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“The Voice of the Housing Industry” for 75 Years

GREATER CHICAGO

Building News WWW.HBAGC.COM | SPRING 2015

PEERING INTO THE

WINDOWS AT MARVIN

SCOTT WALBRIDGE

REMODELING COUNCIL PRESIDENT

A NATURAL BORN REMODELER

HBAGC HISTORY CHICAGO HOME BUILDER’S GROW WITH NATION

1939 - 1960

EMERGING TRENDS IN THE REMODELING MARKET

A publication of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago


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GREATER CHICAGO

Building News SPRING 2015 | 75 YEARS OF HBAGC HBAGC BUSINESS OFFICE 1525 West Homer Chicago, IL 60642 Greater Chicago Building News is a publication of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago published quarterly by Brandit360.com for HBAGC members. Articles appearing in HBAGC Building News not dot necessarily represent the opinions of HBAGC.

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ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL INFORMATION Judith L. Nelson 847-778-8634 judithlnelson@aol.com Hans Nelson 773-669-4559 advertise@HBAGC.com HBAGC encourages members to submit articles for publication. Articles should relate to members and the homebuilding industry. For questions or to submit an article send an email to advertise@hbagc.com. PUBLISHER Brandit 360 224-633-9597 www.Brandit360.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Rita Unzner - HBAGC Executive Officer Susanne Tauke - HBAGC Member - New American Homes, Inc. Chantel Beauregard - HBAGC Member - Brandit 360 GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chantel Beauregard - HBAGC Member - Brandit 360

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2015 BOARD MEMBERS

PRESIDENT PAT COVENY ARCH CONSTRUCTION

VP DICK GREENWOOD COLDWELL BANKER

2ND VP JOHN SORENSON US SHELTER

ASSOCIATE VP FRANK BINETTI INLAND BANK

SECRETARY COREY STERN CHITKOWSKI LAW OFFICES

TREASURER REGIS VERLIEDFE WARM UP

2013 PAST PRESIDENT MARTY PARIS SEDGEWICK PROPERTIES

2012 PAST PRESIDENT JOHN WOZNIAK J LAWRENCE HOMES

JOHN KERN PREMIER ARCHITECTURE

JOHN LEE FIRST AMERICAN BANK

MICHAEL MENN MICHAEL MENN LTD

JUDITH L. NELSON NELSON CONSULTING LIFE MEMBER

EMILY JOHNSON TAYLOR JOHNSON

SCOTT WALBRIDGE MARVIN WINDOWS & DOORS

SCOTT SEVON MAW CHICAGO

JANICE SEVON MAW CHICAGO

MIKE NAGEL MAW CHICAGO

TOM DRAKE THE DRAKE GROUP

ROBERT COWHEY COWHEY MANHARD CONSULTING LIFE DIRECTOR

RALPH KRISTENSON LIFE DIRECTOR

RITA UNZNER EXECUTIVE OFFICER

JERRY CONRAD JC CONTRACTING

MATT JANS MATT JANS ARCHITECTURE

DAVID BRADY PAUL LINK LASALLE STREET DEVELOPMENT OAK DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

COUNCILS & COMMITEES KEY AWARDS JOHN KERN DICK GREENWOOD PAT COVENY MATT JANS JUDITH NELSON 4 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

ARO PAUL COLGAN ALAN LEV

PWB PRESIDENT - JAN SEVON VICE PRESIDENT - CATHY KIRIN PROGRAMS CHAIR - SHARON SAYRE

REMODELERS PRESIDENT - SCOTT WALBRIDGE

PROGRAMS/EVENTS REGIONAL CHAIR - DICK GREENWOOD


2015 CITY CHAPTER BOARD

2015 CITY CHAPTER PRESIDENT MARTY PARIS SEDGEWICK PROPERTIES

PAUL LINK LASALLE STREET DEVELOPMENT

KEITH ESSES PRIORITY CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

EMILY JOHNSON TAYLOR JOHNSON

KERRI STADLER CIRCA LIGHTING

JEROME WADE WADE ENTERPRISES

BOB DICKINSON GREATER II TITLE

JEFF GOULETTE* SULLIVAN GOULETTE

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ED HOFFMAN CASTLEWOOD HOMES

NEW & RENEWING MEMBERS

*Image courtesy Wikipedia

Welcome new members. We invite you to stay actively involved in the associations events and activities. Improve your business and make connections by getting involved in one of the HBAGC’s councils such as the Professional Women in Building Council or the Remodeler’s Council. Be sure to attend the scheduled events throughout the year. Active participation is the best way to take advantage of the benefits your membership affords you. Stay up to date on upcoming events at www.HBAGC.com VILLAGE GREEN - BOB GLEASON PAPPAGEORGE HAYMES PARTNERS - DAVID HAYMES BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY KOENIG RUBLOFF - TRACY SCHWARTZ @PROPERTIES - MIKE GOLDEN 10 WEST DEVELOPMENT - JAMES MARZULLO BLOOM ARCHITECTURE - ALBERT BLOOM COLDWELL BANKER - RICHARD GREENWOOD CROWN COMMUNITY DEV. - BARBARA KININMONTH FOSTER DESIGN BUILD - ROBERT BERG ICON BUILDING GROUP - CHARLIE MURPHY JOSEPH F. DUFFY CO. - JERRY DECICCO LARRY MAYER & CO. - LARRY MAYER MAW CHICAGO - JANICE SEVON NEW AMERICAN HOMES, INC. - SUSANNE TAUKE OAK DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION - DAVID C. BRADY PROVENCAL CONSTRUCTION CO. - HARRY LIESENFELT ROCK CREEK HOMES - RYAN VANLUE SK & MB DESIGN, INC. - SAMADHI KARUNARATNE APA - BOB CLARK BANNER PLUMBING SUPPLY - MICHELEE HENDERSON

BONDED BUILDERS - JASON GREENE BSB DESIGNS - DOUGLAS N. BUSTER CHICAGO TITLE - KIM O’DONNELL DESIGNS FOR DIGNITY - JENNIFER SOBECKI DOW BUILDING SOLUTIONS - GREG ABEL FIRST AMERICAN BANK - CATHERINE MURPHY GONZALEZ ITW CONSTRUCTION NORTH - JENNIFER QUINN LAKELAND BUILDING SUPPLY - ROD RAYMOND MA INTERACTIVE, LLC - MIKE TEMPLETON MARVIN WINDOWS AND DOORS - SCOTT WALBRIDGE MOEN INCORPORATED - CHRIS WULF MUNCH SUPPLY - WILLIAM F. GRACE PLANTE & MORAN - SARAH SHEPARD PROPER TITLE - KIM O’DONNELL VOYAGER MEDIA PUBLICATIONS - DIANE MEYNART-HAZEL BSB DESIGNS - JOE SAFIN CROWN COMMUNITY DEV. - CHERIE JAQUART FIRST AMERICAN TITLE - KIMBERLY FURTEK MERIT HOMES - JERI SZATKO VOYAGER MEDIA PUBLICATIONS - MAUREEN VITACCO


CONTENTS

CHICAGO HOME BUILDERS' GROW WITH NATION 1939 - 1960

10

HBAGC HISTORY: CHICAGO HOME BUILDERS’ GROW WITH NATION 1939-1960

18

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

MEMBERS TELL THE STORIES OF HBAGC OVER THE YEARS

22

PEERING INTO THE WINDOWS AT MARVIN SCOTT WALBRIDGE REMODELERS COUNCIL PRESIDENT

George F. Nixon had been a builder and

“Well, back in early 90’s we had many

Born on Cinco de Mayo, Scott Walbridge,

developer in Chicagoland since 1913. Over

forests and lumber mills being shut down

president of the HBAGC Remodelers

his career he purchased and sold over

by our tree huggers due to protection of

Council gets excited as the month of May

5,000 acres of fully developed properties

the spotted owl. . . .”

comes around. But this is not the only reason for his excitement.

in greater Chicago. Nixon held past presidency of local real estate association such as the Chicago Real Estate Board, Illinois Association of Real Estate Boards . . .

28

PEOPLE & PROJECTS WHO’S BUILDING NOW

THIS TREASURED LOT AND HOUSE IS SO FULL OF POTENTIAL 6 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

Read Scott Sevon’s story and more.


38

EMERGING TRENDS IN THE

REMODELING MARKET

44

A PROPER TERMINATION POLICY

47

REALTOR® CORNER GLORIA NOWOTARSKI

SOMETIMES IT TAKES A NUDGE

Improving America’s Housing is prepared biennially by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Since 1999, these in-depth reports have served as an essential resource for policy makers

It is always difficult to terminate an employee, especially when the employee has been part of the company for a long time. However, as every owner knows, terminating an employee is just one of many unpleasant issues that are required to run a small business.

To nudge buyers takes collaboration between builders and realtors. It takes having awareness, knowledge, frequent promotions, both online and offline, to ultimately help increase the sale of new homes.

and practitioners serving the remodeling industry.

32

HEALTH & WELLNESS HOMES

FOR PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES


ANNOUNCING THE NEW MEMBER CENTER - HBAGC.COM Your membership gives you exclusive access to specialized tools to promote your organization via the new online Member Information Center. Login in today to update your information and start using these new features! •

• • •

Membership listing - update your listing to ensure everyone has access to complete, up-to-date information. Important: Completing your profile is critical to gaining increased visibility and exposure! Deals - offer coupons and special deals; fellow members may be your best customers. Job postings - submit your own job openings. Advertise events - add your events to our online event

8 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

calendar displayed with quick links; use these links to share in your social media, text to mobile devices, add to calendar, or email to others. Network with other members - check out other member listings, jobs, deals.

Login at HBAGC.com to gain access to all of these features, update your information and more. Don’t know your login? Email info@HBAGC.com for a login link.

For more information contact : Janice Sevon, MAW Chicago - PWB President (847) 359-3591 Janice@mawchicago.com


Home Design Extends Outdoors 2015 brings an increasing demand for living space that extends outdoors. A covered deck with indoor amenities, grilling porch, gazebo or outdoor kitchen paired with waterproof and fade-resistant furniture create a second family room to be enjoyed outside. Designed Driveways Enviable driveways incorporate practical, fashionable design touches with expressive exterior lighting and mounts to spark the design conversation while pulling up to the home. Multipurpose Garages Garages can not only elevate the design aesthetic of the home, they can also be more functional than ever with dedicated space for everyday tasks like recycling and pet bathing. Dress up a garage by adding complementary trim, or add a new, sleek glass door or colorful window flower boxes. Sustainable Efficiency With sustainability becoming more necessary and attainable than ever, more homeowners will opt to offset energy costs with insulated siding, solar panels and drought-tolerant landscape designs.

Royal® Building Products, a leading manufacturer of home exterior products, is pleased to announce the release of its 2015 Exterior Style Trends guide. Now in its third year, Royal’s highly anticipated Exterior Style Trends guide reflects the hottest design choices among homeowners, builders and architects in North America. As homeowners continue to put their personal stamps on exterior design, Royal Building Products’ industry-leading design team has put together this comprehensive guide that provides design inspiration, expert tips for improving curb appeal and exterior product solutions to make the home makeover process easier for everyday homeowners. Taking cues from both interior and exterior home design and fashions, as well as sales trends across the U.S. and Canada, Royal has compiled an Exterior Color Palette outlining the most on-trend color combinations of 2015, along with six other must-see outdoor styles.

Smarter Homes This year smart homes will cut the cord, giving homeowners wireless access to vital controls such as garage doors, thermostats and security systems. New technology connecting the life and home will include calorie-counting microwaves and allergen-detecting air purifiers. Wider Trim More builders are choosing thicker PVC trim as a standout accent to complete home design. Wider 5.5-inch corner pieces will play this year’s hero role and likely become the preferred choice over the standard 3.5-inch corner pieces.

2015 Exterior Color Palette From siding and trim to shutters and doors, apply any combination of these trending colors to a home’s exterior and you’ll have the perfect combination. As a design leader in the market, Royal presents a mix of bold colors in reds and blues and neutral colors in grays. This year’s palette is made up of Sand, Heather and Harvard Slate neutrals and Midnight Surf, Redwood and Ironstone bolds. “Color is the signature element of any exterior design,” said Kriss Swint, director of interactive strategy and design at Royal Building Products. “Homeowners are looking for foolproof ways to use color to enhance their home exteriors, while staying on trend and reflecting their personalities. Our palette for 2015 does just that—featuring six trending colors that homeowners can mix and match in multiple ways through a variety of exterior products to create the perfect combination.”

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CHICAGO HOME BUILDERS' GROW WITH NATION 1939 - 1960

10 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM


“CONCEIVED IN ADVERSITY DURING A PERIOD WHEN THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT THREATENED TO DEPRIVE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY OF THE PRIVILEGE OF OWNING A HOME, BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS OF SCARCITY INCIDENTAL TO WORLD WAR II,” HBAGC OR THE METROPOLITAN CHICAGO HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION AS IT WAS KNOW AT THE TIME, BECAME “ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING AND MOST POTENT INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS IN THE COUNTRY.” - MARTIN C. HUGGETT - EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT 1951

E. Joern, Irvin Blietz, John Cummings Lindhop and past president George F. Nixon completed the board. After the meeting Kroehler Manufacturing Company hosted the new board members and gave them a tour of a victory home model that had been erected within the Furniture Mart. Merrion’s company worked diligently for the war effort by constructing housing near Chicago factories at a record pace; he is reported to having promised to build “a house per day” near the Calumet industrial area. That’s Interesting! If 666 Lake Shore Drive is not familiar to you, you can point a finger to Playboy Corp who insisted that the street number be changed before they signed the Lease – ‘Hef’ perhaps not a fan of the symbolism of such a number, and so 680 came to be.

But in 1942 a federal agency, the War Production Board, which held supreme powers over any defense production, imposed a limit of 3,000 privately built homes for Chicago war workers. (One example of a military-built neighborhood is Chrysler Village, near Midway Airport and the Clearing Industrial District; it was constructed in 1943 to house the Chrysler Defense Plant workers who built B29 bomber engines. The area is now known as Ford City.)

t was 1939. That September Germany invaded IAustralia Poland, and a mere two days later Britain, France, and New Zealand declared war on Germany.

That’s Interesting! When the War Production Board sets civilian-production quotas, it isn’t fooling. The Hurley Machine division of Chicago’s Electric Household Utilities Corp. Ordered to make only 44,000 washing and ironing machines last fall, said WPB, Hurley made 76,000 instead. The penalty, imposed by WPB last week: complete shutdown of production for six months. Time Magazine Feb 1952.

It was also the year George F. Nixon became the first president of the newly formed Metropolitan Chicago Home Builders Association (MCHBA). A builder and developer in Chicagoland since 1913, Nixon had, during his illustrious career, purchased and sold more than 5,000 acres of fully developed properties in greater Chicago. He had held past presidencies in local real estate associations such as the Chicago Real Estate Board and the Illinois Association of Real Estate Boards. As the first president of MCHBA, Nixon’s foremost challenge certainly would have been membership, convincing local homebuilders (small one-man operations) and construction firms to join the alliance and form a united voice to face the challenges within the industry. With Europe at war the fabric of the Chicago landscape was changing. Manufacturing plants were refitted to make military equipment. Men were enlisting overseas. Jobs were being created. The soon-to-follow attack on Pearl Harbor fast-tracked all these changes. HOUSING FOR WAR WORKERS The MCHBA’s 1942 annual meeting and board of directors elections were held at 666 Lake Shore Drive, the site of the Furniture Mart. Joseph E. Merrion of Merrion & Company became the second president. John R. Lewis and Thomas Buckley were appointed vice presidents. Fred J. Walsh was named treasurer, and Owen McCabe, secretary. Directors Martin Braun, Charles

The War Production Board’s ruling did not sit well with the MCHBA executives and board. Director Braun strongly argued against it, saying, “Chicago wants no war workers living in trailers, camps, tents, shacks or barracks. There is no necessity for government agencies to undertake the building of shelters … The homebuilders of Chicago will assume this responsibility.” Many builder associations argued in Washington for a larger quota for privately built homes. Martin Huggett, who would eventually become the executive secretary of the MCHBA, likened the experience to “a voice calling in the wilderness.” He stated, “…. yet much was finally accomplished through persistence and untiring effort.” (A few years later, when Merrion became president of the National Association of Home Builders, he continued to lobby the government to ensure that living quarters for war workers be built by local homebuilders.)

By March 1943 it was estimated that Chicago would require 284,000 additional workers through the next year to meet job demands. In order to realistically achieve those numbers, the Regional Director of the War Manpower Commission told the Chicago Retail Merchants Association that 188,500 women needed – and should be willing and available - to report to work, filling the jobs vacated by Chicago menfolk and the new jobs that were created to win the war. That’s Interesting! During these war years the city’s varied industrial base produced 24 billion dollars of war goods and in excess of 1,400 companies participated. Half of the electronics used in the war was produced from 60 local plants (Western Electric). Aircraft plants employed 100,000 workers alone. It is estimated that 120,000 African and Japanese Americans moved to Chicago for war jobs. Chicago was only second to Detroit in producing weapons.

In 1944 the association changed its name to the Chicago Metropolitan Home Builders Association. Perhaps the wisdom of having Chicago appear first in the yellow pages was the only reason for the change. In the same time frame association past president Merrion, still lobbying against the War Production Board, stated that private enterprise could build two million homes, if only public housing advocates would “get out of the way.” In 1944 John Cummings Lindhop took over the executive chair, and his board and members carried on for one year until Arthur Fossier assumed the presidency, his board seeing the end of 1945 and the start of the post-war years. HOUSING FOR VETERANS President Harry Truman had proclaimed 1947 as “the year of a million homes.” This mandate, of course, had the full support of all homebuilders! The war was over and the economy was improving. Americans rejoiced as families were at long last reunited. Factories were refitted. Women hung up their lunch pails and returned to home life, giving up their war jobs to their husbands, fathers or brothers – who were eager to resume their lives. Many returning men were boys when they joined up, and now were of an age to establish their own homes. Tens of thousands veterans returned with overseas brides, some with infants or young children. “Displaced persons,” Europeans who immigrated to the U.S., needed housing. War workers who had moved to Chicago to fill open jobs stayed. Separated sweethearts reunited and married. Women became pregnant in record numbers. It was the Baby Boom. Homes were desperately needed. It was a sellers’ market. Not too surprisingly the price for a new home was soon on the rise as prices of raw material and labor increased. Greed crept in and so did that other “G” word: Gouging. Alarmed, the association quickly recognized the danger. Martin C. Huggett, the executive secretary, immediately warned the industry of the long-term effects of price overcharging, which would harm the association’s reputation and perhaps its very existence, and certainly that of individual bidder or building company. Hugget feared that the strides made in promoting the association for the past eight years would be jeopardized. Huggett appealed to all stakeholders to reduce overpricing and ensure that each and every veteran who wanted a home could afford it. He and the other executives of the CMHBA were well aware by now


that many planned projects in Chicago had been shelved because of costs exceeding original budgets. Suppliers and builders were trying to improve their profits and the marketplace could not pay the prices that were constantly on the rise. Home ownership was a challenge for many.

which would be bigger than normal to accommodate this bricked one-floor home. The house would have a living room and perhaps a dining alcove, two bedrooms, family bath, kitchen and utility room. The all-purpose utility room, typically measuring about 14 by 12 feet, held the water heater, heating system and laundry; at this size the room could be used for extra pantry storage or accommodate a hobby area, a sewing room or workshop and often a day bed. By installing the more efficient heating systems now available in the insulated utility room, the basement could be eliminated. Without a basement building costs would be significantly reduced. The argument against multi-level housing was sound in itself but, so very wisely, the marketing was directed to the homemaker. Ads appealed to wife and mom, asking her to

Quickly responding, the association took matters into its own hands. It gathered its membership and developed a new concept – a model of a single-level home that was highly efficient in the use of space and materials. The association named the new construction “modular coordination’’ and promised that a full-scale home would be available to see at the upcoming 1947 home show being held at the Coliseum.

consider how much easier her life would be if she did not go up and down stairs countless times each day. The ad stressed that, in this type of home, she would be free from much of the drudgery while performing her wifely duties. Recognized, too, was that this style of home would simplify the lives of wounded vets who would not have to deal with stairs to get to bedrooms and bath, nor the basement to deal with issues of the heating plant. With the government offering land parcels to the builders, large tracts around the city were developed and the city grew outwards. Chicago had suburbs. The days of most living by their workplace were gone. Commuting was the norm for many. In 1947 the CMHBA board announced that it would be moving into the two-story building at the northeast corner of LaSalle and Randolph in January 1948. Nathan Manilow, then president, stated to the Chicago press that the building would be open to the public with over 4,000 square feet of display space for housing and building products. At the time the association was housed in the Builders Building at 228 N. LaSalle St. MODERN LIVING EXPOSITION Perhaps the most impressive events ever staged by the Chicago Metropolitan Home Builders Association were the Modern Living Expositions and, in particular, the one held in September 1951.

This new style of horizontal housing could be a vet’s new home for less than $10,000, including the lot,

The association began this annual event in 1945, and

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in the early years it was staged at the Chicago Coliseum. However, it was the 1951 event, when E. C. Mahoney was association president, that established the pull and power of CMHBA. If asked about the association’s 12-year history, as executive vice president Martin C Huggett probably was in the weeks leading up to the 1951 Expo, he would have recalled that the association was born in a time of adversity and a period when the national government threatened to deprive the entire country of the privilege of owning a home due to the unavailability of supplies and labor. The association brought together 80 individual or company builders who formed an alliance with a goal to lobby for and preserve the needs of homebuilders, while guarding the rights of the home buyer or owner, establishing construction benchmarks, and earning and holding the trust of the public. Edward G. Gavin was the chairman of the Modern Living Exposition Committee and himself a builder. In the September 23, 1951 issue of the Chicago Tribune, he penned a glowing article about the Expo. It was held at Navy Pier. (The only other facility close to being able to host an exhibition this size at the time was the Union Stockyards Amphitheater.) The association reported that there were over two miles of exhibits, with hundreds of displays, all geared to a homeowner or individual wishing to learn more about the industry. There were not only full-scale rooms showcasing the latest products and improvements, there also were full-scale homes within the complex. They dazzled with the current innovations and future trends just available or ‘“coming soon” to the marketplace. Demonstrations showed consumers the right way/ wrong way to construct a home. Enforcing these standards was the official pledge of the association. This message also appeared on the crest the association adopted and all members displayed. EXPERIENCE + ETHICS = EXCELLENCE At the same time of the Modern Living Exposition was running, there also was another major show. This was no coincidence, but rather the result of meticulous planning – both shows complimented each other. The Chicagoland Home and Home Furnishings Festival was also successful. Tribune reporter Anne Douglas covered the Expo and wrote that the exhibitors at the Modern Living Exposition were featuring the same products and materials and construction standards that folks touring the Home and Home Furnishing Festival could witness. It did not matter which show was attended first. This was the first time Chicago had permitted two shows of this nature to be held at the same time. The Expo was a big event for Chicago. It was the largest show of its kind ever held in the U.S. It was managed by no other than veteran show manager, Grover McDonald, who had 30 years’ experience planning events across the nation. He called the show “America’s panorama for everything in the home.” September was proclaimed as National Home Month. The front page of Section Two of the Tribune praised the Expo. Complimentary articles framed a large cartoon portrayal of a beautiful coiffed young Mom sitting at the table in a shirtwaist dress (possibly in pearls) and the handsome Dad, resplendent in a smoking jacket with pipe clenched between his teeth, while visions of new home models floated above their heads. The scene was

further romanticized by the family dog sleeping peacefully beneath Dad’s chair, while Mom was careful not to tread upon the toy train set, abandoned by their perfect toddler. The scene was set. How could you not buy a home? The war was over, the economy was good. So why would you not buy a home built under the umbrella of the Chicago Metropolitan Home Builders Association? The tremendous organizational efforts of the CMHBA were evident. Exhibitors were eager to participate. The city government had displays with all key departments providing information to share with Chicagoans. The fire department told of the best practices to prevent home fires. The roads department shared news about highway construction. The health unit provided hints for home hygiene. The forest department was there to share knowledge about building materials. The military came offering exciting displays and brought in heavy equipment. The board of education created a model of the “school of tomorrow,” showcasing a new elementary school that was under construction. The National Home


Builders Association displayed the winning entries of its recently sponsored contest. A popular exhibitor from the 1939 World’s Fair, General Electric, again presented its “House of Magic” display to show off innovations from the past decade. There were demonstrations on ceramic making and flower arrangements. A Homemaker of the Year was recognized, and Miss Modern Living was crowned. There were nightly fireworks. The Chicago Tribune had sponsored a room design contest well in advance of the Expo, and displayed all the drawings and miniature models. A local technical high school was invited to show off its students’ skills by constructing models of their own plans. The CMHBA had earlier sponsored a contest for Chicago students to design a model home, offering prize money, and put the collective entries on display. The association also invited the Junior Achievers organization to share its work with visitors. Local universities were invited to participate and exhibit. Clearly the association was investing in Chicago area youth.

Designers and builders responded just as they had when challenged to build affordable vet homes in the 1940s. In Chicagoland and across the U.S., homes were designed with a more open concept. Rooms were no longer defined by walls. Expansive windows let the light shine through. Basements were being built again, and the uses and benefits of the recreation room were explained to curious and receptive buyers. Imagine a second living room for the family to gather and play board games or watch Leave It to Beaver, I Love Lucy or The Jack Benny Show, a place where teenagers jitterbugged to popular hits played on the Hi-Fi. The upstairs room became more formal and became the private enclave of Mom and Dad, his boss and other VIP guests. Another selling feature of this new modern home was the addition of a full garage, or at least a carport, which was less costly to build. These features first appeared in the 1920s when cars became popular. And since commuters had cars and cars needed protection, builders were more than willing to oblige homeowners with this status symbol. That’s Interesting! The US economy was booming in the decade following the first Great War. During the presidential campaign of 1928, the Republican Party claimed that if Herbert Hoover won there would be “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”

Being a good corporate citizen, the association provided space so that visitors and participants could take free X-rays and be tested for tuberculosis, a disease that was of great concern at the time. The Billboard noted that the event was “well marketed with supplements in the Chicago papers, posters plastered on no less than 12 railroads.” The CMHBA put together an important, timely and welcomed event. It was a huge success with a reported gate of 258,914, a record turnout for any event of this type at the time. 1950s HOUSING As is said, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and the new homes showcased at the Expo were designed within constraints still lingering after the war.

1942

1939

1940 George P. Nixon President 1940 -1941

Designers, builders and the advertising firms they hired developed campaigns to promote the new and exciting homes, named the Ranch or the Rambler, suggesting wide open spaces both in and out. Buyers embraced this new look, banishing the doom and gloom of the war years once and for all. That’s Interesting! The term Mid-Century Modern was employed as a style descriptor as early as the mid-1950s, was reaffirmed in 1983 by Cara Greenberg in the title of her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s (Random House), celebrating the style that is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement.

AFTER THE REALLY BIG SHOW There were no attendance records found for the Modern Living Exposition for the two years after the breakout 1951 event. In 1953 Laurence H. Mills assumed the CMHBA presidency, taking over from Mahoney who was serving his second term, having stepped aside for a single year, handing the reigns to A.O. Aldrich for a term. In 1954 the Expo reported a gate of 289,000 – more than the banner 1951 record and opened its doors for an extra day – more than likely just to handle the crowds. The Modern Living Exposition grew into a must-see event, too big for its Navy Pier home. The association had to turn away viewers and exhibitors, a fact that frustrated then-president George Arquilla Sr., who led the association in 1954 and 1955. Attendance was 126,974 in 1955. The show was receiving television coverage now, and Arlene Francis broadcast her home show from the Expo on one of the nine days it ran. Irvine A. Blietz became president in 1956 and made

1944

NHBA formed with Chicago being it’s first affiliate. Pearl Harbor. War Housing Board sets quota.

MCHBA is founded with 80 members. War begins in Europe. White Sox win first night game at Comiskey.

14 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

The furniture designers responded, too, complementing the new home style. The Home Furnishings Festival that ran concurrently with the Modern Living Exposition showcased a new look in furniture. It had a lighter feel to it; it was modern. “Early American” or “Cape Cod” were certainly still popular, but consumers looking for something new found it. Gone in this new style were the heavier brocades and tapestries, plump cushions and skirted furniture. Grandfather clocks were out – sunbursts were in. Pendants replaced chandeliers and table lamps. Coffee tables looked like boomerangs. Formica™ was introduced in this era – strong and easy to clean. The new look offered was sleeker; it was

minimal and so very 1950s!

1946

John Cummings Lindhop President 1944. Name change to CMHBA.

1943 Joseph E. Merrion President 1942-43

1949

E.C. Mahone President 19 Orchard Plac re-named as

Wrigley building 1st building with A/C. First drive-thru bank opens.

1945 Arthur E. Fossier President 1945-1946 End of WWII.

1947 Nathan Manilow President 1947-1948 CMHBA located at 228 LaSalle The Builders Buildin.g


the decision to move the show to the International Amphitheater. With 100,000 square feet of space available, growing pains were no longer an issue. In 1956 the association offices were located on the second floor at 130 W, Randolph Street. On the first floor at the new location, the association maintained a Modern Living Exhibit, open to the public year-round. The association established an ethics committee to screen new membership applications and interview candidates. The CMHBA worked to create a statewide association, the HBA of Illinois. Each January CMHBA hosted the National Association of Home Builders’ annual convention. Continuing to support Chicago youth, the CMHBA established a scholarship award program for Chicago high schools students. This sub-group guided and mentored the Young Builders Council. The association also established a Home Improvement Contractors Council, knowing that reputable renovators needed a voice, too. In 1957, under the direction of new president Martin Braun, a director who had rallied hard against the building quota imposed by the War Production Board in the early 1940s, signed the resolution to change the association’s name to Home Builders Association of Chicagoland. In 1959 Kimball Hill took the helm to close off the decade. Then, Ralph Finitzo claimed the president’s chair as the association moved into the next decade.

standards were quite high, and that is how the executive aimed to keep it. An applicant would need to prove that he had five years of activity in the homebuilding field, with two of them being a principal. A credit check determined his sustainability. But the key performance indicator came when he faced the ethics committee. Finally, the association’s board would need to unanimously vote in favor of letting him wear the CMHBA Crest. Marketing efforts directed Chicagoans to look for this crest when they searched for a new home, The ads subtly suggested that few buyers were capable of appraising construction themselves, that the association and its strict membership guidelines offered the reassurance and comfort consumers needed in order to make this very important investment. Toward the end of the 1960s, the association published the HBAC Guide to Quality Homes and analyzed it’s membership to define the “modern builder” and listed the many attributes of the typical member homebuilder in Chicagoland. The checklist seems quaint in today’s world, but it was state-of-the-art in the 1960s. Contributed by Wendy Pasher Higgins for Brandit360

1950 A.O. Aldrich President 1950. Remote control invented.

• He is the head of a larger than average family, members of which have had experience in the building business. • He is a real family man and can’t resist naming streets in his subdivision for his children. Thus, he understands families and builds with their interests in his mind. • He is a rugged individualist, an outstanding product of the free enterprise economy in which he has risen. He’s a one-man show, although he has many experts around him. • His land acquisitions for future home sites necessarily make him a gambler. His design and construction problems qualify him as a production expert.

1958

George Arquilla, Sr. President 1954-1955 Ray Kroc opens first McDonalds 1955 Desplaines IL

Lawrence H. Mills President 1953 Hefner starts Playboy. Cubs sign Ernie Banks.

• The builder began building homes about 20 years ago. Before that he was a workman in one of the building trades, or a real estate salesman, learning the business from the ground up.

• There are only a handful of women builders in the Chicago area, but some are highly successful.

1954

1953

• He is in his late 40s.

• He goes along daily fighting inflated costs and putting up as much house as possible.

And, the association was on the radar of all the builders who were not members. They may have wanted to join, but it was not as easy as paying annual dues. The

E.C. Mahoney President 1951-1952 Membership hits 1,200. “Breakout”Modern Living expo Navy Pier.

“WHAT KIND OF MAN IS THE MODERN HOMEBUILDER?”

• He has pride in what he builds, whether it be in the luxury or low cost market. He searches constantly for things to increase the quality of his homes without driving the price too high.

Firmly established as an association to be reckoned with, by 1960 the HBA of Chicagoland was a brand recognized by consumers, suppliers, various levels of government, real estate professionals and designers. Membership was at 1,200.

ey 949 ce s O’Hare.

1959

• His merchandising efforts frequently draw the admiration of retailing giants. Yet, he is a small business man who does most of the work by himself.

HERE COME THE SIXTIES

1951

In

The Home Builders Association of Chicagoland analyzed its membership to get a picture of the typical homebuilder. They asked,

1960

Martin H. Braun President 1957-1958. Name change to HBAC. Last street car run.

1956 Irvin Bleitz President 1956

Ralph Finitzo President 1960

1959 Kimball Hill President 1959. “Second City” founded in former Chinese laundry.


EDUCATION EVENTS

NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES MARKET

16 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM


OUTINGS AWARDS

TING RESOURCES BENEFITS SUPPORT


MEMORABLE MOMENTS Well, back in early 90’s we had many forests and lumber mills being shut down by our tree huggers due to protection of the spotted owl.

So, we at the McHenry County Builders Association scheduled a general membership informational meeting with a expert speaker on lumber, mills, forests and lumber companies. I gave him the podium and he had a few too many pre-speaking sodas, ha, before he spoke. He proceeded to go on and on and then starts ranting that we should just shoot/kill those damn spotted owls.

“It was hot out that day. Really hot. Nearly 100 degrees. And really, really humid. The kind of day you hear grisly ‘old-people-dying-in-their homes’ stories about on the local news. It had been that way all weekend, with no relief in sight.

Well, the majority of our attendees probably agreed with him but I knew we had two reporters in the crowd and this was not turning out well - our staff was begging me to get him to stop or shut up. Hand signals, passing me notes, etc. So I actually walked up to the podium and started to thank him and he didn’t get it and kept ranting.

And my AC unit decided it had led a nice life, but enough was enough. Kaput. Finito. The situation required an HVAC resolution immediately. As in “Stat!” But the chances of finding an available AC guy that day was a pipe dream at best.

Finally I had to literally push him away from the podium by thanking everyone and him and saying, which it wasn’t, “the bars now open!!” Ugh, what a night at Colemans restaurant in McHenry.

But lo, I had an ace up my sleeve. HBAGC. Years of active involvement in the Association means you’re never more than a call or two away from anything you need.

Oh, and did I forget to mention it was a Sunday, July 4?

One quick call to my buds Scott Sevon & Mike Nagel. “We’ll call you right back.” They did. And an hour later I had an HVAC guy on my roof and the problem solved. On a sweltering Sunday afternoon on a July 4 weekend.

Scott Sevon

The power of HBAGC!”

MAW CHICAGO

Ed Hoffman CASTLEWOOD HOMES

18 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM


You don’t have to brag when

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The first person to post the answer to this hidden question, “Who was the Executive Vice President of our Home Builders Association in 1951?” on HBAGC’s Facebook page wins a $25 gas card. Post MUST include hashtag #GreaterChicagoBuildingNews Hidden Question Contest and your answer.

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ORGANIZATION MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK BY SHARON BROWN, ASID, NCIDQ

T

he first measure of any home improvement project is how much it enhances your enjoyment of your home. Were the changes you made necessary or simply desirable? So often, large projects like kitchen and bathroom remodels are really necessary to the way we live today. The conveniences provided by modern appliances, balanced against incredibly busy schedules, jobs and /or retirement activities, can make such a huge improvement in our quality of life. When you combine quality amenities with good design and thoughtful layout, you should realize functional work spaces that are also aesthetically pleasing. The second measure of a successful home improvement is in estimating how much of the costs incurred can be recouped in the sale of the home. Approximately 60-80% of the costs of an average kitchen or bath remodel will usually be realized in the sale price of your home. The third measure is whether the project will improve the marketability of the house. In this 20 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

competitive market, well done kitchens and bathrooms are foregone conclusions! So what other home improvements should you consider to make your home more attractive to buyers? Well planned and executed storage systems rank above all else when it comes to the three measurements used above to evaluate projects. Savvy builders are starting to look to the experts in terms of organization systems, not only for closets and pantries but for a myriad of other areas of the home. Some examples are: dining room china cabinets, breakfast room cupboards and mud rooms. Craft rooms and art studios, home office/guest rooms (with wall beds!) are also very popular. Added to the list are linen closets, laundry centers and gift wrapping centers. And let’s not forget the garage, where the possibilities are endless! Whether it’s for a workshop, a work-out space or a ‘Mancave’ for watching the game with the guys, improving your garage adds usable, finished square footage to your home. Include a clean epoxy floor and storage cabinets to store seldom used items and you’ve

added exceptional value to your home. Measurement #1; having a place to put everything definitely improves your enjoyment of your home. Measurement #2; many realtors estimate the costs of storage solutions are recouped at 200-300%! Prospective buyers really love to see systems in place that address storage. Measurement #3; homes that have storage solutions already in place sell 3 times faster than comparable homes without them! All things considered, you really do get much more ‘Bang for your Buck’ from well designed and executed storage systems than any other home improvement! Sharon Brown, ASID, NCIDQ, is a certified professional Interior Designer and Space Planner. She designs storage solutions for Tailored Living .


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P E E R I N G I NTO TH E W I N DOWS AT M A RVI N W E FI N D

A NATU RAL BOR N R E M O DE LE R SCOTT WALBRIDGE REMODELER’S COUNCIL PRESIDENT By: Chantel Beauregard - Brandit 360

B

orn on Cinco de Mayo, Scott Walbridge, president of the HBAGC Remodelers Council gets excited as the month of May comes around. But this is not the only reason for his excitement.

May is the month the NAHB celebrates the remodeling industry with National Home Remodeling Month. During this year’s National Home Remodeling Month, NAHB remodelers launched an annual campaign focused on promoting the benefits of hiring professional remodelers for home improvements. This type of industry promotion is what Scott Walbridge hopes to accomplish during his presidency of the HBAGC Remodelers’ Council Walbridge gravitated toward remodeling and renovation early in life as he helped his father and grandfather make household improvements, renovations and repairs. Walbridge likes to say he had sawdust in his veins long before starting work in the building industry. He started his career in the late 1980s when he was hired by a major manufacturer of skylights. Then in the 1990s he moved to Marvin Windows and Doors. During one of the first years in his career, while looking through a major trade magazine, Walbridge noticed an article about a local remodeler who was working on a renovation project. He called him and scheduled an appointment. It was from that meeting that Walbridge learned a lot about remodelers, how they do business, what their struggles are and what they need from their suppliers. Twentyfive years later Walbridge still has a strong business and personal friendship with that featured remodeler. This relationship and many others Walbridge developed with remodelers led him to become involved with HBAGC and another remodeling trade association. The stronger his relationships became and the more knowledge he gained about the remodeling industry, the more he wanted to give back to the trade associations. Eighteen months ago this led him to take an active leadership

22 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

role with HBAGC remodelers as the president of their council. “It has been my goal to help bring credibility and a better image to remodeling companies that do business professionally, ethically, legally and that follow all building requirements,” said Walbridge Walbridge’s employer, Marvin Windows and Doors, has a strong market focus on remodeling and renovation, both historically and for the future. Overall Marvin brand and its related Integrity brand support the remodeling industry by providing a wide variety of options, styles and finishes to meet any design aesthetic and any project need. These include both replacement/insert window options, as well as Marvin’s ability to match or recreate windows in historic projects. Whether Marvin and Integrity are replacing an old window to make it more efficient or re-imagining the current space with a new configuration of doors and windows, together both brands have the products and solutions available to help realize the vision of remodelers and homeowners. Walbridge contends that remodeling contractors continually tell him how Marvin has the best product options, solutions and service in the industry. The remodeling segment will continue to be a bigger focus as the United States housing stock ages. Statistics show that Baby Boomers are deciding to stay in their homes longer, which means they will remodel not only to update, but also to make their homes more universally designed. Moreover, there will always be a need to replace windows to improve overall efficiency and comfort in existing homes and to enhance their overall aesthetics. Walbridge contends National Home Remodeling Month should extend into a year-long event, as he reminds his council members to step up efforts to promote their businesses and the Remodelers Council, and to celebrate all things remodeling.


Scott is a Chicago native and enjoys Chicagoland and all of its opportunity with his wife and two children. Looking forward, Scott is making a career move to Alexander Lumber Company as the new Window Program Manager. No doubt, there will always be a “window� of opportunity for Scott in the remodeling industry.

BY CHANTEL BEAUREGARD, BRANDIT 360


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S:8”

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Private-offer amount varies by model. Up to $500 offer for retail deliveries and up to $1,000 offer for fleet deliveries. Valid toward the purchase or lease of eligible 2014 and 2015 model-year vehicles. Customer must take delivery by 1/4/16. Not compatible with other private offers. Not valid on prior purchases. Compatible with many current incentives. Incentives are subject to change without notice. Excludes Buick Regal (2014); Chevrolet Corvette (2014), Sonic, Spark, SS, Volt; all Cadillac models. FAN required. See dealer for complete details. 2Offer eligible for non-CAP customers only through 12/31/15. See dealer for details. 3 To qualify, vehicle must be used in the day-to-day operations of your business and not solely for personal/non-business-related transportation purposes. Must provide proof of business. For complete program requirements, including information regarding offers, vehicles, equipment, options, warranties, and ordering, consult your dealer or visit gmbusinesschoice.com. Take delivery by 9/30/15. 4Not valid with all offers. See dealer for details. Take delivery by 9/30/15. Amounts include parts and labor. 5On select models starting with 2014. Eligible vehicles include purchased or leased new 2014 Chevrolet, Buick, or GMC cars, trucks, or crossovers in the U.S. Covers scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations, and 27-point inspections, according to your new vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule, for a maximum of four service events within 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Extra charge may apply for dual-rear-wheel tire rotations. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details. ©2015 General Motors. All rights reserved. 1

26 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

S:10”

1,000 +

$

Up to


PEOPLE

& PROJECTS

28 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

Update from our Oak Park whole house remodel. We are in the final weeks of production and this young, growing family will soon be moving in! The home is now equipped with all new windows and mechanicals. Cabinet installation is underway in the kitchen addition, which is now enclosed and the entire upstairs has been successfully reconfigured. This treasured lot and house so full of potential, is genuinely becoming the home of this young family’s dreams. We’re busy tying up all the loose ends and putting on those finishing touches as our completion date draws near. Can’t wait for you to see the final product of many hours of labor and love.


We were recently featured on Windy City Live this past December for a holiday special. Finishing Amanda’s bathroom free-ofcharge is a way 123 Remodeling is giving back to the community. Windy City Live contacted 123 Remodeling for the opportunity to work on this project in November. Amanda’s best friend, Kelly, wrote a letter to Windy City Live about what had taken place in Amanda’s life. Kelly asked to help Amanda and give her a holiday surprise to end a grim year on an up note. The producer of Windy City Live contacted our Operations Manager, Ariel Darmoni, and told Amanda’s heartbreaking story. We were touched and jumped at the opportunity to help out.

Nate Rhinehart has joined HBAGC, as the newest member of the Hoodle team. As Chicago Area Sales Manager, Nate is responsible for connecting with the Chicago home building industry, and will be available to assist each of you with building your presence on the Hoodle website. Nate is from Monticello, IL, and has a B.S. in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from SIU Carbondale. He is eager to learn the home construction industry, and is very excited about being a member of HBAGC. Hoodle is a unique website, designed exclusively for connecting home buyers to local builders, subdivisions, and product/service suppliers. Hoodle is endorsed by both HBAI, and HBAGC. Their website is at www.hoodle.net. For further info, connect with Nate at Nate@myhoodle.com.

Amanda and her husband, Craig, had purchased a very old home and started to remodel over a year ago. Unfortunately, before they has a chance to see their dream be realized, a tragic event occurred. They were on their way home from vacation when her husband suffered a heart attack. Amanda is an E.R. Nurse and she did everything possible to help him. Sadly, he passed away from heart disease at the very young age of 29. They had only been married for 16 months. Amanda’s life was shattered yet she continued going to work and help patients. The remodeling project that they had started together wasn’t finished. Amanda continued to decorate her home as a way to work through her sorrow. However, she has not been able to tackle the upstairs bathroom. Amanda and Craig had demolitioned the bathroom in preparation for a remodel, but never had a chance to finish it. The bathroom was in bare-bones non-working condition without any fixtures. On December 8th, 2014, Windy City Live surprised Amanda live on air and told her story. Kelly and over 30 people, friends and family, joined Amanda for the event. Our own President and General Manager, Sharone Lavi, was there to announce that 123 Remodeling would volunteer to complete Amanda’s bathroom. Home Depot donated bathroom fixtures and a $500 gift card. The demolition for this project was already done. However, we had to open up the wall to redo the shower plumbing for the shower head and tub spout. The cement boards were then reinstalled in the wall. The tile on the shower walls was installed and grouted. Shower fixtures were installed. A new toilet was installed next. The plumbing for the vanity sink and faucet was redone and the vanity was moved and installed. The vanity is a re-purposed old chest. Some of the floor tile was redone to install wood trims and some of the wood wall trims were redone. The lighting fixtures were moved and installed. We would like to thank Amanda for the opportunity to work with her and allow us to give back to the community that supports us.


“AFTER 2 ½ YEARS, I STILL FIND LITTLE TOUCHES THAT YOU NEVER FIND IN ANYONE ELSE’S HOME, AND THEY NEVER CEASE TO BRING ENJOYMENT. I’VE NEVER BEEN IN A HOUSE, APARTMENT OR SUITE THAT HAD SUCH OUTSTANDING TOUCHES. THE BEST THING ABOUT OUR BEDROOM IS ALL OF THE THINGS SUCH AS THE HEATED FLOOR, THE LIGHTING AND EVERYTHING ELSE HAS WORKED PERFECTLY.”

CREATING A CLASSIC MASTER SUITE By: Michael A. Menn AIA, CGR, CAPS, CGP Principal, Architect, Michael Menn Ltd.

Challenge A client living in a 17,000 square foot, three-story Georgian home wanted to take several small rooms on the second floor (representing 2,500 square feet) and convert them to a larger, more open and grand Master Suite. The client wanted to replicate the feel of a 17th Century Italian villa. Further, the client wanted this accomplished with minimal disruption, even though the work would be done in the middle of the three floors. And the client had very stringent time and budget requirements.

Meeting the challenge - Process In the design phase, we used our proven, three-step process. We listened. This allowed us to clearly understand the vision. To demonstrate to the client that we understood this vision, we prepared a three-dimensional, computer generated walk through presentation. We designed. Working closely with the interior designer, we created a design based upon that vision. We prepared detailed construction drawings. These were invaluable to us, as we were also responsible for construction. In the construction phase, we used the following process: We created a project plan and time line. We reviewed this with our client, trade-contractors and suppliers to make sure there were no surprises and to address any issues up front. The planning phase allowed us to present to the client our idea to build a temporary staircase at the rear of the property. This allowed us to minimize internal disruption to the client. We executed the project. We communicated with the client on a daily basis to provide updates and address any issues. We cleaned up every day to minimize disruption.

Meeting the Challenge - Solution The design called for taking the existing Master Bedroom and Bath, 30 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

Closets, an adjacent Bedroom and Bath, and an attached Greenhouse, and converting the space into a larger, more open Master Suite including a Master Bedroom and Bath, a Dressing Room, and Sun room. This involved moving structural walls, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical piping without disturbing the finished spaces above and below the project area.

Creating A 17th Century Italian Villa Designed a unique Rotunda as the entrance way to the Master Suite, featuring curved walls and a domed ceiling. Rotunda includes a light cove that washes the ceiling with six colors using a custom color wheel and fiber optic lighting. Rotunda walls contain four recessed, illuminated glass display cases that house the client’s unique collection of jeweled handbags Installed stone floors with a mosaic “Greek-Key” border in the Master Bedroom, a “wave” mosaic border in the Dressing Room, and mosaic tile with a medallion inlay in the Rotunda area.

Adding Modern Amenities • • •

Installed in-floor, zoned radiant heating throughout the space. Constructed special spaces behind the millwork that surrounds the fireplace to house two televisions that can be hidden behind mirrored doors and rise via special hydraulic lifts. Designed and installed a sophisticated lighting system including recessed can lighting for general lighting, direction lighting to highlight the client’s numerous works of art, and lighting above the bed for reading.

Results • •

Project was concluded on time and on budget. Client was thrilled with the results, and has referred us to other clients.

“After 2 ½ years, I still find little touches that you never find in anyone else’s home, and they never cease to bring enjoyment. I’ve never been in a house, apartment or suite that had such outstanding touches. The best thing about our bedroom is all of the things such as the heated floor, the lighting and everything else has worked perfectly.”


HEALTH & WELLNESS FOR PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

E

volutionary Home Builders, a national award winning, Chicago-based home builder, and an active member of HBAGC, recently announced a new program for professional athletes, known as Evolutionary Pro Homes. The program is geared towards professional athletes looking for a high-performance home to parallel their highperformance lifestyle. Health is of the utmost importance to athlete’s looking to stay relevant and build a long-lasting career. As a former professional athlete, Founder/Principal of Evolutionary Home Builders Brandon Weiss understands the demand for athletes to maintain their health and will promise a money-back guarantee to measure an individual athlete’s health and endurance. “We know that our Evolutionary Pro Homes program can not guarantee athletes more points, yards, goals or improved statistics,” notes Weiss. “What we can promise is an environment that promotes restoration, relaxation and overall well-being to yield a higher performing, healthier body.”

Evolutionary Home Builders founder, Brandon Weiss, embraces and applies efficiencydriven, healthy home strategies, which can be seen through the knowledgeable and timely solutions provided throughout the duration of the building process.

The program will feature: • Custom lighting programmed to human circadian rhythms • Red List Free (toxin free) building materials • Holistic, whole house air quality delivery system • Comfort and health optimized water delivery system • Reduced electromagnetic frequency programming

In recent years, EHB witnessed a direct correlation between medical advances in health and homes and collected extensive research via indoor air quality testing on its innovative green homes. The firm also gained insight from the International Well Building Institute (IWBI) and Delos® Labs, which recently released a new standard focused on the human health and wellness of buildings, certified under the WELL Building Standard. IWBI marks the first collaboration between the building and medical industries, in coordination with the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, to release a medically researched building certification.

The idea to launch a sustainable housing program designed for athletes came as a result of Weiss’ past as a professional athlete paired with the firm’s first-hand experience in sustainable building.

Additionally, Weiss witnessed a shift in athletes looking for medical and technological solutions to optimize health and wellness and increase their performance, with athletes taking drastic

To validate the home’s performance, all sourced building materials will be toxin free and occupy the highest levels of building science.

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HOMES measures such as hyperbaric chamber treatments to maintain their competitive edge. Evolutionary Pro Homes provides a proactive approach to safeguard a lasting career by ensuring that athletes’ cardiac health, respiratory health, cognitive function, blood oxygen levels, stress levels and sleep patterns are in peak condition. Evolutionary Home Builders is licensed in several states and has an unmatched list of certifications in the fields of health, sustainability, energy efficiency, and building science –including becoming certified as a WELL Accredited Professional (AP) through the International Well Building Institute.

Evolutionary Home Builders (EHB) is a Chicago-based home builder and general contractor delivering highest-quality residential projects that are environmentally sound, measurably healthier, and aesthetically pleasing. Evolutionary Home Builders strives to exceed expectations while simultaneously keeping each client educated and informed about their construction and remodeling process. EHB is a proud member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago. EHB applies quality control through extensive performance, health, and building science testing to ensure all projects are third party certified.

Please visit (http://evolutionaryhomebuilders.com/) for more information. By: Brandon Weiss, Founder/Principal of Evolutionary Home Builders


A KITCHEN FOR THE PASSIO

Challenge

In the construction phase, we used the following process:

The clients – an empty nester couple – decided they did not want to move from the home they loved, but understood this meant updating their Kitchen. In addition to upgrading both the form and functionality, this project presented additional challenges associated with remodeling an older home.

Meeting the Challenge – Process

In the design phase, we used our proven, three-step process:

Meeting the Challenge – Solution

We listened. This allowed us to clearly understand the vision and what the clients liked and did not like. For example: Both spouses were passionate about cooking, but insisted on their own spaces for prep and cooking. While the clients enjoyed entertaining friends and family, they preferred not to entertain in the Kitchen. The clients desired a Tuscan feel to the Kitchen. We designed. Working closely with the Kitchen designer, we created a design based upon the client’s vision. This design included flooring, cabinetry, countertops, backsplash, lighting, plumbing, electrical and hardware. We prepared detailed construction drawings. These were invaluable to us, as we were also responsible for construction.

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• •

We created a project plan and time line. We reviewed this with our client, trade-contractors and suppliers to make sure there were no surprises and to address any issues up front. We executed the project. We communicated with the clients and the designer on a daily basis to provide updates and address any issues. We cleaned up every day to minimize disruption.

Function • Broke down walls to create a more open feel to the Kitchen. • Installed two ovens – one for “him” and one for “her” in different areas of the Kitchen. • Doubled the size of the island and installed a second sink for “her”. • Installed a very large (40”) sink ideal for food prep for “him”. • Installed two pop up shelves for mix masters and a pot rack which is a focal point of the Kitchen • Designed a bar height table for the couple to use when eating in the Kitchen • Built a butler’s pantry and a work pantry • Put in new doors and windows, including a full height glass door (so the dog could look into the back yard) • Utilized sustainable technologies including energy efficient win-


ONATE COOK(S)

dows, appliances and plumbing fixtures Form – Creating a Tuscan Feel • Designed the space to create a light, airy appearance • Installed wood cabinets reflective of the Tuscan style • Constructed a brick arched opening over the cook top • Installed a new wood floor with a Tuscan-oriented tone and color which worked well with the cabinetry • The painting, backsplash material, lighting and fixtures also reflect the Tuscan style, creating a “little Italy” feel to the Kitchen Results In the words of the client:

“His subcontractors all knew what they were doing, and cleaned up daily.”

“Michael was able to do things others told me would be impossible to do.”

“The Kitchen is exactly what I wanted. I am happy every day.”

”He always communicated with me, so I know when people were coming.”

By: Michael A. Menn AIA, CGR, CAPS, CGP Principal, Architect, Michael Menn Ltd.


NEW CONSUMER RESEARCH THAT WILL MAKE YOU OR BREAK YOU Did you know that decisions to purchase a product are made in 7 seconds? Back in 2005, the Wall Street Journal ran a front page article written by Proctor & Gamble. This article stated that “the moment of truth” with a buyer, is the first 3 to 7 seconds when she notices the item. A consumer sees a product, and within 7 seconds will make the emotional decision whether or not to buy. Why do you choose to make a purchase? Is it a promise on the bottle to grow thicker hair, lose weight or gain energy? Perhaps consumers buy because of the sale price, a beautiful yard sign, or pretty packaging. It’s possible that a friend recommended the product or service to a young mother looking for advice. This is marketing, and it is as relevant today as it was in 2005, however…. let’s jump ahead to 2015…

Cindi Rhinehart

Director of Content & Social Media Marketing

Hoodle

Buyers have changed Google recently released a book called “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth.” In it, they asked Shopper Sciences to conduct a comprehensive study on buyer behavior, where they discovered what influences a purchase decision. It turns out that consumers today will seek out 10.4 sources of information before making their choice. They go online and research products, companies and services. Shoppers look at reviews, compare prices, and educate themselves. In fact, they almost always know a lot about you, before you know anything about them. You do this yourself don’t you? Do you remember the last time you decided to buy a car, stay at a hotel, or go out for a nice meal? Surely you did your homework.

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Whether you are a remodeler, home builder,

or providing a product, serious buyers are researching you and your competition. They gather a lot of information before making a decision. Consumers look on Pinterest, hash tag on Twitter, and post questions to their friends on Facebook about your service. Buyers are now armed with knowledge they didn’t have access to years ago. It’s the mom of four who needs an extra room. She looks on the internet for a builder or remodeler to decide the best option for her family. Who will provide her with the best service, the best price or the best answers? According to Google’s research, young mothers spend a lot of time on the Internet searching for this type of information. Do you have a website? Are you taking advantage of social media? The fact of the matter is your competitors are on the web. This is marketing today. Shoppers are online and if they can’t find you, they WILL find your competition. Being present on the web is very time consuming; keeping your website up to date, writing blogs, and posting on social media. However, many companies have embraced this new reality of marketing - they have websites and hire marketers. They also budget for marketing activity. What if you can’t afford a full time marketer, (let alone two or three), and can’t find the time to market yourself? You should continue to provide excellent service. Word of mouth marketing is as important today, as it was yesterday. Not only are people talking about your business around the water cooler, they are also posting comments on Facebook, Yelp or Google reviews.


It’s a Process, not a Project Start small. Begin with learning one social media site at a time. Do you enjoy Facebook? Set up a business page for your company. Post information and ideas relevant to your potential buyers. Recruit your family & friends to help share your posts. Pinterest is an amazing website to post gorgeous pictures of your workmanship. Many people say that Pinterest is a site geared towards women. While this is certainly true, remember - it is the young mother who spends her time surfing the web to find the best products & services for her family.

“YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO PROVIDE

EXCELLENT SERVICE. WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING IS AS IMPORTANT TODAY, AS IT WAS YESTERDAY.”

There is also a new website for the home building industry called Hoodle, which allows builders and developers to create their own marketing presence online. It’s as simple to use as Facebook. Hoodle is already connecting home buyers with builders and residential developers. This will only continue to grow as Hoodle gains momentum throughout the Chicago market, and soon across the US. Imagine having your gorgeous homes and neighborhoods viewed by potential home buyers 24/7. Later this year, Hoodle will also offer pages for remodelers, and product/ service suppliers. Until then, you might be interested in placing an ad on Hoodle that links directly to your website. If you don’t have a website, Hoodle provides a great starting point for marketing yourself online. The important thing to remember is this - consumers are online seeking information about you and your business. The question is - will they find you there? Have questions about starting or growing your web presence? Feel free to contact me at cindi@myhoodle.com.

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Learn more at www.emeraldhomes.com All prices, included features, incentives, availability and delivery dates are subject to change without notice. Elevations will vary. All measurements are approximate.


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mproving America’s Housing is prepared biennially by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Since 1999, these in-depth reports have served as an essential resource for policy makers and practitioners serving the remodeling industry. The latest edition, Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market, examines key industry segments that will support further growth in the years ahead.

THE U.S. REMODELING INDUSTRY HAS OUTPACED THE BROADER HOUSING RECOVERY • In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the U.S. home improvement and repair industry has fared much better than the broader housing market. By 2013, the remodeling industry was back near $300 billion and could easily post record-level spending in 2015 (see infographic). • With the economy strengthening and house prices recovering, spending on discretionary home improvements—kitchen and bath remodeling, room additions and outside attachments such as porches and decks—rose by almost $6 billion between 2011 and 2013. Even more significantly, the share of spending on these discretionary projects increased for the first time since before the housing crash. • Several opportunities exist for further growth in the remodeling industry including aging in place retrofits, energy efficient and other sustainable improvements, re-investment in the rental stock, and new demand for DIY projects from the burgeoning and diverse millennial generation.

THE IMPACT OF BABY BOOMERS AND MILLENNIALS • As baby boomers move into their retirement years, they remain very active in the home improvement market, accounting for almost half of all spending in 2013. • The share of improvement spending by homeowners age 65 and over has increased dramatically in recent years, rising from 13 percent in 2005 to 23 percent in 2013. While the increase in older owners was the source of some of this growth, most of it came from increases in per-owner spending. • Over half of lowest-income homeowners made one or more home improvements in 2012–13, spending a much higher share of their incomes (4.4 percent) compared to highestincome owners (1.5 percent). • Although off to a slow and challenging start, millennials are expected to eventually engage in the homeowner improvement market as fully as prior generations. Until then, their growing presence in the rental market is encouraging property owners to invest in updating units; the rental improvement and repair market was $54 billion in 2013. • The eventual engagement of the more racially and ethnically diverse millennial generation (40 percent minority households) is expected to give a boost to the DIY market since Hispanic, Asian, and multiracial owners especially devote more of their budgets (over 26 percent) to DIY compared to white owners (under 22 percent).

HOW REMODELING COMPANIES AND THEIR LABOR FORCE HAVE CHANGED • Growth in the number of general remodeling firms with payrolls has accelerated each year since the market bottom, and at 83,000 firms in 2014, the industry has now recovered half of the firms lost during the downturn.

• Larger remodeling contractors reported revenue growth three times that of the industry average in 2013. • Recent revenue growth at larger remodeling companies was even stronger than during the housing boom, with revenues growing on average 5.2 percent annually in 2010–13 compared to 4.6 percent annually in 2004–07. • With the recovery in the discretionary market, design/build firms that focus on larger remodels and additions are seeing strong revenue gains. • Although the remodeling industry remains fragmented, specialty replacement remodelers focusing on roofing, siding, windows, painting, etc. have been particularly successful at achieving economies of scale, with their shorter job cylces and greater operational efficiencies. • The construction labor force is significantly older with 16 percent of workers age 55 and over in 2013 compared to under 9 percent a decade ago. As the market revives, it will be critical for the industry to attract and develop a younger workforce, which will include improving the quantity and quality of trade schools and apprenticeship programs. • Immigrants remain a major source of labor for the construction industry at 28 percent of the workforce compared with less than 17 percent of the national labor force. However, the share of young immigrant workers (under age 35) fell from over 50 percent to 37 percent during the downturn. Future immigration levels will be an important factor in whether the construction industry is able to meet its demand for younger workers.

HOME IMPROVEMENT SPENDING VARIES CONSIDERABLY AROUND THE COUNTRY • During the housing downturn, the sharpest declines in homeowner improvement spending were generally in overbuilt Sunbelt markets that experienced high shares of distressed properties. While slow to rebound, spending in these areas will likely accelerate with continued home price gains. • The Northeast has led the remodeling market recovery, where average per-owner expenditures stand at $3,300, or nearly 90 percent of the pre-recession peak compared to $2,600 in the West, which is more than 40 percent below peak. Average per-owner spending in the South and Midwest is lower at just over $2,300, or about 80 percent of prerecession peaks. • Owners in the 50 largest metros spent an average of $3,000 on home improvements in 2013, although outlays in specific markets ranged from less than $2,000 to nearly $5,000. Spending was typically higher on the coasts, where higher home values and incomes encouraged more reinvestment in housing (see interactive map). • The New York metro area was the largest remodeling market with over $12 billion in expenditures. Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia were next, with spending that ranged from $4 billion to $7 billion. • Households under 35 contribute larger shares of improvement spending in metros with lower house prices, where they are more able to afford homeownership. • Metro markets with the largest shares of improvement spending by homeowners 65 and over are concentrated mainly in the South Atlantic and Southwest regions. • Per-owner spending on energy-related improvements was highest in the Northeast, at $1,000, though several metros in the Midwest and


West also posted higher than average spending. • Capital investment in rental properties increased in nearly all regions of the country in 2013. Top markets for rental improvement spending include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Minneapolis, and Denver, where annual expenditures to professionally managed properties averaged $1,200 or more per unit over 2012-13, compared to $900 nationally.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR FUTURE GROWTH IN REMODELING • The aging population presents a key opportunity for further growth in home improvement spending. Most homes owned by those age 55 and over lack key features that promote accessibility. • A large mismatch exists between where aging households live (with slightly higher concentrations in Frostbelt states) and where more accessible homes exist (in the Sunbelt). Even if every new home projected to be built over the coming decade in the Northeast and Midwest had basic accessibility features, the shortfall between supply and demand would still be almost a million homes. • By 2025, the millennial generation is expected to be almost 7 percent larger than the baby-boom generation at comparable ages, and the impending influx of younger homeowners is likely to reverse the long-term slide in the DIY market. In 2013, owners under 35 put a third of their improvement spending into DIY projects—almost twice the share among all owners.

• Sustainable home improvement projects are on the upswing, generating about 30 percent of revenue at full-service remodeling firms. Around 20 percent of homeowners reporting improvement spending in 2012 or 2013 indicated that at least one of their projects was for energy efficiency purposes. • The growing involvement of younger households in the home improvement market also holds out promise that sustainable home improvements will continue to be one of the fastest growing market segments. • Spending on projects related to healthy homes and indoor air quality is increasing. Almost a quarter of homeowners indicate some degree of concern about the health impacts of their homes, and one in 20 expressed major or moderate concern over whether their homes negatively affected the health of household members. Renters are even more apprehensive, with over a third conveying some level of concern. • Capital investment in the aging rental stock is finally on the rebound owing to soaring demand for rental units. Capital improvements amounted to $31 billion in 2013, and maintenance and repairs an additional $23 billion. • 3.6 million single-family homes were added to the rental stock from 2006 to 2013 and many of these homes were likely undermaintained as a result of the foreclosure crisis, suggesting another round of rental improvement spending is likely to come.

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies advances understanding of housing issues and informs policy. Through its research, education, and public outreach programs, the center helps leaders in government, business, and the civic sectors make decisions that effectively address the needs of cities and communities. Through graduate and executive courses, as well as fellowships and internship opportunities, the Joint Center also trains and inspires the next generation of housing leaders. www.jchs.harvard.edu

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REMODELING BY THE NUMBERS

SMART HOME RENOVATIONS THAT INCREASE CURB APPEAL, VALUE AND COMFORT

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new online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CertainTeed, among over 2,000 U.S. adults, shines new light on which priorities are top of mind—and where homeowners may need guidance— when taking on home improvement projects. CertainTeed, North America’s leading brand of innovative and sustainable building products, shares these findings along with recommendations for smart home remodeling this spring.

U.S. adults who own a house consider several factors when planning an exterior home remodel, with curb appeal, return on investment and outdoor living and lifestyle considerations being top priorities. Based on the March 2015 study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CertainTeed, when asked which one factor is most important to U.S. adults who own a house when considering an exterior home improvement project, 39 percent cited curb appeal, 26 percent cited return on investment, and 21 percent noted impact on outdoor living and lifestyle considerations. Better insulation, cool roofing, solar panels, geothermal heating/cooling solutions and low maintenance vinyl siding, decking and railing are just a few home investments that can help meet these project priorities — for enviable curb appeal, return on investment and impact on lifestyle. “In home design, there is an increased interest in individualization and creativity — true for both interior and exterior design,” said Mike Loughery, CertainTeed director of corporate marketing communications. “We’ve found that homeowners want healthy, energy efficient homes that offer complete comfort and curb appeal, but don’t always know the best way to start.” Ultimately, the study showed 40 percent of U.S. adults who own a house say they understand colors but are not exactly sure which direction they would want to go when selecting a new exterior color for their home. Furthermore, 11 percent said they are “clueless” about colors and wouldn’t know where to begin. “While consumers want their homes to stand out, it’s important to seek colors that will be appealing year after year,” said Loughery. Visualizing a project prior to investing in home renovation is easy with resources such as ColorView, ColorCoach and CurbAppeal, located at www. CertainTeed.com/DesignCenter. “Connecting the indoors to the outdoors continues to be popular, as well,”

added Loughery. “Homeowners and potential buyers are considering patios, gazebos and outdoor kitchens as an extension of living space.” Considering the financial impact of a home remodeling project, kitchen remodels, additions and exterior projects provide a strong return on investment according to the “2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value” report released this year by Remodeling and Realtor magazines. “Comfort is key now more than ever,” said Loughery. “The growing boomer population has led to increased home renovations tied to aging in place. And it’s not just our population that is aging — according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 41 percent of the nation’s homes were built in 1969 or earlier. That’s why we strive to supply sustainable, groundbreaking products that significantly impact long-term energy efficiency, comfort and indoor air quality.” According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the average American spends 90 percent of time indoors, yet many do not realize air pollutants such as new furniture, paint, carpeting and even air fresheners can be damaging to their health. One way homeowners can combat this is with AirRenew® Essential, a unique drywall that proactively absorbs formaldehyde and converts it into safe, inert compounds. The survey also found that one in five (19 percent) U.S. adults who own a house say they would give little to no consideration to insulation if planning a kitchen remodel or home addition. Insulation, however, can significantly help improve air quality in the home. For example, SMARTBATT™ with MoistureSense™ Technology is a fiberglass batt insulation that contributes to healthier homes by intelligently managing moisture — helping reduce susceptibility to mold and mildew growth. Furthermore, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association says spending $1 on insulation will save $12 in energy costs. Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of CertainTeed from March 10-12, 2015 among 2,014 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,134 own a house. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Victoria Gallagher at (610) 341-7944.


6 WAYS CHICAGO’S NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING REQUIREMENTS WILL AFFECT DEVELOPMENT

ALAN D. LEV, PRESIDENT OF BELGRAVIA GROUP, LTD, WAS A MEMBER OF THE MAYOR’S TASK FORCE ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AND LED THE ARO ADVOCACY WORKING GROUP FOR THE HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF GREATER CHICAGO.

by Alan D. Lev

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he city of Chicago recently enacted new changes to the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO), which impacts multifamily residential developments that have 10 or more new units and also require rezoning, city land, downtown planned developments or city financial assistance. Under the original ARO, such projects had to set aside 10 percent of units at affordable market rates, or pay an “in lieu” fee per required unit. Projects utilizing city financial assistance must include 20 percent ARO units or pay the “in lieu” fee. So if a newly built 500-unit apartment building met those requirement, for instance, it would either set aside 50 units at affordable rates or pay the “in lieu” fee for each of those 50 unites. There are two key changes in the new ARO. First, it creates a “Zone Map” with three zones, and an “in lieu” fee schedule to match. Zones are: low-to-moderate income, higher income and downtown “D” zoning. Fees are assessed according to project location. Proposed maps are currently under review and will be finalized this summer. The new ARO requirements will affect those zones in different ways. Below is a chart examining how the new structure will function:

The second change is a requirement that projects MUST include 25 percent of the required ARO units in the building, regardless of “in lieu” fees paid for the other units. For the 10 percent level, this means 2.5 percent of total units on-site must be affordable. As an incentive to create more ARO units at less cost, in some cases developers have the option to create inclusionary units “off-site” in a “Linked Development.” Developers must invest an equivalent of the required in-lieu fee in off-site units. Off-site units can be new construction, rehabilitation or conversion of existing units. Also, off-site units must be located within two miles of a project in a higher income or downtown zone. One exception is that downtown for-sale buildings can build off-site anywhere in city. This will this change development in Chicago in six different ways: 1. More Economic Analysis – Project economics must be carefully evaluated on how ARO fees and requirements will impact overall returns. Land prices will inevitably have to cover the increased cost of the ARO. As a result, fewer projects may get built, and the city may lose new development. 2. Less Rezoning – Developers will seek “as of right” zoned properties to avoid triggering ARO requirements. The city may miss opportunities for new growth, fees won’t be paid and affordable units won’t be built on those projects. 3. Downsizing – Developers may build smaller projects (less than 10 units) to lessen negative economic impact. 4. Linked Development – Finding affordable off-site locations for ARO required units will be critical to project viability. This one incentive could become the best tool for creating new affordable housing units in city. 5. Look Outside Chicago for New Projects – If the new ARO requirements become too challenging, developers will look outside Chicago’s city limits, or even to other markets, to find opportunities with better economic returns. 6. Don’t Seek City Financial Assistance – Obtaining financial assistance, such as TIF, increases the ARO requirement to 20 percent. As a result, fewer projects may get built in areas needing new development. The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago has been actively involved in the ARO process and will continue to monitor the implementation of the new ordinance to help protect the interests of the Chicago multifamily residential building industry. The new ARO requirements take effect Oct. 12, 2015. Projects filing ordinances for rezoning downtown planned developments before then are subject to the old ordinance. Projects filing on or after are governed by the new ordinance.

*If ARO units leased or sold to the CHA or an “authorized agency,” fee is reduced by $25,000 per unit.

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Originally published in Chicago Agent Magazine June 3, 2015 - See more at: http://chicagoagentmagazine.com/6-ways-chicagos-new-affordable-housing-requirements-will-affectdevelopment/#sthash.UKWdpfUt.dpuf


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A PROPER TERMINATION POLICY WILL SAVE YOUR COMPANY TIME AND MONEY, AND PREVENT ANY FURTHER DISRUPTION OF YOUR BUSINESS

I

t is always difficult to terminate an employee, especially when the employee has been part of the company for a long time. However, as every owner knows, terminating an employee is just one of many unpleasant issues that are required to run a small business. Accordingly, an owner or the company’s human resource representative should pay special consideration in terminating an employee and confirm that the applicable laws and company’s policies are being followed. First, the company should have a written employment manual explaining what is to be expected by the employee and what are the repercussions for not meeting those expectations. The manual should provide the specific steps that will be instituted when the employee fails to comply with the company’s policies. For example, the employment manual should provide an example of an “Employee Disciplinary Form” to be completed by the company when the employee is in violation of the company’s policies and put in the employee’s personnel file; and the number and types of infractions that will be allowed before termination. At the very least, the company should have a job description for each category of employee to demonstrate that there are objective and definable standards that must be met to maintain the employment. Moreover, the company should confirm that all of the proper employment materials are posted in the workplace. Second, as part of the written employment manual, the company should explain the process of terminating an employee and the forms that should be completed in the process. This may prevent the emotional process of termination from being inflamed and causing the company’s representative from making any statements that would later be regretted, and more importantly, be used as a basis for a wrongful termination suit. The company’s policy should include stating the reason why the employee is being terminated

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and a summary of any previous warning (whether oral or written, signed or unsigned). Most importantly, the employee should be required to sign a Release of Claims Form before obtaining any type of severance. In that regard, pursuant to Illinois Law, the employee is entitled to wages for the time worked. Furthermore, if the company provided the employee with health insurance, then there should be an explanation of the COBRA process. Third, a company should consider obtaining liability insurance that covers an employee’s wrongful termination claim. The company should perform a cost-benefit analysis in determining whether to obtain liability insurance, since the insurance could be costly, depending upon the deductible and coverage limitations. In any event, the insurance policy should provide that the company has the right to select the attorney for defending a wrongful termination case, the company’s consent is required before settling and that the deductible is per-claim, not per-claimant, in case one employee/ claimant has more than one claim. The latter is important because one claimant, or former employee, may have multiple claims against the employer based upon a wrongful termination. Fourth, if an employee has filed or an incident has occurred which may result in a worker’s compensation claim, an employment discrimination claim or a claim pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act, then the company must take extra precautions. The company must specifically document the incident(s) which is resulting in the termination. The documentation should include any correspondence/emails between the employee and company or third party, any previous incidents, the identity and possible statements by any witnesses employed by the company or third-party, and confirm that the reason for the termination is clearly articulated and supported by the documentation.


Finally, despite following all of the laws and your company’s policies, the terminated employee may still file suit. However, by following your company’s written procedures and with the proper documentation in order, defending the suit will be less costly and not as time consuming. For more information, please contact Corey B. Stern at Chitkowski Law Offices at 630-824- 4808 or at cbs@chitkowskilaw.com www.chitkowskilaw.com to HBAGC on Housing Policy issues.


SLOWING GROWTH IN HOME RENOVATIONS SHOULD STABILIZE BY YEAR’S END

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he healthy gains in residential remodeling activity estimated for 2014 and the first part of 2015 are expected to decelerate, but then gain a little more traction by the end of the year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects annual spending for home improvements will increase a more modest 2.9% in 2015.” “One of the largest contributors to this dampening of remodeling growth in 2015 is the sluggish existing home sales activity last year,” says Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center. “Housing turnover typically sparks significant improvement spending as new owners customize their recent purchases to fit their needs and, with sales down last year, remodeling will feel the effects this year.” “Moving forward, signs of higher growth in remodeling activity include strengthening retail sales of building materials,” says Abbe Will, a research ana-

46 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

lyst in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “Also, rising home equity and still favorable interest rates continue to encourage owners to reinvest in their homes.” The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) is designed to estimate national homeowner spending on improvements for the current quarter and subsequent three quarters. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, provides a short-term outlook of homeowner remodeling activity and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement industry. The development of the LIRA is detailed in “Developing a Leading Indicator for the Remodeling Industry” (JCHS Research Note N07-1). In July 2008, the LIRA was re-benchmarked due to changes in the underlying reference series. These changes are explained in “Addendum to Research Note N07-1: Re-Benchmarking the Leading Indicator of

Remodeling Activity” (JCHS Research Note N08-1). The LIRA is released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University in the third week after each quarter’s closing. The next LIRA release date is July 16, 2015. NOTE ON LIRA MODEL: Beginning with the first quarter 2014 release, long-term interest rates were removed from the LIRA estimation model. The Remodeling Futures Program, initiated by the Joint Center for Housing Studies in 1995, is a comprehensive study of the factors influencing the growth and changing characteristics of housing renovation and repair activity in the United States. The Program seeks to produce a better understanding of the home improvement industry and its relationship to the broader residential construction industry.


REALTOR®CORNER SOMETIMES IT TAKES A NUDGE

I

t seems that real estate agents too often need a nudge to sell new construction homes. What can be done to get more Realtors and their clients to buy new homes? In general, Realtors tend not to have new construction homes “top of mind.” New homes are not in the Realtor repertoire; often they are not even in the Multiple Listing Service. It is more likely that a client, rather than the client’s Realtor, brings up new construction. For many Realtors, new construction is a last alternative to finding a client a home. It is essential that Realtors make more of an effort to nudge buyers in the new home direction.

extend this courtesy is a good relationship building block that can blossom into more sales. It’s been suggested by many that HBAGC facilitate avenues for member builders to make Realtors aware of their new home offerings, particularly those houses that are available for immediate occupancy. Helping buyers consider the newly built home takes collaboration between builders and Realtors. It means having awareness, knowledge, frequent promotions, both online and offline, to ultimately help increase the sale of new homes.

By specializing in the new home market niche, Realtors can become more influential and successful. The NAHB offers the Certified New Home Sales Professional (CSP) designation course online. It sheds light on new construction processes and selling strategies. The NAHB provides a plethora of updates about industry standards and green technologies and also holds special events. Having this knowledge empowers the Realtor to speak to the benefits of new builds and to develop better relationships with all homebuilders, big and small. Builders themselves are collaborating more with Realtors to attract more buyers. Nationwide builders take different approaches to help sell their homes. In Texas, for example, builders often give Realtors an incremental commission incentive in an effort to entice them to bring builders more buyers. During a recent visit to Ryan Homes in suburban Plainfield, this Realtor, who recently earned the CSP designation, learned that Ryan Homes offers a three percent commission to selling agents and, as a show of good faith, is allowing Realtors to phone in client registrants if the Realtor is unable to come in person. To

HBAGC Member - Gloria Nowotarski, CSP,GRI, SFR, CNC Broker Associate Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Naperville IL Gloria.now@cbexchange.com Direct: 630-664-6854


MONTHLY

TechTime

COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE JOURNAL OF

Dick’s News & Views INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY

Dick Greenwood Builder-Broker-Explorer Director, Builder Marketing

April 27, 2015

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Three Parkway North, Suite 400 Deerfield, IL 60015

Newsletter Spotlight

630-605-5808 Dick.Greenwood@cbexchange.com

Fireplaces and fire pits are making a huge comeback. “Indoor/Outdoor connectivity by way of a ‘glass wall’ that totally opens is big in all parts of the U.S.—even cold areas.” ~Lita Dirks

Housing Trends & Home Design Secrets From the Experts One nice thing about the International Builder’s Show is all the design seminars that feature many of the top designers and architects from throughout the United States. Here is what some of the speakers talked about: Multi-generational is getting bigger and bigger; at the very least the multiple master suites. Research shows that the boomers love them because they may have to care for an aging adult. The Gen Y buyer looks at them as a nice suite for friends; and the immigrant market love them because in many cultures multi-generational living is the norm.

Spa baths are coming back according to Lita Dirks, internationally known designer. The

down-sizing boomer now has time to take a leisurely bath plus they are of the mindset that they deserve it. A free-standing tub is preferred if you have the space.

We are also seeing what architects refer to as a “return to human space.” Todd Hallett, the Muddy Shoes Architect, says the huge 2-story family room is out—its scale is too big. Most buyers would prefer a ten foot ceiling in the family room and conversion of the bonus space above it to a second family room for the teens, or a large computer room. This added space also allows for a second floor laundry, which is very popular.

Catering to America’s aging population, Mike Hetherman of Ontario's Wills Supply noted

that many older homeowners have trouble with highly reflective surfaces such as highgloss countertops because they cause glare and eye strain. Because of this, matte finishes—which don’t present reflectivity issues—are becoming increasingly popular with aging buyers. Hetherman recommended non-reflective surfaces such as honed granite and tile for countertops or backsplashes. Dirks recommends quartz tops over granite—everyone has granite.

Acoustics are equally important, especially with the popularity of open floor plans which

Buy Now. Buy New.

48 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM Questions? Comments?

can exacerbate sound issues. We have lovely open spaces, but the acoustics are a nightmare, said Hetherman. Manufacturers have addressed the noise issues in the kitchen with quieter appliances and nearly silent hoods. Builders are now using sound-deadening products such as sheathing, ceiling tiles and drywall.

The panelists all said the days of the McMansion are over. Baby boomers are purging their unneeded possessions and are downsizing to a smaller home. At the same time, they don’t mind splurging on meaningful, high-quality finishes and upgrades, says Eric Brown of Santa Ana, California-based William Hezmalhalch Architects. These include premium cabinets, drawers, cased windows, exquisite countertops and snazzy light fixtures. Email me at dick.greenwood@cbexchange.com

or 847–313-6522. If you do not wish to receive any further


Illinois Home Prices & Sales SPRING M

in April

EES STRONG START S A R K ET Statewide Home Sales

Illinois homebuyers are turning out in force Illinois home sales jumped 6.6 percent in April and the state median price was up 9.7 percent versus year-ago numbers. April median prices have consistently increased since 2012, and home sales are also showing progress.

12,850

12,032

12,822

10,122

April 2012

April 2013

April 2014

April 2015

Statewide Home Prices Illinois home prices are about three-quarters of the way back to pre-recession levels when inflation is factored in, according to the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

$135,275

$145K

April 2012

April 2013

$155K

$170K

Find the latest forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats

April 2014

April 2015

Take advantage of the unique opportunities in today’s housing market. Talk to a REALTOR®, the local market expert. Source: IAR Market Stats www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats Powered by 10K Research & Marketing Illinois Association of REALTORS® “The Voice for Real Estate in Illinois” www.illinoisrealtor.org

#IARMarketStats


MEMBER MARKETPLACE

F R O M O N E R E A L E S TAT E FA M I LY T O A N O T H E R - C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S O N 75 YEARS OF BUILDING CHICAGO!

Valerie Campbell Broker

847-917-3482

valerie.campbell@bairdwarner.com Baird & Warner Barrington | 754 West Northwest Highway | 847.381.1855

Complete planning, design and construction for your home.

www.oak-design.com 708.383.2244

Design & Construction Kitchens

50 SPRING 2015 | HBAGC.COM

324 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois 60302-2604 remodel@oak-design.com Bathrooms

Additions

Millwork


Graphics. Print. Web. Social.

JudithNelson

587 Shoreline Road Barrington, Il 60010

847-778-8634

info@brandit360.com brandit360.com

Thomas Drake tdrake@drakegrp.com www.drakegrp.com

1967 Johns Drive Glenview, IL 60025 O 847-729-7700 M 773-406-5799

J A N S ••• B O B A K

MATTHIAS JANS ARCHITECT MATTHIAS A. JANS, JR.

602 ACADEMY DRIVE NORTHBROOK, IL 60062 MJANS@matthiasjans.com (847) 344-5297


A passion for building . . . A reputation for excellence.

DESIGN - BUILD | CUSTOM HOMES | RESTORATION BY APPOINTMENT

1349 Thatcher Avenue, River Forest, Illinois 60305 Phone: 708.771.8474 | Fax: 708.771.4060 levycustomhomes.com WWW.HBAGC.COM

HBAGC Greater Chicago Building News | SPRING 2015  

The Greater Chicago Building News is the official magazine of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago.

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