Page 1


T i d e wat e r

The official magazine of Tidewater Builders Association

March 2009 Vol. 56, Number 2

What recession? Thousands Thousands flock flock to to show show

What What women women want want Homearama Homearama lands lands in in Chesapeake Chesapeake Dragas Dragas earns earns national national honor honor



PEOPLE! At Ferguson, it’s true that our inventory is huge. Our distribution expertise is unrivaled. And our one-stop shopping for building products is the height of convenience. But there is one thing we supply that building professionals have come to rely on again and again for over 50 years – our people. Our associates make certain you can depend on Ferguson – where friendly service, expertise, and a willingness to go the extra mile are never in short supply.

Nobody expects more from us than we do








4712 BAXTER ROAD © 2009 Ferguson

(757) 490-2381


T i d e wat e r

The official magazine of Tidewater Builders Association


this issue…

March 2009 Vol. 56, Number 2

The mission of Tidewater Builders Association is to improve the climate for affordable housing; promote the growth and development of the shelter industry; promote excellence and professionalism among members through education and networking opportunities; and support and enhance the community through charitable projects.

Beach Groundworks Inc. welcomed Mid-Atlantic Home & Flower Show guests with their display, "Spheres of Influence." It featured a paved patio, children's playset, wooden swing and a fountion by which to relaxing after a day’s work.

OFFICERS: Pete A. Kotarides, president; William H. Halprin, vice president; James E. Jackson, associate vice president; Charles J. Miller II, treasurer; S.L. “Sam” Cohen, secretary; Steven E. Lawson, appointee; Edward R. Sadler, immediate past president BUILDER DIRECTORS: Richard L. “Tuck” Bowie, Scott G. Brooker, Christopher J. Ettel, Dennis M. Graf, Pete O. Kotarides, Steven E. Lawson, Lucky C. Peterson, Stephen B. Quick IV ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS: G. Robert Aston Jr., J. Gregory Dodd, Thomas W. Dye, Scott M. Gandy, Brenda K. Reid, Samuel G. Scott, H. Mac Weaver II, Edward O. Yoder DIRECTORS EMERITI: Edward P. Brogan, William J. Fanney, Richard D. Guy, Doyle E. Hull, Frederick J. Napolitano, Richard E. Olivieri, John H. Peterson Jr., The Honorable Owen B. Pickett, Julian Rashkind, Stanley Waranch, Howard M. Weisberg, Wendell A. White CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Channing A. Pfeiffer The Tidewater Builder is published monthly, January through December, by Tidewater Builders Association, located at 2117 Smith Ave., Chesapeake, VA 23320. Editorial deadline is 5 p.m. on the 1st of the month preceding publication. Advertising deadline for copy and insertion order is 5 p.m. on the 10th and for cameraready ads, 5 p.m. on the 15th of the month preceding publication. All advertising is subject to current rates, copies of which can be obtained from the Special Events/Membership/Marketing Division, 420-2434. The newspaper reserves the right to determine the suitability of any advertising or editorial copy, and all real estate advertising is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, which makes it illegal to advertise and preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.

Managing editor................................. Mary Prier, APR Editor......................................................... Sara Steil Advertising sales...............Kim Powers, JoAnn Lucero, ......................................................... Jeanne Rogers Production coordinator.......................... Stella Council Adviser...............................................Sandra Amidon Graphic Artist...................................... Diane Trumbull Copyright: 2009; all rights reserved. No permission to reprint unless expressly given by Tidewater Builders Association. The Tidewater Builder is published for all TBA member firms through the $15 subscription price, which is included in the annual membership fee. Opinions expressed by contributing columnist are not necessarily those of this publication.

Features 4 America’s best


The Dragas Cos. named America’s Best Builder 2009 by Builder magazine.

Homearama lands at Culpepper Landing New location surrounded by historic and environmentally significant elements.

8 Get inside a woman’s head

Beach design firm unlocks the key to what women really want in a home.

13 Surviving the times

Fred Napolitano Sr. knows times are tough — and offers advice on making it through.

14 Tempted by spring

Mid-Atlantic Home & Flower Show flourishes in ’09.

16 Behind the green scene

Green Building Council members turn a green house inside out for consumers.

Departments 2

President’s Pen


Shades of Green

10 Counsel’s Insights

27 Membership Update

12 Shop Talk

27 Calendar

19 Possible Dreams

26 Headliners

About the cover: More than 25,000 visitors were greeted to lavish display gardens at this year’s Mid-Atlantic Home & Flower Show. With a theme of “gardens for all seasons” guests learned how to keep their gardens always in season. March 2009


President’s Pen Tough times with our banker friends If the housing industry is an economic engine, the banking industry provides the fuel both for builders to build and homeowners to buy. What used to be our fuel and part of the foundation of the banking industry is now known as a “toxic asset.” As long as problems exist with the mortgage market, home buyers, home builders, suppliers, contractors, banks and mortgage companies will continue to suffer. In the meantime, we are all adjusting to new realities — builders and bankers -- and trying to hang in there for the better days ahead. It may help to understand that bankers, just like builders, are facing some very big challenges of their own. In a recent TBA builder/banker forum, builders heard first hand about some of the frustrations of the banking community while the bankers heard first hand about some of the frustration builders are experiencing. The group began meeting last year to create a mutual understanding of how to survive a difficult economy. At the time, we were optimistic we wouldn’t have to meet this year, but as many predicted, the recovery is slower than we had hoped. Bankers report that despite the infusion of federal funds seemingly aimed at increased lending, they are simultaneously under tighter government regulation and oversight. Even “performing loans”— those that are being paid back every month — are coming under scrutiny when the assets backing them are declining in value. They gave first-hand testimony of what we’ve been hearing already — jumbo and other non-conforming loans have been scarce and the price of those loans has increased. At the same time, construction and development loans have been very difficult to make because of the softening of the market. Rates and equity requirements have gone up and in many cases, these types of loans cannot be made at all. We also learned that mortgage guidelines are changing so quickly that someone who qualified to buy your home last week may not qualify next week. They advised builders and their site agents to spend more time and effort to assure that

It may help to understand that bankers, just like builders, are facing some very big challenges of their own. buyers are doing what they need to do to stay qualified for their mortgage until closing. Bankers also encouraged builders to let their lenders know about any serious offers on their homes that they have had in inventory. The lender may be able to structure a special agreement or help with special financing that will help the builder and the banker get the property sold and off the balance sheet. Some of the group dug deep to find some good news to report — bank-owned properties are selling quickly and refinancing is up, creating extra funds for cash-strapped families. As a result of this forum, TBA hosted a mortgage seminar for builders and their site agents in early March to provide the latest information from the mortgage market, so we all have the latest information to share with our customers. Look for more information in the next issue of The Tidewater Builder. I would like to thank the following for their participation: builders Vince Napolitano, Steve Lawson, Chip Iuliano and Ed Sadler; and bankers Bob Aston, TowneBank, Ben Berry, Gateway Bank, Chick Robison and Mike Kos, Fulton Bank,Ted Yoder, Monarch Bank, Mike Dudley, Wachovia Bank, and Sam Scott, BB&T. The builder/banker forum will continue to meet periodically to determine if there are actions that can help our members through this rough patch. Hang in there,

Pete A. Kotarides

Builders and bankers engage in candid discussion of the current lending environment. 2

March 2009

March 2009


The Dragas Cos. brings home top honor

With 240 units in two different, four-plex product lines, Brighton Park accounted for more than half of all multiplex closings in Chesapeake in 2008, according to Residential DataBank. Four-plex product lines typically include four residences in each building. “The demand in the Hampton Roads market has always been more heavily concentrated in the more moderate price ranges,” Dragas continued. “What we’ve tried to do is stick to the fundamentals of the demand makeup within our market, which is the reason I think (Top) Located on the old Brock Farm off Wesleyan Drive in Virginwe’ve managed to hold our own in ia Beach, The Dragas Cos.’ Ridgely Manor was the top selling comthis downturn.” munity in Hampton Roads. Ridgely Manor at Lake Smith occupies The award was based on ex112 acres and features five villages, each with a distinct style with cellence in strategic planning, fia variety of houses and floor plans. In 1996, Helen Dragas (left) nancial and operational results, took over as president and chief executive officer of The Dragas construction design and quality, Cos., which her father started in 1968. customer service and marketing. Community involvement and civic engagement were also factors. By Sara Steil Last year, The Dragas Cos. donated $500,000 each to Virginia Since 1996, Helen E. Dragas has led The Dragas Cos., Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk, to help each city enhance its which specializes in building moderately priced condominiability to coordinate and supplement a range of services to ums. Now, it’s the top selling home builder in the region for help the region’s homeless. three years straight, according to Residential DataBank. “This award is a tremendous credit to every employee, To top that off, The Dragas Cos. was named America’s Best subcontractor and homeowner associated with The Dragas Builder 2009 by Builder magazine. Dragas was one of three Cos., as well as to the local governments and businesses that winners selected for the award and is featured in the March have been so supportive over the years,” Dragas said. “No one issue of Builder. person makes a great company.” “I think they were impressed by our longevity in this inHeadquartered in Virginia Beach, The Dragas Cos. has dedustry, our operating results, our strategic planning and espeveloped more than 35 condominium communities since it’s cially in this environment, our ability to maintain volume and founding in 1968. to not be struggling under a balance sheet choking with land “I would like to believe that we have good brand identiand debt,” Dragas said in a recent article in The Virginianfication, that people feel comfortable with buying a Dragas Pilot. home,” Dragas said in The Virginian-Pilot article. “Certainly, Despite 2008 being a challenging year for the area’s real people know we’re going to be here. They know we’re not estate market, The Dragas Cos. has bucked the trend. going to go down in the next market cycle.” Dragas is currently building Brighton Park at Greenbrier,.

Southside Hampton Roads Top 10 subdivisions ranked by closings in 2008 No. Community



1 Ridgely Manor 2 Woodbridge Pointe 3 Remington Park 4 The Westin Residences 5 Villas at Bellamy 6 New Port 7 Eagle Harbor 7 Eagle Lake 8 Harbor Heights 9 Heritage Park 10 Kings Gate Crossing

Virginia Beach Virginia Beach Suffolk Virginia Beach Virginia Beach Virginia Beach Isle of Wight Chesapeake Norfolk Virginia Beach Portsmouth

Dragas Associates Various builders Chesapeake Homes Armada Hoffler Dragas Associates Chesapeake Homes Various builders Centex Homes Robinson Development Group Various builders Pace Construction & Development

Source: Residential DataBank


March 2009

No. closed 199 68 67 67 55 47 44 44 41 35 34

Average price $244,600 $392,075 $199,502 $739,622 $206,579 $239,846 $336,205 $361,461 $550,883 $660,989 $253,346

Homearama 2009 goes to Culpepper Landing

On hand for the lot drawing are, from left, Homerama Chairman Herb Watson, developer Tim Culpepper, TBA President Pete A. Kotarides and developer Tom Robinson.

By Mary Prier, APR Tidewater Builders Association’s Homearama 2009 showcase of homes will be hosted at Culpepper Landing, a mixed-use traditional neighborhood development in Chesapeake. “We appreciate the chance to showcase a new and different community for our builders and our visitors — a mixed-use community with a variety of housing products on display. We are confident the prices, the products and the community will be a real attraction for Homearama visitors — and for home buyers in Chesapeake,” said TBA President Pete A. Kotarides. The location is central to the rest of the region, just a few miles from the Interstate and in the new Grassfield High School district. “It’s not often that we have an opportunity to master plan a community surrounded by such historic and environmentally significant elements,” said

Builders confer over site plans for Culpepper Landing before drawing lots.

Oct. 3-18 • Featuring 12 homes • From 1,600 to 3,000 plus square feet • From mid-$300,000s to low $500,000s

Tim Culpepper, vice president of Robinson Development Group. “We’re excited about the vision we have for this neighborhood, and we’re excited about sharing that vision with visitors to Homearama,” added Culpepper, whose family has owned the property since 1926. “We want to show home buyers how a mixed-used community can enhance their quality of life. We will offer lifestyle amenities with our aquatic center, pocket parks and garden areas, commercial amenities in our Mercantile District, and even natural amenities with our walking trails and canoe launches. We also want to feature some of the creative design elements we are implementing that result in less impact to the environment and a more attractive community.” The site consists of 488 acres, with 150 of them designated as a dedicated conservation area. The community, which borders the historic Dismal Swamp Canal on the east and the 111,000-acre Great Dismal Swamp wildlife refuge on the south, recently earned a River Star designation from the Elizabeth River Project, one of only two communities to receive this designation. Homearama Chairman Herb Watson, who has already built and sold several homes in the neighborhood, assures show guests the homes will display the same attention to quality and detail they are used to seeing in a Homearama home ­— but they’ll be smaller and more affordable. March 2009


Congress enacts bigger and better home buyer tax credit A tax credit of up to $8,000 is now available for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence. Unlike the tax credit enacted in 2008, the new credit does not have to be repaid.

Q & A

Who is eligible to claim the tax credit? First-time home buyers purchasing any kind of home—new or resale—are eligible for the tax credit. To qualify, a home purchase must occur on or after Jan. 1, 2009 and before Dec. 1, 2009. For the purposes of the tax credit, the purchase date is the date when closing occurs and the title to the property transfers to the home owner.

What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?

The law defines “first-time home buyer” as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/ her spouse.

How is the amount of the tax credit determined? The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.


March 2009

Is a tax credit the same as a tax deduction? No. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in what the taxpayer owes. That means that a taxpayer who owes $8,000 in income taxes and who receives an $8,000 tax credit would owe nothing to the IRS. A tax deduction is subtracted from the amount of income that is taxed.

Are there income limits for claiming the tax credit? The tax credit amount is reduced for buyers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of more than $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return. The tax credit amount is reduced to zero for taxpayers with MAGI of more than $95,000 (single) or $170,000 (married) and is reduced proportionally for taxpayers with MAGIs between these amounts. (continued on page 20)

Issues and Actions Lobbying for the good of the industry TBA representatives meet with Jeanne Evans, aide to Sen. Jim Webb, to push for housing measures in the federal economic stimulus package. Participating, from left, are Vince Napolitano, John Olivieri, Ed Brogan, TBA President Pete A. Kotarides, Bill Halprin, John Napolitano and Lucky Peterson.

By Mary Prier, APR Since 1953, members of Tidewater Builders Association have been working behind the scenes to use their collective voice for the benefit of the industry. While advocacy is especially important at the municipal level, issues decided in Richmond and Washington also need attention from local members. Members from local associations across the state make up the legislative committee of The Home Builders Association of Virginia (HBAV). Although the General Assembly was consumed with a projected budget shortfall, the industry was able to tackle some issues.They worked on bills that would:

• Extend the validity of plans • Temporarily reduce some local administrative bond fees • Allow a waiver of public hearing requirements for amending an existing proffer in some cases • Not allow a locality to prohibit nonconventional on-site wastewater treatment systems if approved by state agencies. This year, TBA committee members went green and met weekly by conference call, visiting Richmond only during opening, crossover and closing sessions; thereby saving time, fuel and the environment. They also called and e-mailed legislators to reinforce the industry’s position. Some TBA members also took up the call from the National Association of Home Builders and joined locals across the country in visiting the offices of their Senate representatives. It was a grassroots effort to reinforce the need for housing stimulus measures in the economic rescue package passed by Congress.

TBA’s state legislative representatives participate in a conference call with representatives across the Commonwealth. They are, from left, Jeff Ainslie, Bill Halprin, Michael Newsome, TBA staff vice president, Builder Services, Claudia Cotton, John Napolitano, John Olivieri and chair Chuck Miller. March 2009


Beach builder demystifies what women want in a home

When designing her studio, womancentric builder Tanya Bullington wanted it to be a place that her customers would feel at home, so she designed separate areas, such as a kitchen, bathroom, closet, etc.

By Sara Steil The saying is that a happy wife equals a happy life. While this may be up for debate, some home builders are starting to take note of a woman’s influence over matters of the home, especially when it comes to purchasing and designing one. According to the marketing research firm Smith-Dahmer Associates, “women directly or have a controlling influence in the purchase of 91 percent of all new homes.” Couple that with the fact that “92 percent of women use the Internet to shop for homes, which makes them the most powerful online audience of home buyers,” according to Building Women magazine. Design Basics’ took note and in 2003, began a series of consumer focus groups. What emerged evolved into woman-centric home design, which emphasizes building or remodeling a home with a woman’s perspective in mind. The program was introduced in 2006 and now has more than 70 builders licensed in the approach. With each having an exclusive geographic area, Bullington Builders’ Elizabeth Anne Home Design Studio is the certified sole woman-centric builder in Hampton Roads. “We’re catering to the female audience,” said Tanya Bullington, of Elizabeth Anne Home Design Studio, “whether it’s the single female buying a home or if it’s the wife in a partnership. “Construction is typically an intimidating field to women,” she continued, “we spend quite a bit of time educating a homeowner about the entire process. We have a design studio that makes the most efficient use of their time. We have everything that they need under one roof to make their decisions. Therefore we are respecting their time as mothers, business owners and wives.” However, “we have several single men who are currently our clients,” said Bullington. “The concept that we use to make this a stress-free process benefits anyone.” 8

March 2009

One of the keys to a womancentric home is maximizing every possible inch of storage available. For example, closets should have built-in shelving customized for each homeowner.

How it works Woman-centric designs focus on four main concepts: putting emphasis on the storage needs of a family; the destressing areas of the house where the homeowner can unwind and bring serenity to her/his life; flexible living and entertaining. With a library of home design and plans, the goal of woman-centric design is to support an organized and efficient home. “There is a place for everything,” said Bullington. “There is no wasted space.” To be considered a woman-centric home, it must meet a list of criteria, both exterior and interior. “One of which is a drop zone,” Bullington said. “So when you come in through your garage you’re not walking through a laundry room, you’re walking through an area to drop things, sort your mail, charge your cell phone, drop your briefcase.” Elizabeth Anne Home Design Studio just completed Hampton Roads’ first woman-centric home. At 2,500 square feet, it has more usable space than a home of 3,500 square feet, according to Bullington. “As women builders and women sit around and review these plans, they are looking at the needs of everyday life, even if we are working full-time jobs.”

Getting involved Bullington started working with her husband, who is also a builder, while a stay-at-home mother following the birth of her son. “I had an opportunity and started looking over his plans and would notice something, like, why did they put that closet there?” said Bullington.“I started noticing things about the plans that could be tweaked a little bit. I started helping a client of his who was overwhelmed and I realized how informal the process was. It was kind of a hassle, a struggle.” While attending the builder show in Orlando, Bullington noticed a woman-centric sign. After speaking to woman-centric builders, she was asked to attend a think tank in Nebraska for Design Basics. At that point, she was sold on the


areas of woman-centric design

Design Basics’ research found there are four primary filters through which women evaluate designs. They are:

1 How the home entertains 2 How the home helps her de-stress 3 The flexibility of the home’s design 4 The home’s ability to address her storage needs

Bathrooms should include separate vanities and a place to store linens.

concept; however, it was a serious undertaking. “Our philosophy had to change,” she said of adapting to the woman-centric principles. “It was a huge expense and a huge commitment, but I thought it was worth making.”

Success in today’s market In light of today’s economic climate, Bullington said her company is seeing a lot of clients looking to remodel their homes. “We’re doing a lot of kitchens,” she said. Her clients’ biggest complaint is “that the storage capacity isn’t efficiently equipped to store, and they’re not well thought out. “Having to look at the space you have and what’s avail(Continued on page 11)

March 2009


Counsel’s Insights Employee layoffs — avoiding the pitfalls By C. Grigsby Scifres Planning for possible terminations and surprise by giving advance notice of performance and conlayoffs is as enjoyable as visiting the den- duct issues that may lead to a termination. Having a policy tist, but in economic downturns it’s a nec- that is enforced consistently also helps promote uniformity essary evil for many businesses. Employ- in discipline decisions which, in turn, allows employees to ees have an ever-increasing array of legal feel they are being treated fairly when compared to their theories they can use to sue their former co-workers. employers for wrongful termination, and because of these changes, large awards in Let your employees respond. One of the simplest things an employer can do to reemployment-related cases have become increasingly common. Add to that the fact that terminations duce post-employment legal problems is to give employees and layoffs are occurring at the highest rate in decades, and an opportunity to respond to any counseling or discipline. the risk is greater than ever that you will experience a post- People have a need to have their side of the story heard, even if it doesn’t affect the employment lawsuit. consequences. If your employFortunately, there are ees believe that you have liscost–free precautions employers can take to lessen The one thing that most employee plaintiffs tened to them, they are more the chances that they will have in common is that they believe that they likely to believe that you have treated them fairly. That said, be sued by a disgruntled forwere not treated fairly by their employer. It’s do not engage in arguments mer employee. The one thing not important whether they actually were with an employee. that most employee plaintreated fairly (or as often occurs more than tiffs have in common is that they believe that they were fairly), what is important is how they feel Be honest about business decisions. not treated fairly by their they were treated. Employees appreciate honemployer. It’s not important esty, and they don’t like surwhether they actually were prises. As with evaluations, it’s treated fairly (or as often ocoften to your benefit to procurs more than fairly), what is important is how they feel they were treated. The following are tips on how to better vide truthful and accurate information so employees have a communicate with your employees, as well as to help men- realistic view of the company’s financial health. Employees who feel the company is on solid footing often feel that tally prepare them for possible job loss. the employer is out to get them if they are laid off. Full Fairly and accurately evaluate your employees. disclosure of financial information is not necessary — there Terminations for performance are some of the trickiest is no reason to damage office morale or send your best embecause often they involve continuing, small problems. If an ployees looking for other jobs — but open communication employee who has received consistently high work evalua- during difficult economic times can go a long way to easing tions is suddenly terminated for performance reasons, then employees’ feelings of surprise after a layoff. the employee likely will be surprised, frustrated and angry. Most importantly, practice these guidelines with every Moreover, when a former employee sues you for wrongful employee. There is no magic shield that can prevent posttermination, inaccurate performance appraisals can become employment lawsuits. However, by making an attempt to landmines. To avoid this, insist on truthfulness in evalu- treat employees fairly, employers can increase the odds of ations, have your supervisors provide specific examples avoiding costly and unnecessary legal battles. The secondwhen offering criticism, and, if possible, have them review ary benefit from consistency is that judges and juries like it. past evaluations so that they can best demonstrate how an If a former employee does sue you, then the entire employemployee has or has not grown into the job. ment relationship will be examined under a microscope, so it is prudent to be able to demonstrate that you treated all Inform your employees of your expectations your employees fairly.

and consistently enforce them.

One of the most effective methods for employers to prevent wrongful termination suits is to establish a written disciplinary policy. By putting your policy on paper and distributing it to all employees, you are removing potential 10

March 2009

C. Grigsby Scifres, a partner in the Virginia Beach office of the law firm of Williams Mullen, is Tidewater Builders Association’s general counsel. He specializes in financing, real estate and creditors’ rights matters. He can be reached at gscifres@ or (757) 473-5370.

Beach builder

(continued from page 9)

able, it’s extremely time consuming and unless you really love to take the time to figure it out, it could be tedious work.” Master bathrooms are the second about which most complain. “We’re doing a lot of additions, like sunroom additions,” said Bullington. “With the economy the way it is, more people are getting antsy to do something.” Instead of building new homes or additions, “they are upgrading their kitchen and master bath.” As far as women’s top priorities, Bullington said No. 1 is “being able to have things organized, which is why I think the two things that appeal to most women is the drop zone” and the functionality of the kitchen. It “used to be that you walk in through the laundry room. The last thing that we really want to look at is that basket of dirty clothes and know that we are now entering phase two of our day where we have to do laundry and make dinner,” she continued. “After that, it would be the functionality of the kitchen.” Women want a “nice, open floor plan where you can still hide the mess and still be entertaining with your guests — that you have a prep area and a serve area, with a nice flow of traffic.”

How can builders adapt? “Anyone can build a house,” said Bullington. “Being a woman-centric builder isn’t just about the plan for the house or the kitchen, it’s about meeting the homeowners’ needs in every way possible. “To be a woman-centric builder, it takes time to step back and recognize that it’s the women making most of these decisions — whether they are bringing in the most income or whether they are not bringing in any income. If builders

would accept this, they would start to understand their clients. It’s just a softer approach to recognize who your client is, what they want and showing them some respect.” As for whether woman-centric design is a trend, Bullington said, “I don’t think it’s a trend now. I don’t think enough people have heard about it to be a trend. This is a better way of doing business. This is the way that every builder should do business.”

In order to be considered a womancentric home, the kitchen cabinetry must feature built-in functions that increase the homeowner’s storage capacity. The kitchen should also have areas for prepping, cooking and serving food, such as an island. March 2009


Shop Talk TowneBank merges with Prudential franchises The merger of GSH Real Estate with Virginia Beach-based Prudential Decker Realty and Prudential McCardle Realty of Williamsburg has created Prudential Towne Realty, one of the largest home marketing firms in Hampton Roads. With almost $1 billion in combined closings in 2008, Prudential Towne now will rank among the top 5 percent of all Prudential franchises in the country. “We are combining the strengths of the highly respected Prudential brand with the experience, talents and relationships of over 600 real estate professionals in the greater Hampton Roads area to bring more and better services to home buyers and sellers,” said G. Robert Aston Jr., chairman and CEO of TowneBank. TowneBank will own 65 percent of the new company, while the former owners of Prudential Decker and Prudential McCardle will control the balance. Prudential Towne will also offer full-service residential property management and mortgage lending, as well as title and settlement services.


March 2009

Habitat announces new executive director Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads Inc. appointed Helen Hayes Sommer as its new executive director. Sommer, who was most recently the senior resource development director, has been with Habitat for more than six years. Sommer has previous experience with business development consulting for national corporations, as well as marketing and public relations. Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads is workSommer ing to eliminate substandard housing and providing homeownership to qualified low-income families. The South Hampton Roads Habitat chapter serves Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Isle of Wight County.

Rose & Womble realtors win national honors Wendy Halman and Frank Mageras of Rose & Womble Realty Co.’s New Homes Division were named Sales Team of the Year (Region 9) for The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center Residences by the National Sales and Marketing Council of the National Association of Home Builders. Also, Julia Diehl was named Marketing Director of the Year (Region 9). Rose and Womble Realty Co., which is headquartered in Virginia Beach, has been listed on National Relocation & Real Estate Magazine’s Annual Power Broker Reports. In addition to its New Homes Division, Rose and Womble has 11 resale offices and various other departments, including relocation, property management and marketing. To submit items for Shop Talk, send them to Sara Steil by e-mail at or by fax at 420-5539.

Surviving the times: Part 1 of an ongoing series

As president of NAHB during 1982, Fred Napolitano Sr.’s, job was to convince Ronald Reagan’s administration that the home building industry was the key to getting people back to work.

Making tough decisions in a challenging economy By Sara Steil Though the ’80s are remembered as the decade of decadence, the first few years were marred by high inflation, high interest rates (prime lending rate was 18.87 percent and home mortgages averaged 17.5 percent) and a federal deficit of more than $100 billion. Less than 5 percent of Americans could afford to buy a median-priced home at those rates. In today’s economic climate, many home builders are feeling similar effects. So, TBA is asking home builders who survived difficult economies, “What words of wisdom do you have for today’s builders?” Former TBA president Fred Napolitano Sr. was serving as president of National Association of Home Builders in 1982. With record-high interest rates and unemployment in the construction industry teetering at 13 percent, Napolitano was faced with being the voice of builders during a tough economy. “My job was to try to convince the administration and the Congress that the only industry in the country that could get people back to work was the home building industry,” Napolitano said.“Finally, we realized that if you can get the interest rates low enough, you can get people buying and back to work.” “It took the administration a long time to realize that unless you put housing back, you’re not going to get the economy running again,” he continued. As far as today’s economic climate, “I think we’re in a worse climate now — worse than it was in 1982,” he said. “In that time, the interest rate was the big problem. … This time around … when it started to unravel, banks pulled back and we found that it wasn’t the interest rates anymore. It was a question of people qualifying (for home mortgages).” “There’s no question it’s going to turn around,” Napolitano said of today’s economy,“it’s just a matter of when.They (the administration) could clean this thing up quickly if they would come together and figure out what’s good for the country.”

Advice for builders • Get rid of your inventory. You may take a loss on it, but every day that you keep it, it’s costing you money.


• Don’t buy any land that you cannot afford. • If you have the finances and the customer, go ahead and build. • Always have a few project houses ahead of time, but don’t go too far building inventory. • Don’t wait until the last minute to see your banker. If it looks like you’re getting into trouble, see how you can work it out. Let your banker know early that you’re going to have a problem. • Consider letting some employees go. First, look at your company and determine the overhead and whether you can afford that overhead without any sales. Then determine how many sales you will need to avoid layoffs. It’s difficult to let people go, but you can’t let your heart overrule your common sense when it comes to running your business. • You have to wait it out, it

will turn around.

March 2009


Inspired by spring A big thanks to our sponsors: Presenting sponsor; Certified Angus Beef Kitchen King Cabinets Pella Windows and Doors Kitchen Design Inc. Farm Fresh RSVP Cox Communications The Virginia Horticultural Foundation

More than 25,000 consumers packed the Virginia Beach Convention Center to get inspired for spring.

Visitors make themselves at home in Kitchen Design’s display, which took the first-place prize for best booth. Second place went to Kitchen King Cabinets and third place went to German Kitchen Center. 14

March 2009

Hope House volunteer Lauren Knowles doesn’t mind soaking in the sun while manning the booth. Profits from area artist Tom Barnes’ artwork, beside Knowles, will go to Hope House Foundation.

Actor/activist Ed Begley Jr. takes questions from a standingroom-only audience about ways in which they can go green. Begley stayed after his speech and signed copies of his book, Living Like Ed, for visitors, and visited with Green vendors.

A lot of pounding and laughter floats from the Home Depot Lines are so long on the second day of the show that extra ticket tent. Here kids, and some adults, too, construct birdhouses booths are opened to quickly get guests into the show. with the supplies donated by Home Depot.

Certified Angus Beef corporate chef Scott Popovic shows audiences how to wow their mates with date night dishes on Valentine’s Day. Popovic also spoke about the beef basics. Do you know when your beef is done?

Guests are treated to signs of spring at this year’s Mid-Atlantic Home & Flower Show. Here, Jack Frost Landscapes focuses on bringing in lots of color with hydrangeas in its display.

Visitors kick off Valentine’s Day with a little vino, courtesy of seven Virginia wineries. For $5, guests are able to sample some of Virginia’s finest, courtesty of members of the Virginia Farm Wineries Council..

Flashy Ferrari and Chris Perondi with The Extreme Canine Stunt Show provide guests with a doggone good time as Flashy Ferrari jumps over a rope.

Terra Firma takes home several awards for its green display, including the Best in Show award. The display included several green items, such as a rain barrel, solar panels and a rooftop garden. Other winners included: Winesett Nursery, Norfolk Botanical Garden and Jack Frost Landscapes. March 2009


Build green and they will come By Sara Steil It took numerous meetings, countless workers, donated supplies and four days for TBA members to construct the green demonstration home for the MidAtlantic Home & Flower Show. Yet, the work and stress was worth it. “I think it was a very successful event,” said Green Building Council Chairman Allen Loree, who spearheaded the project. “I think that it will definitely be worth doing in some form next year, but what form it will take is hard to say.” The project included a 36-feet-wide by 8-feet-deep building façade. Beyond the facade was an area in which Green Building Council members displayed ways that homeowners could make their homes greener.Among the features highlighted were solar, electrical, HVAC/ plumbing, insulation, and window and door options for new and remodeled homes. “I thought the over all response to the ‘Green Zone’ was good,” said Guy Sorensen of Dominion Building Group, who along with Tidewater Polysteel, contributed the insulated concrete forms for the project. “I fielded lots of well thought out, researched questions. In particular, how to retro fit a house to be more energy efficient in a cost effective way.” The goal was to bring the green items that are normally covered up to the forefront for consumers to see. “We had people that did comment

With only two days remaining to complete the green demo house for the Mid-Atlantic Home & Flower Show, Ken Cohen, of Cohen Homes LLC, works to install siding on the project.

Kathy Browning, owner of Design Consultants, furnished the green demo home with environmentally friendly furnishings.

that they hadn’t seen certain things,” said Loree. “Moreover, the majority of consumers that came in were extremely knowledgeable. Between Green TV, Discovery TV, HG Network and the Internet, people are well informed. They posed some very challenging questions.” As for next year, Loree has some thoughts upon what can be improved. “The green area served a purpose,”

he said. However, he hopes to have the speakers inside of the house next year, along with “bigger and better informational displays” and more rentable space. In the end, “the objectives and the goals were met,” said Loree. “I’m building green because it’s a philosophy for me, but there are clients out there that are actually interested in it.”

Those participating in the “green” house, include:

Green Building Council Chairman Allen Loree, left, takes a moment to pose Mellichamp with actor/activist Ed Begley Jr. Begley, star of the reality TV show, Living With Ed, also toured the green demo home at the show. 16

March 2009

Allen Loree Homes LLC BB&T The Closet Factory Cohen Homes LLC Davis & Associates DeBord Custom Homes Inc. Design Consultants Dominion Building Group Inc. Dominion Virginia Power Dow Building Solutions Hohmann Builders Luke Construction Mechanical Service Co. Inc.

Miller Custom Homes Pella Windows & Doors Pristine Pools LLC ProBuild Real Development Renovations & Innovations Inc. Solar Services Southeastern Environmental & Construction Tidewater Insulators Inc. Virginia Natural Gas Virginia Service Co. Virtual Homes Inc.

Shades of Green Clearing the air on indoor air quality By Donald Giesler, Gemaire Group Most of us have purpose of a filtration system heard the phrase in- is not only to filter the air we door air quality, which breathe, but also to filter out is drawing the attention airborne particulates and to of consumers every day. keep them from collecting Now there is more in- on the system’s indoor coil. It formation available on takes only 1/100 of an inch of the Internet to consum- particulate matter on a coil to reduce ers than before. They system efficiency by about 25 percent. even believe that the air in homes can Filtration options include permanent be more polluted than outdoor air. washable filters, throwaway media filHowever, this article is not meant to ters, electrostatic filters and electronic delve into the complicated science of filters. The higher efficiency filter used, IAQ, but rather to make some sugges- the better IAQ will be. tions on how to improve IAQ in new One of the latest entries into the and old homes. IAQ arena is UV lights. A UV light is not Most home buyers are unaware a filter. It is designed to scramble the which IAQ products are available to DNA of living pollutants like bacteria, them or why they need them. As a re- mold spores and living microbes. This sult, it’s up to the builder or his HVAC scramble makes these pollutants incadealer to provide the home buyer with pable of reproducing thus eliminating information about IAQ products. them. Customers have reported cleaner New construction provides a great smelling air and the elimination of “dirty opportunity for the builder to offer the home buyer a multitude of products to help improve and maintain good IAQ in a new home. As an upgrade to an HVAC system, IAQ products can mean additional profit to the builder and his HVAC dealer. To the home remodeler, there is an even greater opportunity to recommend IAQ solutions to the customer.

sock syndrome” as a result of using an UV light. However, when it comes to creating good IAQ, there is no one answer. It takes a number of products working as a system to address the scope of good IAQ. The products that I’ve mentioned are a part of a continuing evolution of new products designed to help make the air in our homes cleaner. Don Giesler is a territory manager for Gemaire Distributors. He specializes in HVAC distribution. Giesler can be reached at

Reducing indoor air pollution Primarily, there are four strategies for reducing indoor air pollution: source control, improved ventilation, air filtration and UV lights. I will address the latter three. Modern, new construction standards mean a much tighter home compared to older homes. Fewer air exchanges are available to introduce outside air to the building envelope in tighter homes. Solutions can include a simple damper to draw outside air in, or the installation of an ERV that draws air in and exhausts air out. Both will allow new air to be introduced to the home. From the rock catcher included in most new systems to a standalone HEPA filter, there are many options when it comes to air filtration efficiency. The March 2009


Don’t let new wetland delineation protocol slip by By Adam Meurer, ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC Effective Jan. 3, 2009, all wetland delineations conducted east of I-95 in Virginia and submitted for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) confirmation are required to use a recently introduced wetland delineation protocol.With the publication of the one-year trial period of the “Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Interim Regional Supplement,” applicants are now required to investigate properties for several additional field indicators of wetlands unique to this geographic area. Prepared by an independent panel of scientists and practitioners, the supplement is intended to increase the accuracy of field wetland delineations. However, it’s unclear whether the new protocol will result in an increase of identified wetlands due to the additional field indicators. This is a primary reason that the supplement is being implemented for a one-year trial period before final adoption. The trial period will allow state and federal regulators to field test the protocol and make adjustments. As a result, the supplement is considered a dynamic document with changes likely before the final version is published. Significant adjustments have been made to each of the three parameters required to define a wetland, according to the existing 1987 USACOE Wetland Delineation Manual. The potential impacts to the development industry have yet to be determined. The supplement was first introduced for field testing and public comment in 2007, so wetland professionals and regulators should have some level of familiarity with the protocol. However, newly introduced regulations, such as the regional supplement, have the potential to increase the costs and decrease the viability of a development project. Due to the pos-

sible implications these changes have to site development feasibility, it’s clear that the implementation of this protocol by state and federal regulators warrants attention and monitoring by industry professionals. Release of an additional supplement for the remainder of the state is scheduled for 2010. Adam Meurer is a senior environmental scientist and certified arborist with ECS LLC, Mid-Atlantic. Meurer has received extensive training in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wetland delineation methods, wetland construction, threatened and endangered species reviews, ecological risk assessment and subsurface remedial investigation and characterization techniques. He can be reached by e-mail at

What’s new? Adjustments have been made to the parameters required to define a wetland, according to the 1987 USACOE Wetland Delineation Manual. The definition of a wetland plant includes more species than the 1987 manual. With increased importance of two wetland hydrology indicators, only one will have to be present for an area to meet the hydrology parameter of a wetland. Fifteen additional wetland hydrology indicators must be investigated in the field. Subject sites are considered problematic if wetland vegetation and hydrology indicators are observed without any wetland soil indicators. These situations now require additional investigation.


2 READY TO BUILD LOTS 1 lot available in Western Branch area 4016 Cory Lane off Dock Landing Road


City water & sewage • 0.72 acres • 31,182 square feet


1 lot available in Suffolk

(Whaleyville area) on John Mullen Lane


City water & city approved for conventional septic tank 12,850 square feet Call: Andy Brockinton 757-403-4980 or 399-0939


March 2009

Your ad here. For as little as $125, you can purchase a marketplace ad in The Tidewater Builder. Contact your sales rep at 420-2434.

Possible Dreams TBA scholarship recipient is goal driven By Mary Hearring, TBA Scholarship Foundation in her teenage years “In spite of the fact that we strugthat influenced her gled financially as a single-parent famcareer path. She parily, my mother always looked on the ticipated in Adolesbright side of things with a smile on cence in Medicine, an her face,” said Mishtwon Crute, Old EVMS-sponsored proDominion University student and 2003 gram during which TBA scholarship recipient. she shadowed a PortsBecause of her mother’s inner mouth physician.That Crute strength and positive attitude, Crute coupled with caring never knew how difficult things were growing up. Stressing the importance of for her older brother who was seriously education, Crute’s mother didn’t want injured by a gunshot wound, lead her to medicine. her to struggle as she had. With a page of volunteer experience “But, I never want to forget where I came from,” said Crute. “I want young accompanying her scholarship applicagirls to look up to me and say,‘If she can tion, Crute clearly conveyed a willingness to help others. do it, I can do it, too.’ ” “Being chosen a recipient of a TBA Working three jobs and maintaining a 3.5 GPA, Crute serves as a desk recep- scholarship instilled a sense of confitionist for campus housing, a tutor and dence in me and let me know that my counselor to Upward Bound students, hard work is paying off,” she said.“When in addition to serving as a coordinator I set a goal, I want to meet it.” for ODU’s homecoming on the Student Activities Council. Crute, who is studying to become a physician specializing in sports medicine, said there were two occurrences

TBA scholarship deadline nearing Do you know a local, collegebound senior who needs financial assistance? Visit and click on the “scholarship” tab for more information and an application. Applications must be received by Friday, March 20 for a TBA Scholarship. Students do not have to major in the building trades to be awarded a scholarship, which is based on academic success, financial need and community involvement. Since 1965, the scholarship foundation has awarded $1.375 million to 379 deserving students. In 2008, 10 scholarships of $7,500 each were awarded to students.  For questions or more information, contact Mary Hearring at 4202434, ext. 281 or e-mail mhearring@

Thank you

Howard Weisberg, one of the founders of Tidewater Builders Association’s Scholarship Foundation, donated $2,500 in December to the scholarship foundation. Weisberg also has a named annual scholarship. March 2009


Tax credit

(continued from page 6)

How is this home buyer tax credit different from the tax credit that Congress enacted in July of 2008? The most significant difference is that this tax credit does not have to be repaid. Because it had to be repaid, the previous “credit� was essentially an interest-free loan.This tax incentive is a true tax credit. However, home buyers must use the residence as a principal residence for at least three years or face recapture of the tax credit amount. Certain exceptions apply.

How do I claim the tax credit? Do I need to complete a form or application? Participating in the tax credit program is easy. You claim the tax credit on your federal income tax return. Specifically, home buyers should complete IRS Form 5405 to determine their tax credit amount, and then claim this amount on Line 69 of their 1040 income tax return. No oth-


March 2009

er applications or forms are required, and no pre-approval is necessary. However, you will want to be sure that you qualify for the credit under the income limits and first-time home buyer tests.

pal residence will qualify for the credit. This includes single-family detached homes, attached homes like townhouses and condominiums, manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) and houseboats.

What types of homes will Where can I find out more? qualify for the tax credit? Any home that will be used as a princi-


This one’s on us! By filling out our reader survey below, your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Farm Fresh gift certificate. Please take a moment to fill it out and mail it back to The Tidewater Builder, 2117 Smith Ave., Chesapeake, VA 23320 or fax it to (757) 420-5539. Replies must be postmarked by Friday, April 3. The winner’s name will be published in the April issue. We look forward to hearing what you think about The Tidewater Builder! Do you read The Tidewater Builder:

 Cover-to-cover 

Selected articles

What other topics/items would you like to see in the magazine? _________________________________

Which articles do you enjoy most? (check all that apply) Regular departments:

 President’s Pen  Success Stories  Counsel’s Insights  Possible Dreams  Spike Roster  Shades of Green  Membership Updates  Headliners  Shop Talk Special features:

 Photo spreads  Feature articles  Guest columnists Do you like the mix of feature articles and association news?

Yes   No  Sometimes

_________________________________ _________________________________ Is the product advertising found in the magazine helpful to you?

Yes   No  Sometimes Have you ever made a purchase decision based on advertising in The Tidewater Builder?

Yes   No  Sometimes Approximately how many other people read your copy of the The Tidewater Builder? _________________________________ Do you find the Nuts & Bolts e-newsletter helpful? Yes No Why? ____________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ Are you a:

r Thanks fo ! your time

 Builder  Supplier    Other _______________________

Name: _______________________________Phone: __________________________ Company name: _______________________________________________________ Mailing address: _______________________________________________________ E-mail address: _________________________________________________________

Thank you for your time!

Issues and Actions Builder Services success story PARTIES IMPACTED: Clients of Wayne Foshay of Beachtowne Realty Corp. and Ed Thibodeau of Atlantic Elevators ADVOCATE: Wayne Foshay ISSUE: Beachtowne Realty Corp. was having an issue with a local city regarding existing permits. After two months of trying unsucessfully to get an inspector to the job Foshay site, his associate, Thibodeau, told Foshey that their permit had expired. ACTION TAKEN: Having been unsuccessful in resolving the issue on their own, and being told it would cost them a “small fortune” to renew their permit, Foshay and Thibodeau contacted  Barb York with Builder Services for assistance. York was able to speak with the appropriate person with the city and got quick resolution to their problem.  Result: The job was completed and Foshay secured a certificate of occupancy to finish the job. COMMENT: “You all swung into action and within a short period of time, Ed called and said that he had scheduled the elevator inspection and that I could schedule my final,” Foshay said. “They came out and scheduled the elevator and the next day I finaled the house. We got our certificate of occupancy pretty quickly. I really don’t know what she did … all I know is that I’m a happy camper,” he continued. “It was truly a weight off my shoulders.” If you or your company have a building or development issue you would like help resolving or a question you need answered, please contact TBA’s Builder Services Specialist Barbara York at 420-2434, ext. 215, or March 2009


Buyers still looking to improve their lives

Brenda Reid, director of new homes at William E. Woods and Associates, presented the results a buyer survey of 363 people who purchased homes through the office in 2008 at the December 2008 TBA Builder’s Breakfast forum.

By Sara Steil What motivated new home buyers in Hampton Roads to make a commitment to a new home, when prevailing forces and negative news might have swayed them to wait? The New Homes Division of William E. Wood and Associates conducted a buyer survey of all 363 people who purchased homes through the office in 2008. Brenda Reid, director of new homes, shared the results at the December 2008 TBA Builder’s Breakfast forum.

What the survey found “The basic reasons people bought held true despite the discount climate that our industry experienced, particularly at the end of the summer,” according to Reid. And while price was a factor, it was not the primary reason that people bought. Instead, location remained a major factor over price. The top features that caused those surveyed to choose one new construction model home versus another, in order, were:

• • • • • 22

Location Overall design Price Builder reputation Ability to customize March 2009

“Additionally, the survey showed that buyers are taking longer to decide, and they are looking at more homes before purchasing,” added Reid. Yet over price considerations, buyers are looking for a functional space to live larger than they have in their current homes. “The survey further proved that most prospects buy to improve their lifestyles,” Reid continued. “The best strategy you can take in 2009 is to recognize that buyers will move in order to improve their lives,” according to Reid. “Figure out what they don’t like about their home now and show them how your product is better.” The survey also supported that buyers are researching on the Internet before visiting Realtors’ sites. For example, the survey found that “55 percent of the buyers visited before they visited our new home sites,” according to Reid’s presentation. Therefore, they should be treated as “return” prospects because of their extensive Web research. Moreover, re-sale remains a Realtor’s No. 1 competition in selling new construction, according to Reid.

The results


Number of people surveyed by William E. Wood & Associates who bought new homes during 2008.

41% looked at over 16 homes before they bought.

What you can do So, how do you position yourself to get your share when your new home is competing with a used home? Here are a few tips from Reid’s presentation: Be sure your site does not look neglected. You’re competing with resale and you must make your house look like a home. Have competitive pricing or as best as you can get in line with that range. Remember, more potential buyers are turning to the Internet to research before consulting with a Realtor. Have tools for your sales team to demonstrate the value of your product and how living in your house will improve their lives. When asked the “main reason for your move,” the responses, in order, were:

• • • • •

Larger home Military transfer Closer to work Retirement School district


considered a “used” home before they bought.


took more than (10) months to make their decision.

Home buyers scaling down in ’09? By Sara Steil Bigger is not always better, according to experts at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. When it comes to homes, they found that buyers are stepping back — and scaling down. Gone are the days of mansionsized homes. Now, buyers are opting for smaller homes with more storage, according to an article in the January issue of Builder. In 2009, home buyers are looking for a cozier, more organized and more economical home, according to the article. Family gathering rooms need to be centered around entertainment systems, in addition to being large enough for playing Nintendo’s Wii. With the unpredictable and oftenrising energy costs, the article also states that “today’s buyers also want homes that are more economical to operate.” More importantly, consumers are more willing to spend more money to live in a greener home, according to the article. In fact, research from Gopal Ahluwalia, staff vice president of research for the National Association of Home Builders, found that “home buyers said they would pay an average of $6,000 more for their new home to save $1,000 annually on energy costs,” according to the Builder article. “More and more consumers realize it’s in their long-term interests” to invest in energy-efficiency features, Better Homes & Garden’s editor-in-chief Gayle Butler said in the article. Such trends could become important for builders because, “Every time we come through a cycle, the consumer is looking for something different,” building consultant Chuck Shinn said in the article.


CIALI ZING “We are your Hometown Contractor Supplier, IN DECO R A TIVE committed to deliver quality products C SUPPL ONCRETE IES & superior service while upholding moral values.”

2969 South Military Highway • Chesapeake, VA 23323 Phone: 757-967-9551 • Fax: 757-487-5190 Visit us at:

March 2009


2009 Charity Golf Tournament Wednesday, May 20th Sewells Point Golf Course

All proceeds will be used to give a hand up, not a handout, to economically disadvantaged participants at TBA’s Building Trades Academy.

Style of play is Florida Best Ball. Registration starts at 11 a.m. and tee time is 12 p.m. Refreshments and dinner will be provided.

Awards given for 1st and 2nd place teams for two flights. SPONSORSHIPS: Golf Cart Sponsor – $1,500 Beverage Sponsors – $750 Scoreboard Sponsors – $500 Exclusive Hole Sponsors – $500 Prize Sponsors – Cash donation

Dinner Sponsors – $500 Hole Sponsors – $350


ALL PAYMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED PRIOR TO TOURNAMENT (No rain date.) Company:_________________________________Contact person:__________________________________________ Phone:_____________________Fax:____________________ Email:_______________________________________

Players $150/player

1. _______________________________________ 2. _______________________________________

3. _______________________________________ 4. _______________________________________

*Individual players welcomed! We will gladly pair you with other participants. NO BLUE JEANS.

Value Package (VP) $25/player VP includes 1 Mulligan, 1 Ladies Aid, 1 Throw, & 2 Raffle Tickets- $25 (ONLY 1 VP per player) Pay now and your package will be ready for pick-up at tournament registration. VP can only be used for scoring purposes.


I would like ________ Value Package(s) for a total of $_____________.


Company Name:__________________________________________________________________________________

( P R I N T N E A T L Y - T H I S I S W HA T W I L L B E P R I N T E D O N S I G N A G E )

Type of Sponsorship:_______________________________________________________________________________ Payment Mail or fax this form with your $_____________ + $_____________ + $_____________ = $__________ Charge Info or Check payable to: P L A Y E R S V P SPONSORSHIP TOTAL Check one: q VISA

q MC

q Check #: ________________

Exp. Date: ____________________ CRV:__________________ Card Number:_________________________________________ Signature: ___________________________________________ 24

March 2009

Building Trades Academy 2117 Smith Ave. Chesapeake, VA 23320 ATTN: Shannon Pfeiffer Fax: (757) 965-6586 Questions? Contact Shannon at 420-2566 or email

Web site design determines search engine results By David Rourk There’s nothing more disappointing than finding out your “great investment” wasn’t so great after all. That’s the conversation I’ve had several times in the past month with smart, successful business owners in Virginia Beach and Norfolk who came to realize the low price tag attached to the Web site they purchased was low for a reason. In essence, they bought a brick-and-mortar store for an excellent price, then found out it’s located in the middle of nowhere with no roads leading to it. Invisible. Nothing. Zero. Their location makes Timbuktu look local. These business owners want Web sites that rank high in major search engines in order to help with their branding, marketing and public relations. However, their Web sites were built in “frames,” which means they will have problems being found by search engines. Search engine robots and spiders look for complete Web pages that contain unique meta tags. Web sites designed with frames usually have none of these, making them blank slates and you invisible. The competition for page one and two of major search engines is intense.You may have the desire to get there, but you better back it with a Web site designer who knows what he or she is doing or you’ll end up joining hands with members of the Invisible & Frustrated Web Club. There are many businesses in Hampton Roads with no desire to have a large Web presence. Their public relations strategy calls for driving potential customers directly to their Web site by listing the address in their marketing and advertising efforts. However, if your business plan calls for potential customers to find you through search engines, you’ll need a Web site designed to satisfy their spiders and robots. Is your Web site designed to increase branding, leads and sales; or is it designed to make you the next Houdini? David Rourk is president of Rourk Public Relations in Virginia Beach.

Questions to ask when shopping for a Web designer Good Web site design leads to good Web marketing, and ultimately potential customers. When hiring a Web site designer or Web marketing company, ask the following questions. you understand how search engines operate on the technical 1 Do level? 2 Can you design a Web site that is search-engine friendly? you demonstrate real-time search results you have achieved 3 Can for your clients, nationally, regionally and locally over Google, Ya-

hoo and MSN? If the answer to all three is yes, then you’re in good hands. If not, you’ll be investing in a Web site design that will not rank high in major search engines and never create the Web marketing and public relations for which you’re looking. Source: David Rourk

Get the kind of hits you want In this day and age, you may be surprised to learn nearly half of Tidewater Builders Association’s member firms do not have a Web site. If you’re among these cave dwellers, it’s time to fast forward to the 21st century. Otherwise, consumers who search online for the products or services you offer are more likely to find your competitors with a Web site. If you priced a Web site in years past, you probably got an estimate that made you gasp. However, now Web sites are affordable for large and small business owners. With packages from TBA starting as low as $600, everyone can afford to be on the superhighway. TBA also can host the site for $25 a month. TBA will provide the design, the domain registration and the search engine registration that will allow Internet visitors to find your site. To review some of the Web sites created by TBA, contact Jonathan Clark at (757) 420-2434, ext. 426 or

March 2009


Headliners Get oriented in TBA Being involved in TBA is more beneficial than you may realize. Learn how you and your business will benefit from your TBA involvement at the TBA member orientation at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10, in the TBA Boardroom. TBA President Pete A. Kotarides will present an association overview and TBA staff vice presidents will educate new members on the array of services the association offers. Open to all members, the orientation includes networking opportunities and light refreshments. To RSVP or for more information, contact Stacey Turner at 305-9042 or

The Stanley Awards are taking a year off After surveying members and past participants, TBA decided to forgo the Stanley Awards of Industry Excellence this year. Although recipients value the marketing prestige that comes from winning a Stanley Award, it was not an expense that many members indicated they currently could justify. For those looking forward to entering your work, TBA apologizes and is considering how these entries might be included in a 2010 awards program.

Learn the ABC’s of on-site management The Registered in Apartment Management School, sponsored by the Tidewater Multifamily Housing Council of the Tidewater Builders Association, will be holding classes Monday and Wednesday nights from 6:30-9:30 p.m. from March 4 through May 6.This 40-hour training program will teach successful management principles and practices of housing management and related principles, such as law, communications, personnel administration, business, marketing, maintenance and more. The class is limited to 60 students, so register before Feb. 25.

Get ready to hit the books! If you missed the January session, HDSupply is offering another EPA Review & Testing on Wednesday, March 25, from 8 a.m. to noon at TBA. The course will cover all aspects of EPA Section 608, including recovery, recycling and reclaiming of refrigerants. Space is limited; so don’t delay. The course, including study materials, cost $75. To register, contact Maggie Rickard at 305-9053 or 26

March 2009

From Planning Commissioner to Delegate


Please help TBA in welcoming Del. Barry Knight to the 81st House District in Virginia Beach. Del. Knight is filling the vacancy left by the resignation of Del. Terrie Suit. TBA is looking forward to working with Knight, who maintained a productive relationship while working on Virginia Beach’s Planning Commission. Born and raised in Virginia, Knight has worked his entire life in agribusiness with a dedication to supporting the local economy and protecting citizens’ rights.

Kotarides to participate in economic forum It’s no secret that the economy is a hot topic. TBA President Pete A. Kotarides will be discussing what it will take to stabilize the housing market at an Executive Discussion Series hosted by Inside Business. Registration and breakfast will start at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, at the Norfolk Waterside Sheraton. The discussion begins at 8:30 a.m. Along with Kotarides, other participants include chairman and CEO of TowneBank Bob Aston, president of Rose & Womble Enterprises Van Rose, ODU Professor of Economics James Koch and SunTrust mortgage officer Steve Rockefeller. Joel Rubin will be moderating the panelists, who will also be taking questions from the audience. The free forum is open to the public, but space is limited. To register, call 222-5394 or visit

By Popular Demand! Tidewater Builders Association has been asked to include five new categories in the business activities section of the membership database. These categories include: • Hardscapes/pavers • Resident screening • Portable sanitation • Thermal imaging • Railing The business activities that you select on your member application or verification form affect what categories your information appears under on the online directory. If you are interested in being included in any of these categories, or need to update your company information, contact Stacey Turner at 305-9042 or

Speed marketing is back Spend four hours at Tidewater Builders Association’s Reverse Trade Show and walk away with countless business opportunities. The annual event, which will be held at the Chesapeake Conference Center from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, is an innovative way for members to market their product or service to builders. In this speed marketing approach to business, participants receive five minutes to market their product to each member. The event is free to builders that wish to host a table; otherwise, tickets cost $65 in advance or $75 at the door. For more information, contact Stacey Turner at 305-9042 or

Spring, and Chip Dicks, are on their way! John G. “Chip” Dicks III of FutureLaw LLC will present the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act/Fair Housing review from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, April 23, at the Chesapeake Conference Center. Attendees will earn 25 RAM or CMS points. The cost is $80 for TMHC members and sponsors, and $100 for nonmembers and includes continental breakfast and lunch. Register by April 17. For more information, contact Maggie Rickard at 305-9053 or

TBA Calendar MARCH 5 Green Building Council 10 New Member orientation Remodelers Council meeting 17 TMHC Associates meeting 18 TMHC Executive Committee 19 HBAV first quarter Board of Directors meeting, Fredericksburg Developers Council Meeting 25 Reverse Trade Show

Welcome New Members Builders Brock Construction Builders/developers Andy Brock......... (757) 816-0582

Associates Columbia Gas of Virginia Utilities/public and private Timothy D. Beeler....(804) 768-6450 Commonwealth Onsite Solutions Inc. Other services; water and sewer system supplies/well drilling Alternative Septic System Dealer Peter K. Kesecker... (540) 248-7645 Kelli Contracting Doors; guttering; roofing; siding; windows Kelli Hernandez.... (757) 463-4663 McKown Pressure Wash & Painting Paint and coatings subcontractors; pressure washing; remodeling/restoration/building repair Robert McKown....(757) 631-2127

APRIL 2 Green Building Council meeting 14 Remodelers Council meeting 15 TMHC Exec. Committee meeting 16 Developers Council meeting 21 TMHC Associates meeting

Advertisers’ Index BIIA............................................ IBC Andy Brockinton.........................18 Dominion Virginia Power..............6 Ferguson Enterprises.................. FC East Coast Appliance...................19 International Jet Charter . ..........17 Prier Communications................28 ProSource....................................11 Reliance Contractor Supply........23 RSVP............................................20 Smith & Keene..............................9 Sprint...........................................23 Stock Building Supply ................11 Superior Equipment Sales .......... BC Wells Fargo..................................... 20

New American Mortgage Mortgage/financial companies Toby Harris.......... (757) 343-8066 ODU Off-Campus Housing Listing Service Advertising/public relations Kenneth Jones..... (434) 817-0721 offcampushousing Renaissance Power Conservation LLC Energy conservation systems/products Alex Ossi............. (757) 968-8000 USI Insurance Services Inc. Insurance (general/home warranty/ workers’ comp) Chris Allen.......... (757) 625-1800 Woolpert Inc. Engineering/planning; surveying Gary Murray........ (757) 399-6882

Here To Stay Builders Associated Contracting Services Inc. B.F. Emerson Custom Homes Inc. Clark Whitehill Enterprises Inc. Dominion Building Group Eagle Construction of Virginia LLC First Atlantic Restoration Gee’s Group Harris Judah LLC Johns Contractor Inc., Leo. F. McLeskey & Assoc. Pandell Builders Inc. S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. Today Homes Inc t/a Chesapeake Homes

Associates A&B Floors Affordable Custom Decks Alside Supply Center Altman Construction Inc. Atlantic Shores

Barnes, Brock, Cornwell & Heilman PLC Barton Ford CMSS Architects PC Coastal Home Mortgage Coastal Landscapes Commercial Advertising Direct Buy of Tidewater Dr. Dan’s Landscaping & Architectural Design East Coast Appliance Inc. Ferguson Enterprises Inc. Gifford Management Group Inc., The Interior Trim Technology JES Construction NDI LLC: Basgie & Associates Division Noland Plumbing Showroom Prier Communications Roto-Rooter Services Co. Safe Harbour Security Starling Guttering & Associates of the Southside Inc. Wyndham Vacation Resort March 2009


BIG Picture

Code officials from five Hampton Roads cities provided an update on changes in the International Residential Code to a standing-room-only crowd of builders and superintendents. They are, seated, Cheri Hainer, Virginia Beach; Wayne Whitehurst, Suffolk; Lynn Underwood, Norfolk; standing, Bob Smalley, Chesapeake; and Tim Bateman, Portsmouth. Their PowerPoint presentation is available on the Builder Services section of the TBA Web site,, under the headine “other points of interest.” The breakfast forum was sponsored by Dominion Virginia Power.

What is a Spike?

Spike members are Association members who have recruited six new members in a two-year period. There are different levels of Spike status that offer members many levels of recognition at local and national events. As a Spike you can expect an invitation to the biggest party of the year – the Spike Party/Directors Reception at the International Builders’ Show. You’ll also receive unique and valuable rewards for each level of achievement. These include lapel pins, plaques, trophies and more! Locally, Spikes are recognized at TBA golf-outings, the TBA picnic and other events throughout the year.

Highest Total Credits: Accumulation

1. Chuck Miller, Miller Custom Homes 2. John Scanelli, S & S Real Estate 3. Tom Huxtable, East Coast Appliance Inc. 4. Jeff Wermers, Wermers Development Inc. 5. Jeff Ainslie, The Ainslie Group 6. Chip Iuliano, Area Builders of Tidewater 7. Bob Widener, Widener Residential 8. Ted Yoder, Monarch Bank 9. Cathy Lockwood, Monarch Bank 10. Joe Rover, East Coast Appliance

2008 Highest Total Credits

1. Chuck Miller, Miller Custom Homes 2. Skip Ferebee, Beskin & Associates 3. Tom Huxtable, East Coast Appliance Inc. 4. Stephen Quick, Stephen Alexander Homes 5. Jeff Ainslie, The Ainslie Group 6. Pamla Peckrun, Dominion Virginia Power 7. Ed Kimball, Reico Kitchen & Bath 8. John Scanelli, S & S Real Estate 9. Chip Iuliano, Area Builders of Tidewater 10. Pete. A Kotarides, Kotarides Builders Inc.

691.00 565.00 506.00 297.00 263.00 250.00 247.00 222.50 222.00 209.50 75.00 36.00 31.00 30.00 28.50 24.50 21.50 20.00 18.50 14.50

2008 Highest New Member Credits

1. Chuck Miller, Miller Custom Homes 10.00 2. John Ainslie, The Ainslie Group 8.00 3. Lana O’Meara, Designs of Distinction 6.00 4. Bob DeFord, DeFord Homes 5.00 5. Pete A. Kotarides, Kotarides Builders Inc. 5.00 6. Lucky Peterson, Terry/Peterson Residential Cos. 4.00 7. Tom Huxtable, East Coast Appliance 4.00 8. Chip Iuliano, Area Builders of Tidewater 4.00 9. Reid Pocock, Dominion Building Group 4.00 10. G.J. Wirth, Wirth Development Corp. 4.00

2008 Highest Retention Credits

1. Chuck Miller, Miller Custom Homes 2. Skip Ferebee, Beskin & Associates 3. Stephen Quick, Stephen Alexander Homes 4. Tom Huxtable, East Coast Appliance 5. Pamla Peckrun, Dominion Virginia Power 6. Ed Kimball, Reico Kitchen & Bath 7. John Ainslie, The Ainslie Group 8. John Scanelli, S & S Real Estate 9. Jeffrey Wermers, Wermers Development Corp. 10. Chip Iuliano, Area Builders of Tidewater

65.00 34.00 30.00 27.00 24.50 21.50 20.50 20.00 15.50 14.50

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Stacey Turner at 757-305-9042, to start down the path to becoming a Spike! Visit to view a full listing of TBA Spike Members. 28

March 2009

Is it time for a change? Does your policy provide the coverage you really need?

Before you renew your General Liability or Workers’ Compensation policies, be sure your agent calls the Building Industry Insurance Association, Inc., to compare coverage & costs. Building Industry Insurance Association, Inc. (BIIA) offers our members more value for their money. The company is endorsed by Home Builders Association of Virginia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tidewater Builders Association. We understand the difficulties facing the building industry & are dedicated to supporting your business. BIIA offers flexible payment options that allow you to track your payments with your work flow on a monthly basis.

General Liability

We offer loss control, loss prevention services.

Workers’ Comp

Including safety training & individual assistance with OSHA compliance.

Building Industry Insurance Association, Inc. 757-420-3022 March 2009


PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Norfolk, VA Permit No. 2




. d . . Pu a e sh


Go Ahead...Push It.

Go “Green” and do your part to save the environment. With Janitrol’s 95% AFUE furnace, you can also save a lot of “Green” in your wallet.

Wholesale distributed by:


March 2009


The Tidewater Builder  

March Edition