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To use a phrase coined by Lewis Carroll in the notable novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to his young protagonist Alice, things are getting “curiouser and curiouser,” not just through the “Looking Glass,” but also in the residential construction industry. After rebounding from the COVID pandemic’s supply chain disruptions, historically high demand and low building supplies, home builders and buyers are being buffeted by four new forces that have both sides of the business proposition— the builder and the buyer— recalculating their strategies.
Just ask anyone sitting in the dark, unable to warm up some soup in the microwave, or even stop the wind and rain from blowing in through a gaping hole in what was once the living room wall! Spring storms can be devastating.
During the 1950s and 1960s, a sure sign that a family had “made it” was a swimming pool in the backyard. Spring forward to the 2020s, and this former “badge” of affluence is now worn by a lot more people, many of whom would be considered middle-income families.
Making a home more eco-friendly is no longer a “go for broke” proposition. Consider the opinion of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who created Sherlock Holmes, literature’s master of logic and deduction. He said, “The little things are infinitely the most important.” They also tend to be the most economical. For those who want to make their home “greener,” the ways to accomplish this are elementary, my dear Watson.
Those tastemakers who influence home design trends—bloggers, hosts of home improvement shows, social media mavens, and high-profile architects—are leading the charge toward the “European” look of painted brick. Most of these “influencers” still love the natural warmth of traditional brick, but creative people, like architects, designers, and homeowners who are their clients, crave choices!
For more than 30 years, homeowners have loved the look and durability of porcelain tile. Now, this flooring product has found even more fans. The home design experts attribute this to its “regenerative” capacity.
With millions of workers operating full-time or on a hybrid basis from home, and online shopping being immensely popular, the number of home deliveries is higher now than at any time in history. This avalanche of shipping boxes and document envelopes is often sitting, in plain sight on the front porch, for any passerby to notice. It’s easy pickings for modern-day robbers.
Few manufacturing processes have had the impact of brick on civilization. Some estimates date brickmaking back to 7,200 B.C. It’s part art and part science. The rich hues are quintessentially natural and vary based on the area from which the clay is mined. This affords architects and builders a stunning design palette.
In a world where everything seems “virtual” and often superficial, two things have remained solid and strong, day after day for 131 years. These are Acme Brick products and its leadership. For the past 40 years, the team managing the iconic products and the people who make them has included Dennis Knautz, the company’s President and CEO. Now he is preparing for a new chapter in his life.
Founded in 1962 by 13 students of nearby Texas Southern University, Wheeler Avenue Baptist is a landmark in Houston's historic Third Ward and a beacon for the entire city. So when this rapidly growing church was ready to expand, it turned to Perkins&Will – which then turned to Acme Brick.
To help keep this project on track in an unusually challenging construction season, Acme sourced brick from three different plants – including an affiliate’s – in norman size.
Every year the annual Acme Brick What’s Hot and What’s Not in Home Design list is released to eagerly awaiting homeowners everywhere. The suspense is palpable! And why not?
During the years of being homebound due to COVID, American homeowners discovered something that societies in the Far East have known for centuries: Outdoor spaces such as patios, designed in a way that is consistent with nature, can enhance tranquility and peace of mind.
The summer of 2022 was one for the record books. Between the unmitigated heat and the dry-as-a-bone drought conditions, even metaphors that are blithely dispensed by TV meteorologists were inadequate. Was it a “scorcher,” a “sizzling cauldron,” or something much hotter and dryer? Whatever it was, it was miserable.
Shortly after World War II, optimism that resulted from economic prosperity permeated American society. Business was booming. After being stifled by the sacrifices necessary for the “war effort,” consumption of goods and services reached levels that many had never seen before. While not everyone shared in this “embarrassment of riches,” the number of middle-income families was growing rapidly, and this group purchased and used a lot of “stuff.”
Look around your own organization. The times are certainly different from what they were 40 years ago. That’s when Melissa Matter, then a student at Oklahoma State University, was hired as a temp at Acme Brick in Oklahoma City. Almost immediately, she realized that she had found a place that challenged and rewarded her so much that she never left.
Fort Worth, TX – On Tuesday, Sept. 6., Acme Brick Company welcomed U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Benjamin Dugan as its first Corporate Fellow in the Hiring Our Heroes program.
Following a welcoming orientation, Sgt. Dugan began a twelve-week fellowship at Acme’s historic Bennett, Texas plant.
Acme President and CEO, Dennis Knautz, said, “We are delighted to welcome Ben Dugan to Acme and are looking forward to participating with many more members of America’s armed forces through this important program.”
The most current research from the scientists who study early civilization suggests that humans first controlled fire about 1 million years ago. Archeologists and anthropologists point to South Africa's Wonderwerk Cave as the site of the oldest controlled fire. This research is important because it suggests the staggering impact of fire on the homo erectus human beings.
Looking back over the experience of the COVID - pandemic, it is no surprise that homeowners are approaching home renovation with gusto. Being stuck within the same four walls of one’s home - working, eating, sleeping, teaching, entertaining and trying to maintain some semblance of sanity - constantly, for two years, has made post-pandemic activities feel like a breath of fresh air.
As with many relationships that hit a rough spot, the signs of discord are often there, long before a break-up is imminent. Even with a history of affection dating back to 17th century England, in the homes of wealthy landowners, the closely trimmed, green grass lawns are losing favor with modern homeowners.
It is tempting for those who analyze consumer trends to arrange age groups into neat and tidy “cohorts.” They are given cute names like “Baby Boomers” “Generation X” or “Generation Y” (aka, “millennials''), and immediate conclusions are drawn. However, they are far from completely homogeneous. Of course, there are similar traits among these groups, especially regarding their preferences about their homes.
Why? Life stage.
In the past two years, it felt as if the world was going “virtual.” What began with Zoom meetings and myriad social media “influencers,” quickly spread to NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and ultimately home décor.
In a logical response (or perhaps backlash), interior designers, and the clients who pay them big bucks, are leaving the virtual realm and getting real again. Authenticity appears to be on the rise. Oh, and those trends that were red hot a year or two ago are now as cold as ashes.
Fort Worth, Texas – The Magjarevich twins Mike and Mark recently celebrated 35 years at Acme Brick Company’s San Felipe plant near Houston.
The brothers started at Acme Brick Company- San Felipe on Feb 24, 1987. Early on, the two displayed their knowledge and expertise in the everyday operations of brick making.
After more than 130 years of manufacturing one of the world’s most durable and iconic building products, Acme Brick knows a thing or two about what homeowners want around their houses. Of course, this includes brick, but over the past few years, Acme has also begun to offer customers some of the most innovative home improvement products in the world.
For several years, researchers who chronicle the trends in home construction and home improvement have noticed an increased interest in homeowners wanting additional, functional and private spaces to augment their main dwelling. These additions have been called colorful names such as “granny flats” or “backyard cottages,” legally appropriate descriptions such as “accessory dwelling units” (ADUs), and the most popular moniker, guest houses.
For architects, home builders, interior designers and homeowners, there can never be enough choices for interior and exterior walls. More colors? Yes, please. More textures? Of course. More freedom from maintenance? Absolutely!
Driving around new suburban developments, or even more mature neighborhoods, it becomes obvious that something different is going on here. Instead of the usual FOR SALE signs in the front yard of these homes, FOR RENT signs have taken their place. This increase in the number of single-family residences that are for rent instead of sale has occurred for a variety of reasons including the greatest disruption in the past 100 years, the COVID pandemic. After working, playing and spending most of the hours in a day at home, that space has taken on new importance.
There is something about achieving a place in the Guinness Book of World Records that strongly resonates among almost everyone. Runners long to be the fastest in the world and jumpers want to leap the highest. It’s human nature to want to be the “best” in a chosen field and have this feat listed in this iconic book of world records.
When she showed up for work on her first day at Acme Brick, Julie Sowards couldn’t have known her new job was going to turn into a 38-year ride to the pinnacle. However, that’s exactly what has occurred.
After being hunkered down for the winter months, many homeowners look forward to spring cleaning. Okay, perhaps “looking forward” is a little too rosy! Ready or not, when it's time to spring forward, it's also a good time to fall back in line and begin to declutter your home.
Here are some telltale signs that it might be time for some spring cleaning:
While there is little scientific research on the topic, there are literally generations of anecdotal “data” that support the benefits of spending time outside. It usually started with an exasperated parent saying, “you kids need to go outside and play, NOW!” This was a clear signal that it was time to head to the park, the secret fort, the basketball court, anywhere, so long as it was outdoors. In the process, this “take it outside” admonition became hardwired in our collective psyche.
Not since the early years of the twentieth century has the family “unit” had so many moving parts. Out of favor for about a century, health, economic and psychological factors have coalesced to make multiple generations living under one roof commonplace. Households with three or even four generations have become popular, and, in the process, the residents have found this new “shared-life” not only manageable but often rewarding.
Coming off the greatest disruption in a century, in 2022 almost everything on planet Earth - from hobbies to homebuilding - will be prefaced by the effects of the COVID pandemic. For builders and homebuyers, one trend is certain. Uncertainty will rule.
In surprisingly large numbers, many young families are moving back to the small communities they left when they went away to college. Call it another effect of the pandemic, a search for a simpler lifestyle or any number of other reasons, young people who have the flexibility to work from anywhere are deciding that there’s no place like their hometown.
Each year, Acme Brick compiles an annual What’s Hot and What’s Not trends list outlining the top 10 home design trends and 10 trends that have become outdated. Despite the record setting year we have had, the show must go on - in other words, let the trends begin!
How would you feel about having complete strangers show up at your home, planning to spend the night, about 20 times each month? For more than 4 million homeowners, they would be overjoyed!
Do you love a good challenge? Try building not just a home, but a “dream home” - from the ground up - in the middle of the most devastating pandemic in a century and complete the job in just four months.
Would there be any product and transit delays, any material costs shifting weekly and constant shortages of skilled labor? As the German settlers of Fredericksburg, Texas, where this charming home sits, would say:
Ja natürlich (yes, of course)!
For all the industries that have been hurt by the recent health concerns and suffered declines in popularity, there are a few that are glowing like the hot coals in an outdoor grill. Outdoor entertainment equipment and cooking outside, while being surrounded by fresh air, sweet smoke and good friends, have become a positive “obsession” for millions of people.
Why do so many homeowners insist on having hardwood floors in their homes? They love the rich, warm look of hardwood and they feel the timeless solidity when walking on it. The story of hardwood – how it’s made and the many varieties – is fascinating.
For several, post-World War II generations of families, owning a home has been an important part of the “American Dream.” Unfortunately, a “perfect storm” of factors has caused the American Dream to feel more like a nightmare for homebuyers. These include historically low mortgage rates; the largest population cohort in history - those born after 1980 - starting families; a pandemic that fundamentally changed how families worked and educated their children; and low yields in traditional investments that propelled investment in residential real estate.
Iconic college campuses each have a distinct look and feel about them. In many cases, the personality of the buildings and landscape of these schools have evolved over hundreds of years and they help to build a strong emotional bond that is permanently etched in the minds of current and former students.
In the “history” of the home, the evolution of the backyard is a fascinating chapter. From humble beginnings, this outdoor “room” has become one of the most popular spaces in the home.
For today’s homeowners, landscaping has become an important and often expensive priority. Experts note that more than $40 billion dollars are spent every year on equipment, design, plants, and maintenance for our yards. While any residential real estate developer or home builder will attest to the importance of landscaping for potential buyers, there are great ways for homeowners to reduce this maintenance with better planning.
Not too long ago, the people who talked about the importance of “sustainability” in the construction of homes or commercial buildings were a distinct minority of the population. Now, several factors have catapulted them from the fringe to the mainstream. One of the most important of these factors is the simple economics.
From June through November, people who live in the heavily populated coastal areas along the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico study weather forecasts with particular concern.
Lessons learned from “the year of the pandemic,” like those from the Great Depression, will likely affect us for decades to come. One particularly powerful new trend is the appreciation for the family home. Every family, of every size - couples, those with children, those with multiple generations in the same residence and empty-nesters - all have discovered the simple but sublime joys of home. This is especially true with regards to the outdoor entertaining spaces.
Aside from having a child, there are few things more exciting for a family than building a new home. The entire process - from finding the perfect neighborhood and lot to seeing the home “rise” from the ground and take shape - is exhilarating. Unfortunately, it can also be nerve-wracking.
It seemed like a good idea, at the time. Until the relentless Texas weather showed everyone - the architects, the construction company and the building's owner - exactly who is in charge! In the end, the wood siding facade of a six-month old, beautifully designed office building had to be replaced with a material that was as tough as it was stunning.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Back in the 1950s, many manufacturers and companies who needed a warehouse decided to move away from their buildings in large cities such as New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and others, and move to (cheaper) industrial parks in the suburbs. These former industrial spaces began to be repurposed for residents who loved their open, uncluttered, barebones look and the inexpensive rent! The “loft” became a hit, especially for those who would be described as “creative types” - artists, writers, designers, media, and knowledge workers of all stripes.
For many, this time of year feels like Christmas, or that they have won the “teeny tiny” lottery. Somehow, getting a tax refund feels like found money, even though it was really your money, that you overpaid the federal government. The recently enacted “COVID Economic Stimulus” payments, on the other hand are, in fact, unexpected funds. The recipients are so happy that the check from Uncle Sam has earned a cute nickname - “stimmy.”
For anyone who was around 130 years ago, 1891 was rough and rowdy.
The “Gilded Age” was coming to an end. Railroads were the major growth industry with the factory system, mining, and finance increasing in importance. Two years later, every industry got an economic “wake-up call” in the form of the “Panic of 1893” which led to serious social and political upheaval.
1891 was to see many “firsts” in the United States.
When the coronavirus first began to be noticed by physicians and public health experts in early 2020, few were concerned. Unfortunately, it was to become a once-in-a-century pandemic and, in the process, heightened the awareness of the potential dangers of all air and surface borne microbes. The partnership between science and business began working on ways to prevent this virus and the other highly contagious germs, such as those from bacteria, from spreading.
The pandemic has caused hundreds of millions of people to spend almost every waking hour at home. As this relates to earning a paycheck, this phenomenon has even earned its own acronym: WFH.
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind, and melt your cold, cold heart.
~ Hank Williams
In Texas, on Valentine’s day, 2021, there were many cold, cold hearts, not to mention more than a few cold, cold fingers and toes. Unfortunately, the next day it would be worse. A serious electrical failure was coming fast. An epic winter storm would turn the “Lone Star State” into a dangerous deep freeze that would leave residents in their homes for more than a week.
Home renovation projects are an important part of the “new normal” that we’ve all been hearing about in the year of the pandemic. For example, recent research notes that appliance sales and aesthetic upgrades to both indoor and outdoor kitchens have never been this robust. Why? This is because cooking, dining, and entertaining at home haven’t been this popular since President Franklin Roosevelt offered his “Fireside Chats” during the Great Depression.
Homeowners who have decided that 2021 is a great year for a new look in their residence have an abundance of opportunities, especially as they relate to new designs for both floors and walls. While these two categories may not receive the kind of attention that is given to the most popular paint colors, furnishings, kitchens, and other frequently changed elements of a home, product innovations for these two areas are pushing them to the forefront for both interior designers, homebuilders, and owners.
While there has always been an influx of seasonal products, the pandemic has dramatically inspired a new trend that has affected demand like never before: Cooking and entertaining at home and outside has never been as popular as it is now.
As it was in the latter part of 2020, working, learning, entertaining and living will be laser-focused on our homes in the coming year. The “once-in-a-hundred-years” health and economic explosion has assured this. As many may have predicted, all the design trends in 2021 will be based on this reality.
Don’t look now but the largest demographic group in history - those under-40-years old - is leading the charge for change in homeownership. The grandchildren of the fabled “baby boomers” are now married with children of their own and are redefining what “luxury” living is all about. For many reasons, including the effects of the pandemic, historically low mortgage interest rates, and their goal of having quality education for their young children, these young families are “so over” urban living or long commutes to sleepy suburbs.
The weather might be chilly, but for many, the outdoor grilling must go on!
One of the unintended consequences of social distancing, which occurred in response to concerns about the COVID virus, is decidedly positive. More people than ever before have discovered that cooking at home, rather than going out, might be a safer, healthier, and more delicious alternative. Not only that, but many of these DIY chefs have found that entertaining, cooking, and dining outside is even more fun.
The effects of the COVID pandemic have dramatically changed - perhaps forever - the building, buying, and selling of homes. When these are combined with some of the lowest mortgage interest rates in modern history, it makes the opening lines from the classic novel by Charles Dickens -“A Tale of Two Cities”- more relevant than ever before.
While there is nothing more durable than brick for home construction, some homeowners are considering steel siding for their homes. This can be due to several factors, including the lower cost of siding versus that of brick. Acme Brick is proud to be one of the distributors of what many builders consider to be one of the best steel siding products - MAC Metal Siding.
While there are no known records of this, it is entirely possible that arguments about grilling have been ongoing since the time of cavemen and women. Everyone, it seems, had an opinion on how to grill the perfect brontosaurus burger! These spirited discussions continue today.
Although no one could have predicted the COVID pandemic, many think that it will have long-term effects in future decisions, including buying or building a home. The “new normal” has led potential home buyers to rethink their priorities for future homes. As a trusted partner for architects, builders and homeowners across the nation for more than a century, Acme Brick has been considered a reliable predictor when it comes to changes within the housing market.
Is there anything better than fresh grilled meat and vegetables, served outside on a calm evening? Outdoor entertainment spaces are one of the most popular places in American homes for many reasons and the need for recent social distancing has further enhanced this trend.
If remodeling or building projects are on the drawing board for the future, this is a good time to put the new tools found on the Acme Brick website to work. With many new products being added to the company’s offerings over the past few months, consumers and building tradesmen needed a convenient way to access the specifications, colors, styles of these products.
It has been well documented that over the past few years, homeowners have decided to stay in their current residence for longer than they used to. Because the ages, lifestyles and even the number of people (with multiple generations) living under the same roof can change over time, many homeowners have begun to update or renovate their homes to keep them functional.
There is no part of a home or commercial building that receives more wear and tear than the floor. While it is the foundation of a room’s design, it must also be durable enough to withstand constant foot traffic, exposure to water, pets and the day-to-day-play of young children.
Fortunately, advances in technology in the form of luxury vinyl products have come to the floor and demand is going through the ceiling!
Nature’s color palette is a wonder to behold and this has never been truer than with brick. The finished colors of the clay - mined from the ground and then fired in kilns to become brick - have delighted builders and home designers for centuries. Over its 128 years of manufacturing these rich hued building units, Acme Brick has consistently added new colors to this most natural construction material - brick.
The role of a fireplace in the home has evolved from being the sole source of heat for warmth and cooking, to the focal design piece that adds a special feeling of unparalleled comfort. After thousands of years in use, fireplaces are still as popular and evolving in home design and function.
Many homeowners are deciding that less is more when it comes to the size of their residence. This trend is being driven by demographic changes in homeownership and has led to a rise in the demand for “jewel box” homes.
With a new year and decade just around the corner, it’s time for the annual gaze into the Acme Brick home design crystal ball.
For more than 125 years, Acme Brick has been “the best thing to have around your house.” Now, the “best” has gotten better. Acme Brick is expanding into other home improvement products and you can get in on the ground floor! Literally. The same, incomparable quality that Acme has been known for in its brick is now available in flooring.
After years of televised success via its wildly popular PBS series and now getting even more attention as a blockbuster movie, “Downton Abbey” has touched the imagination of Americans of all ages. As much as the characters of these series are loved, the style of the architecture and home designs has also struck a chord in the home design symphony.
Since the dawn of civilization, builders, artisans, and artists have quarried and refashioned stone to create beautiful buildings that can withstand centuries of use. This article notes the critical contribution stone has made to such structures as the Parthenon of Greece, the pyramids of the Egyptians, the great stone faces on Easter Island, the solar clock at Stonehenge, Roman roads and aqueducts, and German castles.
In 1966, the groundskeepers of the one-year old Houston Astrodome - known at the time as “The Eighth Wonder of the World” - were having difficulty getting grass to grow in the domed stadium. They made a decision that would spawn an entire industry: installing artificial turf, which became known as “AstroTurf.” Sports fields would never be the same again.
The old days, when the back patio of a home had a couple of lawn chairs and a bench where nobody ever sat, are long gone!
For centuries, buildings constructed of brick have withstood the ravages of hurricanes, tornadoes, high winds, hail and punishing rain. When used in conjunction with modern building codes, brick homes can remain standing when others on the same block might be destroyed. Since 1891, Acme Brick has been manufacturing these almost indestructible building blocks!
Just like brick construction, wrought iron has a colorful history dating back to the dawn of civilization. Because of their timeless beauty and virtual indestructibility, both of these materials have been important structural and design elements of homes since ancient times. They also look great when they are used together in one structure.
Consumer surveys note that today’s homeowners crave authenticity in the places where they live. While synthetic materials such as stucco or siding are sometimes cheaper building products, brick has always passed the test of time and proven to be a better investment. In fact, centuries of homeowners have surrounded the most important parts of their lives - family and priceless personal possessions - with the permanence and strength of brick.
Don’t look now, but that 1980’s look made popular by TV’s “Miami Vice” is baaaack! However, for those who had quite enough of the running and gunning of Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs when they owned primetime shouldn’t worry. Parachute pants are NOT back in style! This look is all about the resurgence of the use of glass brick or glass block in upscale residential and commercial design.
“If ever I go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."
~ Dorothy, after her trip to the Land of Oz
Decades after graduation, many former students can still visualize the campus where they attended college. The sights and sounds of a university campus make for heart-warming memories. Whether it was the distant sound of the band practicing for the big game or the iconic buildings and landscape found on the property itself, every university has a unique look and feel that is a powerful part of the traditions of the school.
Homeowners in the United States, sell their homes about every 14 years, according to this research. Plus, it has been noted by financial planners that a family’s biggest investment is buying a home. Assuming this is true, it is important for a home seller to get the greatest return on this investment as possible. This can be a challenge, but it’s possible if poor decisions about remodeling can be avoided.
With so many options, it’s challenging for a homeowner to decide what’s hot and what’s not for the most important room in the house - the kitchen. Fortunately, Acme Brick has a few ideas that will give you some food for thought!
Americans are becoming more rooted. Research suggests that they are staying in their residences for longer than ever before. This trend of “staying put” has several implications, including a new appreciation on the adaptability of a home in order to make it “future proof.”
As a new year comes around, it’s always fun to speculate on what trends - from clothes to food and especially home design - will be showing up on Pinterest and high-end magazines. While good taste never goes out of style, some interior design trends represent changes in how bigger issues such as the environment, technology and family time are perceived. This has never been truer than what can be expected in 2019.
Please continue reading for Acme Brick’s annual round-up of the hottest home design trends.
More and more people – from young families to empty nesters – are having fun by staying at home. This process of “cocooning,” rather than dressing up and going out on the town, has led to many interesting advice websites and columns, such as this one – 32 Stay-at-Home Date Ideas.
The noise and chaos of politics, work, technology and the world in general are encouraging more and more homeowners to try to escape at home. Craft rooms, yoga rooms, meditation rooms, reading nooks and a dozen other places for self-reflection and calm are becoming a must-have in new home construction and home renovations.
For literally centuries, natural, exposed interior brick has added charm to homes and businesses around the world. Because brick is made from soil-based clay, it has a natural patina and texture that is warm, comforting and impossible to replicate.
The much-discussed millennials, who were born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, will soon make up the largest living generation. According to Pew Research, millennials are on the cusp of surpassing Baby Boomers (those born after World War II) as the nation’s largest living adult generation. This is based on population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau as of 2016.
California has long been considered a trendsetter in environmental conservation, and it recently showed why. In May 2018, the state became the first state to require solar panels on nearly all new homes, the latest sign of how renewable energy is gaining ground in the U.S.
The most expensive investment any individual or family makes is typically the purchase of a home. Whether it involves buying an existing home or building a new structure, when it comes time to sign the mortgage documents, the reality of this new financial responsibility can be very sobering.
Just beneath the surface of the earth lies one of the pieces to a puzzle that has fascinated humans since prehistoric times – renewable energy. Along with solar and wind, geothermal energy has inched its way to the top of the wish lists of both dedicated environmentalists and profit-seeking entrepreneurs. Why? It is virtually inexhaustible. It is constant, 24/7, in all weather (unlike solar and wind). And, finally, when current harnessing technology is employed, it is extremely inexpensive.
For residential real estate and particularly custom homes, the lot on which a home is built is often as important as the building itself.
“In general, a custom home is larger, and this requires a larger lot,” Michelle Grove-Reiland, real estate broker, said. “Plus, the lot must be conducive to the design of the home. For example, if the homeowner wants to be able to walk out to a lower level, this would require a slope that would accommodate this.
The loft look is one of the most popular styles of residential real estate today, and it continues to evolve. Most attribute the beginning of this industrial look to the 1950s and 1960s when manufacturers moved out of large cast-iron buildings in New York's SoHo district. When this occurred, artists, musicians and other creative types moved in.
DALLAS – A television series sponsored by Acme Brick Company since its launch airs its record-breaking 1,000th episode in the Dallas-Fort Worth market on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 11 a.m. on WFAA-TV (channel 8, ABC).
Hot On! Homes, produced by Crozier and Henderson Productions, Inc., showcases new home communities and home builders.
"We are extremely humbled to reach the 1,000th episode milestone,” said Leslie Crozier, co-founder of Crozier and Henderson Productions. "We are proud to have produced the longest running TV series in Dallas-Fort Worth.
The millennial generation has the undivided, rapt attention of the real estate industry. Why? According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the National Association of Realtors said they were the largest group of home buyers, at 34 percent, from July 2015 until June 2016.
More and more custom home builders are being asked for less and less from clients who want a modern design. In 1947, architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe opined that “less is more” in terms of aesthetic and functional architectural design and this began the evolution of “modern” home design.
For anyone contemplating the sale of their home, the picture in 2017 is rosy indeed. According to the residential real estate advisory site, Zillow, the median home value in the United States rose 6.8 percent over the past year – and predicts another 2.7 percent increase next year.
Americans are on the move…literally. According to a Gallup Survey, one in four Americans moves to a new home every five years. The statistics blog site FiveThirtyEight, notes that the average U.S. citizen will move 11.4 times in their lifetime. Compare this to Europeans who move only 4 times in their lifetime.
At some point in life, most people experience the often gut-wrenching process of buying a home. That first home is usually something modest but the excitement is still palpable because it is a rite of passage. As life continues, families decide they can afford and desire a custom-built home, with features and amenities that are designed specifically for their lifestyle. This is when the complications really kick in!
In the past 50 years, the economics of home construction has changed dramatically. When vinyl siding and synthetic insulation materials were introduced in the 1960s as a substitute for traditional brick and wood, tract homebuilders found their costs were reduced dramatically. In recent years, it is estimated by trade associations that homes wrapped in vinyl siding and synthetic insulation are purchased by 33 percent of new home buyers.
One of the hottest topics in the construction industry today is “green buildings.” This is a catch-all phrase that describes construction materials and building techniques which are environmentally friendly. These buildings require less energy to heat and cool and save their owners thousands of dollars over the life of the building. They can withstand the ravages of elements for generations and they are most likely constructed of materials that come from the earth.
Aug. 1, 2016 - Acme Brick Company is one of only 14 companies nationwide that have received David Weekley Homes’ highly coveted 2015 “Partners of Choice Award” with an “A, A” ranking. Acme achieved the “A” rating for both Quality and for Service. This is the fifth consecutive year that Acme has been chosen a “Partner of Choice” - one of only four in this group of 14 national companies to have done so.
June 8, 2016 - A new brick product from Acme Brick Company has a face that is one inch taller than the company’s King Size brick that is typically used on homes. Estate size brick is 3 5/8” tall by 9 5/8” wide contrasted to King Size which is 2 5/8” by 9 5/8”. This increased dimension makes Estate Brick more efficient to manufacture, ship and install.
This new brick lays up like modular brick and should match door and window heights without the need to cut brick. When laid in a one-third bond, Estate brick turns corners easily.
Fort Worth, Texas, June 14, 2016 - The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce honored Acme Brick Company with the Chairman’s Spirit of Enterprise Award at the Chamber’s annual meeting, presented by The Dannon Company, at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. The Spirit of Enterprise Award, the Chamber’s highest honor, is given annually to a local organization that has demonstrated true commitment to local business growth and community development.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS, April 28, 2016 - In 1984 Acme Brick Company introduced its first edition of the Pocket Guide to Quality Brick Construction. Since then, over 25,000 copies of this reference book have been distributed to individuals in the construction industry across America. The newest edition is 25% larger, increasing from 128 to 160 pages.
Among the changes/updates for the guide are:
Fort Worth, Texas (December 20, 2015) – Acme Brick Company today announced it has expanded its agreement with Bautex Systems to distribute Bautex Block, an insulated concrete block whose wall system meets and exceeds 2015 building and energy codes. As part of the expanded agreement, Acme Brick will now represent Bautex products in most major Texas markets including Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS, Sept. 30, 2015 - Acme Brick Company’s Texas showrooms now offer the full line of architectural brick products from the Belden Brick Company of Canton, Ohio. Acme has the exclusive right to sell the Belden line in the state of Texas. Like Acme Brick, Belden is a highly respected company with over a century of experience in brickmaking.
Fort Worth, Texas - Acme Brick Company President and CEO Dennis Knautz has guided Acme Brick through a challenging decade that included the best of times and the worst of times. For his leadership during what was one of the worst housing recessions in U.S. history, Fort Worth Business has named him the publication’s Top CEO of a public company for this year.