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Outlook improving for interior designers and contractors
By Michael J. Berens
Early projections for building and remodeling activity suggest business should improve for interior designers and contractors across all industry sectors in 2014. Although extreme wintry weather in many parts of the United States and a slackening in the global economy could lower initial expectations, indicators are strong for a continued and improved recovery. Residential activity will lead the recovery, with both new home construction and remodeling spending expected to increase this year.
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NARI NEWS


Provide your clients a roadmap of your remodeling process
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
One deeply held belief of consumers is that remodeling is an overwhelming process in which their lives will seemingly be out of control for the duration of the project. Synergy Design & Construction uses a Remodeling RoadmapTM game board to explain their process in an easy-to-understand step-by-step manner.
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Join NARI for its Evening of Excellence experience — online
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI’s Evening of Excellence will again be simulcast online as Regional CotY winners are recognized and National Award-winning projects are announced. Improvements for this year include project descriptions of the National Award winners as well as more recognition time for the Regional winners. Host a party and prepare to see some amazing projects. The program will start online Fri., March 28 at 6 p.m. Central time. Register to let us know you’ll be watching and join us via Twitter using #EofE2014.
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NARI EDUCATION UPDATE


NARI University February programs
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI University’s first Straight from the Certifications Webinar, “Know Your Numbers,” with Darius Baker, MCR, CKBR, UDCP, kicks off this month on Feb. 20, at noon Central. Each Straight from the Certifications Webinar is $25, but you still have time to take advantage of the $30 discount for signing up for all six. Coming up in March: an interactive discussion on whether disaster restoration work can be profitable for you, will take place on March 20, at noon Central, and a free trend Webinar from OSI Sealants will take place on March 25, at noon Central.
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Learn about project management and pursue your CRPM certification
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
The Certified Remodeler Project Manager (CRPM) prep course starts Wednesday, March 5. During this mid-week prep program, you will learn:
  • System of accurate recordkeeping and maintenance.
  • Put your risks into perspective and provide comprehensive ways to avoid them.
  • How to reduce those punch list items.
  • Systematic set of tools and techniques to improve margins on any project.
  • How to schedule, monitor, and adjust your project plan to fit your needs.
This prep program will prepare you to sit for the CRPM certification exam May 9, or 10. Download the application here.

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NARI GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS UPDATE


NARI urges OSHA to withdraw silica rule
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI, as part of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), requested the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA to) withdraw its proposed rule to drastically lower the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of crystalline silica for the construction industry. NARI’s concern focuses on the fact that OSHA has underestimated the cost by at least a factor of 4, and instead, the cost estimate to the industry is probably nearer $2.2 billion per year. Because this rule will be so far-reaching, NARI and its coalition partners are asking OSHA to withdraw its proposed rule until it can put forth a proposal that addresses the concerns set forth in the coalition’s comments. The coalition welcomes the opportunity to sit down with OSHA to discuss the appropriate approach in dealing with the hazards of crystalline silica on construction worksites. Read more here.
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CHAPTER NEWS


NARI of Fox Valley celebrates the Level Best
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join NARI of Fox Valley for its Level Best Awards banquet Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. at Liberty Hall. Deadline to register is Feb. 17. Find out more and register on the chapter’s website. And save the date for the chapter’s April meeting April 16.
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Kansas City NARI awards REMMIES
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
The Kansas City NARI presented its REMY Awards last month. The 25 remodeling projects completed by NARI professionals represent some of the highest-quality projects in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The NARI REMY Awards is held annually to honor contractors for their craftsmanship, professionalism and their commitment to excellence in remodeling.

Entries for the 2013 program were judged on a 100-point system that included project overview, before and after photos, budget considerations, overall aesthetic appeal and communication with the homeowner. Winners had to score at least 85 points. All Star Awards were presented to those entries that achieved 94 or more points. Each entry included a homeowner survey that was worth 15 points. Homeowners judged the remodeling contractor in three areas — completion of contract, communication and finished product. Remodeling contractors from the Greater Dallas NARI chapter judged the entries this year.

Best of Show awards were presented to 3 of the 25 projects. These three remodeling projects were judged the best in the following categories: Under $75,000, $75,001-$150,000, and Over $250,000. To see who won and read about each award-winning project, visit the chapter’s website. View pictures from the event on the chapter’s Facebook page.

Kansas City NARI has several upcoming events this month, including:
  • Feb. 13: Chat N Chug at Martin City Brewing Co. at 5 p.m.
  • Feb. 18: Seminar on how to hire and manage great employees. From 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the NARI office.
  • Feb. 20: Chapter lunch meeting with keynote by Houzz.com
Find out more by visiting the chapter’s website.

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NARI of Diablo Valley February meeting focuses on insurance
NARI of Diablo Valley February meeting focuses on insurance
The February meeting for NARI of Diablo Valley will take place Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Topics include a general market outlook, a deeper dive into taxable fixed income and a look at worker’s compensation market trends. The cost to attend is $35 for members and $45 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website.
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NARI of Los Angeles launches new website
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Find out what’s going on in the Los Angeles market and remodeling by visiting the newly launched informative website from NARI of Los Angeles. The new website features information about events, education as articles about the remodeling industry in general. Visit the new website at www.narila.org.
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SALES AND MARKETING INTEL


6 trends that will shape consumer behavior this year
Forbes
2014 looks set to be a year of demanding more. When we look at the small cultural shifts that beckon change — the emerging behaviors that are just reaching the mainstream — it seems that consumers are going to expect more than ever. The Cultural Insight team at Added Value recently conducted research to determine the 2014 global trends as defined by culture.
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8 marketing trends you may not be thinking about, but should be
Chief Marketer
Predicting marketing trends for the coming year is a favorite sport for futurists and there is no shortage of predictions of what marketers can expect this year — some on the mark, some not so much. Here’s one set of trends worth taking a look at from integrated marketing agency, Upshot, which just released its fifth annual trends report spotlighting technological, demographic and cultural shifts combined with opportunities for marketers within each trend.
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The 3 biggest social-media trends of 2014
Inc. Magazine
If there is one lesson to glean from the Super Bowl, it isn't that America is obsessed with football and beer. It is that social media is now embedded in our everyday lives — and it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. February marks the 10-year anniversary of Facebook, and it's remarkable when you think about how much the social-media landscape has changed since everyone first learned what "friending" was.
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BY THE NUMBERS


In 2014 we'll see best remodeling conditions ever in 211 markets nationwide
Remodeling Magazine
Economic conditions in 211 of the nation's 381 markets will be more favorable to remodeling this year than even at the nation's old peak of early 2007, Hanley Wood's Metrostudy unit forecasted. That's more than double the forecast for 2013's fourth quarter, capping a year that "marked a clear and substantial move towards recovery in the home improvement sector," the sister company to REMODELING concluded.
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Consumers turn to online video for home remodeling tips and inspiration
Biz Report
If you're in the home-wares or home improvement business, you'd do well to provide consumers with video content to help them undertake projects and boost their imagination. In a survey of 3,400 U.S., online adults, conducted in December, 2013, to early January this year, Burst Media found that 35 percent of respondents plan to undertake at least one home remodeling or improvement project in the first half of 2014.
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US construction up 5.3 percent in 2013
International Construction
The value of construction put in place in the U.S. came to $930 billion last year — a 5.3 percent increase on 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The residential sector drove growth, with a 17.5 percent increase in the value of work carried out, while non-residential construction was down 1.1 percent.
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SMALL BUSINESS UPDATE


At Obamacare small business exchanges, sign-ups are off to slow start
Bloomberg Businessweek
Small business enrollment in Obamacare health plans is off to a slow start. The debut of the federal insurance marketplace for companies with fewer than 50 employees has been delayed until November. Only 14 states managed to get their websites up and running by the original October deadline.
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For small businesses, a road without a map
CNBC
Last year, owners of small businesses had to cope with higher tax rates. This year, they will wrestle with greater uncertainty about the fate of some deductions they have come to rely on. Congress has not renewed the so-called extenders, about four dozen provisions in the Internal Revenue Code that permit write-offs of various types of business expenditures and expire periodically, most recently at the end of 2013.
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5 steps to a small business loan
FOX Business
Banks may be loosening their purse strings when it comes to lending to small businesses, but it doesn’t mean the process to get capital is going to be easy. That’s because many banks are wary about lending and will require not only a good personal and business credit score — but also some skin in the game on the part of the business owner.
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TECHNOLOGY NEWS


Tech tips for small businesses and nonprofits
Business 2 Community
Corbin Ball is the CMP, CSP, MS, renowned events and meetings tech analyst, who offered his take on what is up-and-coming in the world of event technology. In addition to having more than 20 years of experience running international technology meetings, Corbin is a highly acclaimed international speaker, consultant and writer, helping clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. He shared some helpful event planning tips that small businesses and nonprofits can use to take advantage of technology to improve events.
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10 of the biggest trends in technology for 2014
The Huffington Post
It's often difficult to keep up with the rapidly developing technology industry, as new items and groundbreaking technologies are introduced to the market almost on a daily basis. Not only staying up-to-date with today's technology, but also remaining ahead of the curve, involves a constant struggle in today's marketplace.
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Storm brewing? Cloud computing comes with certain risks
By Victor Blake
Cloud services offer a great opportunity to selectively buy and use the services we need while leaving the details of operations and support to experts — all at reasonable costs. Cloud computing, storage, services and infrastructure bring many benefits and opportunities, but there are risks that accompany cloud-based services. As the market evolves, some services may disappear or fade away. Consumers know what happens when their favorite online services go out of service. But what will happen when consumers or businesses come to rely upon a cloud service that is later shut down?
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Top tech for your home office
FOX Business
Working from home — and making a decent living doing it — demands discipline, focus and follow-through. Decking your workspace out with some of the latest, greatest office tech doesn't hurt either. Having the right gear just might boost your productivity, that is if you don't let it drive you to distraction. Here are four of the best tech tools to spruce up your home office — and your workflow, too.
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High-tech business cards digitize contact info with a tap
Mashable
Despite the high-tech tools we use to conduct business, in-person networking still feels instinctive, albeit old school. You won't find startup founders swapping contact info by bumping smartphones. Instead, they solidify their exchanges with business cards — a lo-fi tradition that hasn't changed much since its origins in European aristocracy.
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NARI NewsWatch
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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