Oklahoma Home Builder News - OSHBA


Tulsa Builders Welcome Danny Lipford to Charitable Project

Posted on November 13, 2017 by Jorie Helms



The Today’s Homeowner crew films the progress of construction of a pleasant outdoor living space for Manna House.

Blogger and video personality Danny Lipford joined volunteers from the HBA of Greater Tulsa Remodelers Council and the HBA’s charitable foundation for a community service project that he plans to feature in a December episode.

The Today’s Homeowner cast and crew is partnering with the Oklahoma volunteers to create an inviting outdoor living area at Manna House, a residence that assists young women transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

The work is attracting the attention of local media, as Good Day Tulsa filmed the work for one segment and Tulsa World featured a story as well.

All of the projects, how-to steps, spirit of service and the big reveal will be documented and captured for the Today’s Homeowner special episode.

In late October, the volunteers met at the Manna House to begin work on new outdoor living amenities for the home.

Crew members and the cast of the show filmed the community service project, funded by the HBA’s Charitable Foundation, as part of the Today’s Homeowner 20th season tour.

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Celebrate Your HBA as Part of NAHB’s 75th Anniversary

Posted on November 10, 2017 by Jorie Helms


HBA bookLooking for a low-cost, high impact way to celebrate your HBA’s role in your community during the year-long commemoration of NAHB’s 75th anniversary?

Think about compiling a history of your HBA or partnering with a business or local history group to develop a detailed timeline of growth and development in your community.

The HBA of Greater Cincinnati did just that last year with the publication of “Homeward Bound: A Short Story of the Long History of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati.”

Written by HBA EO Dan Dressman, the book documents the HBA’s history from its inception in 1934 to the present and details its important role in helping to shape the Greater Cincinnati region.

“I wanted to write this book primarily because no one had ever captured the interesting history of our association,” Dressman said.

The HBA of Greater Cincinnati was founded in the aftermath of the Great Depression. It also helped combat the local housing shortage after World War II.

“We have had a lot of brushes with history over the years,” he said.

Dressman said that having meeting minutes from as far back as 1934 helped him a lot in his research. But don’t despair if you can’t locate your HBA’s earliest records. There are plenty of alternatives.

Members are the best place to start when compiling a history, especially those who have been a part of the HBA for many years. Getting a small group of long-time members together to reminisce is sure to provide a good launching point.

You should also consider enlisting the assistance of members who are avid amateur historians or who pursue their family history. Detectives at heart, they will thrill to the hunt. And they already know the best places to dig for details.

Lacking expert involvement, where’s the best place to start? You guessed it. Not just a repository for countless cat videos and accounts of alien abductions, the Internet has a vast store of free or low-cost resources.

Begin with a simple search for your HBA. You may be surprised at what you find.

Archive.org is a great free resource providing digital access to millions of texts and hundreds of thousands of video and audio files.


The NAHB Experimental House

Just a quick search turned up:

And check your own files: A few years ago, NAHB’s digital archive turned up information about the London House, which was constructed at the 1960 Ideal Home Exhibition in London by NAHB to showcase U.S. home design and technology.

Old newspaper issues are increasingly available online. Here’s a tip: Many public libraries provide free access to subscription services like newspapers.com and/or local newspapers’ digital archives. You may even be able to access them remotely using your library card/account.

Additional resources, suggestions and tips:

Many states and cities as well as local and state historic associations maintain online archives.

Don’t focus exclusively on digital and online resources; only a small fraction of all potentially relevant resources have been digitized.

Expect the unexpected. A good history tells the whys and wherefores, zooms in on the details that provide texture, context and relevance, and may even unearth some figurative skeletons along the way.

Be sure to share your project with NAHB. Contact Camilo Cuba to learn more.

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Featured Video Toolbox Talk: Nail Gun Safety

Posted on November 7, 2017 by Jorie Helms


Pneumatic nailers, more commonly referred to as nail guns, have certainly made work more efficient, but their speed and power has led to serious injuries on the job.

Nail guns are a leading cause of injury for carpenters and responsible for an estimated 25,000 work-related emergency room visits each year.

This video describes some critical dos and don’ts of nail gun use and is available in English and Spanish. You can share it and the accompanying handout at your next worksite safety meeting.

Nail Guns: How Do Injuries Happen?

  • Unintended nail discharge from double fire
  • Unintended nail discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed
  • Nail penetration through lumber work piece
  • Nail ricochet after striking a hard surface, metal feature or wood knot
  • Bypassing safety mechanisms

To view other Video Toolbox Talks and download the printable handouts, visit nahb.org/toolboxtalks. All are available in English and Spanish. Be on the lookout for more safety videos coming soon.

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Buried Ducts Webinar Set for Nov. 9

Posted on November 3, 2017 by Jorie Helms


webinarThanks to changes that NAHB championed in the 2018 International Residential and Energy Efficiency Code, many home builders are now able bury their ductwork within the attic insulation — a potential savings of as much as $4,000 per home when compared to the cost of conditioning the entire attic.

What’s the best way to do this, and how can builders take advantage of this practice and produce an energy-efficient home at a lower cost? The Department of Energy is offering a free webinar Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. ET that explains the process.

Craig Drumheller, NAHB’s director of codes and standards, will be the speaker. Drumheller worked with NAHB codes staff and committee volunteers to introduce the buried duct proposal during the 2018 codes approval process.

Register today, and you may be able to save money on your next project.

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Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Jorie Helms


Instructor helps a student participating in a woodworking manufacturing training program in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg Charlie Negron

Throughout most of U.S. history, American high school students were routinely taught vocational and job-ready skills along with the three Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic. Indeed readers of a certain age are likely to have fond memories of huddling over wooden workbenches learning a craft such as woodwork or maybe metal work, or any one of the hands-on projects that characterized the once-ubiquitous shop class.

But in the 1950s, a different philosophy emerged: the theory that students should follow separate educational tracks according to ability. The idea was that the college-bound would take traditional academic courses (Latin, creative writing, science, math) and received no vocational training. Those students not headed for college would take basic academic courses, along with vocational training, or “shop.”

Ability tracking did not sit well with educators or parents, who believed students were assigned to tracks not by aptitude, but by socio-economic status and race. The result being that by the end of the 1950s, what was once a perfectly respectable, even mainstream educational path came to be viewed as a remedial track that restricted minority and working-class students.

The backlash against tracking, however, did not bring vocational education back to the academic core. Instead, the focus shifted to preparing all students for college, and college prep is still the center of the U.S. high school curriculum.

So what’s the harm in prepping kids for college? Won’t all students benefit from a high-level, four-year academic degree program? As it turns out, not really. For one thing, people have a huge and diverse range of different skills and learning styles. Not everyone is good at math, biology, history and other traditional subjects that characterize college-level work. Not everyone is fascinated by Greek mythology, or enamored with Victorian literature, or enraptured by classical music. Some students are mechanical; others are artistic. Some focus best in a lecture hall or classroom; still others learn best by doing, and would thrive in the studio, workshop or shop floor.

And not everyone goes to college. The latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that about 68% of high school students attend college. That means over 30% graduate with neither academic nor job skills.

But even the 68% aren’t doing so well. Almost 40% of students who begin four-year college programs don’t complete them, which translates into a whole lot of wasted time, wasted money, and burdensome student loan debt. Of those who do finish college, one-third or more will end up in jobs they could have had without a four-year degree. The BLS found that 37% of currently employed college grads are doing work for which only a high school degree is required.

It is true that earnings studies show college graduates earn more over a lifetime than high school graduates. However, these studies have some weaknesses. For example, over 53% of recent college graduates are unemployed or under-employed. And income for college graduates varies widely by major – philosophy graduates don’t nearly earn what business studies graduates do. Finally, earnings studies compare college graduates to all high school graduates. But the subset of high school students who graduate with vocational training – those who go into well-paying, skilled jobs – the picture for non-college graduates looks much rosier.

Yet despite the growing evidence that four-year college programs serve fewer and fewer of our students, states continue to cut vocational programs. In 2013, for example, the Los Angeles Unified School District, with more than 600,000 students, made plans to cut almost all of its CTE programs by the end of the year. The justification, of course, is budgetary; these programs (which include auto body technology, aviation maintenance, audio production, real estate and photography) are expensive to operate. But in a situation where 70% of high school students do not go to college, nearly half of those who do go fail to graduate, and over half of the graduates are unemployed or underemployed, is vocational education really expendable? Or is it the smartest investment we could make in our children, our businesses, and our country’s economic future?

The U.S. economy has changed. The manufacturing sector is growing and modernizing, creating a wealth of challenging, well-paying, highly skilled jobs for those with the skills to do them. The demise of vocational education at the high school level has bred a skills shortage in manufacturing today, and with it a wealth of career opportunities for both under-employed college grads and high school students looking for direct pathways to interesting, lucrative careers. Many of the jobs in manufacturing are attainable through apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and vocational programs offered at community colleges. They don’t require expensive, four-year degrees for which many students are not suited.

And contrary to what many parents believe, students who get job specific skills in high school and choose vocational careers often go on to get additional education. The modern workplace favors those with solid, transferable skills who are open to continued learning. Most young people today will have many jobs over the course of their lifetime, and a good number will have multiple careers that require new and more sophisticated skills.

Just a few decades ago, our public education system provided ample opportunities for young people to learn about careers in manufacturing and other vocational trades. Yet, today, high-schoolers hear barely a whisper about the many doors that the vocational education path can open. The “college-for-everyone” mentality has pushed awareness of other possible career paths to the margins. The cost to the individuals and the economy as a whole is high. If we want everyone’s kid to succeed, we need to bring vocational education back to the core of high school learning.


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Construction Careers: An Excellent Blend of Purpose and Paycheck

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Jorie Helms


signThe nature of work and the relationship between employees and their jobs have changed. It’s not just millennials: Multiple studies have shown that workers of all ages care deeply about meaningful work, with most citing purpose as more important than income to their work and career satisfaction.

The construction industry is uniquely poised to allow workers to engage with critical issues such as environmental protection, affordable housing and poverty alleviation, and home builders, remodelers and the trades are able to make a significant impact on the causes they care most about.

As you recruit new team members, let them know how home building makes a difference.

Create Affordable Housing

High demand and limited supply have contributed to a lack of affordable housing, but there is good news: With improvements in technology, companies are working to drastically cut costs for building processes and materials, which translate to lower selling costs, making home ownership a real possibility for millions more Americans. For workers with an interest in technology, innovation and addressing the nationwide affordable housing crisis, construction careers could be a perfect fit.

Aid in Disaster Recovery

Recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters have devastated areas like Houston, Puerto Rico, Northern California, and Florida, destroying thousands of homes. These areas need workers who can help rebuild communities from the ground up, with a focus on strong, safe structures that help prevent such devastation in the future. Construction careers in disaster recovery are focused on serving desperate populations and providing tangible assistance to get people back into their homes, jobs, and schools quickly and safely. Now more than ever, the construction industry needs skilled workers to fill pressing needs.

Improve Low-Income Communities

In low-income areas, residents are plagued with a multitude of issues that often leave them stuck in a cycle of poverty. Houses and businesses suffer from outdated energy systems that are expensive to maintain, and safety hazards like asbestos and mold are rampant. The home building industry serves these communities by renovating buildings to improve safety conditions and implement cost-efficient energy upgrades, and building more affordable homes as they can also create jobs and provide training for workers within these communities.

Protect the Environment

Green design and construction is dedicated to using sustainable materials and practices, and recent technological advances have made renewable energy more affordable and accessible, reducing long-term costs and conserving precious natural resources. For workers with a passion for environmental preservation, construction careers provide an opportunity to work on sustainable projects that improve communities while protecting the environment for this and future generations.

Support Local and Global Initiatives

While finding purpose in work is undoubtedly a crucial component of being an engaged, satisfied employee, construction careers have the added bonus of providing healthy paychecks and plenty of room for career advancement.

NAHB’s Careers in the Construction Trades page shows that workers can earn average annual salaries well into the upper $40k and 50k mark with strong room for industry growth into the coming decade. Even for employees who are focused primarily on purpose, these paychecks matter: They can provide workers with the financial freedom to pursue their passions, whether that means donating to local or global charities, traveling the world to broaden their horizons or do mission work, or investing in research and development of technologies to improve the world.

Recruit Skilled, Passionate Workers

In collaboration with ConstructionJobs.com, NAHB offers this recruitment tool to all NAHB members in their search for new employees. NAHB members enjoy a 20% discount off standard rates for job posting. Find all of NAHB’s Member Advantage program discounts at nahb.org/ma.

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