NAHB Spring Board Report

Happy Summer from your NAHB State Rep, Kathe Ostrom.

I returned from the NAHB Spring Board meeting in Washington DC feeling grateful for Minnesota’s weather. If you think MN is muggy… WOW it’s a sauna in DC!

There is lots of politicking within NAHB for the upcoming election of our Third Vice Chair including some mud throwing! But that’s politics as usual, right? Even at this level there is much scrutiny about when you can wear the ‘color’ shirt of the campaign, where you can stand to hand out campaign pins, and exactly how evenly spaced the campaign headquarters are from the hallway.

Serious business was discussed in all the meetings including subcommittee, committee, executive committee, and board level. Some things are pulled from the agenda, like the Michigan idea to try a $99 trial membership, which needs some more thought. The Dispute Resolution along with the Charter Agreement passed the board floor with no discussion or dissension. There were questions about the Charter Agreement. It was explained that nothing in that document was ‘new’. It was merely pulling all the pieces from the by-laws and putting them in to one document for easier reference. Also, the main questions about the Dispute Resolution were also answered. Our by-laws state there is a process for resolving disputes, but in reality there wasn’t anything in writing. This now puts a process in place that is referenced in the by-laws.

Scary stuff talked about:

Patent Trolls

Disturbing news from Oregon and Washington. Patent trolls. A company called “Savannah IP” is sending letters to builders telling them they are using or ‘may’ use their patented ‘ moisture removal process’. They are demanding $100-150/home. Their patent uses are deemed very common practices i.e. fans. It’s coercion to franchise. Patent owner intends to take it nationwide. NAHB thinks this patent should never have been given and is exploring legal remedies/legislation. It seems we cannot challenge validity of patent as this is consumer protection law. For more information see nahb.org/patentreform in the members-only portion of the website.

Formaldehyde

NAHB Remodelers Council reported that FORMALDEHYDE is the next heartburn. The EPA is in a rule making process similar to lead paint handling. It includes any products used in ‘major modification’. However there is no definition of major modification. NAHB Remodeler’s Council leadership is meeting with the EPA. More to come.

Good Stuff (Maybe):

Energy Codes Bill

The House is playing football with the energy codes bill and trying to pass it piecemeal. NAHB says NO. Legislation is being introduced to require a 10-year payback!! This will not be done by election.

Housing Finance Reform

Housing Finance reform was the main topic in many of the meetings I attended. The ultimate goal is to maintain the 30-year fixed rate mortgage. This is a contentious issue at the national capital as to whether things should remain ‘as is’, which is the pushback from the Realtors.  Did you know 50% of the realtors association is from California? They are pushing hard to maintain the status quo.  NAHB thinks the current conservatorship cannot be maintained with one unelected official in charge of our finance policy. What happens if the leadership in the White House changes? Or Legislature? This leaves too much uncertainty in the market and is holding back the housing recovery.

Well, that’s the fun-and-games update from me. Anyone wishing more information let me know. I can be reached at kathe(at)cnostrom(dot)com.

What’s up and what’s on deck for the housing industry and economy?

 

The 2014-2015 Economic and Housing Forecast as presented by NAHB

 

Three economists gave their best predictions as to what 2014 and 2015 will bring for the housing industry and economy nationally and regionally.  The presenter lineup included: David Crowe, Chief Economis with NAHB, Maury Harris, Chief Economist with UBS, and Bob Denk, Chief Forecaster with NAHB.

HOUSING, NATIONALLY SPEAKING

Crowe said he expects a 2.9% growth rate in GDP this year. The first quarter didn’t start well as a result of a hold over effect from last year and the weather. However, he predicts there will be correction and compensation for those two factors as well as solid growth this year and next.

Unemployment is slowly ticking down, and he expects it to be below six percent nationally next year. Consumer confidence has improved according to Crowe. They are back to pre-crash levels and have improved the past two months. Consumers have been increasing the number of home furnishings and motor vehicles purchased, which is another indicator of increased consumer confidence.

House prices are improving

House prices are back to 2005 levels, and Crowe predicts they will continue to increase. Affordability remains high. There has been a slight rise in mortgage rates but affordability is better than during the boom period. The NAHB Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index measures the distribution of recently sold homes that could be purchased by a person with a median income. Right now, 65% of all homes sold could be purchased with the median income. With the indicator well above half and half, it means that now is still a good time to buy.

Currently, there is a low inventory of new and existing homes. The months of housing supply is estimated to be around 5 months. The norm is 6 months, so the lower supply has boosted the price of those that are sold. Existing homes are the majority of homes sold. From 1990-2006 new homes made up 16% of total homes sold. Now we’re down to half that at 8.8%.

There has been a substantial increase in new home starts nationally. They’re up 22% this year, and next year looks like it will be a great year.

NATIONAL ECONOMY

Harris reported the US economy is doing significantly better. US GDP is up 3% this year, and it’s expected to be 3.2% next year. We had a weak start this year and have some making up to do. Unemployment was at 6.7% in March, and Harris said he expects the average to be 6.4% in the fourthquarter.

Mortgage rates are up. Welfare is improving, and the stock market is doing better. S&P has a target of 1950. With house prices coming back wealth is going up.

Harris stated the business cycle is about the credit cycle. Big companies can get credit easily. Smaller companies are more susceptible to the credit cycle. In 2008-2010 banks were tightening lending standards, but now banks are easing their standards and small companies are hiring.

HOUSING FORECAST STATE-BY-STATE

Denk gave an overview of the last 10 years and defined the “normal” rate of construction as the 2002 “pre-housing boom” 1.3 million homes built.

Denk stated 2003 to 2005 were the housing boom years, and the collapse started in 2006. The collapse hit bottom in the beginning of 2009, and while the first-time homebuyer tax credit helped, it was an artificial boost and when it ended in 2010 economic progress fell off. We spent 2010 and 2011 bouncing along the bottom. Finally, in 2012 and 2013 true unassisted growth brought us back to 45% of “normal”.

Denk identified the bubble states as California, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and the industrial Midwest. The hardest hit states saw single-family housing starts nearly grind to a halt at 10-15% of normal production. Minnesota was at 15%. Conversely, the energy states fared much better. Those states include Wyoming, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Montana, and Texas.

In terms of the deep hole the industry is climbing out of Minnesota was in the bottom quartile of states that fell the farthest. Minnesota is also still in the bottom quarter in terms of progress made.  The good news is we are climbing out of the hole.

The median household income is $50,000 and the average person buys a house 3.2 times the price of that income. During the bubble people were buying homes 4.7 times the price of their income, which is 150% over normal. Nationally, current house prices have returned to the 3.2 ratio. Minnesota is currently at 115% of normal.

The housing foreclosure crisis peaked in the third quarter of 2009. In terms of foreclosure starts, delinquencies, and inventory nothing is normal yet, but nationally we’ve made several years of steady progress.

The Forecast

Single-family housing starts nationally are currently at 45% of normal. The trough was 27%. By the end of 2014 Denk forecasts we will be at 70% of normal, and by the end of 2015 we will be at 93% nationally.

In Minnesota, the forecast is 60% of normal housing starts by the end of 2014, and 80% by the end of 2015. Those rates put Minnesota in the bottom quartile nationally in terms of recovery.

SUMMARY

In sum, while Minnesota will be among the last states to fully recover, the 2014 and 2015 forecast is positive and reflects what we’ve been seeing in Minnesota. The past two years have seen improvement and we will continue to see more improvement this year and next. And to forecast about the next forecast, perhaps 2016 will be Minnesota’s first year with “normal” housing starts since 2002.

 

Randy Noel Endorsed for NAHB Race

 

NAHB elections should be on your radar.  I’m Kathe Ostrom, your NAHB MN State Rep and there is a contested election for the 2015 NAHB Third Vice Chair position.  I know… the news channels are filled with election hoopla for local, state and national government races too.  And those are very important events. But, your company or business is in a race too, and NAHB is your voice in Washington.  Their primary goal is to protect the housing industry from needless legislation or unproven and unscientific mandates by unelected bureaucrats in the regulatory field!  NAHB lobbyists and lawyers are doing a good job, and we need to be sure they have good leadership from our elected leaders at NAHB.

The BAM Exec Committee put forth a resolution endorsing Randy Noel and it was overwhelmingly approved by the directors of BAM.

For the past year at NAHB Exec Committee meetings, I have sat next to Randy Noel…..not by choice but by alphabetical order…and he has been a wealth of knowledge for me.  I continually have pummeled him with questions on the ‘why are doing…? And what is the reason for….?  And why are we spending….?’ and many others. His historical knowledge of NAHB is amazing. But his vision for the future and changes that need to be made at the national level are genuinely encouraging.

Many of you know that I have not been happy with some of the shenanigans at national including spending issues, the committee appointment process, and a myriad of other issues. I have had the privilege of speaking with both candidates for Third Vice Chair and both are exceptional men with many of the same visionary tools for the future.

What sets Randy Noel apart, in my opinion, is that he has involved and surrounded himself with people who are like-minded and really want to move the association forward. He is a small volume, single family home builder who can identify with the issues and problems that most of us face.

Please join me in working for the election of Randy Noel for 2015 NAHB Third Vice Chair.

The resolution adopted by the BAM Board of Directors in support of Randy Noel can be found here.

 

Down the Appraisal Rabbit Hole

Well, it’s been a dry spell since things that make me crazy have shown up. But at IBS, the Exec Committee was given a report, “State Appraisal Regulatory Board Best Practices”, on a GAO publication (Government Accountability Office) entitled ‘Real Estate Appraisals – Appraisal Subcommittee Needs to Improve Monitoring Procedures’.  Huh?

Background: After the messy housing recession, the Dodd-Frank Act required the GAO to report on appraisals.  The purpose was to determine the ability of the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) to monitor and enforce state and federal certification requirements and standards, and to determine if the activities of the ‘Appraisal Foundation’ are consistent with statutory mandates.

My first thought was, “What? Who?”

Then NAHB decides to partner with the Association of Appraisal Regulatory Officials (AARO) to survey state appraisal boards to identify best practices in their member jurisdictions.

I was confused so I started some Google research to figure out who the ASC, Appraisal Foundation, and AARO are and how are they interrelated.

So it appears the ASC (Appraisal Subcommittee) provides federal oversight of appraisal programs and is the monitor for the Appraisal Foundation.  The ASC was created by the FFIEC (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council) – so many acronyms! – which sets uniform principles for examination of federally regulated institutions….ok?  Now the Appraisal Foundation is financed with grants from the ASC to defray costs of creating standards and qualifications.  And then…get this….. the Appraisal Foundation has another 3 boards.

1)     Appraisal Practices Board – provides voluntary guidance on methods and techniques

2)     Appraisal Qualifications Board – develops/amends ‘Standards’ of appraisals

3)     Appraisal Standards Board – establishes education, experience and exam requirements for licensing

Are you still with me?

And the AARO (Association of Appraisal Regulatory Officials) create state licensing agencies to issue licenses to individuals.

Is it any wonder that no one can figure out whom to tackle about the problems with appraisals??? State officials point to national and national points back saying “it’s a state issue”.

So the findings of the NAHB report are nothing short of UTTERLY AMAZING and must have taken sheer genius to figure this out [sarcasm]:

1)     State boards oversee many other professions and therefore do not have enough resources.

2)     State boards lack governance for disciplinary actions

3)     State boards have no standard for oversight

4)     State boards have no clear communication with the Appraisal Qualifications Board.

DUH?!

At the recent BAM board meeting in Saint Paul, the appraisal issue was discussed. To no one’s surprise, concern was expressed from all areas of the state about appraisals being a huge problem. Your voices were heard and the state president, Chad Kompelien and EVP, Remi Stone are putting this on the list of pressing state issues.

NAHB’s Single Family Finance committee is coordinating local HBA’s in evaluating the effectiveness of each state’s appraisal regulator.  If you are interested in helping with this solution, please contact Chad or Remi.

We, alone, cannot fix the appraisal system but we can get a seat at the table so our voices will be heard. Even if we are totally confused as to how the process works!

Kathe Ostrom, your NAHB MN State Rep

BAM Board Meeting + Builder Day at the Capitol

 

On March 12, over 170 builders association members from across the state converged in Saint Paul to use our collective industry voice at our state’s Capitol. We are stronger together, and it’s one of the reasons the Builders Association of Minnesota exists.

Every local association was represented and together we met with nearly 75% of the Legislature. That is no small feat. It means we broadcast, in person, the message that the home building industry is important to Minnesota’s economy and we will be heard. Our priority issues for the day included:

Statewide building code enforcement – The Legislature must pass legislation to level the playing field for the safety of consumers and the economic health of the residential construction industry.

Subcontractor registration –  The pilot program has created a heavy burden on licensed contractors. Let the pilot project expire June 30, 2014, and do not let it become a permanent mandate.

Builder-pay attorney fees (SF 2146/HF 2612) – The language is one-sided and would award attorneys fees only to the homeowner if they are the prevailing party. It does not provide the same for a builder should they prevail. The Legislature must oppose this bill.

B2B taxes – Repeal regressive, hidden, business-to-business sales and use taxes on services.

Fire sprinkler mandate – With the code process nearing completion, the Legislature must prohibit the home sprinkler mandate.

Thank you to those that were able to attend, and thank you to our event sponsors: Xcel Energy, The Builders Group, Brushmasters, Larkin Hoffman, and the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead. We will keep you posted on the progress of the 2014 legislative session. Session wraps May 19, which isn’t much time, but things have been moving fast as a result of the time crunch. Look for a call for grassroots efforts.

BAM Board of Directors Meeting

Prior to the big event, the BAM Board of Directors held their first meeting of 2014. President Chad Kompelien reported BAM closed 2013 in the black and led the board in discussion about industry issues. The board talked about appraisals and labor shortage and possible solutions. Each local association reported on what’s happening in their area; cool new things and any challenges for 2014. It was a successful meeting and we look forward to the next meeting August 20th in Saint Cloud.

Check out BAM’s Facebook page and Twitter for photos of the day! #mnbdac

Home Building Industry Day at the Capitol March 12

Each year the builders association hosts a Day at the Capitol, and this year it’s going to be better than ever. All members of the association and the home building industry are invited to join us March 12 to deliver the message to the Legislature that the home building industry matters. The event is free for members and this year it’s more important than ever that we show up in force.

The judge’s ruling on the fire sprinkler mandate was recently published and it upheld the position of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. What that means is we’ve exhausted our regulatory options in our fight against mandatory fire sprinklers, so now, in addition to some serious public relations and fundraising for the 2014 gubernatorial election, we will be hitting the Legislature hard. That’s where you come in.

Be sure to get yourself, your staff, and your home building industry friends signed up for our Day at the Capitol March 12. The event itself is going to be our best yet, but more importantly the message we need to deliver is the most significant yet.

Registration

Registration is easy and online at bamn.org/events.

Schedule

11:30 AM Check-In
12:00 PM Lunch & Program (Issues overview, talking points and tips for your meetings)
12:30-4:30 PM Meetings with legislators at the Capitol (transportation provided)
4:30-7:00 PM Legislative reception (all 201 legislators are invited)

Location

James J. Hill Reference Library
80 4th Street West, St. Paul, MN 55102

Thank you to our 2014 Sponsors

Brush Masters, Larkin Hoffman, The Builders Group, Xcel Energy, and the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead.

2013 State Award Winners Announced

 

Tuesday December 17th, 2013 members from around the state gathered for a day of celebration. The Builders Association of Minnesota (BAM) Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner was held in concert with a BUILDPAC and BAM-PAC fundraiser.

Thank to all who attended, sponsored and made the day a huge success.

A special thank you to our BUILDPAC representatives Joe Weis, Weis Builders and Jeff Schoenwetter, JMS Custom Homes. And thank you again to our event sponsors: The Builders Group, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Fredrikson & Byron, Thermo-Tech Windows & Doors, and Xcel Energy.

During the annual meeting the 2014 BAM Board of Directors were installed, we heard from economist Herb Tousley and the 2013 BAM Awards were presented by BAM Executive Vice President Remi Stone.

A big congratulations to the 2013 award winners:

Rising Star Award – Chris Ramsey, K&S Hearing, A/C, Plumbing & Electrical (RAB)

Associate of the Year – Dave Olson, Thermo-Tech Windows & Doors (CMBA)

Remodeler of the Year – Ray Moe, Raymond Moe Construction (ABA)

Builder of the Year – Lowell Pratt, Pratt Homes (BATC)

Check out BAM’s Facebook page for photos of the event.

Following the awards ceremony, the 2014 BAM Executive Committee was sworn in by Representative Tama Theis.

Congratulations, and thank you, to our 2014 leadership team:

Chad Kompelien, Kompelien Custom Homes – President
Mike Paradise, Bigelow Homes – President Elect
KC Chermak, Pillar Homes – Builder Vice President
George Cundy, Cundy, Santine & Associates Architects – Associate Vice President
Kurt Welker, Welker Custom Homes – Secretary
Gerry Traut, Xcel Energy – Treasurer
Keith Kylmala, Kylmala Truss – Past President

The Gifts of Membership

 

The holidays are a time to count your blessings and give thanks. Membership with the Builders Association of Minnesota is the gift that keeps on giving. Remember to “open” these gifts and take them out for a spin!

Legislative, Regulatory, and Legal Protection

The biggest benefit of membership is representation and protection at the state Capitol, and before regulatory agencies and the courts. Together with your industry peers, your voice is stronger. It’s important to fight for the best building codes and laws possible. Membership means standing shoulder-to-shoulder with your peers to fight for what’s right.

Contract Templates

This is a gift that will keep on giving for years to come. Drafted by attorneys that specialize in residential construction, and updated when the law changes, these six members-only contract templates (and one change order) are available in both word and pdf so you can download and edit them right on your computer. These contracts are worth over $10,000. That is a holiday miracle! Members only section – contracts here.

Code Guides

When the government puts out a new code, the language is provided but not the how. Enter BAM. For members-only we put together detailed code guides – written by experts – so you know exactly how to build to the new code. Members only section – code guides here.

Discounts

An obvious gift of membership is the discounts on stuff you use. Members have access to discounts on fuel at Holiday, office supplies at Office Depot, and a 22% discount on your Verizon plan to name just a few. We have a rebate program that gives you money back and we haven’t even talked about the perks at your local and national associations. These awesome savings can more than pay for your annual membership. Members only – get these sweet discounts now!

Industry-specific Insurance

The residential construction industry requires special insurance coverage and as a BAM member you have access to high quality, discounted coverage from The Builders Group for workers’ comp, Corporate Four for general liability, and RMC for risk management. Check out our insurance deals here.

Information

BAM membership means information. We make sure you’re in the know and provide details on what’s happening in the industry, the economy, at the Capitol, and right here at BAM. We’re tweeting, blogging, posting on facebook, emailing, writing white papers, and more. Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter, sign up to receive our Blog, and as member you get so much more.

Action

Membership means getting influence, leadership training, political education, and networking. As a member you make decisions about real issues that affect your business. In serving on BAM’s committees you step up as a leader and make decisions for 3,000 member companies. At BAM it’s all about politics and by participating you get in on the action. And of course, BAM committee work and events mean networking with your statewide peers and the opportunity to meet, learn, and grow your business.

Unity

One of the most important benefits of builders association membership is banding together with your industry peers across the state to create a strong unified front.

BAM was created in 1974 to be the statewide voice of Minnesota’s builders and remodelers. We represent you and your business at the State’s Capitol, regulatory agencies and courts because industry unity and doing business with members is good business. Together we work to protect your business and bottom line – for a better industry, a better economy, and a better state!

We hope you enjoy the gifts of membership now and in the new year! Happy holidays from all of us at BAM!

Visit www.bamn.org/membership for more information.

Open Post on the ALJ Sprinkler Hearing

Today BAM’s legal team and expert witnesses present our case to Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman to keep mandatory sprinkler systems out of the residential building code. We will be live tweeting and live blogging throughout the hearing today. Check back for updates.

8:37AM The troops are assembling. The judge said he he plans to start right at 9:00AM. Several members and association staff have come to support. Rochester, Fargo-Moorhead, Brainerd and the Twin Cities are all here.

9:00AM Judge Lipman has started the hearing stating today is about record building and fact finding. Judge Lipman said the hearing will be focused on three key issues: 1) does the government have legal authority to adopt these rules, 2) whether the department fulfilled all administrative procedures, and 3) the range of choices an agency is authorized to make and whether they were needed and reasonable.

9:25AM Department of Labor and Industry’s general counsel Jeff Lebowski is introducing their case and exhibits A through J.

9:42AM Standing recess called by the Judge.

9:53AM Roger Axel is testifying on behalf of BAM stating he is for public safety as a building official and introduced how fire sprinklers were put in the national code.

9:59AM Steve Orlowski is now testifying discussing discrepancies and what’s been happening in the rest of the United States with regard to the sprinkler issue. Orlowski is wrapping up his testimony and states in all his research he cannot find a reason for the 4,500 square foot threshold the department included in their draft code.

10:25AM Karen Linner is beginning her testimony. She will address how this will affect the state of Minnesota. No deaths in homes built after smoke alarms started being required in 2003 – hardwired, battery backed-up, and interconnected. No fire fighter deaths in residential fires since data has been collected. Gives history of code proposals and proposed trade offs.

Linner covers whether Minnesotans want sprinklers to be required. A U of M survey determined 87% of Minnesotans want sprinklers to remain their choice.

11:22AM Joe Springer testifies on behalf of BAM and asks several questions of the Department about how they determined there was a need and reasonableness for mandatory fire sprinklers in homes 4,500 square feet and larger.

11:40AM State Fire Marshal Dahm testifies fire marshals support the model national code. (Despite the fact that 41 states have rejected the national code, and only one state has accepted it – California.) Marshal Dahm says sprinklers protect people, property, possessions, and pets.

11:50AM Judge Lipman called a recess until 12:20 on the dot.

12:20PM And we’re back. Jeff Hudson of NFPA, a residential fire sprinkler advocate, is testifying now. Admits fire death rate went down once smoke alarms were required in homes.

12:42PM Ronald Farr employee of Underwriters Laboratory now testifying. UL “certifies, validates, tests, inspects, audits, and advises and trains” for their clients. Farr says they’ve been doing research for sprinkler advocates.

1:04PM Clay Dietrich testifying for BAM now. Retired assistant fire chief from Moorhead, MN. Served for 27 years. Also been a builder for 39 years. Discusses border city issues, areas without municipal water supply, and cost. “The real problem is older homes without smoke alarms. That’s where deaths are happening. The problem isn’t with new housing.”

1:40PM The judge called a 15 minute break.

1:55PM And we’re back. Sean Flahrety is testifying on behalf of the national fire sprinkler association.

2:16PM Chris Contreras from Ryland Homes testifies regarding size and percentage of homes affected (30%) as well as increased cost. $10K additional cost may only be $53 extra per month in a mortgage but over the course of the life of that mortgage it ends up being $19K and that can be hard for a homeowner and at times ends up being the tipping point.

2:24PM Mark Brunner from the Manufactured and Modular Homes Association testifies.

2:35PM The fire chiefs are up and say smoke alarms are not enough protection.

2:55PM Buddy Dewar testifying now as head of the National Fire Protection Agency. Claims fire sprinklers should be mandated to put out non-fatal fires and protect property. Also claims the reason 41 states have rejected mandatory residential sprinkler systems is because of the “strength of the building industry.”

3:20PM All scheduled witnesses have been heard. Judge recesses until 3:35PM. Plan is to adjourn for the day by 5:00PM.

3:35PM No further witnesses came forward and judge adjourned the hearing at 3:45PM. Please submit and comments by January 2nd at 4:30PM. The rebuttal period will then last 5 business days and close at 4:30PM on January 9.

Early Registration Discount: Feb. 6 MN Construction Conference

Register early for the first-ever Minnesota Construction Industry Conference

Early-bird registration is now open for the first-ever Minnesota Construction Industry Conference to be held on February 6, 2014, at the Ramada Inn Mall of America, Bloomington.

The State of Minnesota and its construction industry partners will host the one-day conference and provide educational and networking opportunities for highway/heavy, commercial building and residential contractors, plus informative general sessions for the entire construction industry. The event will update construction industry members about current regulations and rules and provide an opportunity for attendees to share ideas with the state officials about how to build a better Minnesota.

Along with the general sessions, each construction-industry sector – highway/heavy, commercial building and residential – will have five workshops. Planned session topics include: business development, building code changes, contracting with the state, licensing and compliance, safety and health compliance and consultation, workforce development, and a panel discussion with state commissioners. Also, state subject matter experts will be available for one-on-one sessions to answer contractor questions.

The construction conference will also feature a trade show of industry-related exhibitors and sponsors. Continuing education units are available for some of the residential construction workshops.

Registration cost for the conference is $79 before Dec. 31, 2013. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, the cost is $99. Registration includes general sessions, workshops, 1-on-1 with the State sessions (optional), all conference materials, continental breakfast and lunch.

View the conference agenda and register online at www.dli.mn.gov/construction.