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Lumber prices are going through the roof

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Lumber Framing Home Building

Why are home building costs going up?

Since April 2020, lumber prices across the United States have continued to skyrocket. Prices for the composite price of lumber has been rising to 150%, increasing the cost of a single-family home by more than $16,000 on average.

The price increase is due to a combination of factors. Many lumber mills reduced their production due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. Then, an unanticipated increase in the demand for framing lumber caused a shortage of domestic lumber production. Finally, the extreme volatility in lumber prices has been exacerbated by continued tariffs on Canadian lumber imports, averaging more than 20%.

Back in February and March of 2020, the lumber industry projected that housing would be adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and the mills depleted their inventories. However, there was an increased demand for new homes, and the “mills weren’t prepared,” says MarketWatch in the article, “Lumber prices have skyrocketed — and that’s bad news for home buyers.” The situation is significant because, according to MarketWatch, framing lumber makes up at least 20% of the materials cost of building a home.

NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said that Senior Officers held talks with members of the White House National Economic Council (NEC) on Aug. 28 to discuss the impact that soaring lumber prices are having on the housing industry. “The White House is listening to us,” said Fowke. “They are moving and trying to get something done. They understand the importance of our industry.”

NAHB said that it will continue working on all fronts to find solutions that will ensure U.S. homebuilders have access to a stable supply of lumber at reasonable prices to keep housing affordable for hardworking American families. “The Senior Officers are working hard together to address these issues,” said Fowke. “This has become a top priority for myself and the staff at NAHB.”

Source: http://nahbnow.com/2020/09/national-economic-council-hears-nahb-concerns-on-lumber/

The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) based their findings on any softwood lumber that goes into the average new home. This includes any softwood used in structural framing (including beams, joists, headers, rafters, and trusses), sheathing, flooring and underlayment, interior wall and ceiling finishing, cabinets, doors, windows, roofing, siding, soffit and fascia, and exterior features such as garages, porches, decks, railing, fences and landscape walls.

Along with this are softwood products of varying dimensions (including any that may be appearance grade or pressure treated for outdoor use), plywood, OSB, particleboard, fiberboard, shakes and shingles — any of the products sold by domestic sawmills and tracked on a weekly basis by Random Lengths. Beyond lumber, prices of several other building inputs continue to rise, and average delivery times for many are growing.

In-Office Appointment Update

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We are now accepting some in-office appointments. Effective June 26th, a statewide order requires individuals to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces such as stores, offices and restaurants. The order also requires face masks outdoors when you can’t stay 6 feet apart from others. Any customers that would like to make an in-office appointment must wear a face mask. If you do not have a face mask, we will provide one for you.

We are committed to the safety and health of our clients and staff. Our Home Consultants are also available for phone and video appointments. As previously stated, please contact your local TBH office to make an appointment before stopping by: https://truebuilthome.com/contact

Regards,

Mia Pedersen
CEO
TRUE BUILT HOME

Learn more about the CDC Recommendations for Households

How we are handling COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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May 20th, 2020

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee extended the stay-at-home order through May 31, but some counties are now allowed to operate under Phase 2 of the Safe Start process.

An updated list of counties approved for or pending Phase 2 variance can be seen here: https://mynorthwest.com/1872686/phases-counties-washington-reopen-inslee/

Our Home Consultants are available for phone and video appointments. Contact the branch closest to you: https://truebuilthome.com/contact

Regards,

Mia Pedersen
CEO
TRUE BUILT HOME

Learn more about the CDC Recommendations for Households

May 4th, 2020

To all of our Clients:

On April 24th, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee made an announcement to restart low-risk construction projects. This Phase 1 Construction restart will only include existing projects. Further clarification explained that existing projects only include projects with a government-issued permit obtained prior to March 23rd, 2020.

This restart order comes with a 30-point safety requirement plan that all contractors must follow. Some of the highlights are:

  1. Restart existing construction projects with COVID-19 safety plans that allow work that only can be performed while meeting social distancing requirements.
  2. All job sites must have a handwashing station and garbage receptacles.
  3. Prior to recommencing work, all contractors are required to develop and post a comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control, mitigation, and recovery plan at each job site.
  4. All contractors are required to post a written notice to employees, subcontractors, and government officials the work that will be performed at that job site and a signed commitment to adhere to the requirements.
  5. All contractors have a general obligation to keep a safe and healthy job site in accordance with state and federal law.
  6. All contractors are required to keep a Jobsite Visitor Log. This will be kept on the job site, and EVERYONE who visits the job site is required to fill in and sign the log.

True Built Home’s production team has been working hard since the week following the order to ensure that we are complying with the established requirements before commencing any work. This pandemic is a challenge unlike anything we have ever experienced before, thus high safety standards are essential.

We are pleased to inform our clients of our ability to move forward and resume construction on existing projects! I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your cooperation and understanding during these times. It certainly has been challenging and frustrating at times in an effort to adhere to the Executive Order, but your patience and willingness to cooperate with the direction is greatly appreciated.

We will continue to monitor the situation and inform our team as to any new developments and to ensure that we are keeping up with the safety requirements. Finally, we ask that you please be sure to schedule any visits to your job site with your Project Manager and have the proper PPE requirements whenever you meet with our Project Managers on site.

Regards,

Mia Pedersen
CEO
TRUE BUILT HOME

Learn more about the CDC Recommendations for Households

April 3rd, 2020

Washington State Governor Inslee just extended his emergency “Stay at Home” order until the end of May 4th, 2020. Although there have been efforts to petition Residential Construction to be put into inclusion for Essential Business, we haven’t heard any changes to this effect.

At this time, our Washington Office will remain closed until the order is lifted. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will post an update as they become available. NOTE: Our Oregon branch is not affected at this time, and will continue to be available by appointment-only until further notice.

Thank you for your continued patience and let’s keep on doing our part to halt the spread of the virus.

Sincerely,

Mia Pedersen
CEO
TRUE BUILT HOME

March 15th, 2020

Since its declaration as a public health emergency on January 30th, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic has had and continues to have, an unprecedented impact around the world. In this challenging time, the safety of our employees, customers, and partners is True Built Home’s highest priority.

Things in Washington state have changed considerably since yesterday. An updated memorandum by Governor Inslee has declared that construction is not an essential activity (Click here to read the memo). Business as usual for the construction industry is now no business at all. Although disappointing, we need to do our part to help stop the spread of the virus. This will take effect immediately until April 8th with the possibility to go longer. NOTE: Our Oregon branch is not affected at this time, and will continue to be available by appointment-only until further notice.

For our customers who are still in Design Process, our designers will continue working on your plan and communicating with you through CoConstruct to complete this phase. This will allow you to move forward and submit for permits since the online permitting office continues to be open.

Given the fluidity of the situation, we are closely monitoring all developments to actively respond wherever appropriate.  We will keep you fully informed of any changes and remain available to you for any questions or concerns.

Please take care of yourself and your family and know that you can contact us through our CoConstruct platform at any time.

Regards,

Mia Pedersen
CEO
TRUE BUILT HOME

Learn more about the CDC Recommendations for Households

3 Great Outdoor Upgrades You Can Do to Your Brand-New Home

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Image Source: Pexels.com

Many people dream of becoming homeowners after a certain point in their lives. The beauty of having your own place is a unique experience which is irreplaceable in one’s life. This is something that anyone living on their own can gladly confirm.

However, you won’t ever find a flawless property. Just by watching a couple of shows with people picking out residences, you will realize that there’s always something you’re not happy with. If you’re in the market for buying a new house, keep in mind that there isn’t one that is perfect right off the bat.

Home Outdoor Upgrades

Even if your potential investment looks great on the inside, the outside might still need a bit of sprucing up. But don’t worry, because you can make it look even better with a few quick and easy upgrades. Here are the best three that you can try.

1.     Install Reflective Shingles

Working a bit on updating your new home’s roof is a great project that will not only make it look more aesthetically pleasing overall, but it will also raise the quality of your living condition. By installing a more effective roof temperature-wise, you will reduce up to fifteen percent in cooling and heating costs.

To do this, you will need reflective shingles which absorb solar radiation and immediately reemit the absorbed heat. And the best part is they come in a great variety of colors and finished to suit any design tastes and ideas that you might have.

One important thing to remember is that there are many complexities to building and upgrading a roof, so don’t be afraid to bring in professional assistance if needed. Furthermore, this special kind of solar tiles needs a particular amount of attention when put in, and a contractor can surely aid you with that.

2.     Light Up Your Front Porch

When your friends or parents visit your new home for the very first time, the porch and front door will be what they make an initial impression on. To ensure that your living space is cozy and comfortable for everyone, how you choose to light the entrance into it is crucial.

According to HGTV, the way your front porch and entrance are lit sets the tone of your entire residence. To make your home more inviting to any possible guests and yourself as well, you can add surface-mounted lanterns for more luminosity.

This improvement changes the face of your surroundings entirely, but it can also be an important security element. Some makes and models of porch lights come with integrated surveillance cameras that are so well hidden, possible intruders won’t even know they’re being watched.

3.     Plant a New Garden

A new garden changes the feel of your surroundings tremendously. Just imagine a varied array of flowers and trees just outside your window that greet you each morning and brighten up your day. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Depending on your budget and neighborhood of choice, your potential home might already have a garden. But chances are that it could do with some upgrading. Flower beds are the most convenient addition because you can pick and choose your elements freely and the process stays pretty much the same.

Another worthwhile idea is planting a rain garden to divert any excess water away from the house and to the plants that reside nearby. Not only is this an incredible eco-friendly landscaping option that will add to the area overall, but it can be put together with only native plants.

Conclusion

Upgrading your new residence’s exterior doesn’t have to be a costly or time-consuming endeavor. With just a few simple additions, you can change the feel and appearance of your surroundings completely. On top of that, these upgrades also serve more than just aesthetical purposes. They are functional and raise the value of your property on the market.

Reflective roofing looks great, but it also cuts down on cooling and heating costs for your house. New porch lights make the entire place more inviting, but they can also serve as an important security element and help you monitor your home. And finally, a small and cleverly positioned garden will help keep rain water away from the actual building and send it where it belongs.

Whatever upgrade you might choose, the best one must improve the area not only visually, but also functionally. Raising its effectiveness by making it look better at the same time is the best decision you can take.

Author Bio: A fresh Engineering Design graduate with a keen interest in all things DIY, Vincent West is the mastermind of www.theplumbinginfo.com. He has worked on a handful of home improvement projects. And now he’s eager to spread the word on what he has learned.

Solar Tiles for Roofing – Wave of the Future, or is the Price Higher Than The Sun?

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First, if you are reading this you likely have an interest in roof tile solar energy, or you just crave all things solar. I, on the other hand, often force myself to write blog posts because I want to learn all I can about a particular subject, or for that matter learn to intelligently pronounce certain words within an industry, like photo-voltaic! Although fascinated with solar generated power, I am always “on the job training” all the time within this space. My goal is always to attempt to take complicated things and simplify them for myself and others. Let’s see what we can learn.

True Built Home started getting requests several months ago when news of solar tiles from a company named Solar City was bought out or purchased by Elon Musk’s company Tesla. Interestingly my perspective was, “I like the way those big solar panels appear on rooftops”. However, much to my surprise others felt differently: unsightly, ugly, even dangerous if a gale force wind comes along.
In a statement in October 2016, Mr. Musk said this, “I think there’s quite a radical difference between having solar panels on your roof that actually make your house look better versus ones that do not, I think it’s going to be a night-and-day difference”. Well, that has been addressed and it appears to be the wave of the future for new roofs and roof replacements. But, here’s the rub: cost.

It has been written and repeated over the internet in news articles, company releases, blog posts, and more, that these new roof tiles will cost less than a typical 30 yr. architectural roof product. Let’s just say that typically a roof for a 2,100-2,500 square foot home with a standard two-car garage costs about 10k to install. From what we have likely all read, this seems to be repeated about the cost, “Our roof costs less than an equivalent roof, with projected savings from your utility bill.” It’s important to notice the “with” in that statement. The Tesla folks are projecting future savings into the cost equivalent of having the new tiles placed – based upon your monthly electric bill cost. That may present a problem for many of us here in the Pacific NW, because we often have the cheapest rates in the country. I am not sure what cost per KW that they are using for their projections, so costs will vary quite a bit. Now since I have done my research, perhaps you can help: I have not found an actual cost associated with those tiles. If I had to figure it out, it would take me some time to do so. Are the tiles 30 or 50-year life? What will be the cost of installation be? Will someone need to be certified by Tesla to guarantee the product against future failure or problems? Can we afford it, and does it make sense for our PNW customers?

We are eager to install this type of roof, but as of May 2017 we still do not have a cost that we can use to compare with what a traditional roof costs. I do know that a regular panel solar roof can run around 20-30k depending on what you want to accomplish in your home. From my perspective, that is at least 3 to 4-times the cost of our typical conventional roof tile. So, what typically might cost 5% of a new home, now we are looking at significantly more.

With an estimated 4-5 million new home roofs being installed annually, Mr. Musk and Tesla want to tap into that market in a big way. Will they? The wave of the future is here, but will the cost of buying, installing, etc. be too costly for us to ride?

Hear what Mr. Musk has to say about roof tiles

This is a link to a local company that covers both Washington and Oregon, but I don’t think anyone as of May 2017 knows the cost of these solar tiles yet.

38th Annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival

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What could be better than an evening of wine, food, and fun?

It’s that time of year again: the 38th Annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival is coming to Kennewick this Saturday, November 12! Reserve your tickets now for a night you won’t want to miss: http://www.tricitieswinesociety.com/tri-cities-wine-festival.html. There is never a dull day in the Tri-Cities area. If you’re looking to relocate to Kennewick, let us at True Built Home build you a home tailored to your needs: http://truebuilthome.com/.

11-10-16

Spokane Valley Heritage Museum

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Explore the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum!

11-8-16

If you’re ever in the Spokane area, you have to check out the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum! A treasure trove of fascinating historical artifacts, the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum is a must-see for any history lover. Stop by this Saturday, November 12, for the museum’s 12th annual Heritage Program and Luncheon focusing on electric transportation from the early 20th century. More information is available at: http://www.valleyheritagecenter.org/index.html. If you’re looking to move to the Spokane area, we at True Built Home have you covered. Contact us today and see how we can help you build your dream home at: http://truebuilthome.com/.

Best of Portland Walking Tour

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11-3-16Touring Portland

Portland is recognized as one of the best cities to live in nationwide, but what makes Portland so special? Find out for yourself on the Portland Walking Tour, held every day throughout November at 10am, 2pm, and 5pm:

http://www.portlandwalkingtours.com/tours/best-of-portland-city-tour/.

Tour Portland once and you’ll never want to leave! If you’re looking to move to the Portland area, at True Built Home we can help you move into a home custom tailored to your needs: http://truebuilthome.com/.

The Whisky Extravaganza

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11-1-16The 2016 Whisky Extravaganza is almost here!

On Friday, November 11, the Whisky Extravaganza will be coming to Seattle, Washington! Lovers of whisky won’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity to sample the finest whiskies from all over the world. Ticketing and other information is available at: http://www.thewhiskyextravaganza.com/. With events like this happening nearly every day, it’s no wonder that so many people are looking to relocate to Seattle. At True Built Home, we will work with you to help you build your dream home in the Seattle area: http://truebuilthome.com/.