Weekly Update: October 30, 2014

Kirkwood ACE Mentor Program

Kirkwood Community College leads with the first Eastern Iowa Chapter of the Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program. Over 170 high school students within Kirkwood’s seven-county area have shown an interest in being a part of the ACE Mentor Program. These students, along with 40-plus industry mentors, met last week to discuss design and building plans for a 1,500 square foot, $250,000 STEM Center for Clear Creek Amana Middle School. In addition to participating local industry mentors, Kirkwood has partnered with Shive-Hattery, Inc. and the Greater Iowa City Area Home Builders Association for the design and construction portions of this new STEM Center.

“The Greater Iowa City Area Home Builders Association supports the ACE program and the STEM initiative to entice teenage students into exploring the myriad of exciting career opportunities in the home building and remodeling trades,” said Joan Tiemeyer, executive officer of the Greater Iowa City Homebuilders Association.

The Eastern Iowa Chapter of the ACE Mentor Program is open to any high school student who has the curiosity and drive to learn about a career in design and construction – from contracting and engineering to architecture and landscaping. Students will join teams of other students led by adult mentors who are local, practicing industry professionals. The ACE Mentor Program is designed to immerse students into the profession by engaging them in actual building projects.

For more information about the Eastern Iowa ACE Mentor Program, visit www.explore-ace.organd here is a news clip.


Remodelers – Don’t Miss This: David Lupberger

   Nationally known speaker David Lupberger: a founding member of the Remodelers Guild, former remodeling contractor and the author of The Turnkey Business System and Managing the Emotional Homeowner will be in the Des Moines area on November 14. All HBAI members are invited – here are the details:


Friday, November 14th, 20148:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Giovannetti Community Shelter at Walker Johnston Park

 9000 Douglas Ave, Urbandale, IA 50322


Refreshments and lunch provided:  $15 for HBA members/No cost for non-members


Please RSVP to Jessica at the Greater Des Moines HBA:  (515) 270-8500 or JessicaC@dsmhba.com


NAHB Recommended State and Local Amendments to the 2015 Editions of the International Codes

You’ll be well represented at a Build Code Workshop for Iowa on Wednesday, November 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Department of Public Safety Building, ICN Room – first floor 215 E. 7th Street in Des Moines, IA 50319

Click on the link to see NAHB’s recommended amendments to the 2015 I-Codes for use in amending the codes as they are adopted at the state or local level.  Each recommended amendment is provided in a draft form that includes the code section and text to be amended, a reason statement and a staff contact. The recommendations are listed in order as they appear in the various International Code Councils publications. None of the suggested amendments are written in order of preference and each should be considered individually. Priorities can differ from region to region, and HBAs should not hesitate to consider alternative code text that may be more appropriate for their jurisdiction.

Suggested Amendments to the 2015 International Codes

This link opens a pdf file. If you would like the suggested amendments in a Word document, please contact HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson.


List of Significant Changes to the 2015 International Residential Code

Additional information and supporting documentation on other Builder Action Kits Include:

Fire Sprinkler Action Kit.

Energy Code Action Kit


Construction Contracts and Law Class

The popular Construction Contracts and Law course will be held Nov. 4, 11 and 18 as a series of three two-hour live webinars conducted by instructor Bill Asdal. NAHB created the course to benefit smaller construction or remodeling companies looking for a primer on contract law. It features a step-by-step explanation of how contracts work and why they are a useful and important tool for developing better relationships with customers and suppliers, dispute resolution and risk management. Special emphasis is given to troubleshooting contracts to try to minimize any loopholes.

Asdal, a green builder and remodeler from Chester, N.J., is one of NAHB’s most requested course instructors and was named NAHB Educator of the Year in 2013. He’ll speak and answer questions from 1-3 p.m. ET on the three November course dates. Participants must sign in for all three sessions and complete an online test by Nov. 25 to receive credit for the course.

The course qualifies for credits for the CGA,CGB and CGR professional designations and offers continuing education credits for those designations as well as CAPS,  GMB, CSP, Master CSP, CMP and MIRM.

Of course, there’s a special perk for NAHB members: a $100 discount off the regular course price of $245. Contact Bill Baum if you need more information, or sign up for the class here.


Defining & Valuing Green Homes

Nationally acclaimed green building consultant Marc Richmond, shows builders, designers, inspectors, appraisers, lenders and real estate professionals the nuts and bolts of Green Home Building & Remodeling and how it translates into increased value in the marketplace.

Center on Sustainable Communities (COSC), in partnership with Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR), Iowa Energy Center (IEC), and Iowa Renewable Energy Association (I-Renew), present full day workshops on the key components of green home building & remodeling and the resulting increased value in the marketplace.

Two full-day workshops will be offered:

  – Tuesday, November 11th, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

at the ISU Extension Facility – 3109 Old Highway,

218 South, Iowa City, IA

  – Wednesday, November 12th, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

at the Iowa Energy Center, Bldg 23, DMACC,

2006 S Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA


Registration Fee:

$55 for Members through Friday, November 7th

$75 for Members After November 7th

$75 for Non-Members through Friday, November 7th

$95 for Non-Members After November 7th

Weekly Update: October 23, 2014

Legislative Day Set For February 11, 2015

   It’s a bit into the future, but please mark your calendar for February 11, 2015. That will be the date for our hill visits and we’re excited to announce that we plan to coordinate efforts with the Iowa Lumber Association and perhaps some other like minded groups.

   It was held February 12 in 2014 and the stars lined up perfectly that day – we had significant connectivity with our local senators and representatives. We’ll hope for the same this next time. We will begin formulating our plan soon after the critically important elections.

  Make sure that you are well informed about the candidates as you exercise your right to vote in a few weeks.  Getting the right individuals into office would make this process so much easier!



Good Numbers on Housing Starts

While housing starts were up 6.3% in September compared to August, the increase was led by an 18.5% rise in multifamily and a 1.1% rise in single-family. YTD single-family starts are up just 4%; multifamily are up 23%! Single-family permits now stand at 624,000 seasonally-adjusted, essentially unchanged from where they were in 2/13, when they hit 611,000, and surpassed 600,000 for the first time since the end of the recession.      – Elliot F. Eisenberg, Ph.D.


MidAmerican Notice of Adverse Construction Conditions Charges

   MidAmerican Energy Company’s base installation costs for electric and gas facilities assume installation under normal weather, soil, and site conditions. If installation is required under adverse conditions, additional charges will be applied. Read the detailed letter here (I forgot to put the link in last week).


Rocking Remodeling Market

   The NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI) reclaimed the high-water mark of 57 in the third quarter of 2014, the sixth consecutive quarter for a reading above 50. A RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future remodeling activity.

   The RMI’s future market conditions index rose to 58 from 56 in the previous quarter. All four sub-components − calls for bids, amount of work committed for the next three months, backlog of jobs and appointments for proposals – increased or remained level with the previous quarter’s reading. The current market conditions component of the RMI increased one point to 57 this quarter. A two-point gain was made among the categories of large additions as well as smaller remodeling jobs with readings of 56 and 58, respectively.