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NAIL The official magazine of Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee President John Zelenak Vice President Keith Porterfield Secretary/Treasurer Justin Hicks Executive Vice President John Sheley Editor and Designer Jim Argo Staff Connie Nicley Pat Newsome Charlotte Fischer
THE NAIL is published monthly by the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee, a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting the American dream of homeownership to all residents of Middle Tennessee. SUBMISSIONS: THE NAIL welcomes manuscripts and photos related to the Middle Tennessee housing industry for publication. Editor reserves the right to edit due to content and space limitations. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: HBAMT, 9007 Overlook Boulevard, Brentwood, TN 37027. Phone: (615) 377-1055.
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FEATURES 9 Consumer confidence on the rise
The Conference Board reports that Consumers are very optimistic about both the current situation and the near term outlook.
10 2017 Pinnacle Financial Partners Parade of Homes The 2017 Pinnacle Financial Partners Parade of Homes is scheduled for this October at the Witherspoon community in Brentwood!
13 Steps to a strong safety culture on the jobsite
Follow these steps to keep everyone safe and productive on your construction jobsites.
DEPARTMENTS 6 News & Information 12 SPIKE Club Report 14 April Calendar 14 Chapters and Councils
ON THE COVER: Consumer confidence and home sales are conspiring to make this a very active Spring season. More details on pages 6 and nine. April, 2017
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New home sales rise 6.1 percent in February
ales of newly built, single-family homes continued to expand, rising 6.1 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. “February’s increase in new home sales is consistent with builders’ growing confidence in the housing market,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder
Ongoing job creation, rising household formations and affordable home prices should keep the market on an upward trajectory. 6 The NAIL
and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “Builders are encouraged by heightened consumer activity and by the expectation that regulatory costs will decline in the year ahead.” “The uptick in mortgage interest rates is having a minimal effect on new home sales thus far,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Ongoing job creation, rising household formations and affordable home prices should keep the market on an upward trajectory in 2017.” The inventory of new home sales for sale was 266,000 in February, which is a 5.4-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold was $296,200. Regionally, new home sales increased 30.9 percent in the Midwest, 7.5 percent in the West and 3.6 percent in the South. Sales fell 21.4 percent in the Northeast. n
Single family housing starts reach highest level since 2007
ationwide housing starts rose 3 percent in February from an upwardly revised January reading to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.288 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Single-family production increased 6.5 percent to 872,000 units — its highest reading in nearly a decade — while multifamily starts fell 3.7 percent to 416,000 units. “This month’s gain in single-family starts is consistent with rising builder confidence in the housing market,” said Granger MacDonald, NAHB chairman. “We should see single-family production continue to grow throughout the year, tempered somewhat by supply-side constraints such as access to lots and labor.” “The growth in the single-family arena is very encouraging, but may be partly attributable to unusually warm weather conditions throughout most of the country,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The modest drop in multifamily starts is in line with our forecast, which calls for this sector to continue to stabilize in 2017.” Regionally in February, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose 35.7 percent in the West. Starts fell by 3.8 percent in the South, 4.6 in the Midwest and 9.8 percent in the Northeast. A drop in multifamily permits pulled overall permit issuance down 6.2 percent in February. Multifamily permits fell 21.6 percent to 381,000 units, while single-family permits rose
3.1 percent to 832,000 units — its highest level since September 2007. Regionally, overall permits rose 25.4 percent in the Midwest. Permits fell 10 percent in the West, 10.4 percent in the South and 22.3 percent in the Northeast.
Builder confidence settle Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped six points to a level of 71 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since June 2005. “Builders are buoyed by President Trump’s actions on regulatory reform, particularly his recent executive order to rescind or revise the
Building materials prices rise in February
he cost of building homes is going up. The latest Producer Price Index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that prices of softwood lumber, gypsum, ready-mix concrete and OSB all rose in February. The increases were led by gypsum products, with softwood lumber a close second. After falling in four of the past five months, the price of softwood lumber jumped 4.8% in February. This was the biggest increase in four years and largely due to the ongoing softwood lumber trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada. Some soft-
waters of the U.S. rule that impacts permitting,” said MacDonald. “While builders are clearly confident, we expect some moderation in the index moving forward,” said Dietz. “Builders continue to face a number of challenges, including rising material prices, higher mortgage rates, and shortages of lots and labor.” Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/ Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. All three HMI components posted robust gains in March. The component gauging current sales conditions increased seven points to 78 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months rose five points to 78. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic jumped eight points to 54. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Midwest increased three points to 68 and the South rose one point to 68. The West dipped three points to 76 and the Northeast edged one point lower to 48. n Editor’s Note: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public. HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at housingeconomics.com.
climbed by 3% and 0.5%, respectively, in February. n
wood products rose as much as 30% during the three-week period from Jan. 27 through Feb. 17. However, Random Lengths weekly price data shows that framing lumber prices have either held steady or slightly declined since Feb. 24. Meanwhile, gypsum prices posted a 5.3% jump in February, the largest monthly increase since January 2015. Prices rose by a total of 6.2% in the first two months of this year. NAHB will pay close attention to whether this rise is an isolated phenomenon or the start of an upward trend. OSB and ready-mix concrete prices
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HBAMT makes annual visit to State Capitol
embers from local Home Builders Associations across the state converged on the State Capitol in downtown Nashville in February to talk with their respective state senators and representatives about legislative issues that affect home building locally, statewide and nationwide. HBAMT members were out in force as dozens of our association members made their way to the Hill and special events held at The Hermitage Hotel to talk with local government officials. n
James Carbine, Representative Glen Casada, Mitzi Spann and Carmen Ryan.
James Carbine, Representative Charles Sargent, Steve Cates and John Zelenak.
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Mitzi Spann and Representative Michael Curcio.
Consumer confidence on the rise
onsumer confidence, reported by the Conference Board, increased in March. Consumers were very optimistic about both the current situation and the near term outlook. The Consumer Confidence Index increased to 125.6 in March, from 116.1 in February. Both the present situation index and the expectations index reached post-recession highs. The present situation index rose from 134.4 to 143.1 and the expectations index increased from 103.9 to 113.8. Consumers were quite optimistic about current business conditions. There were 32.2% of respondents rating business conditions “good”, 3.9 percentage points more than last month. The shares of respondents reporting business conditions “bad” and “normal” decreased by
0.5 and 3.4 percentage points, respectively. Expectations of business conditions over the next six months also strengthened. The share of respondents expecting future business conditions to be better increased by 3.2 percentage points from 23.9% to 27.1%, while the shares of respondents expecting business conditions to worsen and to be the same declined by 2.1 and 1.1 percentage points, respectively. Similar to business conditions, both consumers’ assessments of current employment conditions and expectations of employment over the next six months were favorable in March. For current employment conditions, the share of respondents reporting that jobs were “plentiful” increased from 26.9% to 31.7%, with the net gain coming from the net declines in assessments
of “jobs not so plentiful” (4.4 percentage points) and “jobs hard to get” (0.4 percentage point). As for expectations of employment, the share of respondents expecting “more jobs” in the coming six months increased by 3.9 percentage points from 20.9% to 24.8%, with the net gain coming from the net declines in expectations of “fewer jobs” (1.4 percentage points) and “same” (2.5 percentage points). The Conference Board also reported the share of respondents planning to buy a home within six months. There were 6.0% of respondents planning to buy a home in March, compared with 6.5% in February. Despite the monthly volatility, the trend in the share of respondents planning to buy a home within six months has been climbing. n
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2017 Parade builders, site set for fall show!
ark your calendars now for the 2017 Pinnacle Financial Partners Parade of Homes™! The popular custom home tour will open Saturday, October 7 and run daily through Sunday, October 22 at the Witherspoon community in Brentwood, Tenn. “We’re very excited to be hosting the 2017 Pinnacle Financial Partners Parade of Homes™ and can’t wait for people to attend the event
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and see our community first hand,” said Allen Patton, partner at CPS Land. “Witherspoon offers an unmatched combination of natural beauty and classic architecture and the builders we have lined up to participate are some of the best in middle Tennessee.” The developer has assembled an impressive cast of builders: Barlow Builders, Castle Construction, Legend Homes, Stonegate Homes, Schumacher Homes, and Mike Ford Custom
Legend Homes Doug Herman
Stonegate Homes Paul Huff
Homes. “We’re looking forward to a great event and giving attendees something a show they’ll always remember,” said Patton. Interior decorating and design teams are currently being assembled by the builders. For more information visit www.hbamt.org and follow the event right up until opening day on the 2017 Pinnacle Financial Partners Parade of Homes Facebook page. n
Schumacher Homes Keith Schumacher
Mike Ford Custom Homes Mike Ford
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SPIKE REPORT Tim Ferguson Jim McLean Louise Stark Harry Johnson Steve Cates C.W. Bartlett
Twenty-five SPIKES (in bold) increased their recruitment numbers last month. What is a SPIKE? SPIKES recruit new members and help the association retain members. Here is the latest SPIKE report as of February 28, 2017. Top 20 Big Spikes Mitzi Spann Terry Cobb Jim Fischer John Whitaker James Carbine Jennifer Earnest Trey Lewis Kevin Hale David Crane Reese Smith III Steve Moody James Franks Davis Lamb Jackson Downey
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746 569 566 505 371 354 338 294 291 261 219 215 200 182
177 164 163 146 142 138
Life Spikes Sam Carbine 131 Tonya Esquibel 126 Steve Hewlett 119 B.J. Hanson 114 Carmen Ryan 114 Jordan Clark 112 Dave McGowan 106 Duane Vanhook 95 Wiggs Thompson 94 Jeff Zeitlin 87 John Zelenak 86 Helmut Mundt 82 Michael Dillon 78 Erin Richardson 76 Randall Smith 75 Christina Cunningham 71 Lori Fisk-Conners 65 Don Bruce 62 Justin Hicks 60 Beth Sturm 60 David Hughes 56 Joe Morgan 54 John Broderick 54
Andrew Neuman Marty Maitland John Ganschow Ron Schroeder Bryan Edwards Derenda Sircy Keith Porterfield Ricky Scott Ashley Crews Don Mahone
50 48 47 46 44 41 35 30 29 25
Spikes Phillip Smith 24 Frank Tyree 23 Rick Olszewski 21 Jay Elisar 18 Jody Derrick 17 John Burns 15 Frank Jones 15 Gina Hewlett 10 Pam Smith 10 Kenny Burd 9 Will Montgomery 9 Perry Pratt 8 Bob Bellenfant 7 Stacy DeSoto 7 Rob Pease 7 McClain Franks 6
Steps to a strong safety culture on the jobsites
aying that safety on the jobsite is a priority is very easy. Implementing a culture of safety throughout a company takes commitment. “Construction is dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be that way if we include safety first and foremost in our operations,” said Tony Lombardi, director of safety at Centennial Contractors Enterprises Inc., a Reston, Va. consulting firm. Lombardi offers five tips for promoting safety with employees, subcontractors and suppliers:
Lead by Example A commitment to safety must start at the top to ensure that it remains the No. 1 priority. Employees should always see safety demonstrated by their leaders and peers. Senior management sets the example by making safety key to all strategic planning efforts and the first topic of discussion at every meeting. Management should also engage in a thorough evaluation of every incident to discover how it happened, support the employee and family, and review historical data of the site where the incident occurred, including the status of safety inspections and prior issues to prevent future occurrences. In addition, maintaining a department of safety professionals that includes director of safety and an executive safety officer allows a company to conduct periodic and regular training and thorough site inspections.
Empower All Employees All employees and subcontractors must have the right and responsibility to stop work if they
see an unsafe situation, even if it compromises timelines or budgets. Employees and subcontractors should feel comfortable bringing up issues and concerns so that managers can address them prior to an incident occurring. Keeping safety local keeps it top of mind. Each jobsite should contain safety personnel. Large projects or regions should have full-time safety managers. Small projects should appoint a superintendent or project manager to serve as the project safety officer.
Train, Train, Train Require regular safety training. New employees should complete safety training within seven days of being hired. Within 60 days, new employees and interested subcontractors should complete the 30-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training course. Numerous training sessions, fairs and luncheons can help reduce workplace accidents. Short weekly toolbox meetings focus on one aspect of safety each week. They should cover topics relevant to the work at that particular job site using safety lesson plans available on the company website. These meetings should be mandatory for all employees at the site. Luncheons provide a little more depth into safety topics over a two- to three-hour period. Employees receive hands-on and lecture training and take away knowledge to help them do their job better. Fairs require a full day and include demonstrations of safety equipment, discussion sessions, and lectures on safety issues ranging from fall protection and scaffolding to excavations and writing safety plans. The site must close for the day so that all workers on the site and in the office can attend safety training fairs.
Set Benchmarks and Goals Set goals and objectives such as zero accidents, no lost time, education and training, performance improvement, and attitude and commitment. Track the performance of both the project team and subcontractor performance. In addition to overarching company goals, set specific goals for specific projects before the work begins. Convey to all parties involved in the project that if an incident occurs, work will stop until the root cause of that incident is discovered and resolved.
Offer Incentives for Good Safety Practices Recognition programs help to foster performance improvement and loyalty, as well as increase the quality of construction projects. Recognize the efforts and results of employees and subcontractors who work hard to maintain a safe environment. Consider monetary rewards or token gifts for the sites with the best safety records as well as people using safe practices on the spot. Establishing positive relationships with subcontractors and trust with employees goes a long way in establishing a safety culture. It gives them the confidence to come forward with issues and incidents, no matter how small, that can be dealt with prior to a major accident occurring. Company-wide commitment and an aggressive passion for doing the right thing is the catalyst for a successful safety program. A safety culture will show through everything the company does. For additional information on jobsite safety, contact NAHB’s Rob Matuga. n April, 2017
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APRIL Calendar Sunday
MTSMC meeting HBAMT Spring Mixer!
Dickson County Chapter meeting
HBAMT Remodelers Council meeting
Metro/Nashville Chapter meeting
Chapters & Councils CHAPTERS CHEATHAM COUNTY CHAPTER Chapter President - Roy Miles: 615/646-3303 Cheatham County Chapter details are being planned. Next meeting: to be announced. Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 310 DICKSON COUNTY CHAPTER Chapter President - Mark Denney: 615/446-2873. The Dickson County Chapter meets on the third Monday of the month, 12:00 p.m. at the Ponderosa Restaurant in Dickson. Next meeting: Monday, April 17. Topic: PPG Paints. Price: FREE, lunch dutch treat. Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 307 MAURY COUNTY CHAPTER Maury County Chapter details are currently being planned. Next meeting: to be announced. Chapter RSVP line: 615-377-9651, ext. 312; for callers outside the 615 area code, 1-800-571-9995, ext. 312 METRO/NASHVILLE CHAPTER Chapter President - John Whitaker: 615/843-3300. The Metro/Nashville Chapter meets on the fourth Monday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the HBAMT offices. Next meeting: Monday, April 24. Topic: to be announced. Builders Free pending sponsorship. Price: $10 per person with RSVP ($20 w/o RSVP). Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 304 ROBERTSON COUNTY CHAPTER
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Next meeting: to be announced. Robertson County RSVP line: 615-377-9651, ext. 313.
sponsorship; $20 for non-members with RSVP ($25 w/o). Council RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 308
SUMNER COUNTY CHAPTER The Sumner County Chapter meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the new Hendersonville Library. Next meeting: to be announced. Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 306
HBAMT REMODELERS COUNCIL Council President - Ricky Scott. The HBAMT Remodelers Council meets on the third Wednesday of the month at varying locations. Next meeting: Wednesday, April 19. Location: to be announced. Topic: to be announced. Price: free for RMC members with RSVP; $15 for non-members with RSVP ($20 w/o). Council RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 301
WILLIAMSON COUNTY CHAPTER Chapter President - BJ Hanson: 615/884-4935. The Williamson County Chapter meets on the third Tuesday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the HBAMT offices. Next meeting: to be announced. Builders Free pending sponsorship. Price: $10 per person with RSVP ($20 w/o RSVP). Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 305 WILSON COUNTY CHAPTER The Wilson County Chapter meets on the second Thursday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the Five Oaks Golf & Country Club in Lebanon. Next meeting: to be announced. Chapter RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 309 COUNCILS GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL Council President - Erin Richardson: 615/883-8526. The Green Building Council meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month, 11:00 a.m. Next meeting: to be announced. Topic: to be announced. Price: free for Green Building Council members pending
INFILL BUILDERS COUNCIL The Infill Builders meets on the third Thursday of the month, 11:30 a.m. at the HBAMT offices until further notice. Next meeting: to be announced. Council RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 311 MIDDLE TENN SALES & MARKETING COUNCIL Council President - Ashley Crews. The SMC meets on the first Thursday of the month, 9:00 a.m. at the HBAMT offices. Next meeting: Thursday, April 6, 9:00 a.m. at the HBAMT. Topic: “Home Mortgage Discussion,” with a panel of mortgage professionals and experts. SMC members free pending sponsorship; non-SMC members $25 w/RSVP, $35 w/o RSVP Council RSVP Line: 615/377-9651, ext. 302.
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The April, 2017 issue of The Nail, the official monthly publication of the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee (HBAMT).