At Home in Berks June 2014

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Home Builders Association of Berks County

JUNE 2014


Design Decorating your home in style!


Parade of Homes A Special Preview of the “Built by Berks” Dream Homes

Coming Late Summer 2014

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JUNE 2014

Features: 8

Do it Right the First Time Quality vs. Quantity: Home remodeling.


Principles of Design Decorating your home in style!


Skills Learned Locally Demanded for Local Jobs Earn a Job Not Just a Diploma.


Contemporary Lighting


2014 Parade of Homes

Can Make a Big Difference in Home Decor.

Preview of the “Built by Berks” Dream Homes.

Angles 29

So You Just Bought Your Dream Home Time to think about renovations!


It’s a Great Time to Buy a House What to look for in a financial lender.

Departments 6

From the President HBA of Berks County President Patrick Dolan.


Membership Pages New and returning members, member to member discount programs, and an overview of all Association-related events from June – August 2014. JUNE 2014 AT HOME IN BERKs

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2014 HBA Berks

Board of Directors Officers:

From the President

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

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

Second Vice President James E. Gavin, Esquire Masano Bradley Attorneys at Law (Wyomissing)

Checklist for Keeping Your Home Healthy



henever I try to do projects around the house, I always seem to be searching for my cordless drill. I know I should put it back in the same spot, but still I never seem to do it. Searching for it each time distracts me from starting on my projects. I start to organize the garage or do anything but the task I had in mind. I really need a checklist to keep me focused on my chores and help tick off what needs to be done. It made me think about what needs to be done around the house, so maybe we could all benefit from a checklist. Our magazine is called At Home in Berks. And, no matter where you lay your head and call it home, we should all be concerned with ensuring our home is healthy. The home is often the biggest investment many will make in their lifetime, which is good reason alone to take proper care of it. It is also the place where we raise our families and spend many hours making life’s memories. So, these are important reasons to make sure your home stays in good condition and ensures a clean, comfortable, and safe environment for your family for many years. The following checklist tasks should be completed at least annually to keep your home operating efficiently and protect your investment.

Chad E. Camburn, P.E. Bursich Associates, Inc. (Pottstown)

Treasurer Evan L. Hand, III

National Penn Bank (Wyomissing)

Immediate Past President Cathy Sloan, CGR, CAPS, CGP Aluminum Associates/ Sloan Corporation (Temple)

Builder/Remodeler Directors Daphne D. Frownfelter, CKD Deer Mountain Kitchens, LLC (Robesonia)

Brad Kehres

L A Kehres Building & Remodeling (Leesport)

Eric Keller

Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. (Reading)

Bryan Moll

B & G Glass (Reading)

Diane K. Salks

Riverview Tree & Landscaping, Inc. (Temple)

Associate Directors David Hallowell Heffleger Kitchen Center (Reading)

Sherrie Hallowell

Tompkins VIST Bank (Wyomissing)

Bruce T. Rader, P.E., P.L.S. Berks Surveying & Engineering, Inc. (Fleetwood)

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

Member & Events Coordinator Valerie L. Malesic

Anytime During the Year: •

Check all connections to your electrical system for possible hazards. Check cords and plugs of all electrical appliances for fraying or signs of wear. Repair or replace as necessary. Do not overload extension cords. • Test your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, and radon detector for proper operation. Clean the units with a vacuum or cotton swab and replace batteries and light bulbs if needed. • Have your heating and air conditioning system(s) inspected and cleaned. If your system(s) has a filter, replace it every three months to keep your unit working efficiently. • Inspect all doors and windows for proper operation and a tight fit. Clean the window tracks, clean and adjust the door thresholds, and check that the weather-stripping hasn’t cracked or torn. Preventing unwanted outside air from leaking into your home will reduce your energy bills.

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


AT HOME IN BERKs JUNE 2014 I 610.777.8889

• Check interior paint and touch up or repaint as needed. • Inspect the attic insulation. Make sure the entire ceiling area is covered. Check that the insulation has not blocked vents in the eaves to prevent buildup of condensation and to allow proper air circulation. Insulation should also not be touching the underside of the roof sheathing. • Oil motors of appliances as directed in instruction manuals. • Periodically check storage areas, closets, and the basement to make sure no oily rags, gas cans, painting supplies, or flammable cleaning materials have been stored and forgotten. These items could be a fire hazard and should be discarded. • Check that the alarm and circuits of your security system are in working order, inspect the sensors one by one, and check primary and backup batteries monthly. • Inspect your stairs, steps, and ladders for damage or broken pieces that could cause someone to fall. Make sure handrails and railings are sturdy and securely attached.

In the Spring: • Check the condition of glazing compound, caulking, and exterior paint. Replace or paint as needed. • Exchange glass and screens in storm doors and/or windows (also in autumn). • Inspect the roof for snow damage. • Check for evidence of termites such as sagging floors and ceilings or dry, brown tunnels in the ground near the home’s foundation. • Weed and feed the lawn and plant annuals, cut back perennials that need pre-growth pruning.

In the Autumn: • Mulch perennials that need protection from winter weather and prune those that should be cut back in the fall. • Rake and compost leaves. • Remove hose connections and store hoses to avoid freezing.

There are many more tasks that you can complete throughout the year to keep your home in good working order. For more home building and home care tips, go to Now you are probably thinking, “wow, this guy probably has an immaculate home if he’s keeping on top of this checklist as he prescribes.” Well, if I did, you would be correct. However, one quick conversation with my wife would set that record straight! No, like everyone else, life seems to get in the way, and it is difficult to make these things a priority. It’s funny—I’m an architect and a builder— my wife often compares our home to the old tale of the shoemaker’s son who walks around barefoot. There’s always an unfinished project to be done, isn’t there? But, think of this list as not only protecting your investment, but also protecting your most precious cargo, your family, friends, and guests. This should be all the motivation we need, right? So, let’s get to it and get these things checked off our list. Now, if only I could find that cordless drill…

Patrick J. Dolan, AIA, LEED AP Dolan Construction Inc.

“I can help!” Full Cooperation with all Licensees

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1290 Broadcasting Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

This checklist is adapted from information in the NAHB publication Your New Home and How to Take Care of It, available for NAHB Members to provide to their clients. To find a new home builder in the Berks County region, go to and click on “need a contractor, product, or service.”





The First Time By Brad Kehres

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brad Kehres is the Vice President of L.A. Kehres Building & Remodeling, Inc. and a Director on the Board of the HBA of Berks County. Visit L.A. Kehres Building & Remodeling, Inc. on the web at or contact Brad by email at or by phone at 610.926.9256.




t is an age old argument in the construction world: Quality or Quantity. Today, there seems to be a lack of quality in most products and services. In order to make money, the theory is to provide a product or service to the consumers as fast as possible at the cheapest cost. This theory does not need to apply to all situations, especially when investing in a large remodeling project or new construction. In all actuality, paying more for a superior quality product and/or a higher qualified installer will save you money down the road. Granted, the upfront costs will be higher, but savings will be greater in the end. Choosing the right materials and professionals to install the materials (General Contractors and Subcontractors) could actually save you money in the long run.

Use the Best—Get the Best Let’s start with quality materials. When choosing any type of material for a remodeling project or new construction, the market is flooded with options (i.e.: multiple manufacturers, styles, colors, and costs). All of these factors should weigh on your decision of which product to choose, some more than others. In today’s world, the old saying “You only get what you pay for!” seems to hold true for the quality of materials. The style and color has some impact on the quality, but not as much as the manufacturer and cost. Let’s put this in proportion…if an inexpensive product is used and does I 610.777.8889

not hold up to its expectations, which then needs to be replaced in a few years—are you really saving money? Who has seen the cost of any products go down recently? Guaranteed, the cost of materials and labor will have risen even higher in the future; hence, do it right the first time. Choose manufacturers that have an excellent reputation and offer elevated warranties on the products they sell. This approach will only save you money in the future, if the product fails.

Energy Savings Pays Investing more in energy saving materials will save you money. Choosing to spend more money on higher quality doors, windows, insulation, HVAC units, and any other products like these for a remodeling project or new construction will only reap rewards in the future. Let’s take windows and doors, for example. Choosing inexpensive windows and doors could be the worst mistake a consumer can make. Windows and doors are where the majority of your heat loss is, so why not try to choose a higher quality window or door to lessen the amount of heat loss. Have you seen the price of heating fuel go down?

consumer. Better quality materials lead to a better-finished product, both aesthetically and economically. Think about it. If the products the contractor installs are inexpensive or substandard, the installer must work harder to make these items presentable, thus spending more time to make the final outcome look satisfactory. Selecting a higher quality product will lead to reduced labor hours, hence lead to higher savings. It is hard for the consumer to know the difference in product quality; therefore, this is why a General Contractor is hired.

Inferior Products Increase Labor Time

Choose an Expert with Expertise

When making a selection of a product of this type, ask the contractor which manufacturer of the product they would use in their own home. Most likely, the contractor would use higher quality products in their own residence; therefore, this would be a good way for the consumer to distinguish what type of product they are purchasing. Take the time as a consumer to research the manufacturer of the product to determine if it will be a wise investment. If the consumer chooses to use inexpensive products in their remodeling or construction process, most likely this will lead to call backs and warranty issues. Everyone’s time is valuable today. These issues are a waste of time for the contractor and are an inconvenience for the

A General Contractor is only as reputable and knowledgeable as the employees he has working for him/her and the subcontractors they choose to hire. Choosing the right General Contractor is the most important decision that the homeowner should have to make. A General Contractor who has a continuing relationship with their subcontractors for all his projects will receive better service which will lead to a higher quality final product, rather than a contractor who chooses only the lowest quotes for his projects. Thorough research needs to be done and phone calls need to be made to previous clientele. The references from other clientele assure the homeowner that this is the right General Contractor to complete the project. By choosing a “Quality” contractor to complete your project, it will lead to a

“ You only get what you pay for!”

better experience during the construction process and an enhanced final outcome. Contractors seem to have a bad name with the public, but by choosing the right General Contractor and selecting superior quality products, it will make your large remodeling project or new construction investment an experience of a lifetime. With the proper guidance, your building process will be an enjoyable process.

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Home Builders Association of Berks County



Group: HBA Berks

Channel: HBAberks





of Design By Yvonne Staskel


ave you ever walked into a room that seemed to tilt to one side even though the floor was perfectly level? Or, felt claustrophobic when the room dimensions are 15 by 20 feet? Whether you’re decorating a new home, planning a complete redo of an older existing home, or just sprucing up a hall, the principles of design are the tools you will need to ensure a successful and eye-pleasing project. The principles of design are: unity (or harmony), proportion, balance, rhythm, and emphasis. Utilizing these principles can mean having a space that is magnificent vs. mediocre vs. downright wrong. When you are making selections and/or arranging furnishings, keep these design principles handy.



Harmony Harmony is essential to a successful room design. Why? Because creating a harmonious environment is exactly what good design is all about. Exactly what is harmony? Simply defined, harmony is the pleasing and orderly arrangement of all design parts so that they form a consistent and satisfying whole. Harmony creates an integrated image with all the elements functioning together to aid the design as a whole. A unified design is greater than the sum of its parts. The room is seen as a whole first, before the individual elements are noticed. Therefore, it’s key in planning your new room design that you create harmony between the sizes of different pieces of I 610.777.8889

when every square inch of it is filled. The eye needs room to rest, so provide it by leaving some surfaces uncovered and some walls alone.


furniture you select for your new room. Another key consideration in creating a harmonious eclectic style is to definitely consider mixing periods and styles in your furniture pieces because it will not only make for a more harmonious feeling in your room, but will ultimately create a more interesting decorating scheme. It’s important to remember that when you decide to mix different periods or styles of furnishings, that your pieces all be in the same or similar mood—either formal or informal, that is: gay and frivolous vs. serious, dignified and formal.

family home will most likely look massive in your new 55+ community. Watch the scale of different pieces in a room. An overstuffed sofa should set the stage for the scale of all the other furnishings. A delicate side table next to the sofa will look out of place quite easily.   The pattern of fabrics is important in small areas, keep patterns to Proportion refers to the relative size scale. Use smaller and scale of the various elements in prints and less of them. A larger room can typically handle larger prints and more cola design. ors. Rules can be broken; for example, if you A large room can handle furnishings that have a small room but prefer a larger print. are larger in scale. The smaller the room, If so, make sure it has lots of white space in the more petite or delicate the furnishings it and use it sparingly. and decor should be. This is especially imWhite space as a whole is important portant when you move from one style in a room. This is the space around and of living to another. The furnishings that above furniture. A room rarely looks good looked good in your 3,500 square foot


Balance is probably the most easily understood design principle. In decorating, it simply means a state of equality—or equilibrium between two elements or two parts of a design composition. There are two kinds of balance: formal (symmetrical) balance; and informal (asymmetrical) balance. Formal balance is achieved when the two halves of a composition or design are exactly the same. Identical end tables flanking a sofa; a fireplace with matching bookshelves on either side; a pair of candlesticks placed the same distance from a central bowl of flowers all represent formal balance. This kind of evenly matched balance tends to create a sense of order and stability—evenness—if you will. It’s fairly easy to create, but you need to remember that formal balance has a tendency to make a room seem static and stiffly conventional—especially if it’s overdone. Informal balance is achieved when two halves of a composition balances each other even though they are not identical. Size or physical weight is not the only factors involved in this kind of balance, which can only be appraised by the eye. Bright colors have weight and tend to move forward or advance while pale, softer colors or neutrals, seem to recede. Irregular shapes, which engage the eye longer than regular ones, seem more important, these therefore also “weigh” more in terms of balance.

Rhythm Rhythm is measured motion through space: a path along which the eye follows Continued on page 12 JUNE 2014 AT HOME IN BERKs

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a regular arrangement of themes, whether in written or spoken language, music or decorating. In music, it’s achieved by regularly recurring groups of accented tones. In decorating, it’s achieved by the regular recurrence of accent features or elements. Rhythm is vital to good design because it helps hold the varied elements of a composition together, whether that composition is a single object, such as a lamp, or the contents of a whole room.

When it’s time to think about creating rhythm in your design plan, the easiest thing to do is repeat, repeat, repeat! Repeat a color. Repeat a line, a design motive, or an object more than once in a composition. And, immediately, a sense of design or purpose begins to develop. When anything is repeated, the eye is carried along from one motif to the next, and interest mounts. This is what is meant by defining rhythm as motion.

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Another way to create rhythm in accessorizing is to consider repeating the same type of object—say a plate collection—in varying shapes and sizes. By varying the size and shape of your plates, the repeated element becomes more interesting to the eye.


I love creating emphasis in any design plan. To me, emphasis is truly adding the excitement factor to the creation of a new room. The basic idea behind emphasis in decorating is that every room should have a focal point, or a center of interest that immediately attracts the attention of anyone entering the room. Walking into a room with design emphasis is bound to give you a much better impression of the room’s overall design. More so than walking into one that lacks any features impressive enough to attract notice. When there’s no focal point in a room, your eye tends to slide around from one part of the room to another, and boredom rapidly sets in. If nothing attracts your visual interest, it’s natural for you to become restless, and actually feel the need to move on. Just think of how much more inviting it would be to have a colorful and comfortable looking grouping of furniture around a fireplace with a few unusual accessories and personal touches giving a clue to your individual style and personality. Lacking a I 610.777.8889

fireplace, the sofa is usually the dominant feature in a living room. If so, consider playing it up and giving it more importance by selecting a color or pattern that helps center your grouping. Then, by adding tables, lamps, artwork and other accessories to this grouping, you surround it with many visually interesting design objects. Remember that color is a big drawing card when it comes to claiming attention. A striking painting or piece of art will make any grouping or area more interesting. Now, take a good, long walk throughout the rooms of your home. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably doesn’t follow the principles of design. Rearrange it, remove it, or replace it until you achieve the room—and the home—that you desire. If that seems difficult to realize, call an Interior Decorator.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Yvone Staskel, the owner of Decorating Den Interiors, offers convenience, quality, service, satisfaction, and affordability on every job. It all starts with You at Your Home! Contact Yvonne by email at or by phone at 610.777.3313.

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AT HOME IN BERKS Home Builders Association of Berks Cou nty

Connect Your Products & Services to the Right Target Audience

JUNE 2014


Design Decorating your home in style !


Parade of Homes A Special Pre vie “Built by Berks” w of the Dream Homes


Brad Hess 610.685.0914 ext 204 JUNE 2014 AT HOME IN BERKs



Skills Learned Locally



he Berks Career and Technology Center (BCTC), with locations in Leesport & Oley, provides high-quality technical education and career preparation to meet the needs of today’s high school students and adults. BCTC offers over 35 programs that prepare students for both further education and to be successful in a competitive workplace.

Earn a Job Not Just a Diploma

The Construction Cluster at the Berks Career and Technology Center offers the following programs:

Building Construction Occupations Cabinetmaking Carpentry Electrical Occupations 14


HVAC/Refrigeration Masonry Painting & Decorating Plumbing & Heating I 610.777.8889

Many of the professions that the Construction Cluster prepares stu- ing prospects over time, positioning them to become our future dents for are High Priority Occupations both within Berks County community leaders and entrepreneurs. Students are also empowered and across the state of Pennsylvania. High Priority Occupations to pursue future schooling and training as their educational and are defined as highly skilled professions, in demand by employ- career needs evolve. ers, and that provide a sustaining wage with the opportunity for advancement. Construction professions on the High Priority list include: Carpenters, Construction Workers, Construction Supervisors, Electricians, HVAC/Refrigeration Specialists, Masons and Plumbers. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The Occupational Information Network (O*NET), spon- Eileen Rinaudo is a Communications Specialist with Berks sored by the US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Career and Technology Center (BCTC). Learn more about BCTC Administration (USDOL/ETA), classifies many of the Construction at Contact Eileen at 610.374.4073 West Campus X 2212 or by email at professions as having a “Top of FormBright Outlook” with employment projections that are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, have large numbers of job openings, or are considered new and emerging occupations. PA098824

Standards Employers Seek

Today’s workplace requires a highly skilled and competent workforce and many industries have developed nationally recognized standards of performance. These standards are measured by licensing examinations or certification testing programs that can lead to nationally recognized credentials. The certifications and credentials that students earn provide them with a competitive edge when applying for employment and are recognized by many colleges for awarding advanced credit. All of the programs in BCTC’s Construction Cluster are credentialed by the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) providing students with the opportunity to earn an NCCER Core certification.

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Endorsed at the Highest Level

To further enhance the professional credentials BCTC students can earn, all of the programs in the Construction Cluster have earned the endorsement of the Pennsylvania Builders Association (PBA), certified such by local Berks County master craftsmen in each trade. The endorsement by the PBA allows students that complete a Construction program at the competent and above level to earn a PBA Skills Certificate. More importantly, it demonstrates to employers that students are learning the skills and theories practical to today’s construction environment, while using the actual tools and materials used by the modern day contractor. The PBA only endorses programs that meet certain criteria. Specifically, the curricula must meet industry standards and instructors must be certified and experienced in the profession. The endorsement also ensures that facilities are adequate for proper hands-on training and assists schools in the development of Home Builders Association (HBA) student chapters, facilitates local internships, and provides a process to ensure that students can connect with builders, remodelers, and trade contractors. The relationship with the PBA program can also accelerate the placement process for students to transition successfully into the workforce. Partnering with the state Pennsylvania Builders Association and the local Home Builders Association of Berks County helps insure that BCTC’s Construction students graduate with an industry certification that employers will use to make hiring decisions. Students are able to start careers that lead to increased employment and earn-

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Contemporary Lighting

Can Make a Big Difference in Home Decor

By Susan Shelly


reen and clean are major trends for lighting in 2014, according to Ranae Borden, a lighting specialist for Reading-based Fromm Electric Supply Corporation. “Everything seems to be trending toward clean-cut and modern,” Borden said. “And, LED lighting is huge.” Just in case you don’t know, LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are devices that produce light when an electrical current is passed through them. LED bulbs and lamps last longer and are far more efficient than traditional incandescent products. Incandescent lighting has already been phased out in commercial buildings, a trend that now is moving to homes, according to Rich Miller, manager of residential solutions for Fromm. “There’s no incandescent left on the commercial side of things, and now that’s starting to flow into residential,” Miller said. “A few years ago it was too expensive to install LED lighting in homes. But, costs have come down and now it’s making sense for At-Home Lighting Trends homeowners to consider LED.” New homes are getting smaller while incorporating the latest Existing lighting often is able to be repurposed into LED, he technological advances, Borden said. said, saving homeowners money by lowering wattage while main“I think people are going to smaller spaces with their homes, taining light output. but using the latest and greatest technology available,” she said. 16

AT HOME IN BERKs JUNE 2014 I 610.777.8889

Technological advances enable homeowners to control lighting from their smart phones or other device, turning lights on and off in different areas of the home and outside as they wish. Fromm also offers window shades that can be controlled remotely, giving the appearance that someone is at home when the house is empty. Another technological advancement is an inside panel dimmer that gives homeowners lighting choices. Push the button that says “Welcome,” for instance, and all the lights in and near the front door go on to welcome guests. The “Pathway” button activates lights along the path leading to the front door, while “Green” limits lighting to save energy. Lights can be electronically timed to turn on and off, and can be set to automatically adjust to the amount of light coming into the home, dimming when more outside light is available and brightening when it’s darker outside. That can save energy while assuring the proper lighting for your home. “Everybody’s pushing for energy savings,” Miller said.

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A Look at Lighting for Kitchens

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Simple lines, good storage, and built-in electronics are hot trends for kitchens in 2014, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). And, Borden said, lighting plays a supporting role in all of those areas. Ceiling light rails with suspended decorative pendant lights are very popular, creating a clean look that supplies lighting to where it is most needed. “Task lighting is targeted to work spaces so you always have the light that you need,” Borden said. “We can make sure that you get the proper amount of light for the different areas of your home.” Under counter placement of lights, speakers, outlets and docking and/or charging stations is becoming increasingly popular, Borden said, as it makes those items accessible but inconspicuous. Many kitchens also include a desk or home office area, which may require special lighting.

A Look at Lighting for Bathrooms

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Lighting in bathrooms is becoming particularly important as homeowners transform these rooms into spa-like retreats, according to the NKBA. Small, recessed LED lights in showers provide high-light output without transmitting heat, Miller noted. Another popular trend is lights built into the sides of mirrors, providing a clean, streamlined effect. And, recessed lighting near Continued on page 18

1-888-238-3330 | Member FDIC


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floor level can help occupants move confidently and safely within the home. Lighting around mirrors is especially important for shaving, applying makeup and other tasks, so task lighting should be considered.

A Look at Lighting for the Outdoors

Americans are spending increasing amounts of times on decks and in outdoor rooms and spaces. There is demand for outdoor kitchens and living spaces, and lighting plays an important role in making those spaces usable, safe and pleasant. The majority of outdoor lighting is low-voltage, meaning that it’s easier to work with and more user friendly, Miller said. Outdoor lighting should combine task lighting with effect lighting to both create atmosphere and assure proper illumination for activities such as grilling or reading. “You need to take all the layers of outdoor lighting and combine them to meet every need,” Miller said. Outdoor lighting also serves as security lighting, Miller said, so it’s important to carefully consider where and what type of lights to install. Working with a lighting designer when planning a project can be advantageous because it can help you to achieve maximum effect while assuring adequate light for various activities. A knowledgeable lighting designer also can help you to reduce energy costs and will design a plan for your budget, Miller said. “We have a lot of long-term knowledge here at Fromm,” he said. Fromm Electric Supply Corporation was founded in 1958 by Louis D. Fromm. It is headquartered at 2101 Centre Ave. in Reading and, with nine branches employs more than 150 people. The privately held company is in its third generation of family ownership. It has retail branches in Allentown, Honesdale, Lebanon, Pottstown, Reading, Schuylkill Haven, Scranton, Souderton and Bloomsburg and lighting and appliance design centers in Reading, Allentown and Harrisburg.

Saving money for a mortgage have you PUZZLED?



AT HOME IN BERKs JUNE 2014 I 610.777.8889


he Home Builders Association of Berks County (HBA) is proud to sponsor the lineup for the 2014 Parade of Homes. The Parade will run over two Friday–Sunday periods: beginning on Friday, May 30th through Sunday, June 1st, and again from Friday, June 6th through Sunday, June 8th. Homes are open on Fridays from 3–7 pm and on weekends 12–6 pm. This year will be new and exciting as for the first time ever in our history, the Parade features REMODELED HOME ENTRIES along with NEW HOME ENTRIES. Our exquisite new home builders and our extraordinary remodelers both rose to the occasion with some really spectacular ideas you won’t want to miss. All are waiting for you to preview the quality construction and superb designs. We hope you will take the time to see as many as you can fit into your schedule. Use this Guide for a brief description of each of the projects. Then, follow the directions to see 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 have once again made this a FREE event for you to enjoy with your family and friends. PS: Feel free to sing aloud I LOVE A PARADE! as often as you would like.


NEW HOME ENTRY MARKETING STATEMENT: This Windsor Heritage home boasts 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The first floor features hardwood flooring, a private study, formal dining room, kitchen with stainless steel appliances and breakfast area leading to a large deck, family room with gas fireplace, mud room and powder room. The second floor hosts 4 bedrooms, including the Owner’s Suite with private bath and walk-in closet. Included is hall bath and laundry room. DIRECTIONS: Follow Rte. 183 into Bernville. Turn Right onto 4th St. Follow straight into community. JUNE 2014 AT HOME IN BERKs

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NEW HOME ENTRY MARKETING STATEMENT: This Ethan Heritage home boasts 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The first floor features hardwood flooring, an open foyer, private study, formal dining room, kitchen with a breakfast area leading to large deck and family room with gas fireplace. The second floor hosts 4 bedrooms with walk-in closets, hall bath and spacious laundry room. The Owner’s Suite features a Venetian bath package and his/her walk-in closets.



DIRECTIONS: Rte. 222 North to Rte. 422. Travel 1.6 miles. Follow PA-12 East for 7.7 miles. Turn Right on PA-73 East/Blandon Rd for 3.9 miles. Keep left and stay on PA-73. Follow Philadelphia Ave for 1.7 miles. Turn Left on Snyder Rd, Model in right corner.

Making Quality Affordable Since 1984

Largest Selection in Berks

My Dad’s

179 Old Swede Rd., Douglassville (Across from Redners)

610.383.3833 20

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NEW HOME ENTRY MARKETING STATEMENT: This Ethan Traditional home boasts 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The first floor features hardwood flooring, an open foyer, study, formal dining room, gourmet kitchen with granite island and breakfast area leading to large deck, and family room with gas fireplace. The second floor hosts 4 bedrooms with walk-in closets, hall bath and spacious laundry room. The Owner’s Suite features a Venetian bath package and walk-in closets.

DIRECTIONS: From West: Travel Rte. 422 East, Right on S. Center Rd. Left on East Main St/Rte. 724, Right onto Unionville Rd. Take 1st Right into community on Furlong Rd. Model on Left. From East: Rte. 422 West, Merge onto Pottstown Pike/Rte 100s. Merge onto W. Schuylkill Rd, Rte. 724 West. Left on Unionville Rd., Take 1st Right into community on Furlong Rd. Model on Left.

SAL’S LANDSCAPING ADDRESS: 7 Virginia Ave., Sinking Spring, PA 19608

REMODELED HOME ENTRY MARKETING STATEMENT: Sal’s Landscaping has been serving Berks County since 1979 offering full property maintenance programs and landscape design and installation. Sal’s specializes in unique outdoor living spaces, such as patios, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, fireplaces and outdoor living structures. Sal’s Landscaping can make your dreams a reality. Hardscaping materials have been provided by Glen Gery Brick Center, in Muhlenberg PA.

DIRECTIONS: Rte. 422, make right onto Green Valley Rd. Make 3rd Right onto Park Place and First Left onto Pacific Ave. Follow to stop sign and make right onto Virginia Ave. House on the left.


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TURNBERRY CUSTOM HOMES ADDRESS: 11 Greenbriar Dr., Mohnton, PA 19540

NEW HOME ENTRY MARKETING STATEMENT: Located in the prestigious community of Chestnut Hill, this stunning 4,700 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 4 ½ bath French Country Manor inspired home complete with stunning scenery is sure to impress. Carefully selected amenities and neutral wall colors compliment the many architectural features of this home giving a feeling of pure opulence. DIRECTIONS: From 422, take Lancaster Ave Exit (222 Business), bare left onto Rte. 625 (New Holland Rd). Follow for approx. 4 miles. Turn Right at Entrance to Ledge Rock Golf Club, onto Greenbriar Dr. Home on top of hill, on Right.

FORINO CO. LP ADDRESS: 302 Woods Edge Dr., Douglassville, PA 19518


“Tahoe III Model”­—This Ranch Style home is 2,479 sq. ft. and features 9’ ceilings, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Many amenities included such as granite counters with stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, a jetted “superbath” in the master suite, front masonry facade, and oak hardwood flooring throughout the main living areas. Additional features include a bright walk-out basement and full front porch for relaxing after a long day.”


Rte. 422 to Rte. 662. Take a Right on Blacksmith Rd. Then Right on Timberline Dr. to top of hill.




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EUROPEAN BUILDERS ADDRESS: 150 Mickey Ct., Mohrsville, PA 19541


Elegant custom home with the latest in Green Technology! Real stone façade welcomes you into the 10’ high grand foyer & 14’ high great room with coffered ceilings. Columns & custom moldings frame a two sided fireplace enjoyed from the great room and the veranda. The French Country kitchen has painted cabinets, two islands. Expansive mudroom/laundry room has custom built-in cabinets and locker area. Breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains.


Rte. 222 to Rte. 183 Exit (Reading Airport). Take 183 N toward Bernville. Go approx. 3 miles and turn Right onto Plum Creek Rd (at Bern Church). Go 2 miles, at the Y in the road (at stop sign) turn Right onto Garfield. Go 2 miles, turn left onto Shanna Leigh Dr. Take the first Right onto Mickey Ct, house is at the end of cul-de-sac.

2014 Parade of Homes Sponsors To learn more about the Parade of Homes and see this year’s Award Winners, visit

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze

Martin Appliance & Water Conditioning 84 Lumber Wise Signs Ridgewood Soils, Inc.


Suzy Rae Design Martin’s Flooring, Inc. UGI Utilities, Inc. Weinstein Supply Yale Electric Supply/US Electrical Services


York International Solution Concrete, Inc.


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DOLAN CONSTRUCTION INC. ADDRESS: 33 Mountain Top Rd., Wernersville, PA 19565


As a retiring couple seeking to take advantage of the serenity of this particular site, this project focused on two key components. The first was creating an oasis to enjoy with out of town family. This involved renovations to the pool house and outdoor living space around the pool. The second project was a 2-story addition to the primary house to create a bedroom suite and second floor living space.


Rte. 422 W/Penn Ave W towards Lebanon. Turn Left onto Furnace Rd (2 miles). Turn Right onto N Galen Hall Rd (.3 miles). Turn slight Right onto Mountain Top Rd (.2 miles). House is on the right.

NORTH TEMPLE BUILDERS, INC. ADDRESS: 23 Rosalie’s Way, Temple, PA 19560


Temple Terrace is a private community of luxury semi-detached homes. Models range from 1500 - 2000 sq. ft. and feature 3 bedrooms, 1 and 2 car garages, full basements and high-efficiency heat pumps with C/A. Amenities include hardwood foyer entry with open staircase, spacious main-floor living area, (2) walk-in closets in master bedroom, and convenient 2nd floor laundry room. Many upgrades come standard with home and no association fee.


Take 5th St. Hwy (222N), Right on Mt. Laurel Rd, Right on Hay St. Left on Rosalie’s Way.


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The designer maximized the family’s outdoor living space by terracing a steep slope and felling undesirable trees. The focus became the swimming pool/spa with a series of spaces for dining and entertaining and ample turf for active play. During cool spring and fall evenings, the family can warm up around the outdoor fireplace. Gently balanced landscape lighting creates a charming ambience year-round. Plantings peak during the summer for greatest impact.




From Bernville: US 222 S, merge onto US 422 W/US222 S toward Lancaster/Lebanon. Take State Hill Rd exit, turn slight Right onto State Hill Rd, Left onto Penn Ave/ US422BR, turn sharp Right onto Wyomissing Blvd (pass through one round about). Turn slight Right onto Old Mill Rd; turn slight Left onto Oriole Dr. Take 1st Right onto Hummingbird Rd, turn Right onto Farr Rd. Take 1st Left onto Bluejay Dr. I 610.777.8889



Come home to this beautiful Tuscan Styled bathroom! Our design features the Delta Brizo shower rain head with hand held shower spray, the Vessel Sink is black granite, located underneath a wall mounted Delta Brizo faucet fixture. The ceiling crown molding is extra wide solid maple, painted the same color as the walls for a stately effect. The handmade Crystal Ceiling Mount Chandelier bounces a rainbow of reflecting light beautifully.


422 E (3.5 miles from West Lawn) Take Penn St. exit. Turn slight Right onto Penn Ave. Turn Right onto S. 2nd St (.01 miles) (PA 183S). Turn Left onto Franklin St. Follow Franklin. Turn slight Left on Perkiomen Ave (.1mile) Turn Right onto Green St. Turn Right onto N. 12th St.

GARMAN BUILDERS INC. ADDRESS: 106 Oaken Way, Myerstown, PA 17067


The Cardinal by Garman Builders Inc. is a beautiful four bedroom, 2 ½ bath home. The first floor features a master bedroom with a luxury owner’s bath, vaulted family room with a gas fireplace, dining room with hardwood flooring, granite countertops and tile backsplash in the kitchen. There are three additional bedrooms and a bath on the second floor. It’s located in a beautiful neighborhood with large lots.


From Reading, take 422 West, through Myerstown. Turn Right onto Ramona Rd, turn Left onto Fallen Oak. The property is on the Right.


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Route 12 to Route 73 (Pricetown Road) Make a right onto Route 73 South At the traffic light in Oley (Weis is on the left) make a right onto Friedensburg Road Go about one half mile, house is on the right in a small development

With all masonry exterior and inviting porch, this three/four bedroom, 2 baths home has a lively open interior floor plan. 1300 sq. of hardwood and a Rumford fireplace invite guests into the main living space and open kitchen. Transomed windows and wide interior doors add detail and volume to the homes’ expansive floor plan. A huge master suite with tiled 5 foot shower and soaking tub complete the quality of the home’s open design.

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


So You Just Bought Your

Dream  Home

By Ethan Tauber


hether you are a first time homeowner or moving for the third time, moving into a brand new home is an exciting endeavor. On move in day, there is a special feeling that comes over you in knowing that you are going to be the first person to live in this house. However, you might be surprised to learn that after settling in, many people immediately start to think about upgrades. “90% of the time the first upgrade is to switch to geo-thermal heating and cooling systems,” says Kevin Kozo of Turnberry Custom Homes. The heating and cooling systems in new homes have to meet strict energy requirements prior to installation, but they can be further improved upon with tankless water heaters or even solar powered water heaters. With all the green tax incentives and benefits, homeowners usually install them very soon after buying the home. Ceiling fans are also one of the first upgrades to a new home. You can get them in a variety of styles and they are a fairly cheap way to stay cool because they allow homeowners to use the air conditioning less often. Many new homes may have one or two already installed, but it is definitely worth considering having one in the rooms you will spend the most amount of time in. When people think about upgrading a home, they generally think of older homes before new ones. Buying an older home to renovate can be very worthwhile investment. The aesthetic appeals of older architecture, original brickwork, and hardwood floors are very trendy right now. When buying an older home, the trick is to keep its rustic appeal, but add modern amenities. “The first things to be renovated are usually kitchens and bathrooms, because they are the most expensive,” Kozo says. “Depending on [the home’s]age,” he continues, “the mechanicals, heating and cooling, also have to be replaced…especially if its older than 25 years.” One of the simplest upgrades to the kitchen is replacing the sliding hardware in your drawers to a soft close mechanism. This

will help to combat years of slamming and abuse. They generally cost between $20 and $40 and are a cinch to install. Elsewhere in the kitchen, clunky outdated appliances are dragging down your energy efficiency, and sometimes your patience. Modern appliances use less energy and tend to be more reliable than older models. If you decide to completely redo the kitchen, consider adding an island. This not only becomes the centerpiece of the room, but it serves as storage space and can include a stove top, a sink, or function as a breakfast table, among other things. Hardwood floors are also extremely trendy right now. They are aesthetically pleasing and fairly easy to maintain. When buying an older home with wall to wall carpets, be sure to check underneath them. There is a chance that you can find almost untouched wood floors. Carpeting made it easier to heat a room than wood, and it was seen as a status symbol many years ago. It also essentially sealed the wood underneath it and it protected the hardwood for all those years. With modern heating systems and insulation techniques, a home with hardwood floors can be just as efficiently heated as a home with carpets. There are many upgrades to consider when buying a home, old or new. Rest assured that even the smallest renovations can go a long way. Talking with a reputable contractor is the best way to learn your options, but owning your dream home may only be a few upgrades away.


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2014 Sponsors


Platinum Tier



I N C .

872 Park Road, Blandon

Gold Tier

610-926-4567 m Silver Tier

Bronze Tier

Masano Bradley Roland Stock, LLC B & G Glass Berks Surveying & Engineering, Inc. Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. Fromm Electric Supply Riverview Tree & Landscaping, Inc.



We Rent to Homeowners, Contractors, Businesses, etc. • Small and Large Equipment Rentals • Excavating and Earth Moving Equipment • Construction and Landscaping • Contractor’s Equipment and Tools • Equipment Hauling I 610.777.8889


It’s a Great Time

to Buy a House By Steve Olson, EVP


e’re coming upon that time of year that kicks off the traditional new home buying season. For potential buyers about to enter the market, either for their first purchase or moving to a new location, sufficient consideration is needed to find a capable and efficient lending partner to provide financing. The current mortgage market has changed over the past few years and continues to evolve. Here are some items to consider when choosing a lender to finance this key purchase.

Execution It’s not all about rates. The current marketplace has excess lender capacity and most lenders carry competitive and consistent pricing. A lender needs to have the ability to execute within the timeframes outlined on a buyer’s agreement of sale to meet deadlines for stated loan approval and closing commitments. Lenders need to be efficient and communicative to be successful in this regard.

Product Choices There are multiple products available that call for reduced down payments. These include products for first time homebuyers like USDA, VA or FHA: which provide for limited down payments plus the potential for seller contributions to closing and other costs. Each product is unique and any capable lender should be proficient

in outlining and explaining a borrower’s options, both in terms of unique rates, costs, qualifying and borrower cash considerations.

Pre-approval A pre-approved buyer carries more purchasing power as they search for a property. Typically a more traditional pre-qualification outlines a buyer that has a sufficient credit history. A buyer should require a more significant approval from their lender. This is important in the new environment of precise income and employment qualification standards.

Communication There are many moving parts involved in purchasing a home. A lender should demonstrate early on their desire to be prompt and effective communicators. Information should be clearly outlined and shared in a concise timeframe. Buyers should be prepared to follow precise instructions from their lender and follow-up in a timely manner with all information requested.

Reputation The experience friends, family, your realtor and others have had with a lender typically is a good starting point to gauge how efficiently that lender will assist a buyer with their home purchase. Be sure to ask others about their experiences and take that feedback into consideration.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve Olson, EVP, is the Director of Mortgage Group at National Penn Bank. Whether you’re buying your first home, relocating to another home, or upgrading your current home, National Penn’s mortgage group is ready to help make your dream come true! Learn more at


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Membership happenings 2014 Upcoming Events…


1, 6-8

JUN 11

JUN 19

JUN 26

JUl 16



JUl 29

AUG 5-9

Parade of Homes Berks County Go to for more details

Restoring Hope Candidate Announced Candidate’s Home 6:00 pm    –    6:30 pm

Fightin’ Phils Game First Energy Stadium 6:00 pm    –    9:30 pm

Wind Down Thursday Captain’s Cove 5:00 pm    –    7:00 pm

Lobster Fest Fish Pond West 5:00 pm    –    9:00 pm

Thank You to renewing members of the Home Builders Association of Berks County (HBA) 1st Year Anniversary AmeriCon Builders, Inc. Kieffer’s Appliances

2–5 Years Basement Waterproofing Specialists Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C. Hoffman Publishing Barbey Electronics Corp. Down To Earth Harsdcapes East Penn Energy Solutions Fleetwood Bank Masano Bradley Mohns Drywall, LLC Wolfe Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. Ciesco, Inc. DBA—Stealth Insulation Manning Materials Corporation

6–10 Years James A. Turner Company Folino Homes Sanatoga Water Conditioning Stoney Creek Rentals CGR Constructions, Inc. Install America Landmark Homes Kolakowski Quality Painting, LLC

11–15 Years

PBA Board of Directors Meeting

Bachman’s Roofing, Building & Remodeling, Inc. T. A. Kozlowski, Inc. Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. Hearthstone Homes, Inc.

Nittany Lion Inn, State College

16–20 Years

St. Louis, MO

GMI First, Inc. Pennsylvania American Water Sherwin-Williams Reading Commercial Grande Construction Reading Eagle Company American Inspection Agency, Inc. Hahn Exteriors, Inc. Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technical Center Roland Stock, LLC Security Service Company UGI Utilities, Inc. Omega Builders, Inc. Elite Home Builders, Inc. Howard L. Stoltzfus Construction Co., Inc. Tompkins Vist Bank

All Day

21–25 Years

All Day

All About YOUR Membership HBA Office 9:00 am    –    10:30 am

Association Leadership Institute

Reading Box Co., Inc.

26–30 Years Trade Masters, Inc.

31+ Years Henry R. Sharman, Inc. Plasterer Equipment Co., Inc. Kohl Building Products 32

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welcome new members Freedom Builders

NJB Partners, LLP

Michael Weller 1209 Carsonia Ave, Reading, PA 19606

Susan Miller 1242 Thomas Oakes Dr, Pottstown, PA 19465

PH: (484) 638–4599 FX: (610) 406–5662 Email: Sponsor: Allen D. Henn

PH: (717) 278–1701 FX: (610) 323–4641 Email: Sponsor: Bruce Dailey

Garman Builders, Inc.

Sal’s Landscaping & Lawn Care, Inc.

Charles Sensenig 471 N. Reading Rd, Ephrata, PA 17522

Sal Sottosanti 13 Sottosanti Lane, Reinholds, PA 17569

PH: (717) 733–4383 FX: (717) 733–3225 Email: Sponsor: Patrick J. Dolan

PH: (610) 678–2294 FX: (610) 678–8633 Sponsor: Bill Gottshall

Heat & Cool HVAC Services John Sarangoulis 219 Sunrise Rd, Reading, PA 19606

Stankiewicz Drywall, Painting, Construction, LLC. Eric Stankiewicz 812 Buttonwood St, Reading, PA 19601 PH: (484) 256–0025 FX: (610) 404–8328 Email: Sponsor: Patrick J. Dolan

PH: (610) 582–7668 FX: (610) 582–2797 Email: Sponsor: Steve Symons

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

Aluminum Associates / Sloan Corporation

Geoff Penske Buick GMC

5% discount on all services

GM affinity program & partnership with HBA

Contact: Kert E. Sloan 610.921.2201

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

Berks Transfer

Contact: Bob Quinn 610.926.7626

$50 off 1st can order to new customers Quality Floors Inc.

Martin’s Flooring, Inc.

Contact: Richie Zook 877.445.7799

Free Interior Design & Special HBA Contractor Pricing (Ask about our contractor referral program)

Contact: Chuck Smith 800.446.6035

10% off any order (Not valid with any other offers or prior purchases)


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What’s HOT ON 2014 Parade of Homes Awards The Berks County Parade of Homes 2014 was held on Friday-SaturdaySunday (May 30th–June 1st) and on Friday-Saturday-Sunday (June 6th–8th) with Friday hours from 3 pm to 7 pm and Saturday & Sunday hours from 12 Noon to 6 pm. “Best of” Awards were presented in both the New Homes category and the Remodeled Homes category. New Homes were awarded, per each of three price ranges, in each of four sub-categories with Best of Show awarded to top overall point-earners in all sub-categories combined: Exterior, Interior, Bathroom, and Kitchen. Remodeled Homes were awarded in each of four sub-categories: Interior, Bathroom, Kitchen and Outdoor Living.

What is a Contract? (Offer + Acceptance) This video defines “contract” and “consideration” in terms anyone can understand. It also details the offer and acceptance steps of reaching an agreement and discusses counter-offers. As part of an on-going educational series of business topics, Executive Officer Christian D. Malesic, MBA, IOM presented “PA HICPA & Contracts in Plain English” to a live audience of HBA members. (Length: 9:20)

Private Tour: 2013 Build of HBA Restoring Hope Your personal, private tour of the Pieller home (2013 Build) of HBA Restoring Hope brought to you by the Home Builders Association of Berks County in Pennsylvania, USA. The HBA of Berks County has always represented the best builders, remodelers, trade contractors, and associated professionals in the construction industry. This is our way of thanking and giving back to a community that provides us our livelihoods. The HBA Restoring Hope Foundation (RHF) is neighbors helping neighbors so a community can rebuild itself. It is not a ‘hand out’ but a ‘hand up’ for one family in the country each year. (Length: 10:22)

Big Reveal: 2013 Build of HBA Restoring Hope Watch the family react as they see their “new” home for the first time. The Big Reveal (Saturday, September 14th, 2013) of the HBA Restoring Hope 2013 Build to Lisa Pieller and her children, Ashley & Eric, organized by the Home Builders Association of Berks County in Pennsylvania, USA. (Length: 14:14)






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