At Home in Berks December 2016

Page 1


Where have all the trades people gone? When to Replace Your Windows

Twitterverse: Spread Your Message

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Contents 2016 HBA Berks Board of Directors OFFICERS President James E. Gavin, Esquire


Masano Bradley, Attorneys At Law (Wyomissing)


Savvy Builders Save Energy

1st Vice President Cathy Sloan, CGR, CAPS, CGP


Where have all the Tradespeople gone?

Hartman’s Home Improvements (Temple)

2nd Vice President Larry Kehres

L A Kehres Building & Remodeling (Leesport)

Secretary / Treasurer Evan L. Hand, III BB&T (Allentown)


Reading-Berks Association of REALTORS® Awarded National Grant for Expanding Housing Opportunities in Berks County

10 How Contractors Get Creative in Facing Business Challenges

Immediate Past President Edward F. Anewalt IV, CLP Anewalt’s Landscape Contracting



16 Living With Your Remodeling Project

18 When to Replace Your Windows 20 Plumbing and Heating at BCTC 22 Signs That It’s Time

for A New Roof

24 How Basement Waterproofing

Can Save Your Home from These Dangerous Basement Problems


Advanced Construction Solutions, LLC (Newmanstown)

David Hallowell

Heffleger Kitchen Center (Reading)

Diane Salks

Riverview Tree & Landscaping, Inc. (Temple)

ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS Sherrie Hallowell Tompkins VIST Bank (Wyomissing)

12 The Twitterverse:


14 Business Management


Spread Your Message & Entrepreneurship

15 New Homes Benefit More Than Just Buyers and Builders

Jason Jenkins

26 Membership Pages New and returning members,

Bursich Associates, Inc. (Pottstown)

John Schmoyer

Fulton Mortgage Company (Wyomissing)

From the President HBA of Berks County President Jim Gavin.

member to member discount programs, and an overview of all Association-related events for 2017.

Jim McCarthy

McCarthy Engineering Associates, Inc. (Wyomissing)

HBA STAFF Janet Campis

Executive Officer & At Home in Berks Editor-in-Chief

Bethany Feinauer

Administrative Assistant

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 Graphic Designer: Kim Lewis


How will you measure up in the end ? T o paraphrase something I read once, “How will you measure up at the end? When you die (as you will, you know) will you have left things better or worse than you found them?” As I write my final article as President of the Home Builders Association, I find myself reflecting upon those questions.

I began this year one night in January, telling all those in attendance at the installation dinner that I believed the sun was rising on the Home Builders Association. It was a new day in the building industry and the future for the members of this organization looked bright. Looking back on these last twelve months, I still feel the sun is rising and it is early on a new day. It looks like the building industry is improving and the membership of the Home Builders Association has strength. In an effort to make things better, the most significant thing the Home Builders Association did this year was to embrace its future. Time and again, this Association reached out to the high school students who are looking to become a part of the building industry. This included making them part of our social events and going into their schools to speak with them. Although the discussions focused on how to be good carpenters, painters, plumbers, and horticulturalists, there was more. They also focused on how to start and operate a business, and how to work with people. Most importantly, however, the discussions focused on how to be good, responsible adults. As these young people look at the membership of the HBA, in you they see what they want to be. In you, they see a profession they want to pursue. In you, they see the future they want to have. My observations tell me, this organization has made an affirmative commitment to its future by welcoming these wantto-be builders and business people with open arms. To that, I say, “Job well done!” 4


In a few short years, it is very possible a young woman who helped paint the curb could be the HBA president. A young man who helped with the carpentry on Restoring Hope could be the chair of the Restoring Hope board. And just maybe, a shy, quiet student sitting in the back at some HBA event might end up standing in front of a class of future students telling them all the things learned from the HBA leaders of today.

I must tell you, however, I take no credit for these things. The strength of this organization lies, as it always has, in its members. As I have said repeatedly, this organization can be and will be everything you want it to be. This is not just an organization of builders. To the contrary, this is an organization of great and amazing people doing great and amazing things. If you have not noticed, please take a little bit of time and take a look. All these months later, I am convinced the sun is still rising on the Home Builders Association. The day is bright and there is so much we can do. I hope we all will continue working hard to deliver a strong, growing, and vibrant organization to these students of today, who will be the HBA leaders of tomorrow. So, let me bring my year as president to a close by turning the question on you: how will you measure up in the end? When you die (and you will, you know), will you have left the Home Builders Association better than you found it? James E. Gavin, Esquire Masano Bradley, Attorneys At Law, 2016 HBA of Berks County President

FEATURES I 610.777.8889

Savvy Builders Save Energy


omebuilders in Pennsylvania now have an additional incentive to build energy-efficient homes. The Pennsylvania Energy Efficient New Homes Program, offered by FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities, provides financial incentives to builders of new homes that are more efficient than code. For each newly built home served by Met-Ed that achieves 15 percent energy savings over code, the builder is eligible for a rebate of 30¢ for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) saved annually over a reference home built to the standard 2009 International Energy Conservation Code® (IECC). Homes that meet ENERGY STAR® V3.0 certification and achieve a minimum 15 percent energy savings are eligible for greater incentives, with a rebate of 35¢ for each kWh saved annually.

Mike Arblaster, Program Manager Phone: 814-282-3689 E-mail:

Additional incentives are available for builders of new low-income homes and for manufacturers of ENERGY STAR-certified homes built to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.

The costs of energy efficiency programs are recovered through customer rates in accordance with Pennsylvania Act 129 of 2008. For a complete list of commercial, industrial, residential and low income energy efficiency programs, please visit

For more information go to or contact:

For a home to qualify for the program, it must be located within the service area of FirstEnergy‘s Pennsylvania utilities (Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power or West Penn Power). All new-construction homes must be inspected and verified by a certified HERS Rater to qualify for program incentives. ENERGY STAR-certified homes must also complete all V3.0 checklists. Improvements to a home’s building envelope and installed equipment that can result in energy savings include: effective insulation systems, tightly sealed construction, efficient HVAC equipment, high-performance windows and efficient lighting and appliances. Through an industry-certified, third-party inspection of each participating home, a HERS Index score is provided to the homeowner. A lower score means less wasted energy. There are many reasons why a builder should get involved with the Pennsylvania Energy Efficient New Homes Program. Energy-efficient homes, and ENERGY STAR-certified homes in particular, have shown to sell faster and for more money than comparable non-certified homes (based on average sales price and time on the market). Builders who participate in the program will also receive free technical training, marketing materials and recognition on the program’s website. In today’s housing market, homebuyers look at many houses and weigh countless options before they ultimately choose the house that they will call home. Partner with the Pennsylvania Energy Efficient New Homes Program to build more efficient houses that stand out from the rest, providing homebuyers with more comfortable, durable and efficient homes.




Where have all the Tradespeople gone? M

y first contact with the Home Builders Association of Berks County came when I applied for and entered the HBA-sponsored Apprentice Program in 1973. At that time, in order to be accepted into the program you had to: complete an application, take a written test, take a math test, take an aptitude test, and be interviewed by the Apprenticeship Committee Members. The four-year program was filled to capacity and not a single space in enrollment was wasted. Thus many applicants were turned away because they didn’t meet the required standards; there just wasn’t enough room or teaching staff to accept everyone. I completed my Apprenticeship in 1977. Upon completion of my Apprenticeship I proceeded to work in the trade for contractors that were members of the HBA. I really enjoy my chosen career and still enjoy the work that I do as a Carpenter to this day. HBA helped to get me started in a trade that has provided me with enjoyable work and a sustainable living for more than 40 years now. In subsequent years, I became one of the Apprenticeship Instructors as well as a member of the Apprenticeship Committee. By that time, things had changed greatly; classrooms were no longer bursting at the seams with eager apprentices and the acceptance process became much more about admitting anyone who had an interest in entering the construction field. In an effort to boost enrollment and interest in the Apprenticeship, I developed an advanced credit program for CTC/ Vo-Tech Students (Career Technology Center / Vocational Education Programs). Participants could get up to one year of advanced credit to continue their learning in the Apprentice Program. I got the Advanced Placement program approved by the Department of Labor and things were all in place; I thought sure that this would help to bring more students into the program and trades. Well, it did to some extent, but unfortunately not enough. In spite of this program and other efforts there just wasn’t enough interest or enrollment. Thus, the oldest and longest running apprenticeship program in the country came to an end. This trend is also reflected at the local Career Centers; the enrollment in Construction Trade programs is declining, leading some shops to being closed due to the low enrollment. 6

AT HOME IN BERKs DECEMBER 2016 I 610.777.8889

This all begs the questions: where did all the students and entry level workers go? Are there not enough jobs in the construction field? Are the pay and benefits competitive with other occupations? Do young people and their parents view the construction trades in a favorable light? Is this career choice viewed as a path to success? Well, I haven’t done a study but I did look up a bit of data and statistics that might provide answers to these questions. My own personal experience is included to provide anecdotal evidence of what is being seen amongst the current student enrollments. About the same time the Apprentice Program ended, we were in a boom time for building and construction in Berks and across the country. The jobs were there for the taking! Contractors and Builders were hiring anyone possible just so that they could put people out on the job; many of these employees were not ideal; their attendance was poor, their workmanship may have been a little less than desirable, but they kept their jobs because the contractors were overwhelmed with work. Unfortunately, those boom time jobs went away quickly when the recession hit. Workers were laid off and new projects or hiring opportunities were becoming fewer and fewer. There were no jobs available for students completing High School, Vocational Schools, and Trade School. Many of these potential tradespeople went off to other occupations and will not be returning to the trade. Similarly those employees that were laid off during that time also found other jobs and are not going to return to the trade. Combining these factors with an aging workforce, many of who are now retiring, and the pool of competent workers continues to shrink. Economic indicators have marked the end of the recession and things have begun to turn around for the construction industry demand. The reigniting of the constructive productivity means that skilled labor is necessary for the field and there are plenty of positions that need to be filled. This is a prime time for entry level workers to enter into construction work and begin their construction careers. Well then are the pay and benefits competitive? Well, not quite. When comparing things like entry level education, work experience,

on-the-job training, the amount of physical work involved, the investment in tools, and the risk factors that come with a job in the construction field, there is a noticeable lack of compensation. The pay and benefits are not comparable to other occupations that require a similar investment. I selected a random occupation to compare to the Carpentry Profession from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics at See chart below. Another factor that affects a young person’s career choice is advice and direction that they receive from their parents and adult mentors. Parents, of course, want to steer their children in a direction that will help them become successful and lead comfortable lives as adults. Most parents feel that the path to success is post-secondary education and not into trades. Further, most traditional high schools also direct students toward a college and post-secondary schools upon graduation. Their courses and faculty advisors/guidance counselors all try to guide young people in that direction and not toward the trades. College and post-secondary education are good choices for many students, but not for all. Many students have no interest in continuing on to college and would really enjoy an occupation as a Carpenter or Bricklayer. These students that have no interest in continuing their education beyond high school really haven’t been presented with favorable options or even any options. Instead, they graduate with no real job training or even an inkling as to how to make their way in the job market. Even the students that do attend a local Career Center for work-ready training upon graduation, are now being directed toward post-secondary education as the logical next step. According to the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technology Education, 78 percent of students in Vocational Education programs now go on to fulltime post-secondary education. Fortunately, in Berks County we have a very active and hardworking Builders Association. The Association is a very progressive and forward thinking group; they are aware of the rapidly shrinking workforce and are working hard on workforce development. The Home Builders Association of Berks County also understands the importance of Vocational Education and has done remarkable work by partnering with our three local Career Center Student Chapters of the Home Builders Association. continued on page 8

Occupational Comparison

Insurance Sales Agent


Median Pay

$48,200 per year/$23.17 per hour

$42,090 per year /$20.24 per hour

Typical Entry-Level Education

High school diploma or equivalent

High school diploma or equivalent

Work Experience in a related Trade



On-the job-training

Moderate-term on-the-job training

4 year Apprenticeship DECEMBER 2016 AT HOME IN BERKs


FEATURES HBA provides numerous opportunities for young people to experience life as a tradesman. They give students first-hand experience through Shadowing Opportunities, Career Days and Round Tables. They invite students to their Social Events, Association Meetings and Educational Seminars and top that off by paying the fees for the students to attend these functions. If you want to see a model group of people taking an active role in the education of high school and vocational students you don’t have to look any further than the HBA of Berks County. They should be a model for other associations and groups across the country. It has been 43 years now since my first contact with the HBA of Berks County. I have personally benefited from their educational programs in the past and I’m still learning from them today. I am continually impressed by this organization. I would like to thank the HBA of Berks County for all of the help, guidance and interest that they have given to my students, Public Education, Home Owners, Contractors and the Community. All of the HBA do a great job!



Submitted by: THE READING MUHLENBERG CAREER AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER (RMCTC) in partnership with our diverse community, sponsoring districts, and business and industry, is committed to providing quality career and technical education, resulting in opportunities for students to gain employment, pursue post-secondary education, and develop an appreciation for lifelong learning. For information about RMCTC call: 610-921-7300.

FEATURES I 610.777.8889

Awarded National Grant for Expanding Housing Opportunities in Berks County


he Reading-Berks Association of REALTORS® was awarded a $5,000 grant from the National Association of Realtors®’ Housing Opportunity Program to support activities that create and expand affordable housing opportunities in Berks County. The grant will be used to host a Homeownership Fair in April 2017. “Realtors® build communities and work hard to make housing affordable to all who are willing and able to become homeowners,” said Eva Eisenbrown, 2016 R-BAR President. “This grant will provide first-time home buyers with the resources they need to begin the process of purchasing a home and provide resources for current owners who may be thinking about selling their property—but are not sure where to start. Through the Housing Opportunity Grants from our national association, homeownership can become an attainable dream for many hard-working families across our county and Realtors® are more than happy to make that dream a reality.” In partnership with the Home Builders Association of Berks County, the 2017 Homeownership Fair will feature an expo, educational seminars, and a credit check station. Seminars will provide attendees with information on financing a home purchase, how a Realtor® can assist with the purchasing process, the options for building a home, and how to renovate a home for sale.

NAR’s Housing Opportunity Grants were established in 2006. Individual grants are awarded ten times per year. Since the program’s inception, over 400 grants totaling more than $1.5 million have been awarded. The grants support a wide range of housing opportunity activities, including housing symposia; home buyer education or housing fairs; counseling and financial literacy efforts; down payment or closing cost financial assistance programs; housing needs studies; and Realtor® affordable housing education. The Reading-Berks Association of Realtors® is a professional trade association for licensed real estate practitioners. Membership in the organization is voluntary and consists of both residential and commercial agents and brokers as well as industry affiliates. R-BAR’s membership currently consists of approximately 800+ real estate licensees, and only Realtor® members are authorized to use the trademark term, REALTOR®. The Reading-Berks Association of REALTORS® exists to serve its members. We uphold the high standards of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. We advocate for private property rights and homeownership and strive to improve the quality of life in our communities. Website: For additional information, please contact Reading-Berks Association of REALTORS®, Inc. at (610) 375-8458. DECEMBER 2016 AT HOME IN BERKs



How Contractors Get Creative in Facing Business Challenges By Mark D. Kramer, Core1Marketing Do you remember when you asked business owners what their biggest challenge was, they’d reply ‘the sluggish economy’? But ask the owner of a contracting business the same question and the answer gets longer, a lot longer. While the economy may still top their list challenges, there are other issues contracting business owners face today that have forced them to become more creative in their approach to running their businesses. For business owners in the contracting industry, it used to be all about keeping the customer happy. If you delivered a quality product, provided excellent service and left your customers smiling, your job was done… and you got paid. Pretty simple, right? Business owners today wish it were only that easy. The number of challenges they face today are far greater than ever and some of those issues are all too common. I solicited some insight from the owners of two successful contracting businesses that have each been operating for over 50 years in Berks County; Dave Owens, owner of Overhead Door of Reading along with his brother Bill, and Don Moll, owner of B&G Glass. Overhead Door of Reading has been in business since 1965 providing quality garage doors, automatic doors, retractable awnings, operable walls, warehouse dock supplies and service to both residential and commercial customers. “One of the biggest challenges we face that seems to become more difficult each year is finding skilled technicians”, says Owens. “The most important skillsets we look for in our employees are a good work ethic, good attitude and basic construction knowledge; if we can find candidates with those attributes, the remaining skills they need can be acquired through training. Unfortunately, the pool for good candidates is shrinking.”



Owens quickly adds that a real close second to the challenge of finding skilled labor is the tremendous burden placed upon small businesses by insurance industries and government regulations. “Health insurance and workman’s compensation costs are huge to our business,” says Owens. “We work diligently with our agents to design health care plans that are great for our employees but still cost effective for the company. We’ve tackled the workman’s comp issue by instituting a safety committee whose main focus is to develop a safe work environment attitude with our technicians. Besides the most obvious benefit of keeping our employees healthy, this has really helped to reduce our workman’s comp insurance costs.”

Don Moll, owner of B&G Glass, echoes some of the same sentiments with respect to challenges for contractors. B&G Glass, founded in 1963, provides individuals and businesses with a full spectrum of high quality automotive, residential, and commercial glass products and services, employing 40 professionals. “We credit our success at B&G Glass to the quality of our staff, but I do recognize that it’s become increasingly difficult to find skilled craftsmen that are dedicated to their job,” says Moll. “We’ve been fortunate in that respect as our turnover has been extremely low.” He adds, “Rising health care costs have become a constant challenge as with most businesses. Our approach at B&G Glass has been to focus on the wellness of our employees, not only during working hours but outside of work as well. We promote healthy lifestyle choices with our employees by encouraging exercise, good eating habits and discouraging smoking. The results we’ve seen have been encouraging as our staff is more productive with less sick time.” Some of the more challenging issues B&G Glass faces are directly related to the jobs they contract for. “Interpreting building codes from municipality to municipality can be difficult for contractors, especially when there’s an inflated cost created in the process that needs to be justified to the customer,” Moll relates. “And since cash flow is a key component to successfully operating any business, a frustrating challenge we face is getting paid on time. This can sometimes lag on commercial jobs which is approximately sixty percent of our business. B&G Glass commits to superior quality of material and staff and we promptly pay for all materials and labor, but getting paid by our customers after meeting all the terms of the contract is unacceptably slow. There is limited local, state or federal assistance available when it comes to paying for services rendered, with or without a contract agreement.” So, keep thinking that “all you have to do” is provide a quality product, excellent service, your customers will be happy, and you shall be successful. If it were only that easy… Mark D. Kramer is president of Core1Marketing, A Virtual Chief Marketing Officer for Small Business




The Twitterverse: Spread Your Message By Carol Morgan Flammer, MIRM


hat have you been tweeting lately? Whether you are an individual or company, Twitter, a social media microblog, is a great way to spread your messages and share the messages of others. Twitter users send and receive up to 140-character messages called “tweets,” which are similar to a text message or instant message, but to the whole world.

Open an Account When it comes time to start sharing your message, you’ll want to set up different accounts for your business and for your own personal use. Be sure to choose a name that makes sense for your audience. For example, if your company is named Brock Built, you would want your company twitter handle (name) to be @BrockBuilt, not something like @ bo578hh. Once you’ve created your username, be sure to fill in your name, website URL, background information and upload a photo or company logo. Additionally, if it is your company Twitter account, you will want to make sure everything you use is consistent with your brand image. 12


Tweet Away Ready to start tweeting? You only have 140 characters to make an impact, so make your tweets fun! What you say doesn’t have to be personal, but it should have personality. Tweet about everything from your company news, national or local news, pictures, tips and trends or even ask questions. It’s up to you to make it fun and start the conversations. In addition to sending out your own information, you can also use Twitter to “retweet” other user’s information (similar to forwarding an email), send a private “direct message” to another user (similar to sending an email message) or simply tweet about a specific user by inserting their handle. In addition, you may have seen the use of hash tags on other user’s posts (such as: #BerksCounty or #HBAberks); hash tags are created using the pound sign, and they are useful for categorizing tweets, searching for specific subjects and tracking trends.

Once you start tweeting, you’ll find that you start gaining new followers who want to see your content on their Twitter feed. Similarly, you or your company will also want to find people to follow. Good suggestions for business followers include clients, news outlets, industry influencers and your own staff. For example, if you are a home builder you may want to follow your homeowners, real estate agents, and local news publications. Individuals can follow their friends, accounts associated to their hobbies, news outlets, and more. By following users who are relevant to what you do or who you are, you will not only find more useful information, but you will also be broadcasting your message to the appropriate audiences who can help spread your message into the Twitterverse.

Managing Twitter If you’re ready to take your Twitter program to the next level, there are several useful applications and resources out there. Tweet Deck, Seesmic, and HootSuite can help organize your life on Twitter. These applications include built-in URL shortening, allow you to create groups of follows, sort through tweets quickly, and enable you to manage multiple accounts from one location. If you’re always on the go, you’ll also want to install the Twitter app for your smartphone device, so that you can tweet and check your Twitter feed no matter where you are. Another cool Twitter tool is, which will show you exactly who has been tweeting the links you’ve created. Twitter, while it isn’t new to the social media scene, is still making a great impact for sharing and finding information fast. Unlike Facebook, tweets have a shorter shelf life, so you can and should update your account multiple times a day in order to reach a wider audience. And now that you have the basics, it’s time for you to start tweeting away!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carol Morgan Flammer, MIRM, is the Managing Partner of mRELEVANCE. Contact Carol at: or at (770) 383-3360. mRELEVANCE can be found on the web at: Connect with the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Berks County: Twitter: @HBAberks We follow-back Berks County residents and businesses. Look for hashtag searches: #BerksCounty and #HBAberks




Business Management & Entrepreneurship Creating a generation of future business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Instructor: Ms. Tiffany Greene – BCTC’s Leesport Campus

“Today’s companies are seeking professionals that are skilled problem solvers and innovators who effectively communicate and make a strong contribution to the workplace team.” Ms. Tiffany Greene, BCTC Instructor


he Business Management & Entrepreneurship program places an emphasis on college and career readiness. The program offers students interested in business a competitive edge through project-based, collaborative learning and the development of 21st Century skills including business management, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, technology, global awareness, problem solving, and communication. Students learn business with coaching from local industry professionals. The program at BCTC is part of Virtual Enterprises International (VEI). VEI is a live, in-school global business simulation and entrepreneurship program which is part of a global network of student-run businesses in over 40 countries. VEI replicates all the functions of real businesses in both structure and practice and brings the workplace into the classroom. The program transforms high school students into independent-thinking business professionals and their classrooms into offices that become an incubator environment. Under the guidance of a teacher-facilitator and local business mentors, students create and manage their virtual businesses; learning all aspects from market research, business planning, product development, production and distribution to marketing, sales, human resources, accounting/ finance and e-commerce. Qualified students may enroll in the Technical Academy for this program and earn up to 24 college credits while still in high school. The program closes the skills gap, engages students in their learning, and prepares them for college and career success by providing them with relevant, hands-on opportunities to develop, test, and apply academic, business, financial, and entrepreneurial skills. The program provides an excellent foundation for post-secondary studies in business, management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

Allison Moser (Wyomissing) and classmates Benjamin Correas (Governor Mifflin)



CAREER PATHWAYS Marketing Specialist Business Manager Entrepreneur Bookkeeper Human Resource Specialist

For more information, call BCTC’s Leesport Campus Student Services at 610-374-4073 or visit

FEATURES I 610.777.8889

New Homes Benefit More Than Just Buyers and Builders


he only people who benefit when a house is built are the family members who get to live there, and the builder who constructed and sold the home, right?

Wrong. The positive impact of new residential construction is far-reaching, bringing benefits to families, businesses, and services throughout a community immediately, as well as for years to come. According to economists at the National Association of Home Builders, the one-year estimated local impacts of building 100 single-family homes in a typical metro area include $28.7 million in local income, $3.6 million in taxes and other local government revenue, and 394 local jobs.

Over the long term, as families who move into new homes become part of the community, their positive impact continues. NAHB estimates that those 100 new homes also provide the community with additional, annually-recurring impacts of $4.1 million in local income, $1 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 69 local jobs. Families who buy a newly built home enjoy benefits including safety, amenities, energy efficiency and floor plans to fit a modern lifestyle. But the advantages of new homes extend far beyond the buyers and the builders - residential construction has a positive, direct impact on the local community for years.

But what does that economic impact mean in the real, dayto-day lives of community residents? Just think about it. When a family moves to a community and buys a new house, they will likely shop at local stores to buy furniture and accessories to decorate their home. They will fill their car’s gas tank at the local gas station so they can get to the stores, have local mechanics work on the car when it breaks down or needs an oil change, or buy a new car at a local dealer when it’s time for an upgrade. The family may need to hire local companies for regular services to maintain their home, such as landscaping, house cleaning, pet sitters or pool upkeep. The children will enroll in local schools. This increases enrollment, meaning more teachers, janitors, cafeteria workers and other school support staff will need to be hired. Those kids will also join sports leagues and other activities, buy equipment and pay registration fees that provide stipends for referees and coaches. All of this economic activity puts income into the pockets of local business owners and their families, who can then afford to go out and spend money themselves, which recycles even more money into the community’s economy. The new family also pays local and state taxes. These tax revenues help pay for a wide range of government services, including school teachers, police departments, refuse collection, parks maintenance and road repairs. DECEMBER 2016 AT HOME IN BERKs



Living With Your Remodeling Project D

oing a home remodel or major renovation is much different than building a new home. Your HOME becomes the worksite. You live side-by-side with the project from start to finish. Once construction begins, you’ll probably long for the simple pleasures of a dust-free home or a fully functioning kitchen or bath. But it will all be worth it in the end! Here are a few things to keep in mind and ensure the success of your project:

A Pre-Construction Meeting One way to make sure that everyone is on the same page is to schedule a pre-construction meeting. This will allow your contractor to clarify procedures and explain how the job will progress. It also offers both of you an opportunity to prepare for those issues that may pop up. Things to consider during the meeting: •

Will there be a sign on your property? When deciding whether or not you will allow, consider that in addition to being a great marketing tool, signs help contractors and suppliers locate your home.

Are there areas of your home that will be off-limits to workers?

Make sure you know who to contact for daily decisions or after-hours emergencies. Is there a project manager, is it the lead carpenter or the contractor’s spouse? Ask questions.

Does your home have an alarm system? Will workers need a key or will someone always be there to let them in?

If you are uncertain about any aspect of your project, be sure to let your contact know. It’s also a good idea to designate a certain area for messages - maybe a certain countertop in your home where you and the contact person can leave notes for each other.

How will you ensure that children and pets stay out of the work space?

How will trash removal be handled? Where will the dumpster be on your property?

Communication Consistent and open communication with your contractor will enhance your understanding of things, provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and make the experience more positive all around.



Does the contractor anticipate any utility interruptions?

Will you need to vacate the house at any time?

What are your expectations during clean up?

What time will work begin and end each day? Be sure to consider your neighbors as well as members of your household.

Where can workers park?

Will you allow workers to use your bathroom, phone, etc.?

Is there a policy regarding smoking on the jobsite?

Let our family

SECURE your family

…with all the latest technology to keep you safe!

Prevent frustration and prepare for some inconvenience. If you are doing a major project, you can expect disrupted routines and loss of personal space. Try to focus on the progress being made. Some other suggestions that may help: •

A kitchen remodel will affect meal planning. Set up a temporary cooking space by moving the refrigerator, toaster oven, microwave, etc. to another room. Arrange a dishwashing station in your laundry room. If the weather is warm, plan your meals around grill-able items.

Designate a safe haven where you can escape from commotion.

Guard against dust. Seal off doorways and stairs. Turn off central air or heat when workers are sanding and stock up on extra filters so you can change them often. Have deliveries made through a designated entrance. Use doormats and temporary floor coverings where appropriate. Remove anything that might get damaged by the dust or at least cover it with plastic drop cloths that are taped shut. •

Maintain a sense of humor. Remember that certain things are out of your control and it’s best to laugh ely metered for rather electric andstress yourself out over things like than eriods. Conveniently located. weather set-backs or delayed delivery of materials.

CAM + Utilities • See the process as an adventure! s Available

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610.372.8872 •

50 South Museum Rd., Reading, PA 19607 Introducing InTouch – our personal and medical alert systems division. For more information, visit


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Each suite is separately metered for electric and heat. Flexible leasing periods. Conveniently located. $10.00/SF - CAM + Utilities Spaces Available Suite 2, Building A - 867 SF - $10/SF/Year Suite 9, Building A - 706 SF - $10/SF/Year Suite 1, Building B - 1200 SF - $13/SF/Year

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610-670-2770 DECEMBER 2016 AT HOME IN BERKs



When to Replace Your Windows By Cathy Sloan, Aluminum Associates/Sloan Corp.


re you considering replacing your windows for more efficiency but don’t know when to do it? To get the most out of the efficiency your contractor could recommend spring time or fall. Spring to get the most out of the efficiency of running your air conditioner and of course fall for your heating. However, they can be installed all year round. It is a misconception that contractors can’t install them in the winter months, because you let out all your heat. That is far from the truth since most contractors do work year round as long as there are no heavy snows or rain. There are some items that can’t be installed during the cold winter months but windows and even doors are not one of them. When installing windows in the cold winter months the contractor can simply close off the room where the window or windows will be installed to keep the cold air from traveling through the home and affecting your heating. The contractor then proceeds to remove the old window and prep for the 18


new one. There is very little time that goes by before the new window is in its place and the contractor is finishing up the installation. This should be the same when installing in the extreme heat of the summer. Only difference is that you are closing off the room so not to let the heat travel through the home and affect your air-conditioning. This procedure could really be followed no matter what time of year you are replacing your windows. It is best to consider replacing your windows as soon as you realize that they are no longer energy efficient. Why go through a winter waiting for warm weather to replace those run-down windows, when you can start enjoying the efficiency and savings as soon as your old units are replaced. The same is consistent for the extreme hot summer months. If unable to replace all at once because of cost, then consider replacing the ones in the rooms that you are most likely to use more often as the doors to the other rooms could be closed off.

Example of an older double hung window with self storing stroms and screens ready for replacement.

How can you tell if a window is not efficient? •

Some of the signs are you can feel air coming in around the unit, the weather-stripping is peeling away or in some cases is non-existent.

The unit is not closing properly or no longer closing tightly.

Your windows are definitely not energy efficient if they are the old aluminum or wood framed units and are single pane glass.

If you have windows like this, it is definitely time to start replacing them even if it is only one or two a year. There are some contractors that will sign a contract to only do as many windows at a time that you can afford, so don’t put it off just because you think you can’t replace them all at once and need to save up or because you feel pressured to do them all at once. Do your research and find a qualified contractor willing to work with you. When it comes to a qualified contractor you want to make sure they are educated in installing and repairing windows. Make sure they are willing to follow up on repairs under warranty work for many years to come. DECEMBER 2016 AT HOME IN BERKs



From left to right: Hunter Dietrich (Fleetwood), Mr. Wentling, Brady Handwerk (Fleetwood), and James Foulke (Fleetwood).

Plumbing and Heating at BCTC By Mr. Michael Wentling – BCTC’s Oley Campus JOB MARKET FOR PLUMBERS IS STRONG


he job market for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual salary is over $50,000 annually. Helping to drive the demand for plumbers will be the construction of buildings which will need new plumbing systems. Overall job opportunities are expected to be good and some employers report difficulty finding qualified workers. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition) BCTC’s Plumbing & Heating program is accredited by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) through the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and provides participants with defined career paths in the industry. The program is also endorsed by the 20


“Students completing BCTC’s Plumbing & Heating program that go on to finish an apprenticeship program have excellent employment opportunities in Berks County and beyond.” Mr. Michael Wentling, BCTC Instructor I 610.777.8889

Pennsylvania Builder’s Association (PBA). Students in this program are involved in classroom and practical learning experiences designed to help them develop the necessary skills to be successful in the industry.

Graduates of this program are prepared for entry level work, apprenticeship opportunities, and post-secondary education. CAREER PATHWAYS


Plumber (Construction)

Plumbers and pipe fitters assemble, install, alter, and repair pipes and pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids and gasses for sanitation, industrial and other uses. Plumbers also install plumbing fixtures, appliances, and heating systems. Safe and proper mechanical practices are essential components as they help to protect the health and well-being of local communities and the nation.

Pipelayer, Pipefitter or Steamfitter


Master Plumber

BCTC’s hands-on approach to training will cover layout, assembly, installation and repair of pipes, fittings, and fixtures of heating, water and drainage systems according to

Heating Engineer

manuals, specifications and plumbing codes. Also included are the installing, repairing, operating and testing of various types of residential and commercial heating equipment and the controls necessary for their operation.

HVAC Technician

Federal Judge Blocks Overtime Rule In a victory for NAHB, a federal judge in Texas on Nov. 22 granted a preliminary injunction to delay implementation of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule. The rule, which was scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, would double the minimum salary limit from $23,660 to $47,476. NAHB joined other business groups in filing a legal challenge to the overtime rule on Sept. 20. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In addition, 21 states have also filed suit challenging the rule and the two lawsuits have been consolidated. The parties have filed motions for a summary judgment. While the injunction is only temporary, the ruling by Judge Amos Mazzant sent a strong signal that he could likely side with NAHB and our business coalition. “The State Plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success on the merits because the Final Rule exceeds the Department’s authority,” Mazzant wrote in his opinion. Working with House and Senate lawmakers and members of our business coalition, the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, NAHB has been leading the effort to mitigate the effects of the overtime rule. In addition to the lawsuit, the association is asking Congress to phase-in the new salary requirements, as well as provide permanent relief from the rule’s provision to automatically update the salary threshold every three years. As NAHB keeps working toward permanent relief, the association will continue to provide members with the tools they need to comply with the new overtime requirements in the event that the court rules against NAHB, our business coalition and the 21 state attorneys general.

Plumber Apprentice Oil Burner Service and Installer Job Estimator

Plumbing Inspector

For more information, call BCTC’s Oley Campus Student Services at 610-987-6201 or visit

Tom-and-Jerry RECIPE Need a warm-up for a cold winter’s night? Here’s a great North Country hot toddy drink, like eggnog, but better. The key to a great Tom-and-Jerry is a thick, frothy egg batter. First, prepare batter using a mixing bowl. Separate the yolk and white of one egg, beating each separately and thoroughly. Then combine both, adding enough superfine powdered sugar to stiffen. Add to this one pinch of baking soda and ¼ oz. of white rum to preserve the batter. Once you’ve done this, add a little more sugar to stiffen. To serve, use a hot Tom-and-Jerry mug, using one tablespoon of the batter dissolved in 3 tablespoons of hot milk. Next, add ½ oz. of white rum. Then fill the mug with hot milk within ¼ inch of the top of the mug and stir. Then top with Brandy and sprinkle a little nutmeg on top. The key to a great Tom-andJerry is to have a stiff batter and a warm mug. You can store your extra batter in the freezer until the next cold night. Enjoy!

For more information, contact Felicia Watson at 800-368-5242 x8229 or Suzanne Beall at x8407. DECEMBER 2016 AT HOME IN BERKs



Signs That It’s Time for A New Roof By Amie Henry, Risk Management and HR Specialist, Bachman’s Roofing, Building & Remodeling, Inc.


s your roof 15-20 years old? Do you have shingles missing? Is there moss growing on your rooftop? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it is time to start thinking about having your roof replaced. Unfortunately, too many homeowners discover that there is a problem with their roof, only after finding a leak in the ceiling. The good news is that, there are warning signs that can help you determine if you need to replace your roof before having to involve a bucket.

How long will a roof last?

This highly debated, age-old question has been discussed by Roofing Contractors, Weather Forecasters, and Civil Engineers for decades. Roofing professionals state that taking into consideration the advancements made in the manufacturing of roofing materials, and installation techniques used, a standard roof should last between 15and 25 years. However, there are several factors that could shorten this lifespan. 22


What affects your roof’s lifespan? Installation and Choice of Materials: “Budget” roofing materials along with improper installation will result in a shorter life span. Always select a licensed contractor to perform your roof replacement. Roof Ventilation: Correct ventilation will allow for the release of trapped warm moist air while promoting continuous air flow, decreasing risk of mold growing on the internal wood decking. Roof Pitch: Higher pitched roofs use gravity to promote proper drainage and prevent problems such as ice damming and water seepage. Trees: Tree branches that come in contact with your roof may rub off the protective granules on the shingles. Accumulation of decomposing leaf debris will add to moss and algae growing on the shingles.

Once you have decided to replace your roof, how can you be sure to get the best long term value for your investment dollars? Factors to take into considerations when selecting the best roofing system for your needs are: the budget for your project; are you a first-time home buyer; the look of the roofing materials; classic lines or an ultra-dimensional wood-shake look.

Roofing Systems and the average lifespan: Basic 3-Tab Shingles: The most economical shingle on the market. With an average lifespan of between 15and 18 years, these shingles combine a traditional look with basic protection. Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles: These shingles are very durable and available in a variety of colors and styles. Budget conscious homeowners find that with an average lifespan of 25 years, there is no question as to why these shingles are the most common roofing materials used today. EPDM (Rubber): An extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane, most commonly found on flat roofs. Showing little wear during its average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years, this system is quickly growing in use. If you are still unsure as to whether or not it’s time to have your roof replaced, ask your neighbors. In most neighborhoods homes were built around the same time. Chances are your roofs will have aged in a similar fashion. When it comes down to it, the best way to find out if you’re in need of a roof replacement is to have it inspected. At Bachman’s Roofing, Building & Remodeling, Inc., we offer free estimates and will provide you with a long-lasting roof at a price you can manage. Let us reinforce the confidence you have in your roof! For more information contact Bachman’s Roofing, Building and Remodeling, Inc., 36 S.Elm St., Wernersville, PA 19565 www.bachmansroofing .com DECEMBER 2016 AT HOME IN BERKs



How Basement Waterproofing Can Save Your Home from These Dangerous Basement Problems by Jennifer Armstrong, Basement Waterproofing Specialist


Floor and Wall Cracks

Dampness is so common that many home owners assume that their basement being damp and musty is perfectly normal. In fact, it is the first warning sign that bigger problems are in store for your cellar. Dampness comes from humidity and water seeping into your basement. While dampness may not seem like a big deal, it actually leads to the next three most common (and much more dangerous) problems…

Flooding It begins with a little dampness, then some water trickles in through the wall or floor of your basement; soon your entire cellar is flooding during heavy rain storms. Once the flooding starts, it doesn’t stop. The more water that enters your basement, the worse the problem becomes. Water is highly corrosive to most types of foundation materials, even concrete and stone. Small cracks on the outer walls let water get inside the walls, which leads to cracks on the inside walls. Water now has an easy entry way into your basement. 24


The cracks you see on the inside of your basement walls originated on the outer wall, on the parts you can’t see because they’re underground. When it rains hard, your yard has to absorb all of that water. One inch of rain on a ¼-acre lot is equal to about 6,000 gallons of water. Do you notice puddles in your yard, or soggy areas, after it rains or snows? That’s because your yard hasn’t absorbed the excess water. This excess water leads to expansion of the soil around your home. That expansion exerts a tremendous amount of pressure on the outer walls of your basement and foundation. Cracks form, water gets inside, it eats away at the strength of your basement walls, then flooding occurs.

Happy Holidays Experience the charm of real wood!

from your friends at

From a simple beam to a complex truss system, Glu-Lam Timbers support your plan.

Berks County’s Only Locally-Owned Community Bank!

701 E. Linden Street, Richland, PA 17087 717.866.6581 610-944-7666

Mold Growth

How Basement Waterpro

ofing Helps

Like dampness, mold in the cellar is often seen as normal. It’s not. In fact, mold is very dangerous, and can even be lethal to small pets, children, and the elderly.

W hen done pr operly, basem ent waterproo • Stop floodin fing will: g • Kill mold an d prevent it fr om re-growin • Keep your ya g rd well-drain ed • Stop cracks in your basem ent walls and floor

All mold needs to grow and spread is a little air, darkness, and moisture – that’s why it thrives in your wet basement or crawl space. If you see any sign of mold, dampness, cracks, or flooding do something about it now before the health of your home and family will suffer.

Waterproofing should:

• Fix your yard drainage prob lems • Fix cracks in the inner and outer walls – • Offer a solu this is key! tion that is sp ecifically form basement’s un ulated to your ique problem • Install superi or drainage in side your base • Stop water fr ment om getting in si de yo ur ba sement – this prevent struct will ural problems and mold grow • Offer a guar th antee for the lifetime of th e structure

For more information, contact: Basement Waterproofing Specialists, 127 2nd Ave. Collegeville, PA 19462 215-664-6359




• Annual System Maintenance • New System Installation • 24-Hour Emergency Service (484) 638-8181


Promote your business by using the HBA to keep your name in front of the Berks community and potential clients.

PLANTINUM - $3,000 SILVER - $825.00

GOLD - $1,750 BRONZE - $375


• Your Large Logo on home page of linked to your website ALL year • 4 HBA Twitter/FaceBook posts specifically to promote your company • Your Large Logo on HBA Banner at ALL Sponsored Events • Your Large Logo in Best-in-Nation At Home in Berks magazine (ALL 6 issues) • Your Logo on a minimum of 6 communications to HBA Members • Your Logo on Installation & Awards Banquet program • Your Logo in General Membership Meeting & Elections program • Your Logo and Thank You in At Home in Berks article introducing new president and Board • Your Large Logo on Lunch Sponsor Sign (in addition to Banner) at Spring Golf Tournament • Verbally Recognized and Thanked at all Sponsored Events • Exclusive Email Blast to available HBA Members in month of your choosing (one page of your camera-ready art in electronic format you provide) • New for 2017: 6 Tickets to Installation & Awards Banquet • New for 2017: 6 Tickets to General Membership Meeting & Elections • First “Right of Acceptance” for any new sponsorship opportunities during year


• Your Medium Logo on interior webpage of ALL year • 2 HBA Twitter/FaceBook posts specifically to promote your company • Your Medium Logo on HBA Banner at ALL Sponsored Events • Your Medium Logo in Best-in-Nation At Home in Berks magazine (ALL 6 issues) • Your Company Name listed in Installation & Awards Banquet program • Your Company Name listed in General Membership Meeting & Elections program • Tee or Green Sponsor of hole at Spring Golf Tournament • Verbally Recognized and Thanked at all Sponsored Events • Email Blast combined with other Gold Tier Sponsors to available HBA Members in month of August (horizontal half page of your camera-ready art in electronic format you provide) • New for 2017: 4 Tickets to Installation & Awards Banquet • New for 2017: 4 Tickets to General Membership Meeting & Elections


• Your Small Logo on interior webpage of ALL year • Your Small Logo on HBA Banner at ALL Sponsored Events • Your Small Logo in Best-in-Nation At Home in Berks magazine (ALL 6 issues) • Your Company Name listed in Installation & Awards Banquet program • Your Company Name listed in General Membership Meeting & Elections program

• Tee or Green Sponsor of hole at Spring Golf Tournament • V erbally Recognized and Thanked at all Sponsored Events •N ew for 2017: 2 Tickets to Installation & Awards Banquet • New for 2017: 2 Tickets to General Membership Meeting & Elections


• Your Company Name on interior webpage of ALL year • Your Company Name on HBA Banner at ALL Sponsored Events • Your Company Name Logo in Best-in-Nation At Home in Berks magazine (ALL 6 issues) • Tee or Green Sponsor of hole at Spring Golf Tournament • New for 2017: 1 Ticket to Installation & Awards Banquet • New for 2017: 1 Ticket to General Membership Meeting & Elections

2017 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS Sponsorship Package - $1,500

EXCLUSIVITY: Limited to 3 opportunities only (first come, first served) Includes only: Lobsterfest, Fall Golf and any other Political Events* • Large Logo on Banner Sign at ALL GA Events • Logo on All GA Event marketing •S peaker from your company as part of event (introduced, thanked as sponsor, 2 minutes to speak) •O pportunity to assist at all event registration tables to meet all attendees (one person/company) •N ew for 2017: 4 Tickets to Lobsterfest •N ew for 2017: Golf Foursome * Additional Political Events may or may not be held depending on the political climate and if it is deemed that there is a need to promote the HBA political agenda (decision to be recommended by Government Affairs Committee and decided by Board of Directors). No discounts or refunds will be given, nor additional charges applied, based on these decisions. Please be mindful of these possibilities.

Contact Us Today! 610-777-8889


Martin Appliance was founded in 1973 in the 200 sq. ft. garage belonging to Dennis Martin in Myerstown with a commitment to complete customer satisfaction. A new retail store was built along route 422 just east of Myerstown in 1979. Over the next several years, Martin Appliance’s customer base continued to grow and new stores were added in Lancaster, Lebanon, and Berks counties. Martin Appliance continues to be owned and operated by the Dennis Martin family with a team of more than 60 employees each with a continued focus on excellent customer service. When you call on us, you can expect prompt, friendly attention. Our sales staff is knowledgeable in most major brands, and our service technicians are backed with factory training, certification, and experience. For the past 40 years, Martin Appliance has developed a reputation for delivering excellent service, honesty in every commitment, consultations without high pressure and quality appliance products. Martin Companies include Martin Water Conditioning and Martin Furniture & Mattress. Martin Appliance | 4850 Perkiomen Ave., Reading, PA 19606 610-401-0388

Construction, Codes and Standards Virtually all residential construction must adhere to comprehensive building codes and standards governed by local and state laws. Because of the cost and complexity of developing and maintaining such codes, state and local governments typically adopt nationally recognized model codes, often amending them to reflect local construction practices, climate and geography. Most U.S. communities adopt the International Code Council’s I-Codes for this purpose. The I-Codes address all aspects of single- and two-family as well as multifamily construction, including structural elements and the electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and energy conservation requirements. The requirements established by national code bodies, the modifications made by state and local governments, and the standards set by national organizations that are used in developing the model codes can significantly affect the construction, configuration and cost of new residential buildings as well as remodeling or additions to existing ones. The original purpose of codes was to protect public health and safety, but government agencies have increasingly turned to codes to implement other policies, such as energy efficiency, resilience, sustainability, and property protection.

Policy Statement The model codes are typically updated every three years. When model code changes are proposed, NAHB analyzes the impact of every proposal on new home construction and existing residential buildings. It also works to ensure that all proposals are evaluated objectively by the ICC and that any changes or additional code requirements that are adopted are necessary and cost-effective. Through NAHB efforts, the International Code Council’s Board of Directors recently implemented a change to the ICC code development policy. Now all proposed changes to the I-Codes must also include cost impact information. If that information is not included, the proposed change will be rejected. NAHB commended the ICC, noting “By acknowledging that costs are an important factor in determining the merit of code change proposals, this will make the building codes process more cost-effective and affordable. In turn, this will help keep housing costs down, enable builders to construct more energy-efficient homes and allow more young families to enter the new home buying market.” Association policy addresses a number of specific code-related concerns including cost effectiveness, affordability, safety, fire sprinklers, resiliency, hazard mitigation, performance-based design, voluntary energy and green programs, accessibility, stair geometry and other important factors. 28

AT HOME IN BERKs DECEMBER 2016 I 610.777.8889

Membership 2017 CALENDAR January 10, 2017

June 1, 2017

NAHB Board of Directors meeting (during IBS), Orlando, Florida

Parade of Homes Gala, Location: Forino’s Estates & Winery

January 10 – 12, 2017 IBS & Annual Meeting of the Membership, Orlando, Florida

January 20, 2017 Installation & Builder’s Awards, Doubletree, Reading, Pa.

February 16, 2017 RMCTC Roundtable. Members needed to speak with Students

February 23 – 25, 2017 PBA Board Meeting, Sheraton Valley Forge

March 1-2, 2017 PA Housing & Land Development

March 1-2, 2017 PHRC Industry Education Week

March 10 – 12, 2017 Home & Garden Show, Santander Arena

March 23, 2017 Kieffer’s 100th Anniversary, Speckled Hen Pub Time 5 – 7:00 PM

April 7, 2017 HBA Night at Jazz Fest, Lobby area at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 8:00 PM

April 8, 2017 2017 Homeownership Fair, Penn State, Berks Campus,11:00 – 3:00 PM

June 3 – 4; June 10 – 11, 2017 Parade of Homes, Berks County

June 13 – 17, 2017 NAHB Mid-year meeting, Washington, DC

July 19, 2017 Lobsterfest, Fish Pond West

July 20 – 22, 2017 PBA Board Meeting, Penn State – tentative.

August 2 – 5, 2017 ALI, Denver, Colorado

September 11 – 16, 2017 Restoring Hope Build (Big Reveal – Saturday, Sept. 16th)

*Fall Golf Date to be determined

October 5, 2017 Fall membership Drive, Carriage House

October 26 – 28, 2017 PBA Board Meeting, Hershey, Pa.

November 15, 2017 General Membership Meeting & General Elections For updates to the 2017 Calendar, please visit our website at:

April 15, 2017 HBA Spring Clean Up Day – 8:00 – Noon

May 18, 2017 Spring Membership Drive, Carriage House

May 22, 2017 HBA Golf Tournament – Location to be determined. DECEMBER 2016 AT HOME IN BERKs


Membership happenings AT HOME IN BERKS – THE HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF BERKS COUNTY MAGAZINE FOR MEMBERS AND BY MEMBERS Did you know that the HBA of Berks County has an Award-Winning magazine? Yes, that’s right, our magazine won Best in Nation! The magazine is published every two months, and it is our way of communicating with our members and the Berks County community. Articles are provided BY MEMBERS, the Pennsylvania Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders. You don’t have to be a writer, HBA staff will edit the article for you! Here is the 2017 Editorial Calendar. Please feel free to submit your articles for publication in our bi-monthly issue of At Home In Berks. Submitting and getting your article published is FREE! Just another valuable benefit of membership. 2017 AHB Editorial schedule Feb. 2017 Theme/HBA Event: Home and Garden Show Homeowner focus: • Selecting a Builder or remodeling firm • Complete home security for the 21st century • Outdoor living • Planning the landscape, pools and spas • Adding a pond Member focus: • New leadership; 2017 President and board • Membership Matters • IT system, voice over IP keeping your communications seamless APRIL 2017 Issue Theme: Garden, bringing the outside in Homeowner focus: • Spring renewal, garden clean-up fix–up • Deck dreaming • When is it time for new HVAC? Member focus: • Business planning with your team • Equipment: buy, lease or sub out? JUNE 2017 Issue Theme/HBA Event: Parade of Homes Homeowner focus: • The developers • Selecting a building partner for your new custom built Member focus: • Employees (associates) retaining the best and the brightest • Keeping vitality in your team



AUGUST 2017 Issue Theme/HBA Event: Parade of Homes Winners Homeowner focus: • The New Kitchen is mission Control. • Counter tops • Flooring Member focus: • Your Partners: Subs, venders, designers, architects and engineers OCTOBER 2017 Issue Theme/HBA Event: Restoring Hope foundation Member focus: • BUSINESS GOALS: DOES SUCCESS ALWAYS MEAN GROWTH? • Failure to plan is planning to fail • Heating systems; new technology, geothermal, heat pumps DECEMBER 2017 Issue Theme: Older home restoration, expect the unexpected Homeowner focus: • Upgrade your entry way • Curb appeal from the curb Member focus: • Maximizing social media

2016 Upcoming Events…




Sponsored by Riverview Tree & Landscaping, Inc., Temple, Pa. Free to HBA members & guest (prospective members)



welcome new member TOM MASANO FORD

Contact: Frank Blatt 1600 Lancaster Ave., Reading, PA 19607 Tel: 610-777-1371 Email: I 610.777.8889

Membership happenings 2016 Foundation Club Members:

Thank you for the continued support of the HBA of Berks County legislative efforts!

Thank You to these Renewing Members of the HBA of Berks County! 31+ Years:  ReMax of Reading – Jim Williams  Berks Homes Designs  Dutch Valley Door & Window Co., Inc.  Ronnie C. Folk Paving  Reading Rentals 16 – 20 Years  Applied Geo Science & Engineering, Inc.  SAH, Inc.  Straub Roofing & Concrete, Inc.  JM Fence & Deck Company 11 – 15 Years  Bursich Associates, Inc. 6 – 10 Years  Creation Cabinetry  Precision Fire Protection  Mast Roofing & Construction  Riverview Tree & Landscaping 2 – 5 Years  Berks Commercial Renovations, Ltd. Due to increases in PBA Dues and NAHB dues, the annual dues for 2017 will be increased to $595.00.

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.

Geoff Penske Buick GMC Contact: Victor Popescu


Bruce Radar Berks Surveying & Engineering

Joseph J. Witkowski, Jr. Herbein & Company

James E. Gavin, Esquire Masano Bradley

Walter Greth Greth Homes

Larry Kehres L A Kehres Building & Remodeling

Steve Bright EJB Paving & Materials Co.

Brad Kehres L A Kehres Building & Remodeling

Gregory R. Eshbach Malsnee Tile & Stone

Kert Sloan Aluminum Associates/Sloan Corp.

Patrick J. Dolan Dolan Construction, Inc.

Cathy Sloan Hartman’s Home Improvement

John Newton Greth Homes

Deborah Kearse Kohl Building Products

Kevin Kozo Turnberry Custom Homes

Tom Kearse Kohl Building Products

John & Julie Schmoyer Fulton Mortgage Company

Bryan Moll B&G Glass

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

Bob Holt Holt’s Remodeling

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.

GM AFFINITY PROGRAM & PARTNERSHIP WITH HBA (Call Victor for more details on how you can save)

Berks Transfer

Contact: Joan Campbell

610.926.7626 x 305


Aluminum Associates / Sloan Corporation Contact: Kert E. Sloan 610.921.2201

5% DISCOUNT ON ALL SERVICES Martin’s Flooring, Inc.

Contact: Richie Zook 877.445.7799

FREE INTERIOR DESIGN & SPECIAL HBA CONTRACTOR PRICING (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. DECEMBER 2016 AT HOME IN BERKs