Tag Archives: Home Builders Association

Your Home, Our PROfessionals

PRO logo

Your Resource for  Remodeling Professionals

As we look forward to spring and early summer and the remodeling “season” kicks into high gear, homeowners all over the Portland Metro area are searching for a resource for professional contractors and service providers.  At the PRO, we are that resource.

The  Professional Remodelers Organization of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland (PRO) consists of the area’s top remodelers, subcontractors, and suppliers who work together to promote quality and professionalism in the home remodeling industry. In the past 13 years, the organization has grown to 220 members and currently is the third largest in the United States.

“Our members take pride in their craft, have years of experience in the field and are knowledgeable about the newest and most innovative products on the market,” said Mitch Stanley, former Professional Remodelers Organization chairman. “One of the big reasons our group continues growing fast is that we are committed to ethical business conduct and we encourage our membership to invest in training and education.”

The National Home Builders Association estimates that Americans will spend $145 billion in home remodeling in 2013. Remodeling accounts for 2 percent of the US economy and 40 percent of all residential construction.

Everything you want to see...<br />Everyone you need to meet.

Each spring, the Professional Remodelers Organization produces the Tour of Remodeled Homes, which showcases the top remodeling projects in the area. They also are active participants in the Home Builder Association’s Spring and Fall Home and Garden Shows, and PRO members are involved in several fundraising events throughout the year to support local charities. In the last several years years, the group has raised thousands of dollars for the Home Builders Foundation, which creates shelter opportunities for the disadvantaged or transitional homeless and provides educational opportunities for future generations of industry professionals.  The PRO also won a national CADRE Award for their participation in the  complete remodel and upgrade of the Cordero House.

The organization has been recognized nationally for its energy, commitment to the industry, dedication to the community and government affairs efforts. To date, the Organization has won 12 prestigious  Council Awards for Demonstrating Remodeling Excellence (CADRE) the highest national honor any organization can receive. Category wins include Outstanding Community Service Project, Outstanding Member Services and Education and Outstanding Public Relations and Promotion Program. The PRO was also recognized nationally  with and Association Excellence Award (AEA) for their volunteer project building the Santa House at Bridgeport Village Shopping Center for the 2011-2013 holiday seasons.

To find out more about the professional members of the PRO, search our online directory and look for the PRO logo!

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NW Natural Street of Dreams Starts This Week!

Oregonlive contest

The 2009 NW Natural Street of Dreams “Views of the Pearl” opens August 1 and showcases four of Portland’s premiere condominium home developments, featuring nine incredible penthouses ranging in price from $1 to $2.5 million. With a focus on LEED standard and eco-friendly materials, the dream condos include the latest in home innovations and design, including wrap around balconies and hot tubs with a stunning city view.

Viewing the 2009 NW Natural Street of Dreams is a snap. Simply click on the tickets link to buy your 2009 Street of Dreams Pearl Pass.

Not only will your Pearl Pass provide access to nine gorgeous penthouses, all featuring the latest and greatest in design and sustainability, it will provide you with savings of over $6,500 at local Pearl District businesses, free rides on the street car and discounted parking for the month of August.

Don’t miss the NW Natural Street of Dreams website where you will find ideas and inspiration from the show, descriptions of the featured condos and profiles of the developers and designers.

The PRO’s have arrived Remodeler’s Council becomes Professional Remodelers Organization (PRO)

prologo_color1It’s official, the Home Builder’s Association’s Remodelers Council (RC) is changing its name to PRO – Professional Remodelers Organization.  The name isn’t the only thing that is changing, though. The roll-out of the name, unanimously approved by the HBA Board of Directors and announced to coincide with May’s designation as National Remodeling Month, also includes a new website, member services, public outreach and education opportunities. 

In addition, a new logo was unveiled along with the name change, better integrating the Home Builder’s Association logo and the iconic home silhouette.  This reflection is important because of the strength and brand recognition associated with the HBA logo as well as the fact that the Professional Remodelers Organization is an integral part of a large organization serving the needs of the entire residential construction industry. “Remodeling and new construction are both key components of the home building industry. The RC name change is consistent with the strong support provided within our organization and also gives testament to the experience and professionalism of the remodelers organization within our larger association.  HBA PRO is the professional home for remodeling contractors, sub-contractors, support professionals, vendors and suppliers in the greater Portland region,” stated Dave Nielson, HBA’s Executive Officer.

HBA’s Remodelers Council was already the leading trade association for remodeling firms in the Portland Metro area.  However, many inside and outside the area were confused as to what a Remodelers Council was and what primary function it served.  The new name (PRO) eliminates this confusion and accurately reflects both the strength and professionalism the industry and consumers can expect from this organization.  “A lot of hard work and research went into determining how we could best promote HBA’s strong remodeling focus and membership” stated Mitch Stanley, Stanley Home Renovation and Design, Inc and 2009 PRO Chairman.  “We’ve had the full support of HBA’s staff and leadership throughout the process and are very excited at what the future holds for our Professional Remodelers Organization.”

Long-time RC members are already familiar with the public outreach and marketing, advocacy efforts, scholarship programs, educational opportunities, business benefits, networking opportunities and community fundraising that have been key values provided to those involved in the remodeling industry.  PRO will continue this tradition, while raising the bar by including more education, increased marketing opportunities through the region’s two biggest home shows, more courses for the public such as the highly successful Remodeling 101, and continued growth of the Tour of Remodeled Homes – the #1 remodeling tour in the Northwest.

“This is an exciting time for our industry,” notes Steve Klingerman, T.H.E. Remodel Group and Chair of HBA PRO marketing committee. “The renewal of our organization is in keeping with what we do daily – remodel.  In this case, we are remodeling ourselves with a new name, look, a new website and advanced education opportunities for our members and the public at large.”  Klingerman also points out that PRO will continue to support non-profit community based organizations such as the Cordero House, continue to lobby for increased professionalism within the industry, and will lead the way in sustainable and responsible practices within the green movement.

Over the next few months, PRO will be launching a comprehensive web site – at www.HBAPRO.org, which will focus on two main areas: information and education for the public and a resource for members.  The timing couldn’t be better, as the National Association of Home Builders predicts that the remodeling industry will grow 33% in the next ten years. “We will be the web site where consumers can do their due diligence in finding the right remodeler for the job,” commented Steve Heiteen, Portland Remodel and past RC Chair. “Remodeling consumers need the best resources available in finding and researching a remodeling contractor, vendor and supplier.  We will be that clearing house of information.”  Additionally, PRO will expand their educational opportunities for future members. “We want to be an organization of attraction – where new remodelers and long-time remodelers have a place to expand their knowledge, learn of new trends, become aware of legislative changes before they happen, and be on the forefront of the industry,” said Heiteen.

HBA – Home of the Remodeling Industry

May is National Home Remodeling Month, so this seems like a great time to talk about all that HBA does to be the strongest advocate, promoter and overall home for the remodeling industry in the greater Portland market.

Legislative and Regulatory support – second to none

First, it is an absolute fact that the governmental affairs and lobbying staff and efforts done by our local HBA, combined with our state (OHBA) and national (NAHB) legislative support, are the best in Oregon, and are almost single-handedly representing remodelers and fighting off unreasonable regulations, fees and other burdensome requirements. Locally, we are the only association that is active in every jurisdiction in our region, fighting unreasonable SDCs, permit fees and other regulations that add costs to remodelers and their clients. We spearheaded the Portland FIR program (fast-tracking permits) for remodelers, are actively working to stop the City’s proposal to penalize contractors who build to code by charging them a “carbon pollution fee”, and are collaborating with the City of Portland and other jurisdictions to find green building initiatives that make sense.

Our main state lobbyist was ranked as one of the top in the State Legislature in terms of respect, clout and influence. No lobbyist from any other remodeling association even made the top 35. And we’re not simply testifying on issues at a hearing – we’re working behind the scenes to shape policy and stop bad legislation before anyone else even knows it exists.

Another example of our strength is the way NAHB was able to kill the onerous and unnecessary lead based paint abatement requirements proposed by the EPA . No other remodeling organization in the country had the financial resources or legislative clout to go fund the studies, participate in the studies, and lobby Congress and the EPA on this issue. Without your HBA, these burdensome proposals and costs would have become mandated for all of your projects.

Contractor Quality – improving standards for all

The entire building community suffers from contractors who aren’t ethical, aren’t properly trained, and who leave homeowners high and dry. HBA and OHBA were the only organizations representing remodelers on the Construction Claims Task Force, put together last year to make recommendations on how to strengthen contractor quality. While we ultimately couldn’t support some of the bills that came out of the legislature last year because they had parts added to them that would have been too burdensome for good contractors, we didn’t let this stop the original intent of our efforts. We have been working with the CCB for the last six months to develop ongoing education requirements for all contractors – ones that will meet the legislature’s concerns, be fair for good contractors, and help the entire industry become stronger.

In addition, we are the only organization representing remodelers that helped create, fund and continues to support the Northwest College of Construction. NWCC is a phenomenal educational institution right in our own Portland backyard that provides hands-on training for specialty trades skills in addition to supervisory management and other needed skill sets. We invested almost $200,000 to make this dream a reality, and the payoff will be huge. We now have an accredited training insitution for those wanting to work in the building and remodeling industry or those who are already employed and need to enhance their skills. On top of that, HBA members get discounts on the course fees for their employees.

New Home and Remodeling Construction – uniting the industry

While it’s very true that there are differences in how new home contractors and remodeling contractors operate their businesses, there are also many things all contractors have in common. There are also many things that we can all learn from each other – ideas that can help production builders, infill builders, custom builders, high-end project remodelers, and smaller project remodelers do business better. That’s why HBA (over 1,400 members), OHBA (over 5,000 members) and NAHB (over 225,000 members) work hard to unite the industry.

I have sat in committee meetings and been at informal networking functions where remodelers and new home contractors were asking questions about each other’s businesses, learning from each other, and building up our industry. Even a simple question, like “How much is the traditional mark-up?” is viewed as an opportunity to help educate and improve the industry further. That’s one of the reasons we have a single Excellence Awards program each February – where the industry comes together and the best in new home construction, remodeling construction, and sales & marketing are collectively recognized and celebrated. It’s also why our Board and other leadership groups are made up of a diverse mix of new and remodel construction contractors.

Bottom line

While there are smaller building organizations that fill special niches, and do a good job in certain areas, no other organization has the financial capabilities, staff size, and industry resources to truly represent the residential construction industry – new homes and remodels – like HBA does at the local, State and National levels. And in a time like we’re facing now, with the housing market downturn affecting all of us, there’s no better reason to join, renew or become more active in the one association that makes the biggest impact to our industry, bar none.