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Susan Marvin on the state of the industry

We’re proud to be guided by our president, Susan Marvin — a strong, visionary leader whose voice is respected throughout our industry and beyond.  Susan was featured in Fine Homebuilding’s most recent issue talking about the philosophies that govern Integrity and Marvin, along with her thoughts on the building industry. Here are a few snippets:

From your perspective, what’s the future of home building?

I see a very strong industry, but it ebbs and flows. One of the things I’m seeing right now is a downward pressure on price. There’s a lot of discounting going on in the industry; there’s a lot of concern about the commoditization of windows because of that.

I tell the people we work with that we continue to focus on high-quality products. You want to do it as efficiently as you can, but it’s got to be durable, it’s got to perform, it’s got to be an important architectural element to the house. There will always be a market for that. There will always be people who care and people it makes a difference to. That’s a segment of the market that we’ve decided to focus on, and we’re not leaving it behind. We’re not making a mad dash for the bottom of the barrel. When your name’s on it, you care.”

How are you feeling looking forward?
Everything is in place for us to begin to have a very slow recovery. Slow is probably a good thing in this case because I don’t think the industry could support fast growth right now. There are potential issues with land, labor, and financing that could hinder a fast recovery. Also, there are capacity issues: Some companies cut staff and ran lean during the recession, and may not be able to get back to speed quickly. Then there are issues facing builders, who may have difficulty finding a qualified, skilled workforce.”

Read the rest of the interview here. What are you seeing for the industry?


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