There have been more changes in the housing industry in the past three years than in the previous 33 years. That’s how long I have been building houses and developing land. I thought we might explore some of these in a few articles over the next month or so and then discuss how they might apply, should you or someone you know, be in the market for a new home.

You could probably guess that the proliferation of computer usage would be one of the changes. For several years we have generated floor plans on our computers. That’s no surprise. However, the software gets more sophisticated almost daily. We will dedicate a whole article to this and you will see what I mean. I think you may be amazed.

Additionally, more and better software is available to estimate, schedule and record-keep to make the construction job and number crunching go better. You could ask these questions and reasonably expect to get good answers:

• How much have I spent to date?

• How much more will I need to spend to completion?

• How long should it take to complete?

• Construction materials and methods is another topic that will require an article or more to just scratch the surface. Again, some materials and their uses have been with us, but improvements and new ways to use them are coming to the forefront — cementious siding (exterior siding made from cement), steel framing members, concrete additives and finishes, modular construction and concrete filled foam blocks called ICFs, to name a few.

Of course, design options are greater now. There is more of everything. Paint, flooring and plumbing fixtures, many with built-in electronic controls, light fixtures including more LEDs, appliances and so on.

Then there are the energy efficiency features to talk about. There are more HVAC options, solar collectors — both heated water and photovoltaic — and insulation improvements.

And then there are the new requirements to acquire the coveted Energy Star label. EPA is rolling out version 2.5 now and getting ready to implement version 3.0 by the first of next year. Some of us already meet those new standards and have for quite some time.

This is an exciting time to build a home with all of these things to consider.

For comments about this article, contact Ronnie Godfrey at Ronnie@RGodfreyHomes.com or call 817-988-0149.