by Jeff Hensley, President, North Coast Building Industry Association
I am very pleased and honored to lead the North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA) for a second term as President of this great association. I first held this position in 2007-2008 and it seems like it was just yesterday. At that time the industry certainly had challenges and a lot was learned. We survived a dismal housing market and an historically weak economy; however, it is a new year (actually a new decade) with a very promising housing market.
I have a great passion for this industry. I truly believe that I can say that about the other 290+ members of this association. Knowing that what we do contributes to providing safe and affordable homes in our communities.
Through my 16 years as a member of this association I have obtained valuable experience and knowledge of the various aspects of learning and leading the organization. The industry has gone through incredible changes in the marketplace; technology and the consumer profile, all of which influences the way we conduct our own businesses. We realize our association must evolve, adapt and embrace these new realities and emerging trends.
We receive calls at the association daily from people who need help with their housing dilemmas. Many of these referrals include explaining what our builder/contractors/associate members do as part of their everyday work. So, as my first contribution, let me tell you about the many hats we wear.
A home builder relies on many workers to get the job done right. A home builder guides dozens of skilled artisans and professionals, including carpenters, architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians, painters and landscapers. The builder must understand all the home’s complex systems and know enough about each contractor’s trade to coordinate this skilled team to build and sell a quality product.
Some home builders develop the land on which the homes are built. In this capacity, they act as the land surveyor. They look at a piece of land to determine whether it complies with zoning regulations, local planning laws and environmental restrictions, and whether it is suitable for development. Once a builder determines that a site is suitable for construction, they must navigate the permitting process.
Home builders serve as liaisons with their communities and local government officials. They research and study local building codes to determine what can be built in each location. The builder collects all the required permits from various authorities before proceeding with construction.
Once the permits are obtained, the builder will prepare the site and select how the home will be situated on it. The home builder then oversees the entire construction process, which includes—but is certainly not limited to—laying the foundation; erecting the framing, roofing and siding; building the walls; and installing the plumbing, heating and electrical work.
A home builder acts as an inspector and the local building department will inspect the construction site for code violations throughout the home’s construction. But a professional home builder will make certain the home meets both code and warranty guidelines long before and after the officials show up. Once the house is finished, the builder informs the appropriate municipal departments that it is ready for final inspection and new owners can move in.
Professional home builders strive to deliver a home that will make their customers happy. To meet this objective, they act as public relations professionals. The builder will discuss the construction process and building schedule with the buyer, and plan times when the buyer can tour the building site and ask questions about the status of their new home.
Home builders are also business people who establish a network of reliable and quality material suppliers and trade contractors with whom they conduct business on a regular basis.
Home builders are schedulers and record keepers. They must think on their feet, maintain complex construction timelines and tackle multiple tasks simultaneously to keep the construction process moving forward, and ensure the home is completed on schedule.
All in all, home builders must wear many, many hats to deliver a home where the new owners can hang their own hats, raise a family and build lifelong memories.
Today’s new homes reflect changing market preferences and integrate elaborate designs and consumer desires into the floor plans and construction of the homes. And successful home builders have the knowledge, organizational skills and drive to build them.
Consumers often ask why they should choose a member of the NCBIA to build their new home, remodel their current home or to do a painting, plumbing or electrical job for the home or business.
It is very rare when a fly-by-night type company will spend the money to join the local, state, and national builder associations when they have no intention of staying in the area.
When a company applies for membership in the NCBIA, the association checks to be sure they are a legitimate company who is involved in the building trades and does business in the area served by the association.
Applications for membership are reviewed by the association Membership Committee, Board of Directors, and listed in our monthly newsletter. If there are no objections received from any member, the company is then accepted as a member of the association.
Once a company is accepted as a member, they must abide by the NCBIA Bylaws and Code of Ethics of the NCBIA, the Ohio Home Builders Association (OHBA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). There is not enough space to list all these requirements, but the main criteria are that members must conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner. Members must comply with the requirements of the State Attorney General and the FTC advertising guidelines. There shall be no misleading or deceiving of their customers. They must offer a guarantee on their labor and material of at least one year and extend to their customers the terms of the manufacturer or supplier guarantee or warranty. They must perform work in compliance with the local laws for the public health and safety and meet all contractual obligations.
Consumers still do their homework and do some checking before hiring any contractor, whether or not they are a member of the NCBIA. Some important characteristics you should be looking for to ensure that you hire a legitimate contractor are:
- Experience – Ask how long they have been in business. Longevity suggests financial stability, which is necessary for the contractor to finish the job and still be available if problems crop up after the job is completed. Also, the more jobs the company has completed, the more expertise the contractor will bring to your project.
- Reputation – Look to the contractors’ former and current customers to determine the company’s reputation. Obtain the names and phone numbers of customers you can call to get their impressions of the company’s work and customer service.
- Insurance -It is also important to verify that the contractor carries workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Have the contractor show you copies of both insurance certificates to protect yourself from liability in situations involving job site injuries or property damage resulting from the work being done on your home.
Our associates have services and/or products that are for both builder and other associates use. The passion of the building industry is the passion of earning a living; establishing a better way of life and having that living help provide men, women and children with shelter. Food, clothing and shelter are the three most important and valued necessities in life. The home building and remodeling industry is a noble industry. It builds quality shelter and later improves that shelter. Most fond memories come from your home, either growing up or later in life. Not only does building create shelter, it helps provide the structure for memories.
So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at www.ncbia.com.
A New Home. It is the best investment you can make. For more information about the latest designs that could be incorporated in your home, or to find a builder in your area that can create the new home of your dreams. Visit our Virtual Home Tour at www.ncbia.com.
Save the Date!!!!!
Home & Remodeling Show
Saturday, February 17, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Emerald Events Center, 33040 Just Imagine Drive, Avon
See exhibits and displays featuring new home builders, remodelers, banking, mortgage lending, windows, doors, roofing, siding, painting, flooring, landscaping, cabinets, countertops and much more (including prize drawings)!
Visit our website – ncbia.com for a list of our members, as well as our new For Consumer section and job posting (under the About Us tab) and be sure to visit our Virtual Parade of Homes. Or, give us a call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 440-934-1090.
Our association is dedicated to promoting, protecting, strengthening and informing our local home building markets and those who work within them to ensure we are, independently and collectively are a viable economic engine of growth now and in the future. Please feel free to use the NCBIA as a resource for any need that you may have, chances are we have a member that can assist you (from Accountants to Window Cleaning). Give us a call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 440-934-1090 or visit our website for a list of our members www.ncbia.com. We are your local not-for profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Like us on Facebook – – or better yet share us.