5-Year Outlook Good for Structural Component Framing

Originally published by: Home Innovation LabsMarch 1, 2019

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During this year’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, Ed Hudson presented, “When and Where Off-Site Housing Technologies Will Emerge.” The presentation included information from a 10-year summary of our Annual Builder Practices Reports and a survey conducted in December 2018. Some topline findings included:

  • The transition from rafter-framed roofs to trusses will continue to be strong among all types of builders—small and large, and low-end and high-end, and in all regions. The immediate trend is strong now but will taper off within the next five years due to trusses hitting a market saturation point.
  • Many builders are also in process of making the switch from site-built framing to shop-built open wall panels, particularly multifamily builders and high-volume single-family builders.
  • While somewhat less intense than open-wall panels, there is an interest in closed-wall panels that will begin to materialize in the coming 5 years.
  • Pre-assembled floors, or “floor cassettes,” are not in most builders’ current one-year plans, but we expect a big boost of interest developing over the coming 5 years, particularly among large builders to complement their use of open wall panels.
  • The Midwest seems to be adopting components and off-site housing solutions the most, followed by the West. The South and Northeast seem less ready to adopt components and off-site solutions, with the exception of roof trusses. 
  • Modular home solutions tend to be favored by custom builders and builders in the West.
  • Pre-cut framing packages seem positioned to satisfy the needs of larger builders, and builders of luxury homes.