Building Insight March 2019

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As the snow started to fall and turn into “snowmageddon” last month, BIAW and MBA of King and Snohomish Counties members Joseph and Melissa Irons of Irons Brothers Construction, realized they had plenty of seasoned and split firewood to share. Back in 2018, potential hazard issues with power lines forced them to have several trees cut, split, and prepared for use in the upcoming winter months. Fast forward to February 2019 and the record-setting snow fall (and power outages), Joseph and Melissa felt it necessary to offer a free firewood giveaway—aptly named—Operation Kindle to the Shoreline community.



We all know being active and eating well is important for staying healthy. But, did you know that just sitting too much may have a negative effect on your heart health? According to study results published in The New York Times, sitting for at least 10 hours a day may be linked to high troponin levels, which may have a negative effect on your cardiac health. Troponin is found in cells in your heart muscle. When these cells are injured—most often because the heart isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients—they can release troponin and other substances into the blood. So what can you do to stay heart healthy* even if your job requires you to be at a desk all day? Walk during your lunch break—getting away from your desk in the middle of the day for a walk will not only elevate your heart rate, it will probably elevate your mood as well. Take the stairs— walking up even one or two flights of stairs a day can make a difference in your cardiovascular health over time. Stand at your desk—try getting a desk that converts from sitting to standing or simply stand while you are on the phone—over the course of the day, you’ll significantly decrease your time spent sitting. Change your commute—consider walking, running, or biking to work, even a few times a week, to increase your active time and for a nice change of scenery.

Irons Brothers’ staff moved into gear, getting the word out about the free giveaway by posting online to Nextdoor and Buy Nothing Project websites. Boy, did the word get out! Volunteers consisting of Irons Brothers’ staff and community members helped load more than ten cords of wood to over two-dozen residents within a three-hour period. As if they had foresight, that very night Shoreline and the surrounding areas lost power. Joseph, Melissa, and staff felt it was a blessing they could help take part in keeping their neighbors and community warm!


There are lots of great ways to integrate simple, healthy choices in to your work day. The team at CBS Benefits, BIAW’s Health Insurance program administrator, is available to help BIAW members access the best healthcare at the best possible price. If you haven’t looked in to the benefits the BIAW Health Insurance program, now is the perfect time! Contact CBS Benefits at (425) 641-8093 or online at

*This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician before starting an exercise program or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition.





The Building Industry Association of Washington is the state’s largest trade association and represents nearly 8,000 member companies in the home building industry.   Known as the “Champions of Affordable Housing,” BIAW is dedicated to ensuring and enhancing the vitality of the building industry for the benefit of its members and the housing needs of citizens.

2019 SENIOR OFFICERS President Rick Hjelm, CGR MBA of Pierce County First Vice President Sherry Schwab MBA of King & Snohomish Counties Second Vice President Chris Lockhart MBA of Pierce County Treasurer Tracy Doriot BIA of Clark County



Secretary LouAnne Neill HBA of Tri-Cities Immediate Past President Kevin Russell, CGP North Peninsula Building Association BIAW STAFF Executive Vice President Greg Lane


PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE BECOME A MERLIN Mentors’ guidance for startups: priceless




CALL TO ACTION BIAW members needed to help fight barrage of bad bills


Government Affairs Director Jan Himebaugh General Counsel Jackson Maynard Administrative Services Director Jan Rohila R.O.I.I.® Select Program Director Mark Shaffer Communications & Public Relations Director Jennifer Spall CONTACT THE EDITORIAL STAFF

On the Cover: BIAW President Rick Hjelm delivers a “red tag” to lawmakers on Capitol Hill. The message? “STOP WORK” immediately on proposed legislation that will increase the cost of housing.

Want to submit an article for publication? Have a story tip or suggestion? For consideration, please email

MARCH ’19 VOL. 29, ISSUE 3




4 Several years ago, I attended a conference where the main speaker said something that I’ve never forgotten. He related how his octogenarian friend told him, “Jim, everyone needs a Merlin.” I remember thinking, ‘what’s that supposed to mean?’ I recall learning about the mythical figure Merlin with King Arthur’s court in high school, but that was all I could remember. With my interest now piqued, I paid close attention to the rest of his presen// RICK HJELM tation. It wasn’t until he finished that I finally understood what his PRESIDENT elderly friend meant. He had an influential mentor like Merlin early on. When I started my business in December of 1978, I was naive in what I really needed to know in how to run a construction company. Nonetheless, I forged ahead with what knowledge and skills I did have, along with the drive and attitude to succeed. Failure wasn’t in the cards. Thankfully, an elderly friend, my Merlin, took me under his wing and was my mentor through those critical years of make-it-or-break-it for startup companies. During one of those teaching moments he laid out a simple plan, little did I know, it would set the early foundation for what has been a successful 40 years. His lesson was this, “If you want to succeed at what you do best, hire the best to do what you don’t do best.” He also told me I was going to need the following:

#1: A Good Banker

Not just any banker, but one who cares about you personally, your business and your success. They need to be a team player who understands your business and sees your financial needs before you do. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and too proud to listen. For this to work, you’ll have to develop a relationship of trust on both sides. Once that trust is earned, guard it with your life and never do or say anything to compromise it.

#2: A Good Accountant

Not just any accountant, but one who understand the idiosyncrasies of the construction industry. They need to know your style of business and assist you as needed to create and maintain a good bookkeeping system. They also need to care about your success and mentor you through the ever-changing web of tax laws and reporting requirements. Do as they say and don’t be lazy and get behind. When the Tax Man calls, and he will call, having a good accountant is priceless!

#3: A Good Attorney

Regardless how hard you work and how honest you are in dealing with your staff, clients, subs, and suppliers, something will inevitably go wrong. Having a good relationship with someone who deals with legal issues on a daily basis will lift the heavy burdens you’ll encounter when you feel like the whole world is about to collapse around you. His lesson was this: “The final lesson is to go out there and find “If you want to succeed these people, and when you do, let them do at what you do best, hire their jobs. Do your homework and hire a team will allow you to spend your time doing the best to do what you that what you do best knowing you can comfortably don’t do best.” be rest assured they will have your back,” said my Merlin. Since that initial lesson, I quickly learned I See MERLIN on page 14 //





In 2016, the city of Seattle passed the First-In-Time (FIT) rule, which requires landlords to rent to the first “qualified” rental applicant regardless of the relative qualifications of a different applicant or any other considerations. // JACKSON Pacific Legal MAYNARD Foundation, a GENERAL COUNSEL property rights advocacy group, sued on behalf of several Seattle landlords on several legal bases, but asked BIAW to weigh in on the legal and practical impact of FIT on its members. Legally, FIT is a mess and its potential to make a bad situation worse is significant.


The first major problem with the city of Seattle’s legal argument is that it requires reversal of a decades-old legal precedent that struck down a similar regulation requiring mobile home park owners to sell homes to those meeting initial criteria. The court held that the right of first refusal went to the core of property ownership and ruled that to take away such a right was a legal taking that required compensation to the property owner. For decades, those in the home building industry and others involved in the selling of property have relied upon this ruling.

To overturn it now would create a lot of uncertainty in the housing market. Which brings us to the next major flaw in the FIT rule. It just doesn’t work and is actually making the problem of affordable homeownership worse.


In order to comply, landlords are required to list more detailed application criteria since they are stuck with whoever meets it. This will reduce the pool of qualified tenants. Moreover, landlords face increasing costs in advertising and attorneys as they attempt to navigate the rules requirements and put themselves in the best position. Implementing time-stamping software, designing compliant criteria while still getting tenants who will fulfill their obligations, and advertising the rental in a way that satisfies FIT, takes time and money. These costs are, naturally, passed on to tenants who will consequently pay increased rent. While larger rental companies may be better positioned to absorb these extra costs, the landlord with a single unit will be less positioned to do so. This will reduce supply which is exactly the

opposite outcome if your goal is to make housing more affordable.


As the old adage goes, “measure twice, cut once.” The city should have more carefully considered the impact to housing affordability before it passed FIT. It’s bad for our industry, and housing affordability generally, if core principles of property ownership are undermined and regulation makes homeowners less inclined to build a new home or remodel an existing home in a manner that allows it to be rented. This is why BIAW will be participating in this case and hopefully help convince a court to send the FIT rule back to the drawing board.

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Last month came to a close with record snowfall, the Legislature in full swing, and the National Home Builders Association IBS conference. As a result of the snowpocalypse, we had to reschedule the first few of our strategic planning focus groups, but I am looking forward to those discussions throughout March. Thank you to everyone who participated in our electronic survey. We had great participation and will be incorporating those responses into the next phase of our process as we draft a Strategic Plan to present to the entire BIAW board at the June meeting in Yakima.


As legislative cut-off deadlines loom, bills that greatly impact our industry continue to work their way through committees. We’ve been monitoring well over 160 pieces of legislation, weighing in at committees and at legislator briefings. Alarmingly, this session’s appetite for more regulations and tax increases has not slowed down. Using the snowstorm as a backdrop, you may have seen Governor Inslee talking about the “pockets of wealth” needing to be tapped to add revenue to his budget—up to $10 billion in additional taxes, on top of the $4 billion windfall already predicted for state revenues this biennium. How does he propose getting another $10 billion?


n  Despite an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) court ruling saying a capital gains tax is an income tax, which is not allowed in Washington state, Democrat leaders continue to press for creating a capital gains income tax in our state of 9 percent. n  Nearly 1,400 hairdressers came to Olympia to protest their classification as independent contractors, which captured legislative attention. The solution? Lawmakers are now openly discussing nearly DOUBLING B&O TAXES on all services, including the building industry. This raises costs on business, housing, and poses a major threat to the survival of small businesses—the backbone of our state. n  Most pressing is a graduated Real Estate Excise Tax (REET). Some housing and lot sales would drop to 0.75 percent, while sales over $1.5 million would double to 2 percent REET. We have many questions we would want to address: How are lots platted for individual sale? What about parcels that are land rich but house poor? How would new construction be handled under the proposal? Some could see REET charged at multiple levels.


BIAW President Rick Hjelm appeared twice before legislative committees to testify in opposition to direct contractor liability. This overreaching Alarmingly, this session’s appetite bill would allow the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) to enforce against a “direct contractor” for unpaid wages and fringe for more regulations and tax benefits that a subcontractor fails to pay his/her employees. The increases has not slowed down. bill also provides for civil actions (lawsuits) against the “direct contractor” for wages and benefits owed to the employees of subcontractors.


On March 5, BIAW red tagged all lawmakers at the Capitol asking them to “STOP See CALL TO ACTION on page 14//





BIAW is proud to announce three additional builders to the Certified Builder program. Launched last year, BIAW’s Certified Builder program creates a way to recognize and designate achievement for those in the industry whose work experience and business // HILLARY practices exceed VANATTA state standards. CERTIFICATION/ To learn more EDUCATION MANGER about the program or how to apply, please visit, call me at (360) 352-7800 ext. 106, or hillaryv@

day-to-day operations, including accounting and finance. Tim is lead carpenter, specializing in hand-cut roofs, selective balloon framing, and efficient building practices. Tim also is a contributing editor to Journal of Light Construction and Tools of the Trade. Bryan and Tim J. are involved with the building community on Instagram @pioneerbuildersinc, where they share their knowledge and continue to learn from other builders around the country and world.

Brian Uhler, Pioneer Builders, Inc.

Tod Sakai, Sockeye Homes

Pioneer Builders, Inc., a member of the Kitsap Building Association, has been building new homes since 1978, and since then has built over 400 homes in Washington state, earning a solid reputation with his customers, subcontractors, Bryan Uhler and industry professionals as a man of integrity. Today, brothers Bryan and Tim, do the bulk of the work. Bryan runs the

Brett Lott, Brett Lott Homes

Brett Lott, a second-generation contractor, has been building custom homes in the Tri-Cities area since 1991 and a recognized leader in the industry. With an education in business, he spent time in the agriculture industry until his father-in-law, and some coaxing from his wife Sandra, talked him into building homes. That was the start of Brett Lott homes and a long-time love of building custom homes. Brett, a member of the HBA of Tri-Cities, has received many prestigious awards from the HBA’s Parade of Homes, including Best Workmanship and People’s Choice. He received BIAW’s Builder Appreciation award and also served as his HBA’s president for two years. Brett’s deep experiBrett Lott ence and knowledge base, coupled with excellent trade partners, has earned him an outstanding reputation in the home building industry.

Sockeye Homes is an award-winning firm offering custom and fixed-price package construction options to clients throughout the Seattle area. The company was founded in 2007 by President Tod Sakai (pronounced Sock-eye). He began his career in the early 1990s while working for a general contractor who built custom homes internationally. During that time, Tod developed a patented system for the company, built a network of 43 franchisees overseas, and completed 1,500+ homes. A member of the MBA of King and Snohomish Counties, Tod was named MBA Remodeler of the Year in 2014; served as BIAW Remodelers Chair in 2017, and during that Tod Sakai same year was named BIAW Remodeler of the Year.

MARCH ’19 VOL. 29, ISSUE 3



BUILDERS BATTLE ON BIAW MAINTAINS COVERAGE ON MYRIAD OF HARMFUL BILLS TO MEMBERS, INDUSTRY, AND HOMEBUYERS With legislative session well underway, the lawmakers are doing their best to not take action on the real issues facing home builders—affordable homeownership opportunities. Instead, they have not only invented a revenue crisis but are also pushing policies that increase the cost of housing.


Using “Olympia math,” the Governor and legislature have declared a need for new revenue sources, despite // JAN HIMEBAUGH the fact that the state is the windfall recipient of $4 billion in unexpected GOVERNMENT revenue. Not surprisingly, the legislaAFFAIRS DIRECTOR ture has been tasked to find another $10 billion in new revenue. Nearly 22% of the increase the Governor proposes would come from several tax increases that would target BIAW members: a new capital gains income tax, increased B&O rates, and significant REET increases.


A study by the University of Washington’s Center for Real Estate Research reports first-time buyers in King, Kittitas, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, are facing a housing market where home prices are nearly double what they can afford. And, that’s only with the laws currently on the books—it doesn’t consider the latest from Olympia to drive prices even higher with additional regulation and taxes. Legislators kicked off the session declaring they would address our state’s affordable housing crisis head on. We are nearly at the session’s half-way point, so let’s take a look at what they are considering so far: Environmental Justice (HB 2009 & SB 5489): These bills create a new board comprised primarily of activists with no building industry experience or business representation at all. It would circumvent existing law and allow a skewed committee to review all agency rules and permit proposals to ensure no one, now or in the future, could possibly be “harmed” by the development.


Lawmakers received “red tags” in their offices courtesy of BIAW. The message? “STOP WORK” immediately on proposed legislation that will significantly increase the cost of housing in Washington state.

Graduated REET: This proposal continues to gain steam with promises to lower REET for some while, alternatively, increasing REET on property with higher price tags. Legislators are unable to address the increased cost of land acquisition that will drive up home prices for potential buyers. These increased costs will push the dream of homeownership out of the reach of many Washingtonians. Energy Codes (HB 1257 & SB 5293): Allows local governments to increase energy codes, creating a patchwork of new pricey rules across the state that add unnecessary costs to the price of homes. Direct Contractor Liability (HB 1395 & SB 5565): Makes general contractors liable for the benefits, contributions, and payroll of subcontractors’ employees. Not only is it against current law to not pay employees, it is the Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) job to enforce wage See BATTLE ON on page 9 //

9 //BATTLE ON from page 8 laws. This would shift responsibility onto builders, increasing overhead, administrative costs, and ultimately raise the price of homes. It would also result in slower subcontractor payments. Not one of these proposals do anything to add inventory to the housing market or bring a single option to the table to help make affordable homeownership a reality for Washingtonians— all of these bills continue to advance.


As a BIAW member, the last thing you want to see when you approach your job site is a big red tag, stop work order, slapped on your project. However, if you happen to find one on your job site, you work hard to fix the issue and get back on track. That’s exactly what legislators need to do in Olympia—RIGHT NOW! Lawmakers need to stop, fix issues, and get back on track before they inflict more harm on the housing market. BIAW delivered “red tags” to every legislator at the capitol, imploring them to ‘stop work’ on foisting additional rules, regulations, and burdens onto home builders. From increased L&I costs, to carbon energy taxes that raise the price of a home, to increased REET (these are just a few of the new tax increases), it’s time to say enough is enough.


You may have seen in the news recently where nearly 1,400 hairdressers from around the state came to Olympia to protest the proposed independent contractor legislation. There is power in numbers and as the state’s largest trade organization, we too need to weigh in. As experts in your field, BIAW members are uniquely positioned to educate lawmakers on the costs associated with home construction. As legislative cut-off deadlines approach, it’s critical BIAW members let lawmakers know our concerns.

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR Legislators genuinely want to hear from their constituents—voters and businesses alike—in their district. BIAW staff is happy to help you set up meetings, provide talking points, draft letters, and prepare other materials you may need.


A face-to-face meeting, whether in your legislator’s home district or at the capitol, is perhaps the most effective type of communication. We recommend these meetings remain small and include constituents and businesses within the legislator’s district. During the meeting, let your legislator know if you are representing members of your local association. Be clear in what your “ask” is to the legislator and identify legislation by bill number (ask BIAW for bill numbers and talking points). Be firm on your position and remember it is OK to disagree. Be sure to follow up with any information requested by your legislator. If you do not know the answer to a question they ask, tell them you’ll find out and follow up with the information. Last but not least, send a thank you note or email summarizing the meeting, the bills and your position on them.


A handwritten or printed letter is very effective,—it sends a message you are invested and care about the issue. You can include background materials or send bundles of ‘postcards’ from numerous voters showing wide support for an issue. Remember: Timing is crucial, letters can take up to a week to arrive.

Phone calls

A good option when time is short. Phone calls allow for concerned citizens to participate at low cost. Be sure to keep your script simple.


Excellent any time and very convenient. Be sure to include your home address for constituent verification.

Social Media

Some legislators are much more active than others. A shout out of thanks for their vote on an issue we support via Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook is always appreciated.

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP Contact BIAW for help with the following communications: n  Letters-to-the-editor n  Op-Eds Also, share your story at city council meetings, on social media (tag BIAW), etc., on how, what, and why proposed legislation/regulations would harm your business.

MARCH ’19 VOL. 29, ISSUE 3



HJELM TESTIFIES ON HILL BILLS MAKE ‘DIRECT (GENERAL) CONTRACTORS’ LIABLE FOR WAGES, BENEFITS OF SUBS’ EMPLOYEES BIAW President Rick Hjelm has been instrumental in expressing BIAW’s strong opposition to HB 1395 and SB 5565, concerning ‘direct (general) contractor liability’ for payment of wages and benefits. This pair of bills claims to protect the employees of subcontractors on job sites by ensuring the ‘direct contractor’ assumes responsibility for not only pay, but all associated benefits and contributions. As we all know, there is already a process at the BIAW President Rick Hjelm (l) and BIAW Department of contract lobbyist Tom Kwieciak testify beLabor & Industries fore lawmakers in the House and Senate in (L&I) in place to opposition to HB 1395 and SB 5565, direct protect employees. contractor liability bills. It’s called, enforcing the law. It is already illegal to not pay employees. This new legislation actually incentivizes subcontractors not to pay workers since someone else (director contractors) will be held responsible. This removes L&I from the enforcement loop and reduces legitimate investigations from taking place. During his testimony, Hjelm pointed out to the committee that he often employs dozens, some times hundreds, of subcontractors on his projects and each of those subcontractors could have several employees working on the project. Under the bill, contractors like Hjelm would be required to review all of the payrolls and benefit records for every employee that sets foot on his job site and determine if the worker was paid properly and benefit contributions were made to health insurance companies, retirement funds, etc. Hjelm and other direct contractors would have no


choice but to hire a full-time staff person(s) in order to comply with this incredibly onerous new requirement, which could cost up to $150,000 per year. Furthermore, subcontractors who fail to make appropriate wage and benefit payments would have no accountability in the eyes of L&I—all responsibility for proper wage and benefits would fall on the ‘direct contractor.’ BIAW will continue to be vigilant against this legislation. You can help us by contacting your legislator in opposition to HB 1395 and SB 5565. (See page 9 for more information on how you can contact your legislators.)

CONTINUING ED TRAILBLAZER PASSES RATTO’S PASSION HELPED DRIVE BIAW’S EDUCATION PROGRAM IN EARLY STAGES BIAW and MBA of King and Snohomish Counties member Joseph A. Ratto, J.A. Ratto Company, passed away suddenly on January 4. Joe played an important leadership role at BIAW for over a decade. He helped put the wheels in motion enabling BIAW’s Education program to become the nationally recognized and award-winning program that it is today. In addition to his forward-thinking vision, Joe never lost his passion for teaching. He was a highly sought after class instructor for BIAW’s continuing education courses, as well as a favorite trainer of the Department of Labor & Industries’ Contractor Training Days team. Through his many years of teaching Joe always reminded us of the importance on the need to mentor up-andcoming young home builders. BIAW is forever grateful to Joe for his efforts and support of BIAW and the home building industry. You will be missed.



PROACTIVE STEPS DOSH CITATIONS MAILED TO MEMBERS SHOULD BE SENT BY CERTIFIED MAIL BIAW has heard from several members that Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) has recently started sending citations to employers via standard mail. This is a change from past practices, where citations were delivered by certified mail. If a citation is sent by standard mail, it is likely that a recipient will not know the exact date of delivery and, therefore, the deadline for their 15-day window to appeal. Citations sent by standard mail are not proper // HANNAH MARCLEY citations and you can protest them. It’s not difficult and the steps below ASSOCIATE GENERAL should prepare you to handle the COUNSEL situation easily.


It is important to raise the issue in the first response you send to the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). This response will usually be your appeal to DOSH. Citations can be appealed through a process that should be described in the citation you received. This description includes a list of topics and information you should include in your appeal. Once you have written an appeal including all the items specified in the citation, add language substantially similar to the following: “Without waiving any other objections to personal jurisdiction, to preserve rights on appeal, [insert your company name here] protests the adequacy of the citation provided. The citation does not conform with RCW 49.17.140 or the DOSH Compliance Manual because it was sent through standard mail. By law, the citation must be sent using a method that can be tracked or the delivery confirmed. The Compliance Manual dictates sending the letter by certified mail, which would satisfy this statute. Citation Number [insert your citation number here] was not sent using a method that can be tracked or delivery confirmed and, therefore, is not a final and binding order of the agency.” Then, submit your paperwork and proceed through the rest of your DOSH appeal. It is unlikely the citation will

just disappear because of the mailing defect, but now your appeal will explain any uncertainty you may have regarding the date of your appeal deadline to DOSH and show you are aware of your rights. Also, if you proceed from an appeal with DOSH to an appeal to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) you will be glad you included this language.


You can only present issues at the BIIA if they were also properly presented in your DOSH appeal. BIAW highly recommends engaging an attorney if an employer is before the BIIA, if not sooner. At the first conference before the BIIA, judges often ask if the parties stipulate to the “jurisdictional history.” If you objected in the DOSH appeal, you should not stipulate to the jurisdictional history because if an employer has not been properly cited, then L&I has no jurisdiction to force the employer to defend against the citation. Obviously, each case is different and BIAW has no way of knowing what impact the defect in the citation will have on your case, but taking this simple step of adding the sample language to your appeal will give you a better chance of success. This process is difficult to navigate but BIAW is working to give our members the best path through sticky situations.

MARCH ’19 VOL. 29, ISSUE 3




R.O.I.I.® Select, BIAW’s group retro program, is accepting applications for the July 2019-2020 plan year (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020). If you’re not familiar with the valuable services R.O.I.I.® Select has to offer, find out why nearly 2,000 companies have chosen the experts at R.O.I.I.® Select to help them take the hassle out of their workers’ comp affairs. The goal of retro is simple: eliminate injuries through improvements in work place safety and preventive strategies. Hire our experts today so we can help you become a better, safer company. If you’d like to find out if R.O.I.I.® Select is right for your company, go to, contact us at (360) 352-7800, or

Compare the rest. SELECT the best.


THE OLDEST AND LARGEST CONSTRUCTION RETRO GROUP IN THE STATE R.O.I.I.® Select has returned over $500 million in refunds to companies since 1982.

NO ADDITIONAL PREMIUM (PENALTY) In our 36 year history, not one R.O.I.I. Select participant has ever paid a penny of additional premium, a claim many retro programs cannot make. ®

MEMBERS RECEIVE A REFUND If the group and participant have a positive claim performance, they receive a refund.

ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR ALL YOUR WORKERS’ COMP NEEDS You won’t find any other retro program that offers all the services at no additional cost.


Closing claims quickly and efficiently

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Return to Work Unique return to work strategies set us apart

Claims Investigations and Litigation

Relentless pursuit of the best outcome for the group

L&I Audit assistance

A plan of action for L&I audits





Here’s the next step:

Return the postage-paid inquiry card. After receiving your card, we will review your premium and loss information and provide you with a refund calculation of how much you could have earned if you were enrolled in R.O.I.I.® Select.




— Kirk Koskiniemi, Ibex Roof, Vancouver









*Current projection


Competitors’ Averages




Competitors’ Averages


Competitors’ Averages*

Since enrolling in R.O.I.I.® Select, your staff has helped me implement new safety systems that will not only help to prevent injuries but also save time and money in the event that an injury does happen. I’ve learned things that will help me make my business more successful in the future.

Competitors’ Averages


As the oldest and largest construction retro group in the state, BIAW’s R.O.I.I.® Select program has returned over $500 million in refunds to participating members since 1982.


Other retro programs bury additional fees to pad profits and aid their bottom line. Our program fee is 10% of the group’s overall refund from L&I and an additional 10% divided between BIAWaffiliated local associations. These fees support continuing education, government affairs, and the building industry as a whole.


Your annual enrollment fee is 1.5% of total premiums paid to L&I, or $150, whichever is greater. We do not charge a Group Administrative Fee.


R.O.I.I.® Select’s strict enrollment criteria and innovative approach to workers’ comp ensures maximum group performance. In our 36-year history, not one R.O.I.I.® Select participant has ever paid a penny of additional premium (penalty).

QUESTIONS? (360) 352-7800

MARCH ’19 VOL. 29, ISSUE 3

14 //MERLIN from page 4

//CALL TO ACTION from page 6

needed to add another player to the list.

WORK” on tax increases, “STOP WORK” on direct contractor liability, and “STOP WORK” on new regulations that burden our industry, making the cost of doing business, and ultimately the cost to home buyers, higher. We need you to weigh in with your voice to your legislators by phone, email, or in person. Every call, visit, or letter speaks volumes. See the article on page nine for the specifics on how to make your voice heard. It’s imperative you speak up!

#4: A Good Insurance Agent

Little did I know at the onset of my construction business, the insurance industry in Washington state would be thrown into a blender. The fear of construction defect lawsuits would force nearly every construction liability insurance company to leave the state. All of a sudden, many of us found ourselves in a situation, regardless of our ‘clean’ history, where we couldn’t find an insurance company to insure us. This is when the relationships we had created with agents familiar to our industry, came to the rescue, calming the sea of fear and made it possible for us to be where we are today.


So, in wrapping up, I need to let my Merlin know how grateful I am for his sage advice—as he had already walked the path I was about to travel. Thanks to him and the many associates who had my back as I looked forward. My business journal has many years of great memories. As we look to the future, may we all be someone’s Merlin and take the advice from a line in country music artist Tim McGraw’s song he wrote for his kids: “...When you get where you’re goin’ Don’t forget turn back around Help the next one in line Always stay humble and kind”



There is one small piece of good news. Condo liability reform continues to advance and we are optimistic that legislators will allow

builders to once again build more condominiums. It’s not a silver bullet to making housing more affordable in our state, but it is another option for consumers. There needs to be additional steps towards creating real solutions to the housing crisis in our state, increasing supply, and options for families of all sizes and incomes. We are looking forward to educating legislators over the coming weeks and at our legislative reception on March 12 at Hotel RL in Olympia. They need to understand a very simple concept: If you increase regulation and taxes, it will result in higher housing prices. Hardly a solution to help make housing affordable for working families in Washington state.




BIAW is seeking a professional to create, edit, and manage content for multiple platforms in support of the association’s mission and goals. Reporting to the Communications and Public Relations Director, the communications writer/editor is responsible for developing and managing content for the organization, including strategic messaging and content that engages and builds trust and credibility with a variety of audiences. We represent our home building members to promote pro-housing and pro-business interests and serve our members through government affairs, legal support, continuing education, codes and regulations, R.O.I.I.® Select, health insurance, and more. Find the entire job description at




LOCAL ASSOCIATION HOME BUILDERS STAFF BRING BUILDER’S PERSPECTIVE TO THE TABLE The Hirst fix legislation that passed at the beginning of the 2018 legislative session created eight watershed restoration enhancement committees throughout the Puget Sound. These // JOSIE CUMMINGS committees are made REGULATORY AND up of local GOVERNMENT jurisdictions, AFFAIRS MANAGER tribes, and other interested stakeholders. Each of these committees have a local builder representative sitting at the table. Our builder representatives have been doing a great job making sure the legislation is followed as it was written. A big thank you to the staff at Kitsap Building Association, Master Builders of Pierce County, Olympia Master Builders, and Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties for taking the time to meet monthly on these committees to have our builder voices heard at the table.


The goal of these committees is to create shovel-ready projects to offset the consumptive use of new wells in communities over the next 20 years and to help streams achieve net ecological benefit. These committees are current-

ly in the arduous process of creating and approving operating principles, securing a facilitator, and agreeing to a scope of work. To be considered for funding, each committee must achieve unanimous consensus amongst the representatives. Over the next few months, the committees will attend presentations to get them up to speed on water law, the science of instream flows, as well as accessing more technical information to help them. BIAW hopes these groups can take advantage of the dollars allocated to achieve real-life projects that will benefit stream flows and fish health instead of adding burdensome regulatory hurdles that don’t actually benefit

the ecological health of our streams.


The legislation also required two Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIA) update their local watershed plan update. WRIA #1: Nooksack in Whatcom County, and WRIA #11: Nisqually in Thurston County, each had until Feb. 1, to pass a plan with local stakeholders. WRIA#11 successfully passed a plan with stakeholders. WRIA #1 was unable to pass a final plan and defaulted to the Department of Ecology, who will begin the rulemaking process to create a plan for them. BIAW will be engaged and monitor the rulemaking process as that moves forward.


BIAW is pleased to announce Jennifer Spall as communications and public relations director. Spall’s private sector experience work includes two of the largest public affairs and relations firms in the country, in addition to her own practice. Her public sector experience includes serving as an aide to former New Mexico Governor Gary E. Johnson, press secretary to the New Mexico legislature, intern to the late U.S. Senator Conrad Burns of Montana, and an aide to the Snohomish County

Council. Most recently, she helped found and launch a national effort to educate lawmakers about the impact of tariffs on businesses and supply chains. Jennifer spent 11 years at Walmart Stores, Inc., as a Walmart Corporate Affairs senior director, leading Walmart’s political programs, including grassroots campaigns, as well as, overseeing spending and compliance of PAC and corporate dollars. She also served as a company spokesperson and led a team covering 22 western states managing policy, legislative, and land use issues. Jennifer, her husband, and son live in Newcastle—with two very spoiled dogs.

MARCH ’19 VOL. 29, ISSUE 3

Building Industry Association of Washington 111 21st Avenue SW  |  Olympia, WA 98501 (360) 352-7800  |  |

Every day, BIAW members are working hard to make their communities a better place. BIAW is looking for inspirational stories, testimonials, photos, or videos of you, our members, donating your time, talent, and treasures to others in your community. Helping out with Habitat for Humanity? Sprucing up a community event center? Fueling fundraisers? We want to hear from you! Share your story with BIAW Communications Manager Leah Jaber at BIAW - Quarter Page Ad 1 2/21/2019 2:47:55 PM


New Home Warranties • Wide variety of warranty programs including customized state, remodeler and building systems • FHA/VA Approved • Insurer Rated A-(Excellent) by AM Best • General Liability Insurance available the biaw health insurance program proudly serves members of the building and construction industries by providing top-notch employee benefit plans at competitive rates.


(425) 641-8093 |

John Felbaum

800.247.1812 ext. 2633

A solid foundation for your business!

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