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Correction Notice

 

Please note that the article below regarding the April 8, 2010 First Aid Safety Class is a revision to previous editions of Loose Screws and the most recent issue of The Renovator.  We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

 

RRP Classes Offered by Chapter

March 8, 2010

 

The University of Cincinnati will instruct Ohio Valley NARI's final Repair, Renovate and Painting (RRP) classes to be held on the
U.C. campus. EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting Final Rule (40 CFR 745) requires that renovations conducted for compensation, must be performed by Certified Firms using Certified Renovators. Renovation firms that wish to work in pre-1978 homes and child occupied facilities must apply to the EPA and pay a fee in order to become certified. Renovators seeking to become Certified Renovators must successfully complete an EPA-accredited renovator course or a course accredited by an EPA authorized State or Tribe. This course is the EPA model course for Certified Renovators and as such meets all requirements in 40 CFR 745.90. This class will be conducted on the University of Cincinnati campus at 2180 East Galbraith Road, Building A, 3rd Floor. The cost for this program is $179 per person for members and $229 per person for non-member companies. Note that additional classes will be scheduled as needed. Register at www.naricincinnati.org or call (800) 498-NARi and RSVP today!

 

Member Open House

March 11, 2010

 

Marsh Building Products and Marsh Window & Door Classics invite the NARI membership to their Loveland office (10078 East Kemper Road) on Thursday March 11, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.  With a focus on composite building products the presentation will encompass information about fiber cement siding, cellular PVC trim and moldings, and pultruded fiberglass windows and doors.  Also included will be information and discussions regarding performance, installation, finishing and maintenance of these materials.  Let's learn together about the application and performance of the latest generation of building materials NARI members will use to lead our industry in the future.  Also provided will be a review and update of the Energy Tax Credit for 2010 and a discussion of strategies to increase sales opportunities during the second year of this tax incentive. This presentation will offer .1 CEU for NARI certified professionals. 

Join us and your friends for complimentary food, drink and door prizes with entertainment provided by the Marsh "Composite" Band.  


Register by March 8, 2010 by contacting the Ohio Valley NARI Office at 800.222.NARI, by fax 937.222.5794 or at info@naricincinnati.org.

 

Mini Two-Day Seminar

March 16 & 18, 2010 

 

Timothy Roberts with Safety Alliance LLC will be conducting a 10-hour OSHA 10 Safety Course.  The 10-hour Construction Industry Outreach Training Program is intended to provide entry level construction workers general awareness on recognizing and preventing hazards on a construction site. The training covers a variety of construction safety and health hazards which a worker may encounter at a construction site.OSHA recommends this training as an orientation to occupational safety and health. Workers must receive additional training on hazards specific to their job. Training emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention.The program will offer 1.0 CEU for NARI certified professionals.

This is a two day event beginning at 8:30 a.m. and concluding at 2:00 p.m. each day. Instructor, materials, beverages and lunch will be included in the $50 registration fee ($55.00 for non-members). The seminar will be held at the Union Center Marriott at 6189 Mulhauser Road. West Chester, OH 45069. Please register online at www.naricincinnati.org or call (800) 498-NARI and RSVP today!

 

First Aid Safety Class

April 8, 2010 

 

Sometimes it takes a crisis to realize the value of emergency preparedness.  We all should be well prepared before a crisis occurs and to give us a good head start on being prepared we have asked Genise Lipscomb of the American Red Cross to help. Genise will be speaking on First Aid and Preparedness which teaches the basic concepts of first aid training and being prepared for a disaster or emergency, including:
 · Check-Call-Care and when to call 9-1-1
 · Caring for someone who is choking
 · Recognizing the signals of a heart attack and stroke
 · First Aid care for injuries 
     
Our featured presenter, Genise Lipscomb is a Cincinnati native and graduate of Xavier University.  She has been a certified Red Cross trainer of First Aid, CPR, and Youth Programs for over 5 years, conducting classes regularly in Central Ohio as well as the Greater Cincinnati area.  She has also worked with Red Cross Disaster and Volunteer Services in recruiting, training, and placing volunteers. Join us as Genise teaches us the basic concepts of first aid training and shows us how to be prepared before an emergency occurs.  You can register online at www.naricincinnati.org or call (800) 498-NARI and RSVP today!

 

2010 PRO Expo: Presented by Pella

 

On Tuesday, April 27, 2010, from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., the all-star event of the season, the PRO Expo, will take place at Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds.  At the PRO Expo, there are many opportunities to learn from dynamic, content rich education sessions with opportunities to earn CEU's. You may improve your business with new products and business tools. Best of all, there are plenty of chances to network with other professionals. Enjoy food, refreshments, and $10,000 worth of fabulous prizes.
 
Doors open at 3:00 p.m. for check-in. The Expo Floor includes Pella product displays, local vendor displays, food, beverages, entertainment and a keynote address. At 3:15 p.m., educational breakout sessions begin, and they continue until 8:00 p.m. Some of these sessions include:
·Why Pella? - presented by Pella
·Residential & Commercial Construction Trends - presented  by Hanley Wood
·Universal Design - presented by Kohler (AIA Accredited Course)
·The Future of Remodeling - presented by Mark Richardson of Case  Design/Remodeling, Inc.
·Window Replacement Solutions for Commercial Buildings - presented by Pella (AIA Accredited Course)
·Top Remodelers Speak Out: Best Practices to Strengthen Your Business - presented by Remodelers Advantage Inc.
·Greening the Bottom Line - presented by Reed Business Information (AIA Accredited Course)
·Integrating Siding Into Your Business - presented by James Hardie
·Transform Your Market - presented by Cygnus Business Media
·Challenges & Solutions for Today's Ceramic Tile & Stone Installations - presented by Schluter (AIA Accredited Course)

To register, go to www.theproexpo.com/cincinnati. We hope that you can attend, and turn the knowledge that you and your company gain at the event into a home run!

 

American Small Businesses Needn't Go Extinct

By Barry C. Lynn 

 

The dream of owning a successful small business is still alive in America and remains an essential part of our national self-image. But along the main streets and rural byways of the country today, in place of countless small businesses supporting millions of families in tens of thousands of communities, the banners of a few giant corporations now fly.
 
Where the independent pharmacist counted pills, we see a CVS employee. Where family livestock farms dotted the landscape, we see immense operations run by Smithfield and Tyson. Where the button makers of New York and Los Angeles sold their wares, we see the imported products of Li & Fung. Where our community bank stood, we see Bank of America. Where the local grocer marketed local fruit, we see Wal-Mart. Where the local general-merchandise store stacked jeans, we see, well, Wal-Mart again.

 

It's not only mom-and-pop operations that are vanishing. It's also smaller advertising agencies, law firms and medical offices. It's happening, too, in the pharmaceutical and software industries, which only a decade ago displayed vibrant competition among upstart ventures. One recent study, based on data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, placed the United States second to last out of 22 rich nations in the percentage of workers who run their own businesses. Only Luxembourg ranked lower.
 
The American small business is increasingly becoming an American myth: Self-employment in nonfarm businesses has fallen by nearly half over the past 50 years.
 
President Obama is proposing various initiatives to strengthen small businesses, including a $30 billion fund for community banks that agree to lend to local entrepreneurs, in an effort to spur job creation and help the still-fragile economy. But the problems besetting small business in America far predate the Great Recession, and undoing the de facto exclusion of small entrepreneurs from so many of the country's business activities will require more than fresh cash.
 
Ask an economist why so many small businesses have given way to giant chains, and you'll hear a lecture on the dynamics of capitalism and free markets, and how the creative destruction of small, independent businesses is a natural and benign process. Yet specific political moves and decisions in Washington over the past several decades have made it much easier for the people who control large-scale corporations to displace small proprietors.
 
One of the most important was a radical change in 1981 in the enforcement of U.S. antitrust laws. Until then, small entrepreneurs were protected by a legal framework created during the Second New Deal, which began in 1935. Many histories of the era focus on the FDR administration's initial decision to all but suspend antitrust laws. But after the Supreme Court declared the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional, the administration (along with numerous populist allies in Congress) reversed course and adopted a very aggressive competition policy designed to protect citizens against excessive corporate concentration.

 

In practice, this was achieved through more strategic enforcement of antitrust laws, including cases against the chain stores that emerged during the Progressive Era. For instance, the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations all took action against the A&P grocery chain, the Wal-Mart of midcentury America. The populists also promoted competition through such all-but-forgotten market laws as the Robinson-Patman and Miller-Tydings acts, which limited the ability of large trading companies to use pricing power to exert control over producers and thereby gain an advantage over smaller retailers.

 

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas expressed the profoundly political goal of such legislation in a 1949 case that focused on efforts by big oil companies to control independent gas stations. "When independents are swallowed up by the trusts and entrepreneurs become employees of absentee owners," Douglas wrote, the result "is a serious loss in citizenship. Local leadership is diluted. He who was a leader in the village becomes dependent on outsiders for his action and policy."
 
The populists in the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations and in Congress were comfortable with concentrated economic power: They accepted outright monopoly, for instance, in the case of many utilities, as long as the public had a say in their management, and they accepted heavy industry in the hands of a few large companies, as long as they were forced to compete. But in retail and farming, the populists opted to protect the market system that allowed individual owners to deliver their products and services to their neighbors free from predation by distant powers. The result was a restoration of the republic of small proprietors established by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the early 19th century.
 
Although Americans began to hear the term "deregulation" when President Jimmy Carter dismantled the Civil Aeronautics Board, what Carter-era reformers envisioned was a shift of regulatory power from micromanaging agencies to more-hands-off antitrust officials. Soon after President Ronald Reagan took office, however, officials in his administration made clear that, to them, "deregulation" meant shifting that power from public to private hands.
 
Instead of protecting competitive markets, Reagan officials said they would use anti-monopoly laws to promote "consumer welfare," which they defined largely as lower prices. It no longer mattered how much power was consolidated, as long as the consolidation appeared to result in the delivery of less-expensive goods.

 

Bogus Contractors Use Dead Man's License

 

Two brothers caught using a dead contractor's cancelled license and several other unlicensed contractors are facing a variety of criminal charges by California's State License Board (CSLB).
 
Andrei Sitkin, an unlicensed painter, and his brother, unlicensed tile worker Sergey Sitkin, are accused of contracting without a license, illegal advertising, and using the contractor license number of an Agoura Hills man whose license was cancelled upon his death in 1993.
 
The charges followed a sting by the CSLB in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's and District Attorney's offices. California Business & Professions (B&P) Code carries penalties of up to $10,000 and up to one year in jail for willful and intentional use of a contractor license number that does not correspond to a number on a current, valid license held by that individual. 
 
Another pair of contractor brothers also received misdemeanor Notices to Appear (NTA) in superior court.  Martin Sanchez faces charges of contracting without a license and illegal advertising.  His brother, Gerardo Sanchez, was issued an NTA for allowing Martin to use his expired license. 

 

A fifth man, Sergio Romero, received an NTA for contracting without a license, illegal advertising and misdemeanor misrepresentation of a license not issued to him.  Authorities say Romero first claimed the license was his retired father's, then his cousin's, and then that he didn't remember his father's name. The license is actually one that belonged to a Portland, Ore., general engineering company that cancelled the license in 1999.
 
Nine other men were charged with contracting without a license, including Heriberto Ochoa-Cortez, who is also accused of illegal advertising and soliciting an excessive down payment.
 
The CSLB web site includes a license look-up feature that also indicates whether the licensee has the required workers' compensation coverage and current license bonds. 
 
CSLB licenses about 310,000 contractors from various trades.

 

WarmlyYours Radiates Confidence Through Recession

By Ann Meyer


With a "no layoffs" pledge to employees, Julia Billen needed new sales to prop up her radiant-heating business.

Like most businesses in construction and remodeling, Billen's Long Grove-based WarmlyYours Inc. saw its revenue plunge when the recession hit. Until 2008, WarmlyYours' sales had been climbing rapidly, making Inc. magazine's list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in 2007, when it hit about $6.8 million in annual sales.

Back then, it didn't have to look for growth, because sales came easily, Billen said.
But when the market declined and revenue fell 27 percent, Billen was determined not to lose good employees.

"My mantra has been, there are no layoffs. We are getting through this together," she said.
So Billen and her 60 workers went on the offensive, spending money to make money. They strengthened the company's infrastructure, improved its systems by writing original software and planned a strategy for growth.

"We took time to make ourselves stronger," she said.

The result is a new division that markets and installs heating under asphalt pavers to extend the outdoor entertaining season while also keeping pathways free of snow and ice during the winter. Another heating system runs along gutters and rooftops, eliminating the need to get up on a ladder and knock off excessive snow and ice. Already, the new snowmelt and de-icing division is profitable, Billen said.

 

The new product line is the result of a year's worth of formal planning, based on market research that considered an aging population, growing interest in outdoor living and heating trends in Europe, Billen said.

As Billen reflects on the past 18 months, she believes the recession helped her business.
"It allowed us to be much more focused and thoughtful," she said. "When you're growing fast, you can't get caught up. You feel like you are going in a million directions."

Recessions often spur innovation, according to research by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. A study of 1,000 U.S. companies over an 18-year period, including the recession of 1990-91, found those that pursued opportunities and spent cash reserves during the recession ultimately gained market share.

 

"Winners invest behind innovation and research and development during a downturn," said Asutosh Padhi, a senior partner at McKinsey in Chicago.

What's more, recessions are conducive to change.

"It's very tough to drive change when things are going well," Padhi said.

Strategic planning can give companies a competitive advantage no matter what the economy is doing, yet
few companies take time for it, said Rich Horwath, author of "Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy."

"People think about it as this overwhelming three-month process, but great strategy plans aren't that complicated," said Horwath, president of the Strategic Thinking Institute in Barrington Hills.
Being strategic involves "intelligently allocating limited resources," including time, talent and money, to outperform the competition, he said.

 

In his book, Horwath provides a roadmap for companies to follow, starting with evaluating the business and the environment, allocating limited resources appropriately and taking action.

Successfully launching a new line depends on having the necessary core competencies, understanding the marketplace and competitive landscape, and developing a business model that will make money while providing value to customers, Horwath said.

WarmlyYours' market research pointed to growing potential in snowmelt and de-icing. When a competitor's former employee asked WarmlyYours for a job, Billen snapped him up, recognizing he could help the company excel in outdoor heating. And despite a tight credit market, Billen was able to secure a loan in 2009 backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, she said.

WarmlyYours also has added installation services to its core product of radiant heating for baths and kitchens, offering warm tile floors plus towel warmers and mirror defoggers. WarmlyYours has partnered with another company to provide qualified tradesmen in 22 states, Billen said.

Innovation is not new for Billen, who bought the Internet portion of an existing heating company in 1999, creating WarmlyYours with co-founder Georges Selvais. With marketing experience but no background in heating, Billen looked at competitors' marketing focus on BTUs and voltage and believed there was a better approach.

"The way I positioned it, we were selling luxury, warmth and comfort," she said. At trade shows, she set up a Tiffany lamp, rug and decorative screen to convey a luxury image.

The company did impose a salary freeze and cut its 401(k) match and tuition reimbursement after sales fell in 2008, but it still provides health insurance and a free daily lunch for employees.

While holding the line on workers' pay, Billen cut her own salary - and maintained an optimistic outlook.
"I kept chanting, 'Keep pushing and no fear,' until even I believed it," she said.

 

Siding Adds To Curb Appeal

By Angie Hicks


Replacing old or damaged siding on your house can make it easier to sell it or add long-term value if you're planning to stay for several years.

 

According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, adding new siding offers one of the best returns on an investment a homeowner can make.

"Anything you own and are trying to resell, if it's maintained, it's going to sell (faster) than if it isn't," said Matt Wright, a certified remodeler and owner of The HomeWright, LLC.

Wright likes to get creative when adding siding to a home by dressing up trim pieces, shutters and other exterior components. "It's taking a design eye to the outside, like I do to the inside, to add curb appeal and also to maintain the house," he said.

Homeowners can choose from a variety of siding options to fit their needs. Wood, vinyl and fiber-cement are the most popular choices.

 

Wood  offers a nice aesthetic appeal to many homeowners but can be pricey, inviting to insects and requires more maintenance than other siding types.

Vinyl  is an easy-to-maintain, low-cost option and doesn't rot or wear like wood. However, it can crack, chip and fade over time.

Fiber cement has more of a wood appearance and is more durable than vinyl. It has become the preferred choice of homeowners in recent years, but typically costs more than vinyl.

"Unlike vinyl, fiber cement is fire- resistant," said Mike Dittmer, owner of Aztec Homes Fiber Cement Siding. "It does not expand or contract and is hail-resistant. Unlike wood, fiber cement will not rot. It's resistant against all insects and woodpeckers. Most of what I replace is wood and vinyl."

Ultimately, homeowners must weigh the pros and cons of the different siding types and choose what best fits their personal tastes and budgets.

"People just have to see what their options are; see how knowledgeable (service companies) are, not only about the product, but about the installation," Wright said.

If you do it yourself
** You expose yourself to physical dangers - mostly from ladder falls, and potential health hazards from inhaling the residual dust.
** You might void your warranty if installation is done improperly or in conflict with a manufacturer's instructions.
If you decide to hire a contractor
** Avoid those who market their work door-to-door.
** Always verify a contractor's insurance and references before you hire.
** Ask for before and after photos of other jobs.
** Know that fiber cement siding has to be installed by a certified preferred remodeler approved by the manufacturer. If not, Dittmer said, the warranty is voided.
"If it's installed properly, fiber cement requires minimal maintenance," Dittmer said.

 

Link To Past Comes To Light

By Mary-Liz Shaw


Contractor uncovers board signed in 1954 by mentor
It's a startling story if you don't know what life was like in what was then the Town of Lake, now part of the southern tip of Milwaukee.
 
Dean Herriges, one of the sons in the Mukwonago contracting firm of Urban Herriges & Sons, remembers Lake as a place of tight neighborhoods and even tighter families. People did the work they were taught by their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. They handed the family business on to their children, who did business with each other to keep the traditions alive.
 
The Herriges, a family of builders going back to the 1840s, grew up around the Schneiders, another longtime carpentry family, and the Kleczkas, who ran the funeral home.
 
Dean Herriges had apprenticed with Nic E. Schneider and married Nic's granddaughter, Riene. Their children, Joe, Julie and Lisa, have builders on both sides, going back to their maternal and paternal great-grandfathers.
 
So when in 2007 the Herriges found a soffit board emblazoned with the name of the original builder - Nic E. Schneider - during a remodeling at the Prasser-Kleczka Funeral Home in Bay View, it struck Dean as a wonderful coincidence.
 
The bold signature runs across the board and is dated 1954. Signing boards was a common practice among builders, Dean Herriges says, as a stamp of workmanship and pride.
 
Herriges treasures the board and plans to hand it over to his son, Joe, Nic E.'s great-grandson.
"It's like having a direct contact with my ancestors," Herriges says. "Just imagining who was standing around at the time and the jokes that were being told... it's inspiring.

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March 3, 2010

 

QUICK LINKS

 

Construction Workers

 

Ohio Valley NARI

800.498.NARI (6274) | Fax: 937.222.5794 | info@naricincinnati.org