NBN Online for the week of March 22, 2010

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In This Issue:

Front Page
Builders Rise to the Challenge of Corrosive Chinese Drywall
Survey: How Do You Gather Your Industry News and Information?
Onerous Health Care Provision for Small Builders in Senate’s Hands
Lead-Paint Rule Could Blunt Home-Star Energy Retrofit Push
Coast to Coast
Loan Squeeze Thwarts Small-Business Revival
Housing Forum
Toyota President Apologizes for TV Commercial
Letter to the Editor: Expand Energy Efficiency Incentives
Politics & Government
Obama Signs $17.6 Billion Jobs Bill Into Law
Economics & Finance
February Finds Single-Family Starts on Stable Ground
Foreclosures, Blizzards Weigh on Builder Confidence in March
Eye on the Economy: The Economy Shows Slow Improvement
Spring Construction Forecast Conference Moves Online
Useful Links to Monitor Economic and Housing Trends
Builders’ Tip: A Simple Angle Grinder Dust Collector
Business Management
Technology Trends the Industry Should Adopt Now
AIA Survey Finds Kitchens, Baths More Modest, Functional
Free Webinar on Custom Home Builder Trends on April 7
Enter the 2010 BALA Design Competition
Create Sales Urgency Through Personal Enrichment
Evoke Emotions to Appeal to Gen Y Consumers
50Plus Housing
Webinar to Discuss Selling to 50+ Buyers in New Decade
El Paso Encourages Use of Green Building Standard
McGougan Named 2010 Housing Credit Certified Professional
Attend Free Webinar on Next Generation Wiring on March 23
Enter Pillars of the Industry Multifamily Awards by April 9
March 25 Webinar to Present Steps to a Smart LIHTC Rehab
Education Calendar
codes and standards
ICC Green Construction Code Released for Public Comment
Green Building
Burt’s Bees CEO to Address Green Building Conference
Home Buyers Can Now Call on 5,000 Green Professionals
EcoHome Awards to Honor Green Home Design
New Effluent Limit Rules Going Into Effect One State at a Time
Building Products
Formaldehyde-Free Insulation From JM Exclusively at Lowe’s
NAHB-Produced Programs on the DIY Network
Challenge/Build/Grow Initiative Proposals Due March 26
2011 HELP Grant Applications Due March 26
Four College Professors Awarded IBS Fund Grants
Association News
Houston Builder on Mission to Help Wounded War Veterans
NAHB Spring Board Meeting April 18-23 in Washington
Annual Report Highlights NAHB Efforts in Challenging Times
Avoid Credit Card Processing Rate Increases With Solveras
Register for Spokesperson Training at Spring Board
HP Business AdvantEdge Laptop Offer for NAHB Members
Members, Take Advantage of Special Offers From Hertz
Calendar of Events
NAHB Career Center

Top Story

Builders Rise to the Challenge of Corrosive Chinese Drywall

Participants in a March 11 NAHB webinar discussed some of the ways that builders can identify the presence of corrosive Chinese drywall in their homes and address the problem if they find it.

The speakers were from Marsh USA, Inc., a risk management company, and The NMAS Group, which were hired by NAHB to provide their expertise in responding to the unfolding crisis.

Lumber Prices Provided by Random Lengths

Framing Lumber Composite $ 312 up $ 5
OSB Composite $ 269 up $ 9
Southern Pine Plywood Composite $ 484 up $ 17
With Permission from: RandomLengths.com

Survey: How Do You Gather Your Industry News and Information?

We at NAHB and Hanley Wood value your input and would like your help.

Please tell us how you gather your building industry news and information and which sources you value most by taking a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, the independent research firm known for its "Harris Poll."

The survey should take about 10 to 15 minutes of your time, and the information gathered will be completely confidential and enable us to better meet your needs.

To show our appreciation for your participation and assistance, for each completed survey Hanley Wood will make a donation of $5 to Habitat for Humanity, with a goal of donating at least $6,000.

To participate in the survey, click on the following link, https://surveys.pollg.com/wix/p0874281.aspx?q75=1001, or copy it into your browser.

Thank you for your time and contribution.

—  The editors at NAHB and Hanley Wood

Onerous Health Care Provision for Small Builders in Senate’s Hands

The House late Sunday evening voted 219 to 212 to approve Senate-passed health care bill H.R. 3590. The measure — which includes a provision by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) targeting small businesses in the construction industry — was expected to be signed into law shortly by President Obama.

However, immediately after passing the bill, the House approved an accompanying package of revisions (H.R 4872) by a similar 220 to 211 margin that effectively eliminates the Merkley provision. That package now goes to the Senate under special reconciliation rules that require only a simple majority to pass.


Lead-Paint Rule Could Blunt Home-Star Energy Retrofit Push

Remodeling members of NAHB have visited Capitol Hill and the White House in recent weeks in an effort to delay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of new Lead Safe Work Practices for contractors working on older homes.

The EPA only began certifying trainers for the regulation last July, and with the new rules set to go into effect in a matter of weeks — on April 22 — there are still only a small number around the country who are qualified to teach contractors and their subs what they need to do to comply.


Housing Snapshot

Interest Rates  
  30-Yr. Fixed: 4.96% 15-Yr. Fixed: 4.33% 5 Yr. ARM: 4.09%
  1 Yr. ARM: 4.12% Libor (3 months): 0.28% Prime: 3.25%
Housing Starts*  (February 2010)
  Total: 575,000 Single: 499,000 Multi: 76,000
Home Sales*  (January 2010)
  New: 309,000 Existing: 5.05 million  
Median Home Prices  (January 2010)
  New: $203,500 Existing: $163,600  
* Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate


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