News & Updates

News, updates and announcements from the Johnston County Building Industry Association

10 Tips on Building, Remodeling, or Improving Your Home

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These important tips can protect you from substantial financial loss and emotional stress.

  • Plan your project Plan out in detail what you want done and who you will need to complete it. No two projects are the same, and some may require a specially licensed contractor. Contact your local permitting office to see if permits are required to assure code compliance.
  • Get several estimates When comparing estimates from different contractors, don’t just compare the bottom-line cost. Look at the cost, quantity and quality of materials in each estimate. Be sure the estimate includes the total price, the materials to be used, a time table for payments and the expected time line for completion of the work.
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Why is CO so harmful?

Safety-First

Carbon monoxide results from the incomplete burning of carbon-containing fuels such as natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, oil, or propane. Because it has no odor or color, CO gas is impossible to detect by smell or sight, so you can be breathing it in without knowing it. Moreover, because initial symptoms that include headaches, fatigue, and dizziness, exposure is frequently chalked up to normal job-site physical stressors, cold, or flu. 

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Be Wary of Contractor Scams

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The JCBIA has plenty of professional, fully insured, legally licensed contractors, but should you choose to hire someone outside the association, please consider the following:

  • Any project quoted at $30,000 or more requires a valid NC general contractors license.
  • Projects less than $30,000 do not require a license. However, hiring a NC licensed general contractor may offer security in knowing that you have contracted with a general contractor who is authorized to perform work in NC. Ask for proof that the contractor is licensed and then verify at www.nclbgc.org; or call the JCBIA.
  • Be wary of door-to-door repair solicitations or people who demand deposits or payments in cash.
  • Contact your insurance company for guidance before beginning any work. Do not make a large deposit or upfront payment in full. Require a written contract that details the work to be done, materials to be used, a payment schedule that is based on completion of work and a timeline for work to be completed. A licensed general contractor is required to list their license number on all contracts.
  • Do not make payments before work specified on the payment schedule is completed.
  • Do not make payments for any work not specified in the contract unless it has been submitted and approved in writing by you before the additional work begins.
  • Request a Certificate of Insurance from the contractor and verify it is valid by contacting the party who issued it.
  • Contact the NC Attorney General’s office if you suspect you are being price gouged by the contractor at https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/price-gouging/ or call toll free within North Carolina at (877)-5-NO-SCAM or (877)-566-7226.

This year will mark the 7th consecutive above average hurricane seasons and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) is forecasting a 65% chance of an above-normal season. This season is expected to produce a range of 14-20 named storms, 6-10 of which could become hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th, marking peak season from August through October.

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3D Printed Construction

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The foundation of all current legal concepts and statutes governing the construction industry are based upon more traditional building methods, and the increased interest in and use of 3D printed construction is leading to a host of new legal questions and considerations. The nuances of this new building technology raise novel questions about complying with existing building code and permit requirements that are premised around traditional methods.

One of the first attempts to address these concerns comes from the International Code Council and its introduction of Appendix AW to the International Residential Code. Similar to other construction codes, this appendix aims to create a widely adopted building code that applies directly to the 3D printed construction industry. The appendix, which incorporates the Underwriters Laboratories’ UL 3401, outlines how officials are to evaluate 3D printed construction. It covers both the evaluation of building elements and structures. As more municipalities adopt this section, it will hopefully lead to a more unified 3D printed construction building code. This will likely reduce barriers to entry by removing uncertainty at the local level, and pave the way for the approval of new projects involving established and proven 3D printing methods.

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Prepping for Summer Weather

Helpful-Tips

Mother Nature’s wicked rages can take a toll on your home, from flooding to tornados. Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season. However, even if you do not live in a hurricane-prone area, natural disasters can happen at any time, anywhere. Due to the unpredictability of the climate, it is essential to take steps now to prepare your house and yard to withstand extreme weather.

Before you begin, review your insurance policies to ensure you are covered for losses that may occur from a natural disaster. An increasing number of homes and communities throughout the country are at risk of wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters. As a result of these growing risks, many insurance companies are providing fewer options, drastically increasing premiums, or dropping out of specific markets. Therefore, you must talk to your insurance company about any concerns or coverage questions you may have.

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Rising Interest Rates slow production

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Rising interest rates and ongoing building material supply chain disruptions that raise construction costs continue to act as significant headwinds on the housing market.

Overall housing starts fell 14.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.55 million units in May from an upwardly revised reading the previous month, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The May reading of 1.55 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts decreased 9.2% to a 1.05 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, decreased 23.7% to an annualized 498,000 pace.

“Single-family home building is slowing as the impacts of higher interest rates reduce housing affordability,” said Jerry Konter, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Savannah, Ga. “Moreover, construction costs continue to rise, with residential construction materials up 19% from a year ago. As the market weakens due to cyclical factors, the long-term housing deficit will persist and continue to frustrate prospective renters and home buyers.”

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The Bruce Nichols Conference Room

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Bruce Nichols joined the JCBIA in 1990 as a Builder Member.  He began serving on the Board of Directors in 1992, served as President in 1995 and has served the Association in one way or another ever since.  It has always been a vision of every Board throughout the years for the Association to have their own HOME, and when the opportunity to head up the renovations on the newly purchased building came up Bruce volunteered.  He spent many many hours on the jobsite, and made sure everyone working on the project was a member or would become a member.  Another important aspect to him and the association was to keep the project on or under budget.... and he did just that!  During the Grand Opening, the association presented Bruce with "The Bruce Nichols Conference Room" and the associations first Lifetime Achievement Award! 

 

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301Bridge Street is now HOME!

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In May of 2021 the JCBIA Board of Directors voted unanimously to purchase the property located at 301 Bridge Street and make it the Associations HOME!

The renovation was estimated to take 12 months, but was completed in 10, and the majority of the subs that worked on it were either current members or became members once they worked on the project. Bruce Nichols was in charge of the project and worked tirelessly to make sure the subs were showing up when they said they would, and to make sure that the project stayed within or under budget. The impact on the membership has been positive.  A library has been created for builder members to come in and fill out paperwork for permits, research code issues, or just read, and the association now has a place to hold GMM’s, Career Nights, Builder CE Classes, Board Meetings and more.

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NAHB Legal Action Fund Helps Member Win Long Zoning Dispute

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In February 2019, homes by RYAN (HBR), an NAHB developer member in Pittsford, N.Y., applied to the Legal Action Fund for help with legal costs and strategies to challenge a zoning change within its municipality.

In 2007, HBR applied for and received a rezoning approval from Residential Agriculture District RA-5 to Planned Unit Development (PUD) to develop a 54-lot subdivision on an 87-acre parcel. The project was put on hold indefinitely after the 2008 economic crisis.

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The Cost of What’s Lost: How to Avoid Job-site Theft

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Rapidly growing in relevance, job-site theft is an epidemic affecting contractors throughout the nation. With very little regard for the implications of their practice, thieves would steal the shirt off your back if you weren’t wearing it.

Many contractors are skeptical about whether or not their job-site is at risk. According to a DEWALT study, thieves strike 95% of contractors at least once annually. While prevention can be costly, the losses you suffer are often far greater than the cost of the stolen goods.

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Guide To Buying A Home

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If you are thinking of buying a new home, you must pay close attention to many details to ensure that you find one that will suit your needs and preferences. Before you start shopping, you should sit down with the members of your household to discuss preferences and the many options available to you. Here are some things you should consider:

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Builder Continuing Education 2021

Continuing-Education

General Statute 87-10.2 states that North Carolina licensed general contractors are required to complete continuing education (CE) beginning with 2021 license renewals.


8 hours of CE must be completed in order to renew a license by at least one qualifier for licensees in the license classifications of Building, Residential and Unclassified. For the Unclassified license, it shall be the qualifier who has passed the Building examination.  The 8-hour course requirement includes a mandatory 2-hour course produced by the Board with information about changes in the laws and rules and other content applicable to general contracting. The remaining 6 hours will be elective courses produced by outside providers, submitted to and approved by the Board.

The CE year begins January 1 and ends on November 30 annually. Classes will not be offered during the month of December.

To Register for in-person classes held through the JCBIA, CLICK HERE.  Be sure to ask about the discount code for JCBIA members only!

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Building Inspections Alert

Construction-Important-Update

Builders are experiencing major delays with the availability of windows and doors from their building suppliers due to production and distribution issues related to COVID-19. This has resulted in inspection delays in many jurisdictions due to the lack of coverings of openings and the ability of builders to move forward with insulation and drywall.

Following correspondence with NCHBA Director of Codes and Construction Robert Privott, the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Office of State Fire Marshall, Engineering Division has issued a Guidance Paper: Window and Door Installation Requirement for Framing and Insulation Inspection Temporarily During COVID-19 on their new website that should be of assistance in addressing this issue. The Guidance Paper can be accessed at this link: https://www.ncosfm.gov/media/2089/open

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What Builders Should Know About Appraisals & Lumber Prices

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As builders struggle with these front-end issues, they are also experiencing additional challenges on the backend, as appraisal standards make it difficult to recognize the full impact of sharp increases in the cost of building materials. In addition, appraisers often have limited access to information to accurately assess the value of a home.

“The appraisers use market value, so if we sold a house three months ago and just completed a new build with higher material costs, they only give a market value of the house that sold three months ago,” explained James Blyth, an affordable housing spec builder in North Carolina. “In our situation the appraisal came in $10,000 lower than our asking price. Our price increase was to cover cost increases. It forced the buyers to come up with an additional $10,000 out of pocket to cover our cost increases.

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House Passes Apprenticeship Legislation

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On February 5th, the House approved the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 (H.R. 447), legislation that would expand youth and adult access to instruction in the skilled trades.

NAHB welcomes a number of provisions in H.R. 447, chiefly those affording increased flexibility and options for registered apprenticeship program structuring. This would help alleviate one of the biggest challenges to running skills-based training programs in the residential construction industry and assist the efforts of the Home Builder Institute (HBI) to tailor its curriculum offerings to different populations where long-duration programs are prohibitive for small employers.

The National Apprenticeship Act also expands technical assistance to training providers and offers robust funding and grant opportunities to support the bill’s ambitious goals for programming growth under the national apprenticeship system.

NAHB would like to see additional improvements made to the bill and will work with lawmakers as the legislation moves to the Senate.

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Residential Construction: Net Job Gains Offset Losses from the Pandemic

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From NAHB:

From May through December, the number of new residential construction jobs that were created offset the total amount of jobs that were lost earlier in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of residential construction jobs rose by 22,700 in December, well above the 15,800 increase posted in November. In the past eight months, 472,500 residential construction jobs were created, offsetting all the 456,800 residential construction jobs lost in March and April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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First Full Year Ahead

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Michael Shane Hudson, known to all as 'Shane', was born in Johnston County in 1977. Shane has been married to his wife Stephanie for 23 years and they are the very proud parents of two daughters, Michaela 22 and Kristen 20. He and his family reside in Benson NC.  Shane began his career in Building Inspections as a Code Enforcement Officer with the City of Goldsboro in March of 2000. From there, he became the Chief Building Inspector for the City of Dunn in March of 2001. In March of 2004, Johnston County hired Shane as a Code Enforcement Officer. Shane was the 145th person out of approximately 2000 Inspectors in the state of North Carolina to obtain his fifth standard level 3 certification. He did so within his first five years as a Building Inspector, obtaining all of his certificates by October of 2005. In 2006, Shane was appointed as a member of the North Carolina Department of Insurance Exam Development Review Committee for Code Officials. In addition, he obtained his International Code Council Residential Inspector Certification in the areas of Building, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing in 2009 and in 2010 was approved as an Instructor to teach those trades, as well as Fire, for standard and continuing education classes through the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

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Commerce Department Cuts Lumber Tariffs from 20% to 9%

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With lumber prices experiencing extreme price volatility this year and harming housing affordability, a final determination of the first administrative review by the U.S. Commerce Department to reduce duties on shipments of Canadian lumber into the United States by more than half is good news for American home builders and home buyers.

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FHA Updates New Construction Financing Requirements

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The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-36, FHA New Construction Requirements. This guidance updates the requirements for new construction financing for Title II Single Family forward mortgages in alignment with the regulatory amendments announced in the 2018 final rules that streamlined inspection and warranty requirements.

Changes to HUD’s maximum financing policy for new construction include:

  • Eliminating Early Start Letter and Pre-Approval requirements;
  • Consolidating requirements regardless of loan-to-value (LTV);
  • Adding Form HUD-92544, Warranty of Completion of Construction, for all new construction;
  • Providing alternative inspections by a third party, that is a registered architect or structural engineer, in the absence of International Code Council (ICC) certified Residential Combination Inspector (RCI) or Combination Inspector (CI); and
  • Updating when Form HUD-NPMA-99-B, New Construction Subterranean Termite Service Record is required, to align it with the four acceptable termite treatment applications reflected on the related Form HUD-NPMA-99-A, Subterranean Termite Protection Builder’s Guarantee.

This guidance may be used immediately for existing cases and must be used for FHA case numbers assigned on or after Jan. 4, 2021.

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations go out to JCBIA member, Kellie Ashley for achieving her Accredited Builder designation through the North Carolina Builder Institute!!!

Kellie Ashley is the Owner of Kellie Ashley Homes as a Builder and Real Estate Agent. After 30 years behind a desk at Wachovia Securities, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and
commercial property management, Kellie was ready for hands on work. She works onsite, side by side with subcontractors, in the rain, mud and sawdust.  Kellie grew up working at South of the Border and summers in the tobacco fields around Fairmont NC, so hard work is in her blood. She then took off to ECU where she earned a degree in Housing & Management and later a Master of Trust & Investment Management from Campbell University. Working in a male dominated field, Kellie feels education and training gives her the extra confidence she needs to meet the challenges and changes in the North Carolina residential construction industry. In 2019 Kellie became Fannie to another precious granddaughter and earlier this year, became a NC Onsite Wastewater Contractor. Kellie looks forward to tea parties, the sound of nail guns and watching backhoes dig into the Johnston County dirt.

"I have benefited from the NC Builder Institute through the diverse course offerings available. I have been able to enroll in courses that meet my individual business model. Every course has reinforced my knowledge, given me extra confidence, and provided me with information that keeps me up to date on new codes and systems."  Kellie

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