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  • 15 Aug 2018 8:48 AM | Miller (Administrator)

    Here are the results of those heading in to the November General Election as reported on the MN Secretary of State website:

    1.  US Representative District 6

    Tom Emmer  R 

    Ian Todd       DFL

    2.  US Senate

    Amy Klobuchar  DFL

    Jim Newberger   R

    3. Gubernatorial 

    Jeff Johnson & Donna Bergstrom   R

    Tim Walz & Peggy Flanagan   DFL

    4.  Attorney General

    Doug Wardlow   R

    Keith Ellison  DFL

  • 06 Aug 2018 9:41 AM | Miller (Administrator)

    On August 1, 2018, the MN Pollution Control Agency's (PCA) New Construction Stormwater Permit Regulations went into effect. 

     The MPCA has stated the permit was completely reconfiqured into a new format in order to be more linear and easier to follow.   Also according to the MPCA, the five most common construction storm water violations are:

    1. Missing or inadequate soil stabilization.

    2. Missing perimeter controls.

    3. Missing or inadequate inlet protection.

    4. Vehicle tracking

    5.  BMPs not contained.

    The MPCA also shares the following reminders:

    1. Ensure that you have a Construction Stormwater Permit and Plan if one is needed.

    2. Remember to inspect your site within 24 hours of a rainfall greater than 1/2 inch.

    3. Repair, replace or supplement all nonfunctional BMPs by the end of the next business day after discovery, or as soon as field conditions allow access.

    For further information --Visit 

  • 02 Jul 2018 2:26 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    By Chris Froelke, President, Central Minnesota Builders Association (NAHB)

    After the dust settles on your Independence Day celebration, you may notice that your home has begun to show the signs of an active summer – both inside and out.  Take the time now to do a few maintenance tasks to keep your home humming through the rest of the summer.

    mis summer check

    Keep hot air out. Hopefully you’ve already had your air conditioner serviced this year to ensure it can hold up during a heat wave. Now it’s time to re-check your windows and doors for drafts and air leaks that may have developed with kids more frequently coming in and out of the house. Caulk any seams and re-glaze windows if needed, and replace any worn weather-stripping around doors to help keep cool air from escaping. Also, replace or repair any screens that have tears.

    Swap your HVAC filter. If your air conditioner has been working overtime this summer, check to see if the filter needs to be replaced. While some manufacturers recommend replacing your filter about once a month, the actual time will depend on your household: how often air conditioner runs, the number of furry pets in your home, the age of your unit, etc.

    Secure loose fittings. It’s a good idea to check the railings and posts on your deck to ensure that they are not becoming loose. If you have playset in your backyard, check to see if any connections need to be tightened. This is especially important during the summer months when playsets get the most use.

    Drain the rain. Summer rains bring extra water that can take a toll on gutters and downspouts. Visually inspect your downspouts to be sure they are draining away from the foundation. Clear your gutters from the debris that gathers during summer storms. Also be sure there is no standing water around your yard, which attracts mosquitoes and other pests. Water pools around your house also attract termites, so be sure to drain all the excess water.

    If you need help with your home maintenance, CMBA has a long list of local, trusted service professionals. 

    CMBA Member Directory

  • 11 Jun 2018 1:11 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    By Chris Froelke, President, Central Minnesota Home Builders

    Inviting, accommodating and a feast for the eyes—wet rooms are showing up in more and more homes and wowing visitors at new-home showcases.

    Wet rooms—essentially open-concept or barrier-free bathrooms—are tiled continuously from floor to ceiling and across the floor surface, giving a sleek, unified appearance.

    The shower is open to the room or enclosed in clear glass, and has no raised threshold to step over. Sinks, countertops and vanities mounted to the walls hover above the unbroken plane of the floor.

    The wet room’s uninterrupted sight lines give a feeling of space to even a relatively small room. The continuous floor surface makes for easy cleanup and allows people in wheelchairs or with restricted mobility to move freely.

    Here are a few things to consider when designing your wet room:

    Express Yourself

    The open spaces and abundance of tile that define a wet room invite you to splash on your own creative look.

    Whether you choose soothing earth tones and textures, cool minimalist grays, whites and blacks, or whimsical colors and patterns, the wet room creates an eye-catching display.

    Curbless Shower

    Because the entire room is waterproof, your curbless shower also can be completely open to the room, with no enclosure at all. Just be sure there’s enough space to place the toilet and sink where they won’t get splashed by spray from the shower.

    Glass enclosures with seamless glass doors are another popular option. They’ll contain water on all sides without impeding the view.

    Or sometimes simply a slab partition between the shower and the toilet will do the trick, leaving the front of the shower open to the rest of the room. The slab may be a foot or two short of the ceiling and face the doorway to minimize its effect on the visual flow.

    Threshold drains—or grates that are flush with the tile floor—may define the edge of the shower area without interrupting the floor’s flow. Some drains even glow from within, using interior colored or white LED lighting for an extra flair and to help orient a person under the shower’s spray.

    Another popular option is adding a place to sit in the shower. A built-in slate ledge, matching or contrasting with the wall tile, a wall-mounted drop-down bench in bamboo or a free-standing teak stool is a handy feature for anyone and contributes to the overall design.


    Floating vanities, attached to the wall without legs, and floating countertops look great with today’s vessel sinks and minimalist faucets.

    In addition to their sleek look, these features also provide sink access for anyone in a wheel chair. Drawers or shelves attached underneath or on each side of the sink provide storage.

    Professional Installation

     To be sure your wet room keeps the water where it’s supposed to be, it’s important that everything be installed just right, and that might require a professional.

    Floor grading is key—constructed to slope gently and almost imperceptibly, but effectively, toward drains. Tile must be properly installed and sealed to prevent leaks.

    Once it’s done right, your wet room will be easy to use, to clean and to enjoy—a lovely oasis in your home.

    For more information or to find local contractor or remodeler search the CMBA Member Directory

  • 11 Jun 2018 9:07 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    By Chris Froelke, President, Central Minnesota Builders Association

    More than 21 million people are injured each year in accidents around the home. The National Association of Home Builders reminds home owners to be safe every day in 2018.

    The five most frequent home accidents include poisoning, falls, choking or suffocation, drowning and fires. It’s sobering stuff – but the good news is that many accidents are preventable. Here’s how:

    Poisoning. Store household and chemical products – including those colorfully tempting but very dangerous laundry detergent “pods” – securely and out of children’s reach. Install a battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide detector and remember to have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances serviced yearly.

    Falls. These are a big problem for seniors: Falls are the No. 1 cause of death for people 65 and older. Remove trip hazards such as throw rugs, electrical cords, clutter and debris. Make sure you have adequate lighting in your home, especially on stairways. Install grab bars in the bathroom near the toilet and in the shower – or find a professional on the CMBA Member Directory to help make your home safer for older adults in your home. 

    Choking. Do you know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver when someone is choking on a piece of food or foreign object? Take a class or go online for a short tutorial. Remember to childproof your home to keep small objects out of reach of children. Always supervise children while eating and playing.

    Drowning. Most of these deaths occur among small children, and most can be prevented just by paying closer attention. It’s easy to be distracted by your cell phone when your child is happily playing in the bathtub or wading pool, but these accidents can happen in seconds. Always be vigilant when your child is in or near water.

    Fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports that cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Heating equipment is the second-most common cause. That’s another reason to have your heating systems checked – and most importantly, to ensure that you have the right number of smoke detectors on each floor and that each smoke detector actually works.

    For more information about heating and ventilation safety click the CMBA professionals directory and search "heating".

  • 04 Jun 2018 8:26 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    By Chris Froelke, President, CMBA

    Creating outdoor rooms remains a popular design trend with homeowners. It’s a simple, budget-friendly way to increase your home’s square footage and to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you have a large patio or a small porch, your outdoor room can easily reflect your style and become a treasured gathering spot in your home.

    Yet, many homeowners quickly become frustrated when the beautiful furniture and fabrics they select do not survive Minnesota's outdoor elements. Fortunately, manufacturers are now creating more durable outdoor furnishings to help your decorating dollars go even further.

    Outdoor fabric companies, offer weather-resistant products that are made to withstand harsh weather. These resilient fabrics are low-maintenance and can easily be cleaned by hand. 

    Retailers also are responding to the popularity of outdoor rooms by increasing their inventory of indoor/outdoor rugs, weatherproof cushions and fabrics, and all-weather furniture. Residential architect Amy Stacy, owner of Stacy Studio in Silver Spring, Md., has noticed the difference. “Even last summer, big-box stores may have only had three or four color choices for outdoor cushions. Now, you can choose from a wide variety of durable solids, patterns, florals, and stripes, both online and at all of the major home retailers,” Stacy said.

    Home owners also want to spend more time enjoying their outdoor space and less time maintaining it. “Screened-in porches are hot right now,” according to Stacy. “Home owners are looking for low-maintenance options and decks require a lot of upkeep.”

    Not surprisingly, today’s screened porches reflect the growing trend of creating outdoor spaces with indoor amenities. Stacy says her clients are requesting fireplaces and other features – such as finished wood floors – to help their screened porches feel like luxurious indoor spaces. Other home owners are adding kitchens to their screened porches, allowing them to more easily cook outdoors year-round.

    Easy Maintenance Tips

    After you’ve furnished and decorated your outdoor space, be sure to follow a few simple tips to ensure that you can enjoy it for years to come.

    •        Protect outdoor furniture with weatherproof covers during the times of year when it’s not in use. Or, bring smaller furniture items inside.
    •        Store cushions in weatherproof containers during winter weather.
    •        Spot clean spoils or spills on outdoor fabric right away to prevent the growth of mildew. Use a mild, bleach-free soap-and-water solution and rub gently with a cloth or sponge.
    •        Always air dry outdoor fabrics, which generally are made of synthetic materials. Never dry clean or tumble-dry these fabrics – or the protective finish will begin to erode.
    Central Minnesota Builders Association's designers can provide outdoor designs specific to your needs. Click to search for area designers here.
  • 11 May 2018 9:58 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Scaffolds can provide a safe and more efficient way to work in construction, but their use is also one of the leading causes of injuries on construction sites. It is important to recognize scaffolding hazards and make sure every scaffold is set up and used properly.

    NAHB has two new scaffold safety videos: one in English and one in Spanish. Now is the perfect time to watch these videos with your employees and subs as NAHB observes the National Safety Stand-Down May 7-11 to prevent falls in construction.

    It’s important to follow jobsite safety practices all year. Think #safety365.

  • 18 Apr 2018 12:00 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Mighty Differences Made Through Monetary Support

    Tools for Schools (TFS) is a Foundation run by the Central MN Builders Association. The vision of the Tools for Schools Foundation is to offer increased support to schools by providing tools, supplies, grants, education, and scholarship to further enhance learning opportunities for students in order to attract more interest in the construction trades as a career choice.

    Former CMBA President, Craig Schoenberg, Owner of Schoenberg Construction of Saint Cloud MN, had the idea to create a TFS President's Fund so that CMBA members, local businesses, and individuals could make donations in support of Tools for Schools. In 2017, the Tools for Schools President's Fund was officially formed.

    Presently there are three key components to the Foundation.  They are:

    1.            School Scholarships (Offered annually and 100% CMBA Funded)

    2.            President's Fund (Offered throughout the year and funded by CMBA Business, and Individual donations.)

    3.            Initiative (Education)

    Timeline and Highlights of Tools for Schools (TFS):

    In 2004, Tools for Schools Annual Scholarships were created by the CMBA in order to offer financial support to local schools in support of the construction trades

    •          From 2004 – 2017, Tools for Schools donated over $99,000 in Scholarships to Central MN schools.
    •          In 2017, the Tools for Schools President’s Fund & Initiative was created
    •          The CMBA Board of Directors offered to match any donation to the TFS President’s Fund up to $20,000. The total funds matched in 2017 by the CMBA Board equaled $16,450.
    •          The CMBA Board will, once again, match up to $20,000 in donations to the TFS President’s Fund in 2018.
    •          To date for 2018, the Fund has received and matched over $9,700.
    •          The Fund plans to max out the matching funds and needs to raise an additional $10,300 to do so.
    •          A total of $50,389 has been raised (in 2017 and 2018) and $37,823 has been given away to date to regional schools by the CMBA's Tools for Schools President’s Fund!

    Other Points of Interest about Tools for School:

    • In 2018, the CMBA will award a total of $18,000 to schools in central MN who apply for the School Scholarship. (Application deadline is September and Scholarships are awarded in November.) To determine your school's eligibly and for an application, contact the CMBA office at 320-251-4382.
    • The 2018 TFS Scholarships & President's Fund Giving Goal is $58,000 in total.
    • The TFS Foundation was created and is maintained through the support, help and guidance of the Initiative Foundation.

    Future goals of the Foundation are:

    • Initiative development (speaking, education, and school visits by professionals)
    • Legacy building
    • Individual scholarships for students

    Anyone who would like to support local schools can make a tax deductible donation online at:

    Tools For Schools webpage

    Rocori Sawstop donation

  • 26 Mar 2018 11:06 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    by Rachel Gruber, Dale Gruber Construction~March 2018

    My interest in long distance running began in 2007 with the completion of my first half marathon. In that moment, I couldn’t fathom running another mile, much less 13.1 miles! But I nonetheless decided to add “running a marathon” to my bucket list. Fast forward to October 2014 and I was finally able to check that item off the list. I was a marathoner. The feeling of crossing that finish line was more magical than I ever imagined.. One of my favorite running quotes is, “I dare you to train for a marathon and not have it change your life. – Susan Sidoriak. I completely agree with this. In fact I triple dog dare you. When I registered for my first marathon, I assumed I’d run one and be done. Now, I have nine marathons and two ultramarathons (50Ks) under my belt. It truly changed my life. And not just in the sense that my Saturday mornings are usually reserved for a long run or that my toenails will never be ready for sandal season. From running marathons, I’ve learned many lessons that I think can really be applied to any area in your business or life. Here are some:

    1. Set Goals & Create a Plan

    To be honest, I first had the goal to run a marathon before I was 30. After that didn’t happen, I switched it to “in my 30s.” I may have even changed it to “at some point in my life” just to be safe. For all my marathons, I’ve followed some sort of training plan. It’s helpful to have a guide to keep my training on track and get to the start line ready for the race. For my most recent marathon in February, I had the goal to finish in less than four hours. My running paces and workouts were all based on accomplishing that goal. In January I ran a half marathon as sort of a practice race to gauge how my training was going. Happy to report, I finished in 3:46! :)

    It is important to have goals – they help motivate you to do better, be better. It is good to set your sights on something. While having goals are great, a plan is also an important element to actually accomplishing those goals. Whether your goal is a new skillset, sales, certification, etc., set an action plan. Also check in with yourself and evaluate your progress.

    2. There are Going to be Good Days and Bad Days

    During the course of marathon training, I have runs that go awesome – I feel strong and it gives me reassurance I can do this. I also have runs that don’t go so well. It can be quite discouraging when what should be an easy four mile run is anything but. However, that’s life – there are good days and bad days and you have to chalk it up as so. I try to make a mental note of anything I did or didn’t do on those particular days that could help me on future runs. Whether it be sleep, fuel before/during the run, stress – so many factors that can contribute to the outcome.

    This translates to life and the workplace as well. For us at DGC, we are going to both win and lose bids. There are projects that are going to run perfectly smooth and there are going to be some that have hiccups. All of which provide experiences that we can learn from.

    3. Find a Support Circle of Experts

    My running club, Minnesota Distance Running Association (MDRA), is a great group of runners of all levels, ages and paces. While training for my first marathon, I found myself often seeking advice from those more experienced than I. Even now, I’m continuously learning new things. I also greatly appreciate all their encouragement and support. It’s nice to have a team rooting for you.

    I think it is a great idea to consult experts in your field who have a wealth of knowledge and experiences of which to learn from. They could also serve as a mentor, supporting your professional growth. There are also many associations and groups one can join and use as a resource.

    4. Take Risks

    To be fair, I’m not the biggest risk taker. It’s something I’d like to work on. However I joined my running club not knowing anyone in the group or what I was doing. It was nerve-racking that first group run – who will I run with? Should I bring my iPod to listen to music? Will I get lost? Thankfully they were a welcoming bunch and have become some of my best friends. Running regularly calls on me to be brave, push myself and go for it.

    "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." – Wayne Gretzky

    "Only those willing to risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Elliot

    "Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for the great." – Steve Prefontaine

    "Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens." – Anonymous

    I’m taking the risk of having this sound like a motivational poster, but I’m okay with that. I think these quotes say it better than I can and hit the nail on the head of the point I’m trying to make.

    5. Attitude is Everything

    I once came across an article about tips to make running more enjoyable. One of the tips was to smile while running as it’s a natural mood booster. If anyone saw some of my race photos you’d know I don’t always employ this method. However, I will say it does come to mind when I’ve hit a low point in a run or race. Smiling helps switch my thoughts to more positive ones and I think spectators are more responsive to runners with a smile on their face.

    Your attitude (good or bad) affects not only yourself, but others around you. Not to say you need to speak in unicorns and rainbows, but a positive attitude is infectious – it improves productivity and morale.

    6. Importance of Volunteering

    All of the races I’ve participated in wouldn’t happen without the MANY volunteers who help out at the water stops, packet pick up, finish line, etc. I’m very grateful and like to pay-it-forward and volunteer at races whenever possible.

    Similarly there are so many associations, community programs, events that require the assistance of volunteers. Giving back and helping others (without getting paid) makes you feel good and is incredibly rewarding.

    I understand how running 26.2 miles may sound a little crazy to some people. But when you break it down, it’s clearly not just about running, it’s way more than that. In the event I inspired anyone, Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth is June 16th and Twin Cities Marathon is October 7th. :)

    Rachel Gruber

  • 31 Jan 2018 9:27 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    by NAHB newsletter to members

    NAHB Economist Predicts Continued Growth

    The newly enacted tax law will likely spur job and economic growth and keep single-family housing production on a gradual upward trajectory in 2018, according to NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, who offered his forecast in a panel discussion during the International Builders’ Show in Orlando in January.

    “We expect that tax reform will boost GDP growth to 2.6% in 2018, and this added economic activity will also bode well for housing, although there will be some transition effects in high-tax jurisdictions,” Dietz said. “Ongoing job creation, wage increases and tight existing home inventory will also boost the housing market in the year ahead.”

    Dietz offered this forecast:

    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
 will average 4.31% in 2018 and 4.82% in 2019.

    • 1.21 million total housing starts in 2018 and overall production to grow an additional 2.7% to 1.25 million units in 2019.

    • Single-family starts to rise 5% in 2018 to 893,000 units and increase an additional 5% to 940,000 next year.

    • Multifamily starts to edge 1.6% lower this year to 354,000 units. This is a sustainable level due to demographics.

    • Residential remodeling activity is expected to register a 7% gain in 2018 over last year.

    Dollar Value of NAHB Advocacy

    NAHB economists have put a dollar value on selected member benefits and advocacy victories achieved in 2017. Add up the dollar value of NAHB services and advocacy victories and you get an average of $7,500 per housing start for a typical home builder.

    That figure demonstrates how much value NAHB delivers for members. Just a few of the advocacy victories achieved in 2017 that contribute to that number include:

    • $1,600 Suspension of OSHA Beryllium Rule
    • $1,200 Reductions in Builder Taxes
    • $700 Protection of Builder Interest Deduction
    • $700 Elimination of Flawed Duct Proposal
    • $1,000 Preservation of Options in Building Codes

    These numbers represent the value per housing start a typical builder will see in 2018 as a result of key NAHB advocacy victories achieved in 2017. Some members will experience more of these benefits than others.

    New Campaign Promotes Workplace Safety

    NAHB has created a new public awareness campaign to help building industry pros get the resources needed to help keep residential construction workers safe. The Safety 365 campaign is a joint effort of NAHB's Construction Safety Committee and Builders Mutual Insurance Co.

    Rule Addresses Small Business Health Plans

    The Department of Labor recently issued a proposed rule intended to expand access to health coverage by allowing more employers to form Small Business Health Plans, also known as Association Health Plans. This would give small businesses, including many home building firms, access to better and more afford- able health care plans, allow them to negotiate lower costs for coverage, and level the playing field for smaller firms that want to help their workers and their families address health care costs.

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