Oklahoma State Home Builders Association

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Oklahoma Remodeler: Never Stop Marketing

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Jorie Helms


Mike Fournier, owner of The Sonrise Companies, oversaw this remodel project, dubbed “Little House on the Prairie,” that more than doubled the size of the home.

No matter what his job was at the time — paperboy, restaurant manager, financial adviser — Mike Fournier, CAPS, CPB, always had the motivation to succeed.

That drive was critical for him when in 2000 he founded his remodeling business, The Sonrise Companies in Broken Arrow, Okla. Over time, he developed a winning recipe to consistently deliver high-quality products and services, achievements for which he is being honored as May’s NAHB Remodeler of the Month.

“Profits will continue to tighten as costs inevitably rise, but with continued networking, repeat customers and referrals, we expect to continue seeing a steady rise in our revenue,” Fournier said in a Q&A for Qualified Remodeler. “Every year, more customers come to us [as a result of] our social media presence, and coupled with our networking markets, we anticipate that trend to continue.”

Fournier estimates as least 80% of his leads come from the company’s online presence, which is managed by a website administrator and a social media manager who ensure the content stays fresh and coordinated.

Not only do they maintain LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages, but they also cultivate a large portion of business through Google+, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Houzz, Pinterest, Tumblr, Manta, Merchant Circle, and nearly 200 videos on YouTube.

Beyond marketing, Fournier has relied heavily on networking with his NAHB Remodelers colleagues to help his company grow and to find business solutions.

Fournier is May’s NAHB Remodeler of the Month.

“These [members of NAHB Remodelers] are the best of the best,” Fournier said. “After meeting and getting to know several of my competitors at CADRE, IBS, and at the local and state levels, I would consider many of them to be tip-of-the-spear great. It is an honor to have my achievements considered among theirs at the same level.”

If you know a professional remodeler who takes remodeling to the next level, nominate him or her for NAHB Remodeler of the Month.

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OSHA Suspends Rule Requiring Electronic Reporting of Injuries

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Jorie Helms


Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implemented its rule regarding the electronic submission of workplace injury and illness records that many employers are required to keep. But that rule appears to be in limbo.

The original mandate would have given builders, contractors and other companies until July 1 to electronically submit their lists of 2016 workplace injuries. However, OSHA recently proposed the July 1 deadline be suspended until further notice.

OSHA’s website explains it is “not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time,” but does not yet provide information about when it intends to revisit the subject.

In a recent email to industry stakeholders, OSHA stated that it “intends to extend the initial date by which certain employers are required to electronically submit their injury and illness logs” and that the “proposal will extend this to a later date. Currently, [OSHA does] not have any additional information about the timeline for this. [OSHA] will let [stakeholders] know as additional information, including a proposed extension date, is available.”

In January, NAHB, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, the State Chamber of Oklahoma and three poultry associations filed a lawsuit challenging the legal authority of OSHA to issue the electronic reporting rule.

In addition to the lawsuit, on May 5, NAHB and other construction industry associations asked the Department of Labor to put the implementation and enforcement of the rule on hold and to reopen the rulemaking record to reexamine the legal authority for the rule and its impact on workplace safety and health.

For more information about the rule and other jobsite safety concerns, contact NAHB’s Rob Matuga at 800-368-5242 x8507.

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Slow but Steady Growth for Housing

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Jorie Helms

In his remarks in the latest issue of Eye on the Economy, NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz provided the following overview of the housing market:  

Modera Mosaic in Fairfax, Va., was a Gold winner in the 2016 Best in American Living Awards Multifamily category.

After a strong beginning to the year, total housing starts fell 3% in April. While single-family starts were effectively flat, multifamily development dropped 9% from the previous month, marking the fifth consecutive month of declines. Single-family permits also fell 4.5% in April, though on a year-to-date basis, single-family construction is up 7%.

Home builder confidence rose to a promising level of 70 earlier this month, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The combination of strong builder optimism with a healthy labor market and tight existing home inventory points to continued gains in single-family construction this year.

For further insights, go to the Eye on Housing blog.

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EPA Head to Speak to NAHB June 15

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Jorie Helms

NAHB will welcome Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to the Midyear Meetings in Washington, D.C. on June 15 to update board and committee members on progress the Trump administration has made toward cutting red tape from the regulatory process and transferring more authority from the federal government to the states.

“Regulatory reform is top of mind for our members,” said NAHB chairman Granger MacDonald. “We are spending too much time and money attempting to follow a tangle of rules and regulations that make housing less affordable without making our communities safer or cleaner.”

NAHB Senior Officers paid a call on Pruitt two months ago to discuss three particularly thorny issues: the confusion and overreach of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) definitions and stormwater regulations in the Clean Water Act and regulations regarding working in homes that may contain lead paint.

MacDonald also attended the signing ceremony when the president signed the executive order to begin the WOTUS rule rollback process.

“We have a very consistent message: A healthy home building industry doesn’t just provide shelter for Americans, it is central to our economy. I invite all our members to listen to Administrator Pruitt’s presentation on June 15 – and take part in the other activities surrounding our Midyear Meeting, including the Legislative Conference and our committee and subcommittee meetings. This is our business, and our industry’s future,” MacDonald said.

Register here to attend.

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GM Savings: The Clincher for This Member

Posted on May 17, 2017 by Jorie Helms

Savings: It’s one of the five pillars of NAHB membership.

Thanks to his NAHB membership, Dave Rauch just saved $1,000 on another new truck.

But that makes it just another day at the office for Rauch, who estimates that he has saved about $12,000 a year for the past four years – and totally worth paying his dues to the BIA of Southern California.

The founder and president of ProTec, which provides construction, repair, plumbing, maintenance programs and inspection services for home owners associations (HOAs) in Southern California and Nevada, Rauch had been mulling whether his BIA membership was a good fit for the company.

ProTec focuses mainly on HOAs, but is also involved in the building industry as the largest provider of HOA maintenance manuals to builders in the United States.

“The GM discount and customer service available through my NAHB membership was enough to decide that my BIA dues are worth it,” he said.

His company has a fleet of 80 vehicles and 20 trailers, and needs to buy an average of one new vehicle a month – making the NAHB Member Advantage discount a money-saver all year, Rauch said.

“I used to be a Ford guy, but now I am only buying GM vehicles,” Rauch said. “I renewed my membership specifically for this GM discount.”

It’s one of many savings NAHB members can take advantage of – and a great perk when added to the advocacy, education and networking programs your HBA, state and national associations provide.

Learn more about the Member Advantage program or contact Christy Ronaldson for details.

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HUD Task Force to Tackle Excessive Regulation

Posted on May 16, 2017 by Jorie Helms

Following up on President Trump’s recent directives designed to ease the burden of onerous and conflicting federal regulations, HUD today announced it is forming a task force to identify agency regulations that should repealed, replaced or modified – and get a better handle on the price tags, including record-keeping costs, associated with each one.

HUD is taking this action in accordance with Executive Orders 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” and 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”

 Of particular interest to the agency are rules that:

  • Eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation
  • Are outdated, unnecessary or ineffective
  • Impose costs that exceed benefits;
  • Creates serious inconsistencies or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies
  • Are the result of other directives that have been rescinded or substantially modified
  • Can be modified, streamlined or eliminated with technology
  • Duplicate or conflict with requirements of another federal agency

NAHB will submit comments by June 14. Members wishing to offer feedback as part of NAHB’s overall comments should contact Michelle Kitchen at 202-266-8352.

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