Now that Mother Nature seems to have decided that everyone needs to start bundling up, homeowners should also make sure that their homes are ready for the cold weather.
We all know that water can be a home’s biggest enemy. So a little effort when the temps drop can save you a lot of grief later on. Take a look at your indoor pipes. If they are located along exterior walls, or in the attic, basement, crawl space, or even under the sink, you might want to consider pipe insulation. It’s a small investment that could save you thousands of dollars in repairs if those pipes were to burst.
Don’t forget the outside water sources. Hoses and sprinklers should be disconnected and stored for the winter months. Turn off the water-supply valve inside the house and then turn on the outside spigots to drain any water that is still in the line. That simple task will help prevent the pipes from freezing and causing headaches and costly repairs.
Make sure your roof is secure. Snow is heavy and sometimes takes a while to melt. Not only is that weight a danger for a roof that is not structurally secure, but the weight of the snow can cause loose shingles to shift increasing the likelihood of water leaking. Repair shingles and have an inspector confirm that your roof is in good shape BEFORE the snow starts to fall.
Everyone wants to stay warm, right? One of the best ways to make sure your family stays comfortable – and to cut down on energy bills – is to inspect your home’s insulation and add more in areas such as attics, crawlspaces, and exterior walls. This will also save you in the summer months and keep your home cool.
The leaves have been falling and homeowners have spent weekends raking and blowing them out of their yards. But don’t forget to make sure your gutters are clean as well. Those leaves tend to hide in gutters and can clog drainage. Then when the snow melts or the rains come, gutters overflow and can cause all kinds of damage. Clean out those leaves, sticks, and other items and make sure the drainage is directed away from your home foundation.
Nothing seems to make a bigger impact on keeping a home warm (and cool in the summer) than energy efficient doors and windows. Replacing drafty windows or doors will immediately cut down on costs and make you more comfortable. If replacing is not an option, consider installing storm windows or doors.
Other things to consider include trimming any trees that appear to be vulnerable to ice and wind – especially ones that are near your home or other structures. Additionally always make sure your chimneys and fireplaces are clean and clear of creosote buildup or nests and debris left by animals.
These are just a few suggestions for preparing your home for winter. Take the time to check around your home to be certain that drains are clear, any cracks are sealed, and possible hazards are taken care of before they can cause personal or property damage.
Above all, stay safe and warm this winter. Summer is just 31 weeks away!
PBA Senior Officers for 2020 were unanimously elected during the recent Fall Board of Directors meeting in Harrisburg.
The incoming 2020 PBA President is Jon Sukonik of the HBA of Bucks and Montgomery Counties. In his role as PBA Vice President during 2019, Jon worked closely with the PBA Board to oversee PBA activities on both a state and national level. Jon has always been a key figure in representing PBA members’ interests. Jon is President of Sukonik Building Companies, Ltd. In Plymouth Meeting, PA.
Cindy Cepko from Wayne-Pike BIA was elected as PBA Vice President for 2020. Cindy previously served as Secretary in 2019 and was the Chair of the Membership Committee and is very involved in the Professional Women in Building Council. She also held the position of President of the Wayne-Pike BIA. Cindy is the owner of Granite Homes Inc. in Paupack, PA.
Cathy Sloan will serve as PBA Secretary in 2020. Cathy has been involved with the HBA of Berks County for more than 25 years and currently is the association’s Executive Officer. She has been involved with PBA on the Membership and PR/Communications committees. She is also a member of the Board of Directors. On a national level, Cathy has been involved with the NAHB Membership Committee, Remodelers Council, and Professional Women in Business.
Elected as Associate Vice President, Shawn Prohaska of HBA of Northeastern PA, is the Owner and President of Invisible Fence of NEPA and No-Burn of NEPA. Shawn has sat on the Membership and Non-Dues Revenue committees and was the Chair of the Associates Council in 2019. He also held the office of Regional Vice President for the Northeast Region for four years. Shawn was recognized as a PBA Life Director last year.
These Senior Officers, along with Regional Vice Presidents, Regional Legislative Officers, and NAHB representatives have all committed to representing PBA and working for members’ best interests in 2020.
PBA Builder and Associate members from across the state gathered in Harrisburg last week for the 2019 Fall Board Meeting.
Members spent Friday in various committee meetings including Non-Dues Revenue, Membership, Governmental Affairs, Communications, Workforce Training & Education, and more. Committee members were updated on strategic plans and made plans for 2020.
Meet The Builder brought together builders and remodelers with regional and national manufacturers to connect and start some valuable business partnerships. The Associates Council hosted their first cocktail hour as well. Friday evening saw a BUILD PAC event featuring U.S. Rep Fred Keller (R-12th District) addressing the guests. NAHB Chair Greg Ugalde also attended and spoke with leadership and members throughout the weekend.
During Saturday morning’s Board of Directors meeting, 2020 Senior Officers were elected. Leadership includes the following:
Other leadership positions included:
Regional Vice Presidents and Regional Legislative Officers for 2020 are:
Jake Arner (Carbon BA) and Paul Szostak (Wayne-Pike BIA) were elected as Life Directors.
The meeting’s other main point of business was the approval of the 2020 budget presented by President-Elect Jon Sukonik. The Board voted to approve the budget which included a modest dues increase starting January 1, 2020.
President Maria Coutts expressed her gratitude for PBA members and their support during her presidential year before adjourning the meeting.
The next PBA Board Meeting will take place February 20-22, 2020 at the Valley Forge Casino Resort. During that meeting, Jon Sukonik will formally be installed as the President of PBA.
PBA’s Endorsed Trade Program was on hand for the Second Annual PA Build My Future event hosted by the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport.
More than 1,000 students from across the state spent the day meeting with representatives from 40 different construction industries through a variety of hands-on demonstrations. The event was organized to bring more awareness to the impact of a career in the construction and home building industry.
The Endorsed Trade Program drew in hundreds of students who gave their best effort at the Screw Gun Competition run by Chris Warren, Chair of PBA’s Workforce Training & Education Committee. Entrants were challenged to secure five screws in a wooden board in the shortest amount of time. The top three finishers went home with a Bosch cordless drill or an extensive set of drill bits.
While the contest went on, Dave DiPasquale, Director of Endorsement Operations was on hand to talk to students about a career in the workforce.
Local builder associations were also on hand to engage students and share opportunities. Included were representatives from West Branch Susquehanna BA, the BA of Central PA, and Wayne-Pike BIA.
Programs like the PA Build My Future and efforts by so many in the home building industry to introduce future options to young people are steps in the right direction ensuring a workforce of tomorrow.
Congratulations to the PA Build My Future organizers and all those who participated in such a great day!
It may be a question you are asking yourself. But when you joined your local home builders association, you did so because you care about our industry. You wanted to be one of the ones who would make a difference. Face it, the only way you can really make a difference is to be informed and involved. The regional and board meetings are the perfect opportunity for members to have their voice be heard and to stay up to date on PBA’s activities.
PBA WANTS your input, ideas, and energy. Attending and participating in the meetings not only gives you that chance, but it also brings you together with others who share your passions. Networking with your colleagues is fantastic for your business.
If that’s not enough to motivate you to register, consider these reasons to join us October 31-November 2 at the Harrisburg Hilton.
If you haven’t yet registered to attend the PBA Fall Board Meeting, please do so today. You’ll be glad you did!
PSD is performing a survey for the Pennsylvania Construction Codes Academy (PCCA) to examine how reliably new homes in rural Pennsylvania are receiving blower door and duct leakage testing for energy code compliance. The goals of the survey are to identify geographic areas that are not well served (if any), barriers to serving these areas, and potential solutions.
PBA members are invited to take part in this survey. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. (Your best estimates are OK.)
Take The Survey
Did you know that each year there are over 350,000 residential house fires in the United States? That’s an average of one fire every 85 seconds. Unfortunately these house fires result in over 2,000 deaths, 12,000 injuries, and six billion dollars in property damage.
October is Fire Safety Month and it’s a good time to remind you of a few tips that can keep your home – and most importantly, your family – safe.
Let’s look at a few simple things that should be in place in every home.
Smoke Detectors – Make sure you have working smoke detectors on every level of your home and especially near the bedrooms. If you have devices that are wired into your electrical system, it’s not a bad idea to have some battery-operated units for back-up (and please make sure those batteries are checked regularly!). Also make sure you have one or more all-purpose (ABC) fire extinguishers in the house. Everyone should know where they are located and how to use them.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Every year the media reports heartbreaking of stories of people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. This colorless, odorless gas results from burning fuels. By making sure you have effective monitoring units, your family can sleep soundly.
Don’t Overdo It – With the change in seasons, people start to hang holiday lights, plugging in space heaters, lighting candles, and just basically overwork their outlets and press their luck. Please use common sense, don’t use multiple extension cords (or any frayed cords), make sure any open flames are not close to flammable objects and that they are all extinguished before turning in for the night or leaving the house.
Set Up an Escape Plan – Make sure you and your family have a plan in the event of an emergency. Practice different ways to escape from a burning home – at least two ways from every room. Purchase escape ladders, if needed. Designate a meeting place for everyone to gather to make sure everyone is accounted for.
Most importantly, if a fire occurs at your home, you need to GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL FOR HELP.
For more information and tips on home fire safety, please visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire.html.
The deadline for saving money on your hotel for the Fall 2019 PBA Board Meeting is approaching fast. In order to take advantage of the special $157 single or double occupancy rate, reservations MUST be made prior to October 14. Please call 1-717-233-6000 or 1-800-HILTONS. Use the group code PABA.
The schedule for the Fall Board Meeting is as follows:
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2019
10 a.m. EOC Training
3 p.m. Finance Committee Meeting *by invitation only
3:30 p.m. PBA Senior Officer/Personnel Committee Meeting *by invitation only
4:30 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting
6 p.m. Hospitality
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2019
7:30 a.m. PA Housing Research Center (PHRC) Breakfast Meeting
8 a.m. Non-Dues Revenue Task Force Meeting
8:30 a.m. Membership Committee Meeting
10 a.m. Governmental Affairs Committee Meeting
11:30 a.m. Lunch - RSVP and prepay for tickets at www.pabuilders.org/events
12 noon PaCAH meeting
1 p.m. Communications Committee Meeting
1 p.m. Workers Comp Committee Meeting
1 p.m. Workforce Training and Education Committee Meeting
2 p.m. Seminar
3 p.m. Professional Women in Building (PWB) Meeting
3 p.m. Builder Services, Inc. (BSI) Board of Directors Meeting
4:30 p.m. Meet the Builder
6 p.m. BUILD-PAC Reception
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2019
8 a.m. PBA Past Presidents Committee Meeting
8:30 a.m. New Board of Directors Orientation
9 a.m. Associates Council Meeting
9:30 a.m. Regional Caucus Meetings (member meetings for the 8 regions of PA)
10 a.m. Board of Directors Meeting
See you at the Board Meeting!
It’s never too early to start planning for the PBA Fall Board Meeting to be held October 31-November 2 at the Harrisburg Hilton. Registration is now open and more details will be sent to all PBA members in the coming weeks.
Special room rates have been reserved for PBA members at the Harrisburg Hilton - $157 single or double occupancy. To reserve this special rate, please call 1-717-233-6000 or 1-800-HILTONS. Reservations can also be made online here. Please use the group code PABA. Deadline for reservations at the special rate is October 14.
Highlights of the annual Board Meeting include committee meetings, the annual Meet The Builder event, a BUILD-PAC reception, and a seminar on how to save money through a safe workplace. The three-day event will culminate with the Board of Directors meeting scheduled for Saturday, November 2 at 10:00 a.m.
To register for the meeting, please visit our online registration form.
Anyone looking to connect with manufacturers should mark their calendars for PBA’s Annual Meet The Builder event, held in conjunction with the Fall Board Meeting on November 1 in Harrisburg.
The free, casual cocktail reception starts at 4:30 at the Harrisburg Hilton is a great way for active builders and remodelers to socialize, share ideas, and meet national/regional product manufacturers as well as industry focused service providers.
Those interested in attending, should register here. If you are interested in being a sponsor for the event, please register your sponsorship here.
We look forward to a fantastic event that’s sure to benefit everyone who attends.
See you on November 1!
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