December 2017 The WBS Connection

Dec 21, 2017



To remodel or build new?

To remodel or build new?

As time passes by and homeowners spend an increasing number of years living in their houses, needs change. Families grow, and they shrink again. Styles evolve, and function is lost. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help your clients decide whether a renovation or new build is the best way to get what they want and need.

If your clients are on the fence about whether to renovate their existing home or build new, we have some helpful tips that should make their decision easier. Before they decide, go ahead and share this article with them.

1. Location and emotion

This is arguably the biggest factor. Do you love your neighborhood? Are all your friends there? Is it in a convenient location, like near a grocery store or schools? Is your back yard amazing, and is it a place where the neighborhood kids want to play? If so, and those things matter to you, then renovating is probably your best bet. Your contractor will be able to work with you to make your existing home function for today’s needs, and you won’t have to give up everything you love about it.

2. The budget

If the first point wasn’t your tipping point, this one is. Once you’ve decided how strong your emotional ties are, you need to sit down and look at your budget realistically. It’s no surprise that in either situation, numbers can go over budget. However, a home remodel is more likely to have surprise price tags attached to it, because the contractor doesn’t know what’s between the walls or under the floor until demo starts. If the idea of a major surprise cost is worrisome, selling now and building new might be your best bet. Another thing to think about is how long you’ll be in the home after a renovation. If you think your needs might change again in a few years, a significant remodel probably isn’t worth it from a financial standpoint.

3. How much space?

If you think you need more rooms, and not just more room, a renovation might be in order. Your contractor will be able to work with you to find a way to reconfigure existing spaces to add, for instance, another bedroom. Or they’ll be able to help you see a way to put on addition you didn’t think was possible. If your needs can’t be met through reconfiguring your existing home, it might be time to build.

4. It’s going to take how long?

If the idea of living without a kitchen sink for more than a month sounds more than daunting, a renovation might not be for you. Living with dust, noise, and the hassle of workers in your space on a daily basis are realities of a remodel. If you have small children who nap, or if someone in your house is sensitive to dust, a new build might be the way to go.

5. Will you earn back what you put in?

Before you make a decision, it’s important to think about the return on your investment. Upgrades don’t usually pay for themselves in the form of an eventual sale price. A few renovations manage to recover 80 to 90 percent of their costs, but others barely cover half. However, at the same time, it takes an average of seven years to earn back the upfront costs of selling and moving or building. So ask yourself how long you’d be in the new place and if it will be long enough to cover the costs of a new mortgage and moving.



2017’s WBS New Product Launches

2017’s WBS New Product Launches

The past year has been full of exciting new product launches at WBS, and we thought we’d take a moment to pull them all together so you can see what you might have missed. Take a look at this list, which is full of products to make your job more efficient and to wow your clients.

Our list of product offerings continues to grow, and we’re rounding up some of this year’s highlights. Click the headlines to learn more.

Regal Aluminum Railings

The “Most Innovative Building Product” at the 2017 NAHB International Builders Show is available at WBS. Regal Aluminum Railing with LED lights by Regal Ideas Inc. is the perfect way to define the edges of deck railing and, according to judges at the show, “up the cool factor.”

Andersen MultiGlide Doors

We began carrying the much-anticipated MultiGlide sliding door in October. This door was created to complement home designs that emphasize large expanses of glass, fitting openings up to 25 feet wide and 10 feet tall. It creates a beautiful wall of movable glass and won the Best Window and Door Product at the 2017 NAHB International Builders’ Show.

Diamond Pier

Diamond Pier is a pre-engineered foundation system to be used as an alternative to traditional poured concrete footings. It allows you to begin construction immediately, instead of waiting for concrete to set. Diamond Pier can be used on any kind of secondary residential structure, like decks, porches, or gazebos. It involves the use of a concrete pier head anchored to the ground by four large, metal pins.

Dura Supreme New Colors

In response to the “no end in sight” design trend of painted cabinetry, Dura Supreme Cabinetry came out with a new line of paint colors earlier this year. Pulling research from customer demand and future color forecasting, Dura Supreme was able to create a Curated Color Palette of the highest trending colors in the industry. The collection will change and evolve every year or two so it stays current with design trends.

Charred Wood

UFP-Edge, a brand of Universal Forest Products, introduced its own line of Charred Wood shiplap and trim boards this year. Charred Wood, an ancient Chinese method used to bring out the grain and preserve wood, is perfect for interior projects like accent walls, ceilings, column and beam wraps, and wainscoting. It is crafted with lumber that has been carefully charred to enhance its beauty, and it’s sealed with a satin clear-coat finish.

LP SmartSide

When it comes to durability, workability, and beauty, there really is no better exterior home finish option than LP SmartSide. This engineered wood siding and trim, available at WBS, is actually manufactured in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Its beautiful wood-grain look can be prefinished with literally any paint color your clients choose. LP SmartSide comes in longer pieces — which means fewer seams — and is easier to cut than its competitor, fiber cement siding. Its lower density means it is easier to handle and install. 

Therma-Tru Flush Glazed Glass

When your clients are looking to let in the maximum amount of light or expand their outside views, look no further than Therma-Tru doors. The reputable door company’s Flush-Glazed Glass has 16 percent more visible glass than its traditional doors, which creates a nice, wide opening. It uses glass built directly into a door or sidelite during the manufacturing process. This innovative feature enhances the door’s look and performance by eliminating the need for a lite frame and screw plugs, creating clean lines.

Trus Joist

The floor joists we love from Weyerhaeuser now come with a new technology engineered for consistent performance. TimberStrand Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) starts straight and stays that way. That means it’s one of the most innovative and versatile building products available today. Dimensionally stable, Trus Joists with TimberStrand are perfect for the longer spans of wide, open spaces we see in today’s floor plans. They have the ability to carry loads in the floor or in tall walls.



Copyright infringement in home design

Copyright infringement in home design

Have you worried about how to protect your home designs from being stolen by homeowners or the competition? We have the scoop on a few court cases that concerned just that, and you might be surprised to learn there isn’t a lot you can do to prevent it.

In today’s technology age, your website is probably one of the biggest sales tools you have. Prospective clients want to see your past work, look at your design layouts, and collect all the information they can before setting up a consultation. That often means your designs are available for anyone to see, and they could be used without your knowledge.

Federal law protects the design and architectural plans of a house. That means the plans you draft are yours, and so is the exterior design. But if an architect drafted the plans for you to build one home and you haven’t purchased them for use on multiple homes, you’re violating the law.

That exact scenario played out recently in Virginia, where a jury awarded an architectural firm $5.2 million, which was the profit a pair of home builders made after constructing homes using plans they didn’t own the rights to.

However, that situation is rare.

A recent court case acknowledges that there are only so many ways to arrange rooms in a house, so it’s hard to prove copyright infringement in home design with physical evidence such as in the case above. There are a vast offering of home plans available online, and for that reason the court ruled that a copyright infringement claim is hard to satisfy.

The court’s decision concluded that even though two sets of plans may resemble one another, they likely resemble countless home designs in a crowded market. In order to be found liable for copying someone else’s work, there must be evidence that a builder had access to the plans. However, the court decided that an internet presence wasn’t enough to prove access. It ruled that the existence of a plaintiff’s materials on the internet, even on a public and “user friendly” site, cannot by itself prove that the defendant accessed the protected materials.

You are automatically the copyright holder of any design you create. However, to protect yourself, we still recommend you register your work with the copyright office. Doing so allows you to file suit for another’s infringement. It lets others know your work is your property, and it makes litigation cheaper and easier should there be a need to sue someone for infringement. Visit to learn more.

For more information, check out this article from Construction Business Owner.