Remodelers Voices are Being Heard
by Jeff Grantham, Chair, HBA Michigan Remodelers

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As your Remodelers Council Chair it’s been an interesting time to have my hands on the pulse of NAHB and NAHB Remodelers Council in DC. The new administration has seen the wisdom of asking the NAHB and Realtors Association, among other stakeholders, to make recommendations, or in some cases draft the actual policy language, to affect change that’s desperately needed in regulations impacting housing and construction.

NAHBR staff and leadership continue to lead the charge challenging standards, capitalizing on vital relationships with key decision-makers in DC at OSHA, EPA, OMB, HUD and Congress, with the goal of saving members and consumers money. This can add up to thousands of dollars on each job. Housing and construction are key to sustaining our economic recovery and growth, as the cover story in this issue of Michigan Builder point out. Our investments have a huge impact on job creation and taxes our communities and schools rely upon.

NAHBR is an authority on the lead paint issue impacting many of us. Bob Hanbury, past-chair of NAHBR and a remodeler in Connecticut, testified at an EPA hearing to ask the agency to consider the costs to comply the LRRP Rule in addition to demanding a reliable lead test kit to prevent unnecessary work and additional cost borne by the homeowner.

On other key issues for remodelers, because of the doggedness of NAHB legal staff, the implementation of the OSHA Silica Dust Rule has been delayed further to September 23 in order to give better guidance to the construction industry most affected by the rule. The Confined Space Rule has been effectively re-written to better define that crawl spaces and attics in residential construction are not subject to the rule as originally proposed. This is a big win for remodeling firms without the workforce to have complied. It’s still a good idea to educate yourself about all the rules. Don’t be a statistic ignoring the rules for workplace safety, instead use it as an employee retention tool, telling your workers you take their safety seriously.

The HBA of Michigan Remodelers Workshop, sponsored by Pro-Build and Nu-Wool Insulation, featured hundreds of exhibitors of products and tools and sessions to develop your business and enhance your professionalism. Thank you to our session speakers: Lee Schwartz, Will Hungerford, Robin Berry, Patrick Sullivan and Kyle Hunt.

Local associations seeking to form local councils and those with established local councils should visit www.nahb.org/remodelersto obtain the best practices for improving participation, programming and retention. Special interest councils like PWB, Remodelers and Associates are proven ways for local associations to create additional value for their members. You may join the council even if your local does not yet have a local council.