Friday, March 15, 2013

Value of Membership: $1,970 per home built

Your HBA and its affiliate, NAHB, has logged significant victories advocating for members in the legal, legislative and regulatory arenas during 2012. It leveraged the association’s power to testify before Congress and shine a light on key issues, got pro-housing bills introduced and passed, challenged regulations that do more harm than good, and leveled the playing field against powerful interests that could put struggling builders, remodelers and their suppliers out of business.

Our advocacy efforts have saved the typical home builder about $7,250 per housing start in 2012, including both single-family and multifamily. Each day for the next several weeks we will an example of our policy victories that led to big savings for builders and remodelers. Note that the dollar values below are based on averages across the industry. These numbers do not necessarily apply in all areas of the country.

NAHB challenge to EPA stormwater regulations saved builders $1,970 on each home built. NAHB actions related to EPA stormwater regulations helped builders with their bottom line. Following regulatory and legal challenges by NAHB, the EPA acknowledged that the government did not have sufficient data to support a numeric limit for stormwater discharges. EPA then withdrew its onerous proposed numeric limit, an action that saved builders $1,970 on each home built in 2012.

NAHB: New Guide Helps Builders Navigate 2012 Residential Code

A new guide co-published by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council (ICC) provides critical answers to the most frequently asked residential construction jobsite code questions. Available through BuilderBooks, NAHB’s publishing arm, the 2012 Home Builders’ Jobsite Codes: A Quick Guide to the 2012 International Residential Code, is a portable guide for home builders, contractors, inspectors, architects, engineers and other construction professionals. The convenient field guide is a quick reference to the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) and provides easy-to-read code requirements for every aspect of residential construction.

The 2012 Home Builders’ Jobsite Code discusses the impact of 2012 code changes to ventilation requirements, wall construction, duct sealing and other areas. It also details new fire safety and hurricane protection measures and discusses topics such as:
  • blower door tests
  • whole-house mechanical ventilation
  • fire protection of floors
  • wall bracing methods
  • roof construction
  • hot water piping
  • high-efficiency lighting
  • gray water recycling

“This new guide is an excellent resource for building professionals to stay on top of the most recent code changes,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “With its easy-to-use reference guide, glossary, illustrations, and availability in both compact printed version or e-book, it will be an invaluable asset on the job site. ”

Written by Stephen A. Van Note, the guide features more than 100 illustrations, tables and figures to help the reader understand specific code requirements, as well as a glossary that provides definitions of construction-related terms. A certified building official and plans examiner, Van Note has more than 15 years of experience in code administration and enforcement and more than 20 years of experience in the construction field, including project planning and management for residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

2012 Home Builders’ Jobsite Codes is meant to be of practical use on the jobsite, not as a substitute for the complete codes.

To purchase the new 2012 Home Builders’ Jobsite Codes: A Quick Guide to the 2012 International Residential Code, please visit or call 1-800-223-2665. (ISBN 978-086718-696-3; Retail $21.95/NAHB Member $19.95). The Guide is also available as an e-Book at (Retail $14.99/NAHB Member $12.99).

NAHB: Regulatory Burdens on Small Business Hurt Housing, Economy, Builders Tell Congress

Federal agencies are circumventing the intent and the letter of a law to make the regulatory process more cost effective and less burdensome for small businesses, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) told Congress today. As a result, the regulatory process continues to unnecessarily increase compliance costs and is acting as a drag on the housing and economic recovery.

Testifying on behalf of NAHB before the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations, Kansas home builder Carl Harris said compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which requires federal agencies to review regulations for their impact on small businesses and consider less burdensome alternatives, continues to fall far short of the act’s objective.

“Federal agencies often view compliance as largely a procedural function during the federal rulemaking process and not – as Congress intended – an opportunity to reduce the burden of regulations on small businesses,” said Harris, who has participated in the regulatory process. “When federal agencies are unprepared to provide small business review panelists with the information and data necessary to evaluate the costs and compliance obligations, the process breaks down.”

Harris then cited several examples where a smarter and more sensible regulatory process would benefit the housing industry, home builders and small businesses:

The 2008 Occupational Safety and Health Administration Cranes and Derricks Construction Rule:
The rule is intended to protect workers from hazards associated with hoisting equipment in construction. The Regulatory Flexibility Act required OSHA to convene a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel to evaluate the rule’s potential impact on small businesses. However, OSHA did not establish a panel until after the rulemaking process was completed.

Harris, who participated on the review panel, explained to OSHA officials that the rule does not take into account the differences between crane applications on residential construction sites and large commercial construction sites. “I personally put forward an effective, feasible alternative that would save lives and reduce injuries in a more cost-effective way by developing regulations for crane operator certification which are appropriate to the equipment that is being used and the risks presented by that equipment,” he said. However, since small businesses were not brought into the process until after the rule was finalized, Harris said his participation “seemed little more than a procedural hurdle with little interest from OSHA to make changes based on the feedback received.”

Stormwater discharges:
In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency issued changes to its policies covering stormwater discharges from developed sites that had major ramifications for home builders. Once again, EPA failed to provide sufficient information about the proposed changes to a small business review panel on which Harris also served. “Unfortunately, the pattern is often the same: Agencies either fail to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act by ignoring the statutory obligation to convene a small entity review panel or convene a panel but fail to provide the panelists sufficient information concerning the proposed rule to allow them to evaluate regulatory options or provide alternatives,” he said.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule:
EPA failed to convene a small business review panel when it first moved to amend the rule in 2008. The final rule, which went into effect in 2010, constrained small businesses in the home building and remodeling industry. It requires renovation work that disturbs more than six square feet in a home built before 1978 to follow new lead-safe work practices supervised by an EPA-certified renovator and performed by an EPA-certified renovation firm.

This has resulted in excessive compliance costs that ultimately get passed on to consumers. An unintended consequence of this rule is that it encourages home owners to hire uncertified contractors to do the work, or worse, do the work themselves and actually increase the likelihood of disturbing lead-based paint. Poor development and implementation by EPA has jeopardized safety, needlessly raised costs for remodelers and consumers, and hindered both job growth and energy efficiency upgrades.

Many of the deficiencies in EPA’s RRP rule could have been addressed if the agency had complied with both the letter and the spirit of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, said Harris.

When establishing the Regulatory Flexibility Act in 1980, Congress said the purpose of the law was to “fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulations. To achieve this, principal agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration.”

“Unfortunately, all too often federal agencies view compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act as either a technicality of the federal rulemaking process or, worse yet, as unnecessary,” Harris said. “I urge Congress to seek out ways to improve agency compliance with this law.”

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Judges and Drivers NEEDED for Tour of Homes!!!

The HBA of Columbia is having a 2013 Tour of Homes, with 53 homes they need judges- and who better to judge than other HBA members. The judging will take place on Wednesday April 10th in Columbia, SC.
Judges will paired with a driver and the day will start at 9 a.m. to conclude no later than 5 p.m. The day will be mapped out for you and the categories are divided up by price points.

If you would like more information on how you can help please contact Heather McDonald with the HBA of Greater Columbia at (803)256-6238 or email her at

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Value of Membership: What is membership in your HBA worth?

Your HBA and its affiliate, NAHB, consistently deliver real value for our members.

At any given time, your HBA is working on more than 100 complex issues – and doing its utmost to save members money – in areas including the tax code, federal housing programs, environmental laws, building codes, OSHA, building materials, qualified residential mortgages, residential appraisals and many others.

Such issues can severely impact our industry; a single win can save builders thousands of dollars on every home they build. Likewise, a single loss can cost builders thousands of dollars on every home they build.

Below is a list of some of the more significant advocacy victories NAHB has achieved recently in terms of monetary impact. Please note that the dollar values below are based on averages across the industry and that these numbers do not necessarily apply in all areas of the country.
  1. NAHB challenge to EPA stormwater regulations saved builders $1,970 on each home built.
  2. NAHB advocacy on form 1099 reporting requirements saved each member $230 per year.
  3. NAHB saved Remodelers $260 per room on lead testing requirement.
  4. Flood insurance victory will preserve 10,100 new home sales in 2013.
  5. Fire sprinkler victories will save $6,316 per home in some areas in 2013.
  6. Supreme Court win could save $200,000 for those seeking wetlands permits.
  7. Higher FHA loan limit saved 6,300 new home sales in 2012.
  8. Elimination of visitability porch requirement will save $1,350 per home.
These represent just a fraction of the issues that NAHB addresses on an ongoing basis. More details on these and other NAHB initiatives are available on the following pages. In addition, NAHB continues to advance the policy priorities determined by its Board of Directors.

NAHB: Top 12 Accomplishments 2012, Number 11: Association Leadership Institute

Builder Review Daily is highlighting the top 12 actions taken on behalf of Home Builders in 2012.

Accomplishment number 11: Production of the Highly Successful Association Leadership Institute

The Association Leadership Institute brought nearly 400 HBA Executive Officers, staff, member leaders and industry experts to New Orleans for a dynamic educational experience focusing on association functions, leadership development and team collaboration.

Billed as a combination of our previously offered EOC Seminar, Membership Conference, Leadership Conference and State and Local Government Conference, the newly created Association Leadership Institute (ALI) took place in New Orleans this August. The event provided a solid educational experience and a fantastic opportunity for networking with colleagues and industry experts, with 35 quality education programs and a host of nationally acclaimed speakers. Participants came away with practical solutions for key association functions to lead their organizations forward. Plan now to attend the next ALI in Portland, Ore., Aug. 14-17, 2013. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Welcome Home!

On Friday March 1st the HBA Community Service Committee was on hand to watch Kimberly Rouse receive the keys to her new home. While this may not sound note worthy, Kimberly was selected as the recipient of a newly refurbished home at Cone Crest Ct with products and services donated by the members of the HBA of Greenville.

Many THANKS to the following companies who donated to this special project:
Eastergard HVAC click here for more information
Home Depot click here for their Greenville location
Lowe's Click here for their Simpsonville location
Stock Building Supply click here for their Greenville location
Willis Landscaping click here for more information
Thank you, also to the HBA's Community Service Committee who donated their time to help make this project a success. 

Congratulations to Kimberly and her family!