BUILDING TODAY

 for a better tomorrow.

News and Updates

  • 04 May 2018 8:27 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    Rep. Charlie Dent (R) was honored on April 30th by Lehigh Valley Builders Association (LVBA) with the National Defender of Housing Award, acknowledging him as a forward-thinking federal legislator who recognizes housing’s significant role within the U.S. economy.

    “Dent understands the key national issues facing home builders and remodelers here in the Lehigh Valley,” said LVBA Executive Officer, Chuck Hamilton.  “We commend him for his past support of pro-housing policies such as removing needless regulatory barriers that drive up the cost of housing making it more difficult for families to afford a home.”

    The Defender of Housing Award honors a very important partnership--the working relationship between builders and lawmakers. In many ways, members of Congress create the blueprint for our businesses with their votes on legislation that defines how our industry operates.

    John Howard, chair of the LVBA Governmental Affairs Committee, added, “This award represents a strong commitment to affordable housing, consumer choice and most importantly, the significant contribution that home building makes to the economy. Homeownership is the engine that drives this nation, and the Defender of Housing Award goes to those who enable more homes to be built.”

  • 01 May 2018 8:39 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    On May 1, 2018, the PA Uniform Construction Code (PA UCC) Review and Advisory Council (RAC) submitted their required report to the Department of Labor and Industry (Department) adopting the majority of code provisions contained in the 2015 International Code Council (ICC) Model Codes. 

    The submission of the report to the Department signals the end of the RAC’s re-review of all previously un-adopted code provisions contained in the 2012, and 2015 editions of the ICC Model Codes. 

    PBA was successful in advocating for the non-adoption or modification of the most egregious code provisions contained in the 2015 ICC Model Codes, but all residential builders should be prepared for a major update to the current PA UCC beginning in October of this year.  

    New Regulations

    On October 1, 2018, new regulations will go into effect codifying the RAC report on the 2015 ICC Model Code re-review including the provisions of the 2014 National Electric Code.

    PBA is working on materials and educational training sessions to help make the transition to the revised PA UCC easier to manage for our members.

    Moving forward, all subsequent RAC review and adoption of future Model Code provisions will be delayed by a full three years.  As an example, the 2018 ICC Model Codes will not be eligible for enactment in Pennsylvania until March of 2022. 

    Other Key Changes for Builders:

    Design or Construction Contract Time-frames:

    Members should also be aware that a new limitation relating to design and construction contracts will be implemented with the updates to the PA UCC.  A design or construction contract that is entered into prior to the effective date of regulations implementing changes to the PA UCC, in this case October 1, 2018, may be issued under the code in place at the time that the contracts were signed if the permit to build and inspect is applied for within six months of the effective date of the regulation or the period noted by municipal ordinance, whichever is less.   Simply, if you want to build under the 2009 PA UCC you must have a signed design or construction contract dated prior October 1, 2018, and pull the building permit prior to April 1, 2019.  

  • 27 Apr 2018 9:45 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)


    As the spring home-buying season kicks into full gear, the home building industry is celebrating New Homes Month in April. If you’re in the market for a new home, you’re probably thinking about what features are essential on your must-have list. Do you wonder if other home buyers are looking for the same things?

    A recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reveals what consumers are looking for in their house hunting this year. Both first-time buyers and existing homeowners were asked about the features they consider essential in their next home.

     Nearly half of first-time home buyers rank these features among their top five must-haves:

    ·         Living room

    ·         Laundry room

    ·         Dining room

    ·         Garage storage

    ·         Walk-in closet in the master bedroom

    First-time buyers are also looking for a front porch, a 2-car garage and a double sink in the kitchen.

    Are existing homeowners looking for dramatically different features as they look to move up or downsize? In fact, their list of essential items includes many of the same preferences of first-time buyers. But they also are looking for more, including a patio, table space for eating in the kitchen, hardwood floors on the main level, Energy Star appliances and granite countertops in the kitchen.

    Both sets of home buyers are continuing their commitment to energy efficiency in 2018. Energy-efficient features like low-E windows and Energy Star-certified appliances are among the popular desired features.

    Home buyers also indicated their openness to joining the tiny home trend. NAHB found that 53 percent of respondents would consider purchasing a home of 600 square feet or less at some point during their lifetime. Perhaps not surprisingly, Gen Xers and millennias were much more open to the idea of a tiny house than baby boomers and seniors.

    Contact your local builders association in Pennsylvania at www.pabuilders.org/find-a-local to learn about the latest features available in new homes in your area. 

  • 27 Apr 2018 9:33 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    Andrew Kaye of Stevenson Home Builders, LLC in Conshohocken, PA and the BA of Bucks/Montgomery Counties has been appointed by NAHB Chairman Randy Noel as the PBA NAHB State Representative, filling the roll vacated by the passing of previous State Rep Ray Venema. Andrew will fulfill the current 2018 term and will also remain a member of the PBA Senior Leadership Committee serving as its Past President.  


  • 19 Apr 2018 8:53 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    Bringing Housing Home is an opportunity for members to conduct in-district meetings with their U.S. representatives and senators. These meetings, especially important during each election year, are key to strengthening relationships with lawmakers and to maintaining housing issues as a priority in Congress.

    Meetings in the home district often allow for less rushed and more open conversations between members and their elected representatives in Washington. This year’s events are set for the week of April 30 through May 5. If you want to set up a meeting, you can use this letter template. If you have already scheduled a meeting, please let us know.


    We would love to send someone from PBA leadership, a BUILD-PAC trustee and/or one of the NAHB government affairs staff to join you if schedules permit. The sooner we know the date and place, the more likely we can send someone to help you carry the message. If you would like help in scheduling, Pennsylvania’s BUILD-PAC trustees would be glad to assist. We can give you contact information for any of the trustees if you are interested.

    You can download the NAHB 2018 Legislative Priorities brochure and related materials here. The brochure provides a useful “cheat sheet” for your members as well as being a great item to leave behind for your legislator or his staff. Don’t pass by this opportunity to make an impression on your U.S. lawmakers. Those running for reelection are more likely than ever to want your input.


  • 17 Apr 2018 9:17 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    Don’t miss out on an opportunity to increase your local membership and get “cash back.” Through the end of May 2018, PBA will pay your local association $7.50 for every new affiliate member that the local adds.

    You may not be aware that PBA does not charge anything for affiliate membership. The $7.50 represents one-half of the affiliate dues charged by NAHB. PBA’s board approved this temporary program following a proposal from 2019 President Kert Sloan. Affiliate membership is an ideal way to get younger members involved or to add additional active volunteers from the same company.

    Local executive officers or presidents simply need to identify all of your new affiliates each month for the promotion period (February 1 through May 31, 2018) and PBA will write the local association a check representing $7.50 for each new affiliate. Please use this form.

    There is no limit on the number of affiliates you can claim so long as they are new members who joined during the limited time offered. Ten new affiliates translates into $75 back to your association and, we hope, ten new members engaged and participating at your local. Grab the cash while it’s available. This offer ends soon.

    If you have any questions regarding this promotion or affiliate membership, contact Daniel Durden at ddurden@pabuilders.org or (717) 325-4329.

  • 06 Apr 2018 3:12 PM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    This April marks the eleventh annual recognition month, reminding Pennsylvania residents to always dial 8‐1‐1 three business days before any digging project.

    National Safe Digging Month is formally recognized by the Governor of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Senate and the Pennsylvania House of Representative and has traditionally earned the support from nearly every state governor across the country.

     As you prepare to excavate, state law requires that you contact 8-1-1 or www.paonecall.org. PBA members have their annual $125 fee covered by the association.

    Here’s what PBA members need to know:

    Each calendar year when you contact 8-1-1 for the first time, you will receive an invoice for $125. Forward your invoice to your local builders association. They will confirm your membership and send your invoice directly to PBA for payment.

    You will not receive an invoice for additional use of the PA One Call System in the same calendar year, regardless of how often you use it. Repeat the same process the first time you dig in the next calendar year!

    When dialing 8‐1‐1, homeowners and contractors are connected to Pennsylvania 811, the local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional underground utility line locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both.

    The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists. Pennsylvania 811 encourages area residents to visit www.pa811.org or www.paonecall.org for more information about digging safely.

  • 03 Apr 2018 1:30 PM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    Gary E. Lenker, Vice President of Donco Construction Inc. in Dauphin, PA has been appointed to the Board of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). Gary is a Life Director of the Pennsylvania Builders Association (PBA), serving as its President in 1991, and having previously been awarded the organization’s Distinguished Achievement and Builder of the Year Awards.  

    The 14 members of the Board of PHFA set policy and oversee the organization's operations. Four members are named to the Board by the majority and minority leaders of the State Senate and House of Representatives. Six members are private citizens and appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. The other remaining members include the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Banking and Securities, Secretary of Community and Economic Development, Secretary of Human Services, and the State Treasurer.

    In addition to his role as V.P. of Donco Construction, Gary also serves as Executive Director of the Tri-County Housing Development Corporation, a not-for-profit Certified Community Housing Development Organization that serves the City of Harrisburg, Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry Counties. He also serves on the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority, Land Bank, Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board, and Dauphin County Planning Commission.

    Gary served as President of the Home Builders Association of Metro Harrisburg on multiple occasions and is a Senior Life Director of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a Vice Chairman of NAHB’s Housing Finance Committee.

  • 23 Mar 2018 10:18 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    Leadership, Credibility, Prestige: The Value of Designations

    One of the many advantages of belonging to the Pennsylvania Builders Association as part of the 3-in-1 membership is the readily available . The NAHB Education Program offers professional development designations to building industry professionals that enhance their business savvy, broaden their areas of expertise, and increase their marketability.  In today’s growing housing market, what better way to get ahead or maintain your edge on the competition than a professional designation?  Designations can lead to higher income, increased credibility, and prestige for members and their companies.

    Holding a professional designation indicates that the designee is up to speed on the latest developments in business, building methods, and technology while showing clients they have the know-how and dedication to earn a professional designation.  Potential clients can use designations to help identify and select professionals with superior training, real-world experience, in-depth knowledge of their afield, and a commitment to continuous improvement.  Designees are listed in The Professional Designation Directory on nahb.org, making their contact info easily accessible to consumers.   

     Students develop a nationwide network of colleagues that they consistently can use as sounding boards for challenges and ideas long after their courses have concluded.  This chance to network with so many fellow industry pros often brings people back to obtain more designations. 

     “A designation requires us to study and learn more about our industry.  It says to our clients, I am continually improving myself as an industry professional by studying the best practices of our national industry,” says Kert Sloan, PBA President and holder of the Certified Graduate Remodeler, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, and Certified Green Professional designations. “It also says that I am using that knowledge gained from the collective experience of our industry to give my clients a better end-result in their project."

     NAHB’s commitment to offering industry professionals the best, the most-extensive continuing education program is evident in the diverse array of programs.

     Through NAHB Education, industry pros can earn professional designations in any one of 13 areas. Get more information on specific designations at nahb.org/designations.

     ·         Certified Graduate Associate (CGA):  Developed specifically for NAHB associate members (including suppliers of materials and financial services), the CGA program offers participants an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of home building industry fundamentals.

    ·         Certified Graduate Builder (CGB): An overview of key areas in today’s home building industry, the CGB curriculum covers business management, financial strategies, marketing techniques, construction technologies, and more.

    ·         Graduate Master Builder (GMB): The GMB program allows industry professionals who already have completed either the Certified Graduate Builder or the Certified Graduate Remodelor course to more fully develop their skills and provides in-depth instruction geared for experienced building professionals.

    ·         Certified Green Professional(CGP):  NAHB’s CGP designation teaches builders, remodelers, and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes—without driving up the cost of construction.

    ·         Master Certified Green Professional (Master CGP): The Master CGP designation comprises a more in-depth study of green building science and methods. The courses required for the designation cover topics like building science techniques, the high-performance home, and marketing strategies for selling green.

    ·         Certified Graduate RemodelerTM (CGR): An exclusive professional designation that emphasizes business management skills as the key to a professional remodeling operation, the CGR designation trains remodelers in project management, design estimating and job cost, along with other core skills relevant to the remodeling industry.

    ·         Graduate Master Remodeler (GMR): The GMR program includes advanced and updated courses geared toward experienced remodeling professionals.

    ·         Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS): Developed by NAHB Remodelers in collaboration with the AARP, NAHB Research Center and NAHB 50+ Housing Council, the CAPS program provides comprehensive, practical, market-specific information about working with older and maturing adults to remodel their homes for aging-in-place. 

    ·         Certified New Home Sales Professional (CSP):  The CSP program is designed to help specialists in new home sales to enhance their professional image, increase their marketability in the home building industry, and sell more homes.

    ·         Master Certified New Home Sales Professional (Master CSP):  A more advanced designation that acknowledges additional educational achievements of CSP graduates, the Master CSP program is open to professionals currently holding a CSP designation. Advanced courses such as “House Construction as a Selling Tool” and “Essential Closing Strategies” are targeted toward improving participants’ sales and marketing skills and providing increased marketability in the industry.

    ·         Certified New Home Marketing Professional (CMP): IRM’s mid-level professional designation, the CMP program recognizes the achievements of students who have completed four marketing-intensive core IRM courses: “Understanding Housing Markets and Consumers;” “Marketing Strategies, Plans, and Budgets;” “Lifestyle Merchandising, Advertising, and Promotion Strategies;” and “Challenges of New Home Sales Management.”

    ·         Master in Residential Marketing (MIRM): The most prestigious designation bestowed by the Institute of Residential Marketing, the MIRM represents the highest level of achievement for professionals in new home marketing. MIRM graduates are required to complete all mandated coursework and submit a case study for approval before graduating from the program.

    ·         Housing Credit Certified Professional (HCCP): A specialized designation for developers, property managers, asset managers, and others working in the affordable housing industry, the HCCP program is the industry benchmark for education, experience, and ethical standards for Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) professionals. The HCCP designation is the only nationally endorsed credential of its kind and was created through a partnership of NAHB and the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA).

     ***

    There are 55,464 graduates of NAHB’s Designation Programs nationwide, and in 2017, more than 500 NAHB Education courses were offered to its members. NAHB Education is an extremely valuable tool that savvy contractors, remodelers, and associates know will boost their careers and business.

  • 06 Mar 2018 11:28 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)
    The Pennsylvania Builders Association (PBA) mourns the passing of longtime member Raymond E. Venema Jr. of the Williamsport, PA area. Ray passed away on March 3, 2018, at the age of 67.


    Ray was active in the home building industry for 40 years, and most recently served as PBA’s NAHB State Representative for several years. Ray served as PBA president in 2011 and never ceased contributing to the association’s activities. He was a longtime member of the West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association which he served as president, vice president, life director, personnel committee chair, and PaCAH trustee.  


    PBA named Ray as its Builder of the Year in 2016. Ray’s home association, West Branch Susquehanna BA had similarly recognized Ray for his contributions by naming him their Builder of the Year in both 2004 and 2008. In addition, Ray was active on the Board of the National Association of Home Builders and the Executive Committee where he was a strong advocate for PBA. Ray was the owner of Susquehanna Builders Inc. in Montoursville.


    There will be a Memorial Service for Ray on Saturday, March 10th at 4:00 pm at First United Methodist Church on 604 Market Street in Williamsport.  A Celebration of Life will follow at the Genetti Hotel Ballroom, 200 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA.


    The “Ray Venema Scholarship Fund” has been established by the West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association. More details to come on contribution opportunities.


    Click here to view Ray’s full obituary.



View TradeSecrets newsletter archives! 



Building today for a better tomorrow.

2509 N. Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110

717.730.4380

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software