At Home in Berks Spring 2023

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SPRING/SUMMER 2023 LovelyXeriscaping! Keep An Eye On Home Security Trends This Year! Warm It Up

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#HBABerks OFFICERS President Peter J. Bonargo IV SAH, Inc. Secretary/Treasurer W. Lee Prussman, CPA, CVA Prussman – Goss Immediate Past President Kert Sloan AA Remodeling/Aluminum Associates BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jason Jenkins Bursich Associates, Inc. Maureen Dolan Dolan Construction, Inc Christopher Muvdi Masano Bradley, Attorneys at Law Michael Campbell MPC Construction Debra Konowal Stewart Abstract of Berks County HBA STAFF Cathy Sloan, CGR, CAPS, CGP Executive Officer Home Builders Association of Berks County 2907 Mannerchor Rd Temple, PA 19560 2023 HBA Berks Board of Directors SPRING/SUMMER 2023 Contents 6 Keep an Eye on Home Security Trends 8 Aging In Place 10 Warm It Up This Year! 12 Lovely Xeriscaping! 14 Pick Poly-lumber for Your Outdoor Living Spaces 16 Avoiding Financial Stress 18 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Deck 20 Understanding Energy Ratings & Energy Efficiency 22 Welcoming Entryway! 24 Keeping it Close to Home with Native Plants HBA News: 26 HBA Events 27 Have You Seen Our New Facebook Campaign? 28 New and Renewing Members Departments: 4 From the President HBA of Berks County President 22
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HBA Changes Message from the President Spring 2023

2022 brought about some noticeable changes with the HBA. I would like to highlight some of them for you.

Lunch and Learns

We used Zoom to set up several Zoom calls for business insurance, 401K benefits and HR, and Workman’s Compensation. We are continuing this in 2023. Look for the information in our Weekly HBA Newsletter.


Membership and events, Thirsty Thursdays, Reading Royals, Night at the Reading Phillies, Spring Golf and Lobsterfest. We had a few Thirsty Thursday events where members network and had a few libations. Our first of the year will be at Shirley’s in Temple.

We had events at the Reading Royals in March 2002 and the Reading Phillies. Both events were well attended. We recently had our second event at the Reading Royals and we more than doubled the attendance from 2022; maybe this will become an annual event. Coming in June of 2023 will be another night at the Reading Phillies ballpark. This would be a great way to see the improvements at the ballpark since last year. Let’s face it, after the fall World Series run and the Eagles

run during football, what a great way to see up and coming future big-league players.

Spring Golf was a great event as always. In the fall we teamed up with RBAR, Reading Realtors, for our golf outing. This was a fantastic way to meet others who are connected with what we do.

All of the previously mentioned events provide members the ability to meet other contactors and businesses. It is a great way to meet others and be able to provide referrals to and from other local HBA members.



I am separating Lobsterfest from the events for one reason. Lobsterfest provides our members the chance to speak to our local officials, from the state and local council people. This event is a great way to voice our concerns to our local and state representatives about the Berks County building industry. What other organization do you belong to that provides you with the ability annually to meet and speak with these people that work for us, the builders and contractors of Berks County?

We are fortunate this year to be able to have our two PBA Government Affairs staff join us for this event. One is Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, who is the go-to for codes and regulations. The other is Director of Governmental Affairs and is the person to go to for GA successes, PaCAH goals and bill information/research. Both these individuals work with the legislators across the state to make them aware of our concerns and issues that may impact the building industry.

Also, the food is not too shabby either.

Board and Committee members

This for me is probably the most exciting item from the past year or two. For the first time in the past several years we have additions to our boards and committees. We have been working on bringing other members into the committees. This is where we came up with the idea of Lunch and Learns from a new committee member in 2022 when they joined the Membership and Events committee (way to go Tyler). The new members on the committees and boards provide us with new ideas and information.

HBA Property

One of the things that the past several years has shown us is the ability for remote work. I think all of us are familiar with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and virtual meetings. Our Executive Officer, Cathy Sloan, has proven to be able to work from home. That showed us on the HBA Board that Cathy has been able to spend more time on HBA business.

Since we have been able to work and meet remotely it was decided that the need to have a physical location was not a primary need of the HBA. In 2022 the HBA board decided to sell the 25 Stevens Avenue property. Our EO can now focus solely on the HBA instead of having to divide time between property management needs and the HBA. The property has been requiring more time to coordinate repairs, maintenance, and day-to-day operation. There are also less meetings required since there were property and or tenant issues. If you are interested in serving on the board or a committee, please reach out to Cathy Sloan, our Executive Officer, at or 610-777-8889 or myself at or 610-413-9199.

HOP on the Spring Market!

Keep an Eye on Home Security Trends

Keeping an eye on home security options trending for 2023 gives you the chance to decide which options fit you, your lifestyle, and your budget best this year.

When you’re ready to make the move to add more accessibility, convenience, and security to your living spaces, reach out to a trusted professional in the Home Builders Association of Berks County for expert advice and installation. Here are some of the popular home security choices for 2023:

Facial Recognition

Adding facial recognition technology to your home allows you to identify everyone entering and leaving your residence. Unlocking doors, disabling alarms, and altering the home environment to the preference of the people inside at that point are all features of facial recognition technology. Although privacy concerns have been expressed with facial recognition, it certainly gives an added layer of security and access to keep your home safe.

Artificial intelligence

AI is one of the strongest trends in home security this year due to its ability to strengthen a security system’s innate capabilities. Artificial intelligence can be used to analyze footage from security cameras and let homeowners know of threats posed by intruders.

Controlling and automating security functions and smart home devices such as locking doors or turning on lights are other helpful features of AI.


Video Doorbells

An ongoing and popular feature in home security is the addition of video doorbells. With this technology, you can both see and talk to anyone at the door through a smartphone or tablet. Video doorbells are frequently enhanced by motion detectors, HD video, and two-way audio to allow for convenient communication at your door and a strong deterrence for intruders.

Voice Control

Another home security feature becoming increasingly common is voice control, an option that gives you the ability to control your home systems using voice commands. Whether you just enjoy the convenience or need the help due to mobility issue s, voice control gives you the power to control smart home devices, arm and disarm the system, and more, all hands-free.

Smart Home Integration

A trend to watch in 2023 is your ability to integrate your security systems with your smart home devices. It is becoming increasingly popular for a security system to work together with smart devices to help you control your lighting, thermostats, and appliances. The combination of security and convenience lets homeowners monitor and control their residences from a single app.

Wireless Security

More flexible and easier to install than wired security systems, wireless systems are growing in popularity. Wireless technology means no more unruly wires and cables because the technology uses signal transmission between the sensors and control panel. Wireless technology is a great benefit for renters who can’t install permanent equipment or anyone else who prefers not to have the holes in walls needed for wire installs.

Cloud Storage

The latest in-home security systems now provide cloud storage so you can both store and obtain security footage and other important information in the cloud. This access is a great way for you to get to your footage remotely or have a safe storage space if you don’t have the space on your home devices. Providing extra security, cloud storage will keep your footage safe in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Keep an eye on the latest in home security and check out your options so you can keep an eye on your home in 2023.

at your fingertips. Your life Security | Fire | Video Systems | Smart Home Systems 2020 23rd Annual 2020 Helping you keep what matters most safe and in your control. Locally owned and operated since 1988 610.372.8872 25th Annual SPRING/SUMMER 2023 AT HOME IN BERKs 7

Aging In Place

According to the AARP, approximately 90 percent of seniors plan on living in their own home for at least five to 10 years after turning 65. In kind, the number of remodeling companies providing aging-inplace upgrades has increased. Eighty percent of remodeling companies are making aging-in-place home improvements, up from 68 percent in 2013, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Aging in place is cheaper and more comfortable than assisted living options for many people. A typical assisted living home is pricey, costing around $50,000 a year. In contrast, the national average of remodeling a home for aging in place is only $10,000.

Falls are one of the leading causes of death due to injury among older adults, according to the CDC, and falls are often the result of simple hazards such as throw rugs, stairs without railings, obstructed pathways, and wide spaces with no supports. For this reason, many of the procedures for making homes safer for the elderly focus on reducing the risk of falls. Some of these modifications need to be made to the entire house, while others are specific to a particular room.

Here’s a look at what you can do to make getting into your home easier and safer.

Make Entryways Safer

A home’s entryways are particularly important for aging in place since they control access to the house. The entry points to a house also include steps in many cases, which always present safety challenges for the elderly. Some entryway modifications require significant time and expense, like wheelchair ramps and nonskid flooring. Other measures require slight changes to the home itself, such as installation of new light switches and railings. But many aging-in-place modifications are as easy and inexpensive as removing throw rugs and adding new light fixtures.

Add Outdoor Ramps

Adding ramps to a home’s entry and exits aren't just for wheelchair access. Even if your parents don’t use a wheelchair, a ramp eliminates the need to navigate steps, which can make maintaining balance difficult, even with a banister. Using composite decking and vinyl or metal railing with integrated lighting and ADA graspable handrails will provide decades of safe, low-maintenance beauty and functionality. You can also get indoor threshold ramps that


you put in doorways to form a seamless surface to transition from one room to another.

Upgrade Smart Home Technology

Technology has become one of the most important developments in helping people stay in their own home as they age. Home technology like medical alert, home security and remote monitoring or communication systems are particularly beneficial.

Wearable technology like watches, necklaces and even shoe insoles monitor your loved ones’ movement throughout their home, as well as their vitals. You can outfit doorways with sensors that alert a family or emergency care service if someone enters a door but doesn’t exit within a specified period of time, indicating they may need help.

Upgrade Kitchens

As technology advances, we are able to remodel our homes to make this lifestyle easier to obtain and give us the kitchens of the future as we age. Overall, the kitchen is one of the more dangerous rooms in the home. It’s also a room in which we spend a large amount of time. The following statistics are just a few of the reasons to prioritize a reorganization of the kitchen specifically for an older person:

• 90% of kitchen cloths failed cleanliness tests. Foodborne disease causes 76 million cases of illness in the United States alone, according to the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

• Over 150,000 kitchen fires every year are caused by cooking equipment – with 460 fatalities.

• Lacerations from kitchen tools account for 42% of hand injuries that are seen by ER professionals.

• A home without a fire alarm is twice as likely to have a fire, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

• Unattended cooking equipment accounted for 45% of home fatalities from 2002 to 2005.

• 34 fatal burn injuries occur each year from scald burns out of the kitchen.

• After age 65, falling becomes the leading cause of death in the home, with many slip-and-fall accidents occurring on wet kitchen floors.

Upgrade Bathrooms

Installing grab bars or railing in high-risk areas like bathrooms and bedrooms gives anyone with mobility issues additional support and prevents slip and fall injuries. Install grab bars near the toilet, and in the shower/bathtub since these surfaces get slippery. Depending upon your loved one’s needs, you may want to install bars near their bed so they can get in and out of bed safely. Make sure your grab bar holds up to 250 pounds, and install it by screwing it into wall studs, not just drywall.

Additional important safety modifications in bathrooms include installing heat lamps, widening doors, installing ADA compliant anti-slip bathroom flooring, securing or replacing throw rugs, and changing faucet and door handles to ADA compliant, easy-to-grip models.

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Kert E. Sloan CGR, CAPS, CGP President

Warm It Up

This Year!

If you’re thinking about trying something new with your home décor, you may want to turn to the fun and cozy colors of 2023! The shades of the year range from warm neutrals to toasty reds and oranges, all of which may inspire you to change things up for a fresh take on every living space.

Trending for 2023 will be easy for anyone, and reaching out to a trusted contractor, designer, or paint store in the Home Builders Association of Berks County will pave the way to a great new look.

New Neutrals

Neutrals are new for 2023, as cool gray and icy whites are set aside by earthier, warmer off-whites that freshen a space, but keeps things relaxed and intimate. Using the warm neutrals is a snap, whether you choose a monochromatic look for a peaceful feel or mix things up with some of the more dramatic new shades of the year. Check out Behr’s Color of the year, Blank Canvas, for a great off-white that goes a long way to a fresh new look.


A Rainbow of Reds

It will be all about drama as reds hit the home front in 2023. The bold tones of oranges and reds will attract attention and bring energy to any space.

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, Raspberry Blush, is a funky coral that makes a statement in a dining room mixed with black furnishings, a living room along with warm neutrals, or a dramatic powder room to delight your guests.

Keeping it Green

There are lots of choices for the lovers of everything green in 2023, as the trends show tones from chartreuse to emerald, and all the way to the darkest green that could almost be mistaken for black.

Cutting out of your comfort zone can lead you to bright green pops of color or a moody deep green for a touch of drama, but overall, green is still considered a neutral that can blend with any style.

Think Glidden’s Color of the Year, Vining Ivy, when you look for a green that has just enough blue to make it the perfect shade to create a sophisticated look with dark wood, or a bright space along with warm neutrals.

Cozy Browns

Continuing the natural color stories from the last few years, the warmth of woodlands is a highlight this year as both a relaxing way to get in touch with the great outdoors and to use as a setting for some dramatic, intense tones.

Try rich browns accented by rosy hues for the mood of a sunset in the forest or mix them with bright green for a touch of spring.

Magnificent Magenta

Are you ready for something completely different? Then magenta may be your answer in 2023. A beautiful blend of red and purple, magenta will make any space a jewel, whether it leans to sophistication, shines with metal, or brings the beauty of flowers to mingle with tones of nature.

Dramatic and Dark

There is no arguing that black is an amazing accent and has its place in any space, pairing easily with all the other trendy colors this year.

2023 is also welcoming the other darks, whether they’re moody browns, the most intense eggplant, or a fabulous navy that verges on black.

Coming Up Rosy

The new rosy blushes bring the convenience of neutrals but are warm tones that combine beautifully as a contrast with dark, earthy shades or blend with light colors for a springlike look all year long.

Sherwin Williams’ Color of the Year, Redend Point, is just the right warm neutral to cast a rosy glow and a cozy look to every space.

Color Your Home 2023

No matter whether you head toward this year’s warm neutrals or think out of the box with some intense reds, 2023 will color your world in a whole new way. Get ready for the warmup as you choose your colors this year and create a happy, cozy space that makes you feel right at home.



What on earth is Xeriscaping? It’s a long word for a simple idea. Xeriscaping is a way of gardening to reduce the amount of water you use to keep your plantings looking great.

Think about xeriscaping your yard this year to reduce your water use and cut back on weeding, mowing, and pruning so you can sit back and enjoy your outdoor living space.

Rock Gardens are a perfect spot for drought-resistant plants like Autumn Joy Stonecrop, and an attractive rock garden can be just the low-maintenance touch your yard needs. Pick plants with the all the same love of sun or shade for a relaxing addition to your property.

Mulch may not seem exciting, but it’s a great weapon against the worry of drought in your garden. A thick layer of mulch reduces the need to water by keeping your plants’ roots both cool and moist. An extra bonus of mulch is its ability to cut back on weeds and give you more time to love your yard.

Ground cover is a great way to cut back on both mowing and watering your yard when summer fun calls. Use ground cover like Sweet Woodruff or Lamb’s Ear to replace grass in hard-to-mow or water areas, and for deer-resistant choices that both look great and save you time and money.

An irrigation system is an easy way to reduce water use in your gardens because these systems allow you to focus the watering only in places that need the extra moisture. And it’s a great bonus to know that your plants are watered even if you head out on vacation during the summer months.

Annuals will no doubt be the neediest plants in your flower beds but are well-worth some watering for the beautiful colors and scents they bring to your gardens. Use the annuals you love as accents but focus on native perennials and drought-tolerant shrubbery in sunny areas to truly reduce your water usage.


Container gardens add multiple benefits to your gardens. Not only can you control the soil, light, and water for each container according to the plants’ needs, but garden pests are less likely to attack plants in containers. Another fun benefit is choosing beautiful pots and other interesting containers that create a decorative addition to your gardens without any need for maintenance.

Ornamental grasses and trees can not only offer lowmaintenance options for your yard, but once established will rarely ever need to be watered. Both grasses and trees come in enough sizes, shapes, and colors to bring texture to any landscape.

Hardscapes are the patios, walkways, walls, and fountains that make up the non-living parts of your landscape. Hardscape options help to create a beautiful outdoor living space that require much less maintenance than the living pieces and are best installed with the help of a professional landscaper.

Learn more about how xeriscaping can become a part of your outdoor living space by contacting a trusted member of the Home Builders Association of Berks County.


Pick Poly-lumber for Your Outdoor Living Spaces

If you’re looking for the perfect addition to your outdoor living space this year, think poly-lumber furniture! Not only is poly-lumber beautiful, but it will be one element in your yard that isn’t taking up the time you would rather use for fun.

Poly-lumber is an amazing combination of a wide range of perks that may lead you to replace all of your seating and then come up with even more ways to include polylumber in your outdoor spaces. Unlike wood, polylumber is moisture resistant and UV-treated so it can stand up to drastic weather changes without any effect on its color, quality, or overall charm. Keeping your polylumber outside all year long creates opportunities for a

quick bonfire on a mild winter day, knowing your firepit furniture is still in place and ready to go. And no longer will you be dragging out all of your outdoor furniture right before your first cookout in May. It is ready for a quick wipe down with mild soap and water and your guests will be seated before you know it!

Purchasing poly-lumber is a vote for the environment. Poly-lumber furniture is made from recycled plastic, meaning amazing quantities of plastic milk jugs and detergent bottles will have a new life as beautiful outdoor furniture. The trees you save will thank you too!


Although many people think of the classic Adirondack chair as the ultimate piece of poly-lumber furniture, keep in mind that the broad selection ranges from chairs to rockers and accent tables to full dining sets.

Both wood and metal outdoor furniture are high in maintenance needs and low in color options. Poly-lumber is not only the easiest and longest-lasting option for your outdoor living spaces, but it comes in a rainbow of colors from the most traditional browns, grays, and whites, to the beachiest of blues, the brightest citrus tones, and the prettiest pastels. And don’t forget, poly-lumber can be customized with an array of designs to make your furniture truly personalized.

If you’re looking to set up the perfect patio, the most fantastic firepit, and the most luxurious outdoor lounge, reach out to the Home Builders Association of Berks County for guidance in your furniture choices and every other aspect of your dream outdoor spaces. • 240 Michters Road, Newmanstown, PA 17073 QUALITY PAVING • HONEST SERVICE • GREAT VALUE Free Estimates • Call 717.949.2133 • Second generation family-owned and operated since 1971 Residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural Fully insured SPRING/SUMMER 2023 AT HOME IN BERKs 15

Avoiding Financial Stress

Build a Plan of Action and Get Ready

Buying a home will probably rank as one of the biggest personal investments one can make. Being organized and in control will contribute significantly to getting the best home deal possible with the least amount of stress. It’s important to anticipate the steps required to successfully achieve your housing goal and to build a plan of action that gets you there.

Before you can build a plan of action, take the time to lay the groundwork for your decision-making process.

First, ask yourself how much you can afford to pay for a home. If you’re not sure on the price range, find a lender and get pre-approved. Pre-approval will let you know how much you can afford, allowing you to look for homes in your price range. Getting pre-approved also helps you to alleviate some of the anxieties that come with home buying. You know exactly what you qualify for and at what rate, you know how large your monthly mortgage payments will be, and you know how much you will have for a down payment. Once you are pre-approved, you avoid the frustration of finding homes that you think are perfect, but are not in your price range.

Second, ask yourself where you want to live and what the best location for you and/or your family is. Things to consider:

• convenience for all family members

• proximity to work, school

• crime rate of neighborhood

• local transportation

• types of homes in neighborhood, for example condos, town homes, co-ops, newly constructed homes, etc.

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Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Deck

You likely spend a lot of time entertaining and relaxing on your deck, so it is important to keep it well-maintained. However, wear and tear over time is inevitable. Decks have a relatively long lifespan, but they will eventually need to be replaced. Since it adds beauty and value to a house, a new deck is a good investment for the future.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Deck?

A wood deck lasts 10-15 years on average. Composite material decks have a 25-30 year warranty life. Lifespan varies depending on the kinds of environmental conditions, the quality of building materials, and the type of upkeep. Often, decks can be repaired if the problems are minor wear issues. If you are uncertain about the safety of your deck, have a professional deck builder assess the condition of the structure.

Should I Repair or Replace My Deck?

While many issues can be effectively repaired, there are a few major problems that may indicate it’s time to replace your deck. Here are a few to consider.

Unsecured Ledger Boards

Ledger boards anchor a deck to your home. When you notice these pulling away, it’s a serious concern. Many decks that are rotted or in severe disrepair have unsecured ledger boards. If this occurs, the best course of action is to build a new deck.

Extensive Surface Problems

Warped, cracked, or split boards are the first things you notice on a worn deck. If the issues are isolated to a few boards, repairing those spots makes the deck safe for use. Older decks with extensive damage over the surface are usually too far gone to repair.


Unstable or Loose Railings

Railings are an essential safety feature of any deck. Loose rails are easily fixed, but an unstable railing could indicate a larger problem with the deck that requires inspection.

Rotted Wood

Wood rot happens on all decks over time. In some cases, boards can be removed and replaced to repair small areas of damage. When the rot is substantial, and the entire deck or its support structures are affected, it’s time for replacement.

Damaged Posts or Joists

The posts and joists that support your deck are vital to its stability. Once these boards sustain too much rot, damage or wear, it is impossible to secure the structure with spot repairs. Decks with this type of damage are at risk of collapse.

Is It Time to Replace Your Deck?

If your deck has extensive damage, don’t take the risk of keeping the old structure. A deck collapse can cause serious injuries. Hire a professional contractor to build a new deck so you can enjoy years of worry-free use.

Extensive Mold or Water Damage

You can pressure wash surface mold and staining to maintain your deck’s appearance. However, when the mold has penetrated deep into the boards, the wood is weakened. Water damage will also cause wood to soften and rot. Treating decks helps prevent these problems, but time and deterioration eventually take a toll.

Termite Infestation

Termites do serious damage if they weaken posts, joists or ledger boards. Visible termite damage is a sign that a deck needs to be inspected and possibly replaced.


Understanding Energy Ratings & Energy Efficiency

To help you make informed decisions about how to save energy, several rating systems have been developed. Higher numbers in each of these metrics indicates greater efficiency – and more savings! For example, our 98% AFUE modulating gas furnace will use $69 worth of gas to provide the same amount of heat that would cost $100 with a gas furnace that only has a 70% AFUE rating.

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): a measure of a furnace’s heating efficiency. The higher the AFUE %, the more efficient the product.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): a measure of a heat pump’s heating efficiency. The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the product.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): a measure of an air conditioner’s cooling efficiency. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the product.

Each of these ratings range from low (least efficient) to high (most efficient). The higher the rating, the more you can expect to save on energy use. Working with a YORK® dealer, you’ll be able to find HVAC equipment with the best efficiency rating for your home and geographical location.

Save Energy. Save Money.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. home spends at least $2,200 per year on utility expenses. Here’s how to ensure your next home comfort system saves you money.


ENERGY STAR® is a label created by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the case of HVAC systems, this label denotes products that save at least 15% to 25% more energy than standard products.


While ENERGY STAR® doesn’t act as a rating on its own, it does help indicate what products are more energy efficient. So, even if you’re not sure what the rating of a particular unit is, you can be sure it will save your home more energy compared to a unit without an ENERGY STAR® label.

In the real world, ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment –like almost half of all YORK® Air Conditioners, heat pumps and furnaces – save you on the day-to-day expenses of keeping your home comfortable.

Get the Right Size

While efficiency ratings are certainly important, getting a system that is the right size for your home is just as critical. In most homes, the heating and cooling system is too big. Besides wasting energy, a system that is too large can create uneven temperatures, poor humidity control and add to maintenance calls over time. A system that is too small will be overworked, leading to early wear and possible breakdowns. By talking to a YORK® dealer and spending time learning what size system is best for your home, you can easily boost the efficiency of your home comfort.

Don’t Forget Energy-Saving Additions

Today’s smart thermostats, as well as communicating thermostats and indoor air quality (IAQ) products, can further boost efficiency. Smart thermostats and communicating thermostats can help achieve a more precise level of comfort while actively monitoring your system, while IAQ products can enhance the feeling of comfort (which can lead to less thermostat adjustment and system operation). While these products don’t directly impact a system’s efficiency rating, they can have a big impact on perceived comfort level, which in turn reduces system adjustment.

Peter K. Heim Associate-Broker office: 610-898-1441 cell: 610-745-3378 email: Our Home is Worth What! Know the value of your home? Find out today with this free, no-obligation search from Berks County’s most trusted Realtor. Native
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Welcoming Entryway!

Whether spacious or cozy, the home entryway holds great importance in our everyday lives. It’s both where we prepare to greet the day and where we are welcomed home in the evening. A wellappointed entryway can determine whether we leave the home in an anxious scramble or totally collected.

Entryways are the first impression of your home. It is where you get to set the tone for what the experience in the rest of your house will be like. Take a look around yours – what is it like? Outdated? Forgotten? Disorganized? Unconnected to the rest of the decor in your home?

The importance of a welcoming entryway is critical to creating a well-rounded design experience in your home. Does the flooring flow into the rest of the home or is there a disconnect?

It can be easy to underestimate the power of a simple welcome mat, but the good that it can do for your floors and your entryway is nothing to turn your nose at. Not only does a welcome mat create a more inviting feel in your

space, but it also collects dirt, debris and water that would otherwise be creating a mess directly on your entryway floors. The best part about including a welcome mat is finding one custom-made for your style to create that perfect welcoming vibe. Since there are so many welcome mat designs out there, you’re guaranteed to find one that matches your design aesthetic and personal taste.

When it comes to organization, there is no one-size-fits-all. The best organization and storage tools are going to be the ones that work best for you, your lifestyle, and the things that tend to pile up in your entryway.

If loose shoes and piles of jackets are staples of your entryway, and there’s no hall closet in site, a custom storage chest may be the perfect solution to disorganization. The beauty of a storage piece is that they are incredibly versatile – you can choose the color, what kind of storage you need, such as hooks, drawers, shelving, etc., and you can include elements of convenience, like a bench to sit on while putting on or taking off shoes and outdoor gear.


We’ve all heard of spring cleaning, and with winter well and truly behind us, we’re looking ahead to what kind of spring maintenance projects are lined up. When it comes to caring for your home, one of the most important, and often overlooked, areas is the entryway into your home.

Taking Care of Your Entryway Floors

We’ve all heard of spring cleaning, and with winter well and truly behind us, we’re looking ahead to what kind of spring maintenance projects are lined up. When it comes to caring for your home, one of the most important, and often overlooked, areas is the entryway into your home.

As the first thing that visitors, guests, family and friends alike will see when entering your home, keeping your entryway clean and organized is essential.

Each season presents unique challenges for caring for your home, and spring is no exception. From umbrellas stacked by the door after a rain spell, to mud and water tracked in from afternoons spent puddle jumping and exploring the great outdoors, spring can create the perfect storm for turning your elegant entryway into an extension of the dirt and chaos that lies beyond your front door.

With that in mind, we’ve created a guide to caring for your entryway this spring. Follow these 3 tips to keep your entryway looking it’s best this spring, and throughout the rest of the year!

1. Schedule Regular Cleaning

Of course, the first step in caring for your entryway is conducting regular cleanings that will not only make your space feel fresh and more inviting but will also prolong the longevity of your floors and other important interior elements. How to care for your specific entryway depends on the type of flooring that you have, but some elements remain the same.

The first thing that we recommend is vacuuming and sweeping weekly to ensure dirt and debris that has found its way indoors is not left to scratch or damage your floors. If you have hardwood in your entryway, follow up the vacuuming or sweeping with a dry mop once or

twice a month to really ensure you’re getting a deep clean. If you have tile, laminate, or a similarly water-resistant flooring, you can use a wet mop. Be sure to check that whatever cleaner you use is warranty-approved for your specific floors – the best way to make sure is to check what advice the manufacturer of your floor gives on care and maintenance.

2. Organization and Storage

When it comes to organization, there is no one-size-fits-all. The best organization and storage tools are going to be the ones that work best for you, your lifestyle, and the things that tend to pile up in your entryway.

If loose shoes and piles of jackets are staples of your entryway, and there’s no hall closet in site, a custom storage chest may be the perfect solution to disorganization. The beauty of a storage piece is that they are incredibly versatile – you can choose the color, what kind of storage you need, such as hooks, drawers, shelving, etc., and you can include elements of convenience, like a bench to sit on while putting on or taking off shoes and outdoor gear.

If storage isn’t a necessity, but your entryway is still in need of some organization, don’t be afraid to get creative to meet your needs. Consider putting hooks up for your most commonly worn jackets, or as a place to store leashes, harnesses, etc. for your four-legged friends. Maybe a discrete shoe rack is more of what you need, or a basket to hold umbrellas and other rain gear. There is no wrong way to organize your entryway, only what works best for you.

3. Utilize a Welcome Mat

It can be easy to underestimate the power of a simple welcome mat, but the good that it can do for your floors and your entryway is nothing to turn your nose at. Not only does a welcome mat create a more inviting feel in your space, but it also collects dirt, debris and water that would otherwise be creating a mess directly on your entryway floors. The best part about including a welcome mat is finding one custom-made for your style to create that perfect welcoming vibe. Since there are so many welcome mat designs out there, you’re guaranteed to find one that matches your design aesthetic and personal taste.


Keeping it Close to Home with Native Plants

Native plants are species that have been growing in a specific region prior to European Colonization. These plants have numerous benefits both to the homeowner and to the biodiversity and environmental health of the region in which they grow.

Benefits of Native Plants:

Native Pennsylvania plants have adapted to the soil, climate, and pests of this region. They generally require less moisture, are more disease resistant, and can thrive in a variety of soils often without fertilizer. This means that they are often drought resistant and low maintenance! In fact, some native plants even IMPROVE the soil quality.

Native plants preserve the biodiversity of our region and are rapidly dwindling due to development. Many natural landscapes have now been replaced with lawns or exotic landscaping, leaving less and less space for natives to grow. Scientists now believe that this loss is a key aspect to collapsing insect populations and is affecting birds as well.

How can we help?

Plant more native in your existing landscape!

Some popular Pennsylvania Natives:

• One of the most popular native plants in southeastern Pennsylvania is Asclepias, commonly known as milkweed. Most people know milkweed as the host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Monarchs lay eggs on the Asclepias plant and need this precious nursery plant as it is an inextricable part of their life cycle. As milkweed populations decline, so do Monarch populations, which has created a nationwide push to restore the habitat of these plants.

• Milkweed also provides nectar for a whole host of insects like beetles, bees and other butterflies. There are multiple varieties to choose from! One of our favorites is the short, orange flowered Asclepias commonly called “butterfly weed.”


• Another popular native plant in southeastern Pennsylvania is Echinacea, or purple coneflower. This perennial wildflower is easy to grow and blooms in late summer. Echinacea attracts butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, and its flowers are pink to purple in color.

This year, we hope you’ll be inspired to enrich your landscape with native plants. Not only will you attract an array of pollinators, birds, and butterflies to your property, but you'll also be doing your part to restore vital habitats in the area. With a bit of effort, you could be the proud owner of an ecological haven!

• Rudbeckia, or black-eyed Susan, sports daisy-like flower blooms from late summer until the first frost, and its yellow flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators. Rudbeckia grows to about two feet tall and prefers full sun.

• Solidago, or goldenrod, is a native perennial that blooms in late summer and fall. Its yellow flowers attract butterflies and bees, and the plant is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance. Solidago is often falsely maligned as an allergy producing plant as it is easily confused with ragweed, a plant that many people are allergic to!

• Aster is another popular native plant in southeastern Pennsylvania. This perennial wildflower blooms in late summer and fall, and it prefers full sun and moist soil. Its purple, pink, or white flowers attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators and it looks striking when planted with the yellow, Fall-blooming flowers of goldenrod.





Join Us on the Front Porch Area

Join Us on the Front Porch Area

Thursday, April 20, 2023 from 4-6pm

Shirley’s Café & Tequila Bar

Thursday, April 20, 2023 from 4 -6pm

Casual Evening for Networking with other members

Shirley’s Café & Tequila Bar

Casual Evening for Networking with other members

Golf Event

Friday, May 12, 2023

Rich Maiden Golf Course

Not able to join us to play, consider sponsoring a hole

More Information can be found at



Bring Employees & Significant Others

Friday, May 12, 2023

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Rich Maiden Golf Course

Fish Pond West

Not able to join us to play consider sponsoring a hole

R-Phils Game

More Information can be found at



Friday, June 9, 2023 On The Deck

Bring Employees & Significant Others


All Event Information & Registrations can be found on

Under the ‘Event Registration Tab’

Presented by: Brent Frymoyer

• Award Winning Product & Sales Trainer

• 25 years Industry Experience

• Design trends in technology to complement your client’s room design.

• Make your client’s technology disappear without having to give it up.

• Planning technology. What your client needs to know before they build/remodel.

• Topics will cover many categories including Appliances, Smart Home, Audio/Video and more!

Thursday, April 27, 2023 12:30-1pm

Must Register to receive Zoom link. Register online at

Come join

us for a Lunch
& Learn
Like Us at Have You Seen Our New Facebook Campaign? I 610.777.8889 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 AT HOME IN BERKs 27


Fox’s Remodeling Company

628 E 4th St

Boyertown, PA 19512-2102

Phone: 484-264-4732



Sonlight Services LLC

54 Midway Rd

Bethel, PA 19507

Phone: 717-738-2149



Council / Affiliate Members

Maureen Dolan

Dolan Construction Inc

New Members Join Today!

Renewing Members of the HBA of Berks County!

1-10 years

ABBI Co, Inc

ACC International, LLC

Berks Transfer

Berks-Fire-Water-Restorations, Inc

Brookside Builders, LLC

Davies Hardscaping, LLC

Dust B Gone, LLC

Elements Integration, Inc

Emil Washko Jr & Co

Fisher’s Rental Center, Inc


Habitat for Humanity of Berks County, Inc

Heck Construction Company, Inc

Jack Steiner Plumbing

Jericho Group, LLC

Lucky Squirrel Printworks, Inc

M.A.G. Builders

Power-Kunkle Group, Inc

If your business is within the Berks County area, please consider joining the Home Builders Association of Berks County. Your membership dollars will help fight issues on all three levels: Local, State and Federal. Our members vary from Engineers to Lawyers, Accountants, Builders, Remodelers, Insurance Agencies, Bankers and more.

In order to offer members installment options and the ability to pay via the method of your choice (credit card, ACH, or check), we have joined NAHB’s Dues Hub program.

As a result, you may receive communications from a new software provider, Billhighway. You will also have the option to log in to their member portal to renew your membership and pay directly online. You may also be prompted to create an account before doing so.

Renew Your Membership: You may be required to activate an account first, and this can be done by clicking the link near the bottom of the page.

New Memberships:

For more info: or 610-777-8889.

Precision Fire Protection, Inc

Prussman-Goss CPA

Quality Plumbing Solutions LLC

R&M General Contracting LLC

Service 360 Group/dba CC&M

Snyder Landscaping and Property Maintenance

Valpak of Central PA

Weaver’s Hardware Company

11-20 years

Anewalt’s Landscape Contracting

Bechtel Kitchens

Berks Career & Technology Center

Berkshire Systems Group, Inc

D&B Elite Custom LLC

D&S Elite Construction

Diebolt Landscape Co., Inc

Down to Earth

Esterly Concrete Co, Inc

Hartman’s Home Improvements

L2i Construction, LLC

Lehigh Valley Contractor Association

M&M Mechanical LLC

Manmiller Electric, LLC

Masano Bradley LLP

Pro Max Fence Systems, LLC

Riverview Tree & Landscaping, Inc

21-30 years

Aluminum Building Products

Bodden Construction Group, Inc

Bursich Associates, Inc

Elite Vinyl Railings

Fulton Mortgage Company

Gallen Insurance, Inc

Gentile Homes Inc

Hahn Exteriors

Herbein & Co, Inc

J&L Building Materials, Inc

MRD Lumber Co, Inc

Our City-Reading, Inc

Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center

Sherwin Williams

Snyder’s Construction LLC

Tompkins Community Bank

Welbilt Homes, Inc

31-40 years

Dolan Construction

Jeffrey Zimmerman & Son Masonry, LLC

Keystone Interior Systems, Inc

Ronnie C Folk Paving, Inc

SAH, Inc

Visions Federal Credit Union

41-50 years

Aluminum Associates / Sloan Corp

B & G Glass

Berkshire Greens, Inc

Culligan Water Conditioning

Fronheiser Pools

Now Pay Online!

Karrick Heating & A/C LLC

North Temple Builders, Inc

RE/MAX of Reading Shank Door LLC


Jason Reinhart-AA Remodeling/Aluminum Associates

Kayleigh Dick – Eagle Construction & Remodeling, LLC

Kelli Shaner -Fisher’s Rental Center, Inc

Kert Sloan Aluminum Associates

Pat Dolan Dolan Construction, Inc

Heidi Masano Masano Bradley LLP

Constantine Kotsakis Omega Builders, Inc

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. I 610.777.8889 Thank you
Contact Tyler Eberly (717) 336-2231
is the Endorsed Berks County Agency for the PBA Workers’ Compensation Program
Foundation Club Members:
Thank You to 2022 Foundation Club Members. Call the HBA office at 610.777.8889 to learn how to become a member of the FOUNDATION CLUB. Join the 2023 Foundation Club for $300 and be a supporter of our Berks County Committee for Affordable Housing. All Club Members get a free ticket to Lobsterfest and any other legislative event held throughout the year.
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