Homeowners shouldn't have to install sprinklers

Posted on February 28, 2011 by Mike Means

Hard-wired smoke alarm
A study done by the University
of Maryland found that
hard-wired smoke
alarms with a battery
backupoffer a much
better degree of safety
than sprinkler systems

Earlier this month, the Oklahoman published a front-page article, entitled "Home sprinkler systems are effective."

Certainly, sprinkler systems increase safety  just like a safe room or a cellar does during a tornado. The question always comes down to consumer choice and affordability. I read the story while listening to Gov. Mary Fallin give her State of the State address. She spoke of personal responsibility in many of the issues facing Oklahoma. This issue is no different.

A study done by the University of Maryland found that hard-wired smoke alarms with a battery backup offer a much better degree of safety than sprinkler systems. They were over 50 percent better than sprinklers due to their response time, sensitivity and the fact that many fires are too small to set off a sprinkler system. If people won't keep a smoke alarm working with a 99-cent battery, what are the odds they'll keep a sprinkler system properly maintained? Sprinkler systems have a downside, including having water in your attic during harsh weather conditions. Sprinkler systems can freeze and then break, causing flooding.

It all comes down to choice. Sprinklers are good for those who want them and are willing to pay for them. I found it interesting to read about the deputy fire chief who wished his house had a sprinkler system. Why doesn't he install one instead of insisting that we all do the same?

You can read the original Oklahoman article here.

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Good-bye to a Friend

Posted on February 21, 2011 by Mike Means

These days I find myself at the Capitol quite often. In fact, just about every day the legislature is in session those of us working on bills will be there. Most of the time is spent trying to catch a Senator or Representative for a moment or two to share your thought or opinion on a bill.

Last week was a little different. Thursday at the Capitol was spent in the House Chamber as I attended the funeral of former Representative John Bryant. John and I worked together on the first campaign of US Senator Don Nickles. That year was the first for many of us to be involved in the political process. John and I stayed in contact over the years. He was a State Representative during the time I was County Assessor.

John later became an independent lobbyist representing a variety of clients. When I came to work for the OSHBA, I went to John many times for advice. He will be missed.

In the meantime, the work continues. This week promises to be an exciting one as next week's deadlines loom. The list of bills to monitor will be a little shorter then. But not the time spent trying to catch a legislator's ear and tell them why your position is the right position.

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First OSHBA president from southern OK installed this month

Posted on January 23, 2011 by Brandon Perkins

Thomas Herndon, left, and brother Michael are co-owners
of Herndon Construction Inc. of Kingston. With them are
wives Roma, left, and Karen. Michael was installed Jan.
7, 2011, as president of the Oklahoma State Home
Builders Association.

The Oklahoma Home Builders Association selected Michael Herndon as president, the first president from southern Oklahoma to lead the state's homebuilders.

Herndon was installed Friday, Jan. 7, 2011 in Oklahoma City with 16 of his friends and relatives from Southern Oklahoma present.

With 120 people present, the banquet attendance was up over last year, indicating the homebuilding business in the state remains on course despite the national economy.

"Homebuilding is the largest creator of jobs and wealth in the country," said Herndon in his remarks to the group. "It's my belief that the temporary slowdown will leave a leaner and more efficient economy, and the state will understand the homebuilding industry better."

The Kingston resident is co-owner of Herndon Construction with brother Tom and enters his fourth year of leadership on the state board. Herndon represents his 2,800 peers in the statewide.

Herndon was a six-time president of Southern Oklahoma Home Builders Association, which serves the Ardmore area and is under the umbrella of the state association.

He also is among an estimated 150 in the state as a Certified Builder, one of only two Certified Builders in Southern Oklahoma. The other is current southern association president Shane Ross of Ardmore.

Herndon has been an advocate of the certification program for several years as chairman of the state committee.

The Certified Builder program ensures the consumers' interests are protected in a state that does not require licensing of builders. That means the homebuilder carries general liability and workers compensation insurance and has taken the required continuing education classes, among other stringent requirements.

As one of two Certified Green Professional builders in Southern Oklahoma, Herndon also built the first EnergyStar home and the first Positive Energy home in Marshall County.

Last year, Herndon Construction was named the Large Business of the Year by the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce. Being a local employer and community partner is important to Herndon, as he also is a board member on the Landmark Bank, an elder in his church and is active in the chamber.

Other than Herndon, new officers are vice president/treasurer Brandon Perkins of Tulsa and vice president/secretary is Jeff Click of Edmond.

The Oklahoma State Home Builders Association is a not-for-profit, professional trade organization which is an advocate for the state's housing industry and serves 3,300 members. The association is a corporate channel through which builders contribute time, money and services to local community service projects and education initiatives.

Members include builders, remodelers, developers, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, real estate brokers, lenders, attorneys and other industry professionals.

For more information about OSHBA or a listing of Certified Builders, go to www.okhba.org. For the Southern Association, contact www.sokba.org.

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New year, new officers

Posted on January 11, 2011 by Brandon Perkins

'Builder of the Year' Curtis McCarty
and 'Associate of the Year' Donna
Cullins, both of Norman, were
honored by the state builders
association Friday night at the

The Oklahoma Home Builders Association awarded Curtis McCarty of Norman as the "Builder of the Year" at its annual banquet Friday night at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City.

The honoree represents the one person who most contributed to the success of the association, made up of 2,800 peers.

McCarty, of C.A. McCarty Construction, was recognized for his pivotal role on the first Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission, as the governor's appointee to represent residential construction interests in developing a uniform statewide building code.

"Curtis is our point man as we move forward in developing our first statewide building code," said outgoing state president Tom French of Edmond. "He has put in a ton of hours and we are all indebted to Curtis."





Some of his achievements include:

  • Building a "show" home three times for the Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma
  • Participation on, and chairing, several committees
  • Serving at all levels of board membership, including nationally
  • McCarty has been in the home building business 18 years and currently serves on the Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma's Government Affairs Committee and the City of Norman Planning Commission
  • He was the 2007 president of BASCO, is a member of the Oklahoma State Homebuilders Association and the National Association of Home Builders.
  • McCarty is also one of approximately 150 builders in the state to carry the designation of Certified Professional Home Builders and is nationally certified as a Green Home Builder.


Norman's Donna Cullins received the other primary award of the evening, "Associate of the Year." Cullins was honored due to her participation at the local, state and national levels. The Associates Council consists of trade organizations which support OSHBA efforts. Cullins, secretary of the council, works for Preferred Plans Inc., and she and McCarty represent the Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma.

Also, homebuilders Kimmi Houston and Jeff Click, both of Edmond, have taken new leaderships roles in the national and state spotlight, respectively, in representing the homebuilding industry on a larger scale.

Houston, of Houston Homes, will be installed Jan. 13 as the national chair of the Professional Women in Building council of the National Association of Home Builders. The installation will occur during the International Builder's Show in Orlando.

Click, of Jeff Click Homes, joins the five-person state board of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association as secretary/vice president, entering the leadership ladder to the presidency.

Houston was named last year's statewide "Woman of the Year" for the state Professional Women in Building council. She was instrumental in organizing the state council two years ago, and served as its first president.

The state council focuses strictly on education and legislation, and recently sponsored the Certified Aging in Place Specialist courses.

She has been 2004 Rookie of the Year for the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, and 2005 Best of Show Kitchen in the COHBA "Parade of Homes," as well as being active on local, state and national levels.

Click is past president of Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association and was that organization's "Builder of the Year" in 2009.

One of the youngest independent builders in Oklahoma, the 35-year-old was selected 2010 "Forty Under 40" by OKCBiz and was ranked among Inc. magazine's "Inc. 5000" fastest growing companies.

Houston is a Certified Green Professional builder and both are Certified Professional Builders, among just over 150 builders statewide.

The Certified Builder program ensures the consumers' interests are protected in a state that does not require licensing of builders. That means the homebuilder carries general liability and workers compensation insurance and has taken the required continuing education classes, among other stringent requirements.

Other newly installed OSHBA directors are President Michael Herndon of Kingston in southern Oklahoma, past President French and vice president/treasurer Brandon Perkins of Tulsa. Also on the state homebuilders leadership team is Casey Felix of Enid, as chair of the Associates Council, which represents the industries which support homebuilding.

With 120 present, the banquet attendance was up over last year, indicating the homebuilding business in the state remains on course despite the national economy.

During the banquet recognitions, past president Tom French of Edmond specifically highlighted not only Click for his advice in the last year, but also noted Edmond-area builder Mark Dale and current COHBA president for his work in the legislative realm.

French's Leadership Awards were also sent to McCarty, Houston, Phil Rhees of Tulsa, Dave Sanders of Oklahoma City, Todd Booze, Gina Cox of Oklahoma City, Terry Jennings of Oklahoma City, Vanessa Shadix of Oklahoma City, and Todd Booze, Aaron Leclaire and Donna Cullins, all of Norman.

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Wise words for builders regarding appraisals

Posted on December 30, 2010 by Mike Means

I received the following from a past president of the National Association of Home Builders. I thought it very timely and pertinent as we enter the New Year. Read on,

December 28, 2010

Dear Fellow Directors:

For the past several years one of the major problems our builders have been facing are low appraisals. NAHB has been working diligently to help solve these problems. Two Appraisal Summits were held in the last quarter of 2009 and the third Summit was just recently held. All the players were gathered in one room at the Housing Center to try to come up with solutions. Progress is being made.

In the meantime while NAHB is working to solve the problems with the process I thought I would tell you some things you can do to help bring your appraisals in at Market Value:

1) Help yourself by helping the appraiser....most appraisers today are under such a short time line that they only look at sales that are recorded in the MLS. A lot of new construction never makes it to the MLS, therefore you should talk to other builders to see what they have sold....this will be beneficial to both of you. Then access courthouse records and see what other sales have been recorded.

2) Go to nahb.org and in the search engine type in "appraisals". Then click on "capturing new home sales information for use as appraisal comparables" and go to the last sentence in the second paragraph and click on the highlighted area. An appraisal form will now appear with one column. This is the same information the appraiser gathers. Fill this form out for each sale you can find. Then take a picture of each house that has sold and attached it to the form. When the Appraiser comes to appraise your house give him/her this information and tell them that this is some information you have gathered that you thought they might find helpful. This is legal and trust me when I tell you it will be greatly appreciated! I am a Certified General Appraiser and if a seller did this for me I would kiss the ground they walk on.

3) Last but not least make a list of all of the up-grades you have put in your house that might not be in a comparable sale. Meet with the Appraiser and explain all of the pluses your house has that may or may not be seen by the naked eye.

If you follow these three simple steps I promise that your appraisals will improve....they may not be perfect, but you will get better results than you're getting now.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Sandy Dunn, 2008 NAHB President

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Shawnee likes its homebuilders

Posted on December 29, 2010 by Mike Means

This last week I saw an email from the Shawnee Economic Development Department. It blew me away. Here are some folks that realize how important homebuilders are to their economy. I am taking the liberty of putting this part of the email in my blog, read on...


We truly appreciate the individuals that make up the Shawnee Homebuilders for lots of reasons. One is the simple fact that they have made a capital investment in the community, which requires them to gamble their own dollars on the idea that the economy is going to be better, that their product will be in demand and that they can offer a product at a lower cost than others within the region.


Like other business owners in Shawnee, this group of risk takers optimizes some of our key economic strengths in our community. Builders gamble everyday on the weather being good enough to get their work completed, whether the materials they need will remain at the price they anticipated and that their labor costs will remain at a consistent level.


They are constantly bombarded by an onslaught of Federal regulations that agencies such as the EPA, Energy department, the DEQ and others dream up which add cost to the their finished product. Here at the SEDF we believe our homebuilders, suppliers and sub-contractors are among the best assets we have. And just in case you need to be encouraged more, make sure you thank them for all they do for our region.


Please share this with other folks in your area. Shawnee...you guys get it. Thanks.

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