As much as Todd Booze loves building houses he and his partners at Ideal Homes have put up more than 7,000 of them over two decades he's about to start splitting his time between construction sites and the state Capitol.
Todd Booze, president of construction for Ideal Homes and 2014 president of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, is show in an Ideal Homes model at 2341 SW 135 in the Country Place addition. PAUL HELLSTERN - The Oklahoman
As Booze takes the helm as 2014 president of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, he said his priority will be to keep an eye on legislation making its way through the state's lawmaking bodies this spring and to help shape the policies that will affect the state's homebuilding industry.
Booze said the biggest challenge will lie in helping adapt the 2015 International Residential Codes a set of residential building guidelines by the International Code Council into codes that will govern local builders.
"As we saw in Moore," he said, referring to the May 20 tornado, "issues of safety, durability and performance are critical to Oklahoma homeowners," and therefore to builders as they construct homes for each new generation of Oklahomans.
Guidelines from the International Code Council must be tailored to meet the specific requirements of homebuilding in Oklahoma.
"When you're in the 275-mile-per-hour winds in the vortex" of a tornado, Booze said, it's clear that there's little that could have been done at the construction stage to protect aboveground structures.
But Oklahoma builders are "very interested" in houses on the periphery, the ones that could withstand high winds, depending on precautions taken by builders.
"Finding a balance between practicality on a cost basis, durability and safety" will be the state builders group's chief concern in the coming year, Booze said.
Challenge No. 2 lies in "communicating all this new information to our members" through workshops and educational offerings such as the annual Oklahoma Building Summit.
"There are new methods and technologies all the time," and a builder can fall behind and even out of compliance without ongoing training, he said. "We always try to bring in the hot new issues about products and codes."