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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Sep. 13, 2012

TAB News Briefs
Sep. 13, 2012
TAB Quick Links >    Home     Education     Legislative     Publications     Calendar     Sunbelt Builders Show     Resources

The Sunbelt Builders Show starts today!
TAB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The premier event for residential construction industry professionals in the Southwest starts TODAY at the Austin Convention Center. The Sunbelt Builders Show™, Sept. 13-15, is known for its exciting trade show, thought-provoking speakers and plenty of networking opportunities. This year's Show is packed with valuable information that will help you do business smarter and increase your bottom line. Join us for the Opening Session featuring cycling champion Lance Armstrong today at Noon. More

Lance Armstrong to speak in Austin Thursday
KUVE-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lance Armstrong will step out of the shadows today and make a speech at the Austin Convention Center. The cycling legend is the keynote speaker at the Sunbelt Builders Show. To hear Armstrong speak you can buy tickets for $50 on site or register online. He will be speaking at noon. More

State tax collections soar, setting up chance for record budget surplus
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas could be heading toward a record state budget surplus just two years after facing a historic deficit. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported that total tax collections for the 2012 budget year, which ended Aug. 31, were $3.7 billion higher than had been estimated in December. That total amounts to 13 percent more than the $40.3 billion in tax revenue that Combs had projected would come in during the first half of the state's two-year budget cycle. 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

Texas landowners challenge TransCanada
United Press International    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a challenge against a leg of Keystone XL, Canadian pipeline TransCanada told a Texas judge that state laws were drafted in favor of energy developers. Terry Wood, lawyer for Texas Rice Land Partners, told a Texas judge he was concerned TransCanada might start pipeline construction before legal authorities explored eminent-domain laws. "I am concerned that the rights of landowners not be trampled unless there's clear statutory authority to do so," he said. More

Average US rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stays at 3.55 percent
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage held steady, staying slightly above the lowest level on record. Low mortgage rates have aided a modest housing recovery. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year loan was unchanged at 3.55 percent. In July, the rate fell to 3.49 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. More

TopBuilder Solutions Home Builder CRM, Email Marketing and Home Builder Newsletter

Successful builders have found the key to selling more homes is TopBuilder Solutions’ Home Builder CRM, branded Email Marketing, customizable and automated follow-up plans and professionally written, branded Home Builder Newsletter. To learn more about this easy-to-use, affordable, web-based solution, call Dave at 281.793.3374 or visit us at

Dallas Fed report: Texas' housing market is showing clear signs of a sustained recovery
The Dallas Morning News Biz Beat Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Improvement in the North Texas and statewide housing markets is no fluke, according to the quarterly Southwest Economy published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The statewide housing market is showing signs of a sustained recovery as home sales and construction are back to pre-recession levels and apartment leasing is strong thanks to employment and population gains, the Dallas Fed's business economist D'Ann Petersen wrote in the third-quarter publication. More

Texas disaster recovery plan approved by HUD    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the approval of the State of Texas' disaster recovery plan totaling $31.3 million in emergency aid to help several communities throughout the Lone Star State to recover from last year's devastating wildfires. With the acceptance of this disaster plan, the real work of long-term disaster recovery throughout the State can now begin. 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.

Lumber demand rising as US housing improves
The Canadian Press via Victoria Times-Colonist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
North American lumber prices are set to surge in the next couple of years amid a tightened supply from Canada as the U.S. housing market continues to strengthen after years of weakness, a new report predicts. Spot prices for Western softwood lumber made from spruce, pine and fir trees have steadily increased this year, rising 24 per cent since January to $310 US per thousand board feet in August. That's 40 per cent higher than two years ago. More

Construction industry leaders want Texas legislature to fight 'payroll fraud'
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tycoons in commercial construction and homebuilding — industries often pegged as harbors for undocumented workers — are pushing back against some of their own, urging state lawmakers to close a loophole that guards employers against knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Stan Marek, the president and CEO of the Marek Family of Companies, an interior contracting company with offices statewide, said his industry is rife with contractors who purposely classify employees as subcontractors, or "1099" employees — a term gleaned from the employment form they fill out. Employers use this subcontractor classification to avoid paying payroll taxes, workers' compensation and overtime, Marek said, but also to avoid knowing their workers’ legal status. More

Judge: Grand Parkway construction can continue after prehistoric bones removal
KTRK-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Harris County judge has just ruled that the Texas Department of Transportation can remove ancient human remains and continue construction of the Grand Parkway. Ancient artifacts have been found at the construction site in west Harris County, including stone tools and teeth from prehistoric bison. The artifacts could date back to between 9,000 and 20,000 years. More

FHA just might dodge a bullet
American Banker    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For years, critics have claimed that the Federal Housing Administration's $1 trillion Mutual Mortgage Insurance fund would require a bailout. The fund's required buffer has fallen well below the mandated level of 2 percent of the insured portfolio. While the actual ratio, when last measured in November, stood at 0.24 percent, what seems remarkable at all is that five years into the collapse of the housing market, the fund did not implode and go the way of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a slew of other well-known but now defunct mortgage portfolio lenders. 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.

Existing home sales up 18 percent in North Texas
Dallas Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Existing home sales in North Texas in August rose 18 percent over a year ago, according to data released by the Texas A&M University Real Estate Center. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that marked the 12 consecutive month of increases and it was the eighth straight month that sales were up in double-digits. More

Environmental groups: Commission stalling on clean energy
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
AudioBriefEnvironmental groups filed a petition recently accusing the state's Public Utility Commission of failing to meet renewable energy targets and thus depriving the state of more solar and geothermal power. 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. Click here to check out our new website.

San Antonio missions, other national parks on drilling list
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
San Antonio's Spanish colonial missions are among 30 national parks that could be the site of future oil and gas drilling, according to a new analysis. But don't picture a drilling rig in front of Mission San José just yet. Still, the missions made a list of sites administered by the National Park Service that have a relatively high likelihood of being home to future energy development because all of them are close to oil and gas resources, drilling already is happening nearby or individuals or companies own mineral rights inside their boundaries. More

Official: Texas coastal insurer is unsustainable
The Associated Press via The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The state insurance commissioner says that the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is not currently sustainable. She says it likely won't be until Texas spreads the costs of risks associated with major hurricane strikes beyond just Texans living in coastal areas. Texas Department of Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman told a special Texas House and Senate joint committee that simply raising insurance rates in high-risk areas was not the only solution. More

ODL Offers Impact-Rated Doorglass
ODL Severe Weather® Doorglass is certified for use in a range of entrance systems to meet Texas wind-borne requirements and provides safety and security while maximizing natural light. ODL offers a wide variety of impact-rated Doorglass including: Decorative Doorglass, Light-Touch® Enclosed Blinds, Grilles Between Glass, and Privacy and Clear Glass.

Texas appoints new Railroad Commission director
The Associated Press via Abilene Reporter-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Railroad Commission has announced a member of Gov. Rick Perry's staff will be the new executive director of the agency that oversees most permitting for oil and gas drilling in the state. The commission said Milton Rister would begin his new job on Oct. 1. Rister has been Perry's director for administration since 2010. Rister takes control of the commission as it begins a second exhaustive state auditing process, called the Sunset Review. More

2 El Paso neighborhoods up for $2 million in revitalization projects
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
El Paso's Community and Human Development Department has $2 million it wants to spend on various projects in two neighborhoods targeted for revitalization. Officials from the department said it is set to receive about $6.9 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a part of its annual Community Development Block Grant Program. More

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3 Electoral College members may pass on GOP ticket
The Associated Press via Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At least three Republican electors say they may not support their party's presidential ticket when the Electoral College meets in December to formally elect the new president, escalating tensions within the GOP and adding a fresh layer of intrigue to the final weeks of the White House race. The electors — all are supporters of former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul — told The Associated Press they are exploring options should Mitt Romney win their states. They expressed frustration at how Republican leaders have worked to suppress Paul's conservative movement and his legion of loyal supporters. More

Texas Attorney General orders public release of Sinton recall petition
Corpus Christi Caller-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Attorney General's Office has ruled that petitions to recall three Sinton City Council members who fired the city manager must be made public. The decision comes as two factions appear headed for a legal battle over whether to hold a recall election. The three council members and City Attorney Juan Perales are challenging the validity of the petitions and sought access to them, but City Secretary Betty Wood referred their request to the attorney general for an opinion. More

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List of improving housing markets expands to 99 in September
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of improving housing markets across the country rose to 99 in September, according to the most recent National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index. This is up from 80 metros that were listed as improving in August and includes representatives from 33 states as well as the District of Columbia. The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. More

Galveston proud of Ike recovery
Bryan-College Station Eagle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There was a time Galveston tourism officials would avoid using the word Ike. Four years after the most devastating storm since Hurricane Carla struck the Texas Coast in 1961, Hurricane Ike is no longer talked about in hushed tones or avoided; it's become common within the island's promotion vernacular. More
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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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