Florida News


In Spite of Harassment Headlines, Session Issues Emerge

Most of us in Tallahassee review daily legislative clips to glean up-to-the-minute news from the Capitol. Lately, editorial space meant for legislation updates is being held for the latest broadcast of politicians facing sexual harassment or ethical complaints. As intriguing as all that can be, we cannot lose sight of the fact the 2018 Legislative Session is just around the corner.

Several of FHBA Key Officers and Committee Chairs trekked to Tallahassee a few weeks ago to push our Legislative Agenda. Attending were FHBA President, Greg Matovina; FHBA Second Vice President, Shelley Stewart; FHBA Immediate Past President, Jeremy Stewart; FHBA Governmental Affairs Chair, Frank Severino; and FHBA Volume Builders Council Chair, Richard Arkin.

Key topics discussed included FHBA proposed legislation to exempt punch list items and warranty services from being considered as completion of contract – a bill that ensures homeowner participation in the State’s Right to Cure Process, and the FHBA proposal to stop local governments from driving up the cost of housing by collecting impact fees at the time of platting.

We also used the opportunity to express concerns on issues such as SB 446 and HB 295, which would require an Electrical Journeyman on any commercial construction site, including neighborhood common areas, pool houses, etc. Additionally, bills to overregulate Home Owner Associations are once again appearing (SB 734 and HB 377). FHBA Leaders met with the Senate sponsor, who attentively listened to our concerns. Sponsors of both the Electrical Journeyman Bill and the Home Owners Association Bills understand our opposition and should the bills be considered by a committee, we will have the opportunity to make extensive changes.

Other key meetings included House Careers and Competition Sub-committee Chair, Halsey Beshears; Senate Appropriations Chair, Rob Bradley; Speaker of the House, Richard Corcoran and Senate President, Joe Negron. A sincere thank you to Greg, Shelley, Jeremy, Frank, and Richard for making the time and effort to travel to Tallahassee.

The Bottom Line: Though much of the Tallahassee headlines focus on sex scandals and politician’s ethical lapses, the process of law making continues. FHBA staff and volunteer leaders remain laser focused on what matters to our members, posturing our priorities for success in the 2018 session.

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Upcoming Florida Building Code Changes to Flood Provisions

Building officials, developers, engineers, architects, and others are anticipating the next edition of the Florida Building Code, 5th Edition, effective December 31, 2017. Many projects to repair flood damage or to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Irma and other flooding events may be subject to this edition of the Code.

Nearly all of Florida’s flood -prone local jurisdictions participate in the National Flood Insurance Program and, along with the FBC, enforce local floodplain management regulations that must be coordinated with the FBC. Any community that has not yet adopted a flood ordinance coordinated with the FBC or has adopted an ordinance not reviewed by DEM is asked to follow up with us as soon as possible.

The State Floodplain Management Office, a unit of DEM, supports local officials, design professionals and others with excerpts of the flood provisions in the FBC (including a summary of the changes between the 5th and 5th editions) and a summary of the flood design standards referenced by the FBC. Please go to www.floridadisaster.org/Mitigation, State Floodplain Management Office webpage to access the above information.

The webpage also directs readers to two fact sheets prepared by Building A Safer Florida. One fact sheet describes the flood provisions in the FBC, key elements of flood resistant construction, flood hazard areas and flood conditions, and highlights the changes. The other fact sheet describes revisions to the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) provisions in the FBC that more closely align with the existing coastal high hazard areas requirements.

To access a primer on flood resistant construction, view or download the Florida Quick Guide for Floodplain Management, visit the State Floodplain Management Office page at www.floridadisaster.org/Mitigation.

For more information, contact: floods@em.myflorida.com • 850-815-4555

Click here to view official notice.

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Emergency Order – Contractors to Repair and Install Roofs

An executed emergency order by Governor Scott and DBPR Secretary, Johnathan Zachem, has been released allowing general, residential or building contractors to repair and install roofs.

This temporary order provides that certified or registered general, building or residential contractors are not required to subcontract roofing repairs or installation. It further provides that local jurisdictions may provide for a specialty licensure to repair or install roofs without adopting further ordinances.

Click here to learn more.

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SEBC, The Original Regional Industry Trade Show Continues To Grow

With over 20% more of everything – exhibitors, attendees, educational offerings, and networking events – this year’s Southeast Building Conference (SEBC), held on July 27-28, 2017 in Kissimmee, Florida continues to be the place to grow the building industry.

“This year’s show has been sold out with an exhibitor waiting list since the beginning of July,” says Bill Smock, SEBC Committee Chairman and Owner of Gator Plumbing in Bradenton, Florida. “SEBC’s growth is indicative of its ability to gauge the industry; anticipating and capitalizing on the shifts in trends and interests among builders and trade partners.”

During the two-day expo, builders and members of the industry experienced a sold-out trade show that showcased regional and international distributors such as Bosch, PGT Industries, JELD-WEN, Panda Kitchen and Bath, Boral Roofing, and more. Attendees had access to a higher quantity of exhibitors and exceptional quality of engagement.

“There is a reason why SEBC is one of the longest running industry trade shows in the nation,” says Kimberly Scott, SEBC Director. “We remain laser focused on what builders, trade partners, and exhibitors need to make their businesses successful.”

In addition to a sold out expo hall, attendees had access to over 60 hours of education provided by industry leaders. Students learned the latest in design trends, innovative building technology, and marketing developments. Keynote speakers hailed from Builders Design, MetroStudy of Hanley Wood, The Wall Street Journal, and Products Magazine/Professional Builder Magazine (SGC Horizon).

In 2018, SEBC will celebrate 40 years of being the original regional trade show on August 16-17, returning to the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee. For more information on SEBC go to www.sebcshow.com

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Mortgage Tax Breaks are Gateway to Owning Homes for Middle-Income Families

As Congress works to advance tax reform, lawmakers should think twice before taking action to undermine the nation’s existing and longstanding support for homeownership by eliminating or diminishing the effectiveness of the mortgage-interest deduction.

Going down this path would harm the interests of tens of millions of homeowners and those who aspire to own a home. It would also result in severe economic repercussions by reducing the value of the largest asset held by most American families. According to the latest Federal Reserve data, household ownership in real estate currently stands at $23.1 trillion. It only takes a 5 percent drop in home values to wipe out $1 trillion in household wealth. The housing sector is still recovering from the devastation brought about when home values plummeted less than a decade ago and the economy teetered on the edge of a second Depression…read more

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Blower Door Testing FAQs!

Starting July 1, 2017, new home construction will be required to adhere to the recent Blower Door Testing requirements. Thankfully, SkyeTec, FHBA’s Preferred Energy Service Provider, can get you ready now. Click here to check out their helpful FAQs. If you have further questions on the new Blower Door Testing requirements, contact SkyeTec at 866.759.3832.

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