March 2019 Building Connections

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T H E E - M AGAZ I N E O F T H E H B RA O F FA I R F I E L D CO U N TY - M A R C H 2 0 1 9




Mold, Asbestos, & Lead Seminar April GMM Member Mixer

IBS 2019 Beyond the Blueprint PWB Meeting NAHB Benefits MunnCo

T H E E - M AG A Z I N E O F T H E H B R A O F FA I R F I E L D CO U N TY Building Connections is a monthly digital magazine produced and published by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield County. Inside you will find the latest association news, legislative updates, upcoming events, and featured articles about the industry.

Editorial Staff

Find Us On Social Media

Jackie Bertolone Executive Officer Sarah Iannarone Membership & Events Coordinator Clare Michalak Marketing & Graphics Coordinator



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IN THIS ISSUE HBRA NEWS • Message from the Executive Officer p. 5 • Upcoming Events p. 7 • Membership Challenge p. 11 • International Builder Show p. 12 • Builder Roundtable p. 14 • PWB Meeting p. 15 • Beyond the Blueprint p. 16 • New Members p. 18 • LTW Stages Willis Home p. 22 • Member Directory p .23 • Don Wetmore - One More Hour Per Day p. 34 • Dear Sales Coach p. 34 • Member Benefits p. 36

BUILDER NEWS • FHA Eliminated 2 Lending Roadblocks • App Creates Drone Deliverables in Hours • 5 Challenges Builders Face in Meeting Current Energy Codes • Home Remodeling is a $450 Billion Market... • What Happens When More Of Us Live Healthier Lives to Age 100 • Women in Construction

p. 24 p. 24 p. 25 p. 25 p. 25 p. 25

• NAHB NEWS • Ugalde Prizes Measured Risk Taking p. 26 • Hearing Highlights Need to Resolve Trade Disputes p. 26 • Partnerships Expand Affordable Housing in CT p. 27 • New Home Sales End Year +1.5 Percent p. 27 • Lawmakers Introduce Bull To Help Ease p. 28 Labor Shortage • Walk-in Pantry Most Wanted Kitchen Feature



Emilia Ferri Architecture + Design Emilia Ferri

• Taxing Home Repairs and Renovations is Bad Policy p. 31 • Legislative Updates p. 32 • CT & Fairfield County Permit Data p. 33

Advertisers: County TV & Appliance Stamford Museum GoTasker Pella Windows and Doors DiMatteo Chloe Winston

p. 6 p. 14 p. 15 p. 19 p. 22 p. 23

Huber Engineered Woods United Bank Interstate Lumber Acadia Insurance Tooher Ferraris Ed’s Garage Door

p. 26 p. 27 p. 28 p. 29 p. 30 p. 33

Ridgefield Supply First County Bank Fairfield County Bank CTC&G Ring’s End

p. 35 p.37 p. 38 p. 39 p. 40


2018-19 OFFICERS


President Anthony DeRosa DeRosa Builders

Sr. Vice-President Kim DiMatteo DiMatteo Group

Vice President John Hertz

Hertz Construction

Secretary Rob Michaud


The Michaud Group

Immediate Past President Chris Steiner Steiner, Inc.



Propane Pete Battaglio Hocon Gas

Max Bender Bender Supply

Steve Berko

Four Square Build & Design

Michael Church

William Pitt Sotheby’s


Ken DeLeo

Doherty & DeLeo

Brian Kurtz

Interstate Lumber

Steve LoParco

LoParco Associates, Inc.

Steven Roth

Elevator Service Company

Alex Shook


Pella Commercial

Michael Wood Wood Builders

LIFE DIRECTORS Joanne Carroll JMC Resources

Peter Fusaro Preferred Builders

Jerry Effren The Greyrock Companies

Maureen Hanley United Bank

Gary Fanali City Carting

Michael Palumbo ERI Building & Design

Peter Gaboriault Bear Paw Builders


Thank you to the following VIP Associate Members for their support in 2019. Due to their generosity the Association greatly benefits - from developing new events and educational opportunities for the membership, to keeping our lights on!

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER MembersThis issue of Building Connections is packed with information, events and news. I encourage you to take a few minutes to read about our recent events, our upcoming seminars and multiple sponsorship opportunities. We are looking forward to the next few months. We are celebrating the Professional Women in Building Council at our April 3 GMM and we are bringing back the Member Mixer at Two Roads Brewery on May 1. Please note we are selling tables and sponsorships for this event. We are thrilled with the number of new members joining our association every day so please take a moment to look through the new member pages. Finally, if you’re not on Instagram, you should be! Activity with our membership is highest on Instagram than any other social media platform. Follow us @hbraffc. If you tag us in posts or stories we will share them! As always if you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Jackie L. Bertolone Executive Officer

MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 5


From From Kitchen Kitchen Appliances Appliances to Home to Home Automation... Automation... WE WE HAVE HAVE IT ALL! IT ALL!


27702770 Summer Summer Street Street • Stamford, • Stamford, CT 06905 CT 06905 • 203-327-2630 • 203-327-2630 STORE HOURS: STORE HOURS: MON & THURS: MON & THURS: 9AM-9PM 9AM-9PM | TUES, WED, | TUES, FRI WED, & SAT: FRI9AM-6PM & SAT: 9AM-6PM | SUN: 11AM-5PM | SUN: 11AM-5PM



Environmental Hazards With Big East Environmental March 28, 2019 Click Here to Register

April GMM Presented by the Professional Women in Building Council April 3, 2019 Click Here to Register

CT Developers Forum Opportunity Zones with Tim Hollister of Shipman & Goodman April 10, 2019 Click Here to Register

Associates Panel How To Grow Your Business with the HBRA April 10, 2019 Click Here to Register

Builder Roundtable

Marketing Bootcamp

April 12, 2019 Save the Date

April 23, 2019 Save the Date

Committee Meetings

Upcoming Member Events

Associates Council April 9, 4:30pm | HBRA Office Golf Committee April 11, 3:00pm | HBRA Office Membership Committee April 17th, 10:30am | HBRA Office PWB Council April 18th | Lillian August

RRP-Initial; Lead-Safe Certification Course March 21, 2019 - Click Here to Register Zillow Millennial Homeowner Presentation April 4, 2019 - Click Here to Register AKDO’s Spring 2019 Factory Outlet Sale April 26, 2019 - Click Here to RSVP MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 7


Join us for the April HBRA General Membership Meeting at Iconic Modern Home, April 3, 2019, 6:00pm-9:00pm. HBRA Members: $20

General Admission: $50

Come toast the PWB and mingle with other HBRA members & guests in Iconic Modern’s new gallery. We will celebrate reaching 50 members of the PWB Council and receiving a national membership award—both great accomplishments for the council’s first year in operation. The Fairfield County PWB is one of the top ten largest in the country.

$250 Membership Raffle Prize courtesy of Stephanie Rapp Interiors

CT Developers Forum: Opportunity Zones Join the CT Developer’s Forum for dinner and a program on Opportunity Zones with Tim Hollister of Shipman & Goodwin. Opportunity Zones are designed to incentivize investment and economic development in underserved communities. Established as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, developers may use a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) to help fund projects located within an opportunity zone. This new source of investment dollars could prove to be a powerful economic tool if properly administered.

$75 per person includes family style dinner at Ralph n Rich’s - Salad, NY Strip, Shrimp Arragano, Chicken Marsala, Vegetables & Potatoes, Coffee & Italian pastries & canoli, plus a complimentary cocktail and dinner program.

8 HBRA of Fairfield County | MARCH 2019




Tashua Knolls Golf Course 40 Tashua Knolls Lane Trumbull CT 06611

Two Tournaments:

18 Hole – 11:00AM Shotgun Start 9-Hole – 2:30 PM Shotgun Start Cocktail Hour – 4:00 - 5:00PM Dinner – 5:00PM Click here for golfer and dinneronly registrations.

Raffle Prizes

The HBRA golf tournament sells out every year! Don’t miss an opportunity to showcase your products and business by donating an exciting raffle prize.

Donate your own Raffle Prize Craft Beer Basket Raffle Prize: $250 Wine Basket Raffle Prize: $250 For any questions on sponsorship specifics and details: Please call or email the office at 203-335-7008 or

Sponsorship Opportunities Click here for more information and to purchase online. Raw Bar Station: $3,000 Premier Caddy Shack Station: $2,500 Caddy Shack Station: $2,000 Dinner Sponsor: $2,000 Logo Golf Towel: $1,500 Soft Cooler: $1,500 Logo Water Bottle: $1,000 Sunglasses Sponsor $750 Ice Cream Cart: $750 Beer Koozies: $750 Closest to the Pin: $500 Golf Ball Marker: $400 Golf Tees: $400 Hole-In-One Sponsor: $350 Driving Range: $350 Closest to the Pin (9-Hole): $300 Closest to the Line: $400 Closest to the Line (9-Hole): $250 Tee Sponsor (27 Available): $250

Please submit, fax, or mail registration by June 24, 2019 to: HBRA of Fairfield County, 2228 Black Rock Turnpike, Suite 307 Fairfield CT, 06825 MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 9 or or For any questions, please call (203) 335-7008.


May 1, 2019

Two Roads Brewery 1700 Stratford Ave Stratford, CT 06615 6:00 - 9:00PM

Join us for local craft beer and an appetizer spread at Two Roads Brewery in Stratford. Network with HBRA members & guests and enjoy bar bingo and other games. We will also be awarding prizes to members who participated in the membership challenge.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Please call the office at 203-335-7008 or click here to reserve your sponsorship.

Appetizer Spread Sponsor - $1,500

A Keg Above the Rest -$150

Bar Bites to feed the hungry crowd!

• Logo on event banner • 1 attendee • 5 drink tickets to give out to prospective customers

• • • • • •

Large signage at the food table Logo on all distributed drink tickets 5 attendee tickets to the event 10 Drink tickets Bar Bingo Square Featured & tagged in Instagram story

Imperial - $1,000 • Bar Bingo Square - with a tagged social media post • Opportunity to speak at the event • Table to display literature and other marketing materials (prime placement) • Logo on all marketing materials in first level position • Logo on event banner • 10 drink tickets to give hand out • 3 attendees

Top Hop - (8 tables available) $500 • • • • • •

A square on the bar bingo board Table Display Logo on all marketing materials Logo on event banner 10 drink tickets to give out 2 attendees

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Beer Me Your company logo will go on beer tickets you can hand out to prospective business contacts at the Member Mixer • $45 - 5 tickets • $85 – 10 tickets • $125 – 15 tickets

Raffle Sponsor $250

Draw ticket and announce winner

Prize Sponsor

If you have a prize that you would like to donate please contact the office.


2019 HBRA Member Recruitment Challenge Spotlight Suzanne Stillwell of Jade Marketing Solutions has recruited over 4 members to the HBRA of Fairfield County this year. She is currently our top recruiter. There is still time to recruit more members for the HBRA Member Recruitment Challenge! Please use the links below to find out more about how to recruit a member and about our Member Mixer coming up in May.

How to Score Points: Remember 2 points for a builder, 1 point for associate and .5 point for affiliate.



Suzanne Stillwell



Frank Bowron



Karen Bradbury


Rich Cahill 2 Mayson Linn


Eric Ferraris


Thomas Yaroscak


Pete Battaglio


Anthony DeRosa


Rich Cunningham


Brian Kurtz 1 Peter Gaboriault


Candace Pereira



SPIKE BIG | WIN BIG Invite new members to join the HBRA for only $395. This invitation is for new members only and valid for one year.

All HBRA members are invited to participate in the 2019 Member Recruitment challenge starting today! Members who recruit new businesses to join will receive NAHB spike points and are eligible for prizes including Amex giftcards, HBRA membership renewals, and a grand prize of free flights to the 2020 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Prizes will be presented at the May 1st Member Mixer at Two Roads Brewery.

Recruitment Flyers

( To send to Prospective Members)

How To Recruit New Members 1. Invite new members to join the HBRA at the special 2019 pricing of $395 using the flyers linked above. They will then submit their application online at using the code 2019NM 2. The HBRA will verify that the company is eligible for the new member pricing and will process their application. Only companies who have not been members for the past 5 years are eligible. 3. Once approved, you will be credited with a new member. We will be updating the member rankings on the HBRA website and on facebook.

Angela Legg 1 Michelle Hogue


Tori McBrien


Since the 1st of January that HBRA has grown by 32 members for a total of 495 members!

MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 11


Robert Deitz, Chief Economist for NAHB, addressing the IBS Convention

International Builders’ Show Recap Over 100,000 building industry professionals from across the globe came together in Las Vegas during the NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) and Design & Construction Week® (DCW) to discover the new products and trends that will drive the home building industry in 2019. This was the largest show in over 10 years. Comedian Dana Carvey put on a hysterical standup routine to kick off the show. We also heard from Secretary Ben Carson and Robert Deitz, Chief Economist for NAHB. The week ended with a fantastic party thrown in Greg Ugalde’s honor at the Hard Rock Café. The next dates for the International Builder Show are January 2123, 2020 in Las Vegas.

Secretary Ben Carson addressing the IBS Convention

12 HBRA of Fairfield County | MARCH 2019

A Connecticut builder and member of the Central CT HBRA, Greg Ugalde, is now officially NAHB’s 2019 Chairman of the Board. This is the first time someone from Connecticut or New England has lead the national association.

During the week, HBRA members DiMatteo Insurance and Cyclone Home Systems hosted a party for Connecticut at Carmine’s. Great food and networking had by all—especially the Professional Women in Building Council, which had 14 members in attendance!

MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 13

HBRA NEWS Builder Round Table

Left to Right around the table - James Carpenter, Randy Sullivan, Jerry Effren, Will Eckhoff, Arnold Karp, Marc Michaud, Bob Wiedenmann, Jim Perras, Michael LoBuglio, Mike Henrick, John Cravenho, Anthony DeRosa, Frank Festini & Rob Michaud (not pictured)

The HBRA hosted it’s first builder roundtable on March 1st with Facilitators Jim Perras, CEO of the HBRA of Connecticut; Robert G. Wiedenmann, Jr. of Sunwood Development Corp.; Anthony DeRosa, DeRosa Builders; and Jackie L. Bertolone, Executive Officer of the HBRA of Fairfield County. The roundtable gave builders an opportunity to hear updates on pending legislation in the state legislature and provide input on issues most impacting their businesses. Information on the next roundtable will be sent out soon. For updates on legislative affairs please visit our legislative alerts web page here.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center A variety of distinctive indoor and outdoor settings for corporate, private, and social events.

learn 203.977.6523 more

14 HBRA of Fairfield County | MARCH 2019

PWB Meeting Chloe Winston Lighting Design hosted the PWB’s February meeting at their new showroom in South Norwalk. Co-owner Rina Dimarte gave a presentation on lighting trends with an interactive Q&A from the audience. Immediately following, the group had a guest, Dr. Ramani Sriram, a naturopath who has changed the life of one of our members by helping her with migraines. Dr. Sriram spoke about understanding the root cause of disease and functional medicine. After the meeting the members enjoyed sangria and light bites thanks to our wonderful hosts.

MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 15


Beyond the Blueprint The HBRA of Fairfield County put on it’s first Beyond the Blueprint event on March 6th at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center’s farmhouse. In a sold out event, over 160 guests came to listen to a panel of 2018 HOBI Award winning builders and moderator Diane Ramirez, CEO of Halstead Real Estate. The panelists discussed some of their winning projects, challenges faced while developing various properties as well as trends in the luxury market. Our Panelists Paul Harris of Archetype and Cole Harris Homes LLC Bob Sprouls & Darren Andreoli of Bluewater Home Builders LLC Julio DiBiase of DiBico Construction of CT Inc. Chris Pagliaro of Pagliaro Bartels Sajda Architects, LLC Thank you to our sponsors:

Please contact us for more photos of the night, courtesy of LandinoPhoto for CTC&G. 16 HBRA of Fairfield County | MARCH 2019

MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 17


D & D Homes, LLC

D&D Homes has been servicing Homeowners, Architects, Builders and Designers in Fairfield County, surrounding areas, and second home locations for over a decade. The D&D Team is committed to providing a professional boutique experience by offering quality servicing to each client, no project is too big or too small. We provide ourselves in providing a well curated offering of materials including plumbing, tile, lighting, hardware, and wallcoverings... READ MORE

Rob Frangione, P.E.

Frangione Engineering, LLC

Principal, Robert Frangione is a licensed Professional Engineer in Connecticut, New York, Vermont, and Colorado. Mr. Frangione has more than 19 years experience in site planning, grading and drainage design, septic system and sewer design, road design, subdivision layout, structural design, and retaining wall design. He has successfully represented clients before Planning and Zoning Commissions, Environmental Protection Boards, Zoning Boards of Appeal, Conservation Commissions... READ MORE

Denis Guilfoyle Guiltec

Guiltec Development is a construction company managed by skilled Master Carpenter Denis Guilfoyle. Guiltec Development has been involved in the Interior and Exterior construction of high end residential and commercial projects – Custom Homes, Additions, Renovations & Bars and Restaurants. In all these areas, Guiltec Development has a reputation as a quality Company of superior value which has been involved in some very impressive interior and exterior trim projects.... READ MORE

Mike Henrick

Henrick Home Construction

Henrick Home Construction is focused on residential constructions that deliver stunning results. Whether you are opting for a full new home construction or getting home additions and home remodeling services, you can expect a construction service that is professional yet personalized, trendy yet innovative... READ MORE

Mark Bentley

Health Directions

Health Directions is a comprehensive, independent health insurance brokerage firm. Whether you’re looking to provide health insurance protection for your family, to find your way through the confusing complexities of Medicare or to make health care choices for your business, we bring clarity to your decision. At our Fairfield, CT based center, located at 1300 Post Road, Suite 100 in Fairfield, CT, Mark & Curtis are experts in health insurance planning.... READ MORE

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HBRA NEW MEMBERS Teresa Kratzman

Iconic Modern Home

The son of a French mother in the design and fashion world, as a child Geoffrey was dragged from design showrooms and antique stores, to fashion houses and couture shops. What started out a boring chore morphed into a love and passion. After college, Geoffrey helped develop a specialty retail design and consulting firm, working with a number of museum and specialty stores ... READ MORE

Cindy McCreight

Karen Berkemeyer Home

As an award winning, full service, kitchen and bath design studio for more than 30 years, we feature over 70 different vendors, carrying the latest in cabinetry, tile, stone, countertops, and plumbing. Our talented design team provides a true “one stop shop” experience for our clients, allowing you to work side by side with one designer throughout each stage of the design process... READ MORE

Bryan Kerschner

Kerschner Development

At Kerschner Development we build quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality or craftsmanship. Our staff of Project Managers includes a foreman who is dedicated to pre and post-closing detail. Prior to closing this Project Manager will walk you through your new home and demonstrate how to properly use and maintain the various features of your home. He is also available post closing to address your questions and respond to your concerns in an efficient and timely manner. ... READ MORE

Kimberly Pratt

Kimberly Ann Interiors

Kimberly believes excellent design comes from truly listening to both the needs of the homeowner and the bones of the home. Thinking practically, but also with passion. The ideal scenario is to have form and function meet with little to no compromise, to bring her clients exactly what they dreamed of (or didn’t think was achievable)... READ MORE

Sean Neves

Neves Brothers Construction

Neves Brothers Construction is a full service mason contractor serving the greater Connecticut area. Considered one of the premier mason contractors in Connecticut, it is also a family owned and operated business. Dedicated to high quality. personalized service, Neves Brothers Construction prides itself on providing each customer with a oneof-a-kind experience and unique finished product ... READ MORE

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Rob Knorr

Nordic Construction Inc.

Nordic Construction Inc. has been building and remodeling homes in the Westchester and New York metropolitan areas, including Manhattan and parts of Connecticut, for over 25 years. During this time, we have been privileged to work with wonderful clients on many fine projects and homes. We pride ourselves on our meticulous work, absolute integrity, and transparency... READ MORE

Karla Butterfield

Steven Winter Associates Inc.

Steven Winter Associates, Inc. provides research, consulting and advisory services to improve commercial, residential and multifamily built environments for private and public sector clients. We specialize in energy, sustainability and accessibility consulting as well as certification, research & development and compliance services. Our engineers and architects have led the way since 1972 in the development of best practices to achieve high performance buildings... READ MORE

Rob Hughes

Stonebridge Landscape Associates

Stonebridge Associates is a full service landscape design/build company specializing in pools and water features, landscape, masonry and landscape maintenance. We focus on creating unique outdoor living spaces, coordinating construction departments and subcontractors, and protecting the clients investment by providing full landscape maintenance services... READ MORE

Beau Couden Waterworks

With over 40 years of experience, Waterworks brings impeccable style and artisanal quality craftsmanship to bathrooms, kitchens and discerning spaces worldwide. Every product tells a story, created through a unique collaboration involving designers, engineers, craftsmen, artisans and manufacturers. As a premier design resource, we offer exclusive products that encompass fittings, cabinetry, surfaces, bathtubs, washstands and vanities, lighting, hardware, accessories and more... READ MORE

Keith Manceri

West Haven Lumber

Since 1927 West Haven Lumber has provided the greater New Haven community with premium quality building products at competitive prices. In May 2014 West Haven lumber was acquired by Finetco, a Rhode Island based group focused on supplying homeowners and contractors with the best quality & service for all your home needs. Because of its well-earned reputation a decision was made to keep the recognized name West Haven Lumber.... READ MORE

Welcome affiliate members!

Ava Hunter Rina Dimarte

Kerie Boshka

Noel Farrell Theresa Kotulsky

Suzanne Dean MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 21

HBRA MEMBER NEWS Congratulations to Leia T Ward of LTW Design - LTW Design stages home of actor Bruce Willis & Emma Heming. To prepare their family estate for sale, Bruce Willis & wife Emma Heming brought Leia T. Ward on board to stage their 13,000 sq ft home in Bedford, NY - List Price 11.9M. The home was featured in People Magazine, Architectural Digest, Variety, The Wall Street Journal, House Beautiful, and Town&Country. Click below to read more about the property and view photos of the home. BLOG: Featured Projects:

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HBRA RESOURCE The 2019 HBRA Membership Directory & Resource Guide is now available! The HBRA Directory is created each year to provide members with a resource to identify and contact other HBRA members. Inside you will find information about the HBRA of Fairfield County, the Board of Directors, the 2018 HOBI Winners, member contact information, and local town and state contact information including building departments and state legislators. Thank you to all of our members, advertisers and VIP Partners for supporting our industry and making this guide possible. The Membership Directory is available year-round digitally and in print. To view the newest members who have joined the association since the directory’s publication, and throughout the year, please visit the Member Directory on our website, The printed directory is available digitally in a flip book here. If you just joined the association and did not receive a directory by mail, we will have them available at all of our upcoming events or feel free to stop by. If you requested a large number of directories, they are available for pick up at our office, or we will be reaching out to schedule deliveries. Click here to see how to find members in our online directory

MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 23

BUILDER NEWS Cloud App Creates Drone Deliverables In Hours Instead Of Days

FHA Eliminates Two “Unnecessary And Outdated” Lending Roadblocks The Federal Housing Administration has taken steps to reduce some of the regulatory burdens that belabor the lending process, releasing two mortgagee letters Tuesday with updated guidelines on home warranty and inspection requirements for single-family FHA loans. Mortgagee Letter 2019-04 eliminates the FHA Inspector Roster in order to expand the pool of inspectors for lenders. The FHA said industry standards and local regulations are sufficient enough to ensure inspector qualifications, making FHA’s standards redundant. “There is no longer a need for HUD to maintain and administer its own standardization process for inspectors,” the mortgagee letter stated. Mortgagee Letter 2019-05 streamlines guidelines for home warranties by eliminating the requirement that borrowers purchase 10-year protection plans for new construction homes, reducing expenses for the borrower. The FHA said homebuyer and builder’s one-year Warranty of Completion of Construction provides enough assurance that the home was built properly and the borrower is protected. Under the one-year warranty, the FHA said “the warrantor agrees to fix and pay for the defect and restore any component of the home damaged in fulfilling the terms and conditions of the warranty.” FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery said in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday that the moves were part of an overall effort to enhance procedures to lenders. “Shortly after arriving back at FHA in June 2018, I indicated one of our goals was to streamline and update our program guidelines and procedures,” Montgomery wrote. “In parallel with the Administration’s objectives of reducing regulatory barriers, late yesterday we released two Single Family Mortgagee Letters (2019-04 and 2019-05) where we’ve eliminated two unnecessary and outdated regulations that have been barriers for lenders.” Read More

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For contractors and developers that are on a tight schedule and need to map large swaths of land or expansive projects, sometimes the only thing better than the convenience and insight that unmanned aerial system (UAS), or drone, imaging provides is getting the shots back in a few hours versus days. Engineering and environmental consulting firm Dudek, which provides drone imagery services to contractors, has found an effective solution for turning around image projects for construction clients fast. Dudek provides mapping, inspection and construction project monitoring services across the U.S., including Hawaii, where its drone operations are based. The company began using drones several years ago through outsourced services, but brought the function in-house almost two years ago. Brian Nordmann, Dudek’s chief information officer, told Construction Dive that the firm now has eight full-time pilots as well as a “supporting cast” that processes data. Dudek counts both public agencies and private developers among its drone imaging clientele, and the company’s constructionrelated work includes prepermitting mapping and monitoring of large infrastructure, utility and power plant projects. Read More

Five Challenges Builders Face In Meeting Current Energy Codes In an Omnibus Survey of Builders fielded by Home Innovation in December, we asked, “What are your biggest challenges in constructing homes to meet current energy codes?” We received 250 write-in, unaided responses that provide insight into difficulties many builders are having. While responses varied—for instance, 15% of those surveyed said they are not experiencing any challenges—Home Innovation’s market research director Ed Hudson says many respondents indicated that building energy-efficient homes is requiring changes within the industry, and that change can be painful—particularly in light of rising labor and materials costs and a short supply of labor. Among the 85% who indicated having issues, most agreed they are trying to sort out the fast pace of building code changes and their implications on the design and construction of homes. Aside from increased price and labor pressures, most of the challenges mentioned could be solved by, or at least benefit from, more thorough education and training of industry members and homeowners. Read More

Beyond 55+: What Happens When More Of Us Live Healthier Lives To Age 100? In less than two decades, the graying of America will be inescapable: Older adults are projected to outnumber kids for the first time in U.S. history. Already, the middle-aged outnumber children, but the country will reach a new milestone in 2035. That year, the U.S. Census Bureau projects [PDF] that older adults will edge out children in population size: People age 65 and over are expected to number 78.0 million, while children under age 18 will number 76.7 million. Read More

Home Remodeling Is A $450 Billion Market, And It’s Only Going To Get Bigger

By The Numbers: Women In Construction

In an Omnibus Survey of Builders fielded by Home Innovation in December, we asked, “What are your biggest challenges in constructing homes to meet current energy codes?” We received 250 write-in, unaided responses that provide insight into difficulties many builders are having.

The pervasive shortage of construction workers has led some in the industry to target women for recruitment. But women don’t seem to be choosing the construction industry, at least not in the numbers that some have hoped for and not in the trades, where workers are desperately needed.

While responses varied—for instance, 15% of those surveyed said they are not experiencing any challenges—Home Innovation’s market research director Ed Hudson says many respondents indicated that building energy-efficient homes is requiring changes within the industry, and that change can be painful—particularly in light of rising labor and materials costs and a short supply of labor. Among the 85% who indicated having issues, most agreed they are trying to sort out the fast pace of building code changes and their implications on the design and construction of homes. Aside from increased price and labor pressures, most of the challenges mentioned could be solved by, or at least benefit from, more thorough education and training of industry members and homeowners. Read More

So how many women are working in the construction industry? A frequently cited figure from groups like the National Association of Women in Construction, which is leading the charge in recognizing Women in Construction Week this week, has participation at about 9%, and the last 25 years or so of Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Surveys bears that out. Read More MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 25

NAHB NEWS Homebuilder Greg Ugalde prizes measured risk-taking LOS ANGELES — After more than quarter century as a homebuilder, Greg Ugalde knows something about taking complex projects from the idea stage to something concrete. Ugalde is president of Torrington, Connecticut-based homebuilder T&M Building Co., which has built more than 3,500 new single-family attached and detached homes in over 40 communities across the state. Last month, Ugalde was elected chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, a Washington-based trade association. Ugalde shared some of his management insights and experiences with The Associated Press. Questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity: Q: What advice would you give your younger self about managing people or running a business? A: One of the things that’s unique to our industry is that just when you think that you’ve learned enough so that you can build your future by using those models, they’re already outdated. Read More

House Hearing Highlights Need to Resolve Trade Disputes Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn., issued the following statement after today’s House and Ways Means Committee hearing on U.S.-China trade: “We commend Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) for raising concerns at today’s hearing that tariffs on Chinese goods represent a $1 billion tax on housing and harm housing affordability... Read More

IT’S NOT A TREND. IT’S A REVOLUTION. Visit to learn how easy it is to make the switch.

© 2017-2019 Huber Engineered Woods LLC. ZIP System, the accompanying ZIP System logo and design are trademarks of Huber Engineered Woods LLC. Huber Engineered Woods’ ZIP System® products are covered by various patents. Please see for details. HUB 81860 REV 1/19

26 HBRA of Fairfield County | MARCH 2019

State and Local Partnerships Expand Affordable Housing Options in Connecticut There is no easy solution to the housing affordability challenge, and neither the public nor the private sector can solve it alone. Partnerships can involve many different players — including land trusts, housing authorities and even employers — to win community support; assemble land, infrastructure, and financing streams; and provide ongoing social support services that create benefits and long-term successes for everyone involved. Developing these partnerships at the state and local level are key to helping address the housing affordability crisis — a top priority identified by NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde for the year ahead. Together with other measures, such as comprehensive planning, flexible zoning and cost reductions, partnership strategies can unite key stakeholders in creating projects that address critical community needs. A great example exists in Ugalde’s home state of Connecticut. Old Saybrook, Conn., is an affluent shoreline community of approximately 10,000, located in Middlesex County, on the west side of the Connecticut River. Of those residents, 70% of renters and 38% of homeowners currently spend more than 30% of their income on housing.

New Home Sales End the Year Up 1.5 Percent Sales of newly built, single-family homes posted a yearly gain of 1.5 percent in 2018, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The December sales numbers rose 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units after a downwardly revised November report. The sales report was delayed due to the partial government shutdown. Read More

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Personal Banking Mortgages Commercial Banking Personal and business solutions for your life. As a community bank, United Bank is dedicated to helping you reach your goals. So whether you’re looking to save money, manage your business finances, buy a new home, or save for retirement, you can count on us to provide the solutions and service you need. To learn more about our full line of personal, mortgage, and commercial banking services, talk to us today.


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MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 27



Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Help Ease Labor Shortages Reps. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) and Francis Rooney (R-Pa.) have introduced the Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act, legislation that would help alleviate the worker shortage in the construction industry by establishing a market-driven visa system to help employers find more laborers. “Filling our workforce needs is a key component to boosting our workforce and our economy,” Smucker said. “This bill will help fill job slots and I urge my colleagues to support it.” “It is time to reform our outdated immigration laws in order to vet and admit, by means of a work-permit system based on skills and not family relations, the workers our economy needs to grow,” said Rooney. “The Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act would provide qualified workers for positions that employers are unable to fill.” Employers would be required to prove they were unable to find American workers for vacant positions, pay them fair wages based on local wage data, and use E-verify to make sure only legal immigrants are hired. Read More

28 HBRA of Fairfield County | MARCH 2019

A Walk-in Pantry is the Most Wanted Kitchen Feature A walk-in pantry is the most wanted kitchen feature, with 83 percent of home buyers reporting it is an essential/must have (32 percent) or desirable item (51 percent). This data comes from NAHB’s recently released report, What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 Edition), which is based on a survey that asks recent and prospective home buyers (people who bought homes in the previous three years or are planning to do so in the next three years) about the features they want in their home and community, including in the kitchen. Read More

Connecticut Home Builders & Remodelers Program

AN INSURANCE PROGRAM CUSTOM DESIGNED FOR YOUR BUSINESS Acadia Insurance is proud to be the endorsed property and casualty insurance carrier for the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Connecticut. As a leading provider of insurance for contractors throughout New England, Acadia Insurance understands the insurance and service needs of contractors from small to large. With a local office in Rocky Hill, Acadia Insurance has professionals that handle underwriting, claim, loss control and premium audit for its Connecticut customers. Acadia is working with a select number of its Independent Agents in offering this program to Connecticut’s Home Builders and Remodelers.

The Right Policy for Your Business Acadia Insurance offers qualifying contractors a full array of necessary coverages including property, general liability, workers’ compensation, business automobile and umbrella. In addition, we can provide builders’ risk coverage, installation floater and equipment coverage.

✓ We have designed special coverage options just for home builders: Liability Coverage Enhancements:

Property Coverage Enhancements:

• Waiver of subrogation clause

• Coverage for newly acquired property

• Limited pollution coverage

• Coverage for property while in-transit

• Extended property damage coverage

• Debris removal coverage

✓ Acadia Insurance can craft the coverage you need to operate your business. For a full listing of coverages and how they apply to an individual home builder, please see an Acadia Insurance agent who is equipped to analyze your current insurance program and provide you with recommendations.

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Because you need the solution before the problem. Your business is one that deserves to be protected, and our job is to minimize risk.


Tooher-Ferraris’ Home Builders Specialty Program has been supporting and protecting the reputations of builders and contractors for over 85 years. From general contractor construction liability and workers compensation, to commercial automobile insurance, subcontractor risk transfer, and OSHA compliance assistance, our high-touch service is delivered with honesty, integrity, and dependability.

43 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM THE STATE CEO practices required by the EPA, further jeopardizing the health and safety of our vulnerable populations.

Taxing home repairs and renovations is bad policy

There are several significant public policy reasons why Gov. Ned Lamont should reconsider his effort to impose a sales tax on the repair and renovation of Connecticut homes. Not the least of which is the regressive nature of the sales tax on services and its disproportionate impact on inner cities, the poor and our elderly on fixed incomes. Connecticut competes with neighboring states for the distinction of having some of the oldest housing stock in the country. Much of that aging housing stock is found in our urban centers. The extra cost of the sales tax could discourage homeowners in older neighborhoods from making much needed safety-related repairs. Inner-city landlords will be more inclined to delay renovations. Said delays could place the health and safety of their tenants at risk, endangering our most vulnerable populations. Renovation, Repair and Paint (RRP) lead disturbing activities could also be delayed and lead poisoning mitigation could be postponed or done by unqualified contractors working outside the lead safe work

City blight will be exacerbated at a time when our cities can least afford it. The value of housing in Connecticut has not recovered to the same degree as other states (this is particularly true in many of our urban centers) and if people put off renovations, repairs or replacement of necessary systems like heating, air conditioning, roofs, etc., then the value of housing will be further depressed. Ultimately, the governor’s tax proposal is counter intuitive given his stated goals of urban renewal and revitalization. In addition, Connecticut has some of the most economically and racially segregated housing in the country, due in part, because of decades of housing affordability and accessibility issues in our more affluent communities. Since 2009, the residential construction industry has been producing residential units at only a fraction of the rate needed to maintain current housing numbers. Consequentially, ensuring Connecticut residents have access to affordable renovation and remodeling services is more important than ever in order to guarantee Connecticut has as much of its older housing stock in use to hold the line on housing affordability and accessibility. A well-maintained older housing stock is often the only affordable option for many working families to be able to live where they work. This is especially evident in the western part of our state where issues of affordability are most acute.

Connecticut, like many other states, has a large underground home improvement market. Some estimates put this illegal cash market at greater than 40 percent. These offending contractors are not registered, nor are they likely to be adequately insured. Often, they are without a tax I.D. Especially noteworthy and troublesome is that by virtue of being unregistered, illegal contractors do not pay into the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund. This means an unsuspecting homeowner that does business with an illegal contractor doesn’t benefit from the guaranty fund’s added protection, leaving homeowners without much for recourse if something goes awry. At the end of the day, law abiding home improvement contractors that would be forced to comply with these new tax requirements would be undercut to an even greater extent than they are now, compelling even more underground home improvement activity and consequently, leaving more homeowners at risk. The sales tax on residential renovations and repair will never capture anything approaching the entire remodeling market, as some unscrupulous remodelers will be even more incentivized to be compensated “under the table.” Still, other unregistered home improvement contracts may even be inclined to collect the tax from a customer without the intention of ever passing it along to the state. Read More

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STATE LEGISLATIVE NEWS SB 1071: An Act Concerning Aging In Place Incentives If passed, this bill would provide a tax credit to any individual with a household income of no more than $150,000. It would provide a tax credit against personal income for the cost to retrofit a home or up to $5000, which ever is less. This credit is made available for taxable years 2020 through 2025. Read more here

HB 7366– Incentives for Energy-Efficient Construction If enacted, this bill would provide a one time tax credit of $2500 (single filers) or $5000 (joint filers) to Connecticut residents that purchase a newly constructed home with a Home Energy Rating (HERS) of 60 or better, for taxable years starting 2019 through 2022. Testimony submitted by the HBRA and several builders. Read more.

Transportation Committee Readies Vote On Tolls HARTFORD, CT — The rhetoric regarding the installation of highway tolls has intensified over the past few days in anticipation of the first committee vote on the issue. The General Assembly’s Transportation Committee is scheduled to vote on at least one bill Wednesday that could pave the way for electronic tolling.

Testimony in Opposition to Read more. Public Is Divided On Senate Bill No. 877: Lamont’s Tax Proposal An Act Concerning Revenue Items to Implement the Governor’s Budget

March 15, 2019 Specifically, the HBRA-CT finds the following provisions to be particularly onerous and asks they be rejected by the Finance Committee: Expansion of the sales tax on services pertaining to home renovation and repair is bad public policy. Read the entire testimony here. Click here to find your legislator Click here to follow along with our legislative alerts

32 HBRA of Fairfield County | MARCH 2019

HARTFORD, CT — Taxpayers from every walk of life descended on the Legislative Office Building to offer their opinions Friday on the first public airing of Gov. Ned Lamont’s tax proposals. Some were in support, others in opposition, and some offered their own alternatives. The Progressive Caucus within the Democratic Party, which held a press conference before the public hearing on the tax bills, said they would like to see a half percent increase in the income tax on top income earners. The top rate for individuals making $500,000 a

year and couples making $1 million a year is currently 6.9 percent. The caucus would like to see it increased to 7.49 percent. Read More

Minimum Wage, Captive Audience, Public Option Bills Pass Labor HARTFORD, CT —Three significant bills were passed out of committee Thursday: a minimum wage increase, limits on what employers can say to employees in the workplace, and the creation of a public health insurance option for small businesses. The Labor and Public Employees Committee voted in favor of all three, mostly along party lines. Two bills would raise the minimum wage from its current $10.10 to $15 an hour by January 2022. Another, supported by Gov. Ned Lamont, would increase the minimum wage to $15 — but his bill would take a year longer to get to that goal, hitting the $15 mark in January 2023. All five Republican members of the committee objected to increasing the minimum wage, while all nine Democratic lawmakers supported it. Read More

Future of the Gas Tax? Running on Empty The gas tax is at the core of the argument about whether to bring tolls back to Connecticut highways. But this story is not about tolls – it’s about the tax, its nexus with climate change, and what that means for the state. At least one part of the story is fairly straightforward. Read More


** As of 2005, only town-level permit data is reported as the Bureau of Census changed its sampling method and only 128 municipalities will have monthly permit data. Click here to view all permitting data.

B E A U T Y. ELEGANCE. STRENGTH. Our Aluminum Doors Will Surprise You. Ed’s Garage Doors offers a broad selection of aluminum doors that are the perfect complement to your home. Visit our showroom to see many exclusive aluminum doors on display, and talk with a design expert about our countless in-stock and custom options.

Showroom Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Evenings: Sunday:

By appointment Closed 136 Water Street, Norwalk, CT 06854 203-847-1284


MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 33



One More Hour Per Day By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore We all have 24 hours in our day, 7 days per week. And if you multiply that out, and my math is correct (I think it is because I’ve done the calculation a few times before!), that totals 168 hours per week. No more. No less. And the truth about time is that it can only be spent. It cannot be saved. (Did you ever have any time left over on a Sunday that you were able to use the following week?) And there’s only two ways to spend our time; wisely, or, not so wisely. Our time is spent on “have to’s” and “want to’s.” Our time, like our money, can either be “spent” and it’s gone, or “invested,” and like seeds in the ground, will return abundance back to us in the future. Good Time Management is budgeting some of our time for “investing,” learning how to do it better and more effectively. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.” It’s a good goal to improve on the entire twentyfour hours in our day, but just for now, think about improving on just one hour per day. If we can gain one additional hour per day either by doing what we already do, but do it more effectively or do something new, the payback will be enormous as we enjoy the “multiplier effect” of that savings. A person making $50,000 per year who is wasting just one hour per day, five hours per week, or 250 hours per year, is creating a minimum loss of productivity valued at $6,250 per year. To be able to recapture that time and use it more effectively creates an annual return of 250 more productive hours or over 6 “free” workweeks during the next year. “A problem well defined is 95% solved.” To recover some of your lost time, you need to know where your time is going. I recommend preparing a Time Log. Nothing fancy about this, just take a pad of paper and make a heading, “Time Log.” As you complete each major task or spend a chunk of time, log it in on your list. Read More 34 HBRA of Fairfield County | MARCH 2019

DEAR SALES COACH Dear Sales Coach, I’m a newish contractor doing home remodeling work. When I deliver a bid or estimate, I break down the bid into different categories such as demolition, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc. Each category has its own price with a good amount of detail and then a total price for the job. Other contractors in my area (and almost all my subs) all do one number bids, and often without a lot of detail. Which way is better? Homeowners like my approach but am I naïve? --Casey S. Dear Casey, It seems like you have a great system that is also appealing to the homeowner. Our question to you would be, is that approach getting you business? If it is, then keep doing what you are doing. If you think you are losing opportunities that you should be getting, here are some things to consider. A lot of times a homeowner will give you positive feedback in order to get information out of you to use for price comparison or to do it themselves. If you feel like this is happening, you might consider drawing up 2 proposals. One for you with the detail in the line items and one for the homeowner’s eyes that breaks the bid into your categories but omits the level of detail that most don’t care about or need to see. Sometimes when we give buyers too much information, they can use it to “shop” you around, do it themselves, or “muddy the waters” with information that is not necessary in making a decision to move forward with you. Commit to building stronger relationships so there is less reliance on the proposal. Weak relationships usually mean that the only way to close the prospect is with a lowball price.


Ed Schultek

Ed began Sandler/PEAK with focus on medium and small size firms to Corporate organizations who must lift their Management and Sales competency to Win, improve their ability to lead others to change their future, and position themselves as the Trusted Advisor to their Clients above all others. Have a sales question? Email Ed at

DON’T JUST INVEST IN WINDOWS, INVEST IN THE CONTRACTOR. ANDERSEN DID. Even the best windows don’t perform well if they’re not installed properly. Andersen Certified Contractors are trained by ® Andersen to install Andersen windows and patio doors. In fact, Andersen is so confident in their contractors, they offer a 2-year installation limited warranty.* When you’re ready to replace, Andersen contractors are here to help. You’ll not only be choosing someone certified by Andersen, you’ll be choosing the window company ranked #1 in quality and the one most trusted and recommended by trade professionals.** *See Andersen certified contractor limited warranty for details. **Based on 2016 survey of trade contractors. “Andersen” and all other marks where denoted are trademarks of Andersen Corporation. ©2018 Andersen Corporation. All rights reserved.

For more information, visit

29 Prospect Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877-0519

203-438-2626 www.ridgefieldsupply.coMARCH m 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 35


A Great Offer for NAHB Members As one of the major automotive manufacturers of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), we’re pleased to extend this private offer up to $250/$500/$1000* toward the purchase or lease of most new GM vehicles to association members. Just visit your local Chevrolet, Buick or GMC dealer, choose an eligible vehicle and present your NAHB Proof of Membership form. Then stack this offer with additional current incentives from the National Fleet Purchase Program** and Business Choice***, and Fleet Cash****. Private offer of up to $1,000 towards the purchase or lease of an eligible new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle (excluded vehicles include Chevrolet Blazer, Bolt EV, Corvette, Sonic, Spark, Spark EV, SS, Trax, Volt; Buick Lacrosse, Regal, Verano, Cascada; all Cadillac models) Available through March 31, 2019 Where’s the nearest GM dealer? Here are 2 HBRA members.

Business Savings

More Information 36 HBRA of Fairfield County | MARCH 2019

As a member of your local Home Builder’s Association, you can gain access to Amazon Business’ vast selection, competitive pricing and shipping options to meet your needs.

See the latest deals from National Purchasing Partners at:

Getting Down to Business? Contact Brad Lupinacci, Business Banking at 203.462.4224 Equal Housing Lender Member FDIC NMLS# 411487

MARCH 2019 | HBRA of Fairfield County 37

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Financing some of the top builders in Fairfield County.

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