July 21, 2021

Home Building Regaining Momentum

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Home Building Regains Momentum as Building Permits Fall to Eight-Month Low

After May's revised results, June's new-home and apartment construction exceeded expectations. Single family growth was concentrated in the Northeast and South.

June 2021 Us Housing Starts SegmentsData From: US Department of Commerce; graph: 


June saw housing starts rise 6.3% to 1.643million units annually. Single-family and multifamily starts are solidly rising. The data for May was slightly revised lower. The net result was stronger than expected and both new home construction, as well as apartment development, seem to be gaining momentum that was lost earlier in spring.

Single-family starts increased 6.3% to 1.160 million units, which was the second highest this year. The South saw the largest increase in June, with single-family starts increasing 13.7% to a pace of 672,000 units per year. The South accounts for nearly half of all single-family homes in the United States. data: US Department of Commerce; graph by ForConstructionPros.com

The Northeast saw single-family starts rise sharply, which is the region with the lowest percentage of single-family construction. Single-family starts in the Northeast increased 34.4% to 82,000 units annually in June. Single-family starts remained the same in the West, while they fell by 19.9% in the Midwest.

However, housing permits fell 5.1% in June, their third consecutive decline - and their lowest point since October. Single-family permits declined 6.3%, while multifamily permits declined 2.6%.

Mark Vitner, Senior Economist at Wells Fargo Securities, says that permits are less volatile than starts and have been running significantly higher than starts over the past year. "June's fall brings permits back in line to starts."

There is still a large backlog of housing units that were approved but have not been started.

Vitner claims that the permits pullback bears looking but actually brings single-family permits back in line with 563,500 starts. Single-family permits have totaled 588 800 units through six months of 2021. At the end of June, 144,000 single-family homes were authorized and not yet begun.

According to new home sales data, the rise in housing units that have been authorized but not yet begun is consistent with a steady rise in sales of homes where construction has not yet begun. The builders have managed to get around supply chain bottlenecks and limited sales in new communities. Sales caps will be lifted once supply chain bottlenecks are less severe. Both sales and housing starts will improve.

These latest data are consistent with Wells Fargo’s prediction of 1.60 million housing starts in the coming year.

Vitner says, "Those who believe that permits' recent slide is a sign of something worse for housing are not seeing how many permits have increased more than starts." The total number of permits issued in the first six months this year is 865,500 units. This is 10% more than starts. For the past year permits have been ahead of starts, which has resulted in a steady rise in the number homes approved but not yet built. The backlog has increased by 43.3% in the last year, most of it coming from single-family homes.data: US Department of Commerce; graph: ForConstructionPros.com

June saw housing starts rise 6.3% to 1.643million units annually. Single-family and multifamily starts are solidly rising. The data for May was slightly revised lower. The net result was stronger than expected and both new home construction as well as apartment development seem to be gaining momentum that was lost earlier in spring.

Single-family starts increased 6.3% to 1.160 million units, which was the second highest this year. The South saw the largest increase in June, with single-family starts increasing 13.7% to a pace of 672,000 units per year. The South accounts for nearly half of all single-family homes in the United States. data: US Department of Commerce; graph by ForConstructionPros.com

The Northeast saw single-family starts rise sharply, which is the region with the lowest percentage of single-family construction. Single-family starts in the Northeast increased 34.4% to 82,000 units annually in June. Single-family starts remained the same in the West, while they fell by 19.9% in the Midwest.

However, housing permits fell 5.1% in June, their third consecutive decline - and their lowest point since October. Single-family permits declined 6.3%, while multifamily permits declined 2.6%.

Mark Vitner, Senior Economist at Wells Fargo Securities, says that permits are less volatile than starts and have been running significantly higher than starts over the past year. "June's fall brings permits back in line to starts."

There is still a large backlog of housing units that were approved but have not been started.

Vitner claims that the permits pullback bears looking but actually brings single-family permits back in line with 563,500 starts. Single-family permits have totaled 588 800 units through six months of 2021. At the end of June, 144,000 single-family homes were authorized and not yet begun.

According to new home sales data, the rise in housing units that have been authorized but not yet begun is consistent with a steady rise in sales of homes where construction has not yet begun. The builders have managed to get around supply chain bottlenecks and limited sales in new communities. 

June 2021 Us Housing Starts Permits History

Sales caps will be lifted once supply chain bottlenecks are less severe. Both sales and housing starts will improve.

These latest data are consistent with Wells Fargo’s prediction of 1.60 million housing starts in the coming year.

Vitner says, "Those who believe that permits' recent slide is a sign of something worse for housing are not seeing how many permits have increased more than starts." The total number of permits issued in the first six months this year is 865,500 units. This is 10% more than starts. For the past year permits have been ahead of starts, which has resulted in a steady rise in the number homes approved but not yet built. The backlog has increased by 43.3% in the last year, most of it coming from single-family homes.

June 2021 Us Housing Starts Permits


June 07, 2021

Why Construction Steel Prices Have Skyrocketed

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Structural steel prices have risen 91% since Q4 2020. Today I am going to share four contributing factors behind the unprecedented price increases.


Even as the U.S. steel industry aims to keep tariffs in place, the construction industry suffers an ongoing struggle as rising materials prices, and steel, in particular, eat away at profit margins and slow or stop some projects due to out-of-control construction costs. And it looks as though relief is unpropitious to come in any form promptly. 


Many top economists think the industry is on the edge of the precipice, with a drastic rise in demand as the U.S. market opens considerably and continues to drive up material costs.

Steel has seen unusually dramatic raises over the past year, with price growth expected to continue for the foreseeable future. According to the Q2 2021 update from Gordian's Construction Cost Database, structural steel price has risen 91% since the fourth quarter of 2020 and is up 45% in the past quarter alone. A poll conducted by S&P Global Platts of 91 participators in its Steel Markets North America (SMNA) virtual conference showed more than half expect the U.S. finished steel rates to remain at their current highs or rise considerably in the coming six months. 

Of the 44% who expect to see domestic finished steel prices increase, 22% expect prices to rise by more than 10%. According to Gordian, the structural steel price has risen 91% since the fourth quarter of 2020. Gordian's Construction Cost Database


Four Contributing Factors

Gordian routinely collects, validates, and analyzes North American construction material prices to maintain RSMeans data, its construction costs database. Its data team has identified four contributing factors for the unprecedented price hikes in steel: 



  1. Steel Fabrication Costs: Fabrication costs are largely influenced by wage rates and the energy required to shape, cut, drill, and weld. While some steel used in the U.S. is manufactured overseas, most of it is made domestically. This indicates that fabrication wages for most domestic steel products will follow the rise and fall of the national working wage rate, which is increasing. And while green technology is starting to reduce energy costs for many businesses, steel fabrication facilities command an extraordinary amount of power to operate.
  2. Installation Labor: Installation expenses, like fabrication costs, are directly joined to wages, and domestic wage rates are projected to extend their hike upward. The current employment levels in the U.S. have also produced a shortage of available labor. This means that businesses are paying extra to secure and keep workers on staff. Areas more influenced by the labor shortage will likely see a correlating increase in installation costs.
  3. Transportation Costs and Tariffs: Over its life, steel is moved from the mill to the fabricator then on to the job site. Every mile the material moves will add more to its price. In addition to driver fees, transportation costs – including fuel, machinery maintenance, and insurance coverage – tend to rise year over year. The providers will unavoidably pass those costs along to the end-user in the form of material price increases. Import taxes and duties, which include tariffs, also factor into transportation costs. The U.S. is currently carrying 25% tariffs on steel imports against numerous nations.
  4. Supply and DemandThe pandemic impacts industrial corporations and factories hard, especially those that depend on workers whose jobs cannot be carried out remotely. The effect of public health requirements and COVID-19 outbreaks was a pause or delay in production and thousands of jobs lost. Through the worst of the pandemic, the U.S. saw thousands of iron and steel production jobs disappear nationwide. With businesses starting to ramp up operations, there is a nationwide clamor for commodities such as aluminum, drywall, and wood. The high-demand nature of the pandemic recovery has emptied stressed supply chains and increased costs at a rate we have not seen in modern years.


While some believe that steel demand, and prices, will taper in the upcoming months as more production comes online, others see no clear end in sight as domestic suppliers stumble in restoring capacities. Imported suppliers take a dual hit from tariffs and jump in ocean freight costs. In a recent economic webinar hosted by the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), James Meil, ACT Research, foretold year-end 2022 as a possibility for starting to see demand settle and supplies catching up, with a corresponding decrease in steel prices.

But should enhanced infrastructure funding legislation come to be passed, prospects for ease in pricing could be pushed out even further into the future and add to the question of how high rates could go if the resulting steel demand can't be met in a timely and cost-effective manner?

May 27, 2021

PROTECTIVE POLYUREA COATING FOR CONCRETE FLOORS

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No concrete flooring product provides more protection than polyurea floor coatings from ArmorThane. They supply the best polyurethane and polyurea products in the industry, and their floor coatings come with unmatched protection against constant wear and tear. ArmorThane's products last longer than their traditional counterparts because of their unique chemical formula.


The longest-lasting protection comes from their polyurea coatings for concrete flooring in schools, large office buildings, or garages. Traditionally, many contractors and developers have gone with epoxy for their concrete flooring, but polyurea is the most advanced option that lasts longer, looks better, and dries faster. When you want a floor coating that will hold up, contact ArmorThane for your supply.



WHAT POLYUREA COATINGS HAVE TO OFFER

As with all floor coatings, the number one function of polyurea coatings from ArmorThane is to protect your floor from the elements. It may sound easy to protect concrete given its nature, but even the hardest materials wear down over time due to physical and elemental forces. However, with a polyurea coating, you'll ensure that your concrete features have protection for decades.


Unlike other coatings, there's little chance that you'll have to coat a single floor more than once due to their coatings' near-impenetrable chemical makeup. Water, chemicals, salt, and other corrosive or eroding substances won't be able to penetrate a properly applied polyurea coating. With the seal lasting for decades, there's little chance that your concrete will ever start to erode. Part of what helps make the coating so impenetrable, and what sets it apart from certain competitors, is that it's flexible in the cold. 


Other coatings will crack when temperature changes cause concrete to expand and contract, paving the way for the deterioration of the coating and eventually the floor. Polyurea expands and contracts with the surface of your floor, ensuring your concrete won't start to break down with the first winter. This is one reason that your choice of protective floor coating becomes a critical consideration for contractors doing large commercial businesses or neighborhood developments. Entire structures can start to break down within a matter of years, should you choose the wrong protective coating.



Not only can other coatings start to crack and flake after a handful of winters, but they don't do well in sunny weather either! This should be a huge drawback for any contractor developing a home, school, hospital, or business that will likely feature stone flooring or anyone working in a residential area with many painted driveways. Even if epoxy coatings hold up to protect the surface of your flooring, they'll start to deteriorate in other ways when exposed to sunlight. Your beautiful floors will start to take on a yellow tinge in any room with a fair amount of natural light. However, polyurea coatings don't absorb UV rays, so you should never see any discoloration in the coating.




PROTECT YOUR FLOORS AND NAME WITH POLYUREA COATINGS FROM ARMORTHANE


As a general contractor or developer who works with concrete flooring, your product is continuously displayed for future clients. Having any major work turn out badly because you chose the wrong protective coating could spell disaster for your business and its reputation. Make the right choice for your next project and contact ArmorThane for all your concrete floor coating needs.

May 21, 2021

TIPS ON USING POLYASPARTIC COATINGS IN OUTDOOR SPACES

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Polyaspartic floor coatings are meant for heavy-traffic industrial and commercial flooring as well as residential garage floors. They have exceptional reliability, and they can also be installed speedily and conveniently. That is why this kind of floor coating system has captured the attention of many homeowners. Sometimes it is even considered for outdoor spaces, which is perfectly fine, although you have to note a few concerns to ensure an appropriate application.

In this article, we will discuss a few considerations you should consider when using polyaspartic coatings outdoors.

POLYASPARTIC COATING FOR OUTDOOR USE

In general, polyaspartic coatings can be applied on various surfaces like one-day garage floors and institutions like schools and clinics. But despite this versatility, there are several types of environments where a polyaspartic coating would not be suitable. You should avoid using this type of coating in areas where a breathable concrete sealer is needed. Such applications typically include driveways or exterior stamped concrete. Remember that polyaspartic coatings are designed to provide protection. But when these are not used properly, the coatings' surface may not breathe and preferably exhibit moisture challenges.

But polyaspartic coatings work quite well outdoors as well. Installers can dilute the coating to make it breathable and more suitable for outdoor spaces. This indicates that polyaspartic coating can be applied to thicknesses of less than six mils, enabling it to become absorbent and breathable.UV Resistant Weatherproof Outdoor Tough Flooring

WHO SHOULD I CALL FOR POLYASPARTIC FLOORS?

It no longer comes as a surprise why polyaspartic coatings are also being considered for outdoor use. Their advantages are hard to ignore. Installation is quick and easy, and the quality of the material is long-lasting. Polyaspartic coatings don't require much upkeep either. 

ArmorThane, one of the most well-known coating applicator companies globally, can deliver excellent results for garage floors, commercial kitchens, and bathrooms. ArmorThane utilizes high-quality materials and observes industry standards to ensure customer satisfaction. Call them or fill out their contact form to request a free quote. 

May 17, 2021

Concrete Paint VS Polyurea & Polyaspartic Coatings

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Polyurea Out-Performs, Out-Shines, And Out-Lasts Concrete Paints.


When you pick a new floor coating for your garage, one of the first things you will weigh is the cost. Because of this, many homeowners first look into cheap epoxy DIY kits or even just concrete paint. While both of these products are far from worthless, they are not a great choice for high traffic areas, such as a garage floor. Today we will discuss a few of the key differences between concrete paints and polyurea coatings.


Concrete Paints & Epoxy Coatings

As two of the major DIY systems, you can find these products at your local big chain hardware store. Both are also great for small areas that need a temporary coating or areas that won’t be receiving heavy or heated traffic. Driving your vehicle into the garage will almost certainly ruin either of these coatings, particularly on hot tires. Even regular foot traffic causes too much friction for these thin and flaking coatings. Another huge problem with these DIY kits is that the prep often requires acid etching, which is inconsistent and dangerous to your concrete flooring.


Polyurea & Polyaspartic Coatings

These coatings are specially produced for garage floors and can only be applied by experts. The ArmorThane team uses proper diamond grinding to ensure that your floor is properly prepared. Additionally, these coatings are made of several layers that interlock collectively to create a powerful surface that won’t be disrupted by heavy or regular traffic. To find out more, click here to contact ArmorThane today!

February 04, 2021

How to Clean Epoxy Floor Coatings

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Epoxy floors are strong, tough, and extremely durable coatings for the floor used in diverse applications such as warehouses, walkways, and hallways with high traffic hallways, sunroom floors, and garage floors. A durable epoxy surface is an excellent choice for flooring the surface of areas in which machines and other comprehensive tools are used. Floors coated with epoxy maintain a high degree of brilliance, even when the vast machines are continuously being shifted around on the floor. It is quite easy to maintain epoxy floors as long as you follow some fundamental rules. Remember, to conserve your epoxy floor in tip-top shape, you will have to contribute minimal maintenance. In this article, my aim is to provide you some tips that will help you accomplish your goal.




How to clean epoxy floor coating

Ensure that the floor's surface is free of grit and dirt: Keep the floor's surface free of dirt and sand, particularly when shifting heavy machinery on the floor. Dust and dirt embed on the floor and will scratch it if you allow it to remain over there. The best idea is to remove all dirt and sand regularly. It is vital as epoxy floors, despite being tough, can show signs of damage from numerous scratches over time. You can achieve this goal with the help of a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush appendage. The regularity of vacuuming depends on the amount of dirt and grit accumulated on your floor. Keeping the floor clean's surface is even more critical when it is time to move heavy machinery across the floor.



Never use soap-based cleaners:

Never use soap-based washing agents for cleaning epoxy flooring as they tend to leave a haze on its surface that grows over time. Your most desirable option is to use an excellent deck-cleaning brush or mop along with some warm water. To deal with more stubborn spills requiring extra scrubbing power, use warm water and soft soap, and a swab.



Spot cleaning:

Often, you want to sweep or mop a small portion of the floor in which any liquid has been spilled. It would help if you vacuumed up the spilled liquid together with any dirt, following which you have to clean the area with warm water and a mop. Do not worry, as epoxy is highly water-resistant. Additionally, they have a slick exterior that makes cleaning a breeze. It is crucial to clean the spills as soon as possible. Epoxy flooring resists stains caused by liquid, but not indefinitely.

WARNING :

Wipe off chemical spills as quickly as possible. Some can alter the performance and the appearance of the floor coating.




Heavily soiled floors:

The best way to clean up the dirty epoxy floor is to sweep and vacuum the area thoroughly. Remove everything on the floor to get easy access to it, sweep the affected area lightly following warm water, and a tough foam mop to remove all of the deposited dirt. After that, use a solution of two ounces of ammonia per gallon of warm water for secondary mopping.



Removing stains:

Although epoxy floors resist stains, some of them, like iron rust, has to be removed by cleaning them with a soft and gentle deck brush or kitchen scrubbing sponge soaked with warm water. Avoid using harsh chemical compounds or steel wool as they are abrasive and damage the floor's surface.



Removing car chemicals and other chemicals:

Use paper towels to clean up oil, antifreeze, and other car-related substances. Never leave such spills to settle on the surface of the floor for too long. Engine oil also contains substances that are potentially hazardous to an epoxy floor. Could be Even engine oil has chemicals that are likely hazardous to an epoxy floor. Wipe up spilled gas as soonest possible, as it damages the epoxy floor's surface if allowed to sit for too long. It is the same with paint and other abrasive liquids. Use paper towels to wipe them up as soon as the spill happens.

January 29, 2021

Ultimate Garage Floor Protection using Polyurea/Polyaspartic Floor Coatings

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Extreme weather changes are a given. From winter snow to summer rains and dust storms, we drag all these with our vehicles. The de-icing agents used on modern-day roads are harsh on garage floors. Exposed concrete is susceptible to destruction from the elements. For ultimate garage floor protection, you need a superior garage floor coating. Polyurea/polyaspartic garage floor coating will protect your garage from damage caused by:

  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Impact
  • Moisture
  • Salts
  • Acids
  • UV exposure
  • Oil
  • Gas

Polyaspartic coatings offer the ultimate protection to your garage floor that stand the test of time. ArmorThane offers the polyurea/polyaspartic garage floor coatings you've been looking for. 

Their custom floor coatings provide flexibility, durability, and strength. They are heat, salt, chemical, and abrasion-resistant. That guarantees that your garage floor is better preserved for maximum performance. Polyurea floors have the following benefits.



Hot Tire Pickup

One of the major dilemmas of an epoxy garage floor coating is hot tire pick up. Hot tire pick up occurs when a hot car tire pulls the sealer from the floor. It is depressing to install an epoxy coating on your garage floor only to have patches of it peel up where your car tires sit. This will not be an issue with a polyaspartic garage floor coating.



Prevents Oil Stains from Getting to Your House

Oil stains are common on an unguarded non coated garage floor. It is hard to remove oil stains from a concrete floor. These stains make your garage look hideous. Most importantly, residual oil can end up in your home. The stains can be slippery and cause injuries in your garage or inside your home. Polyurea coatings prevent oil stains from forming on your garage floor. You can easily remove leftover oil from a floor with a polyurea coating.



Resists Salts and Acids

Salt and acids on the roads will be brought to your garage by your car. With time, these chemicals will pit your concrete. These pits will hold dust and dirt that are difficult to clean. These pits will ultimately form cracks. Water will get underneath the concrete by seeping through the cracks. This will put tension on the concrete slab and cause more fractures.

Without a suitable coating, your garage floors will deteriorate quickly. Cracks and pits caused by salts and acids will interfere with the structural integrity of your garage. Polyurea and polyaspartic floors coatings have high stain and chemical resistance. These coatings prevent salt, stains, and chemicals from getting to the concrete. This will reduce the wear and tear of the flooring.




Return on Investment

Polyurea/polyaspartic garage floor coatings services will make your garage floor last long. Therefore, you will obtain the maximum return on your garage floor investment. Polyaspartic coating will make it easy to maintain your garage floors. This will save you time and money.





 The Bottom-Line

Polyaspartic coatings are high-performance materials. Also, they have fast cure rates. A polyaspartic floor coating will cure in less than 12 hours. To find out more about how you can apply Polyurea/Polyaspartic garage floor coatings, click here to contact ArmorThane.

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