Blog

  • 09 Aug 2016 9:35 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Residential building permits show an increase for the first six months of 2016 compared to 2015.  Craig Schoenberg, president of the Central Minnesota Builders Association, said 2016 looks to be one of the strongest years for housing starts in the past decade.

    The CMBA’s second-quarter building permit report, reported a total of 149 single-family housing permits issued from January 1 to June 30 in the immediate area: Foley, Rice, Rockville, St. Augusta, St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, and Waite Park. 

    St. Cloud led with 45 permits issued followed by 35 in Sartell and 30 in Sauk Rapids.  St. Augusta issued 11 permits, Rockville and St. Joseph with 10 each, Foley and Waite Park with 3 each, and Rice with 2.

    For the first six months of 2015, 116 single-family permits were issued compared to 93 in 2014, 65 in 2013 and 53 in 2012.  

  • 25 Jul 2016 1:32 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Keeping your roof in good working condition will serve a few different purposes. An excellent roof will provide shelter and structural integrity for your home. A roof kept in consistently good condition will prevent costly and extensive repairs in the long run. A roof that is in excellent condition will be a major asset should you decide to sell your home. How do you know when to repair or replace your roof? Take a peek below for a list of what to expect for when you inspect your roof.

    How old is your roof?

    The average asphalt shingle roof will last between 20 and 25 years, but various factors can shorten the lifespan of your roof. These factors can include whether the roof has a single or multiple layers of shingles, if there was a previous roof replacement, or if the roof has proper ventilation.

    Check the state of the shingles.

    Shingles can be the best sign of whether or not your roof  requires repair. Are they curling or buckling? Are any shingles missing? If your shingles are rotting or flaking into granules, then it’s a major sign that you need to repair your roof.

    Do an interior check.

    Head to your attic to inspect the interior condition of your roof. Is there water damage? Is the roof leaking or sagging? Are there cracks that allow you to see outside light? Look for these conditions as a sign that you may need to replace your roof.

    Is there loose material around?

    Loose material present around chimneys, pipes, vents and other fixtures on your roof can be a sign of larger issues at bay. Have a professional determine if they can be replaced or if they are a sign of a warped roof.

    Is there excessive moisture?

    Excessive moisture can mean that your roof is weakening and rotting. Any excessive moisture can creep into your home and cause mold, putting your family in danger. While you are checking the moisture levels, check for proper drainage and that are all gutters and downspouts are attached properly and free of debris.

    To determine whether or not to repair or replace your roof or for more general questions and concerns on all your home needs, contact the professionals at Central Minnesota Builders Association.


  • 12 Jul 2016 11:19 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Have you begun tackling your big seasonal projects yet? Do you find yourself procrastinating because you are secretly dreading the process? Backyard renovation projects can seem overwhelming initially, but with proper planning and resources in place, your family can have a great time designing and executing a stylish outdoor space. Here are some popular ideas to get you started:

     A New Deck

    Whether you are adding a deck for the first time or updating an old one, a high­quality deck provides an outdoor haven and a social gathering space for your home. CMBAMembers can help you create a living space that is suited to your favorite activities, such as grilling, lounging, or playing. 

    Backyard Landscaping 

    Simple changes in your backyard landscaping can create dynamic changes in your home. Add a plant bed to camouflage deck posts. Add stone pavers to create welcoming walkways that wind around your backyard. Create a cozy seating corner for late night conversations. Consider how a pergola or gazebo could add structural interest to your space. 

    A Fire Pit 

    Why settle for plastic lawn chairs around a few stacks of logs when you can build your own custom fire pit? Builders from the CMBA can help you design a custom fire pit with built-­in seating, unique structural lines, or outdoor coverage that allows you to enjoy a fire in the rain. Create a space that will inspire beautiful, cozy, and comforting bonfires. 

    An Outdoor Kitchen 

    For the family who loves to gather around the kitchen, a backyard kitchen can bring your time together outdoors. An open-­air kitchen can create a welcoming environment for your outdoor gatherings, elevate your dinner parties, and increase your home’s value. You can make simple ch​anges to improve your grilling station or major changes like adding a stonework pizza oven or a kitchen island with a built­-in stove top and bar. Either way, an outdoor kitchen will lay the groundwork for some memorable meals. 

    A “She Shed” 

    A rising trend, a “She Shed” could be an excellent space for the lady of the home. A separate living space, the She Shed can be an oasis, a getaway from home that’s right at home! Build your dream space with any theme in mind—clean and modern, tropical oasis, French country cottage, or Bohemian hideaway. A She Shed can function as an art studio, a relaxing lounge, a reading library, or a crafter’s creative realm. 

    Don’t let your backyard renovation project overwhelm you! As an excellent local and professional resource for home renovations and additions, the Central Minnesota Builders Association can assist you with every project you have your eyes set on this summer. Visit here to collaborate with the Central Minnesota Builders Association for your most stylish and functional backyard yet.


  • 20 Jun 2016 10:50 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    by ESGR in the News

    Central Minnesota Builders Association Tours St. Cloud Army Aviation Support Facility             Central Minnesota Builders Association Tours St. Cloud Army Aviation Support Facility    

    Mike Bellos, Military Outreach Director of Minnesota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, took part in an educational employer visit from the Central Minnesota Builders Association June 2 at the Saint Cloud Minnesota Army National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF #2).  

    “Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units. Providing a job to America’s citizen warriors is one way we can all serve,” said Nick Ostapenko, Minnesota ESGR state chair. “I am asking all Minnesota employers to consider the talents a Guard or Reserve member or spouse could bring to their organization.”

    At the event were 51 members of the Commercial Council of the Central Minnesota Builders Association (CMBA). A catered breakfast was provided. The members received an ESGR presentation by Bellos as well as a presentation from Maj. Shawn Spencer the Facilities Maintenance Officer describing the facility, their roles and their aircraft's capabilities as well as deployments.

    Following the presentations, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Adamson and Spencer divided the group in two for tours of the 140,000 square foot shop floor. The members asked many questions during the tour and received an in-depth explanation of the capabilities of both the UH-60 and CH-47 aircraft.

    “Thank you for the awesome tour. We had a great turnout and the members totally enjoyed themselves. Thanks for helping put it all together to make it a great experience,” said Bonnie Moeller, Executive Director of CMBA.

    ESGR seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within the Department of Defense. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

    For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call 1-800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.

  • 06 Jun 2016 1:43 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    This time of year is storm season in Minnesota. The cooler temps of spring are winding down and summer’s humidity - and storms - are upon us. Unfortunately, many summer construction projects have less to do with additions to your home and more to do with damage inflicted by mother nature.

    If you experience storm damage this summer, there are a few things to keep in mind before hiring someone to help you clean up the mess. Unlicensed or inexperienced contractors might seem like a cheap, quick fix and a great way to save you money at first, but once the next big storm hits, your project couild get a lot more expensive.

    If you are looking to hire a contractor to fix your summer storm damage, keep the following red flags in mind:

    ·        The contractor is not licensed. This is a huge sign that you have the wrong person for the job.

    ·        The contractor requires either full payment or a large down payment before he or she has begun the project.

    ·        They ask you to sign an estimate or an exclusive agreement on the first meeting - experienced contractors that are confident in their work won’t need to pressure you into making a decision too quickly. Be careful of being pressured to sign documents and read the small print!

    ·        On the flip side, untrustworthy contractors sometimes don’t want to sign anything! Before you begin a project with a contractor, get all your expectations, agreements, and details down in writing.

    ·        The contractor doesn’t have a permanent or business address. In these cases, P.O. boxes can be very fishy - even a home address says more.

    ·        If the contractor doesn’t want you to talk to the insurance company. Experienced builders have plenty of knowledge about insurance. If yours doesn’t want to talk about it, they might be untrustworthy.

    ·        They ask YOU to get the building or remodeling permit.

    ·        They don’t have referrals from past clients.

    When it comes to fixing your property or home after a storm, the smartest and safest way is to hire a licensed contractor. The Central Minnesota Builders Association can help you find one to fit your needs - our members know their stuff. Visit CMBAonline.org to see our member directory, find even more information about CMBA contractors, and more.


    Summer storms are inevitable - damage happens. Some contractors are content in collecting their check and leaving you feeling under the weather, but CMBA members help you see the light. Find yours today. 


  • 03 Jun 2016 12:46 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    by Bonnie Moeller, CMBA 

    NAHB Grand Award for Retention Percentage for its membership efforts in 2015. CMBA retained a higher percentage of members than any other association in Group 3 which have 350-699 members.

    “This award is a direct result of the great work of the CMBA Spike members” stated Bonnie Moeller, CMBA Executive Director. “ The Spikes work hard to retain members and they meet on a monthly basis to keep the retention rate high.  They are the backbone of this association and the reason why we received  this award.”     

    You can see the full lists of winners at nahb.org/annualawards.

    In recognition of this achievement, each winning association is awarded a personalized plaque, as well as acknowledgment by NAHB for their accomplishments.


  • 01 Jun 2016 11:05 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    posted on behalf of NAHB.org

    Regulatory Horror Story Illustrates Need to Block Funding for Waters of the U.S. Rule

    A developer's nearly three-decade regulatory nightmare of attempts to obtain a Clean Water Act permit shows why Congress must take action to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) final "Waters of the U.S." rule from being implemented.

    During a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife, lawmakers heard how The ESG Companies based in Virginia Beach, Va. has been denied a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit to develop its property for close to 30 years, even though the company has repeatedly gone through proper channels and put forth state-approved plans that would result in no net loss of wetlands.

    Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) before the Senate panel, Valerie Wilkinson, vice president and chief financial officer of The ESG Companies, told lawmakers how land that was acquired by her firm in the 1980s for a multi-use community to address local housing demand still lays undeveloped.

    "For almost three decades, we've been held hostage by the EPA and Corps, who have continually altered the Clean Water Act 404 permit requirements," said Wilkinson. "Throughout every step of the process, the rules have changed and new requirements have been added. This is perplexing as the relevant sections of the Act have not changed since 1972."

    After obtaining required zoning approvals from the city of Chesapeake in 1989, the Corps asserted that the property contained jurisdictional wetlands and that a wetland delineation was required. The delineation took years to complete because Corps officials disagreed on the criteria for determining wetlands.

    Over the ensuing years, The ESG Companies hired specialists with extensive expertise in environmental geology and wetlands hydrology to develop a new wetland delineation for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality wetland permit. As part of this process, the firm revised its development plan to further avoid and minimize impacts so that for every acre impacted, two acres of wetlands would be restored and another acre placed in preservation, resulting in no net loss of wetlands acreage.

    Though the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality applauded the firm for exceeding typical protective measures and issued a 15-year permit, the Corps concluded that the state-approved wetland delineation, which was the basis for the approved state permit, was not accurate, even though state and federal requirements are the same.

    The firm subsequently further reduced the scope of its development plan so that it decreased wetlands impacts by more than 80 percent. However, the Corps failed to budge.

    As a result, the Corps has prevented the company from developing any of its 428 acres for 27 years, and it has been forced to spend millions of dollars fighting for this permit.

    With the EPA and Corps finalizing a rule that further expands their authority under the Clean Water Act and would put millions of additional acres of land under federal jurisdiction, NAHB Chairman Ed Brady said that this "awful regulatory horror story" could be just a prelude of more to come.

    "The waters of the U.S. rule will lead to increased litigation and delays," said Brady. "Small businesses will not survive under these rules as most do not have the time or resources to fight. Though the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has currently intervened and prevented this rule from being implemented, Congress must do its part to block funding for this rule."

  • 11 May 2016 9:29 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    by NAHB.org Housing Economics

    On average, regulations imposed by all levels of government account for 24.3 percent of the sales price of a new single-family home, according to a new study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

    Regulatory costs graphBreaking down the total regulatory costs further, the study revealed that three-fifths of this--14.6 percent of the final house price--is due to a higher price for a finished lot resulting from regulations imposed during the lot's development. The other two-fifths--9.7 percent of the house price--is the result of costs incurred by the builder after purchasing the finished lot.

    "This study demonstrates the type of over-regulation our industry is facing," said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill. "Not only is it inhibiting builders' ability to produce competitively priced homes in a still recovering housing market, but this regulatory burden trickles down to the consumer level and prices many would-be buyers out of the market." 

    While NAHB's previous regulatory estimates in a 2011 study were fairly similar, the price of new homes increased substantially in the interim. When applying these percentages to Census data on new home prices, the data show an estimate that regulatory costs in an average home built for sale went from $65,224 to $84,671--a 29.8 percent increase during the roughly five-year span between NAHB's 2011 and 2016 estimates. Meanwhile, disposable income per capita in the U.S. increased 14.4 percent during that same time period, meaning that the average cost of regulation embodied in a new home is rising more than twice as fast as the average American's ability to pay for it.

    Builders and developers can expect to feel the impact of additional regulations in the near future, and the rate of increase in regulatory costs embodied in the price of a new home will likely be accelerated. A substantial number of regulations have been implemented recently, or are in the process of being implemented or actively considered by key policymakers. 

    The full study can be found at: www.nahb.org/costofregulation


  • 09 May 2016 2:10 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Every home is beautiful in its own way. With today’s busy schedules, it becomes easy to set aside seemingly small home tasks for another day, but those days add up, and soon you may notice your home is in need of a good cleaning. Now is the perfect time to do a little Spring cleaning and get your home back in tip-top shape! Follow these few suggestions and your home will be back to its beautiful self in no time:

    clutter

    Declutter

    Do your closets seem to be bursting at the seams? Or maybe even your garage? Chances are, you could get rid of or donate a majority of the items cluttering up your storage spaces. By decluttering spaces such as closets and garages, you will have more available space and organizational opportunities.


    Clean, Clean, Clean

    When is the last time you gave your refrigerator a good clean? How about your oven? Have you looked behind the couch lately? Many people are guilty of putting off cleaning appliances and hard-to-reach areas for longer than they should. This is also the perfect time to check that all of your appliances are working properly.


    Let the Sun In

    It is finally warm again in Minnesota - open up the shades and let the sun in! Natural lighting will give your home a cheery atmosphere. Even if we experience some less-that-toasty Spring days (it’s Minnesota, after all) the added sunshine will naturally heat your home, so go ahead and turn off your heat! Don’t forget to give them a good cleaning to wash off all that winter grime!

    painting tools

    Fresh Paint Job

    Picking a new paint color for your home will really help bring it back to life. By choosing a different paint color, you will create a whole new feel in any room. Now is the best time to paint because you are able to open windows, allowing the paint to dry faster and air to circulate.


    Bring in Those May Flowers

    Fresh flowers throughout the home not only create a beautiful aroma but also bring a pop of color into your home. Can’t wait for you own blossoms to open? Visit a flower shop or grocery store to find the perfect bouquet for your home!


    These are just a few simple ideas you can do to make your house seem more inviting and more like a home. If you’re looking to tackle a bigger project this season, visit our website to find a CMBA member, research building,maintenance, and energy tips, and much more.


  • 02 May 2016 3:09 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Statement from NAHB Chairman Ed Brady on DOL's Overtime Threshold Plan

    WASHINGTON, April 29 - Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill., issued the following statement regarding a report that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing to lower its new overtime threshold from $50,440 to $47,000.

    "The Department of Labor is considering a plan to reduce the cap on its proposed overtime salary threshold rate hike from $50,440 to $47,000 that is a token effort at best. This drastic hike would still wreak havoc on the residential housing sector, the nation's small businesses and the economy. This minimal reduction would still amount to a 99 percent increase from the current overtime salary limit of $23,660. This proposal is clearly not serious and is unacceptable to America's small businesses.

    "The unintended consequences of this aggressive regulatory overreach would hurt job and economic growth, as well as many of the workers the plan is trying to help. There is no reasonable approach or road map on how this would be phased in without resulting in severe economic repercussions. If the $47,000 overtime threshold were to become law, it would hurt millions of small business owners, including home building firms, by forcing them to scale back on pay and benefits, as well as cutting workers' hours to avoid overtime requirements. Indeed, it would be particularly harmful to the housing community, as the vast majority of home building firms have fewer than 10 employees.

    "The Department of Labor must scrap this unworkable proposal and go back to the drawing board. We stand ready to work with DOL to craft a practical plan that would gradually ramp up the current overtime threshold so that it does not result in real hardship for small businesses. The rule should also take into account regional variations in wages and cost of living when determining its formula. Such a measured response would help small business, workers and the economy."

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