for a better tomorrow.

News and Updates

  • 21 Jun 2019 10:55 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 or Jon Sukonik at

    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)

  • 17 Jun 2019 10:22 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    We all watched the shows on television where the couple are searching for their new home. You know, one of them professes to be barista “artist” while the other is a professional dog walker and their budget is $650,000. The want list for their first home includes all brand new granite, five bedrooms, a crafting room, a home theater, and an outside entertainment area that could double as an in-law quarters. Everything MUST be perfect!

    Now welcome to the real world.

    We all know that home buying is a matter of compromising. You aren’t going to get everything you, but over time that want list can become a reality. But the key phrase there is over time.

    It’s important to make your home your own. Personalizing is an important way to make that happen. But overspending on personalization could lead to problems down the road. Are those brand new cabinets more important than jeopardizing your status as a homeowner?

    Rather than attacking the whole house, start going room by room and adding the small personal touches that will make it feel like home. Hang photos, update the paint color, add some fresh window treatments, or install a new light fixture. These small changes will make a big impact on the feel of your home – and not so much on your wallet.

    Repairs may be inevitable but don’t trick yourself into a “necessary repair” when it is actually just a fun improvement. This could have tax implications for you so know what you are doing before you get started. So don’t confuse a repair with an improvement.

    Of course there will be needed repairs as time goes on. Don’t ignore a leak or a crack. Check it out and if it means spending money on that instead of a new patio door because you want a view – be smart and go for the repair. Remember your home is an investment that needs to be safe and secure. The view can come later.

    Your home is your sanctuary – make it your own. But take it slow and steady and always be smart with your money.

  • 17 Jun 2019 9:33 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Summer always goes fast – we know that. Before we know it, July 4th will be history. So it’s not too early to save your spot for the Summer PBA Board Meeting. Be sure to mark the dates – July 25-27 at the Nittany Lion Inn in State College.

    Remember this is your opportunity to stay informed about everything that is going on with your state association. Committee meetings on Government Affairs, Membership, Communications, Workforce Training and Education, Non-Dues Revenue, and more are all on the schedule.

    In addition, an expert from Alliance Business Technologies will help attendees get a better understanding of how to leverage social media and make the most of the all-important online presence in today’s digital world. Did you know that 93% of consumers expect businesses to have a social media presence? Do you?

    There will also be a special PaCAH event to help you relax and enjoy each other’s company all while raising funds for this important cause.

    Be sure to save your spot today by registering here. And don’t forget to reserve your room at the Nittany Lion Inn (use the group code PABA19J) to get the special discount). Visit or call 1-800-233-7505 PRIOR to July 8.


    For more information, please check out the Summer 2019 Board Meeting Schedule below:

     Summer 2019 Board Meeting
    Nittany Lion Inn, State College, PA
    July 25-27, 2019

    Note – Meetings are open to all members unless otherwise indicated. Times are subject to change.

    THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2019

    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 Reception


    FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2019

    7:30 a.m.   PA Housing Research Center (PHRC) 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 - SPEAKER: Elizabeth Hensil, Finish Line Strategies; TOPIC: Legislative Day in Harrisburg

    RSVP and prepay for tickets at

    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 - Getting Savvy With Social Media - Debbie Kozlovac, Alliance Business Technologies

    3 p.m.         Professional Women in Building (PWB) Meeting

    3 p.m.         Builder Services, Inc. (BSI) Board of Directors Meeting

    6 p.m.          PaCAH Event at Betsy Dupuis’ house – 3203 Buffalo Run Road, Bellefonte  (Transportation will be provided)

    SATURDAY, JULY 27, 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

    Contact PBA Staff with questions! Register for the meetings you plan to attend at or by using the link from your Board Registration email.

  • 11 Jun 2019 2:59 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    On June 5th, more than 700 NAHB members climbed Capital Hill in Washington to lobby on behalf of the home building industry. PBA leadership was right in the midst, meeting with a variety of elected representatives from Pennsylvania’s delegation. It is impossible to overstate the value of constituents speaking directly to elected officials. Your influence is amplified by the personal contact that one can only find in a face-to-face meeting. PBA thanks everyone who made the trip to the Hill to speak for your interests.

    Read more about this important and the issues that were key to the discussions.

    Pictured above from left: Andrew Kaye, Herb Miller, Cindy Cepko, Kert Sloan, Cathy Sloan, and Dan Durden. (Not pictured - Jerry Leach)

  • 10 Jun 2019 9:00 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    A growing number of singles are purchasing homes all on their own these days. Since June is Home Ownership Month, we thought we would share some advice for those thinking about taking the plunge into real estate.

    As a single buyer, you have to remember that it really is all on you. Before doing anything, it is best to consider your financial health. What kind of money do you have for a down payment? What’s your credit score? Are you good with setting – and following – budgets? Do you realize what your costs will actually be?

    The first thing to do is pay down that consumer debt you have. As always, try to pay the balance of your credit purchases each month to avoid expensive interest charges. Not only does this help you save money but it also does wonders for your credit rating!

    You might want to also take a serious look at your career goals. If your resume shows a laundry list of jobs, lenders might be hesitant to issue you a mortgage. Shoot to be in a job for at least two years – or at least be able to reassure your lender that you are in a permanent position. A letter from your employer would be a great way to show your commitment.

    Obviously the key to being financially able to purchase a home is to bulk up your savings. Maybe you don’t have to go out to dinner this weekend or perhaps that new phone upgrade can wait. The bigger your down payment is, the lower your monthly costs.  And be prepared for the closing costs.

    Be sure to create and follow a monthly budget. Know your costs and be ready for them. Think about mortgage, utilities, insurance, any planned updates, and general living expenses. Plan for a rainy day. There will always be unplanned expenses including repairs and maintenance. Unforeseen circumstances like an illness or a job loss can be challenging but with proper preparation, they can be managed easier.

    Understand your limitations and wants. If your career doesn’t leave you with enough time to take care of a large yard or if you just don’t want to do a lot of maintenance around the house, you might consider condo living. If you have a passion for fitness or a particular style of living, think about what kind of home you want to live in. It’s easier to look for what you want rather than trying to make it into the place of your dreams.

    Owning a home as a single buyer is exciting and achievable. It’s a place to call your own – paint it any color you want and arrange the rooms to your liking. It’s all yours!

    Welcome home.

  • 03 Jun 2019 12:08 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)


    June is not only the start of the summer but it’s also when many people officially sign the papers on their new home – and it is National Homeownership Month.

    While the purchasing process may have been stressful, once you have the keys in your hands there is a sense of relief. Of course you still have a huge checklist in front of you, but before you totally settle in and start picking out paint samples, you might want to keep the following tips in mind.

    Despite the fact that this may well be the biggest purchase you have ever made and you have lost sleep over it, you still need to celebrate. Take a little time to just step back and congratulate yourself. Have a few friends over and make a toast (of course, those friends can also help you move too!).

    The first thing you should always do is to change the locks – all of the locks. You never know how many people the previous owners passed out keys to. It’s just good piece of mind to make sure you, your family, and your possessions are secure. And don’t forget the code for the garage door too.

    Now that the locks are changed, you’re going to need utilities, right? Besides the electric and water, you’ll need to set up – or transfer – accounts for municipal sewer, trash removal, gas, and the ever-important cable and internet. Also consider a security system.

    While everything make look clean, you know your mother would insist that you clean everything from top to bottom. Turns out, mom was right. A good, deep cleaning is always in order to make sure all the nooks and crannies are up to your standards before you start moving in your belonging.

    OK – so let’s get back to the paint samples. This should be a no-brainer. It is so much easier to paint a room when you don’t have to cover or remove furniture. Same with making repairs. If at all possible, now’s the time to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls or patch those holes in the wall. You’ll be much happier avoiding the obstacles later.

    While you are at it, take the time to find the main water shut-off valve. If there is ever a problem with a burst pipe or a leak, the last thing you want is a frantic search. Be ready before anything happens!

    Find a secure place for all your home-related documents. Yes, we live in a digital world, but you know that you still are inundated with invoices, permits, owner’s manuals, and closing documents. Buy a filing cabinet or even invest in a safety deposit box.

    Always keep a close eye on your mortgage. Through the years, mortgages can and are sold to secondary market investors. You need to know the status of your mortgage and make sure that any sale is legitimate. Make sure your payments are being submitted to the proper place.

    Finally, and maybe most importantly, take the time to meet your neighbors. Don’t wait for them to make the first move. Introduce yourself and be friendly. A close-knit community is a safe one.

    Welcome home!


  • 30 May 2019 9:42 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    No matter where you live in Pennsylvania, there’s no doubt that you have experience some rough weather lately. Severe lightning, high winds, heavy downpours, and even a fair number of tornados have stuck our region causing damage to homes, businesses, and property.

    Once the sky clears and the sun comes up, it’s time to survey the damage. It can be a challenging and emotional time, but how can you make sure that you are taking the steps necessary to avoid being scammed when it’s time to rebuild?

    Obviously the first thing to do is make sure everyone is safe and accounted for – and that they stay that way. There is no building or item that is worth risking your life and well-being for. As they say, it can all be replaced but you only have one life. Sometimes the clean-up can be just as treacherous as the storm itself. So always take care.

    If possible, start taking pictures. Document as much as possible. This is actually something you should do BEFORE a storm. Having photos of your home both outside and inside can be valuable proof that any damage was indeed caused by the storm and wasn’t there beforehand. This can help speed up insurance claims.

    After the storm, walk around the entire property and take as many shots as you can at all angles. In this case, more photos are better than less! Take pictures of everything.

    Obviously you are going to want to contact your insurance company immediately. Ask about policy coverage and what requirements are needed to file a claim. Save all your receipts, including those for food, temporary lodging or other expenses that may be covered under your policy.

    When it is time to start the actual rebuilding, do your research. Make sure your contractor is licensed, reliable, and comes with references. Be sure to check with your local builders association to find a list of members and then follow up to make sure you have the best people doing the job for you.

    It goes without saying that you should always be wary of the door-to-door contractors who seem to pop up whenever there is a tragedy. Again, do your research and make sure that anyone who is going to do work for you is a professional.

    Never sign over an insurance check to anyone. Doing that could sign away your rights to any insurance claims. Always ask for an invoice from a contractor and pay them directly. If possible, pay with a credit card since that could offer you additional fraud protection.

    These are just a few suggestions for helping you get through a trying time. Spring and summer are tricky times in Pennsylvania where the weather can turn on a dime. Be alert and heed the advice of forecasters.

    Stay safe and always be prepared for the next step.


  • 28 May 2019 9:00 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    So with another Memorial Day in the books, it’s time to start enjoying summer. But for many of us that means adding to the to-do list. Here’s a list of five top summer-time home improvement projects you might want to tackle when the sun is shining.

    Pressure Washing
    Quick and easy and it can make a HUGE difference for your home, deck or patio. Get rid of the dirt as well as mold, mildew, and algae that have built up.

    As soon as it starts getting warmer, we all want to start digging in the dirt. For a magazine-worthy look, look to your landscaper to design a garden that is not only beautiful but also manageable.

    Installing a Programmable Thermostat
    It is tempting to have the air conditioning turned up on full blast when the temps soar but that also makes your money blow away too. By installing a programmable thermostat in your home you can regulate the temperatures for when they are most needed. You’ll end up saving some serious bank in the long run.

    Getting New Windows
    While we’re at it, running the AC when you have older, poorly-fitting windows is just another way to waste money. It’s a good time of the year to look into getting new energy-efficient windows for your home. You’ll notice the difference in the summer and even more when winter makes its dreaded return.

    Add an Outdoor Living Space
    Come on, we’ve all watched those television shows where the homeowner basically has an entire living room/kitchen/dining room/home theater/pool set up outside. Yes, it would be wonderful, but you can make those summer evenings nice with even just a small version of one of these features. Adding a deck, patio, or other outdoor living space makes for summertime memories and it increases the value of your home.

    Whatever project you want to take on this summer, PBA’s got your back. Be sure to check out your local builders association and find a member close to you who can help you stay on the right track.


  • 21 May 2019 8:46 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    It's time for the Summer Regional Meetings. Following is a list of meeting dates, times, and locations. We hope to see you at the meetings. #PBAProud

    Mideast Regional Meeting - June 24; 5:30 p.m. Location: HBA of Metro Harrisburg office, 2416 Park Drive, Harrisburg (RSVP by June 20) REGISTER 

    Southcentral Regional Meeting - June 25; 5:30 p.m. Location: Out Door Country Club, 1157 Detweiler Drive, York (RSVP by June 20) REGISTER

    Southeast Regional Meeting - June 26; 3:00 p.m. Location: HBA of Bucks & Montgomery Counties, 540 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fort Washington (RSVP by June 25) REGISTER

    Southwest Regional Meeting - June 26; 3:00 This will be a conference call (RSVP by June 25) REGISTER

    Northwest Regional Meeting - June 26; 6:30 p.m. Location: Chovy's, 18228 Conneaut Lake Road, Meadville (RSVP by June 24) REGISTER

    Northeast Regional Meeting - June 27; 5:00 p.m. Location: Marzoni's Brick Oven & Brewing, 26 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic (RSVP by June 25) REGISTER

    Midwest Regional Meeting - June 27; 5:30 p.m. Location: Indiana Country Club, 495 Country Club Road, Indiana (RSVP by June 20) REGISTER

    Northcentral Regional Meeting - June 27; 5:30 p.m. Location: Duffy's Boalsburg Tavern, 113 E Main St Boalsburg, PA 16827 (RSVP by June 20) REGISTER


  • 20 May 2019 12:47 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    A recent study by Trulia of the most affordable metropolitan zip codes in the United States determined that Pittsburgh ranks as number two right behind Indianapolis.

    Trulia took the current value of all homes in the top 50 metro areas and calculated how much the median income could afford by zip code. Homes were considered affordable if 30% or less of the metro area’s median monthly income went to the mortgage payment.

    To find the share of affordable homes on the market, Trulia calculated the maximum amount the median income could afford toward a mortgage payment. Calculations considered a 20% down payment and included property insurance and taxes.

    The metro area boasts a share of 95.8% of zip codes where at least half of the home are affordable. Read more here.

    In 2018, Pittsburgh was also named second most livable city in the country according to The Global Livability Index.

    We’re thinking that the Steel City is a pretty great place to be right now!


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