BUILDING TODAY

 for a better tomorrow.

News and Updates

  • 23 Jul 2019 2:54 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    After a great first year, the Build My Future event will take place again on Thursday, October 17 at the Pennsylvania School of Technology in Williamsport. Build My Future will run from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

    The program is for secondary students to explore the breadth of career opportunities available in the construction and design industry. It’s a great day to showcase your craft, create energy, and connect with the future of the construction industry.

    Approximately 700 secondary students attended last year and the goal is to top 1,000 this year.

    Registration is now open to become an exhibitor – there is indoor AND outdoor space available. All exhibitors are encouraged to have their exhibit be interactive and engaging.

    We hope you will consider being an exhibitor or a sponsor. The links below provide additional details. It is strongly encouraged that exhibits be interactive and engaging. Indoor or outdoor space is available. The day begins at 9 am and concludes at 2 pm. 

    Levon Whitmyer, an instructor at Penn Tech, will be attending the PBA Board Meeting this week. If you have any additional questions, please spend some time with Levon either during the Workforce Training and Education meeting or throughout the weekend.

    Build My Future Exhibitor Registration Form

    Build My Future Sponsorship Registration Form

    Build My Future Exhibitor Details

    Build My Future Sponsorship Benefits

  • 16 Jul 2019 10:43 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    As the old song goes, “We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave.”

    Well it’s okay to sing and dance, but when the temperature soars your home can really be an energy trap, sucking money right out of your wallet. But if you just take advantage of a few simple tips, you can stay comfortable without emptying your bank account.

    The first thing everyone does when the weather forecasters start talking about 90-something-degree days is to run to the thermostat. However you really should set it as high as you are comfortable – the smaller the difference is between in inside and outside temperature, the lower your energy bill. Most experts say you should keep the temperature inside set to 78 degrees. Every degree lower than that will result in 3 to 5 percent more energy being used.

    That being said, a programmable “smart” thermostat unit is truly a life-saver during extreme heat (and cold). They can be set according to your schedule. Why cool an entire home when no one is there? The smart versions enable you to control the temperature with your phone even when you are not at home.

    Keeping the blinds and curtains closed during the day will also help keep the interior in check. If you have a ceiling fan, using that can help make you feel cooler without raising the temperatures. Those with a whole-house fan should open the windows and run the unit in the early morning and at night to pull cool air into the house.

    Homeowners should also avoid using high energy appliances during peak hours. That means don’t run the oven, dishwasher, washer, or dryer between the hours of 9:00 am and 9:00 pm. Not only will it save you energy, but it will also help keep the overall house cooler. Besides who want to cook a six-course Thanksgiving dinner when it’s easier to cook something on the grill (or better yet, just have ice cream!).

    It goes without saying that a well-maintained HVAC system can save you a lot of money. Be sure to practice a routine of replacing filters regularly. A dirty filter makes the system work even harder to push out cold air. A general rule of thumb is to change the filter every 90 days or so. If you have pets or allergies, you might want to move that timeline up a bit.

    Homeowners should have their HVAC systems checked by a professional on a regular basis. Do these hardworking people a favor and don’t wait to call them for a routine service check when you realize that it will be a scorcher in a few hours. Call before the season starts or be prepared to wait until they can fit you into the schedule. (The same applies for the winter months.)

    Quality windows and doors make a huge difference in keep homes cool (and warm). While it is highly unlikely that you can do anything about it this week, it may be time to start thinking of investing these energy-saving products for future seasons. You’ll notice the difference when the heat comes and also when the electric bill shows up.

    There’s no avoiding the heat in Pennsylvania during the summer. But there are ways to manage it without spending a fortune to stay comfortable in your home.

    So pour yourself another cold glass of lemonade and push the thermostat up another degree or two. As that television show reminds us “Winter is coming.”

  • 10 Jul 2019 3:54 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    WE NEED YOU TO TAKE ACTION!

    The United States Postal Service (USPS), facing dire financial straits, has instituted a de facto mandate requiring mail delivery to cluster mailbox units in new residential developments. This determination was made without affording the public and those affected by this decision the opportunity to voice their concerns.

    In 2015 the USPS conducted a national survey in conjunction with the market research firm Gallup and Professor Michael Bradley of George Washington University's Department of Economics. The survey found that among the different services provided by USPS, consumers and businesses place the highest value on maintaining delivery to the door and/or curb rather than delivery to cluster boxes or parcel lockers.

    Congress will play a critical role in reforming the USPS. Comprehensive postal reform legislation will likely be introduced again this Congress. Any reform effort for USPS should not be paid for by home builders and homeowners. NAHB and PBA urges Congress to preserve mail delivery to the home.

    Ask your Member of Congress to Co-sponsor H. Res. 23 offered by Representatives Susan Davis (D-CA), Peter King (R-NY) and David Joyce (R-OH). H. Res. 23 is a sense of the House resolution that the USPS should preserve delivery of mail to the home or business.

    Find your Congressional representative here.

  • 10 Jul 2019 1:57 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    PBA mourns the passing of Past President Carl Flohr. Mr. Flohr served as President of the statewide association in 1975. He was a home builder and developer in the Chambersburg area and was the founder of Flohr Pools. PBA members across Pennsylvania extend our sympathies to the Flohr family and we are grateful for his commitment to the industry.

    From Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home:

    Carl R. Flohr, 91, of Chambersburg, PA passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family on Monday morning, July 8, 2019 at his home. Born June 4, 1928 in Chambersburg, he was the son of the late Russel H. and Alice Burkhart Flohr. A 1946 graduate of the Chambersburg High School, he was a home builder and developer in the Chambersburg area and was the founder of Flohr Pools. He was a member of Park Avenue United Methodist Church where he was Past Chairman of the Administrative Board, former Chairman of Trustees, and former Chairman of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee. He was Past President of the Pennsylvania Home Builders Association and was a long-time active member and Past District Governor of Rotary International. An active member of the Masonic Fraternity, Carl was a member and Past Worshipful Master of George Washington Lodge #143 F&AM and served as a Board member of the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, PA. He served on the Board of Franklin Feed and Supply Company for 54 years. Carl was active with many civic organizations and served as Past Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Committee. He loved to travel and enjoyed photography and flying.

    Carl is survived by his wife, Arlene Sandoe Flohr, whom he married January 28, 1951; four children, Frank Flohr (Jean), Nina Flohr Van Kampen (J. Daniel), Linn Flohr (Lee Ann), and Mark Flohr (Sherri); eleven grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Grace Burkholder, Isabelle Mummert, and Bertha Burkholder.

    A Masonic Service will be conducted by members of the George Washington Lodge #143 F&AM at 5:30 PM Friday, July 12, 2019 at Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 333 Falling Spring Road, Chambersburg, PA. Visitation will follow the Masonic Service from 6:00-8:00 PM.

    Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, July 13, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, 225 South Second Street, Chambersburg, PA. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the church. Interment in Lincoln Cemetery will be private.

    Memorial contributions may be made to Park Avenue United Methodist Church, 1140 Edgar Avenue, Chambersburg, PA 17201 or to SpiriTrust Lutheran Home Care and Hospice, 2700 Luther Drive, Chambersburg, PA 17202.

  • 09 Jul 2019 10:45 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)


    Is your deck looking a little worn? Maybe the siding on your house is dirty – or even worse, looks green with mildew. There’s an easy fix for the problem. Power washing.

    Power washing is a relatively easy-to-do task that should be part of your annual routine. It’s an effective and efficient way to keep up your home’s curb appeal and actually can help fight off some health issues as well.

    Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, power washing has many benefits. But be sure to have someone who has access to the proper equipment or rent a “real” power wash system. Avoid those cheap versions that attach to your garden hose. Sure they look good on those internet ads but there’s really no comparison to a job done with the right tools.

    Here are a few reasons why you should look into have your home power washed.

    After a particularly wet season – like we’ve had lately – mold and mildew can quickly start popping up on siding, concrete, decks, and more. Over time, this can damage the surfaces and can also impact your family’s well-being. Power washing the grime off these surfaces will refresh the look and clear away any toxins so you can stay healthy.

    You can also use the power washing techniques to prepare surfaces for painting, refinishing, or resurfacing. Everyone know that painting over dirt or mold is a recipe for disaster later. A smooth, clean surface is ideal for any type of refurbishing. A good power wash can easily do the job for you.

    Power washing is also really environmentally friendly. The force of water is amazing. Watching the transformation of a surface that is undergoing a power wash can be mesmerizing. There is no need for chemicals that could harm pets or kill vegetation. The pressure alone does all the work.

    Just because summer is already in full swing doesn’t mean it is too late to look into power washing. In fact, it’s one of those summertime chores that is actually refreshing. Who would mind doing work with a refreshing mist keeping you cool?

    If you are looking to give your property a face-lift that doesn’t require a whole construction project, you might want to consider power washing. You, your neighbors, and even potential buyers will notice the difference.

  • 08 Jul 2019 9:11 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    On July 2,  Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 751 (Act 53 of 2019) reforming the way private water and sewer utilities’ income tax liability is calculated. The tax change specifically relates to a federal tax provision affecting private water and sewer utilities when they extend service to a new area.   With more than 3,800 member companies, Pennsylvania Builders Association Members annually invest millions of dollars in water and wastewater infrastructure that is donated to private water/sewer companies after development is complete.  Act 53 becomes effective August 31,2019.

    Investor-owned water companies previously enjoyed a federal tax exemption for such infrastructure known as contributions in aid of construction (CIAC), but a little-advertised change in the Federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated this exemption in 2018.  Prior to the passage of  Act 53 this tax impacted  developers, increasing the cost of every new home by thousands of dollars. 

    PA Builders Association Fixes Federal Tax Issue in Extraordinary Four Month State Legislative Win

    In 2018, PBA engaged in litigation before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to change private water company tariffs to mitigate the effect of the TCJA.  When the PUC ruled against PBA’s interests in a tariff rate change case, along a party line vote in February of 2019, attention immediately turned to Pennsylvania’s General Assembly to change the underlying Pennsylvania law relating to taxable contributions.  

    The “no gross up” method (also called the “utility finance” or “socialization” method) adopted in Act 53 requires the utility to pay the tax and then adds that amount to the utility’s rate base for all customers. Essentially, the utility finances the payment of the tax expense and the utility gets reimbursed from rates over the life of the depreciating CIAC asset.   Eliminating the requirement that developers fund the utilities tax obligation up front. 

    Act 53 of 2019  provides significant savings for developers, homebuilders, and homebuyers. 

    Pennsylvania Home Builders and Developers are the only advocates that consumers can trust to safeguard the integrity of affordable housing. 

    Background

    Effective January 1, 2018 the TCJA required that water companies include advances for construction and Contributions in Aid of Construction (“CIAC”) in taxable income. Private water companies in turn passed the tax burden on to  developers thereby making their cost to install water and wastewater infrastructure even higher.   Additionally, because Pennsylvania Corporate Net Income Tax is based on federal taxable income, CAC and CIAC are also state taxable income to water and wastewater utilities.  Pennsylvania Developers were required to furnish either a cashier’s check or letter of credit in the amount of 40% of the total project cost (including engineering and inspections fees) to reflect the gross-up for the private water/sewer companies state and federal tax liability on the contributed property.

  • 03 Jul 2019 12:56 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Yes, it has been a very wet year so far, yet after a few of these hot 90-degree days you can start seeing a couple of dry patches in your yard. So with the July 4th holiday upon us, it’s important to remember some safety tips to keep you and your home safe.

    As tempting as it is to set fireworks off in your backyard, why not leave it up to the professionals? Besides the fact that fireworks can be expensive (and sometimes even illegal), the professional shows are going to be more impressive and free, not to mention safe.

    For those of you who insist on putting on your own show, here are a few tips to making the display a pleasant memory instead of a four-alarm event.

    • Above all else, make sure your fireworks are legal in your area. Just because your brother-in-law bought some from a roadside stand in another state (and he swears they are reallllly good), doesn’t mean you can use them here in Pennsylvania. Just be certain you are within the law.
    • As mentioned previously noted, some things are just starting to get a little dry. Always be aware of the vegetation around where you plan to set off fireworks – this includes those sparklers as well. Even the tiniest of sparks can cause a fire. The best spot for handling fireworks would be a large paved area. And remember to always have a fire extinguisher and/or a hose or water bucket handy. Don’t forget that it’s not only where you light the fireworks, but also where they land – so be smart.
    • It goes without saying that you need to steer clear of all buildings when lighting fireworks. No one needs a rogue lit firework landing on a rooftop.
    • Fireworks always require supervision. Adults only, obviously! But just because you are an “adult” doesn’t mean that common sense and safety should be forgotten. We’ve all seen the news videos around this time of year where the mannequin’s hand is blown off holding a firework – or their clothes are set on fire.
    • Care should always be taken when storing fireworks. Keep them dry and in a plastic or metal container. Never use a simple cardboard box. Stay away from ignitable materials like gasoline or kerosene or near a heat source. The best storage area would be in a shed or structure that is away from the home.

    The 4th of July is a great time to celebrate. But be smart about it and safe. Your home, property, and even your life depends on it.

  • 01 Jul 2019 10:56 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)


    The Summer 2019 PBA Board Meeting is right around the corner. Are you on the fence about attending? If so, we have some solid reasons why your participation is essential. PBA is about working for the industry but we depend on the input of members. The Summer Board Meeting is the time to come together, work on initiatives, and set the course for the future.

    PLUS – The room block deadline for the Nittany Lion Inn is fast approaching. Book your room by July 8 using the group code PABA19J for special savings. Call 1-800-233-7506 today.

    Consider these top reasons to attend and gather fellow members to join us in State College, July 25-27.

    1. Share Your Concerns

    This is your opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your industry. The PBA Board Meeting is an excellent chance to have your voice be heard. Various committee meetings on everything from government affairs to non-dues revenue, communications, membership, workforce development, workers compensation, PWB, and BSI allow members to participate and help shape the mission of PBA. Don’t you want to be able to be part of something that is working toward a better future for you and your business?

    2. Picnic for PaCAH

    For the second year in a row, Betsy Dupuis is graciously opening the doors to her home to host a PaCAH picnic event. This year we’re all looking forward to some delicious food, drink, and fun. Rumor has it that there will be a dunk tank on site featuring a few PBA members that you just might want to send into the water! Plus there will be a few other surprises as well. And the best part is that all money raised at the event will be credited to your individual local’s PaCAH goal. You can’t beat it – having fun while raising funds for a fantastic cause.

    3. Finally Understand Social Media

    Social media is that mysterious marketing aspect that everyone knows about but few understand and know how to use it to their advantage. On Friday at the PBA Board Meeting, we will be hosting an invaluable seminar called Getting Savvy With Social Media. Web Service Specialist (and Master of Social Media) Debbie Kozlovac, of Alliance Business Technology, will share the very best ways for businesses to use the various social media platforms. She’ll tell you the ones you should be using and how to use them to make an impact and market your business in today’s online world.

    4. Connect With Colleagues

    There’s nothing better than being in a room with like-minded colleagues – people who understand the challenges and triumphs you face in day-to-day business. The Summer Board Meeting brings together builders, remodelers, suppliers, and many others who support the building industry. Attendees can make the most of generating connections with others in the industry. You never know how beneficial those relationships will be. Join us and renew old friendships and make important new ones.

    5. Make a Weekend of It!

    Come for the Board Meeting, stay for the weekend! State College is a great place to visit. So after the business is done, we encourage you to explore Happy Valley. There are some great restaurants and breweries, outdoor adventures like exploring Mount Nittany, attractions including nearby Penn’s Cave or Penn State’s beautiful arboretum, and for those Lion fans there’s the Penn State All-Sports Museum. Don’t forget a quick trip to the Creamery for the best ice cream around.

    So what are you waiting for? The PBA Summer Board Meeting is a great way to get involved, make a difference, connect with others, discover new ways to improve your business, and just have fun.

    Click here to register today and we’ll see you in State College!

  • 26 Jun 2019 12:05 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    With all the rain lately, it’s been hard to even mow the lawn. But what about those big plans you have to do some D-I-Y landscaping around the house? Well there is still time. We want to help you with some ideas on what you can do and what you should definitely avoid to make your yard a personal oasis.

    • You must start with a vision – and better yet, a plan! Make it realistic and maintainable. There is nothing worse than just digging holes and plopping trees and shrubs in random areas. Remember they GROW! So if you haven’t thought the finished yard out beforehand, you could end up with an overgrown forest. There is much more that comes after the initial planting so be sure you can handle the annual trimming, mulching, weeding, and general maintenance that comes with a manicured landscape.

    • Many of us think of symmetry. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Let your mind take that extra step because everything doesn’t have to be balanced. Plant what you like but just be sure that you take in the whole picture. You don’t want to have holes in the finished product. Curb appeal is EVERYTHING.
    • By the way, good things come in multiples. Rather than just having one certain kind of plant, go for an odd number of the same kind of plant or flower. Having areas of a common color just looks good and it cuts down on the task keeping the look in shape.
    • You know how all the quaint stories had gingerbread homes with narrow winding walkways leading up to the door? Don’t do that! Curved pathways make eyes roam instead of focusing. Plus you’ll thank yourself later if you have a straight and wide passage when you are lugging bags and boxes into the house.
    • Straight-lined flower beds can be boring. Round. Curved. Even a triangle! These can all add a great visual to your home – as long as you don’t go overboard.
    • Don’t forget behind the house. We all end up spending most of our time in the backyard so it’s important to remember to make that area special as well. However, if you are truly interested in the investment value of your home, there’s nothing better than concentrating in the front. Buyers are draw to curb appeal.
    • Plants and flowers are great but don’t overlook what a difference hardscapes, lighting, and even water features can make. When they all come together the right way, it can be magic.

    Your lawn is an extension of your home. Consider it another room. Landscaping – whether you try your own hand at it or bring in a professional to give it that extra polish – can make a world of difference.

    Live in the home that everyone seems to slow down in front of when they drive past!

  • 25 Jun 2019 10:01 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Act 36 of 2017 requires the Review & Advisory Council (RAC) to establish Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) that allow for further public participation in the Model Code Adoption process for the PA UCC. The TACs are designed to provide the RAC members with more diverse and balanced input – and to allow for the public who is effected the most by the PA UCC updates to provide real-time feedback on the model code provisions.

    Members of the TACs will be appointed by the RAC Chairman and must contain persons who build, design, and enforce the PA UCC. Public members of the TACs will act as resources to RAC members reviewing the updated model code provisions.

    This is an opportunity for PBA members to be directly involved in the discussions surrounding the adoption of specific code provisions. The composition of the TACs must be diverse and represent all areas of the construction industry. Please note that environmental groups and manufacturers will also be eligible to participate.

    Applicants must apply by July 13, 2019 to be considered for a position on a TAC – you can sign up to serve on one or more TAC at this following link: Technical Advisory Committee Participation Form.

    TAC Member Responsibilities
    Act 36 requires that after the expiration of the 120-day public comment period, the RAC Chair must assign each updated code section to a TAC. Each TAC must make recommendations to the RAC on whether to accept, modify, or reject updated sections, including the rationale relied upon. Recommendations will be determined by a majority vote of the RAC members who serve on the TAC. TAC recommendations are non-binding on the full RAC. The TAC’s will officially begin meeting after the close of the 2018 public comment period (October 10, 2019) and are required to submit their recommendations to the full RAC by June of 2020. PBA would encourage all members who have an interest in serving on a TAC to apply.

    Meetings may be conducted in person or via tele-conference/video-conference. We anticipate that most meetings of the TAC’s will be held via conference call.
    This is the first review cycle for the RAC under the new law that includes the creation of the Technical Advisory Committees. The process will only work in PBA’s favor if members are willing to commit their time and expertise to helping craft the best health/safety UCC possible. If you have any question about the application process, the time commitment involved, or the RAC UCC model code adoption process, please contact Sarah Miller at smiller@pabuilders.org or Jon Sukonik at jsukonik@sukonik.com.

    List of Technical Advisory Committees:
    Administration (Chapter 401 & 403)
    Building Code General (IBC)
    Building Code Egress (IBC)
    Building Code Structural (IBC)
    Building Code Fire Safety (IBC)
    Energy Code Residential (IECC)
    Energy Code Commercial (IECC)
    Existing Building Code (IEBC)
    Fire Code (IFC)
    Fuel Gas Code (IFGC)
    Mechanical Code (IMC)
    Performance Code (ICCPC)
    Plumbing Code (IPC)
    Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC)
    Residential Code (IRC)
    Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC)



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