Friday, October 16, 2015

NAHB Helps Soften the Impact of New Flood Risk Standards

In an important victory for NAHB and the housing community, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will pull in the reins on sweeping new standards that could have had a dramatic impact on home building and development.
NAHB talks with the Corps have produced results that will blunt the impact of the new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, which greatly expand the 100-year floodplain, placing tighter limits on where homes can be built.
In January, President Obama issued an executive order establishing the new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard expanding the floodplain beyond the 100-year floodplain to either the climate-informed science floodplain,  the 500-year floodplain,  or the 100-year floodplain plus an additional 2 to 3 foot freeboard.
Given the language of the executive order, NAHB was concerned that the new floodplain definition could adversely affect residential housing projects and homes that get HUD funding, require EPA permits and participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), making housing more expensive for consumers.
NAHB members and staff spoke in listening sessionssubmitted comments and continually pushed federal agencies to limit the applicability of the new standard. These efforts worked.
  • In June, FEMA confirmed that the new standard will not affect the standards or rates of the NFIP or the minimum floodplain management criteria for communities. FEMA will also continue to use the 1% annual chance floodplain as the basis for the Flood Insurance Rate Maps and the overall NFIP.
  • This week, the Army Corps of Engineers released a fact sheet stating that Clean Water Act Section 404 wetland permits will not be subject to the expanded floodplain standard.
  • Also this week, HUD confirmed to NAHB that the standard would not apply to newly constructed homes financed with FHA-insured mortgages. It had already determined that the standard would not apply to existing homes purchased with an FHA-insured mortgage.
However, the standard will apply to multifamily properties using FHA insurance for new construction or substantial rehabilitation. It will also apply to FHA 203(k) rehabilitation loans.
NAHB will continue to meet with the agencies as they update their regulations. We’ll monitor the development of the various documents and participate as needed to ensure our members’ concerns are addressed.
As a member of the HBA of Greenville, part of your dues go towards your NAHB membership so that they can continue to fight for fair regulations on your behalf. 

NAHB Resources Help Clarify New HUD Rule on Fair Housing

The  Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which focuses on eliminating racial segregation, takes effect Aug. 17. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the final rule in early July.
The regulation requires states, local governments and public housing agencies to conduct a more formal fair housing planning process than has been done in the past, as a condition of receiving federal funds.
To help clarify the sweeping changes announced in the rule, NAHB has created a Web page dedicated to this topic. The page includes an overview of the regulation, a link to a Frequently Asked Questions document compiled by NAHB policy experts, and links to HUD background materials.
NAHB is also creating a toolkit to help builders develop effective and workable recommendations when working with their communities to respond to the rule. 
Further, NAHB filed comments with HUD on Aug. 17 pertaining to the agency’s proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment Tool. NAHB’s comments reiterate our belief that land use decisions are local issues and also addressed other specific concerns regarding this new assessment tool
Please visit for more information on this topic along with other valuable resources.

Presidential Candidates Forum Set for International Builders' Show

NAHB is inviting all Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to present their views on economic, foreign and domestic policy issues – including the state of the home building industry – in a forum being held during the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas on January 20, 2016. 

Get your tickets now!

A limited number of tickets will be available for NAHB members and other IBS attendees to attend. Demand is expected to be strong. You must be registered to attend the 2016 IBS to be eligible for the drawing.  If you and your members who are attending the IBS are interested in attending the forum, you can enter a drawing for an opportunity to get your seats. The drawing opens Tuesday, October 20, and will close November 30.
Current IBS registrants will receive an email (to the email address used for registration) Tuesday with instructions on how to enter the drawing. Anyone who registers after Tuesday (and before Nov. 30), will have the opportunity to enter the drawing through the registration process.

This is an excellent opportunity as part of a greater learning experience with the IBS and NAHB. Register for the Show today and be entered for a chance to attend a presidential forum with questions concerning the building industry.

Save on Safety Equipment, Industrial Gases, & Welding Supply

Airgas, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading single-source suppliers of gases, welding equipment & supplies, and safety products.
Home Builder Association of Greenville members can now receive special pricing on their safety equipment, welding, & industrial gas needs through our partnership with National Purchasing Partners. To take advantage of these discounts, simply set up or link your Airgas account through NPP.
If you’re not already an NPP member, signing up is free and there’s no obligation to purchase. Once a member, your company and employees will have access to a variety of other discounts as well.

For more information or to sign up for NPP, please visit For questions or assistance please email

Thursday, October 15, 2015

SMC Fall Social NEXT Thursday, October 22 starting at 5 p.m.

Halloween is right around the corner but no need to fright the SMC Fall Social sponsored by Coldwell Banker Caine on Thursday, October 22nd and is sure to be a ghoulishly good time. We look forward to seeing you there starting at 5:00 p.m.  The event will have Food, Spirits, and a spook-tacular report on what is happening in the downtown area by Brad Halter of Coldwell Banker Caine.

Location- The Coldwell Banker Caine Gallery at 428 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601
Time- 5:00- 7 p.m.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, October 20th by email or calling the HBA office at 864-254-0133.

2015 Bridge Awards Coming March 2016! Get your entry form today

As a way of recognizing the best craftsmanship and professionalism in the industry, The Home Builders Association would like to present the Third Annual Bridge Awards presented by GBS Building Supply. This Awards ceremony will recognize the best and brightest of the categories, outlined below.
·         New Homes
·         Full Home Remodel
·         Partial Home Remodel
·         Green Building
·         Special Feature
·         Sales and Marketing
o   Web-Based Marketing Program
o   Community Promotion (Community of the Year)
o   Special Promotion
o   Individual Sales Achievement (Million Dollar Circle)
·         Individual (in addition to HBA recognition)
o   Builder of the Year
o   Associate of the Year
o   Remodeler of the Year
o   Sales Agent of the Year
-  Unit Volume
-  Dollar Volume
o   Sales Executive of the Year
-  Unit Volume
-  Dollar Volume
o   Lender of the Year
o Sales and Marketing Rookie of the Year
o Sales Team of the Year
The New Home, Full Home Remodel, Partial Home Remodel, and Green Building Categories will be broken down into price after all entries are received.
For more information on entry and sponsorship opportunities, click here. Entries will be judged February 2016 and the winners will be recognized at the 2015 Bridge Awards Ceremony in March 2016. Don’t miss your opportunity to showcase the craftsmanship and professionalism you put into your projects, enter today!  

See how previous winners have utilized their awards for better marketing. We also feature our winners in the Greenville News and our own marketing materials.

An excerpt from the Greenville News, featuring one of our Bridge Award Winners

Emergency License Information Regarding Out-of-State Contractors

As a result of the flooding across the State, many out-of-state builders and specialty contractors are seeking employment to perform repairs, construction work, or other services to residential structures.  Please be advised that when issuing building permits to any such builders or contractors applying to do work in this State, they must be appropriately licensed or registered by the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission (“Commission”).

The Commission anticipates issuing emergency licenses to qualified, out-of-state residential builders and residential specialty contractors in the classifications of electrician, plumber, and heating and air conditioner installer/repairer pursuant to S.C. Code Reg. 106-5.  A copy of this regulation is below for your review.  Under these emergency licenses, builders will be limited to a total valuation of $100,000.00 for any single project and electricians, plumbers, and heating and air conditioning installers/repairers will be limited to a total valuation of $35,000.00 for any single project. These emergency licenses are valid only for repairs/work related to heavy rain and flash flooding for which Governor Haley declared a State of Emergency on October 1, 2015, and will expire on April 1, 2016, such that any builder, plumber, electrician, or heating and air conditioner installer/repairer who plans to work in the affected counties beyond that time period is encouraged to apply for a regular license in the interim.
Residential builders licensed in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Utah qualify for reciprocity and have the option of applying for an emergency license or a regular residential builders license.

All other specialty contractors, including vinyl and aluminum siding installers, insulation installers, roofers, floor covering installers, masons, dry wall installers, carpenters, stucco installers, and painters/wall paperers, must apply to the Commission for a regular South Carolina residential specialty contractor registration before they can perform work in this State in excess of $200.  There are no emergency registrations for these specialty registrants. 
Attached are copies of the Emergency License Registration Application, and Residential Specialty Registration Application, which may be disseminated to any out-of-state builders or specialty contractors seeking licensure or registration in this State. 

The Commission intends to expedite and process the emergency applications as quickly as possible during this time of need.  For those applicants seeking a regular license that requires examination, the Commission is prepared to schedule additional testing times and sites. 

The emergency license is only for residential repairs.

106-5 Emergency License and Registration

A. In the instance of an event declared to be an emergency by the governor, the department, as defined by S.C. Code Ann. Section 40-59-20(2), is authorized to issue emergency licenses and registrations for out-of-state builders and specialty contractors.
B. To qualify for an emergency license or registration, an individual, at the time of application, must submit a verification letter issued by the state in which the applicant's principal place of business is located (home state) as proof that his or her license is in good standing. The emergency license or registration may be issued only to the individual shown on the home-state license. The home-state license must have been issued by examination; a "grandfathered" license or registration will not be accepted as proof of licensure.
C. In addition to proof of home state licensure, an applicant must also provide:
1. An emergency license application;
2. A national criminal background report current within fourteen (14) days of the date of application. A criminal background report showing misdemeanors listed for twenty-four (24) months or felonies listed for fifteen (15) years prior to the application date will not qualify for licensure;
3. A current bond for home builders of at least Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) and current bond for specialty contractors of at least Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00); and,
4. A fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
D. An emergency license or registration will be:
1. Issued for one (1) specific event;
2. Limited to a total valuation of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) for any single project for home builders, and a total valuation of Thirty-five Thousand Dollars ($35,000.00) for any single project for specialty contractors;
3. Valid only for the scope of work permitted by the applicant's home-state license;
4. Valid only within the area of the declared emergency; and,
5. Valid only for the duration of the emergency declaration, or as extended at the board's discretion.
HISTORY: Added by State Register Volume 36, Issue No. 6, eff June 22, 2012.

Counties currently declared by FEMA to be in the disaster area due to the October SC flood event are: Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Greenwood, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg.

If you are applying for an initial license with the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission, you may now apply online by clicking on the link below:
Thanks to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) for sending this important information out. For LLR's tips on how to prevent contractor scams, click here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Court Rejects Minnesota Fire Sprinkler Mandate

A Minnesota code requirement that all new single-family homes larger than 4,500 square feet be constructed with automatic fire sprinkler systems was declared invalid on Wednesday by the state Court of Appeals.

The Builders Association of the Twin Cities had filed a lawsuit after the compromise decision by the state’s department of labor and industry to require the sprinklers only in larger homes. The lawsuit was supported with briefs from the Builders Association of Minnesota and the National Association of Home Builders.

“After making a careful and searching inquiry of the record, we conclude that the 4,500-square-foot threshold for one-family dwellings is arbitrary and not supported by substantial evidence in the record,” the court said.

In its decision, the court cited the testimony of the state fire marshal, who said he supported mandating sprinklers in all homes — and the lack of evidence that “phasing in” sprinkler system requirements from larger homes to smaller ones was an effective balance of safety and cost.

The state did not “provide support for the implicit determination that a one-family dwelling over 4,500 square feet is the tipping point at which the life-safety benefits of sprinkler systems outweigh the costs. Why is it not 4,000 square feet or 3,000 or 5,000? Respondent has not provided us with an answer to that question,” the court said.

California and Maryland are now the only states that require fire sprinkler systems to be installed in all one- and two-family homes and townhouses. Since the mandate first became part of the model international residential code, more than 40 states have either modified the code to make them optional or passed legislation rejecting mandates.

The National Association of Home Builders continues to work with affiliated local and state Home Builders Associations that promote the continued use of smoke alarms: Ensuring every home in in the United States had at least one working smoke alarm would save about 890 lives each year, benefitting low-income families living in older housing stock and not just those who can afford a new home with fire sprinklers.

Download fact sheets, studies and other tools on on fire sprinklers by clicking here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

2015 Clay Tournament - winners announced!

It was a great day out on the course..the Clay Course that is. Eight teams participated in the 2015 HBA Clay Tournament at Clinton House Plantation on Thursday, October 8th. A BIG thanks to our presenting sponsor Piedmont Natural Gas, as well as GBS Building Supply our cart sponsor, and Jeff Lynch, PestBan, Kevin Whitaker Chevy, Progress Lighting, and Zuendt Consulting- our stand sponsors. Registration begun at 11:30 with lunch served shortly after, the teams then headed out on the 12 stand course to shoot 100 rounds. Fun was had by all and some really great prizes were awarded too including a 40in Flat screen TV courtesy of Jeff Lynch Appliance and TV Center, Cabelas gift cards courtesy of the Southern Home and Garden Show, 2 Polo shirts courtesy of Progress Lighting, and three 3-gallon hydrangeas courtesy of MNI Direct. The HBA of Greenville also gave away 3 camping chairs.
1st Place Team-Commercial Air
Pictured here with sponsors Piedmont Natural Gas and GBS Building Supply
       2nd Place Team- Piedmont Natural Gas
Pictured here with sponsors Piedmont Natural Gas and GBS Building Supply
                                                                                                                                                                     3rd Place Team- 
Fountain Inn Natural Gas 
Pictured here with sponsors Piedmont Natural Gas and GBS Building Supply

Awards were also given for Longest String and Best Score Overall.

Jesse West winning both Longest String and Best Score overall.  

 We would like to Thank our Presenting and Cart Sponsor.
Presenting Sponsor
Cart Sponsor

 We would also like to Thank our Stand Sponsors.

"The Economic Benefits of Conservation" Event Coming Up

Upstate Forever's final event in the Shaping Our Future Speaker Series is coming up next Tuesday, October 20. Keynote speaker Jessica Sargent from the Trust for Public Land will be speaking on the economic benefits of conservation and open space. She will also discuss how that information can be used to successfully enhance public funds for land conservation, open space protection, and parks.

Jason Armstrong, Project Manager at Patrick Square (a traditional neighborhood in Clemson), will speak to specific examples of how purposeful land conservation in the Patrick Square development is now paying dividends. Additionally, Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau will present on marketing these new outdoor areas as part of Spartanburg's Tourism Action Plan.

The goal of the series is to inspire dialogue regarding the connections between land use decisions, transportation options, housing choices, and quality of life.

Click here for more details and to register for the event.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
3:00 - 5:00 p.m., Reception to Follow
$10 entrance fee
USC Upstate, The University Readiness Center
800 University Way, Spartanburg, SC 
(Building Z on the USC Upstate Campus Map)