Friday, February 28, 2014

Did you miss the International Builders Show?

Yes?  You don't have to completely miss out.  Watch excerpts from IBS TV by clicking here.

Legal Alert: Patent Enforcement UPDATE

Legal Alert:

A group in has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covering a commonly-used process for removing moisture from lumber in unfinished construction.  A copy of a patent assertion from this company is linked below.

If you receive a patent assertion from this company, please contact your HBA Office at 865-254-0133 or email  We are working with the HBA of Oregon and NAHB to facilitate a challenge to this patent.

Click here to view a copy of the patent assertion received by an HBA member in Oregon.


Did you know that NAHB monitors patent applications for residential building designs and subdivision layouts that are pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reduce the likelihood that members will have to pay costly patent infringement fines.

Since 1998, the NAHB Design Committee and NAHB staff have monitored the US Patent and Trademark Office’s issue of the granting of patents to residential building designs and subdivision layouts to better ensure that such patents are properly issued.

Anyone can apply for a patent with an idea, concept or invention that is unique, novel and non-obvious. In addition, anyone can be affected by a patent that was granted for an idea, concept or invention that is not. A patent holder can enforce receipt of royalties and/or can sue for patent infringement if a patented design or plan is already built; therefore, improperly issued patents can involve substantial costs for building industry professionals.

Click here to read the summary reports of patent applications.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hard Hat Tour on March 20th sponsored by Dillard Jones Builders with Conservus Group

Mark your calendars for the HBA of Greenville's Hard Hat Tour at the Southern Living Showcase Home. The event is sponsored by Dillard-Jones Builders with Conservus Group, exclusive Sales and Marketing for the The Ridges at Paris Mountain.

The event will start at 10am with muffins and mimosas and will involve a tour and information on how to sell new home construction to potential buyers.

You can also register to win an iPad Mini.

For more information or to register for this event please contact Crystal Yanes at the the HBA office. 864-254-0133 or

HBA of Greenville Members- FREE home show tickets courtesy of PestBan.

PestBan would like to invite all HBA of Greenville members to attend the Spring Southern Home and Garden Show, Presented by Jeff Lynch Appliance and TV Center, March 7-9th. PestBan is the official Trade Day sponsor and will have information on their products and services located at the Southern Home and Garden Show information desk.
For your complimentary tickets please visit the Information/ Will call desk during the show and present your HBA membership card or industry business card.

Click here for show hours and more information.

Community Service committee completes Camp Buckhorn cabin.

The HBA of Greenville's Community Service Committee worked throughout the weekend to complete some much needed cabin renovations at Paris Mountain's Camp Buckhorn. The camp is looking to update the look and efficiency of all the cabins in the camp site over a period of several years. Materials and supplies were provided they just needed help swinging hammers, cutting lumber, and installing insulation and windows. The committee and student volunteers from Clemson University's Construction Science and Management Department completed work on one cabin just in time for opening weekend beginning March 1st. 
The camp is a hidden gem in Greenville and is open for rental from the SC Park Service most of the year. 
A BIG thanks goes out to those who helped.
Jon Statom and Tim Joner- Palmetto Exterminators and Statom family
Eddie Howard- Howard Custom Builders
Andrew Woodford- ABW Construction
John Wolfrom- Providence Realty and Marketing
Clemson University Construction Science Students
Patrick Dey

The Community Service Committee hopes to help out with another cabin renovation at the end of this year. 

For more information on this project or other Community Service Projects please contact Crystal at the HBA office or864-254-0133.

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Increase Slightly in January

National data shows interest rates on mortgages increased in January.  Contract mortgage interest rates increased 0.11 percent from December to January, according to an index of new mortgage contracts.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.37 percent for loans closed in late January. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.36 percent, up 11 basis points from 4.25 in December.

Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, January data reflect market rates from mid-to-late December. The effective interest rate was 4.52 percent, up 12 basis points from 4.40 percent in December. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

FHFA’s interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.67 in January, an increase of 13 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $284,400 in January up $6,800 from $277,600 in December.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

NAHB: Urge your Representatives to Vote for the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act

Call your Representative at
(866) 924-NAHB (6242)

The House of Representatives will soon be considering the NAHB-supported H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. This bill addresses serious affordability concerns due to dramatic flood insurance premium increases, and if not corrected, will continue to severely impact the construction, remodeling, and sale of homes in many communities across the nation. This bill will provide certainty and financial stability to the National Flood Insurance Program.

H.R. 3370 provides a more affordable rate structure for policyholders, repeals the rate increases from the sale or transfer of homes, restores the substantial improvement threshold to the historic 50%, requires FEMA to create more accurate flood maps, and ensures that consumers can be reimbursed for successful map appeals.

Call to action:
  • Call your Representative at (866) 924-NAHB (6242)
Your ask:
  • Urge your Representative to vote YES on H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.
If you have any questions or feedback, please

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

City of Greenville Distracted Driving Ordinance

Greenville City Council has enacted an ordinance banning distracted driving in the City of Greenville. The ordinance specifically prohibits the use of hand-held mobile devices while operating a vehicle, which includes not only while the vehicle is in motion, but also while the vehicle is temporarily stopped for traffic, at a traffic control device, or for another delay like waiting in a carpool line.

The ordinance does, however, permit drivers to use mobile devices while operating a vehicle as long as they can be used hands free. According to the ordinance, hands free means that the driver is not holding a mobile device up to or near his or her ear to talk or listen, and that the driver is not holding a mobile device in his or her hand(s) and manipulating the keyboard or the screen. In other words, drivers may talk on their mobile phone, use their GPS or listen to music as long as they are using a Bluetooth, or as long as the device they are using is mounted on the dashboard or secured in a cradle or some type of holder. If the device cannot be used hands free, the driver must be legally parked in order to use their hand-held device.

The ordinance takes effect April 1. Between now and then the city will conduct an education and awareness campaign. That campaign is launched with a distracted driving exhibit at Haywood Mall February 28-March 2. 

Once the ordinance goes into effect, drivers who are stopped for distracted driving could be charged a fine of up to $100, plus court costs. The fine increases for second and third offenses and ultimately could result in the loss of a driver’s hand-held device. Greenville police officers will have the discretion to enforce the ordinance through warnings for a period of time.

FHFA House Price Index Rises for Tenth Consecutive Quarter

U.S. house prices rose 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the tenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.

“Home price appreciation in the fourth quarter was considerable, but more modest than in recent periods,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “It is too early to know whether the lower quarterly growth rate represents the beginning of more normalized price appreciation patterns or a more significant slowdown.”

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Compared with last year, house prices rose 7.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for December was up 0.8 percent from November.

FHFA’s expanded-data house price index, a metric that adds transaction information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration to the HPI data sample, rose 1.2 percent over the prior quarter. Over the last year, that index is up 7.8 percent. For individual states, price changes reflected in the expanded-data measure and the traditional purchase-only HPI are compared on pages 17-19 of this report.

The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose 7.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013 while prices of other goods and services rose only 0.7 percent. The inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 7.0 percent over the latest year.

Significant Findings:
  • The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose in 38 states during the fourth quarter of 2013 (down from 48 states as reported during the third quarter). The top five states in annual appreciation: 1) Nevada 2) California 3) Arizona 4) Oregon 5) Florida.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest increase in the fourth quarter, posting a 2.4 percent increase and an 11.7 percent increase since last year. House prices were weakest in the New England division, where prices increased 0.1 percent from the prior quarter.
  • As measured with purchase-only indexes for the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., fourth quarter price increases were greatest in the Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) where prices increased by 7.2 percent. Prices were weakest in the Charleston-North Charleston, SC MSA, where they fell 6.5 percent.
  • Fifteen of the 20 MSAs with the highest annual appreciation rates were in California.
  • The monthly seasonally adjusted purchase-only index for the U.S. has increased for 22 of the last 24 months (November 2013 and January 2012 had decreases).

Monday, February 24, 2014

New App Helps Reduce Call Backs and Calls

Norbord’s new Onsite App makes you a better builder.

Norbord is proud to introduce Onsite, the dynamic new app that enables builders, framers, and DIYers to work effectively with all our OSB products by preventing mistakes and reducing construction time. Norbord’s Onsite app will debut at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas on February 4th, 2014.

Onsite is an excellent resource, providing education and information for new and experienced builders and framers. It’s convenient for use on smartphones or tablet computers at the jobsite or whenever you need it. Onsite offers essential info and tips on proper installation, care and storage of Norbord’s OSB products and a detailed troubleshooting function.

Builders and framers, especially those who are new to the industry, will find Onsite helpful. Illustrations, text and how-to-videos guide builders through floor, wall and roof applications along with instructions on proper moisture management before and during construction.

Onsite’s troubleshooting function helps users determine causes of installation-related issues that can affect panel performance and includes an option to upload pictures and notify Norbord.

Mike Dawson, VP Sales, Marketing and Logistics at Norbord said, “We talked to builders, trades, pro dealers and industry associations about the most common and frequent installation mistakes. Those conversations led to the development of our new app that can remind experienced crews and train new framers on the correct way to install structural panels, reducing call backs and construction times.”

Download Onsite for iPhone, iPad or Android. Visit OR visit us at the International Builders Show, booth C7120 for more information. Onsite will soon be available in Spanish.

Issued by Jib Strategic

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Norbord Inc. is an international producer of wood-based panels with assets of more than $1 billion employing approximately 1,950 people at 13 plant locations in the US, Europe and Canada.

For further information please contact:
Doug McNeill
(416) 360-2261