New-home construction activity has been on the rise lately, but for most of the past five years it was at historically low levels. As a result, many markets were flooded with well-intentioned builders who quickly discovered that new-construction experience doesn't neatly translate to remodeling, which has very different rules for business, estimating, and scheduling. It's akin to an accomplished New England custom-home builder moving to Santa Fe to build a 5,000-square-foot adobe — the finished product is the same, but just about everything needed to build it is different.I know, because I learned the hard way that new construction and...

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