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Home Builders Association

2014 highlights from HBAMP staff – with a chuckle

2014 was another great year for the HBA of Metro Portland, and we are excited to see what 2015 holds for us and HBAMP members.

Below is a video that was part of our Builders Ball program back in November.  It provides a bit of a humorous look at our year while also introducing you to our staff.  We hope you enjoy!

We value our members and thank you for your support of the HBAMP. We look forward to the great things for the industry in the coming year.

HBAMP amps up its educational offerings in 2015

Education aheadThis article first appeared in December’s edition of the Home Building News courtesy of Jon Bell.

The HBAMP has always been the place for builders and remodelers to go for continuing education and training to make sure they’re at the top of their game — and in-line with industry regulations.

This coming year, the HBAMP will be an even better educational resource for members and industry professionals with the addition of some new offerings along with the association’s most popular educational opportunities.

“We’ve got some new programs that we’ll be offering to help our members really sharpen their industry expertise while also staying up-to-date on their requirements for things like lead-based paint and continuing education,” said Rachel Trice, vice president of membership services and events.

One of the biggest new programs will be the HBAMP’s Contractors Business Management series, a series of three courses aimed at helping contractors better manage all aspects of their business. While geared primarily for contractors new to the business, the series will also serve as a solid refresher course for builders and remodelers who want to brush up on their business management skills.

“We really want to try to do an even better job of providing education to members of all levels,” Trice said.

The three-course series will be held on separate days across the year in three-hour sessions. The dates will be February 6, June 6 and October 9, all Fridays. Members will be able to sign up for all three courses or individual ones.

The topics of the series are still under review, but Trice said they will cover everything from business basics, including budgeting, accounting, finance and banking, to human resources, subcontracting issues and risk management. Sub topics such as legal issues, contract law and business succession will also be included.

The sessions will be held at the HBAMP’s main office and include lunch. They will feature speakers and instructors from within the HBAMP and across the homebuilding industry.

Members who would like to provide input on what topics could be covered through the series can contact Caitlin Horsley, the HBAMP’s education and sustainability manager, at

Lead-based paint redo

It was five years ago that contractors who were going to be working on remodels and other projects involving older homes with lead-based paint first had to undergo training to get certified in the practice. Now, five years later, it’s time for those contractors who got certified in 2010 to renew their certification.

“This is the first group to come up for the refresher certification,” Horsely said, “but you have to stay certified if you want to continue working on projects with lead-based paint.”

Rather than go through a daylong training, as was originally required for certification, contractors can complete a shorter, half-day course to renew their certification so long as they complete that before their current certification expires. Those who don’t get it taken care of before their certification expires will have to take the entire daylong training over again. The half-day course does not have the hands-on portion that the longer course does; it will also be less expensive than the longer one.

The HBAMP will offer several options for contractors to renew their certification or to take their training for the first time. Dates have not been set yet, but members interested in finding out how they can sign up may contact Tami Walter, the HBAMP’s member concierge, at

Even more schooling

In addition to the new education series and the lead-based paint courses, the HBAMP also will host two of its breakfast forums for builders and remodelers in 2015. The forums are focused on a key topic relevant to builders, remodelers and associates and include a one-hour breakfast, breakout sessions and an additional one-hour discussion period. Dates and topics have yet to be finalized, but some ideas could include an overview of the financial and lending climate or how members can get the most out of their HBAMP membership.

The association will also continue offering regular lunch and learns, and it will also stage the annual BuildRight High Performance Building & Remodeling Conference and Expo. This year, the conference, which qualifies attendees for continuing education credits as required by the Construction Contractors Board, is set for April 8. In addition to everything else the conference has to offer, including a keynote speaker, networking opportunities and exhibitors, this year’s conference will be held at a new and livelier venue — McMennamins Kennedy School.

For more information on any of the HBAMP’s educational offerings, contact Horsley at

Changes to Temporary PGE Services

PGE_color.fwTo improve safety for customers and employees, Portland General Electric implemented new requirements for temporary service structures. PGE reviewed the initial draft changes with a group of HBAMP member developers and electrical contractors and addressed some of the practical concerns with implementing the changes.  The final changes strike a balance between worker safety and the increase in implementation cost and time. These changes went into effect Sept. 8, 2014.

PGE no longer allows its personnel to climb a temporary service structure or use the structure to support ladders, and changed its requirements for temporary service structures to support this safety goal. The changes are as follows:

  • For all temporary services, a minimum 4-AWG aluminum triplex conductor suitable for tensioned overhead service is required. This conductor must be long enough to reach the ground.
  • Services in a non-road crossing:
    • Posts must be 6×6 inches with a minimum clearance height of 16 feet
    • Posts must be set in the ground a minimum of three feet deep with gravel backfill
  • Services in a road or traffic crossing:
    • Posts must be 6×6 inches with a minimum clearance height of 24 feet
    • Posts must be set in the ground a minimum of four feet deep with gravel backfill
  • When ground conditions prohibit driving wood stakes, use an optional metal stake with a U-bolt connection.
  • When the temporary service is within 25 feet of the PGE service drop, a 4×4-inch post may be substituted for a 6×6-inch post.


Please refer to the Electric Service Requirements (ESR) August 2014 Supplement or the ESR August 2014 book for all construction requirements, including more detail on temporary services. Both can be found at

HBAMP Women in Building Council launches as third largest in country

PWB_LogoƒHBAMP submitted the names of 58 members to our National Association as the founding members of our Professional Women in Building (PWB) Council.  This exceeded our goal and makes us already the third  largest PWB Council in the Country, trailing second behind Seattle’s Master Builders of King County by just a few members.  Thanks to our PWB leadership and the initial interest group for all their help in recruiting members, many of them new to the HBAMP.

HBAMP ranked fourth HBA in country for growth

fmd logoThe Home Builders Association of Metro Portland received word from our National Association that our Fall Member Drive resulted in us having the 4th highest membership percent increase in our HBA size category.  This is the top size category in NAHB, meaning we compete against the largest and strongest HBAs in the country.  Thanks to all of our team drive members who helped us – this is tdrivetrophyhe third consecutive national member drive where we’ve finished in the top five!  HBAMP secured the win of $1,000 with a growth of 5.74 percent.

The HBAMP also beat Master Builders of King County in a friendly competition for the gold cup – with the loser having to display a toy crow for the year.

A special thanks to the members of HBAMP for your hard work in recruiting new members and growing our federation. The dedication of the local associations and their members brought in record numbers during the Fall Membership Drive campaign. We are encouraged by the membership growth and retention rates we have experienced in recent months.


Meet an HBAMP member – Fabienne Photography and Design

FabienneBackground Information

Title/Company: Fabienne Photography & Design, LLC

Years with the HBAMP: 19 years

Activities involved in with the HBAMP: Membership, Foundation, marketing, event photography, Street of Dreams, Builders Ball, Excellence Awards

Why are you a member of the HBAMP/what value do you find in HBAMP membership: I am a member of the HBAMP because when I am surrounded with the members and all the staff, I feel at home. The members have become not only a great source for business but also great friends.

Business Basics

Training and Education: I graduated from University of Oklahoma with an architectural degree.

How’d you get started with your current business: I credit Blazer Construction, Rick Lesniack and Ray Derby during the Street of Dreams of 2001. I developed a website and needed photos and they both encouraged me to do them. With my background in architecture and love for design, I was able to naturally pick up the skills to become a quality photographer. My eye for space, lines and movement comes through in every photo.

What advice would you give others starting out in the industry: Just do it, always having the best interest for your clients.

How do you measure “success”: Success is when you can balance family life, business and knowing your passion.

What’s your most useful business “tool”: My imagination.

Business mentors or heroes: My father and mother for being international entrepreneurs, and realtor Randy Schumock for teaching me to be smart with investments and business decisions.

Making the Call

Business decision you’re most proud of: Starting Fabienne Photography & Design, and Lampsplus for becoming certified in lighting design, and training me how to become second in the nation in sales.

One you’d like to have back: None, you cannot go back and fix it anyway.

Principals you use for big decisions: Create a WIN WIN situation.

The best business advice you’ve received: Listen, be open minded, figure it out and follow your gut feeling.

Where I’ve Been, Where I am Going

First “career” job: Intern architect in Oklahoma with an international firm.

As a kid, I wanted to be: A dentist.

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be: I would have a cooking show on television.

Insider Information

People would be surprised to know: I am from Belgium, lived in Saudi Arabia for five years, have been living in the US since 1980, and the most shocking – I used to be quiet and reserved. What happen? I am having so much more fun now.

If I could work for free for any cause/charity, it would be: Introducing special needs children or young adults to horses, or just going fishing with them.

Words I live by/my motto: Be helpful, be yourself.

I need more time on weekends for: Finishing home projects.



Continuing push-back on Metro’s draft Urban Growth Report

PSU Center for Real Estate head responds to criticism on his review of the Urban Growth Report Draft recently approved by Metro.

Read further background to this issue:

In addition to a recent, critical review of Metro’s draft Urban Growth Report up for vote December 4 by the PSU Center for Real Estate, letters have come in from the Metropolitan Mayors Consortium, the Coalition for a Prosperous Region, the cities of Happy Valley and Wilsonville, Washington County, plus several other organizations expected to weigh in.

At the apex seems to be Metro’s disconnect between the recent Housing Preference results (as well as historical housing trends) and the UGR recommendations. Community leaders argue that Metro’s plans aren’t achievable and don’t consider market realities as well as the growing pushback to density from existing neighborhoods all across the region. The plans also will push area residents to further out to fine the housing type and price they want, causing longer commutes, more congestion and more pollution. They also see the UGR’s assumption of an increase in multifamily housing and a move to even more density in Portland city limits to be in direct conflict with the region’s housing preferences, as well as smart development opportunities around the region. The UGR plan is also antithetical to Metro’s Climate Smart Communities project moving forward on a parallel track. Finally, Metro isn’t providing enough land for jobs and assumes a plan for poverty, where more households will have lower incomes and will be forced into lower cost housing.

Metro responded to the PSU study in negative terms, accusing Dr. Gerard Milder, the head of Center for Real Estate as being a “libertarian-minded activist” as reported by the Portland Tribune. Midler counters that he is only laying out discrepancies in Metro’s intended objectives and the potential, unintended consequences – most notably that Metro’s proposed housing mix will result in Portland being the fourth most expensive metropolitan area in the country in the next 20 years.

Metro will vote today to accept the draft UGR , but they are now doing so with several stated concerns on the record, work they are promising to do next year before finalizing their decision, and growing opposition to some of their major assumptions.

Coalition for a Prosperous Region letter

Metropolitan Mayors letter

Wilsonville letter

Washington County letter

Happy Valley Letter

PSU Center for Real Estate blasts Metro’s Growth Report

Gerry Mildner, head of the Center for Real Estate at Portland State University,  reviewed Metro’s recently-released Urban Growth Report (UGR).  His review and research is now final, and can be viewed here.

Dr. Mildner has analyzed Metro’s UGR and discusses the serious problems with it.  The compelling and significant conclusions, include:

  • Metroscope is not a forecasting model, but a population and job assignment model that doesn’t take into account the cost for developing at higher densities
  • Metro has produced an unsubstantiated housing production forecast
  • the amount of housing price increases required by Metroscope to fit growth within the current UGB is staggering and would cause Portland to rise to the 4th least affordable metro market in the Country over the next 20 years
  • the large projected housing costs disproportionately affect low income households
  • Metro’s growth proposal creates a huge unfunded government mandate in transportation subsidies and subsidies to develop high-density housing
  • Metro’s plans are based on perceived harm to the climate/environment which are unsubstantiated and actually would be made worse if Metro’s plans ultimately push economic dev’t out of our region
  • Metro’s plans would significantly increase commute times
  • Metro’s plans assume a huge downshift in auto usage and increase in public transportation, even though no such shift has occurred over the last 20 years (despite significant investments)

Dr. Mildner has sent this report to the Metro Council.  It is also being published in the well-read PSU Center for Real Estate Quarterly available online at  An article reviewing the findings in The Oregonian is anticipated.

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