. Its been very hard to compete with timber construction at least in North America because its just so affordable and the labor market is very attuned to it, Mueller says.

    That was a hurdle Kelly had to get over during his Santa Rosa project, and it required bringing in someone versed in using Bone Structures system to help the building contractor put it in place. For contractors used to framing up a wood building with a nail gun, joining steel beams together with a drill and screws can be a bit tedious, Kelly says. Its just a new system and most contractors want to build things the way they did on that last project.

    Even so, Bone Structure has been used in hundreds of homes so far, and Bovet is hoping to continue to grow through selective partnerships with homebuilders. We just wont necessarily sell it to anybody and everybody, he says. We want to make sure that we offer a service, we offer a quality mindset behind the whole system, and were trying to get some larger builders to adapt it.

    But change is slow in the homebuilding world, says Mathew Aitchison, an architecture professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and head of a government-funded research center exploring the development of advanced manufacturing in the building sector. He recently edited a book on prefab housing and says companies offering new building systems suffer from what he calls imminent revolution, the tendency to believe theyre leading some fundamental shift in how things get built but that fails to revolutionize the marketplace.

    Im not suggesting for a minute that Bone is part of this process, but there has been historically quite a lot of smoke and mirrors in this area, he says. Companies saying they can do a lot of stuff that they cant, companies rolling out in quite grandiose ways but without being able to deliver on fairly fundamental things, VCs funding effectively pyramid schemes that are basing themselves on the fact that the construction sector is a huge global sector thats largely been untapped by technological development.

    Aitchison says building and construction is just too complicated to work within any one system. It looks very simple on the outside, but its actually very, very tricky and its much more complex than most people give it credit for, he says. There isnt a best practice in construction like there is in very many other industries, in my opinion.

    Thats probably why, when Bovet went out looking for a company to build his family home, there were so many different, and differently priced, options. With the Bone Structure system, hes successfully created one more.

    Original post:
    Why hasn't prefab construction taken over yet? - Fast Company

    Who’s building where in Acadiana? Here are the building Permits Issued Sept. 28-Oct 2. – The Advocate - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    New commercial

    APARTMENT: 104 Global Circle, Lafayette; Lafayette Elderly Housing LLLP, owner and applicant; description, Villas of Lafayette; Olympia Construction Inc., contractor; $5,800,000.

    STORE: 6600 Johnston St., Lafayette; Arthur Leblanc, owner; description, earthwork and storm drainage; James Broussard & Associates, applicant; JB Mouton Inc., contractor; $1,483,579.

    CARWASH: 5921 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Broussard; new Classic Express Car Wash; CM Miciotto & Son Inc.; $2,384,791.

    OTHER: 5520 Johnston St., G1, Lafayette; Cosmetology Training Center Annex, owner; description, Cosmetology Training Center Annex; Andre Moreau, applicant; self, contractor; $5,000.

    RESTAURANT: 300 Youngsville Highway, 101, Lafayette; Raising the Bar Nutrition, owner; Marquetta Lewis, applicant; self, contractor; $1,600.

    OFFICE BUILDING: 1018 Harding St., Lafayette; Harding Center, Suite 207, owner; description, renovation, interior demolition; Mark Lalande, applicant; Ducharme Brothers Inc., contractor; $89,700.

    RENOVATION: 817 Albertson Parkway, Suite O, Broussard; Broussard Commons; remodeling; $10,000.

    OTHER: 200 High Meadows Blvd., Lafayette; The Meadows, owner; description, clubhouse A-4 S-4 garden section; Reddick Stevens Construction LLC, applicant; Reddick Stevens Construction LLC, contractor; $6,000.

    301 Caldwell Court, Lafayette; RLS Properties LLC; $585,000.

    129 Queensberry Drive, Lafayette; William and Lauren Frederick; $414,000.

    205 Apple Wood Crossing, Lafayette; Prestigious Home Builders LLC; $391,500.

    126 San Sebastian Drive, Youngsville; Signature Series Homes Inc.; $189,000.

    128 San Sebastian Drive, Youngsville; Signature Series Homes Inc.; $193,500.

    405 Biltmore Way, Lafayette; Braniff Construction; $472,000.

    102 Grassy Meadows Lane, Lafayette; DSLD LLC; $207,000.

    200 Grassy Meadows Lane, Lafayette; DSLD LLC; $225,000.

    127 Frank St., Lafayette; Starr Builders; $171,000.

    129 Egret Road, Lafayette Parish; Van Alan Homes LLC; $495,000.

    184 Chemin Metairie, Youngsville; Pleasant Valley Builders LLC; $760,500.

    117 Riverway Drive, Youngsville; Shawn Jetton Custom Homes LLC; $382,500.

    402 Twin Meadow Lane, Lafayette; Shivers Brothers Construction; $171,000.

    1208 E. Alexander St., Lafayette; Jay Castille Construction Inc.; $261,000.

    320 Grandpa Lane, Lafayette; HBL Properties LLC; $256,500.

    106 Barnsley Drive, Lafayette Parish; DSLD LLC; $220,500.

    312 Opus One Drive, Broussard; CJS Custom Builders LLC; $468,000.

    433 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $247,500.

    403 Eastwood Drive, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $270,000.

    431 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $243,000.

    407 Eastwood Drive, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $211,500.

    409 Eastwood Drive, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $283,500.

    218 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $310,500.

    216 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $234,000.

    214 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $247,500.

    212 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $211,500.

    210 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $252,000.

    202 Sampson Ave., Lafayette; Phatty Mcfarlyn Properties; $112,500.

    204 Sampson Ave., Lafayette; Pahtty Mcfarlyn Properties; $112,500.

    222 Chester St., Lafayette; Phatty Mcfarlyn Properties; $112,500.00

    224 Chester St., Lafayette; Phatty Mcfarlyn Properties; $112,500.

    226 Chester St., Lafayette; Phatty Mcfarlyn Properties; $112,500.

    228 Chester St., Lafayette; Phatty Mcfarlyn Properties; $112,500.

    235 Treescape Drive, Youngsville; Lancaster Construction LLC; $306,000.

    302 Sylvester Drive, Broussard; Hart Homes LLC; $332,354.

    714 Deer Meadow Blvd., Broussard; DSLD Homes LLC; $202,818.

    113 Red Deer Lane, Broussard; DSLD Homes LLC; $289,917.

    105 Lillian St., Broussard; DSLD Homes LLC; $207,849.

    306 Canary Palm Way, Broussard; Blue Wing Builders LLC; $256,265.

    300 Whispering Meadows, Broussard; AM Design Inc.; $215,767.

    217 Canary Palm Way, Broussard; Clayton Enterprises LLC; $320,000.

    102 Windmill Palm Lane, Broussard; Milton Hebert Home Builders; $289,422.

    104 Windmill Palm Lane, Broussard;Milton Hebert Home Builders; $296,598.

    When Kayla Simon and Kayla Blanchard spotted Jim Cantore in Breaux Bridge at daybreak, they couldn't decide whether or not to approach him.

    The number of Louisiana homeowners late on their mortgage payments remains stubbornly high and the state is still second in the nation for tha

    The downtown Lafayette bar and popular live music venue Artmosphere Bistro is up for sale.

    Warnings are in effect for Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

    Excerpt from:
    Who's building where in Acadiana? Here are the building Permits Issued Sept. 28-Oct 2. - The Advocate

    Silverado RanchMiles of beautiful trails and scenic lots. See it today – Colorado Springs Gazette - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Hurrylots will go fast in this community of generously spaced parcels build your dream home

    Sit on the back porch and watch the amazing star show far from the madding crowd. Enjoy the front range views you love as you sip your morning coffee in the midst of nature thats still just minutes from I-25. Live amidst a community that values the ranch lifestyle and possesses miles of trails to ramble. Close to shopping and amenities yet retaining a private, exclusive equestrian cachet, Silverado Ranch will allow fans of the great outdoors an unparalleled experience of the Colorado lifestyle

    Silverado is owned by a single owner and fellow homeowner who will guide this communitys growth to reflect his family values, ranch-style commitment to open skies and rolling, verdant hillsides and, last but not least, his love of horses. There already are two model homes on site to tour and just nine lots from $59,000 upthese will go quickly, so act now to reserve your slice of the American Dream. Theres also an Equestrian Center for family and friends to gather with common areas and delightful accommodations for our beloved equine family members, too.

    Each homeowner will possess a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the most exciting equestrian center-based community of custom homes ever arrayed on the outskirts of Colorado Springs. Youve always dreamed of wide open spaces or finally having horse property of your ownnow is the time to make sure those dreams dont ride into the sunset.Even if you are not an equestrian, you will revel in the western ambiance of the silver prairie grasses at dawn; the rugged mountains in the distance, and your 5-acre density lot, where you will have room to roam and your family, room to grow.

    On the Eastern Plains just ten miles east of Colorado Springs near Schriever Air Force base,youll find abundant equestrian areas, arenas and a trail system for hiking or riding that offers the finest in equine fun and activities. Custom home lots with breathtaking views of Pikes Peak and the SangreDe Cristo range will meet your eyes when you wake up first thing to take a ride or go for a hike before beginning work overlooking the peaks and prairies you love.

    Two model homes possess glorious amenities

    There are two gorgeous model homes in the community for sale. Tour these incredible houses virtually or make an appointment for a safe, in-person tour.

    The first, at 20004 Silverado Hill Loop, is an arresting and elegant raised ranch with a luxury aesthetic. The curb appeal of this home will make you fall in love. Replete with fantastic finishes throughout, like a walkout to the miles of trails and open space, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and wood accents complete with a professionally landscaped yard, move right into this Paradise on the Prairie. And dont forget the community equestrian center for fun activities and riding events throughout the year.

    At 20078 Silverado Hill Loop, find almost 4,000 square feet of modern farmhouse ranch where your home office overlooks miles of range and mountain views. Make a healthy meal in your gourmet kitchen, designed as every chefs dream with granite countertops, stainless appliances, a spacious island with seating and comfy, eat-in dining. Relax in your amazing great room near the cozy fireplace this winter or head to your airy basement to watch the Broncostwo large bedrooms and a full bath there will also welcome houseguests in style.

    The most valuable asset we have is our clients respect and trust

    The broker for this community, Susan Martin of The Platinum Group Realtors, is a decades-long expert in the equestrian lifestyle and in helping families complete transactions smoothly and efficiently. Susan can examine your needs and wants for the home, whether its a two-bedroom ranch to a seven bedroom spread, she will make sure that your particular vision can be actualized at Silverado Ranch. Choose a lot and model home to-be-built or bring your builder for your custom home and walk through the financial journey of homeownership safely with Martins expert advice.

    You can live in an amazing community where youll always be proud to be, thanks to a covenanted homeowners association that will protect property values for generations to come.

    Get ready for the ride of your lifeSilverado Ranch will be your forever home in the Colorado countryside.Private appointments available to claim your homestead today and look for open house weekends starting October 3 (719-726-0181).Visit

    Call Susan Martin (pictured above) today to visit Silverado Ranch.

    Silverado RanchMiles of beautiful trails and scenic lots. See it today - Colorado Springs Gazette

    47 of the Most Expensive Homes for Sale in Northwest Indiana – - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Beautiful Quality, New Construction Ranch home with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and luxurious 2256 square feet on the main level. Construction started in 08/2020, Adore this Spacious OPEN CONCEPT floor plan, 10 foot ceilings, a gas fireplace, master carpentry, craftsman trim work, and 3-car garage. LARGE kitchen has a stunning coffered ceiling, and impressive top of the line finishes, adorn a Grand Island. Light abounds throughout. Master bedroom en-suite offers, double sinks, impressive walk-in shower, and a spa feel soaker tub. Enjoy a split floor plan with 2nd & 3rd bedrooms located across the other end of the home. Well designed main level has a Laundry room, Mudroom, and half bath to complete this Elegant Interior Space. Double the square footage with a full unfinished Basement with 9' ceilings. Located in Arbor Lakes Estates subdivision, nestled in Porter County's Union Township just south of U.S. 30, Minutes from Shopping, Restaurants, Award Winning Schools! ~ Plus Low Taxes!

    View Listing

    See the original post:
    47 of the Most Expensive Homes for Sale in Northwest Indiana -

    Before & After: A Renovated Iowan Midcentury House Impresses With an Affordable $330K Price Point – Dwell - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Now up for sale in Des Moines, Iowa, this midcentury dwelling is fresh off a dramatic, whole-house renovation. Originally built in 1955, the home was updated in 2019 to replace a gutted interior with all-new finishes and create a large, open living area along the front of the home.

    The home's biggest changes were in the living area and kitchen, which is now a single open space after removing several walls and relocating the basement stairwell. Other changes to the existing 1,000-square-foot floor plan included transforming a hall closet into an en suite bathroom.

    A large kitchen island now opens to the living area where a stairwell once divided the two spaces. In other parts of the home, chic new finishes give the interior a decidedly modern look, while beamed ceilings and exposed brick walls retain elements of the home's midcentury past. All-new windows and doors also match the original midcentury aesthetic.

    While much of the renovation took place inside, the original redwood-clad facadeonce hidden behind an overgrown landscapewas treated to an update as well.

    After: Exterior

    The structure's midcentury style now looks handsome in Regent Green by Benjamin Moore, which contrasts with an original brick wall that extends from the front facade.

    Nearly early every inch of the home was updated during the renovationwhich received a "Most Dramatic Change" and "Peoples Choice Award" from the Home Builders Association's annual Tour of Remodeled Homes.

    Just over a year later, the home's owner, local builder Nicholas Donlin, is ready to part ways. Offering three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, the home also comes with a partially finished basement and a new rear deck outfitted with an outdoor movie projector. Keep scrolling to see more of the finished property, currently listed for $330,000.

    A small closet was once located near the front entry, while the kitchen and basement staircase were positioned to the left.

    After: Entry Area

    With the closet removed, the exposed brick wall now visually connects the interior and exterior. A new glass front door illuminates the entryway with natural light.

    Before: Living Room

    Previously, the living room was largely closed off from the kitchen and entryway.

    An opposite view of the living area before the renovation.

    After: Living Room

    A view from the entryway shows the relocated stairwell along one side, with the remaining space filled by an open kitchen and living area. The backyard and deck are now accessible via a new sliding glass door from Marvin Windows and Doors.

    Other windows throughout the home were replaced with designs that replicate the original slanted clerestory windows.

    The renovation also retained the home's original wood-clad and beamed ceilings, which run throughout the interior.

    Before: Kitchen

    The former galley-style kitchen was cut off from the rest of the home.

    After: Kitchen

    The updated kitchen features all-new cabinetry and appliances from GE's Cafe line.

    A new central island grounds the kitchen and provides seating on the opposite side.

    The relocated stairwell leads down to a partially finished basement, which is currently used as a home gym.

    Before: Principal Bedroom

    At the end of the hallway, the principal bedroom was in a similar condition as the rest of the home.

    After: Principal Bedroom and Bathroom

    A fresh wall of cabinetry replaces the previous built-in closets, while a new en suite bathroom takes the place of a hall closet.

    Before: Secondary Bathroom

    The original hallway bathroom was also overhauled from its original condition.

    After: Secondary Bathroom

    Now basking in natural light, the renovated bathroom offers all-new finishes, including brightly colored tiles that contrast with the exposed brick wall.

    Another view of the facade shows the new front porch along the front, created by extending the roofline during the renovation.

    Perfect for a cozy outdoor movie night, the pergola-topped rear deck comes with a built-in projector and screen that can be lowered over the steps.

    See the original post:
    Before & After: A Renovated Iowan Midcentury House Impresses With an Affordable $330K Price Point - Dwell

    Nearly 100 home, builder lots sell in community in 2020 – Business Observer - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    LAKEWOOD RANCH Nearly 100 end-user home and builder lots have sold in 2020 inThe Lake Club, within themaster-planned community of Lakewood Ranch.

    A statement says the homes and large lots in the village includefeatures that appealto homebuyers during the pandemic, such as spacious outdoor living areas, bonus rooms that can be converted into home officesand open floor plans with high ceilings.

    The newest enclave in the community, Genoa, has had 54 sales so far this year. It expanded to include four neighborhoods withthree-, four-, and five-bedroom residences and over 20 floor plans rangingfrom 2,400 to over 4,000 square feet under air, the release states.

    Lake View Estates is 90% sold out. The enclave began with 68 lakefront estate homes, withseven remaining.

    Thecommunity'samenities include six tennis courts, four pickleball courtsand a tennis pro shop that opened this year as part of the tennis center. The village also has aprivate 20,000-square-foot clubhouse, ayoga lawn, childrens playground, fitness trail, dog park and sports courts, according to the statement.

    The Lake Club is a Tuscan-inspired, private club community of custom luxury homes. The Lake Club is one of 16 actively selling villages in Lakewood Ranch, a 31,000-acre,master-planned community straddling Sarasota and Manatee counties.

    Originally posted here:
    Nearly 100 home, builder lots sell in community in 2020 - Business Observer

    Underlying causes and intervention: District 6 candidates talk treating addiction – Johnson City Press (subscription) - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Tim Hicks addiction started early in life around the time he was 13 years old.

    By the time I was 19, I was pretty much a full-blown alcoholic, he said. By the time I was 22 years old, I had been in and out of several treatment facilities.

    Hicks said he ultimately managed to leave that life behind 18 years ago, successfully bucking his addiction to drugs and alcohol through a combination of treatment, lifestyle changes, work experience and faith-based counseling.

    Hicks said he needed a life-changing experience, one that involved changing multiple aspects of his routine, including his friends.

    If you want to be a banker, hang around bankers, he said. If you want to be a baseball player, hang around baseball players. If you want to be a good person, hang around good people, and I think thats a key point in recovery.

    After unseating incumbent state House Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, during the Republican primary in August, Hicks will now face Democrat Brad Batt in the general election for the District 6 seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

    The two candidates recently sat down with the Johnson City Press to discuss their views on addiction treatment in Northeast Tennessee, a region that has been a flashpoint in the fight against opioid abuse.

    Batt said treatment is important, but there also needs to be a focus on the underlying factors that lead to addiction.

    I think a lot of these issues are an outcome of economic insecurity, Batt said, noting that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has only strengthened the financial headwinds that households are fighting against.

    Batt pointed out that about 45% of households in Washington County fall below the federal poverty line or are part of the ALICE population, an acronym that stands for asset-limited, income constrained, employed. ALICE families live above the poverty line, but dont make enough to afford the cost of living.

    Now with COVID, you have even more strain on working families, Batt said, and those sorts of pressures and stresses combined with a lack of access to healthcare contribute to these addiction issues.

    Opioid addiction, Batt said, in some cases starts when an injury is treated with painkillers because the patient cant get needed rehabilitative health care.

    Weve got to make sure we focus on not just treating the symptoms, which is the addiction, but the disease, which is economic insecurity, lack of health care, lack of options, he said. Weve got to look at it from a big-picture standpoint. Not just the addiction treatment part.

    A builder who owns a custom home construction company in Gray, Hicks said experience in a trade helped him during recovery and can play an integral role in treatment, giving recovering addicts a way to occupy their minds.

    It helps you to get up early in the morning, it helps you to sleep better at night, Hicks said. Theres just many different avenues that a job helps. ... But I think the most important thing that it does is it makes you feel better about yourself.

    Faith-based counseling, Hicks said, can also act as a way to instill hope in those seeking treatment.

    Hicks said the region has a strong slate of 28-day programs, but the area needs a sober living facility, which Hicks said can help recovering addicts relearn life skills and would ideally provide a path to workforce development.

    The problem is after the 28 days, Hicks said. Thats where were really messing up.

    Currently, Hicks said many people exiting a 28-day program in Tennessee have to travel elsewhere to seek treatment through a sober living facility.

    You have a 28-day program, which basically gets you started in a direction, and then what were doing now is were dumping them back into the same situation that they came out of, he said. I think that we need a sober-living facility coupled with faith-based ministries.

    Talking opioid treatment, Hicks has expressed opposition to Suboxone, a drug used in medication-assisted treatment designed to help wean people off opioids.

    In a Facebook post, Hicks campaign linked the countys relatively high density of Suboxone clinics to a 200% increase in drug-related crime over the past seven years, according to the Addiction Center, which the post said occurred as other forms of crime were decreasing.

    Washington County is the Suboxone capital of Tennessee, the post read. Replacing one addiction with another isnt working.

    Dr. Wesley Geminn, the chief pharmacist with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, said he hasnt seen evidence to support the idea that Suboxone clinics lead to increased crime in their surrounding area.

    Its not the crime that Im worried about, Hicks said during a recent interview. What Im worried about is wrecking peoples lives, people not getting a fresh start ... at life and a different way of life.

    Hicks said common sense tells him trading one drug for another isnt a long-term solution for recovery.

    I just have a hard time with that, Hicks said. It holds people back to where they cannot get that life-changing experience.

    Hicks also expressed concern about whether drugs used in medication-assisted treatment could play a role in spurring neonatal abstinence syndrome. Additionally, he questioned whether the predominant drugs of choice in the region are best treated with that methodology, which is used to manage heroin and opioid addictions.

    Reiterating that its important to address the underlying causes of addiction, Batt said no treatment is off the table, but medication-assisted treatment isnt a panacea.

    Its not going to get it done on its own, he said, adding that patients also need to receive mental health treatment to identify the root causes of their addiction.

    Excerpt from:
    Underlying causes and intervention: District 6 candidates talk treating addiction - Johnson City Press (subscription)

    On the Market: Custom-built colonial in Westport for $2.8M – Westport News - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The custom-built colonial house at 52 Charcoal Hill Road sits on a private two-acre property in the Coleytown neighborhood .

    The custom-built colonial house at 52 Charcoal Hill Road sits on a private two-acre property in the Coleytown neighborhood .

    Photo: 360 Properties And Associated Photographer(s)

    The custom-built colonial house at 52 Charcoal Hill Road sits on a private two-acre property in the Coleytown neighborhood .

    The custom-built colonial house at 52 Charcoal Hill Road sits on a private two-acre property in the Coleytown neighborhood .

    On the Market: Custom-built colonial in Westport for $2.8M

    WESTPORT Charcoal, when compressed for thousands of years, transforms into a diamond. But it didnt require pressure or thousands of years to create the brilliant gem that sits at 52 Charcoal Hill Road in the Coleytown neighborhood.

    As with all high-quality diamonds, this gray custom-built colonial house has increased in value since 1992 when it was constructed, not just monetarily but in function and appeal. It is likely to go quickly because of the number of people from neighboring New York who are seeking the open space and quietude of bucolic Fairfield County properties.

    Once in a while the stars align and everything comes together as it should welcome to 52 Charcoal Hill Road, a custom-built home by renowned builder William Kokot, the listing agent said. Her use of the stars in her marketing material is certainly appropriate for this house. The late Kokot was an engineer and builder whose obituary indicates he worked on a few projects for NASA. Additionally, among the many amenities easily accessed from this house is the Rolnick Observatory, home of the Westport Astronomical Society less than a mile away.

    Although the observatory is temporarily closed to the public, it will eventually reopen to once again bring the wonders of the night sky to the thousands who have visited, according to its website.

    Until then, the owners of this house can enjoy the night sky and they day sky too, with the naked eye, right from their own backyard. This two-acre level property is in the Coleytown section of town, away from glaring lights, which allows for perfect viewing conditions on clear nights. They can also enjoy the in-ground swimming pool, relaxing and entertaining on the patio, and sitting around the fire pit.

    A winding driveway leads an ample parking area and to the house, which boasts 10 rooms and 9,741 square feet of living space. Casual elegance meets high design in this exquisite home on a serene country road, the agent said. It has many unique features including attractive moldings, handcrafted banisters, tall windows and French doors to the bluestone patio, pool, and backyard.

    The front door opens into the grand two-story foyer. In the formal living room there is a gas-fueled marble fireplace and French doors to the grounds. In the family room there is a coffered ceiling, built-ins and a wood-burning fireplace. From the large formal dining room the caf door opens into the chefs kitchen, where there is a center island with a breakfast bar and built-in wine racks, white ceramic subway tile backsplash, under cabinet lighting, pantry, high-end appliances, and an eat-in area with sliding doors to the yard.

    Should the country ever experience another lockdown, or if students are forced to distance learn again, this house is well-equipped to accommodate work-from-home and home-as-classroom for all its residents. In addition to the large office with built-ins on the main level, there is another office or study or homework station on the third floor including a long double desk area.

    Four of the homes five en suite bedrooms are on the second floor. The master suite has a gas log fireplace, two closets and a spacious bath. The third floor offers the potential fifth bedroom, which is currently a media room.

    The lower level features another 2,800 square feet of possibilities.

    While the house is in a private setting it is conveniently located within walking distance of Coleytown elementary and middle schools, and only about one mile from the Merritt Parkway. It is not much further to the Post Road (Route 1) and downtown Westport shops, restaurants, town offices, the public library, Levitt Pavilion, and other features.

    For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Karen Amaru of William Raveis Real Estate at 203-858-6329 or

    STYLE: Custom-built Colonial

    ADDRESS: 52 Charcoal Hill Road

    PRICE: $2,890,000

    ROOMS: 10

    FEATURES: Two-acre level and lightly wooded lot, heated in-ground swimming pool with automatic pool cover, bluestone patio, outdoor BBQ and kitchen, professionally installed gas fire pit, professional landscaping, exterior lighting, underground sprinkler system, underground utilities, programmable thermostat, audio system, pre-wired for cable, central vacuum, theater/media room, three fireplaces, cedar closet, attached three-car garage, central air conditioning, oil heat, short distance to the Merritt Parkway, walking distance to Coleytown elementary and middle schools, wood shingle roof, attic, full unfinished basement, public water connection, septic system, five bedrooms, five full and two half baths

    SCHOOLS: Coleytown Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High School

    ASSESSMENT: $1,795,000

    MILL RATE: 16.71 mills

    TAXES: $29,994

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    On the Market: Custom-built colonial in Westport for $2.8M - Westport News

    Whered the wood go? Lumber is the latest COVID victim – - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    This summer, Steve Rendine watched boards of pressure-treated decking in his Smithfield, Rhode Island, lumber yard disappear like the most recognizable symbol of COVID-19 scarcity.

    Its similar to what happened with toilet paper, except the process to make toilet paper is much easier than lumber, Rendine, the general manager at Douglas Lumber, said. Theres panic buying. Stuff gets snapped up at prices that, realistically, three months from now will be astronomically expensive.

    Like the toilet paper shortage that perplexed Americans in the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the more recent lumber shortage caught many by surprise and has been difficult to remedy.

    On Friday, lumber futures hit yet another record high, more than double the price at the start of the year, but locally many people would be willing to pay more if they could find product to buy.

    What we are seeing is historic in a number of ways, from pricing to availability, Rendine said.

    Builders like Tim Stasiunas, of Stasiunas Construction in Charlestown, are sending trucks out of state in search of building materials, understanding that hell be paying more than usual for what they find.

    For me, it is causing a lot of headaches, Stasiunas said. We have an exposure of thousands of dollars of loss per house we are building, because we are locked into contracts signed six and seven months ago.

    So what happened to all the wood?

    Rendine calls it a perfect storm of problems that started with President Donald Trumps 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, which raised prices on a source New England relied on.

    Then when COVID-19 landed on American shores, mills and building materials producers like counterparts in many industries ratcheted operations down as the economy went into hibernation.

    But unlike in other markets, Americans never pulled back on real estate or home improvement spending. In fact, being stuck at home encouraged many people to redirect resources they used to spend on restaurant meals and travel into improving their living space.

    Ramping up production at sawmills and factories was much harder than slowing it down. Some workers got COVID. Others were forced to quarantine, and measures to prevent the spread of the virus slowed output.

    As with toilet paper, once shortages began, hoarders gobbled up whatever was left. And because wood is a commodity, speculators swooped in, sensing a market opportunity.

    The first thing to start drying up was pressure-treated lumber, used on outdoor structures like decks, and other wood products that involve manufacturing, Rendine said. The price of pressure-treated lumber went up 250% at one point, he said, and plywood went up by 130%.

    Once boards and wood became scarce, it had a knock-on effect on other building materials, such as engineered panels, windows and doors. And contractors unable to find pressure-treated boards snapped up composite decking.

    What should contractors or homeowners with a big DIY project on tap do?

    If you can wait, wait, Rendine said. At some point this year, there is going to be a market correction, and it will go down faster than it went up. That may not happen until theres a vaccine. I would advise anyone, unless they have to build now, not to build right now.

    Although having inventory fly off the shelves as soon as it comes in, even at higher prices, is generally a good thing for business, Rendine said he fears the long-term impact if the shortage continues and projects are canceled.

    John Marcantonio, executive director of the Rhode Island Builders Association, said the strong residential real estate market is helping the economy bounce back, and he worries the lumber shortage could slow the recovery.

    Demand for residential construction is higher than it has been in years, he said. With the concern about nursing homes, people are keeping grandma home and doing the multi-generational thing, so they build [accessory dwelling units.] And people are working from home instead of the office, and I think some part of that is going to be permanent.

    Stasiunas says the jump in lumber prices is unlikely to damage the high end of the market, where a $20,000 to $30,000 increase in materials wont derail a $1-million custom home.

    But the middle range of the market $400,000 to $600,000 houses built without a specific buyer might not be as desirable. And the subsidized affordable market could really slow down if this continues, Stasiunas said.

    I think we are in this for a while, he said.

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    Whered the wood go? Lumber is the latest COVID victim -

    Wayne Homes Releases Two New Floor Plans, the Albany and the Savannah – PR Web - September 13, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Both the Savannah and Albany come with a smaller footprint but designed with todays families in mind an open floorplan that feels spacious and roomy at a very affordable price.

    UNIONTOWN, Ohio (PRWEB) September 11, 2020

    Wayne Homes, an Ohio-based custom home builder that specializes in on-your-lot custom homes, has released two new floor plans today, the Albany and the Savannah.

    The Albany is a single-story, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with just over 1,300 square feet of living space, while the Savannah is a two-story floor plan with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and 1,710 square feet.

    The Albany is the smallest ranch floor plan that Wayne Homes offers but includes big features, such as an open concept main living area, large island with a flush eat ledge and plenty of counter space in the kitchen, and a roomy owner suite with a walk-in closet.

    The Savannah, now Wayne Homes smallest two-story floor plan, includes a large walk-in closet and bathroom in the owner suite, and larger-sized secondary bedrooms. The spacious kitchen allows room for an island and the dining room will comfortably fit the whole family for holiday meals.

    Building a new home has become a reality to more people than ever before, Maurie Jones, Senior Vice President of Marketing, said. With interest rates at historic lows and low numbers of existing homes for sale, families are looking at new construction as an option. Both the Savannah and Albany come with a smaller footprint but designed with todays families in mind an open floorplan that feels spacious and roomy at a very affordable price.

    Both the Albany and the Savannah are available in four exterior elevations, including the Classic, Craftsman, Farmhouse, and Tradition elevations.

    For more information about building a custom home with Wayne Homes and the Albany or the Savannah, please visit

    About Wayne Homes

    Wayne Homes is a custom home builder in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia (see all Model Home Centers). We offer over 50 fully customizable floor plans and a team dedicated to providing the best experience in the home building industry. For more information, Ask Julie, our online sales team, by live chat or call us at (866) 253-6807.

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    Wayne Homes Releases Two New Floor Plans, the Albany and the Savannah - PR Web

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