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Home Builders Association of Berks County

JUNE 2015

Parade Homes 2015


Make Your Home Perfectly You. Start Fresh. Design It Your Way.


Your ONE Source for Residential Commercial Flooring and Window Treatments!


20 1




18th Annual

Interior Designers on Staff Offering FREE Design Service

FLOORING • TILE • WINDOW TREATMENTS • AREA RUGS • FLOOR CLEANING Fivepointville • Harrisburg Lancaster • Wyomissing



1985 - 2015

w w w. m a r t i n s f l o o r i n g . c o m




2015 HBA Berks Board of Directors Officers: President


Edward F. Anewalt IV, CLP Anewalt’s Landscape Contracting (Bernville)

First Vice President


JUNE 2015

Features: 6

No Ductwork? No Problem!

Updating an old home with ductless air conditioning.

James E. Gavin, Esquire

12 2015 Parade of Homes

Preview the quality construction & superb designs Built by Berks!

Masano Bradley Attorneys at Law (Wyomissing)


Secretary/Treasurer Evan L. Hand, III National Penn Bank (Allentown)

Immediate Past President


Patrick J. Dolan, AIA, LEED AP Dolan Construction Inc. (Reading)

Angles: 23 A/C: What You Don’t Know Could Cost You…BIG

Steps everyone can take to keep their A/C system operating at peak efficiency.

Builder/Remodeler Directors:

16David Hallowell

Heffleger Kitchen Center (Reading)

Brad Kehres L A Kehres Building & Remodeling (Leesport)


Eric Keller

26 Get Help With Your New

Home From Start to Finish

Tips for home building, lowering living costs, and other related information.

Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. (Reading)

Bryan Moll B & G Glass (Reading)

Associate Directors:

30 Ready to Buy a Home?

How to start the process of purchasing a home.

29Sherrie Hallowell

Tompkins VIST Bank (Wyomissing)

Peter Hart Kohl Building Products (Reading)

31 Jason Jenkins

Bursich Associates, Inc. (Pottstown)


HBA Staff: Christian D. Malesic, MBA, IOM Executive Officer & At Home in Berks Editor-in-Chief

6Barbara M. Bohrman

Member & Event Coordinator



From the President

32 Membership Pages

HBA of Berks County President Edward Anewalt.

New and returning members, member to member discount programs, and an overview of all Association-related events from May – July 2015.

For Advertising Opportunities: call 610.685.0914 Ext. 1 Read At Home In Berks Magazine Online at The written and visual contents of this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction of print or digital articles without written permission from Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc., and/or the Home Builders Association of Berks County is forbidden. The placement of paid advertisements does not imply endorsement by HBA of Berks County. Publisher: Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 610.685.0914 2921 Windmill Road, Suite 4, Sinking Spring, PA 19608 I 610.777.8889

From the President up front. That way, if your project is time sensitive, you’ll know up front if you can work with the named contractor.

& Remodeling 101


he theme of this issue—BUILDING We often commented about the floor and & REMODELING—sure made how beautiful it would work in our style it easy for me to write about. After of home since our home already had rustic years of planning, Lori, my wife, and I characteristics. We snapped photos of the embarked on our own remodeling projects. floor, considered how it would pair with Yes, that’s right—projects; one at our home the wood we intended for our addition, and pursued different sealing options for the and the other at our business. floor. Knowing we wanted a similar floor Let’s talk about our home project first. created great conversation when we met Lori and I began dreaming of our addition with the flooring company. The professionals four years ago. The house we live in did not helped us to consider a few sealing options have the right flow for our family of four so and patterns that we did not know existed. we began planning, looking around, being The end result was happy customers (us) observant, and gathering ideas and photos that made their own choices (the slate) of our desires. under professional guidance (the reputable flooring company)! Gather Information This first step, of simply observing, proved to be very helpful when the time came to Visit the Parade discuss our future addition with the archi- of Homes tect. We already had a strong direction and Another fantastic way to gather ideas is opinion about our addition. This brings to visit the Parade of Homes! Take advanme to you. tage of this incredible opportunity to see the latest and the greatest in construction. The If you are considering embarking on a beauty of the Parade of Homes is not only remodeling project, start to look around. seeing the projects, but having the chance Get a feel for what you like and don’t like. to talk with the contractors in the moment. I even suggest starting a folder for your project. When you find something that I stress that you seize this opportunity you could envision incorporated in your since contractors, depending on their ‘in seaproject, snap a picture of it, rip it out of a son,’ may not always have unlimited time to magazine, take notes on it, and put it in spend with you. Contractors love spending your file. When you meet with the con- time with clients in their off-season, if they tractor or architect, you will be the one have an off-season, since the dialogs can be driving the bus. casual and unhurried. In season, however, even though a contractor may have your One concrete example of a medium we best interest at heart, time may be sparse. had hoped to incorporate into our addition was the slate floor at the Nittany Lion If you are contacting a contractor in Inn in University Park, Pennsylvania. Lori season, I suggest from my own business and I, both PSU graduates, frequented the experience, asking the contractor what his Nittany Lion Inn in our postgraduate years. turn around time is if he doesn’t tell you 4


Have an Open Mind

I do want to mention our commercial project as this is a magazine read by both home owners and business owners alike. In 2001, when we purchased the location of our business, Anewalt’s Landscape Contracting, the property had several existing buildings. At the time, we remodeled minimally to work within our budget and within our needs. Since 2001, our business has grown and we are bursting at the seams in the office building in which we currently conduct business. Once again, Lori and I gathered ideas and photos of what we would like to see. Similarly, we visited other landscape contractors to appreciate the flow of their business throughout their buildings, jotting down ideas. Finally, we listened to our staff. To us, their input for the future renovation was just as valuable as ours, since they spend countless hours at Anewalt’s. When we met with the contractor, we presented this conglomeration of ideas and then waited. With professional know-how, our contractor used his expertise to propose a plan that gelled our ideas with his knowledge. The end result was an even better plan than we had anticipated. In summation, it was great that Lori and I came prepared with our ideas, however, it was imperative that we were open-minded and flexible. The end result—a functional, structurally sound, and aesthetically pleasing space that fit us perfectly. In closing, have fun with your remodeling! Any change can produce stress. Maintain your humor and an open mind as you push through your new project. Of course, compromise, too! Your spouse, colleague, field man, or even child may have great perspective.

Edward F. Anewalt IV, CLP Anewalt’s Landscape Contracting


Berks County’s Premier

Bathroom & Kitchen Remodeler

Winner of “The 2014 HBA Parade of Homes for Best Bathroom, Kitchen & Interior Remodeled Home.”

Phone: (610) 779-1053

45 North 23rd Street, Mt. Penn, PA 19606


No Duct Work? NO PROBLEM! Angela DeLong


erks County is full of them— beautiful, old brick homes, stone farmhouses, historical inns, and even renovated barns. Home owners and contractors alike are lovingly restoring these structures to their historical grandeur, while adding the modern amenities we’ve all come to consider necessities—dishwashers, en suite luxury bathrooms and even media rooms.

But, one modern luxury (or is it a necessity?) is often missing: central air conditioning. The reason: no duct work. It may be impractical, or even impossible, to retrofit duct work into an old home or building, especially when trying to preserve the original architecture. This often leaves home owners with the impression that central air is simply not an option for them. So, instead, we play the twice-a-year 6

AT HOME IN BERKs JUNE 2015 I 610.777.8889

game of lugging big, inefficient and—let’s face it—ugly, window air conditioners down from the attic in the early summer and back up to the attic again in the fall. Otherwise, we will spend all summer roasting in our own homes and doing everything to avoid going to the upper floors for about 4 months each year.

While the cost of a ductless mini-split system may seem higher than a traditional central air system, the cost may actually run about 25% less when considering the additional cost of retrofitting ductwork into an existing system. Your investment really depends on what you are looking to accomplish. A reputable HVAC contractor will

Connect with the HBA…

Home Builders Association of Berks County

It’s time to stop this madness. It’s time to do what Europe and Asia have been doing for decades. It’s time to go ductless.

Central Air without Ducts

Ductless mini-split systems, like the Mitsubishi Intertek, now allow you to cool your home without any ductwork. They are energy efficient—EnergyStar estimates that these systems can save 30% on your home’s heating and cooling costs. Oh yeah…did we forget to mention that they will also heat your home? More on that later. Ductless options range from one-room to multi-room to multi-floor. They offer much more flexibility than a traditional HVAC system, allowing you to heat or cool only certain areas without the complexity of ductwork to contend with; so, they are generally easier to install. For these reasons, ductless systems have been the primary way of providing indoor climate control throughout Europe and Asia for decades now.

visit your home or building to get a good feel for the exact details of the proposed job. They will be able to provide you with several options to meet your goals and fit your budget.


Heating with Ductless Systems

Owners of older homes are also likely to have an inefficient heating system—usually an oil burning furnace—and are quite often outside of the natural gas utility’s footprint, making conversions to alternative fuels difficult. For these folks, the ductless system can provide relief in the winter months, too. Just turn it on for instantly warm air—no more waiting for radiators to warm up. You can choose to heat your whole home or building with the mini-splits, which are powered by electricity. If you are interested in this option, make sure you inform your HVAC contractor, so that you can purchase a system that will adequately heat the whole building. Continued on page 8


Group: HBA Berks

Channel: HBAberks


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Case Study:

Mariawald Renewal Center

When Dave Strick at TradeMasters Contracting was considering HVAC solutions for the Mariawald Renewal Center in Shillington, PA, he had many factors to consider. This 40-year-old, ductless building was being renovated for spiritual retreats for up to 48 guests at a time. But, most of the dormitory rooms would be vacant a good portion of the time, with the exception of just a few offices on the first floor. The center is a non-profit, run by the Sisters of the Precious Blood Convent on the same property. As such, it was imperative that any new system would help to control heating and cooling costs for years to come. Dave and his son, David Jr., did some research and contacted UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to

determine the best solution for the facility. The team decided that a mini-split option was the way to go. This choice not only prevented the costly installation of ductwork, but the high efficiency ratings would mean lower monthly utility bills, too. Plus, the ability to adjust the thermostats in each individual room not only added convenience for the guests, but additional savings on the electric bill. All of these cost-saving measures were exactly what the non-profit needed. UGI is now working with the Convent to determine if there are any additional utility rebates for which they can apply. Over the course of the 6-week project, TradeMasters and UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing installed 16 Mitsubishi Intertek outdoor units, connecting to 34

indoor heads. All refrigerant and electrical lines were hidden within outdoor conduits color-matched to the existing siding. Each interior room was fitted with a wall mounted head unit connected to its own wireless thermostat. For this facility, the ductless minisplit was the best solution, providing cost-savings on both the installation and the monthly maintenance. If your home or business is looking for an alternative to retrofitting ductwork, a way to save space, an alternative heat source, or added efficiency and savings, it may be worth your time to look into a mini-split option. Contact a reputable HVAC contractor and ask for a free, in-home consultation to discuss the many options available for your unique situation.

Continued on page 10 8



Parade of Homes


REDEFINING OUTDOOR LIVING S a l s L a n d s c a p e . c o m I 610.777.8889

Another option is simply to use the ductless system as auxiliary heat—turning it on only in the rooms that are in use to provide a little extra warmth. Then, you can turn down the main system’s thermostat to keep your heating costs down. And, when you are running low on oil and want to conserve those last few gallons until your next delivery, you can always rely on the ductless system.

Ductless as a Solution to Other Problems

Sometimes, a one-room mini-split system is the perfect solution for that one area of the building that always seems to be too hot or too cool.

Ductless systems have a wide range of other applications. Many consumers have chosen mini-split systems to heat or cool that oddball section of their home or buildDuctless systems can also be the perfect ing—a sunroom, attic, or garage—or a new solution for homes that simply do not have addition to the building that cannot easily the space for a traditional central heating be tied into the existing HVAC system. and air conditioning system. Homes without basements, such as mobile or modular homes, can benefit greatly from this technology. Recent trends have shown many people looking to install these systems in their shore homes.

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Is there a project in your future? A home improvement loan is perfect for one-time projects no matter what the size. We make funding your improvements easy!

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Many businesses are also choosing a ductless solution for multi-room living spaces. In these instances, business owners, churches, or non-profits often have rooms that are used at irregular intervals—maybe only on weekends during church services, or in dorms that are used only during special events. If those circumstances dictate that just some of the rooms will need to be heated or cooled just some of the time, a ductless solution may make the most sense. It allows for the heat or air to be turned on only when needed, and only where needed. The mini-split system also allows each room’s occupant to set the temperature to his or her own preference.

How Does It Work?

So how, exactly, does a ductless mini-split system work? Each system has a condensing unit on the outside of the building. The compressor—the heart of the condenser—uses inverter technology. The compressor adjusts to the load on the inside of the home to run at whatever speed is needed to keep the area comfortable—that is where the real energy savings come in.

Visit your local office or give us a call at 800.242.2120 to apply! Exeter • Reading • Shillington • West Lawn Federally insured by NCUA.



Each outdoor unit then connects to up to eight indoor units. The most common residential installation would have one outdoor unit connected to one to three indoor heads. Each of these indoor units then can be controlled by a conventional thermostat or a remote handheld unit, allowing for separate climate control in each of the individual zones. The indoor selections can be wall mounted, floor mounted, recessed for drop ceiling I 610.777.8889

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applications. There are also air handler options for retrofitting conventional heat pump installations.

Rebates for High Efficiency

Since these systems have no duct work, there is zero duct loss, making mini-split systems extremely efficient with ratings as high as 26 SEER. Not only does this add

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up to big savings on your energy bills; but, because of these high ratings, most minisplit installations qualify for rebates offered by the local electric utility companies. An experienced HVAC installer or general contractor should be able to assist you with choosing qualifying models and obtaining these rebates.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Angela DeLong is Marketing Manager for UGI Heating, Cooling and Plumbing and for UGI Energy Services, both headquartered in Wyomissing, PA. UGI offers sales, service, and installation of many HVAC systems, including ductless solutions. For more information visit Contact Angela at or by phone at (610) 743-7008.


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he Home Builders Association of Berks County (HBA) is proud to sponsor the lineup for the 2015 Parade of Homes. The Parade will run over two Friday — Saturday — Sunday periods: beginning on Friday, May 29th through Sunday, May 31st, and again from Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. Homes are open on Fridays 3 –7 pm and on weekends 12 – 6 pm. It worked so well last year that we’re bringing it back! This year’s Parade will again feature REMODELED HOME ENTRIES along with NEW HOME ENTRIES. Both our exceptional new home builders and our incomparable remodelers rose to the occasion with some really spectacular creations you won’t want to miss. Come preview the quality construction and superb designs. Take the time to see as many as you can fit into your schedule. Use this Guide to get a brief description of each of the projects. Then, use your GPS or follow the directions to see and touch for yourself the craftsmanship our builders and remodelers have put into each Parade entry. A special thank you to the corporate sponsors of this year’s Parade — their commitment to the entrants and the HBA has once again made this a FREE event for you to enjoy with your family and friends. PS: Feel free to sing I LOVE A PARADE! as loud and as often as you would like.



FORINO CO. LP ADDRESS: 51 Edinboro Lane, Reading, PA 19605 (Lot 231 Willow Glen) ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


This Celia II is an open concept home that features a Superior Wall Xi basement system, 9’ first floor ceilings, modern tile flooring that combines the beauty of hardwood and versatility of ceramic tile. Off the garage, an upgraded mud room offers a “drop-zone,” while the kitchen showcases granite countertops and white cabinets with crown molding. The master suite offers a retreat of sorts with a massive walk-in closet and tile shower. 12


DIRECTIONS: Route 222, Exit onto Rt 61 North. Follow 4.2 Miles and turn right onto Snyder Road (at traffic light adjacent to Raymour & Flanigan). Follow .3 Miles and turn right on Calais Drive. Then follow .5 miles and turn right onto Edinboro Lane. Home is on the right. I 610.777.8889



SAL’S LANDSCAPING & LAWN CARE, INC. ADDRESS: 186 N. Fairwood Avenue, Sinking Spring, PA 19608 (Green Valley Heights) ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


For over 30 years, Sal’s Landscaping has provided Berks County and surrounding areas with quality service and customer satisfaction. We provide residential and commercial landscaping services and base our designs on your individual needs. We’re proud to be a 2014 Berks County Parade of Homes Winner! Hoping to make 2015 our best year yet. So come out and view our work at this year’s Berks County Parade of Homes.

DIRECTIONS: Take 422 W to Sinking Spring. Make a right turn onto Green Valley Road (Sheetz Gas Station). Make a right turn onto Faust Road, and a left turn onto N. Fairwood Avenue.





Welcome to another home by award-winning Builder, Hearthstone Homes. Although no award can replace a satisfied customer, we are honored to have been a part of the Parade for 25 years. This plan is a collaboration of our experience and the client’s ideas. This decorated home captures curb appeal, captivating coiffured ceiling, first floor living, natural light, oversized kitchen, attention to detail. Let’s build Berks County! Visit or 610.378.4851.

DIRECTIONS: Take Oley Pike Turnpike Road, make right onto Glen Oley Drive, the house is on the left. JUNE 2015 AT HOME IN BERKs

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D&B CONSTRUCTION GROUP ADDRESS: 1731 Reading Boulevard, Wyomissing, PA 19610 ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


The appeal of this 4,000 square foot custom home located on the Boulevard in Wyomissing begins with its elegant exterior, showcasing a blend of cedar impressions and field stone. Influenced by both traditional and craftsman styles, the home features an open design concept which emphasizes its livability. Highlights include its custom kitchen and bathrooms, along with hand-scraped hardwood floors.

DIRECTIONS: 222 South to US-422 Bus/Penn Avenue exit. Turn right onto Clayton Avenue. Turn right onto Reading Boulevard. Destination is on the right.



D&B CONSTRUCTION GROUP ADDRESS: 320 Logan Avenue, Wyomissing, PA 19610 ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


Whole house remodels are transformative, as seen in this Wyomissing home. Highlights include a new custom kitchen with solid ash wood island top and builtin appliances, and distinct, staggered-size hardwood floors. Elsewhere, the home’s bath was influenced by a traditional style and showcases custom vanities with tower, as well as a custom tile shower.



DIRECTIONS: 222 South to US-422 Bus/Penn Avenue exit. Turn right onto Clayton Avenue. Turn right onto Reading Boulevard. Turn left onto Logan Avenue. Destination is on the right. I 610.777.8889

The decision to purchase a home is just one of many of life’s stages. Finding the right mortgage professional to help you navigate the process is a valuable resource to getting the keys to your first home. National Penn is there for you, helping you fund all the phases of your life together. Equal Housing Lender Subject to Bank’s normal underwriting criteria

1.800.822.3321 JUNE 2015 AT HOME IN BERKs

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D&B CONSTRUCTION GROUP ADDRESS: 817 Broadcasting Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610 ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


Is the kitchen the heart of your home? In this Wyomissing custom kitchen remodel, D&B Construction Group used an open-design concept perfect for the homeowner who loves to cook and entertain. D&B began by removing interior walls and adding steel reinforcements to support the home’s structural integrity. The new kitchen features cabinetry and countertops in complementary tones, built-in appliances, and a custom island with cooktop and automatic downdraft.

DIRECTIONS: US-422 Bus West turns into Penn Avenue. Turn right onto Woodside Avenue. Woodside Avenue turns into Snyder Road. Turn right onto Wellington Boulevard. Turn left onto Broadcasting Road. Destination is on right.



D&B CONSTRUCTION GROUP ADDRESS: 481 Golf Course Road, Birdsboro, PA 19508 ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


Your bathroom is your oasis—a space that serves as your own personal retreat. In this Birdsboro custom bath remodel, D&B Construction Group created a modern design that features a wall-mounted, open-shelf vanity, wall-mounted faucets with his & hers sinks, a custom tile shower and convenient, under-counter automatic night light. Every inch was designed with the homeowners in mind. 16


DIRECTIONS: 422E to 176 South. Take PA-10 Exit 7. Turn left onto PA-10/Morgantown Road. Turn left onto Golf Course Road. Turn slight left onto Zion Road. Take first left onto Golf Course Road. Destination is on the right. I 610.777.8889




KEYSTONE CUSTOM HOMES ADDRESS: Timberlake: 700 Baywood Avenue, Wernersville, PA 19565 ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


This Parker Traditional home has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. The first floor boasts hardwood flooring, study, dining room, family room with gas fireplace, and kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances with Corian countertops and breakfast area. The kitchen leads to a spacious deck. The second floor hosts four bedrooms with walk-in closets including the Owner’s Suite with private Venetian bath. The second floor also boasts a hall bath and laundry room.

DIRECTIONS: Route 222 N to Route 724 exit. At the top of the ramp, turn left. Travel 1.4 miles and turn left on Route 422 E/Penn Avenue. Travel approximately 3 miles and turn right onto N. Church Street. Go .5 miles and turn left on Timberlake Road. Model is on the right at corner of Timberlake and Baywood Avenue.

LEAD ON! There are volunteer positions available in HBA Leadership: Committee Members Committee Chairs Board of Directors and Officer Positions

(some require a presidential appointment or vote of the Membership)

Contact the HBA 610-777-8889 or JUNE 2015 AT HOME IN BERKs

17 I 610.777.8889



KEYSTONE CUSTOM HOMES ADDRESS: Buckingham Preserve: 1 Furlong Road, Douglassville, PA 19518 ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


This Ethan Traditional boasts 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. The first floor features hardwood flooring, an open foyer, study, dining room, family room with gas fireplace and a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite island and breakfast area leading to a deck. The second floor hosts 4 bedrooms with walk-in closets. The Owner’s Suite features a private Venetian bath. The second floor also boasts a hall bath and laundry room.

DIRECTIONS: From West – Route 422 E, make right on South Center Road, left on East Main Street. 724, right on Unionville Road, take first right into community on Furlong Road, model is on left. From East – Route 422 W, merge onto Pottstown Pike, Route 100 S, merge onto W. Schuylkill Road. 724W, left on Unionville Road. Make first right into community on Furlong Road. The model is on the left.

2015 Parade of Homes Sponsors To learn more about the Parade of Homes and see this year’s Award Winners, visit

Platinum Gold Silver



84 Lumber


Martin Appliance & Water Conditioning Superior Walls by Weaver Precast UGI Utilities, Inc. Weinstein Supply, Reading Eddinger Propane UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing Bank of America


Solutions Concrete, Inc. Decorating Den Interiors Holland’s Electric, Inc.


Yale Electric Supply Co. York International

ReCh2,0+ Berks County Home Owners

Advertise in At Home in Berks, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 2013 ‘Best in Nation’ Home Builders Association magazine, and reach over 20,000 engaged Berks County residents and home owners, and nearly 500 Berks County Home Builders Association (HBA) members and community leaders.

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10 EUROPEAN BUILDERS, LTD. ADDRESS: 85 Reider Road, Fleetwood, PA 19522 ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


European Builders, Ltd. welcomes you to another beautiful custom home in the heart of the Oley Valley. There is a grand, two-story foyer framed by a wrought iron baluster bridge and ten-foot high ceilings throughout the first floor. A two-sided stone fireplace is appreciated on the patio and in the two-story great room. The first floor master bedroom suite has a balcony with breathtaking views.

DIRECTIONS: Take Route 73 South toward Oley, left onto Friendensburg Road, left onto Main Street, right onto Water Street, left onto Stitzer (before bridge)­ — right onto Mill Road, right onto Reider Road (stone road). The house is on the left — 85 Reider Road.



ADDRESS: 566 Imperial Drive, Mohnton, PA 19540 ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


This log-style home is nothing but custom and traditional. Boasting four bedrooms and five bathrooms, this home’s open kitchen includes an arched stone hood and a custom wood bar top. The master bedroom presents a stone fireplace and custom stained glass door leading into the master bath, where a stone shower awaits. An open staircase leads into the day-light basement which highlights a large family room and guest suite.



DIRECTIONS: Take 222 North from Lancaster, get off at Business exit going towards Shillington. Right onto 724, right onto 625, make left onto Hickory Road, make right onto Imperial Drive. The house is on the left. I 610.777.8889

Esterly Concrete

A community bank. Funding community projects.

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Visit Our Expansive Showroom! 1047 Old Bernville Rd. Reading, PA 19605

610.926.8800 800.578.5645 JUNE 2015 AT HOME IN BERKs

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ADDRESS: 129 Stella Drive, Sinking Spring, PA 19608 ADDRESS FOR GPS: Same


Grande Construction presents Green Valley West located in Sinking Spring, PA. These luxurious single family homes are surrounded with natural beauty. The Augusta Model features many extravagant upgrades such as; Hardwood floors, Stone Mantle; Expanded Kitchen Granite Island; Master Suite with Custom Tiled Shower; Arched Balcony Overlooking the First Floor; and a Sunroom that leads to a Composite Deck along with many more upgrades.

DIRECTIONS: Take 422 West thru Sinking Spring. Turn right onto Gaul Road. Development is straight ahead with the single homes on the right and semi’s on the left.


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What You Don’t Know Could Cost You…

 BIG Michael DeBerdine III


e’re already a few weeks into the cooling season—the time of year when some home owners may begin to notice small problems with their central air conditioner. An unlucky few will experience a catastrophic A/C system failure, which can cause a few sweaty days and a major unexpected expense. Fortunately, there are steps everyone can take to keep their A/C system operating at peak efficiency.

Do It Yourself

Home owners who neglect basic A/C maintenance do so at their own peril, says Bruce Crawford, who manages service and installation for E.G. Smith and Boyertown Oil & Propane. He offers a handful of simple maintenance techniques that can lower cooling costs, prevent unnecessary repairs, and extend a system’s life span: • Check the Filter…and replace it regularly. Most home owners have heard this tip­—if you don’t replace the filter, it can block airflow, which makes it more difficult for cool air to reach your living space. But, Crawford explains that neglecting filters for too long can quickly compound the problems: coils can freeze,

leading to a service call, or the condensation drain can become blocked, leading to flooding. A good guideline: replace your filter monthly during cooling season. • Keep it Clean & Clear. Your system’s outdoor unit plays a vital role, housing the system’s compressor and releasing unwanted hot air. When it is surrounded too closely by vegetation or simply becomes dirty, its performance declines. In turn, this makes the entire system work harder, which can reduce the system’s life span. Crawford says home owners should start every spring by clearing leaves, foliage, dust, and debris from their outside unit. • Manage Your Thermostat. If you can, turn it up. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that every degree increase in your AC’s temperature can reduce your electric bill by 7%. You should also avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your system, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That won’t cool your home any faster, but it could result in unnecessary expense. Continued on page 20 JUNE 2015 AT HOME IN BERKs

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• Use those ceiling fans. Don’t choose between your ceiling fans and your A/C system—use both. Fans create a wind chill effect that will make you more comfortable in your home. In fact, if you cool with an air conditioning system, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort, according to

Questions You Should Ask

When was the last time my system was professionally serviced? Routine annual service prevents about 70% of all A/C outages and can increase the life span of a system by up to 50%. Clearly, maintenance is vital. Be sure to choose a provider with trained technicians, and ask for details on what the annual service entails. A reputable HVAC company should include a thorough cleaning, a full system inspection, lubrication of all moving parts, and a system review of refrigerant, condenser coil, belts, and wiring. Do I have a service contract? Every home owner should investigate the benefits of a service plan that offers coverage for repairs and includes the routine maintenance described above. Think of it this way: Most people believe it’s too risky to drive a car without insurance, so they use insurance to protect themselves from the high cost of an accident. Likewise, it makes sense to protect

another costly investment: your A/C system. Am I under warranty? Central air-conditioning systems carry warranties, but what those warranties cover—and how long they last—can vary dramatically among manufacturers. Take time to dig out the paperwork from your last installation, or from the purchase of your new home, and find out whether your system is still under warranty and what, specifically, it covers. How is my system performing? Your central air conditioner has one very important job: to make your home livable. Assess how well it’s doing that job: Does it cool evenly, or are there areas in your home that stay noticeably warmer? Is it running smoothly, or is it unusually noisy? If you answer any of these questions negatively, it makes sense to have a cooling system assessment by an HVAC professional.

SIMPLY THE BEST TRUCK TOOLBOX & VAN STORAGE EQUIPMENT Installed and maintained by the region's best full-service truck equipment and repair facility.



3417 Pricetown Rd • Fleetwood, PA • 610.944.7455 I 610.777.8889

When To Replace

Eventually, every home owner will have to install a new system. Aside from a complete system failure, there are several indicators that may lead a home owner to consult with an HVAC installer: • Systems older than 10 years. For these systems, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy recommends evaluation by a qualified contractor. • An addition to your home. If you’ve added square footage to your home, your cooling system may not be adequate to meet your needs. • Problem areas. If existing equipment is not properly cooling specific rooms or areas of the home, it may indicate an undersized (overtaxed) system that’s ripe for a breakdown. While it’s undoubtedly a major investment, a new central A/C system offers key benefits: increased efficiency, lower utility bills, better air quality and a more consistent temperature throughout your home. An experienced cooling installer will help you identify a properly sized system for your specific situation. In addition, many providers—including E.G. Smith, Inc. and Boyertown Oil & Propane—can help home owners identify hundreds of dollars in savings through utility rebates, manufacturers’ incentives, and customer loyalty programs. When it comes to keeping cool and saving money, start with the basic steps, and have a professional provide annual maintenance. You’ll benefit from lower cooling bills—and you’ll add years to the life of your central air conditioner.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael DeBerdine III is President and CEO of the Jerome H. Rhoads family of companies. The organization serves Berks County through local subsidiaries including Boyertown Oil & Propane and E.G. Smith Inc. For information, visit or Contact Michael by Email at




Get Help with Your New Home

from Start to Finish Lindsey Olpp


uilding a new home is a huge step. It is the start of a new and exciting chapter in life. While this is something to be excited about, a considerably large amount of time and work goes into the process.



At UGI, we understand it is essential to be equipped with the resources and information needed to reduce stress and make your home building experience a positive one. For that reason, we created

FindNBuild, a free website, and mobile app, to be a resource for all of your home building needs. This website serves those in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as the Lehigh Valley and Berks County. I 610.777.8889

It offers a convenient way to find local home builders and resources, along with tips for home building, lowering living costs, and other related information.

A n e w a l t s L a n d s c a p e . c o m

Local Home Builders

The primary goal of FindNBuild is to offer a fast and easy way to find the best local builders in the area. Choosing a home builder is the first step and also the most important decision to make in the home building process. With all the decisions that go in to building a home, it is essential to have a builder who is compatible with your needs and who is willing to work with the home buyer.

Beautifying Pennsylvania One Yard at a Time

Berks’ Premier Full-Service Landscape Program Offering Year Round, Customizable Services: Edge/Mulch Beds Mowing Shrub Pruning Plant Health Care

The local home builder search tool allows you to search by country, city, or school district. You can also narrow your search results by radius from location, price, and number of bedrooms you want.

Turf Fertilization Bed Fertilization Weed Control

Local Resources


PA #5744


With all the dynamics involved in building a home, it is important to have resources. FindNBuild puts theses resources at your fingertips with a dedicated local resource and utility information section.

 Home Builder Associations  Chambers of Commerce  Home Improvement Centers  Appliance Dealers  HVAC Contractors  Landscaping Contractors  Mortgage Calculators/ Financial Institutions  Moving Companies & Truck Rentals  Storage Companies  Utilities  Visitor Bureaus

Spring/Fall Clean-Up

most of the articles can also apply to house-hunters, current homeowners, and even renters.

remodeling, decorating, and landscaping. There are also articles that include techniques to add value to your home over time for resale in the future.

Cost is an important factor to consider throughout the home building process. One of the most important factors to be Money cannot bring you happiness, but it aware of when owning a home is the cost of On FindNBuild, you will find numerous sure helps. There are several articles that living, or utilities. FindNBuild offers many short articles with tips that cover a vast share ways to help save money for all the articles that share cost-saving measures amount of different information to guide costly scenarios soon-to-be or current home people who are building homes. However, owners may encounter including building, Continued on page 24

Home-Building Tips & More


27 I 610.777.8889

you can take throughout the building process. For when you are living in the home, FindNBuild offers ways to keep your home energy efficient. This will not only save you money, but it is helpful to the environment.

Relax & Remember the Big Picture

Building a home can be one of the most exciting times of your life, and maybe a little stressful at times. Remember that you are working towards your dream home and a Additionally, it has a home heat savings new chapter of your life. FindNBuild can calculator to compare energy costs and a help guide you through the home buildsource to check for natural gas availabili- ing process, so take the first step in your ty where you plan to build. Natural gas is homebuilding journey with FindNBuild. the most efficient and affordable way to Visit or download heat your home, and its availability should our free app. be considered a top priority in building a new home.

In addition to saving money, new home owners and people building homes need general guidance. Similar to most aspects of life, knowledge comes with experience. FindNBuild acts as your guide for owning a home, house-hunting, home building, improving the environment of your home, and much more. 28


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lindsey Olpp is a Marketing Intern at UGI Utilities, Inc., a natural gas and electric utility committed to delivering reliable, safe and affordable energy to 660,000 customers in 45 counties in Pennsylvania and one county in Maryland. Go to and click on “Gas For Homes” in the upper left to learn more. Contact UGI’s Marketing group at

If you are a builder interested in being listed in FindNBuild for free, please visit or by phone (610) 796-3469.


Ready to Buy a Home? Kathleen A Godio, SVP


ome buying season has officially begun! With that in mind, here is some insight to starting the process of purchasing a home.

Renting vs. Buying

Did you know, in many cases your mortgage payment could be cheaper than paying rent? Today many people, especially of the younger generation, do not realize they could be in a position to purchase a home—so they become renters. Why? There is a lack of knowledge and education around home buying.

Consulting with a mortgage representative will help answer questions and provide guidance. In fact, many potential buyers are able to make monthly mortgage payments, however, they fear not having enough money for a down payment. This is discouraging for a potential homebuyer, preventing them from looking into their options. Contact a mortgage representative and see if buying a home is right for you.

First-time Home Buyers

Contrary to what you may have heard, the mortgage industry has many options available for first-time home buyers. There are products that allow for little or no money down, which could include a reduced monthly mortgage insurance premium. The buying process can be daunting, so make sure you consult with a mortgage representative.

Choosing the Right Lender

The first step in the home buying process is choosing a reputable lender to navigate this complex process. Be sure to choose a lender who is communicative and willing to work with you to find the right product/program that fits your needs. This is an exciting time for you and your family; the right lender will help to alleviate the stress associated with the home buying process. After you have selected your lender and prior to shopping for your new home, they will discuss product options and begin the qualification process.

Product Options

There are many options available to help you purchase a home. For example, products such as USDA, FHA, VA, and PHFA allow a buyer to put little or no money down. They may also allow for the seller to pay all or a portion of the closing costs. 30

AT HOME IN BERKs JUNE 2015 I 610.777.8889

Each transaction is different, so make sure you have a capable lender whom will outline the options for rate, terms, qualification, cost and cash needed.

Your Part in the Process

While your lender carries the bulk of the work, you will be asked for a wealth of information and need to be prepared to follow the instructions regarding information requested by your mortgage lender. Your cooperation as the home buyer will aid in making the process a smooth one.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathleen A. Godio is the Director of Sales & Marketing for National Penn’s Mortgage Group, an Equal Housing Lender. She has been in the mortgage industry for 35 years and brings her wealth of knowledge to her staff. She provides product training, marketing, insight on planning and implementing sales strategies. To contact Kathleen you can email her at Kathleen.Godio@

Design Create Maintain 3049 Pricetown Rd. (Rt. 12) Temple, PA (610) 929-5049

make your house a home

What Proof Do You Need?

You should begin locating, assembling, and either copying or scanning information that many lenders ask to see during the loan approval process. You MAY need to provide: O Personal Federal Income Taxes (and Business, if self-employed) for the last 3 years O Checking and/or Savings Account Statements for the last 6 months O Proof of other sources of income O Fully Executed Sales Agreement with all addenda for home you choose O W-2 Wage and Tax Statements for all jobs of all applicants O Most Recent two Pay Stubs for all jobs of all applicants O Current Mortgage/Home Equity Statements on all loans O Statements for all assets listed on application (checking, savings, stocks, IRA, 401(k)) O Home Owner’s Insurance Policy Declarations Page O Condo/ Home Owners Association documents (if applicable) O Most Recent Property Tax Bill



ER GARDEN CENT Where you can ints preview your pr and plants!


Commercial & Residential Services Landscaping | Hardscaping Ponds, Water Features & Waterfalls Property Maintenance Services

PA #005859


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Membership happenings 2015 Upcoming Events…



Jun 2-6

JUN 5-7

Parade of Homes Berks County All Day

Spring NAHB Board Meeting

Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC All Day

Parade of Homes Berks County



 Install America  Kohl Building Products  Turnberry Custom Homes  Stoney Creek Rentals  Greth Homes  James A. Turner Company  Morgan Enterprises

26-30 Years

 84 Lumber

PBA Committee & Board Meetings


6-10 Years

 Henry R Sharman, Inc.  Fronheiser Pools

21-25 Years

JUL 17-18

31+ Years

 Reading Box Co., Inc.

All Day



to renewing members of the Home Builders Association of Berks County (HBA)

16-20 Years

Fish Pond West Start Time: 5:00 pm

Wyndham Grand, Pittsburgh, PA All Day

 Omega Builders Inc.  Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technical Center  Roland Stock, LLC  Grande Construction  Stackhouse Bensinger Inc.

11-15 Years

Association Leadership Institute Pittsburgh, PA

 Snyder’s Construction Co.  Bachman’s Roofing, Building & Remodeling, Inc.

2-5 Years  Down To Earth Hardscapes  Fleetwood Bank  Mohns Drywall, LLC  All Green Lawn & Tree Care, Inc.  Basement Waterproofing Specialists  D & S Elite Construction, Inc.  Masano Bradley  RE/MAX of Reading  AmeriCon Builders, Inc.  Lehigh Valley Contractors Association  UGI HVAC Enterprises, Inc.

1st Year Anniversary

All Day

 Jonathan P. Brightbill Construction  Stankiewicz Drywall, Painting, Construction, LLC

Member 2 Member Discount Program As one of the many benefits of membership in the Home Builders Association of Berks County (HBA), the following members are offering the discounts listed to HBA members only.

Quality Floors Inc.

Aluminum Associates / Sloan Corporation

10% OFF ANY ORDER (Not valid with any other offers or prior purchases)


Geoff Penske Buick GMC

Martin’s Flooring, Inc.



Contact: Chuck Smith 800.446.6035

Contact: Victor Popescu 610.777.1300 (Call Victor for more details on how you can save.)

Berks Transfer

Contact: Bob Quinn 610.926.7626



Contact: Kert E. Sloan 610.921.2201

Contact: Richie Zook 877.445.7799 (Ask about our contractor referral program)

If you would like to join the HBA or offer a Member 2 Member Discount, contact the HBA office: 610.777.8889. I 610.777.8889

Membership happenings 2015 Foundation Club Members: (In date order) James Gavin, Esquire Masano Bradley

Bryan Moll B&G Glass

Tom Kearse Kohl Building Products

Cathy Sloan Hartman’s Home Improvements

Deborah Kearse Kohl Building Products

Kert Sloan Aluminum Associates / Sloan Corp

Larry Kehres L.A. Kehres Building & Remodeling

Eric Keller Berks Fire Water Restoration Inc.

Brad Kehres L.A. Kehres Building & Remodeling

Patrick J. Dolan Dolan Construction Inc

Edward Anewalt IV Anewalt’s Landscape Contracting

Beth A. Hahn SAH, Inc.

Walter Greth Greth Homes

Gregg A. Bogia Bogia Engineering, Inc.

John Newton Greth Homes

Diane R. Salks Riverview Tree & Landscaping, Inc.

David Gallen Gallen Insurance

Steven D. Bright EJB Paving & Materials Co.

Bob Holt Holts Remodeling

Larry K. Lill UGI HVAC Services

Kevin Kozo Turnberry Custom Homes

Gregory R. Eshbach Malsnee Tile & Stone

Joseph J. Witkowski, Jr. Herbein + Company

welcome new members Landmark Homes Laura Leonard 1737 West Main Street, Ephrata, PA 17522 PH: (717) 733-1536 Sponsor: Stephanie O’Hara

Middle Creek Roofing LLC Ben Lapp 5 Stump Road, Newmanstown, PA 17073 PH: (717) 949-2414 Sponsor: Eric Keller

Survey One Gregory Dimovitz 280 Faith Drive, Mohrsville, PA 19541 PH: (610) 916-8816 Sponsor: Edward F. Anewalt

Call the HBA office at 610.777.8889 to learn how to become a member of the FOUNDATION CLUB.

These members understand the important role legislation plays in their businesses and the importance of electing and supporting legislators who are sensitive to the issues affecting the building industry.


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What’s HOT ON

Experienced Mom & Pop Remodelers


A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out — Restoring Hope

Host Joe Kelly welcomes Aluminum Associates to the “Ask the Home Inspector Show.” Kert & Cathy Sloan join Joe to cover topics such as: selecting a remodeler, small projects to upkeep your home, remodeling ideas, aging in place, and extreme home makeovers. The HBA of Berks County,, and the “Ask the Home Inspector” television show teamed up in 2015 to provide monthly shows to educate the public on home maintenance, construction, and similarly related issues. (Length: 24:46)

Host Joe Kelly welcomes the HBA Restoring Hope Foundation to the “Ask the Home Inspector Show.” Diane K. Salks, Board of Directors Chair, and Dennis Kintzer, Board of Directors and Fundraising Committee Chair, join Joe to talk about everything you ever wanted to know about the HBA Restoring Hope Foundation. The HBA of Berks County,, and the “Ask the Home Inspector” television show teamed up in 2015 to provide monthly shows to educate the public on home maintenance, construction, and similarly related issues. (Length: 23:01)

Home Energy Efficiency = Savings

Changing World of Construction  — Hiring a Contractor

Host Joe Kelly welcomes East Penn Energy Solutions to the “Ask the Home Inspector Show.” W. David Wallace joins Joe to cover topics such as: home comfort level vs. energy cost savings, how homes ‘breathe’, the value of an energy audit, indoor air quality, and mold. The HBA of Berks County,, and the “Ask the Home Inspector” television show teamed up in 2015 to provide monthly shows to educate the public on home maintenance, construction, and similarly related issues. (Length: 22:43)




Host Joe Kelly and Christian D. Malesic, MBA, IOM, discuss the HBA, HBA Restoring Hope Extreme Home Makeover annual builds, changing landscape of construction, new & innovative products, PA laws and licensing, and how to hire a great contractor. Christian D. Malesic, MBA, IOM, Executive Officer of the Home Builders Association of Berks County (HBA), was the January 2015 guest on Berks Community Television’s (BCTV) “Ask the Home Inspector,” hosted by Joe Kelly. The HBA of Berks County,, and the “Ask the Home Inspector” television show teamed up in 2015 to provide monthly shows to educate the public on home maintenance, construction, and similarly related issues. (Length: 26:28)

Mon., Tue., Thurs., Fri. 8-8 Wed. 8-5 Sat. 9-3

Reading | 610-401-0390 1-866-497-2481 42

4850 Perkiomen Ave., Reading (Exeter Township on Route 422)

Jun 2015: At Home in Berks  
Jun 2015: At Home in Berks  

The 2015 Parade of Homes issue of “At Home in Berks” magazine, published 1 Jun 15. Make Your Home Perfectly You. Start Fresh. Design It Your...