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The official magazine of the Home Builders Association of Virginia

VIRGINIA builder

Celebrating more than 50 years of service to housing in Virginia

Vol. 22, No. 9 November/December 2008

Easy Living

comes to Virginia Fire officials hijack ICC process

Recession planning 101 Engineered wood:

Better than the real thing

PRSRT STD US Postage PAID MWI


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The official magazine of the Home Builders Association of Virginia 2008 HBAV officers Henry H. Stephens, president E. Rand Sompayrac, first vice president  treasurer Michael D. Newsome, second vice president Jeanie T. Bode, associate vice president Kevin DeChristopher, vice president-secretary Regional vice presidents Region I: James Oliver Region II: Hugh Mitchell Region III: Chip Hudnall Region IV: John Olivieri Region V: Richard Coleman Region VI: Ivan Snapp State representative John D. Stokely Jr. (Northern Virginia) HBAV staff Michael L. Toalson, executive vice president Barrett Hardiman, vice president/director of regulatory affairs Kathy M. Harley, director of administration and finance/education director James D. Bonnell, director of member benefits services Barb Preddy, administrative assistant Rhonda Allison, administrative assistant 707 E. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 643-2797 www.hbav.com Editorial inquiries can be directed to: Stacey Enesey Klemenc E-mail: staceyklemenc@cox.net 2112 Flowerdew Ct.   Virginia Beach, Va. 23454, (757) 427-6355 Advertising inquiries can be directed to: Michele Weatherly   2117 Smith Ave., Chespeake Va. 23320 (888) 364-5272 or (703) 444-7007 Published by Association Publishing Inc. www.associationpublishinginc.com Sandra K. Amidon, Joyce F. Hearn APR   2117 Smith Ave., Chesapeake, Va. 23320   (757) 420-2434 Advertising sales assistant Valerie Myers Graphic designer Dawn Eskins To change your address (804) 643-2797 Virginia Builder mails copies of the magazine to names supplied by the Home Builders Association of Virginia. To correct your address, please contact HBAV at the number above. Nonmember subscriptions are available from the publisher for $27 a year.   Virginia Builder (ISSN 1552-8715) is published nine times a year for members of the Home Builders Association of Virginia and is edited according to AP style. Acceptance of advertising in Virginia Builder does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the Home Builders Association of Virginia. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors and people quoted and not necessarily those of the Home Builders Association of Virginia. Mention of specific products or services in editorial content does not imply endorsement by Virginia Builder or the Home Builders Association of Virginia. No material may be reproduced for further publication without the express permission of the association and the publisher. Affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders.

November/December 2008

departments  5 10 18 22 23 24 26 28 30 31

President’s Perspective Product roundup: Engineered and treated wood Bank Notes: Recession survival guide for businesses HBAV Build-PAC Honor Roll Spike Summary Picture this: 2008 in review Counsel’s Corner: Where there’s smoke In the limelight: Piedmont Virginia Building Industry Association Stateline Advertisers’ Index

Vol. 22, No. 9  

November/December 2008

The flanges being produced here are created through a precision finger-joining process to make them extra long. (Photo courtesy of Nordic Engineered Wood.)

FEATURES  6 8 9 17 32

EasyLiving sets up shop in the Commonwealth IBS promises “brighter lights, bigger ideas” Fire officials hijack ICC code process Golf with a purpose: Building the PAC Stephen Fuller creates another classic community

On the cover: It’s hard to best Mother Nature but manufacturers of today’s engineered wood and treated wood products are one up. They maintain their products are stronger and will last longer than just plain wood alone. (Photo courtesy of LP Building Products.) Virginia Builder   3

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VIRGINIA builder


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by Henry Stephens, 2008 HBAV President

I can’t believe it’s been a year since 2007 Home Builders Association of Virginia President Rich Napier entrusted me with the HBAV gavel and wished me the best in 2008. Like all things enjoyable, this year has gone by so quickly. We started the year with the ups and downs of Senate Bill 768, our effor t to reform the proffer system by ending cash proffers. With the support of the bill’s patron, Sen. John Watkins, we got the henry stephens very controversial measure through the 40-member State Senate. While we were confident we had the votes in the 100-member House of Delegates to send the measure to the desk of Gov. Tim Kaine, we were not able to overcome the last-minute changes of heart about proffer reform by the House leadership. Our desperately needed reform bill was held (killed for the 2008 session) in the House Rules Committee. I am still shuddering from that untimely decision. The state legislature and governor had an opportunity to send a breath of much-needed, maybe lifesaving air into the housing industry in Virginia. And, they simply ignored the plight of our business, which in the very recent past had been heralded by the same for being Virginia’s economic engine. Surely, they had to know without a vibrant housing industry, the state and local economies would suffer, and their budgets would bleed red! I urge future leaders of HBAV to continue to seek relief from the outof-control cash proffer system. The housing industry must have a rational, predictable and affordable system to determine our industry’s contributions to local infrastructure costs to recover. Investors in the housing industry have seen the devastating impact of the cash proffer, and they will not return to our industry in Virginia until it is reformed. November/December 2008

I know I can say that with certainty because my par tners and I are one team of those investors. But onto the fun part of being president — traveling the state, attending local functions and meeting the many good people who make up our statewide association. Unfortunately, there were a few local associations I didn’t get to visit. I will make every effort to visit them in the coming year as immediate past president. The feedback and appreciation you get for the many initiatives of HBAV from those meetings makes the many hours and days you contribute to HBAV seem benevolent. Along those lines, I am very proud HBAV was able to announce the establishment of the EasyLiving Home program on my watch. That program is designed to increase the accessible or visitable housing stock in Virginia. In partnership with the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, Virginia Housing Development Authority and AARP Virginia, a builder will soon be able to market a new home as an EasyLiving Home. As our population ages, and more rather than less want to “age in place,” there is going to be a tremendous demand for accessible housing. New home buyers will be seeking such housing, and they will easily find it when it’s labeled an EasyLiving Home. I urge every member to learn more about the Virginia EasyLiving Home program and visit www. elhomes.org. (Also see pages 6-7.) I am also pleased that 2008 was the year that HBAV finally adopted an Annual Sponsor Program for builder and associate members. It’s designed to enable HBAV members to formally display their support and commitment to the home building industry and its leaders in Virginia. Four levels of sponsorships are available. As a par ticipant, your company will be profiled as an HBAV sponsor throughout the year. The proceeds benefit HBAV’s ongoing efforts to represent our business before state lawmakers and regulators, and allow HBAV to expand its member services. Currently, HBAV annual dues

are $130. This program allows members to display their loyalty to the business beyond that level and receive statewide marketing benefits. Learn more about the Annual Sponsor Program at www. hbav.com. And then there was the convention in (See president’s perspective, page 20)

Dominion lineman Jason GeorGe helps fit one more plate into thousanDs of Dishwashers. overall, dishwashers use less hot water than washing dishes by hand. and that can help reduce your electricity bill. But there’s even more you can do to save energy and conserve valuable natural resources. Before turning it on, make sure your dishwasher is full, and let dishes air dry when the wash cycle ends. and when it needs to be replaced, consider buying an enerGy star®-rated dishwasher. today, more than ever, it’s important we all work together to save energy. that’s why Dominion is investing in a wide-ranging energy conservation plan to support Virginia’s goal of reducing the state’s electricity consumption 10% by 2022—while helping customers use less electricity and make the most of their energy dollars.

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Virginia Builder   5

president’s perspective Sponsored by Dominion

All good things come to an end


Universal Design abounds

EasyLiving sets up shop

in the Commonwealth

The Home Builders Association of Virginia believes no one should be forced to leave their home because of a physical disability. But traditional housing stock, with its stepped entrances and narrow doorways, wasn’t designed with people who are aging or disabled in mind. So the association of home builders is doing something about it. HBAV has helped spearhead Virginia’s entry into the EasyLiving Home program in partnership with the Virginia Housing Development Authority, AARP Virginia, the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, NewWell Fund and Stephen Thomas Homes. “This is the right program at the right time,” says HBAV President Henry Stephens. “As our population ages, we need to increase the housing stock in the Commonwealth that will allow Virginians to age in place and easily visit family and friends.”

by Robin Brinkley

EasyLiving Home is a voluntary certification program designed to encourage builders of single-family homes, duplexes and triplexes to implement Universal Design features that make a home cost effective, attractive and convenient for both owners and visitors. An EasyLiving Home incorporates three important design features. 1. A step-free entrance with a threshold of not more than one-half inch from a driveway, sidewalk or firm route into the main floor. 2. A minimum of 32 inches of clear passage space for every interior passage door on the main floor, including bathrooms, and the exterior door to the step-free entrance. 3. At least one bedroom, a kitchen, some entertainment area and at least one full bathroom with designated maneuvering space on the main floor.

EasyLiving Homes feature a step-free entrance with a threshold of no more than a half inch from a sidewalk or driveway.

An

EasyLiving Home incorporates important design features:

3

• 1 • A step-free entrance •2• Clear interior passageways •3• Living areas with designated maneuvering space Wide open spaces are part of every EasyLiving Home’s design. 6   Virginia Builder

November/December 2008


Builder Stephen Thomas (left) poses with Joey Wallace of the New WellFund and Teri BarkerMorgan with the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities in one of his EasyLivingcertified homes.

Once a home builder registers as an EasyLiving Home builder, constructs a new home with those three features, a new home can be marketed as an EasyLiving Home following a timely third-party inspection. The program is being launched in Richmond, Northern Virginia, Roanoke, Charlottesville and Hampton Roads where qualified third-party inspectors have been trained. The program will be launched in the remaining parts of the state after the first of the year. There are two EasyLiving homes for sale in Virginia, both built by Stephen Thomas. The first home, completed in March, features a first-floor master bedroom and bath and three stepless entryways. It’s located in the Spring Lake subdivision in Glen Allen and is listed for $369,000. The second home, in the Mountain Run subdivision in western Hanover County, was featured in October’s Richmond Parade of Homes. The five-bedroom, two-story home features an elevator. Thomas, a builder for 29 years, became interested in Universal Design when his mother fell and broke her hip. “When she got home, we noticed how difficult it was for her to get around the house,” he says. “Normal everyday functions became difficult.” A big part of EasyLiving is incorporating room for wheelchairs. For example, counter top lavatories have knee space below to allow a forward approach to the fixtures. Thomas’s EasyLiving homes feature curbless showers in the master bath, roll-under vanities and sinks, levered handles instead of knobs, lower light switches and higher November/December 2008

electrical outlets, and range controls on the front within easy reach. His Mountain Run home includes a circular driveway with a drive-through garage. There was nothing like that in Virginia when Bill Fuller, president of the Housing Technology Solutions Inc. board of directors, moved from Winchester to Richmond in 2003. “My wife looked at 114 houses before she found one we could use,” says Fuller, who uses a wheelchair. “It had a single floor and wheelchair mobility, but no zero-step access.” Fuller asked the owner about that and was told there used to be two ramps. “The Realtor told him to remove the ramps or he’d never sell the house,” Fuller says. “That shows the insensitivity that’s still out there toward people with disabilities. “It’s not malicious. People are just ignorant. They don’t get that 30 million people are approaching old age and want to remain in their houses but can’t.” EasyLiving offers obvious advantages to seniors and people with disabilities, but it isn’t targeted only to those communities. An EasyLiving home makes it simpler to offload anything from groceries to a piano, while providing easier passage for baby strollers and strapping teenage athletes. One Georgia owner — the program began in Atlanta — was lured to an EasyLiving neighborhood by its security wall, gate and hardwood floors. “At first I didn’t notice the wider doors and level entrance,” she says. “Now I

think they are great extras. I’m just 44 now, but I’d like to stay put here and the EasyLiving Home features will allow me to do so.” An important note: The “visit-ability” features, such as wider halls and doorways, can make a house look 10 percent to 15 percent larger without adding significantly to the cost. “The basic features of EasyLiving don’t affect my costs that much,” Thomas says. “It’s a little more expensive to build on a crawlspace as opposed to a slab. But the basic requirements don’t add much.” Still, like anything new, the builder adds, it may take awhile to catch on. “One common misconception in making the home more accessible,” he explains, “is that people walk in thinking it’s going to be grab-bar central. But the goal of Universal Design is to make all of these improvements pretty much invisible.” “It’s going to take the next generation to solve the problem,” adds Fuller. “But we’re taking a whack at it.” Thomas hopes more builders will join the movement. “We can make a difference,” he says. “We can help people by building these types of houses, or by remodeling or reconditioning older homes. I feel like this is the direction my company needs to go in.” HBAV members may contact Rhonda Allison to learn more about the HBAVbacked EasyLiving Home program and how to become an EasyLiving Home builder. She can be reached at info@elhomes.org or (804) 643-3279. (Robin Brinkley is a free-lance writer and educator living in Virginia Beach.) VAB

One of the Stephen Thomas Homes on the market features a circular driveway with a drivethrough garage. Virginia Builder   7


IBS promises “brighter lights, bigger ideas”

The National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show returns to Las Vegas in 2009 after four years in Orlando.

8   Virginia Builder

With the theme “Brighter Lights, Bigger Ideas,” IBS kicks off with the grand opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 20, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The exhibit halls will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday. (The south exhibit hall opens at 8:30 a.m. on opening day.) The show wraps up at 2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 23. Famed football coach Lou Holtz will be the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. Regarded as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time, Holtz is the only coach in history to take six different college teams to a bowl game. The West Virginia native began his head-coaching career in 1969 at The College of William & Mary, followed by head coaching positions at the University of Minnesota, University of Arkansas, North Carolina State University and then a season as head coach of the NFL’s New York Jets. In 1985, Holtz became the 27th head coach of Notre Dame, where he spent 11 seasons. During his years

at Notre Dame, he managed to take a then-struggling team and turn it around to achieve the longest winning streak in Notre Dame history. Following retirement from Notre Dame in 1996, Holz joined CBS Sports’ College Football Today for two seasons, before going on to be the head coach at the University of South Carolina for six seasons. Holtz currently serves as a college football analyst on ESPN. Earlier this year, he was named to the College Football Hall of Fame. IBS attendees also will hear from some of the nation’s top business leaders during a special “daily featured speakers program.” Representing a wide range of industry specialties, the speakers include renowned green business expert Andrew Winston, founder of Winston Eco-Strategies; Kevin Freiberg, notable professional speaker and founder and CEO of the San Diego Consulting Group Inc.; and Peter Hart, top public opinion analyst and founder of Peter D. Hart Research Associates. “We are thrilled to have such extraordinary speakers presenting at the show this year,” says NAHB President Sandy Dunn, a home builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va. “Especially in these challenging times for our industry, attendees will benefit from hearing the advice of a legendary motivator and coach, as well as from some of the top minds in the business world on strategies for success in a changing marketplace.” The 65th annual IBS will feature more than 1,700 exhibits and 250 seminars. It’s expected to attract an estimated 100,000 building industry professionals from around the nation and the world. The full registration fee (which includes exhibits and seminars) for HBA members is $295 for those who register by Nov. 7. The fee goes up to $425 after that date. For first-time attendees, the registration fee is $100. For those members only planning to visit the exhibits, the exhibit registration fee is $50 before Nov. 7. New this year is an individual ticket package for the seminars. For details on the various fee options, as well as hotel and online registration information, visit www.buildersshow.com. Virginia’s assigned hotel this year is Caesar’s Palace. VAB November/December 2008


Fire officials hijack ICC code process

HBAV to oppose adopting the sprinkler mandate in Virginia In recent years the Board of Housing and Community Development has adopted the International Code Council Family of Codes as the basis for the Uniform State Building Code. As all Home Builders Association of Virginia members know, the USBC governs the methodology of construction and material use for residential and commercial construction in Virginia. The BHCD, with the support of HBAV and other stakeholder groups, has adopted the ICC Family of Codes because of the “scientific” and “balanced” approach of its (ICC) code-making process. Marketing agendas of suppliers and policy agendas of stakeholder groups were discounted in favor of a fair and balanced code that was built on the ultimate safety, energy efficiency and affordability of the final product. That fairness and balance in the ICC code-making process was tossed aside in Minneapolis last month at the ICC’s final action hearings. On the Saturday and Sunday of the final action hearings, there was a sudden — and controversial — arrival of 900 fire officials eligible to vote at the ICC’s f inal action hearings. That swelled the number of sprinkler proponents far beyond traditional attendance numbers, and the measure was approved by a vote of 1,283 to 470 on Sunday morning. It has been reported that many fire officials who attended the Minneapolis hearings had their travel expenses paid by sprinkler manufacturers. About 1,200 voting devices were turned in immediately after the residential fire sprinkler mandate was approved, suggesting that most of the proponents left immediately after the vote was taken. “We welcome the insight and experience that fire officials bring to the code development process because our model codes are focused on life safety issues,” says James “Andy” Anderson, chair of the NAHB Construction, Codes

and Community Development during the next USBC update. That process will likely begin in late 2009 or early 2010. The residential fire sprinkler mandates will provide a sizable financial boon for the fire sprinkler manufacturing industry. In 2005, when there were about 1.65 million new homes constructed at an average 2,340 square feet, sprinkler manufacturers would have reaped about $5.8 billion in revenue, based on average sprinkler costs of $1.50 per square foot, had the sprinkler requirement been in effect. NAHB had identified several concerns over residential fire sprinkler systems  — among them, questioning whether most homeowners are prepared to perform the maintenance required to ensure the sprinklers remain operational. Builders also cited the potential for pipes installed in attics to freeze in colder climates and they said the sprinklers can be discharged accidentally, with damaging results. In areas served by wells or where water is scarce, the availability of

and Standards Committee. “However, it seems clear that these particular fire officials were focused on one issue only  — residential fire sprinkler mandates  — without any benefit of perspective regarding how such mandates jibe with the hundreds of other code proposals considered at this hearing. That’s unfortunate because such reasoned discussion is what the model code process was designed to accomplish.” In other words, the 2009 ICC codemaking process was hijacked by f ire officials. As a result, fire sprinkler mandates will be part of the 2009 International Residential Code and will be required in all one- and two-family homes and townhouses that build to the code as of Jan. 1, 2011 — this part’s important — if and ScreenEze BW 1_3 ad.pdf only if adopted by the Board of 12/7/07 Housing 10:47:15

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(See Sprinkler Mandate, page 20)

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November/December 2008

Virginia Builder   9


product rou ndu p

Engineered and treated wood are designed to weather many elements

A blue ‘green product’

Here’s a product that’s sure to catch the eye of potential customers — particularly if their favorite color is blue. Applied to all sides of conventional framing materials, Bluwood is a green-building technology from WoodSmart Solutions that involves a two-part coating on everything from 2-by-4s, plywood and molding to trusses, subfloor Bluwood panels and I-joists.

This barrier system technology transforms ordinary lumber into a blue-hued wood that repels water, inhibits the growth of mold and mildew, and protects against rot fungi and wood-ingesting insects such as termites. The coating, which in Virginia is applied in a factory in Doswell, adds about 1 percent to 3 percent to a home’s selling price, depending on the amount of lumber used. For more information, call (561) 416-1972 or visit www.bluwood.com.

Traditional 4-by-8

Windstorm panels

It’s in the numbers

Switching from traditional 4-by-8s to Norbord’s full-height panels will not only save you time and money and meet high-wind codes, but it also will help you construct a tighter building envelope with less joints to contend with. Builders have indicated savings of up to $1,000 or more per house in labor and materials. There are fewer panels to handle, no horizontal joints to block or filler strips to cut and no stud-to-plate connectors to install. Starting these sheets at the sill plate, they’ll span through the first-story floor band and cover the top plates. In multistory applications, Windstorm panels take you from the band to the upper top plate. With fewer joints resulting, Windstorm will reduce air leakage overall. For more information, call (919) 554-8803 or visit www.windstormosb.com.

10   Virginia Builder

November/December 2008


More choices in ’08

LPSmartSide

Better than Mother Nature

LP SolidStart Laminated Strand Lumber can help builders earn points in green building certification programs, such as EarthCraft. The product uses 100 percent Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified wood from small-diameter, rapidly regenerating trees. The company also uses all the log in the manufacturing process so there’s no waste. It’s designed to take the place of large pieces of dimensional lumber from mature trees to meet specifications for things like headers and beams. The new LSL outperforms and is a more environmentally responsible product than dimensional lumber. A structural engineered wood product, it’s made from long, thin wood strands oriented parallel to the product’s length. SolidStart LSL is ideal for a wide variety of residential construction uses, including headers and beams, wall studs, roof beams and rafters, truss chords, rim board and stair stringers. The SolidStart line also offers a 1.75E engineered wood board for design flexibility which can easily accommodate the tall wall and large room spans popular in today’s construction designs. The boards also feature end- and edge-seals to protect against moisture absorption and edge swell to ensure performance and durability. LP SolidStart LSL is backed with a lifetime, fully transferable limited warranty. For more information, visit www.lpcorp.com/lsl.

LP Building Products has greatly expanded its lineup of LP SmartSide engineered exterior siding and trim products, boosting the number to more than 115 products. The expanded line — which carries a five-year, 100 percent replacement feature and 50-year transferable limited warranty — includes engineered siding solutions such as cedar shakes and colonial beaded lap, as well as structurally rated panels and reversible trim available in various lengths and widths. The 5/50 limited warranty is transferable from the first homeowner to the second. The products are manufactured using LP’s proprietary SmartGuard process which involves a zinc borate-based treatment that’s applied throughout the substrate to prevent fungal decay and termites. The silica-free products install easily using standard woodworking tools. For more information, visit www.lpcorp.com or call (615) 986-5600. (See engineered wood, page 12)

It’s not easy being green Nordic Engineered Wood was built on the ideal of providing the best sustainable wood solutions to the building industry. Nordic’s proprietary process is the direct result of our commitment to the best and highest utilization of our wood fiber. While it’s not easy to process underutilized fiber, Nordic transforms treetips into the key component of its glued laminated product line. is featured in Nordic Lam Beams, Columns, Tall Wall Studs, and our latest innovation, the NI-90x I-Joist Series. TM

With over 2 million acres of vital forestland, Nordic is certified under internationally recognized standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and FSC Certification (2008). Nordic’s ongoing commitment to sustainable forestry means investing in advanced manufacturing processes to keep on the cutting edge of technology and product development.

NORDIC ENGINEERED WOOD HEAD OFFICE & TECHNICAL SERVICES

T. 514.633.9661 F. 514.633.0833 info@nordicewp.com

SolidStart LSL November/December 2008

NORDIC LAMTM NORDIC JOISTTM NORDIC LVL RIM BOARD

w w w. n o r d i c e w p . c o m Virginia Builder   11


Engineered wood

(continued from page 11)

Filling a tall order

If tall walls are your thing, extra-length Versa-Stud laminated veneer lumber from Boise Engineered Wood Products can help keep your framing not only straight but strong. Now available in lengths up to 60 feet, Versa-Stud has more than two times the bending strength and is 20 percent stiffer than No. 2 SPF 2-by-6 studs. The LVL products, which provide superior wind resistance, eliminate the “hinge” created by platform framing. Besides tall walls, they also work well for stairwells, entrance door walls, window walls, elevator shafts and wherever cabinets will be installed in the home. Versa-Stud, a green product made with Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified wood, is available 1 1/2inches wide in five different depths. For more information, call (208) 384-6161 or visit www.bc.com.

It doesn’t get much greener than this

FrameGuard moldresistant wood is a factory applied spray-on technology for residential and commercial structures where mold and other pests can be problems. Developed by Arch Wood Protection Inc. and distributed through Cox Industries, the anti-mold coating is being applied to lumber and other wood products at Cox’s Sumter, S.C., facility. FrameGuard mold-resistant wood prevents mold problems — as well as damage from termites and fungal decay — in trusses, framing, OSB, wood I-beams, SIPs and other wood products used in interior applications. Wood is coated with a blend of proprietary anti-mold and borate chemicals. The borate component is effective against decay and also protects against termite damage. This combination of ingredients keeps lumber looking cleaner and brighter during storage and construction. The treated wood is certified under the Greenguard Certification Program by the Greenguard Environmental Institute. This certification indicates the wood has been tested and evaluated by an approved laboratory, and that the wood meets Greenguard’s low emissions standards required for indoor air quality certification. Some green building guidelines require this certification for credits. For more information, call (803) 775-5301 or visit www.coxwood.com. (See engineered wood, page 15)

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November/December 2008


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Beware of products made in China Improperly labeled scaffolding planks imported from China fail to meet U.S. standards Tainted dairy products and lead-laced children’s toys are not the only products of concern from China these days. Certain building products also have been singled out for not meeting U.S. standards. Noncertified Chinese laminated veneer lumber used as scaffolding planks failed to meet the design property embossed on the product after APA put several samples through mechanical evaluations. The results are summarized in APA’s Product Advisory, Imported Chinese LVL Scaffold Plank, available online at apawood.org. “This does raise concern for life safety issues,” says Dr. Borjen Yeh, director of technical services for APA. Even though the sample size was limited, the performance of the tested planks was substantially below the value proclaimed by the manufacturer. End users are advised to be wary of all noncertified products. Earlier this year, APA evaluated LVL

scaffold planks imported into the United States from China to compare the adhesive and mechanical properties relative to similar products manufactured in this country and Canada. The planks were labeled 2.2E which means they should have a modulus of elasticity (MOE) of 2.2 million pounds per square inch. (MOE is a measure of stiffness under load.) The 30 test specimens averaged 1.8 million psi, which is about 20 percent below the proclaimed value. Based on the strength test results, the allowable bending strength is 2,100 psi, which is nearly 30 percent less than domestic LVL planks of comparable (2.2E) grade. In two adhesive durability tests, the impor ted LVL planks didn’t meet U.S. Voluntary Product Standard PS 1 for glue-bond durability. The delamination results indicated the panels were probably manufactured with waterproof adhesives but the glue-bond quality was inconsistent.

In addition to their poor strength and durability performance, the tested samples didn’t bear the mark of an independent cer tification agency. According to the OSHA scaffold plank regulations and the American National Standards Institute A10.8 Standard for scaffolding safety, “all laminated scaffold shall bear the seal of an independent nationally recognized agency certifying compliance with the design criteria referenced in the standard.” The LVL scaffold tests come on the heels of last year’s imported concrete forming panel tests. APA tested the strength, adhesive durability and formaldehyde emissivity of Chinese overlaid concrete forming panels and found that they didn’t meet the standards set forth in PS 1. The Product Advisory, Imported Chinese LVL Scaffold Plank (Form No. SP-1139), as well as a summary of concrete forming panel tests, may be found on APA’s Web site, apawood.org. VAB

Look inside – it’s the best way to build. Step inside one of R-Anell’s modular condominiums, townhomes or apartments and you’ll quickly find superior construction and design, energy efficiencies and attention to green building standards. All of this starts right inside our manufacturing facility. The advantages inside are numerous, and we offer the best building method for successful, streamlined multi-family and commercial projects. R-Anell brings more than 35 years of modular experience in the Southeast to builders and architects, combining innovation and technology for the best building results. It’s inside R-Anell.

Visit www.r-anell.com to learn more about R-Anell Multi-Family & Commercial.

14   Virginia Builder

November/December 2008


Engineered wood (continued from page 12)

New wood on the block

Last year, Wolmanized L3 outdoor wood from Arch Treatment Technologies hit the market, making it the first decking product protected by a nonmetallic solution. It has a built-in water repellant, is protected by an EPA-registered formula and is comparable to untreated wood in regard to metal hardware and corrosion. The wood, intended for out-of-ground use, stands up to wood-destroying organisms and is backed by a lifetime limited warranty. This year, reports determined the wood meets code requirements. This spring, it was added to the GreenSpec directory as an environmentally preferred building product. And most recently the preservative in Wolmanized L3 wood has been recognized for use within the Hallmark Certification of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association. For details, visit www.wolmanizedwood.com or call (770) 801-6600. VAB

NI-90x I-joist

Keep your eye on this I-joist

Nordic Engineered Wood, with its proprietary small-block technology and consistent in-line tension testing, has further differentiated itself from other solid-sawn I-joist manufacturers with the introduction of the NI-90x I-joist series, the company’s laminated solid-sawn flange joist. Most recently, Nordic received an award for its NI-90x I-joist series at the annual ConTech Building Events Trade Show held in Montreal. The prestigious “Coup de Coeur,” which honors the newest product with the greatest impact, was awarded to Nordic Engineered Wood by a jury that represents the interests of architects, builders and building management groups. The NI-90x I-joist was recognized as the product that offers the “highest capacity joist solution” for residential and light commercial applications. It is also recognized in North America as a leading green product that’s manufactured through the use of the company’s own exclusive EnviroLam technology. EnviroLam is a process that minimizes waste and converts more of nature’s raw material into useful products. This unique technology transforms tree tips into key components of Nordic’s glued-laminated product line. Nordic uses high-density black spruce as raw material for its I-joists, beams, headers, columns and tall-wall studs. Known for its light weight, fiber density and narrow growth rings, black spruce is harvested on more than 2 million acres of timberlands where the stock is controlled from harvest to reforestation through a meticulous ISO 14001 program. The company is currently moving toward completing FSC certification. For more information, call (514) 633-9661 or visit www.nordicewp.com. November/December 2008

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Virginia Builder   15


Workers’ Comp

If you do business with or are in the construction industry, take advantage of our low rates and our personal service, including safety training and individual assistance with OSHA compliance. . ories added g te a C w e N qualify! See if you

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General Liability

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Contact Jim Bonnell at

1-800-734-6344, ext. 305 or go to www.hbav.com


Golf with a purpose Building the PAC Twenty-seven teams teed off during the fifth annual HBAV “PAC” Golf Classic Friday, Sept. 19, at the Old Trail Golf Club in Crozet, just west of Charlottesville. You couldn’t have asked for a nicer day in Virginia’s mountain country where eagles soared and birdies were scored. HBAV President Henry Stephens and NAHB Build-PAC Chairman Ed Brady were on hand to welcome the golfers and thank them for their continued support of NAHB Build-PAC. A respectable $40,000 was raised to benefit the PAC. The sixth annual PAC Golf Classic is slated for Sept. 24, 2009. Incoming HBAV President Rand Sompayrac asks that you mark your calendars! Here’s a recap of the event’s winners: A Flight

Winners’ Circle

First place – Tim Kite, Jason Crawford, Ian Smith and Kevin Runion Second place – David Brown, Layton Jarrells, Garrett King and Brett Third place – Perry Schultz, David Broad, Grady Ruckman and Chris Putting contest – Deborah Tomlin and Gordon Cudd Longest drive – Brett Mowbray Closest to the pin, Men’s Division – Bruce Maxey and Ian Smith Closest to the pin, Women’s Division – Lydia May

Mowbray Beahm

B Flight

First place – Steve Schell, Ron Buss, Lydia May and Phil Joyce Second place – Rand Sompayrac, Rodney Blevins, Stan Blackwell

and Canadian Chris (who filled

in at the last minute for Jamie Spence) Ray Nicely, John Brinkman, Mark Maretti and Justin Flick

Third place –

Many thanks to the 2008 golf tournament’s generous sponsors: EAGLE SPONSORS

AmeriGas American of Martinsville B & A of Central Virginia Columbia Gas of Virginia Continental Development Davenport Insulation Dominion Virginia Power Glaize Components Great Eastern Resort Management Inc. HBAV Benefits Group HBA of Southside Virginia HOMEPAC iLevel by Weyerhaeuser James Hardie Building Products Napolitano Homes/Pembroke Enterprises Peak Construction Co. Inc. Perry’s Appliance Inc. Quality Homes Reico Kitchen & Bath Shenandoah Valley BA The L&L Co. Top of Virginia BA Valley Building Supply Valley Engineering

BIRDIE SPONSORS

Graystone Homes Inc. Riverside Brick & Supply

PAR SPONSORS

Christopher Co. Huber Engineered Woods LLC S.W. Rodgers

BEVERAGE CART SPONSORS APR Associates East Coast Fire Protection Gateway Bank Mortgage

November/December 2008

National Capital Land & Development ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp.

LUNCH SPONSOR Henry H. Stephens

HOLE SPONSORS 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty Allan Strange/Smith Barney BenDanCo Construction Inc. Bowman Consulting C&B Construction LLC Cavalier Land Development Corp. Clark Whitehill Co. Colonial Homecrafters Ltd. Columbia Gas of Virginia Davenport Insulation Delegate Shannon Valentine Dennis G. Phillips Tile/Floor Covering   Contractor Dewberry Donnie Hirtriter Cabinet Installation Dow Building Solutions FSK Property Management Fulton Bank Gateway Bank & Trust Huber Engineered Woods LLC Kotarides Builders Meridian Construction Capital Napier Signature Homes National Capital Land & Development Neil Hensley Carpenter Contractor Preston Stallings P.W. Stilwell P & H Inc. Universal Forest Products Virginia Installations Inc.

Strengthen your Position by Marketing It’s easy to let fear set in during times of economic uncertainty, but remember, businesses are built on sales.

It’s times like these, when business is off, when you need more sales and more customers.   Advertising in the Virginia Builder is the most effective way to introduce your products and services to over 7,500 Mid-Atlantic region building professionals, 9 times a year! And, because the Virginia Builder is the official publication of the Home Builders Association of Virginia, you not only benefit from your ad promotions, you help support the efforts of HBAV members as well! For more information on how you can increase your sales through effective and targeted marketing, contact:

Lisa Nixon

(877) 449-2535 Toll Free vabuilderads@yahoo.com

Virginia Builder   17


Recession survival guide for businesses ba n k n ot e s

by Patrick Astre guide for businesses to handle recessions and the inevitable boom that follows. The basics : When you get right down to it, handling recessions, or any kind of business slowdown, consists of three things: • Cutting expenses as much as possible without affecting sales and income. • Maintaining sales and income as much as possible in the current environment. • Having and properly using an emergency fund to help weather the storm. Recognizing the basics and actually implementing a plan can be two different things. Here’s how to start: Understand the financial ebb and flow of your business. You should be using a computerized accounting system. QuickBooks is the premier system right now. If you have an accountant, he or she is probably using it. (If you’re using an old paper system and doing your own bookkeeping, your first task is to change immediately. Buy the software and take a course in using it. They are available

One would think there wouldn’t be a need for recession planning. We should see them coming. The constant sine wave of business cycles makes recessions as inevitable as surging booms. Of course, if you put 10 economists in one room, we’ll get 11 opinions, so the exact timing of recessions is darn near impossible to predict. Still, like hurricanes, recessions come along once in a while, and occasionally one will wreak havoc on the shoreline. One of the great business models that can teach how to weather recessions is seasonal retailers. For instance, there’s a small business around the corner that sells swimming pools and backyard leisure items in the summer. Yet, when seasons change their business needs, you can bet the farm its display changes to snow blowers, wood stoves and chainsaws in September, and Christmas trees in December. Recessions come as regularly as seasons, just not as often. Businesses and consumers alike should be prepared for them just as they prepare for winter. So here’s a

online, as well as at various classroom settings). Your primary tools are found in the company financials, sales and customers sections. You will use three primary QuickBooks’ tools: 1. Profit & Loss Statements (P&L). The program will allow you to see all your expenses and income — categorized — and tell you if you’ve made a profit or suffered a loss during that time period. Run the P&L as far back as you can, five or 10 years if possible. Do it for each quarter and annually. You’ll be able to tell what period of time is most profitable, when expenses rise, what the expenses are, when income increases and in what categories. 2.   Sales and representatives. If you have a sales force, the sales section of QuickBooks  shows sales details by individual reps. This will tell you who’s doing the best job and who needs improvement. 3. Customers and invoices. The Customers &  Receivables section of QuickBooks will show you open invoices and accounts

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receivables aging details.  Now you will know  how long it takes you to get paid and how many outstanding invoices there are for each period. This is crucial since the amount of time it takes you to collect has a direct impact on your cash flow. Once you have this information at your fingertips, you’re ready to begin recessionproofing your business. Cut expenses. Actually, a wise businessman should be doing this all the time. The trick is not to be like the butcher who backed into his meat grinder and got a little behind in his work. Trim only the fat, and beware of cutting things that bring in revenue. The first step is to scrutinize the expenses part of your P&L statement. Take steps to reduce obvious expenses that can be lowered. Energy costs through efficient windows or insulation, superfluous purchases, eliminating inventory or services

that aren’t profitable — that’s the obvious. The rest is more difficult, especially in these areas: • Advertising: Be very careful to differentiate between crucial advertising that brings in business and that which doesn’t. Ask customers how they heard of you. Offer coupons that must be brought in so you know the source of the customer. Record the answers and use it to manage your advertising budget. • Sales representatives. Use your sales records to rank your reps and assign territories. Know ahead who needs to improve their performance. Help them increase their achievements if you can, but cut them if you must. In a recession, the survival of your business may be at stake. • Employees. This is another tough row to hoe. Laying off people is the kind of thing that makes you wish you hadn’t gone into business. Examine closely the functions of each employee. In a recession, you may be forced to retain only key employees. Be ready, have the decisions made ahead of time and hope the day never happens. Prepare yourself to carry it out if the time comes. Watch your cash flow in good

times. Business is good, money pours in, why get crazy, right? So collections are behind and expenses are too high, profits are still good, so why bother? The preceding words are the main reasons why businesses fail during recessions. There are many dangers of financial complacency, and when economic slowdowns occur the business is blindsided. Collections are abominably slow, expenses are high, and it’s a scramble to get rid of bad habits developed during economic booms. Pretty soon the “Going Out of Business” sign appears on the door. Straighten it all out during the good times, just when you think you don’t need to — because you really, really do need to. Set up an emergency fund. This is crucial. If you do nothing else, at least do this. Start putting 10 percent of gross in a ready, liquid fund tied to your business. Use a good steady bond fund like Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax Free Municipal Fund or ING Direct. Make believe this is another expense, and it is — it’s an expense that might save your business some day. Keep going until you have at least six (See recession, page 20)

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November/December 2008

Virginia Builder   19


Recession

(continued from page 19)

months worth of your business’ gross income. In addition, have a ready source of credit in case a deep recession comes along and you need more cash. Be a miser with your expenses and a hog with your savings. Put it away till it hurts. It’ll pull your bacon out of the fire in a recession. There you have it, folks — a basic, commonsense guide to recession-proofing your business. In reality, doing this will improve every aspect of the business

and boost your bottom line. It’s just like the guy who painfully banged his head against a wall. When he was asked why he does this, he replied, “Because it feels good when I stop.” It will feel good when you get this done, and you’ll sail through the next recession with a smile. Patrick Astre, founder of Astre Planning Inc.,  is an author, speaker and a recognized tax and financial expert specializing on the economic issues of longevity. He can be reached at 631-744-9100 or through www. ProsperousBoomer.com. VAB

GREEN.

President’s perspective (continued from page 5)

Key Biscayne. Good programs, good friends and a good time. But let’s remember: “What happens on South Beach, stays on South Beach.” If an HBAV member has never been to an HBAV annual convention, plan to attend the 2009 event at Hilton Head. Bring a colleague with you and each of you will have many wonderful memories for the future. It is a great member event. Finally, I want to thank the HBAV officers and members of the HBAV Executive and Legislative Committees for their hard work. And the staff … we have the best association staff in Richmond, bar none. They do the heavy lifting that makes the Home Builders Association of Virginia so successful and so respected. Being president of HBAV has been one of my greatest honors. I will cherish the memories of this year for the rest of my life. Thank you! VAB

Sprinkler mandate (continued from page 9)

EFFICIENT. SMART. Take everything you know about modular and throw it out the window. Meet New Era, the company with the building method that CAN help your business GREEN. Our method is GREEN by nature. EFFICIENT. Our method allows your building process to be quicker. SMART. Our method can help you adjust to an ever changing market. We are not your typical modular manufacturer. Call us to discover the possibilities and solutions our building method can offer your business. 451 SOUTHERN AVE

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www.new-era-homes.com

20   Virginia Builder

16258

an adequate water supply is another possible problem. NAHB pointed to several existing code requirements that have contributed to a significant decline in fire-related deaths and injuries over the past 30 years. The most effective improvement has been the introduction of hard-wired interconnected smoke alarms, which the code requires to be installed in every bedroom and on every floor. National Fire Protection Association reports conclude that about 890 fatalities could be avoided each year if every home had at least one working smoke alarm. Because there is only a limited number of subcontractors who are certified, the sprinkler requirement will appear in the 2009 International Residential Code but not  take effect until 2011, if adopted in Virginia by the BHCD. HBAV will vigorously oppose the residential sprinkler mandate before the BHCD. Neither we nor the BHCD should let a code mandate stand that’s the result of a hijacking by fire officials. VAB November/December 2008


Shop and compare health plans at HBAV.com

The Home Builders Association of Virginia has opened up a new service on HBAV.com that allows members to obtain insurance quotes and compare different health plans in seconds.

The new online quote engine compares different insurance carriers, plan types (PPO or HMO), deductibles, co-payments and even allows you to apply for coverage online!

www.HBAV.com

Do you have Anthem health insurance?

If so, make sure you are taking advantage of HBAV’s free

More than 1,000 of HBAV’s member-companies have enrolled in HBAV’s Value-Added Benefits Program with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

• No copay or deductible for mammogram and OB/GYN exam

Get your free benefits added today!

Effective Oct. 1, members will receive free LIFE INSURANCE benefits through the Value-Added Benefits Program. Insured persons will receive $10,000 of Life and AD&D coverage, $5,000 for their spouse and $2,500 for each dependent.

Value-Added Benefits Program. This enhanced package of benefits is free to HBAV members and your affiliated local home builders associations. These benefits include: • No copay or deductible for annual check-ups

• No copay or deductible for colorectal cancer screenings • No copay or deductible for PSA test for men over age 40 • Supplemental accident coverage up to $750

Call Jim Bonnell, HBAV director of member benefits, for additional information, at

(804) 643-2797, ext. 305 or e-mail jbonnell@hbav.com. November/December 2008

Virginia Builder   21


2008 HBAV Build-PAC Honor Roll (as of September 30, 2008)

b u i l d - pac

Governor’s Club

Jeffery Ainslie Ainslie-Widener Tidewater BA Jules Elliott Olde Colony Homes Inc. Fredericksburg Area BA Douglas R. Fahl Dewberry Northern VA BIA W.E. Goode Jr. & Sr. Colonial Homecrafters Ltd. HBA of Richmond Thomas Jordan Carrhomes Inc. Northern VA BIA Mak Koebig Peak Construction Co. Shenandoah Valley BA/ Piedmont BIA C. Richard Napier Personal HBA of Richmond Robin Newhouse/ Dominion Virginia Power Fredericksburg Area BA   Pam Pekrun Tidewater BA Henry H. Stephens Personal Peninsula H&BA John D. Stokely Jr. Personal Northern VA BIA Tidewater BA Tidewater BA Tidewater BA Linda Worrell Silver Cos. Fredericksburg Area BA

General Assembly Club

Jeff Ainslie/John Ainslie Ainslie Group Tidewater BA Clem Carlisle East West Partners HBA of Richmond Dave Carson PRO-Build Tidewater BA Anthony Clatterbuck Graystone Homes Inc. Piedmont VA BIA Richard A. Coleman Coleman Homes Inc. Fredericksburg Area BA Sam Craig Craig Buildres Blue Ridge HBA Gary Garczynski National Capital Land & Development Northern VA BIA Benjamin Graham The Graham Cos. Northern VA BIA Craig Havenner/John Regan/ The Christopher Cos. Northern VA BIA   Debbie Rosenstein William Lauer Tetra Partnerships Northern VA BIA R. Brian Mullins Quality Homes Peninsula H&BA Vincent Napolitano Napolitano Homes Tidewater BA Ginger Slavic-Jones Craig Builders Blue Ridge HBA Rand Sompayrac Personal Fredericksburg Area BA Jamie Spence Church Hill Homes Blue Ridge HBA Debbie Stoddard Finer Homes HBA of Richmond William G. Thomas/ Reed Smith. LLP Northern VA BIA   Maureen Stinger   Capitol Club Rick Beyer RL Beyer Construction Blue Ridge HBA David Blalock FSK Management Peninsula H&BA Jeanie Bode Personal HBA of Richmond C. Richard Bogese Jr. Personal HBA of Southside VA James L. Carver James L. Carver Builder Fredericksburg Area BA Clemens Gailliot Sr. Hilltop Sand & Gravel Co. Northern VA BIA Louis V. Genuario Jr. Genuario Cos. Northern VA BIA Mark Granville-Smith Personal Northern VA BIA Vernon McClure Personal HBA of Richmond Hugh T. Mitchell Personal BA of Southern VA Frederick Napolitano/ Pembroke Enterprises Inc. Tidewater/BA  Richard Olivieri Michael Newsome Clark Whitehill Co. Tidewater BA John Peterson Terry Peterson Residential Cos. Tidewater BA Milton Peterson The Peterson Cos. Northern VA BIA Stephen L. Pettler Jr. Harrison & Johnston, PLC Top of VA BA Danny Plucinik Cardan Homes HBA of Southside VA Ivan Snapp OakCrest Builders Inc. Top of VA BA Preston Stallings Personal Blue Ridge HBA Kenneth O. Thompson Ken Thompson & Associates Inc. Northern VA BIA Armpy Traynham Shen-Valley Door & Accessory Augusta HBA Michael West R.D. Wade Builder Inc. Blue Ridge HBA

Century Club

Donald O. Allen D.O. Allen Homes Dick Ashe American Eastern Inc. Frank Ballif Southern Development Roy O. Beckner S.W. Rodgers Co. Inc. 22   Virginia Builder

HBA of Richmond Peninsula H&BA Blue Ridge HBA Northern VA BIA

Pamela Comstock/Gilbert Martin Gilbert C. Martin Co. HBA of Southside VA Kevin DeChristopher Mid-South Building Supply Top of VA BA Richard Entsminger Personal Northern VA BIA Bob Flynn Personal Roanoke Regional HBA Bill Garrett W.B. Garrett Inc. HBA of Richmond Chip Hudnall Chip Hudnall Custom Building HBA of Rappahannock Clark Massie Tetra Corp. Northern VA BIA Charles Miller Miller Custom Homes Tidewater BA James D. Oliver Highlander Construction & Development New River Valley HBA John Olivieri Associated Development Mgmt. Corp. Tidewater BA James Petrine Enirtep Inc. Roanoke Regional HBA Henry L. Singleton Personal Peninsula H&BA J.M. Snell II Valley Renovations Inc. Shenandoah Valley BA Roland Specter Specter Construction HBA of Southside VA Clement “Kim” Tingley Tingley Construction Co. Inc. HBA of Richmond James S. Williams Personal Northern VA BIA

Partners Club

Patrick M. Annessa Personal HBA of Richmond C. Eugene Baker C.E. Baker Construction Inc. Peninsula H&BA Bruce Berlage Beck & Berlage Real Estate Northern VA BIA Michael Bogese Jr. Bogese LC HBA of Richmond David Bomgardner Personal Northern VA BIA Rob & Amanda Brown Best Bilt Homes LLC Piedmont VA BIA Richard Costello AES Consulting Engineers Peninsula H&BA Ralph Costen Jr. Costen Floors Inc. HBA of Richmond Claudia K. Cotton Personal Tidewater BA Tom Donaldson SugarOak Corp. Northern VA BIA Ricky Edgerton Edgerton Contracting Inc. Peninsula H&BA Peter Fields Fields Construction Inc. Roanoke Regional HBA William Halprin Personal Tidewater BA Casey Hastings Tiger Fuel Co. Blue Ridge HBA Catherine Hayes Personal Peninsula H&BA Walt Hopkins Cave Hill Corp. Shenandoah Valley BA Chip Iulliano Area Builders of Tidewater Tidewater BA Jim Jackson Superior Equipment Sales Inc. Tidewater BA Joe Jacobs Personal Northern VA BIA James C. Kirk NuCom Builders BA of Central VA Paul & Christine Koppel Personal Piedmont VA BIA Pete Kotarides Kotarides Developers LLC Tidewater BA Steve Lawson The Lawson Cos. Tidewater BA Scott McGeary Washington Gas Northern VA BIA David Meadows Personal Piedmont VA BIA Joe Miller EJ Miller Construction Co. Roanoke Regional HBA David & Judy Milstead Milstead Construction Shenandoah County HBA James D. Oliver Personal New River Valley HBA Gary W. Parker Personal Fredericksburg Area BA Kenneth Patterson D.K. Patterson Construction Shenandoah Valley BA Steven Quick Stephen Alexander Homes LLC Tidewater BA Michael Rashkind Dam Neck Properties Tidewater BA Katherine Renn The Kicotan Co. Inc. Peninsula H&BA Ed Sadler Sadler Building Corp. Tidewater BA Perry Schultz Perry’s Appliance Inc. Shenandoah Valley BA Tommy Shields Jr. Shield’s Construction Co. Inc. Augusta HBA Gray Stettinius Tuckahoe Creek Construction Inc. HBA of Richmond Zach Straits PRO-Build Augusta/Shenandoah Valley BA G.H. Sturtevant Wel-Vant Construction Tidewater BA Billy Talbott Talbott Construction Inc. B&A of Southern VA Edwin L. Tamkin Tamkin Construction Shenandoah County HBA Jack Todd Todd Brothers General Contracting Augusta HBA Robert W. Wells Elite Insulation Top of VA BA Wendell A. White Personal Tidewater BA Don Williams Alexander Builders Inc. Tidewater BA Melody Williams Personal Roanoke Regional HBA

Thank You for Your Help!

November/December 2008


spike sum mary The following are the HBAV members with the highest total year-to-date, new, retention and accumulation credits as of September 2008: HIGHEST YEAR-TO-DATE

TOTAL CREDITS Name

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

YTD total

Mike Perry, TVBA Charles Miller, TBA Gary Parker, FABA Shawn Callahan, BACV J. Snell, SVBA Skip Ferebee, TBA J.T. Huddleston, RRHBA Stephen Quick, TBA Jim Cox, RRHBA Tom Huxtable, TBA

68.50 60.50 56.25 41.50 37.00 31.50 30.00 27.50 27.50 25.50

Total

72.50 676.50 314.25 44.50 160.50 121.50 861.50 92.50 70.00 501.00

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virginia Builder Flooring and fireplaces Call (877) 449-2535 to place your ad. The deadline for space reservations is Dec. 2.

HIGHEST YEAR-TO-DATE

TOTAL NEW CREDITS Name

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

YTD total

Mike Perry, TVBA 41.00 Shawn Callahan, BACV 24.00 Gary Parker, FABA 16.50 John Hendrickson, HBARap 16.00 Mark Henrickson, RRHBA 14.00 J. Snell, SVBA 13.50 Amar Gogia, SVBA 10.50 Charles Miller, TBA 10.00 Joe Thomas, RRHBA 10.00 Sarah Irons, SVBA 9.50

Total

72.50 44.50 314.25 25.50 15.00 160.50 10.50 676.50 12.00 10.00

DISCOUNTED LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE Home Builders Association of Virginia has teamed with John Hancock Life Insurance Company to provide members and their eligible family members Long-Term Care Insurance at a discount.

HIGHEST YEAR-TO-DATE

RETENTION CREDITS Name

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

YTD total

Total

Charles Miller, TBA 50.50 Gary Parker, FABA 39.75 J.T. Huddleston, RRHBA 30.00 Skip Ferebee, TBA 29.50 Stephen Quick, TBA 27.50 Mike Perry, TVBA 27.50 Claude Grandy, RRHBA 24.00 J. Snell, SVBA 23.50 Jim Cox, RRHBA 23.50 Richard Coleman, FABA 22.50

676.50 314.25 861.50 121.50 92.50 72.50 638.50 160.50 70.00 441.50

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PROTECT YOUR FUTURE

HIGHEST total credits

accumulation Name

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

James Carver, FABA J.T. Huddleston, RRHBA Charles Miller, TBA Claude Grandy, RRHBA John Scanelli, TBA Jules Elliott, FABA Preston Stallings, BRHBA Tom Huxtable, TBA Lewis Jamison, RRHBA Bill Hendricks, TBA

November/December 2008

Total

887.00 861.50 676.50 638.50 560.00 536.50 517.50 501.00 477.50 458.50

For more information, contact Jim Bonnell, LUTCF Director of Member Benefits Toll Free at: 1-800-734-6344 Insurance products offered through Signator Insurance Agency, Inc. an affiliate of John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, MA 02117. Individual Long-Term Care insurance is underwritten by John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, MA 02117. 400 Perimeter Center Terrace, N Terraces, Garden Level, Suite 50, Atlanta, GA 30346. 678-338-4400 302-06152004-9277278

Virginia Builder   23


2008

p i ct u r e t h i s

in review

In the spring, HBAV President Henry Stephens had the honor of burning the mortgage note on the Stewart-Lee House, HBAV’s headquarters.

Rich and Judy Napier (Richmond) do the wave South Beach-style during this year’s convention.

Mak Koebig (Piedmont, Shenandoah Valley), seen here with his wife, Emily, was installed as a national vice president.

It was a good year for Northern Virginia’s Doug Fahl (left) and Gary Garczynski. Fahl was named the HBAV Associate of the Year and Garczynski was inducted into the National Hall of Fame.

Barrett Hardiman joined the HBAV staff as its vice president/director of regulatory affairs.

(Left) Henry Stephens (Peninsula) succeeded Rich Napier (Richmond) as president of HBAV.

Michael Newsome (center front) is flanked by his family and colleagues from Tidewater after being honored as Builder of the Year. The party, it didn’t matter which one, didn’t really begin until the Top of Virginia group arrived. 24   Virginia Builder

November/December 2008


To end the year on a high note, HBAV endorsed EasyLiving Home, a program that promotes Universal Design to allow people to age in place.

The 2007 winningest Spikes and Retainers of the Year were honored during a board meeting.

Go Ahead...Push It. The HBAV annual convention was held in Key Biscayne, Fla., where life was a carnival for a few days.

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The HBAV-endorsed EarthCraft program is thriving, with complete developments springing up in many parts of the state. More than 1,100 Virginia builders have attended training sessions to become certified in the green building program.

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Virginia Builder   25


co u ns el' s co r n er

Multifamily residential development:

Where there’s smoke Landlords, management agents, developers and condominium association boards are all empowered to regulate behavior in multifamily residential buildings to achieve certain goals: To implement rules which reasonably improve property values and residential health and happiness. Recently, media attention has focused on an at-home behavior with potential costly externalities: cigarette smoking. Neighbors sue neighbors over the issue of invasive cigarette smoke. And landlords, managers, developers and associations are being held legally responsible as well. In response to demands from residents, some buildings have banned smoking altogether. Secondhand smoke can’t be contained Secondhand smoke, technically known as “Environmental Tobacco Smoke” (ETS), is a known toxic substance classified by the EPA as a “Group A Carcinogen” — a substance for which there is no safe level of human exposure. Up to 65,000 adult nonsmokers die each year in the United States from exposure to ETS. In multiunit buildings, cigarette smoking in one unit will permeate neighboring spaces despite construction, maintenance and management effor ts to keep the smoke contained. Units are in close proximity to one another, and cigarette smoke easily passes through ventilation systems and seeps through openings for electrical outlets. Even minor structural defects, such as improperly sealed openings, can exacerbate ambient ETS. Smoke also comes in through doorways and windows. Although air purifiers, fans, additional insulation and sealants have all been used in attempts to ameliorate the odors and fumes from cigarette smoke, none have reliably kept smoke from travelling between units. Residents’ health at risk Involuntary exposure to ETS raises legitimate health concerns in nonsmokers. These include sore throats, burning/itching eyes, headaches and a host of respiratory problems. Greater concerns exist with respect to long-term health consequences of ETS exposure, including lung cancer 26   Virginia Builder

and heart disease. Child residents are at risk for asthma, earaches and SIDS. In addition to health concerns, at least one condominium has passed an amendment to ban on-premises smoking motivated primarily by fire risk. In any dispute among residents, of course, management must consider the rights of both sides. The U.S. debate about tobacco use is highly charged. Tobacco has played a huge part in American culture and economy, from the earliest Virginia colonies which depended on the tobacco trade for their existence. In the 1950s, more than half of the adults in America smoked, and custom dictated that smokers could light up wherever and whenever they chose. Starting with the 1964 surgeon general’s report on the harmful effects of tobacco use, however, smoking rates in the United States have steadily declined. While smokers may argue that condominium associations and apartment managers should not be allowed to regulate activities engaged in at home, the legal reality is that they can do just that. By buying a condominium unit, and by leasing an apartment, a resident contractually agrees to be bound by the applicable governing scheme. In addition, smoking in multiunit housing is limited by tort law. Colloquially, your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose. Recognizing this fact, legislatures and judges have had no hesitation in imposing liability on parties whose smoking caused ill effects to others. Smokers’ rights vs. nonsmokers’ rights There is no federal or state right to smoke. Furthermore, in spite of several attempts to show discrimination based on tobacco use, courts have repeatedly held that smokers are not a legally protected class. Either are prohibitions of smoking violations of public policy. Today’s policies weigh against forced exposure of ETS, even if that means limiting rights within one’s “own home.” Over the past few decades, policies and custom have demanded prohibitions on smoking on airplanes, in restaurants

by Andrea J. Boyack and at work. The multiunit housing contex t is one such current battleground. Concerned nonsmokers have several legal options available to protect their homes boyack from the invasion of cigarette smoke — and these may involve lawsuits against the authorities governing the building as well as smoker neighbors. In a rental apar tment building, the landlord or owner of the property has the authority to determine whether he wants to permit smoking on the premises. A condominium’s governing documents likewise authorize a board to pass many types of restrictions on owner behavior. Restrictions on smoking are similar to restrictions on pets, overnight guests or parking. Unlike certain other restrictions, however, failure to address the ETS issue by regulation can lead to landlord or association liability. Most lawsuits alleging adverse ETS effects are based on nuisance law. A Florida court held that secondhand smoke seepage into a neighbor’s condominium unit amounted to a nuisance at common law and under the condominium’s declaration. The plaintiff won on every count and was awarded medical expenses and damages for lost use of the premises. Nuisance litigation against neighbors led to lawsuits against management. Entities tasked with governance responsibilities for a multifamily residence can be sucked into a dispute about ambient ETS either as unwilling referees or even direct participants. Lawsuits have alleged that by permitting neighbor’s ETS to enter another’s unit, a landlord breaches his implied warranty of habitability — the statutory duty of landlords to provide a premises fit for human habitation. The jury in an Oregon case unanimously held for a tenant when he sued his landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability after a “known smoker” November/December 2008


moved into the unit below. Landlords also have been successfully sued for breach of covenants of quiet enjoyment due to ETS from a neighbor’s unit. Condominium documents similarly provide that each unit owner is entitled to “quiet enjoyment” of his or her unit “free of unnecessary nuisances.” Associations face potential liability similar to that of landlords on this issue. One Los Angeles unit owner sued his condominium association because the board had failed to keep ETS out of his unit. Community associations ignore such disputes at their peril — boards of directors have an affirmative fiduciary duty to remedy nuisances and deal with violations of covenants. If an association fails to act, a unit owner can sue for damages or to compel action. Builders’ liabilities Builders may potentially face liability for transfer of smoke between units in a multifamily building, based on a claim that smoke seepage was exacerbated by poor construction. The American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation’s Web site explicitly advises nonsmokers that structural defects can cause excessive smoke to travel between apartments. Finally, under the amended Fair Housing Act, housing providers are required to make “reasonable accommodations” to afford disabled persons equal opportunity to use and enjoy residential space. Courts have suggested that “hypersensitivity” to tobacco smoke will qualify as a handicap and, in at least one state version of the Fair Housing Act, liability was found based on failure to provide reasonable accommodation to a resident with allergies and asthma suffering from secondhand smoke exposure. In addition to potential resident disputes and management liability, unregulated smoking increases maintenance costs for the building and individual units. One cleaning company estimated the cost of adequately cleaning a smoker’s two-bedroom apartment would run upward to $15,000. Smoking residents in a building also increase risks of fire. Management companies and community associations should proactively develop policies to deal with smoking issues. ETS is best considered upfront since lease terms and provisions in initial condominium governing documents are given great deference and November/December 2008

presumed valid. Existing documents also can be changed to address this issue. A Colorado court recently considered whether a condominium could pass an amendment to ban smoking, over the objection of an owner who smoked. The cour t upheld the amendment because it passed with the required 75 percent member vote and there was no “bad faith” motivating the change. Commentators have suggested that, even without litigation and legislation, the forces of supply and demand will lead to

appropriate market-based solutions to the ETS conflict. The problems associated with smoking residents may motivate developers to designate a building “smoke free” as a marketing and cost-saving tool. Since demand for nonsmoking housing is on the rise, a building’s smoking ban could be a particularly attractive amenity for potential residents and management alike. Andrea J. Boyack is a counsel with Reed Smith’s Real Estate Group in Falls Church. She can be reached at (703) 641-4299 or ABoyack@ReedSmith.com. VAB

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i n t h e l i m el i g h t

PVBIA clings to niche markets and signs of economic recovery by Heidi Ketler

The economic crisis is central to the national psyche these days and, likewise, weighing heavily on the minds of Piedmont Virginia Home Builders Association members. The town of Culpeper and Culpeper County, which is served by PVBIA, is no longer the growing and vibrant bedroom community it once was for Washington, D.C. “While membership recruitment and renewal are the lifeblood of an organization, the economy is the overriding issue that affects everything, from top to bottom,” says Walter Cheatle Jr. of Trigon Development LLC in Culpepper. “I don’t care who you are, what type of builder you are, whether you build million-dollar homes or first-time homes, it’s hurting everybody in the building industry. In this area in particular, a very large segment, 45 percent to 50 percent of the workforce, is related to building itself. So, (From left, clockwise) Don Haight, Mike Coffey, Tom and Loretta Cummings, Terry Smith, a large segment is suffering,” Cheatle says. Brian McCarron and Kathy Freiberger are the table-decorating winners during the local’s Today, the Culpeper building industry is look- recent Do Business With A Member Night. ing for signs of recovery and setting its sights on niche markets, primarily green building and well-off retirees wait too much longer “will miss the boat.” seeking good buys. Fuller told members he expects economic recovery to begin this spring, and home prices to rally in the spring and summer. Go green! Then housing will re-regulate itself. “For us, green products — Energy Star and EarthCraft homes “The economy will turn around,” says Cheatle. “But it will — seem to be in decent shape. There’s still a market for that, be a long climb back up.” just not a huge market,” says Cheatle. PVBIA is generating interest and helping members get the Legislatively speaking competitive edge by bringing to the podium leading experts in The economy may have slowed down, but the PVBIA Legislagreen building and economics. tive Committee has not. In November, Karl Bren — executive director of EarthCraft, “Over the course of the last year, we have had a number president of the Green Visions consulting firm and founder of of issues that have either come up or that we’re still working the Virginia Sustainable Building Network — shared a message on,” says Walter Cheatle Sr., Legislative Committee chair, who similar to what he teaches University of Richmond students in served as 2003-2004 BIA president. his class, “A Built Environment.” That is: “It’s too late to be Cheatle Sr. has been working on a committee with county pessimistic. Now is a time for education and action.” officials to ensure when a planned transportation impact fee Andrew Grigsby, owner of Commonwealth Sustainability Works, is imposed, “the dollar amount is fair.” He estimates between spoke in August. He explained how it’s possible to build more af$2,100 and $2,500 will be added to the cost of a building fordable, more functional and more beautiful homes, using principles permit in January. of sustainability from the start of the construction process. In a town council presentation, Cheatle Sr. convinced memMembers also have a handy online reference at www.pvbia.org bers that raising the sewer and water tap fee from $16,500 to with the Go Green Web page. It’s dedicated to green building $22,000 would further cripple the real estate market. “We were resources and other information. able to table it, but it will come up again,” he warns. Cheatle Sr. stresses the importance of maintaining a good Economic outlook working relationship with council and board members. “We Dr. Stephen Fuller, a professor at George Mason University, have an excellent relationship. They’re very, although not totally, told PVBIA members in September that low demand for housing receptive. But they certainly do seek our input when trying to was resulting, in part, from people “holding their breath” to see make changes. We’re on very firm footing. We have mutual what happens with the economy before purchasing a home. respect. We know we need each other.” According to Cheatle, Fuller was optimistic that prices had For example, PVBIA was invited to have a representative on hit rock bottom and he cautioned that potential buyers who 28   Virginia Builder

November/December 2008


Last fall, PVBIA outpaced all other local associations in Virginia during the statewide DirectDrive campaign. Seen here helping to drive those numbers are Lou Ann Carithers, Laura Whitlock, Laura Newman, Leslie McGowan and Loretta Cummings.

New members Stacy and Kevin Drake with AOK Home Improvement enjoy their first meeting during PVBIA’s Do Business With A Member Night.

the council’s comprehensive plan committee. Alex Cannon of Cannon Properties was selected to bring her development experience to the table and “lend sensibility to the sessions,” he says.

Membership laurels PVBIA also knows how to rally to a cause. It outpaced all other Virginia home builders associations last fall during the statewide DirectDrive campaign. The 99 new members recruited represented a 69 percent increase in membership, the highest percentage achieved. “We were really proud of that accomplishment,” says Shannon Gearing, PVBIA executive officer. “We came together as an association and worked together toward a goal in a short timeframe. That’s what I thought was so great about it.” Rather than a membership drive this year, the 208-member BIA is “putting its full force into retaining members, with the personal touch of contacting them directly,” says Gearing. Personal letters, handwritten by board members, were sent to each of the new members recruited last fall. Board members also made phone calls. “We let them know that we’re still here, we enjoyed having them and that they’re a vital part of the building industry and our association,” she says. As of press time, there were high hopes for success.

Scholarship. Created by the Home Builders Association of Virginia in memory of students and faculty who lost their lives during the April 2007 shootings, the scholarship fund benefits students enrolled in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech. “By forming the committee and challenging our membership, the community really came through with the donations.

It was wonderful,” says Gearing. Members raised $10,000 and Joe Daniels of Jefferson Homebuilders matched it. The annual “Do Business with a Member” event is popular among members. This year, they gathered for fun and fellowship at the Crab Fest Oct. 1. Once again, the competitive spirit was sparked by a table-decorating contest. “It got the creativity flowing,” says Gearing. VAB

Events for fun and fundraising The economy-weary members just can’t seem to resist a challenge. Last year, PVBIA raised a total of $20,000 for the HBAV Endowed Memorial November/December 2008

Virginia Builder   29


I s tat el i n e

  Names in the news

Douglas R. Fahl, executive vice president of Dewberry, a nationally recognized professional engineering and architectural firm in Northern Virginia, has been appointed to the VirFahl ginia Tech board of visitors by Gov. Tim Kaine. RRHBA named Roanoke Bengtson City Director of Public Works Robert K. “Bob” Bengtson as the association’s 2008 Public Employee of the Year. Alan Rosenfeld has been appointed executive vice presiRosenfeld dent and chief operating officer of Capital Lighting & Supply. Ben McKenzie with Ferguson Integrated Services

has earned the designation of Certified Purchasing Manager from the Institute for Supply Management. Ferguson recently opened a new 10,000-square-foot showroom in Alexandria. Matt Simmons has joined Southland Log Homes as managing partner of its model home sales office in Christiansburg. Lori Fountain, president of Fountain Homes and a Top of Virginia BA member, was appointed to the Virginia Housing and Community Development Board by Gov. Tim Kaine. She will represent the 600,000 citizens in the 10 th congressional district. Ferguson was recently recognized as the first Retail and Distributor WaterSense Partner of the Year by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The plumbing distributor is among four partners who earned this special distinction from the EPA for promoting water-efficiency awareness and taking actions in the last year. WaterSense, a partnership program launched in 2006 by the EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water. Kohler Co. was chosen by the Envi-

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30   Virginia Builder

ronmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program as the Manufacturing Partner of the Year. It received the award for its innovative product mix and promotion of the WaterSense program throughout the country. Steel girders are being raised for Fralin & Waldron’s new headquarters in Daleville Town Center — a 30,000-square-foot, mixed-use/retail office structure. The Traditional Neighborhood Development, which will become a mini-town of 300 residences to include single-family homes, townhomes, condos and apartments around a commercial district and marketplace, is taking shape. Developed by Fralin & Waldron Inc., the master-planned community will be the first of its kind in this southwestern Virginia region in Botetourt County. C.C. Carpentry in Fredericksburg was recertified through the NAHB Research Center’s prestigious National Housing Quality Certified Trade Contractor Program.

 Fredericksburg Area   Builders Association

I

Parade of Homes turns 25 FABA’s annual Par ade of Homes, which turned 25 this year, featured 27 new single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums in communities throughout the region. The showcase ran Saturday and Sunday Oct. 4-5 and Oct. 11-12. The homes, which featured the latest in design and energy savings, were priced from just under $174,900 to $1.75 million. They are located in Fredericksburg and throughout the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George, Caroline and Orange. Participating builders and developers are American Heritage Homes, Augustine Homes, Bradley Homes, The Charleston Co., Coleman Homes, Colony House Builders, Del Webb, J. Hall Homes, Hazel Homes, Ryan Homes, Snead Custom Homes, Stonebridge Building Services, Thompson Building Corp. and Tricord.

 Roanoke Regional   Home  Builders Association

I

Second time’s a charm RRHBA held its second annual Parade of Homes Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4-5 and Oct. 11-12. The event — which featured the latest in design trends, technology and innovative building practices — was free to the public. VAB November/December 2008


2008 HBA of Virginia

Patriots of the Industry Club Many thanks to the following companies who have demonstrated their commitment to the building industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As Patriot Members, they have pledged to further the endeavors of the HBA of Virginia with an additional financial investment.

Platinum Sponsors Dominion Virginia Power HBAV Benefits Group

 Gold Sponsors First Market Bank Virginia Housing Development Authority

Silver Sponsors MidSouth Building Supply Resource Bank

Bronze Sponsors Napier Signature Homes

Advertisers’ Index Many thanks to the following advertisers who continue to support the Home Builders Association of Virginia during this time. Please remember to do business with these businesses that find it important to support the publication of this magazine.

Anthem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Architectural Images . . . . . . . . . . . . inside front cover Builders Industry Insurance   Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Builders Insurance Group . . . . . 13 Builders Mutual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Cardinal Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Costen Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Demilec USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Dominion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Duradek Mid-Atlantic . . . . . . . . . 27 HBAV.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 GRK Fasteners . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 John Hancock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 New Era Building Systems . . . . 20 Norandex/Reynolds . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Nordic Engineered Wood . . . . . 11 Potomac Valley Brick . . . . . . . . . 30 Professional Warranty . . . . . . . . . 2 R-Anell Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Reeb Millwork… inside back cover ScreenEze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Stock Building Supply . . . . . . . . . 12 Superior Equipment Sales . . . . . 25 Truesdell Engineering . . . . . . . . . 18 Verizon Enhanced Communities . 1 Verizon Wireless . . . . . back cover For more information on any of these advertisers, visit www.hbav.com and click on the Virginia Builder button to take you to a listing with links to their Web sites.

November/December 2008

Virginia Builder   31


and hundreds more floor plans on line, Fuller now thrives on creating communities. “If you want to create a really nurturing environment that aesthetically enhances your life, it’s not just your home that makes a difference in your quality of life, it’s your community,” says Fuller, who has created more than 50 community designs throughout the country. Veteran Homearama Builder Chip Iuliano joined other custom builders who visited the Fuller-designed community of Heydon Hall in Charlotte, N.C. “When we looked at it, our jaws just dropped open,” says Iuliano. “There are so many details that come together to make it truly awesome. All TBA Homearama builders used Stephen Fuller house and landscaping plans. Seen here is Everything from the elaborate landscaping Strawberry Festival by Area Builders of Tidewater. to the brickwork to the sidewalks.” Fuller uses layers of landscaping to create a by Kyndall Eskins lush and scenic environment. “Landscaping is designed to create ost people would probably the perfect setting for say it’s the attention to detail these classic homes,” that sets apar t the homes says Fuller. and communities designed by Porches and pocket Stephen Fuller, the award-winning residenparks encourage social tial designer who was behind Tidewater activity and a sense Builders Association’s 2008 Homearama of community. Culin Virginia Beach held this past October. de-sacs are noticeably Ashville Park is the first large-scale Fuller absent from his plans, community in Virginia, but others are in and garages are tucked the works, including one in Smithfield and away beside or behind another in Gloucester County. the homes. Fuller creates a unique style that features scattered across the United States,” says Fuller. Whether it’s an intricate brick pattern traditional architecture on the outside “The early suburban communities are laid on a home’s exterior or carefully chosen combined with open floor plans inside out beautifully. We bring a lot of the same landscape plants, Fuller takes pride in all to satisfy the needs of modern home principles and concepts. That’s what makes of the little things that go into creating buyers. His style is all about character. our neighborhoods feel very classic.” a grand vision. “People want the care and quality of You might say design is in Fuller’s blood. Fuller’s design and land-planning process the elements that were displayed in clas“I always liked to draw and illustrate, even aims to incorporate features of classic sic homes, an elusive element in today’s when I was really young,” he says. “It was American neighborhoods into a contemmarket,” says Fuller. pretty much a straight path to design.” porary community. All TBA Homearama For instance, he prefers the use of While growing up in suburban Atlanta, he builders used Stephen Fuller house plans authentic materials. “We shy away from couldn’t help but notice the rapid growth and landscaping plans. prefab or false manmade materials that are of the residential building industry. An inThe 452-acre Ashville Park development poor interpretations of the original building nate passion for residential design influenced includes 235 acres of open space; 30 acres products. If we have the choice, we want him to pursue his bachelor’s degree in of tree preservation; a clubhouse with a it to be authentic. It gives character.” architecture from Georgia Tech. full kitchen, fitness facility and restrooms; Fuller may be best known for his featured In 1984, he founded Stephen Fuller Inc. a beach entry pool; equestrian and multifloor plans in Southern Living magazine, in Atlanta, which has grown into one of purpose trails lined with park benches; 15 including the design of seven of its Idea the largest residential architectural firms lakes totaling nearing 50 acres; an exclusive Homes. For the past 10 years, he has in the country. The firm is staffed with active adult swimming pool and clubhouse; taken his talents to a whole new realm architects, designers, landscape professionals, a children’s playground, a soccer area with graphics experts and interior designers. — creating master-planned communities goals and a pocket park system. The company designs a wide variety of throughout the country that convey his (Kyndall Eskins is a full-time college custom homes and portfolio plans ranging signature commitment to details. student who spent the summer interning from 1,600 to 50,000 square feet. “We take inspiration from older neighborfor TBA.) VAB With 13 collections of residential designs hoods built in the 1920s and ’30s that are

Designer Stephen Fuller creates classic community in Virginia Beach

M

32   Virginia Builder

November/December 2008


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