The Sky Is Not Falling

Do you remember the story of Chicken Little? In the story, an acorn falls on Chicken Little’s head and he runs around telling everyone, “The sky is falling!” Enough animals believe him that they trek to share the impending danger with their king. Chicken Little is a fable about mass hysteria and how one person—in this case, chicken—can create said hysteria.

As of late, the “sky is falling” storyline that has been thrust upon us is that we’re headed into a period of inflation and the economy is on the brink of tanking. The storyline has everyone on edge, including members of the building industry—understandably so. If we keep repeating this storyline enough, it will come to fruition. However, I attended Design and Construction Week (DCW) in Las Vegas, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, and the optimism and amount of business transacted at that event have me thinking the sky is not falling. In fact, a National Association of Home Builders press release reports 200,000 housing and design professionals descended upon Vegas for the event, breaking all attendance records in DCW’s 10-year history. Per the release, it was the “largest gathering of housing professionals in the world.”

Another NAHB release expects residential remodeling to continue on an upward trajectory, doing better than single-family and multifamily markets this year. Although demand for remodel- ing has slowed a bit, it is still in positive territory. “Remodeling activity should start to pick up by the end of 2023 as interest rates on home-improvement loans begin to trend downward,” says NAHB Assistant Vice President for Forecasting and Analysis Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington.

Nanayakkara-Skillington notes the NAHB/Westlake Royal Remodeling Market Index was down year-over-year for the fourth quarter of 2022 but remained in positive territory with a reading of 66, well above the break-even point of 50. That’s good news for residential remodeling!

During DCW, I learned about so many innovative new products being created by manufacturers; this issue contains only new products seen at IBS or KBIS. I also heard about amazing projects just completed, like the beautiful backyard of Instagram’s original engineer, which is featured in this issue. The excitement and energy at the show was palpable, and the confidence about what lays ahead for construction and design was unmistakable.

As a member of the media, I hate to “dog” the media but, in recent years, even I have had to turn away from all the doom and gloom of the news. Let’s pay more attention to and spread the word about the positive things happening in the industry—and the world—to ensure the sky doesn’t actually fall!

In the words of John Riester, retrofit home’s publisher, “I’m just going to stay positive and everything else will fall into place.” That’s the kind of falling I can get behind!

About the Author

Christina A. Koch
Christina A. Koch is editorial director and associate publisher of retrofit.

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