Friday, July 25, 2014

Latest Verizon offers available through your membership!

NPP and Verizon regularly provide our members exclusive offers on products and services. This quarter Verizon has several promotions that will enhance your business productivity and reduce cost:

The latest Smartphone offers, starting at $0.99 when you activate a two-year voice with data plan:
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for $199.99
  • Casio G'zOne Commando for $0.99
  • DROID MAXX for $49.99
  • Over 10 other Smartphones between $0.99 and $199.99
$100 Bill Incentive Credit (BIC) per line when activating a Smartphone. (New activations only, two-year contract is required, $34.99 price plan or higher.)
  • $50/line credit for basic phone service and $25/line credit for 4G LTE Jetpacks, USB modems or tablets.
Get the ultimate in-car speakerphone to help take your business on the road. More than just a speaker, the Motorola Roadster 2 makes talking, calling and texting hands-free. With a battery life of up to 20 hours of continuous talk time, you can keep your eyes on the road and your business moving forward.

For more details on these offers, take a look at the promotional flyer links included in this e-mail. These promos are available through September 30, 2014.

If you are interested in purchasing equipment or accessing discounts, contact your local Verizon representative. If you don't know who your representative is, visit or call 800.922.0204.

If you would like to further discuss your NPP membership, feel free to contact us directly at 800.810.3909 or

Progress Lighting promotes Todd Roy to National Sales Director, hires Key Account Marketing Manager

GREENVILLE, S.C., July 18, 2014 – Progress Lighting recently promoted Todd Roy from Director of Builder Sales and Marketing to National Sales Director. Additionally, the residential lighting manufacturer has expanded its marketing team with the hire of Jennifer Kis as Key Account Marketing Manager.

Prior to directing marketing and sales initiatives for Progress Lighting’s builder segments, Roy served in the National Accounts Department, after beginning his career as an Account Manager in 1999. During his tenure, Roy has greatly expanded the breadth of the company’s North American business, while developing strong relationships with national builder partners and distributors.

Roy will assume the responsibilities of Bob Sale, who retired in mid-July after more than 20 years of distinguished service at the company.

Kis joins Progress Lighting with nearly 20 years of public relations, international marketing, agency and client relations experience. In her role, Kis will be responsible for leading marketing efforts to further accelerate growth on the rapidly expanding Ferguson and partnerships.

Her recent work history includes developing and executing integrated marketing plans for a diverse client base at Jackson Marketing Group. She has also worked abroad in Munich, Germany for Pepper GmbH, an international marketing agency. Prior to her work in Germany, she held communication positions at Greenville-based companies Erwin Penland and Michelin North America.

About Progress Lighting
Progress Lighting is committed to manufacturing award-winning energy efficient products while educating individuals on new options available in solid-state lighting. The manufacturer also responds to the ever-changing needs of the lighting industry with extensive research and development programs that ensure high standards of quality and innovation for the home. 

Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Progress Lighting has distribution centers located throughout the country that support one of the largest networks of electrical distributors and showrooms in the United States. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

President Obama Signs Jobs Training Bill Into Law

President Obama on July 22 signed into law H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Championed by NAHB, the legislation will help alleviate labor shortages in the housing industry by providing investment and resources to train workers for careers in home building and other industries.

Further, the law reauthorizes the Job Corps and Youthbuild programs as federal programs operated through the U.S. Department of Labor.

In partnership with NAHB and Job Corps, HBI, formerly the Home Building Instutute, is a national leader for career training and job placement in the building industry. HBI’s Job Corps training programs are national in scope, but implemented locally using proven models that can be customized to meet the workforce needs of communities across the United States and internationally.

At the signing ceremony, Obama said the bill “will give communities more certainty to invest in job-training programs for the long run. It will help us bring those programs into the 21stcentury by building on what we know works based on evidence, based on tracking what actually delivers on behalf of folks who enroll in these programs – more partnerships with employers, more tools to measure performance, more flexibilities for states and cities to innovate and to run their workforce programs in ways that are best suited for their particular demographic and their particular industries.”

Job Corps prepares students with the skills and experience they need for successful careers through pre-apprenticeship training, job placement services, mentoring, certification programs, textbooks and curricula. With an 80% job placement rate for graduates, HBI Job Corps programs provide services for disadvantaged youth in 73 centers across the country.

View a summary of the bill.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

OSHA is stepping up its enforcement on residential job sites

Even in state plan jurisdictions like South Carolina

There are strong signs that OSHA is increasing its enforcement actions on home building sites throughout the country—in both Federal and state plan jurisdictions. One of the main reasons is that new data shows the number of fatalities in residential construction increased by 37 percent compared to just a 3 percent increase in nonresidential construction in 2012, which is the most recent data available. OSHA has also instituted a number of local enforcement emphasis programs aimed at reducing numerous construction hazards, including those in residential.

There are a few simple things that home builders and their partners should do to improve safety on their jobsites and be prepared for OSHA inspections:
  • Conduct an assessment to identify and correct safety hazards on the jobsite;
  • Conduct appropriate safety training for employees and subcontractors;
  • Update records and make sure they are readily available;
  • Understand the OSHA inspection process (see link below to the OSHA Inspection Toolkit).
Builders and trade contractors should pay particular attention to the following hazards, which are the top 10 most frequently cited Federal OSHA construction standards in 2013 (click on the link to access the OSHA standard):
  1. 1926.501 - Duty to have fall protection
  2. 19260.451 - General scaffold requirements
  3. 1926.1053 - Ladders
  4. 1926.503 - Fall protection training requirements
  5. 1910.1200 - Hazard Communication
  6. 1926.102 - Eye and face protection
  7. 1926.100 - Head protection
  8. 1926.453 - Aerial lifts
  9. 1926.651 - Specific Excavation Requirements
  10. 1926.20 - General safety and health provisions
Regarding 9 above, there have been some recent questions by home builders about OSHA’s requirements for house foundations/basement excavations. For those parts of the country where basements are common, the area between the house foundation and basement excavation becomes a trench (by OSHA’s definition) when constructing formwork, foundations, or walls. In 1995, OSHA issued a memo “Suspension of 29 CFR 1926.652 to House Foundation/Basement Excavations”, whereby the agency altered the trenching/exaction requirements of the regulation as they apply to house construction, which is still in effect today. This memo essentially requires house foundations to be benched 2 feet horizontal for every 5 feet vertical (for a diagram of what this looks like, see page 2 of NAHB’s Trenching Safety Card) and the other conditions outlined in the memo exist. More information for OSHA’s trenching and excavation requirements can also be found in NAHB’s Trenching and Excavation Safety Handbook.

Finally, here are additional resources to assist home builders:
If you have questions about OSHA or experience an OSHA site visit or audit, please contact your Home Builders Association at 864-254-0133 or email

Green Building and Construction Law Courses Online this Fall

Registration is open for two popular NAHB courses you can attend from your desk at home: Green Building for Building Professionals Online and Construction Contracts and Law Online.
  • The 12-hour Green Building for Building Professionals course will be spread over six weeks: 1-3 p.m. ET on Tuesdays, Sept. 16, 23 and 30 and Oct. 7, 14 and 21. Register here.
  • This Construction Contracts and Law course will take place over three weeks: 1-3 p.m. ET Tuesdays, Nov. 4, 11 and 18. Register here.
If you would like to learn more about the classes, call the NAHB Professional Designation Helpline at 800-368-5242 x8154  or click here!

Dillard Jones Southern Living Showcase Home opens this weekend!

Tour dates:

Friday, July 25-Sunday, August 31

Friday 1p-6p
Saturday 10a-6p
Sunday 1p-6p

GPS address: 128 Cliffs Falls Parkway Salem, SC 29676 (The gate at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls)

Home Address: 703 Hemlock Court Salem, SC 29676

Go to for more information

Keeping it Clean with Stormwater Management

While the rules regarding how builders and developers need to manage stormwater runoff from their jobsites have been around for more than 20 years, the industry is still getting dinged. That could be because the rules themselves are as clear to some as, well, mud.

Nevertheless, it’s important – both economically and ecologically – to understand state and local requirements and develop a plan to manage stormwater and assemble and maintain proper control measures.

Do You Need a Permit?Stormwater management regulations apply to developers and builders who disturb one or more acre of land. If your jobsite consists of less than an acre but is part of a larger “common plan of development,” then you also must get a state permit, and in some cases a local permit too. Local permits could have erosion and sediment requirements for new construction that apply to sites less than an acre.

Staying in Compliance
If your project requires a permit and you don’t have one, you are taking an expensive chance: Federal penalties of up to $32,500 per violation per day under the Clean Water Act.

Perhaps the most confusing aspect for builders and developers leading to non-compliance is not realizing they need to obtain a permit – and that, in fact, is a common violation. Some builders also assume that their project is covered under a developer’s permit, but that’s not always the case.

Other typical stormwater management violations, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), include:
  • Failure to develop an adequate Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)for minimizing the amount of sediment and other pollutants in runoff.
  • Failure to install or implement appropriate stormwater controls or best management practices (BMPs) required by the SWPPP. Often, it is because silt fences were not installed in all required areas; BMPs to prevent sediment from entering storm drains were not installed; BMPs to keep dirt from getting tracked off site were not installed at construction entrances; concrete washout basins to prevent concrete from flowing into storm drains were not established; or in some instances portable toilets are placed atop storm drain inlets without BMPs to prevent spills from entering the storm drain.
  • Incorrect BMPs installation (for example, silt fences were not properly trenched in or sediment ponds were not completed before grading the site).
  • Failure to keep BMPs in effective operating condition (for example, silt fences and storm drain inlet protections were full of sediment and no longer effective, silt fences had fallen down or had holes, construction entrances needed additional rock).
  • Failure to adequately or routinely inspect BMPs to ensure proper operation and maintenance.
Doing Our Part
Stormwater management is important because sediment-laden lakes, streams and estuaries can’t support a healthy aquatic habitat. Additionally, nutrients, including phosphorus, attach to sediment and travel downstream, causing algal blooms and decreased oxygen levels. Stormwater controls on construction sites help reduce the impact of sediment and nutrients on our valuable water resources.

Learn more about stormwater management from this helpful EPA publication. You can also look to EPA for information regarding post-construction stormwater management common practices. And for the long-term control of stormwater discharge, low impact developmentprovides an opportunity for builders and developers to do a good turn.

U.S. House Prices Up 0.4 Percent in May

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today reported that U.S. house prices rose 0.4 percent in May from the previous month. The April index value has been revised to reflect a 0.1 percent monthly price increase, above the original estimate of no change.

The FHFA House Price Index (HPI) is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From May 2013 to May 2014, house prices were up 5.5 percent. The U.S. index is 6.5 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the July 2005 index level.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from April 2014 to May 2014 ranged from -0.7 percent in the East South Central division to +1.1 percent in the West South Central division. The 12-month changes were all positive ranging from+2.5 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +9.6 percent in the Pacific division.