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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Jul. 26, 2012

Your vote will make a difference
HOMEPAC and TAB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Please vote in the Texas Primary Runoff Elections: Early voting ends Friday
Your vote is needed to elect HOMEPAC supported candidates in the upcoming runoff elections. Early voting is from July 23 to July 27, and election day is July 31. Visit to find out more information about this important election and for assistance in finding voting locations in your area.

Star Awards finalists announced
TAB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Star AwardsThe Texas Association of Builders is excited to announce the finalists for the 2012 Star Awards. Invited judges flew in from across the country to narrow down the selections from over 400 entries. Judges were impressed with the quality and scope of the entries.

The sole winner in each category will be revealed during special events at the Sunbelt Builders Show™ in Austin, Texas. On Thursday, Sept. 13, during the Sunbelt Welcome Party at the Austin Convention Center, Category Winners will be announced and invited on stage to receive their trophy. Grand Award and Individual Achievement Winners will be announced and presented with their award during the Texas Housing Hall of Honor & Excellence in Leadership Dinner on Friday, September 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel. Tickets to this black-tie event can be purchased using the Sunbelt online registration tool.

Sunbelt registration is FREE for a limited time. Partnership opportunities are still available for both events.

Remodeling Marketing Index adjusts downward from recent high, future market activity steady
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The second quarter results of the Remodeling Market Index (RMI) slipped under pressure from a softening labor market, according to the National Association of Home Builders, dropping two points to 45. The downward adjustment comes after the RMI reached 48 twice in 2011, the highest reading since 2006. The RMI is based on a quarterly survey of NAHB remodelers that asks them to rate current remodeling activity along with indicators of future activity, like calls for bids. An RMI below 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is lower (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is higher. More

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

For more than 30 years, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. For more information about 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, please call (877) 777-1344 or visit

New health care tax will impact few home sellers
The HSH Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 2010 Healthcare Act — recently upheld by the Supreme Court — includes a surtax on home sellers to help pay for increasing Medicare expenses. While this 3.8 percent surtax — set to begin at the start of 2013 — sounds ominous and has even been erroneously described as a real estate transfer tax, it's only going to impact a very small percentage of homeowners, says Linda Goold, the tax counsel for the National Association of Realtors. More

Home sales held hostage by junior lien holders
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tough bargaining by second-lien holders is delaying deals and killing some short sales, even as banks embrace the practice to avoid costly foreclosures and help clear the market of homes that are worth less than the loans on them, said Vicki Been, a New York University law professor who has studied mortgages. "It's an opportunity for the second-lien holder to charge a price for their cooperation, because it's needed for a short sale." More

MCG - Strong, Reliable & Consistent

We have been providing quality insurance protection to the Texas building industry since 1993. Our A. M. Best Company rating is ‘A’. Our underwriting and claim staff are professional, knowledgeable and accessible. To locate an independent agent near you call Donna Black or John Gant @ 800-722-4994.

Board vote means $300 million less for Texas schools
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the waning days of the 82nd Legislature, state lawmakers came up with a plan to help cushion the blow of $5.4 billion in cuts to public education. State Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson, proposed a constitutional amendment that he said could bring an additional $300 million to public schools. It unanimously cleared both the House and Senate. Orr's measure became Proposition 6, which voters passed in November. But that money has hit a roadblock on its way to public schools — and what looked like an easy fix for hard-pressed budget writers last May has turned into a headache that awaits their return in January. More

Texans due to receive millions in insurance rebates
San Antonio Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Insured Texans are due to receive more than $166 million in rebates this month from insurance companies under the federal Affordable Care Act. The Texas Tribune reports that based on 2010 insurance data, Texas policyholders could expect nearly $476 million in rebates over the next three years, the most of any state. More

Galveston leaders drop resistance to public housing
Houston Chroncicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
City officials are abandoning their resistance to rebuilding the 569 public housing units damaged by Hurricane Ike and are negotiating with the Texas General Land Office on a new rebuilding plan, the city housing authority chairman said. The negotiations mean that newly elected Mayor Lewis Rosen will be unable to fulfill his campaign promise to issue vouchers rather than rebuild the public housing units flooded by Ike in 2008. The type of vouchers Rosen advocated can be used by low-income tenants to rent anywhere. More

City frustrated with lack of progress at Southeast Austin apartment complex
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Austin Building and Standards commissioners said they were appalled by a lack of progress at the problem-ridden Wood Ridge Apartments and moved to subpoena the owner of the Southeast Austin complex. More than 160 residents were evacuated after a walkway collapse at the complex June 13. City code inspectors found all of the complex's 15 second-story walkways to be substandard or in need of repairs, with five "in imminent danger of collapse." More

Build Fast. Build Green. Build Hebel.

Xella Aircrete North America, the leading manufacturer of Aerated Concrete Autoclaved Hebel® (AAC) is an amazingly innovative building material that has been used in Europe for more than 80 years and in the US for more than 15 years.

Bastrop County wildfire report: Bigger buffer could save homes
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The long-accepted maxim that homeowners should have a defensible space of at least 30 feet around a home to help protect it from wildfires should be greatly extended, according to the final report on the 2011 Bastrop County wildfire. "Of 341 homes that we studied and were destroyed in the fire, 85 percent had defensible space of at least 30 feet," said Karen Ridenour, the principal researcher and author of the study and fire researcher for the Texas Forest Service. "This tells me we have to stop telling people 30 feet. We need to push that number out a lot farther." More

Early voting turnout higher than expected for Republican runoff
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A surge of voters has cast early ballots in the primary runoff election, driven by a prolonged Republican race for a U.S. Senate seat that experts say has drawn more interest than any comparable statewide runoff in modern history. The number of ballots cast in the first two days of early voting have put turnout on track to be higher than many expected for a race during the dog days of summer, when many are vacationing or not accustomed to tuning in to politics. More

Master Brick announces the addition of MB2 BioClay!

This innovative product is quickly becoming the first choice for builders, architects and homeowners across the country. For more information on BioClay or any of the Master Brick products call 855-208-4639. MORE

Documents show firm knew Cowboys facility might fall
The Associated Press via    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The company that designed and built the ill-fated Dallas Cowboys' practice facility knew long before the giant, tent-like structure collapsed three years ago that it was in danger of falling and concealed the problem, company documents obtained by The Associated Press reveal. The emails, handwritten notes and other documents, which have not been released publicly, indicate that Summit Structures LLC knew far more about the perilous condition of the facility than has been reported and raise fresh questions about similar steel and fabric structures erected by the now-defunct Allentown, Pa., company. More

Emails: BP knew of flare issues
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the world focused on a BP rig explosion in the spring of 2010 that caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history, a massive release of pollutants from the company's Texas City refinery went largely unnoticed. The April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deep­water Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico came two weeks after the BP refinery began releasing pollutants into the air through a 300-foot flare that is designed to burn them away. BP reported at least 538,000 pounds of gases, including 17,371 pounds of cancer-causing benzene, spewed from the flare over 40 days. More

County asks state for election supervision
The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cameron County Elections Administrator Roger Ortiz has requested that an inspector from the Texas Secretary of State's Office supervise the July 31 runoff contests, particularly given the acrimonious tone in the race for a justice of the peace seat. "I had never seen it this way," Ortiz said of turmoil during an election, particularly in the Democratic race between Yolanda Teran Begum and Erin H. Garcia for the unexpired term in the justice of the peace Pct. 2 Place 2 seat. More

Texas parks seek official corporate partnerships
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Struggling with debilitating budget cuts and devastating droughts and wildfires, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Wednesday it is seeking official corporate partners, allowing banks, hotels or other large businesses to use the agency's well-known logo and brand in exchange for cold, hard cash. While other state park agencies have dabbled with similar ideas or struck corporate sponsorship deals for specific projects, industry officials believe this could be the first time a department that oversees a state's natural resources actively seeks contract-based partnerships. More

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Fort Worth establishes 14-member passenger rail committee
Fort Worth Star-Telegram Politex Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fort Worth has established a 14-member Passenger Rail Working Group to oversee the city's participation in passenger rail initiatives. Dick Ruddell, CEO of The T, updated City Council members Tuesday on TexRail, the line that will connect southwest Fort Worth to DFW Airport. More

Professional Home Builder Websites

Over 80% of homebuyers start by searching for new homes online. What do they see when they find your Website? Can they find your Website? Learn More

El Paso approves gas rate rise of 41 cents
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
El Paso customers will see a rate increase on their Texas Gas Service bills in the next couple of weeks. The typical residential Texas Gas Service customer will pay 41 cents more per month, while commercial customers will pay $1.33 more a month. The average residential bill will now be $11.52 a month. The average commercial bill will be $20.63. More
A sub-floor you can stand on- and behind.
Pinnacle premium sub-flooring is engineered to save you money without sacrificing profitability, efficiency or quality- and comes with the right no-sand guarantee for today's builder. Pinnacle is a National Green Building Standard Green Approved Product and is produced with chain of custody certified fiber from sustainably managed forests.
Kerdi-Board Waterproof Building Panels
The Schluter®-KERDI-BOARD system serves as a substrate, building panel, and bonded waterproofing solution. It can be used to create an absolutely flat substrate with precise corners that is immediately ready for tile. Available in seven thicknesses, it can also be used as a building element to construct free-standing structures for tile coverings. Booth #418 at Sunbelt Builders Show. Offers Tools for Builders is dedicated to providing the tools builders need to develop projects with clean burning propane. The site hosts more than 20 online continuing education courses for builders through the Propane Training Academy as well as other resources like product and technical guides and information on incentives. MORE

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