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  • 27 Sep 2019 9:39 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Congratulations to each of the 29 CMBA Members who Won, came in as a Finalist or an Honorable Mention in the 16th annual Best of Central Minnesota SCTimes Readers Survey. Result were revealed in September.

    CMBA encourages anyone in need of TRUSTED SERVICE for home improvements to shop local from over 400 CMBA organizations. The list of local service pros Are Free for You—Only at CMBAOnline.org.    All are licensed and insured. 

    Categories that included CMBA members were "Home Improvement" and "Service" obviously and additionally "Wheels" highlighted some of the members as well! CMBA members fair very well in these surveys. Here are the 2019 picks!

    Home Improvement

    Best Builder / Remodeler

    Winner: Lutgen Companies

    Finalists: BD Exteriors, Inc.
    Honorable mention: Lumber One Avon Inc.,
    Dale Gruber Construction

    Best Carpet / Flooring

    Winners (tie): Hennen Floor Covering, MCI Carpet One Floor & Home,

    Finalist: Cold Spring Carpet

    Honorable mention: Hansen Flooring Gallery Inc., Menards

    Best Heating / Air Conditioning

    Winner: H&S Heating and Air Conditioning

    Finalists: Mechanical Energy Systems

    Honorable mention: Lyon Sheet Metal & Heating, Precise Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Refrigeration

    Best Home Improvement / Hardware Store

    Winner: Menards

    Best Nursery / Garden Store

    Winner: Thomsens Greenhouse & Garden Center

    Services

    Best Accounting Firm

    Winner: Schlenner Wenner & Co.

    Finalists: CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, BerganKDV

    Best Bank / Financial Institution

    Winner: Central Minnesota Credit Union

    Finalists: St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, Great River Federal Credit Union

    Honorable mention: Bremer Bank, Liberty Bank Minnesota

    Best Law Firm

    Winner: Rinke Noonan

    Finalists: Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A.

    Honorable mention: Gray Plant Mooty, Kelm & Reuter, P.A.

    Wheels

    Best New Car Dealership

    Finalists: Gilleland Chevrolet

    Best Power Sports Dealership

    Finalists: Bee Line Sports Center

    Best Used Car Dealership

    Finalists: Gilleland Chevrolet

    The list of local service pros Are Free for You—Only at CMBAOnline.org.    

  • 18 Jul 2019 8:54 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)
    by CMBA President Ron Euteneuer, Great Northern Environmental Solutions 

    Housing Trend: Interest in Accessory Dwelling Units Growing

    While single-family homes remain the most desired type of dwelling among home buyers, alternative living spaces are making headway. Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as “granny flats,” “mother-in-law suites” or “secondary dwelling units,” are ideal for individuals seeking out a non-traditional living space. ADUs are self-contained living units with their own kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. You can find ADUs on the same grounds or attached to a single-family home.

    Why are ADUs gaining in popularity? Here are a few reasons to explain their growing interest:

    Autonomous

    ADUs are attractive for individuals who are seeking independence but can benefit from support. Aging parents, young adults who are in a housing transition, or a person living with disabilities are most likely to seek out ADUs. 

    Affordable

    In some cases, this type of dwelling positively impacts both the home owner and the occupant. Individuals living in an ADU pay less in market rent compared to other housing options in the area and home owners can benefit from the extra monthly income.

    Accommodating

    Dramatic changes to a neighborhood are not required with ADUs. This type of living space often fits in seamlessly with the local aesthetics. ADUs don’t require new infrastructure, public investments and don’t add to the density of neighborhoods.

    Environmental

    Units added on to an existing property as a backyard cottage or apartment over the garage are smaller. Therefore, ADUs require less energy, material and waste during construction, and regular maintenance of the space.

    As with many housing trends, the concept of ADUs is continuously evolving. Many states and localities across the country are pushing for wider acceptance of ADUs. For some areas, ADUs are part of the solution to address high housing costs, limited land available for development and increased interest in multi-generational living. Before you add an ADU to your property, it’s best to contact a professional builder or remodeler who is familiar with local permitting and regulations.

    To search a free list of professional builders who can help you create your perfect ADU, click for a list and type "builder".


  • 01 Jul 2019 4:03 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the Builders Association of MN (BAM)


    It's been a busy, productive, and wonderful 45 years of representing the residential construction industry before Minnesota's legislature, agencies, and courts.

    It's hard to believe, but on this day 45 years ago the Minnesota State Builders Association became a legally organized corporation. Fifteen years later the Association officially renamed itself Builders Association of Minnesota (BAM).

    Visionaries from around the state chose to affiliate at the state level with a very specific purpose in mind.

    "The purpose of this corporation shall be: (a) to improve conditions in the housing industry; (b) to further, encourage and initiate civic improvement; and (c) to aid in the preservation and improvement of community health and welfare."

    On BAM's 45th birthday, we thank each of the Association's founding members an specifically the original nine members who created BAM's first Board of Directors.

    • Kenneth Reinhardt, Roseville MN
    • Gerald Jacques, Superior WI
    • Robert Wallner, Duluth MN
    • Cyril Reinert, Sauk Rapids MN
    • Clarence Buerman, Cold Spring MN
    • Donald Sperry, Rochester MN
    • Richard Hanson, Rochester MN
    • Robert Tilsen, St. Paul MN
    • John Luger, St. Paul MN

    Since July 1, 1974, BAM has delivered to its members many solid policy outcomes.

    Among the wins include stopping attorney's fees being paid by builders, statute of limitations reforms, establishing a 6-year code cycle (instead of a 3-year cycle), statutorily removing twin homes from the sprinkler mandate, requiring fees to be fair, reasonable, and proportionate to the cost of the services provided, statewide licensure (instead of a license for every city or county), and establishing case law including law prohibiting cities from enforcing construction codes that exceed the statewide code.

    In fact, just this year BAM added more wins to the Association's achievements, including a statewide consumer awareness campaign regarding the importance of hiring licensed contractors, a requirement that middle and high school students have construction careers counseling as part of their post-secondary planning, and expanding opportunities for youth to have hands-on experiential learning on construction sites, while stopping a carpet tax and new disclosure mandates for gas fireplaces.

    Today BAM stands on the shoulders of those volunteers who, many years ago, had a vision for the future. Yet, none of this could be possible without the on-going support and commitment of BAM's current members and leadership - individuals who continue to lead into the future.

    We look forward to celebrating this year with each of you as we share BAM's history and plans for its future. In the meantime, please consider putting our official birthday party on your calendar - registration details will be forthcoming.

    Here's to another 45 years (and more)!!!

    Sent by remi@bamn.org




  • 26 Jun 2019 2:10 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    By Ron Euteneuer, CMBA President

    Summer is a time known for vacations, beaches and higher than usual utility bills. The average U.S. residential customer’s electricity bills will total $412 between June and August this year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Consuming less energy can help you save money on utility bills. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to reduce your energy costs during the dog days of summer.

    Fix Air Leaks

    Control ventilation to help control costs. When air enters and leaves your home through cracks and openings, you have an air leak. Look for possible leaks outside and inside of your home. Exterior areas where two different building materials meet such as siding and chimneys are havens for air leaks. Inside your home, gaps can be found in places such as door and window frames, baseboards and attic hatches. Depending on the type of leak, you can caulk, seal or add weather-stripping to reduce air leaks in your home and potentially save money.

    Seek out Energy Vampires

    If you have an electronic gadget or appliance that uses electricity when plugged in but not in use, you have an “energy vampire.” Electronics plugged into your wall outlets can add to your utility bill. Common household items that are plugged in and zap electricity when not in use include: hair dryers, video game consoles, cable boxes and portable fans. Unplugging your appliances probably won't leave you noticeably richer, but it's a relatively easy way to save 5 to 10 percent on your electric bill. And if you can convince your friends and neighbors to eliminate phantom power, too, the cumulative effect could be truly impressive.

    Check Your Home Insulation

    Heat flows from warmer to cooler temperature spaces. Insulation provides a protective layer between the heat radiating on your roof and the interior of your home. If your home is not properly insulated, heat can enter your home and your air conditioner will have to work harder to keep your it cool. Older homes may have little to no insulation in the ceiling and in the walls. Seek out a professional to determine how much insulation to add. You can also make sure your attic door is insulated and closed tight. Attic vents should never be blocked by insulation.

    Air Conditioning Tune-Up

    If you want to optimize the performance of your air conditioner so it will provide comfort through the summer months, hire a professional for a tune-up. At a minimum, your air conditioner filters should be cleaned and replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Window blinds and shades are another way to help reduce the heat in your home.

    To learn more about ways to improve your home’s overall efficiency during the summer months contact CMBA for a free list of professionals.

  • 14 Jun 2019 10:08 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    The nation’s housing and homeownership policies over the last century have contributed to the growth of the middle class and helped the United States become the most dynamic economy the world has ever seen.

    • Fully 15 percent of the U.S. economy relies on housing and nothing packs a bigger local economic impact than home building.
    • Constructing 100 new single-family homes creates 297 full-time jobs, $28 million in wage and business income and $11.1 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.
    • A healthy housing industry means more jobs and a stronger economy. Home building increases the property tax base that supports local schools and communities.
    • Housing, like no other sector, is “Made in America.” Most of the products used in home construction and remodeling are manufactured here in the United States.

    Builder Association's Housing Priorities

    Addressing ongoing housing affordability concerns is the top issue for home builders in 2019.

    Factors contributing to the mounting lack of affordable housing include:

    • The construction worker shortage
    • A lack of buildable lots
    • Growing mortgage liquidity concerns
    • Tariffs on lumber and other building materials
    • Stiff zoning restrictions


    Most Americans consider homeownership to be the single best long-term investment and a primary source of wealth and financial security. Countless generations of Americans have counted on their homes for their children’s education, their own retirement and a personal sense of well-being.

    For current statistics on the local housing market go to the building permit page.

  • 30 Apr 2019 12:17 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    by NAHB.org

    Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years on the heels of popular home improvement shows and publications. And, for certain small projects, a DIY project can be rewarding and fun, if you are prepared and have the proper skills. But before you start knocking down walls and taking out wiring, ask yourself the following questions:

    ·         Do you have a clear idea of what you want your project to look like?

    ·         Do you have the time to complete this project (be realistic!)?

    ·         Have you ever undertaken a project like this before?

    ·         Do you know everything you will need (materials, tools, etc.) to complete the project?

    ·         Are you familiar with the applicable building codes and permits?

    ·         Do you enjoy physical labor?

    ·         Do you have all the tools you will need?

    ·         Do you have the necessary skills for this project?

    ·         If not, do you have the time and resources to learn these skills?

    ·         Where will you obtain the necessary materials?

    ·         If you cannot complete the project according to your original schedule, are you (and your family) prepared to handle the resulting inconvenience?


    ·         Will you need assistance with this project? If so, who will assist you? Do they have the time and skills required for this project?

    ·         Do you understand all the safety issues associated with this project?

    ·         Are you familiar with the architecture and structural makeup of your home (i.e., how knocking down one wall will affect the rest of the structure)?

    ·         Have you considered the hidden costs associated with doing it yourself - time, tools, and the possibility that you may actually decrease the value of your house if the result isn't up to professional standards?

    It is easy to look at the cost of hiring a professional remodeler and think only of labor and materials. But remember that a professional remodeler offers you an important service - years of experience, liability insurance, the right tools, a network of suppliers and subcontractors, and an in-depth understanding of legal regulations, cost estimating, scheduling, and the latest construction techniques and materials.

    To hire a trusted name for your job, go to CMBA for a free list of local professionals.  CMBA since 1971. cmbaonline.org – Member Directory.


  • 17 Apr 2019 1:24 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    How to Recycle Unwanted Household Items

    By Ron Euteneuer, President, CMBA

    Your home may be filled with items that are no longer useful but can potentially be manufactured into new products. Not only will getting rid of household items declutter your home, it also will help reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve natural resources and create jobs in recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States. Before you toss out your unwanted household items, consider recycling the following:

    Glass: Bottles, jars and non-food glass containers such as perfume or face creams are recyclable. It is important to clean and dry items before recycling them. Leftover particles or liquids can contaminate other recyclables. Corks should be removed from bottles and can be composted. Larger glass items such as vases, glass drinking cups, window glass and glass cookware cannot be recycled. Lightbulbs are also not recyclable.

    Paper: Beyond documents, many types of paper can be recycled. Mixed paper is a common household item and can include discarded mail, magazines and cardboard. Your home office may contain recyclable content such as letterhead, files, phone books, copier paper or envelopes. Shredded paper is recyclable. Do not recycle paper that is wet, greasy or soiled. Tainted paper is unsuitable for reuse.

    Large Appliances: Even if a household item does not fit snug in a curbside pickup container it still may be acceptable for recycling. Large household appliances such as stoves, washing machines, refrigerators or dishwashers are eligible for recycling. Appliances contain metal that can be reclaimed. You may be eligible for a rebate from a local retailer or utility company if you turn in your old appliance for a new energy-efficient unit. Your local waste management or public works department may have curbside pick-up available. Local scrap metal recyclers may be interested in your old appliances as well.

    Hazardous Materials: Toxic materials should be carefully disposed of to prevent harm to people or the environment. Older materials found in your home, garage or shed can be considered dangerous, such as paint stripper with the newly banned toxic chemical methylene chloride. This type of toxic substance should be removed from your home with the appropriate personal protective clothing such as gloves. Empty containers may have hazardous residual chemicals. If your community does not have a local hazardous material recycling center or designated days for pickup, some businesses could properly dispose the substance. For example, some garages may accept used motor oil for recycling.

    Plastic: Jugs, jars and bottles that are plastic can be recycled. Like glass, plastic items must be cleaned and dry before it can be recycled. Keep in mind that plastic cannot only be found in the kitchen. Your bathroom may have items that can be recycled as well such as shampoo, liquid soap or mouth wash. Empty plastic detergent or cleaning bottles in your laundry room or utility closet are also ideal for recycling.

    Stearns County Recycling

    Sherburne County Recycling flyer

    Benton County Recycling

    Mille Lacs County Recycling


  • 05 Apr 2019 1:20 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)
    By Ron Euteneuer, 2019 President Central MN Builders Association

    It’s no coincidence that people are generally happier in springtime. Compared to the colder, darker days of winter, spring is the opportunity for a fresh start – from planting a new flowerbed to starting a new baseball season. And for many Americans, it’s when they plan on buying a new home.

    As the momentum of home buying season continues to grow, the home building industry celebrates New Homes Month in April. At this time of year, millions of people are starting their search for the new home that’s perfect for their lifestyle. That is why we want to take this month-long opportunity to showcase the many advantages of owning a newly constructed home.

    Many home buyers are seeking a unique new home that offers energy efficiency, spaciousness and warranties. They also want the ability to select their favorite appliances, flooring, paint colors and other design elements to give their home a personal touch from the day they move in. 

    But those characteristics are just some of the countless advantages of buying a new home in 2019. There are many other benefits of owning a new home that might be less obvious, but are often found to be just as valuable.

    Strong Sense of Community

    One of the built-in benefits of many new homes is the new neighborhood. When families move into a new community at the same time, lasting bonds of friendship and neighborliness often form right away. Many home builders will host community block parties in these developments to help neighbors of all ages meet and connect. 

    Ability to Entertain

    Older homes are often smaller and therefore more challenging in which to host gatherings with friends and family. Today’s home builders are creating more open spaces with higher ceilings, larger windows and expansive great rooms for added convenience and modern living. 

    A Clean Slate

    When moving into a new home, you won’t have to spend hours stripping dated wallpaper or painting over an ugly wall color. There are no oil stains to remove in the garage, no windows to replace, no walls to be torn down. Everything is already just the way you want it.

    Peace of Mind

    Building standards have changed a great deal over the decades, almost as fast as technology has evolved. New homes can accommodate today’s advanced technology and be customized to meet the individual home owner’s needs. And knowing that the home was built to the latest safety codes gives the owner added assurance.

    For more information on the benefits of a new home, contact CMBA.

  • 20 Mar 2019 9:59 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    by Ron Euteneuer, CMBA President

    Truism [troo izzem]

    Definition: obvious statement: a statement that is so obviously true and so often repeated that people find it trite or meaningless.

    What the plans indicate, what the customer wants and what is built are never the same thing.

    The building inspector shows up during lunch time and leaves a correction notice you can't read.

    Battery operated tools allow you to make mistakes in remote locations.

    Terms such as: Square, Plumb and Level are translated at the job site to: "It looks good from here."

    Drywall comes in 12' widths. The room is 12'3"

    The day you plan to shingle it snows.

    Change orders are free.

    The  day you plan to shingle, it's 97 degrees.

    Toilet paper holders come with a 27 page illustrated instruction booklet, translated into 3 languages. Framing lumber comes with none.

    Dimensions such as 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 are translated at the job site to: a hair, a skosh or "saw cut"

    The plans indicate six steps extending to the landing. Seven steps are needed to comply with building codes. If seven steps are installed, the landing is too short --- building violation.

    Customers show up after hours and leave notes you can't read.

    Cell phones allow you to make mistakes without a paper trail.

    People in the construction industry expect to "get paid". At project closeout, you realize there's not enough money in the checkbook to pay the most important person, "YOU".

    Ron Euteneuer, Great Northern Environmental Solutions, LLC

  • 06 Feb 2019 7:26 AM | Deleted user

    EPA and Army Propose New "Waters of the United States" Definition

    12/11/2018 - Release Date 

    Contact Information: 

    EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

    WASHINGTON  — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) are proposing a clear, understandable, and implementable definition of “waters of the United States” that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. Unlike the Obama administration's 2015 definition of “waters of the United States,” today’s proposal contains a straightforward definition that would result in significant cost savings, protect the nation’s navigable waters, help sustain economic growth, and reduce barriers to business development.

    “Our proposal would replace the Obama EPA’s 2015 definition with one that respects the limits of the Clean Water Act and provides states and landowners the certainty they need to manage their natural resources and grow local economies,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “For the first time, we are clearly defining the difference between federally protected waterways and state protected waterways. Our simpler and clearer definition would help landowners understand whether a project on their property will require a federal permit or not, without spending thousands of dollars on engineering and legal professionals.” 

    The agencies’ proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of “waters of the United States” consistent with President Trump's February 2017 Executive Order entitled “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” The Executive Order states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the nation's navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the states under the Constitution.

    “EPA and the Army together propose this new definition that provides a clear and predictable approach to regulating ‘waters of the United States.’ We focused on developing an implementable definition that balances local and national interests under the Clean Water Act,” said R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “I have heard from a wide range of stakeholders on Clean Water Act implementation challenges. This proposed definition provides a common-sense approach to managing our nation's waters.”

    The agencies’ proposed rule would provide clarity, predictability and consistency so that the regulated community can easily understand where the Clean Water Act applies—and where it does not. Under the agencies’ proposal, traditional navigable waters, tributaries to those waters, certain ditches, certain lakes and ponds, impoundments of jurisdictional waters, and wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters would be federally regulated. It also details what are not “waters of the United States,” such as features that only contain water during or in response to rainfall (e.g., ephemeral features); groundwater; many ditches, including most roadside or farm ditches; prior converted cropland; stormwater control features; and waste treatment systems.

    The agencies believe this proposed definition appropriately identifies waters that should be subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act while respecting the role of states and tribes in managing their own land and water resources. States and many tribes have existing regulations that apply to waters within their borders, whether or not they are considered “waters of the United States.” The agencies’ proposal gives states and tribes more flexibility in determining how best to manage their land and water resources while protecting the nation’s navigable waters as intended by Congress when it enacted the Clean Water Act.  

    Robust, publicly accessible data is also a key component of common-sense, cost-effective environmental protection. In response to requests from some states, EPA and the Army are exploring ways the agencies can work with our federal, state, and tribal partners to develop a data or mapping system that could provide a clearer understanding of the presence or absence of jurisdictional waters.

    The agencies invited written pre-proposal recommendations and received more than 6,000 recommendations that the agencies have considered in developing this proposal. The agencies listened to those directly affected by the regulations, and this proposal balances the input the agencies received from a wide range of stakeholders.

    The agencies will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. EPA and the Army will also hold an informational webcast on January 10, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on January 23, 2019.

    More information including a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice, the supporting analyses and fact sheets are available at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.  



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