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    Home Truths: The challenges of East Bay home renovations (and a possible solution) – Berkeleyside - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Photo: Red Oak Realty

    One of the most challenging parts about owning a home is performing renovations. Unless you are a designer or architect, knowing the best design options and the most reliable vendors can be nearly impossible to navigate. In addition, managing the home improvement projects can be rife with challenges.

    Red Oak agents have seen a host of problems, from owners causing vertigo with a bad combination of penny tile and dark grout, to contractors ordering the wrong products, forgetting to add a cabinet or simply not showing up. Its no wonder that home renovations reportedly make 12% of couples consider divorce.

    These challenges are only exacerbated when doing renovations in preparation for a home sale. In January 2021, three-bedroom single family homes in Berkeley sold in an average of just 14 days, requiring that sellers be ready to move quickly. The stress of choosing the vendors, making the design decisions, managing the workload while moving all of a familys belongings, coupled with worrying about buyer response can be downright overwhelming. And with COVID-19 driving up demand along with the cost of labor and materials managing the process with a tight deadline has proven to be even more difficult.

    Today Red Oak Realty is excited to announce Enhance, a thoughtful new program for East Bay sellers to improve their property before they sell. They do not pay until after the property closes, and its particularly special because they also dont have to manage the project or vendors. Instead, the project is handled by a team of professionals, including a licensed and insured general contractor, professional designers and project managers who make thoughtful, on-trend and budget-friendly decisions while showcasing the homes best features, all of which likely leads to a higher sales price.

    The work is performed through Red Oaks exclusive relationship with The Home Co., a respected women-owned interior design, construction and staging company that has been servicing the East Bay since 2007. From design choices to painting, tiling, staging and landscaping, every aspect of the project is thoughtfully and professionally managed by a team of insured professionals.

    Enhance covers up to $40,000 in project work, which might include small remodels, repairs and staging. After a walkthrough to scope the project, The Home Co. provides the seller with a proposed budget to approve, then handles the entire project from start to finish. There are no invoices, no haggling, no incomplete projects or vendors that hold up the timeline as its all sourced through one company who oversees every detail. Projects stay within their timeframe, and more importantly they stay completely within budget every time.

    Red Oak has been running a pilot program since late last year. Two properties are closing this month and several more in process. The results have been outstanding! The owners of 679 59th Street in Oakland used an Enhance budget of $39,750 to renovate and stage their home. They listed on Jan. 7 and received eight offers after just six days. The property sold at $950,000, 40% over the list price. Here are a few before and after photos:

    5443 Brookdale Ave, Oakland used a $40,000 Enhance budget, received 15 offers in 7 days, and broke the Laurel neighborhood record for a 2 bedroom home under 1,300 square feet. Enhance helped to make dramatic changes:

    If you think you might need help renovating your home for sale, reach out to your Red Oak agent or learn more about Enhance.

    See the rest here:
    Home Truths: The challenges of East Bay home renovations (and a possible solution) - Berkeleyside

    Residential construction surging in the midst of COVID – Pamplin Media Group - February 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Local residential construction businesses report an upward trend in a labor market that otherwise is in a downward slide

    Amid an economic downturn, there has been one sector in Central Oregon that has risen to the top and seen an increase in the employment market.

    "Here in Central Oregon, the construction sector has largely avoided the employment losses seen by other industries through the COVID shock," commented Regional Economist for the Oregon Employment Department Damon Runberg. "Crook County's construction sector is likely up by 2-3% over the past year, and Deschutes County's construction sector is largely unchanged from 2019."

    In the bigger picture, Oregon shows a different story with construction employment down 4.6% over the past year (-5,000 jobs). However, most of those losses are concentrated in the commercial sector.

    "There have actually been notable gains of 3.6% in the residential building sector due to increased demand for housing fueled by low interest rates and demographics," added Runberg. "I expect to see strong employment gains in the construction sector in 2021 with Deschutes County's new residential building permits up nearly 19% in 2020 over levels in 2019."

    Local construction businesses have also seen this trend, with commercial building down from years pastespecially during COVID.

    Wes York of York Painting has a painting business in Crook County, which he began in 2008. He has seen a huge increase in his business during the past yearwhich he attributes to the need for housing.

    "I guess it would be the demand for housing, because it is extremely busy," York emphasized. "Actually, it seems like when COVID started, it got busier. We have had probably the best year we ever had last year."

    He added that it was in all areas of his business, including jobs in existing and new structures. They paint new and remodeled homes primarily in Crook County.

    "Everybody I know has got so much work they are trying to give me their work. I am constantly telling people no and giving them other painter's phone numbers," York concluded.

    "With construction, you have to remember there are sort of two sides to it, and the two sides have very different trends because of COVID shock," said Runberg. "You have commercial construction, which has generally taken a hit because of COVID."

    He went on to say that with residential building construction, the trend has been positive and one of the few industries that has seen any sizeable or significant growth over the past year. Runberg added that in Central Oregon, residential building is the bulkor meat and potatoes of the local building construction sector of the industry. In larger urban areas, the commercial construction are larger employers and have taken a bigger hit because of COVID.

    "For instance, here in Oregon, over the past yearcomparing December 2020 to December 2019, residential building construction employment is up 3.6%, whereas the total non-farm employment and the economy as a whole in Oregon employment remains down over 9.1%. A huge difference between the broad trend we are seeing in employment and what is happening in residential building construction."

    Chad Howard Construction has been in business for 14 years in Crook County. Howard commented that he has seen an increase in new residential construction during the past year.

    "We have seen an increase in it," Howard emphasized. "Through this COVID, a lot of people are finding out that with Zoom meetings, you can keep your job in a different area. We are seeing some people move in that probably wouldn't have moved if COVID hadn't even come up, because now they work from home, and they get to pick their desirable place to live."

    He added that he thought this might be a small portion of the construction, but he forecasts an increase in this dynamic. He also worries about top-down politics and how that will affect the construction business in the near future.

    Randy Hamon of Hamon Roofing works mostly in re-roofing on existing homes, although they have added more new construction jobs in the past three years. Although the uptick in the construction has been evident in Central Oregon, it does not affect businesses like Hamon's as significantly.

    "I think there is a little bit more new construction, and we have been doing a little bit more each year for the last two or three years it seems like in Crook County," commented Hamon. "Most of our work is residential re-roofing. We do work for four or five general contractors, and they all seem to be busy all the time. It's definitely on the uptick right now."


    Damon Runberg

    Regional Economist

    Serving the East Cascades of Oregon

    Oregon Employment Department

    Phone: 541-706-0779

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts.Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

    Residential construction surging in the midst of COVID - Pamplin Media Group

    Clarifications and concerns shared on city general contractor ordinance – Wyoming Tribune - February 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    During the Laramie City Council meeting on Feb. 2, there was much discussion about a proposed general contractor licensing ordinance. This ordinance would add section 15.24.015 to the Laramie Municipal Code to provide licensing of general contractors working in the city limits of Laramie.

    This ordinance was introduced as a means to provide a level of safety, public health, and general welfare through the building industry.

    We have been talking about this [ordinance] since the fall [of 2020]. Over several weeks, city staff met with a number of contractors to put together some of these guidelines, said Ward 3 Council member Pat Gabriel, who introduced the ordinance in 2020. Its purpose is to provide validity to the contracting profession, and create a better end product. Its about consumer protection. He added that this ordinance is similar to many other communities in the region, and that Laramie isnt reinventing anything. This is a way to catch up with the times.

    A number of members of the public showed up to the meeting, some in response to a Laramie Boomerang article published Jan. 31. According to several council members, some of the information provided in this article was misleading or incorrect.; such as stating that the ordinance would disallow anyone who is not a Laramie licensed general contractor to perform residential or commercial-related construction. This was inaccurate. During the first reading of the ordinance, City Council added amending language to say that this ordinance would apply to anyone who does contract work for compensation.

    Homeowners working on their primary residence do not need to be a licensed general contractor. In fact, homeowners have been able to do all work requiring a permit on their primary residence as long as the homeowner conducts the work and obtains the permits, said Todd Feezer, assistant city manager, in response to the inaccuracies in the article. For business owners, there is a large realm of work that can be conducted that is exempt from permitting. These items include flooring, painting, sheetrock repair, and like-for-like replacement of windows, cabinets and doors.

    However, Feezer explained that any work conducted that currently requires a permit in the commercial realm should be conducted by licensed trade contractor. He explained that permitting becomes necessary when structural changes are made to commercial or rental properties. Examples of this would be moving an entire doorway, or enlarging the size of a window. If this ordinance is passed, work conducted that requires a permit in the commercial realm would need to be conducted by a licensed general contractor.

    This ordinance mirrors what Laramie already has in place for licensing for trades people, Feezer said. He explained that it does not change anything with the citys permitting or code.

    If you do this work for compensation, youre basically committing that you will license a business that will prove you have workers compensation insurance, that you will hire permitted tradesmen, and that you will have a Qualified Supervisor on Record (QSOR) on your staff, Feezer explained. A QSOR is an individual hired by a contractor who has taken the ICC test to show that they have the experience and ability to build at certain levels. In some cases, a general contractor and QSOR might be the same individual.

    Another correction to the Jan. 31 article should be noted in regards to the fees for the initial license and renewal. A new Class A contractor licensing fee would be $500, and renewal fee is $200. Similarly, Class B and Class R new fees are $450, and renewal is $150. The Class C new fee would be $300, and $75 for renewal.

    Council member Jessica Stalder (Ward 1) expressed her wariness of the ordinance.

    I think many part-time contractors may drop out of the market, she said. I think what that will do is increase the cost and the time it takes anyone to get a general contractor. She added that this would make it more difficult for development.

    Affordable housing is contingent on housing availability and this might make it more difficult to build more housing. She also expressed concern about the timing of ordinance during COVID-19 because it may add more burden and roadblocks to businesses during an already difficult time.

    Stalders concerns were echoed in the public comment portion of the discussion.

    Im pro-business and pro-expansion, and I dont like the restrictions. If you pass this, I think youre going to see rents go up, and housing costs go up. I think youre going to see delayed repairs, said Klaus Halbsgut, business owner and resident of Laramie. He added that its important to consider the unintended consequences, such as restricting business development.

    If a contractor does a bad job, word will spread, Halbsgut said while explaining why he felt the ordinance was unnecessary.

    Concerns about repair delays and construction log jams were reprised in other public comments. Some members of the public reiterated Halbsguts proposition that the contractor market in Laramie will self-regulate through informal community public relations.

    Ward 3 Council member Erin ODoherty disagreed with the assumption that bad contractors will get weeded out naturally. She added that people moving to Laramie who are unfamiliar with the community do not have the luxury of knowing the reputations of contractors prior to moving to the city.

    Towards the end of the discussion, Council member Andrea Summerville (Ward 1) suggested adding clarifying language on what type of work would be exempt from this ordinance for the next reading. The City Council unanimously voted in favor of this direction.

    The second reading of the general contractor licensing ordinance passed with amendments. A third reading will occur at the next regular meeting of the Laramie City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 16. This meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Public comment will be welcome during this meeting.

    Read the rest here:
    Clarifications and concerns shared on city general contractor ordinance - Wyoming Tribune

    Volunteers making progress updating Grand Mound Community Center – Clinton Herald - February 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    GRAND MOUND Sarah Beuthien tries not to stop by every night to check on the progress being made on the remodeling project at the Grand Mound Community Center.

    But the president of the Grand Mound Community Center Board admitted its not easy.

    After all, improvements are happening every day, and Beuthien said theyre nothing short of amazing.

    The renovation, which officially began Dec. 28, is long overdue, she noted.

    The building, located at 510 Smith St., was constructed in 1987. Aside from putting a fresh coat of paint on the interior of the center, nothing within the last 10 years or so has been updated.

    Beuthien, who moved with her family to Grand Mound 17 years ago, said the community center board typically meets once a quarter to address any kind of issues or concerns regarding the center.

    Last year, however, members met more frequently to plan and discuss the renovation project.

    The list of improvements includes painting the entire center and the kitchen cabinets, all new flooring, new countertops in the bathrooms and kitchen, new thermostats, new hardware on the doors, new ceiling fans, new trim throughout, and new bathroom partitions.

    We have been waiting to remodel for some time now, Beuthien related. We were seeing a decline in the number of center rentals, and it was pretty obvious the center was not aesthetically pleasing to the eye. People want to have a nice background for pictures at their events.

    Events held at the community center include the towns annual COMBO sale, trivia nights, the firefighters chicken dinner and breakfast, the Halloween BOO Bash, the 50-Plus dinner, baby showers, reunions and wedding receptions.

    The total cost of the project will fall between $30,000 and $35,000. Beuthien said the board agreed to launch a letter campaign asking for donations.

    The response to that campaign has proven how much the community wants to see the center thrive.

    We have raised just over $30,000 so far, Beuthien said. We were overwhelmed with the community support we received and continue to receive. We are still asking for donations. Since we arent finished yet, there is still the potential of an unexpected expense. We also noticed the paint on the front of the building is beginning to bubble, so that will need to be addressed in the very near future.

    Mike Lawson, a Grand Mound resident, offered to be the project manager and has worked with various contractors to arrange the work that needs to be done.

    Beuthien said without Lawson, the numerous volunteers, individuals, businesses and the city itself, the project would almost certainly take longer to complete.

    In the meantime, no events will be held.

    We cant thank everyone enough, Beuthien shared. The community center is the hub of our community. If we didnt have the center, I could see several events discontinued simply due to not having a location to locally host them. We hope to appeal to more people with these updates, which will, in turn, make for more rentals.

    Beuthien said organizers are anticipating the work will be done in early February and likely will schedule an open house event sometime in March.

    Anyone wishing to donate to the project may send a check to: Grand Mound Community Center, Box 283, Grand Mound, IA 52751.

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    We are making critical coverage of the coronavirus available for free. Please consider subscribing so we can continue to bring you the latest news and information on this developing story.

    Kate Howes is a staff writer with the DeWitt Observer.

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    Volunteers making progress updating Grand Mound Community Center - Clinton Herald

    Wallauer Paint & Design readies for its 100th anniversary – Westfair Online - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Small-business survival rates are rather grim. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of small businesses nationwide fail within the first year, while nearly 50% have failed by their fifth year and only one-third of these endeavors are able to survive by their 10th year.

    Wallauer Paint & Design is something of an anomaly. In 2021, the family owned and operated business will celebrate its 100th anniversary. According to company President Edward Klein, the secret to this longevity is no secret at all.

    It really comes down to having a knowledgeable group of people that know their craft, as well as providing great customer service and relying on the word of mouth that this has to be the go-to place for home improvement locally, he said.

    The company was started by paint salesman Clarence Wallauer as a single-store operation in White Plains. Klein noted that Wallauer not only survived the Great Depression, but managed to open a second location in 1935. Wallauer passed the ownership reins to his son-in-law Robert Duncan, who later passed it on to his son, Robert Duncan Jr., who brought it into the fourth generation with his daughters Debbie and Donna co-owning the business.

    Today, Wallauer maintains a flagship store in White Plains and has 14 retail operations across Westchester and the Hudson Valley region. Its newest location opened in October in Nanuet when the company acquired the locally owned retailer Paley Paints. Unlike many independent operations that have been forced out of business due to competition from the big box retailers, Wallauer has met the challenge of the XL-sized competition by teaming with a major name in the painting industry.

    A big part of our foundation comes off of our relationship with Benjamin Moore, Klein said. Weve been selling Benjamin Moore for the 100 years that weve been in business. Its the most sought-after brand. Theyre a fantastic partner. I worked there for 17 years and the CEO and myself are very, very close.

    Klein added that Wallauer was the seventh largest Benjamin Moore dealer in North America and the availability of the brand has given the company a local advantage.

    The painting contractors, first and foremost, come to us versus going to Home Depot or Lowes, he said.

    Klein also noted that the Wallauer customers have longstanding relationships with the retail store teams, who are more than familiar with the inventory.

    We have the true experts, he stated. Id say the average tenure of our employees was probably close to 20 years. Youre not dealing with somebody at minimum wage who maybe doesnt really know about the colors theyre selling youre talking to professionals who could match colors with an eye.

    As the company prepares for its 100th year, it is still reeling from an unexpectedly hectic 99th year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Klein noted that with many people moored at home during the pandemic, a new wave of do-it-yourself home improvement projects helped keep Wallauers very busy.

    Our consumer side of the business has boomed this year, he said. We added Ace Hardware to many of our stores and they have significantly benefited. A lot of Benjamin Moore and other different dealers did either curbside pickup or delivered, but they werent open for weeks or for a couple of months, but we kept the doors opened in all stores. A lot of people chose to come to us that possibly were going to Home Depot or Lowes because they didnt want to wait on those lines, and so weve added a lot of new customers, coupled with our core base.

    Klein also noted that contractors whose work went on hold when the pandemic took root returned to the store in June when businesses began to reopen and stalled projects were suddenly back in motion.

    Our painting contractors are a big part of our business, he said. We had a very, very strong year, I would say we had a record year, and thats coming off of a record year last year.

    However, Klein admitted that the companys centennial celebrations will not be an immediate priority due to the ongoing public health crisis.

    When I look back a year ago, we had all of these great ideas with events and everything else, he said about the 100th anniversary.

    Its hard right now to say what we have scheduled as it pertains to events because weve got to get clearly through Covid. When we can, we are going to want to have an event its just a matter of how were going to be able to turn it on.

    Read the original post:
    Wallauer Paint & Design readies for its 100th anniversary - Westfair Online

    $20 Million TSCA/Lead-Based Paint Penalty: Expensive Reminder to Manage and Audit Contractors Joint Regulatory Liabilities – JD Supra - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Renovation of homes built before 1978 frequently disturbs lead-based paint (LBP) and poses significant health risks, particularly for children. For this reason, companies that perform or subcontract renovation services are required to provide very specific, written LBP warnings and education materials to residents. Failure to comply with these obligations can result in significant penalties for non-compliance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces these rules on all companies that perform renovations for compensation. This means that retail sellers of renovation products (e.g., windows or woodwork) can face EPA enforcement for noncompliance even where they subcontract installation to third parties.

    On Dec. 17, U.S. EPA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a nationwide settlement with Home Depot related to home renovations that occurred between 2013 and 2019. The settlement resolves alleged violations of the EPAs Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule involving renovations performed by Home Depots contractors across the country on homes built before 1978. EPA identified hundreds of instances in which Home Depot failed to contract renovations or repairs with certified contractors, as well as instances in which Home Depot failed to establish, retain, or provide the required documentation to demonstrate compliance with the RRP Rule.

    EPAs proposed settlement with Home Depot includes a $20.75 million penaltythe largest such penalty to-date under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

    Compliance Lessons

    Companies in the construction industry and beyond can learn several significant lessons from the Home Depot violations, including the importance of:

    Read the original post:
    $20 Million TSCA/Lead-Based Paint Penalty: Expensive Reminder to Manage and Audit Contractors Joint Regulatory Liabilities - JD Supra

    Mumbai: Cooper hospitals model vaccination centre to be ready today – The Indian Express - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A 4,000 square feet building right opposite the Dr RN Cooper hospitals canteen in Mumbai was earlier supposed to be used as a hostel. In March, it was converted into an isolation facility for Covid-19 patients. On December 29, work to convert it into a model vaccination centre began.

    Over 30 labourers are now working on war footing day and night to prepare the model centre in Cooper hospital. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked contractor Eckon to hand over the centre by Monday night.

    Cooper hospital, along with seven BMC hospitals, has been selected for the first phase of immunisation of healthcare workers. Mumbai has registered 1.26 lakh heathcare workers for vaccination in the first phase.

    On Sunday, the Drug Controller General of India approved emergency restricted use of Serum Institute of Indias Covishield and Bharat Biotechs Covaxin vaccines.

    BMC officials said they expect the vaccine roll out to begin soon and have asked contractors to speed up work. On Sunday evening, labourers were busy painting chairs for waiting areas at Cooper hospital, with some setting up beds and some finishing off electrical work.

    We began civil work last week and have only a day to finish work. We are not changing the basic infrastructure since it was already being used as an isolation ward, an on site Eckon contractor said. While the K West ward is handling drainage and installation of curtains or partitions, BMCs maintenance department is going to set up signages.

    The centre will have a waiting area under a shed at the entrance. The registration will be done in a corridor, which leads into three vaccination rooms. In each room, around five persons can be vaccinated at a time.

    An observation room further down the corridor will have several chairs to monitor each vaccinated beneficiary for half an hour. In case of anaphylactic reaction or severe adverse effects, the beneficiary will be transferred to two other rooms that house beds and emergency medical equipment.

    Dr Pinakin Gujjar, Dean of Cooper hospital, said a team of specialists from anaesthesia, ENT, chest and general medicine will be available to handle severe adverse effects. We did not have to spend a lot on the centre, we just had to spruce up the existing facility. We are installing water cooler and repairing toilets, said Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani.

    BMC currently has selected five storage centres in KEM, Nair, Sion and Cooper hospitals as well as the F South health office where the first batch of vaccine will be stocked. A nodal storage facility is, meanwhile, under construction in Kanjurmarg.

    The Cooper hospital vaccination centre can vaccinate 2,000 people a day. Ten teams will be deputed to work in two shifts for the purpose.

    With Cooper hospital being the main vaccination centre in western suburbs, BMC is mulling over creating a token system at the registration counter. It is possible that a huge crowd comes at the same time for vaccination. To prevent overcrowding at the verification counter, a token will be issued to beneficiaries to create a waiting list and house them in the waiting area, Kakani said.

    Follow this link:
    Mumbai: Cooper hospitals model vaccination centre to be ready today - The Indian Express

    This Entrepreneur Made Two Million By Mastering The Art Of Membership Sites – Forbes - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    This Entrepreneur Made Two Million By Mastering The Art Of Membership Sites | Stephanie Burns

    What started off as the worst thing to happen in Jennifer Allwoods career eventually turned into the best. Back in 2000, she was laid off from her software development job.

    I broke down in tears, says Allwood. Until I realized that I was grieving a job that I actually hated. What she loved was her evening side hustle: using paint to turn the kitchen cabinets of her Kansas City, Missouri, neighbors from drab to fab. It was that December that Allwood decided to trade a pager and pantyhose for paint brushes and overallsfull time.

    Allwood had kicked off her painting business making $90K a year from it as a part time venture. By 2014, she was running a thriving interior painting business that brought in multiple six-figure revenue every year. That was enough to support her, her family of five (now six!), and a team of painters. But it was a massive drain on her energy and her time. She was burning the candle at both ends offering in-home painting and design services to clients plus answering business questions by email, one at a time, to every entrepreneur who reached out to her wondering how she was seeing so much success. Something had to change. Thankfully she came upon two perfect solutions for her new problem.

    Now, Jennifer Allwood is a business coach to creatives who runs a multi- seven figure a year company. Shes the author of the #1 best-selling book, Fear is Not the Boss of You.

    Heres how this business coach to creatives went from being laid off to becoming a multi-millionaire with time to spare. Follow her advice to fast-track yourself to similar success.

    This Entrepreneur Made Two Million By Mastering The Art Of Membership Sites | Stephanie Burns

    Stephanie Burns: Some people take the leap into entrepreneurship while others get pushed. You were already running a successful business part time when you were laid off. Why not take the leap sooner?

    Jennifer Allwood: I was always taught to do responsible adult things: get a good paying job with a matched 401k and paid time off, work hard for a raise every year and then have fun after you retire. I knew I wanted more out of life, but I was too scared to leave that security blanket on my own. Getting laid off was incredibly stressful for a period of time. I remember laying in bed at night with my stomach in knots. But it was the one thing that forced me to evaluate what it was that I really wanted out of my life and gave me the opportunity to go after it.

    Burns: How were you able to get your business off the ground and running as a busy mom?

    Allwood: When I started the painting company, I didnt have kids but I did get pregnant that very first year. Our budget was tight. But tight places often yield big opportunities. I was desperate to not have to go back to a 9 to 5 desk job, so I got scrappy. I visited every designer that I could in person and if I couldnt get them in person, Id call them. By 2014, I had three kids, my husband was working long days in his corporate sales job, and I was feeling like there just wasnt enough return in our bank account for the amount of hours I was working. After taxes, tithing and paying my contractors, there just didnt seem to be anything left. So once again, I got scrappy. I took what I was doing in client homes and started teaching online tutorials of the very same processes to my social media audience. The videos alone brought in six figures in just a years time. As an entrepreneur, if youre feeling like the wheels are about to come off the bus and youre not seeing results, think about what you do well offline or one-to-one and how you can bring it into the online space and make it one-to-many.

    This Entrepreneur Made Two Million By Mastering The Art Of Membership Sites | Stephanie Burns

    Burns: Its really easy as an entrepreneur to spread yourself thin trying to do all the things. How can we streamline and still be massively successful?

    Allwood: Like a lot of women right now, particularly in the age of COVID-19, I realized in my second year of business that I simply did not have enough hours in the day to be a mom, be a wife, run a business and still have energy left for anything else. So I quickly learned how to outsource things that didnt need me. I hired other painters and trained them the way that I wanted the work done. Then, after a couple of years I hired somebody to help me with the emails and administrative tasks. Wanting to control every single thing in your business comes from a place of pride in thinking no one can do it as good as you. I traded my ego for my time back and thats a trade worth making!

    Burns: What got you interested in even starting a membership site?

    Allwood: After I began selling tutorials online, so many people reached out to me online. They were asking for advice because they watched my social media and saw my business blowing up. At first I didnt want a membership group because I didnt consider myself a teacher. But I knew I could reach more people inside of a paid group than I could through coaching one-on-one. The one-to-one business model works for some, but when you can transition your business to a one-to-many model, you are allowing yourself to scale in a considerable way and create more time for your personal life. Im able to work when I want and Im able to step away and be a mom when my family needs me.

    Burns: How did you get your membership site to go from 500k to 2 million in just one year?

    Allwood: For a couple of years I ran the membership on an open cart model, meaning people could join at any time for $47 a month. But I felt like we just couldnt make it over this $500k a year hump that I had been trying to surmount for a long time. So at the advice of business coach and membership guru, Stu McLaren, I decided to pivot to a closed cart model where we only accepted new members a few times a year. We told my audience that we would be closing enrollment and in that 10 day period, we added 1,100 new paying members which was the game changer for my business. Oftentimes youll have clients who stall at making a decision and so if you can force them into action, youd be surprised at how many will finally make a move and sign up!

    This Entrepreneur Made Two Million By Mastering The Art Of Membership Sites | Stephanie Burns

    Burns: How did you work on retaining members in the group?

    Allwood: I refined the content that I shared. People will quit a membership when they feel like they cant keep up with the teachings and theyre overwhelmed. Instead of deluging my members with content, I reminded myself that less is more. I also created high touch offers. Sometimes people need a consultant more than group coaching. So for people who werent getting enough out of the membership, I gave them the ability to upgrade to a more intensive and expensive option.

    Burns: Are membership sites for everyone? How did you figure out they were for you?

    Allwood: In my coaching I teach seven different ways you can make money in the online space, and thats based on where your business currently is, what your skills are and what the business that you want to build looks like. For some people, a membership group doesnt work, and thats okay. I found out they were for me because I love showing up consistently for my clients, and it also provides a consistent income, which I also love. I did one-on-one coaching for quite some time, and it felt so heavy to me. I was drained by so many calls. And oftentimes if youre doing something that feels so heavy, or you literally dread doing it, that can often be a sign for you that its time to pivot.

    Burns: Given how much weve all had to pivot this past year, what advice do you have for entrepreneurs on staying profitable and growing to seven figures now?

    Allwood: The biggest key to staying profitable is watching what consumers are doing. Years ago when I saw everybody getting onto Facebookbut I realized that not a lot of people were using Facebook for business yetI put my foot on the gas there. Now when you watch peoples buying habits, theyre still using social media but theyre also buying from emails, they also like text marketing. Watch your ideal clients, figure out where they are and what they need, and then get creative to figure out how to meet them where theyre at and deliver what they need in a way that feels good for you.

    The second key is to offer your customers a couple of different options. Some people are looking for a closer touch and those people will pay more for more access to you. Dont give your clients a one-size-fits-all solution, but instead think of multiple ways that you can help them while still making sure that its a wise business decision.

    See more here:
    This Entrepreneur Made Two Million By Mastering The Art Of Membership Sites - Forbes

    Canada Year-end review: The top insurance cases of 2020 – Lexology - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    As 2020 comes to an end, we note that it has been quite an active year for insurance law, in particular due to the long-awaited judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal in Deguise. It is now time for our traditional annual review of the key judgments from across Canada that marked the past year.


    1.Surespan Structures Ltd. v.Lloyds Underwriters, 2020 BCSC

    This judgment of the British Columbia Supreme Court concerns the interpretation of a construction project insurance policy, in particular whether there was a limit on the amount payable under the policys mitigation of loss coverage.

    The insurers in this case argued that the mitigation of loss coverage was constrained by a $10 million insurance limit and further reduced by amounts paid on behalf of insured professionals and claim expenses incurred during the investigation.

    The Court found that as a matter of contractual interpretation, the absence of any reference to a limit of liability in the mitigation of loss coverage wording itself suggested that there were no such constraints for this specific coverage. This conclusion was also supported by the relative independence of this type of coverage in relation to the rest of the policy.

    The Court concluded that no limit applied to the mitigation of loss coverage in the project specific professional liability insurance policy.

    An appeal was filed on February 6, 2020.

    2.Van Huizen v. Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, 2020 ONCA 222

    This case highlights the distinction between an insurance policy and an insurance contract, and more specifically the importance of this distinction in determining whether the insurer has a duty to defend the members of a group insurance plan.

    Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company issued a professional liability insurance policy, i.e., the master policy, to the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC). The master policy concerned claims made against the AIC, AIC members, their personal corporations and their employers for the negligent provision of professional appraisal services. Coverage under the master policy was extended to individual members of the AIC by way of an individual application. An individual certificate of insurance was issued to each member.

    The Courts judgment addresses the differences between insurance policies and insurance contracts, as recognized by the statutory definitions of contract and policy in the Insurance Act. The Court noted that insurance policies are instruments, which do not create legal obligations merely by their existence. Absent a further contractual relationship, a policy is simply a recitation of terms and conditions that do not attach to a particular person or object. In contrast, an insurance contract creates contractual obligations between the parties. Like any other contract, there must be offer and acceptance, and agreement on all material terms. The premium, the nature and duration of the risk to be covered, and the extent of liability are all essential terms of an insurance contract.

    The Court explained that the master policy was not a binding agreement on its own, but merely set out the terms of the professional liability insurance being offered to the members of the AIC. Each AIC member who seeks coverage must apply for it. Provided the member and the insurer come to an agreement on the other essential terms (for example, the premium to be paid and the term of the insurance), a certificate of insurance will be issued to the member to confirm the existence of the insurance contract.

    3.Markham (City) v. AIG Insurance Company of Canada, 2020 ONCA 239

    The Ontario Court of Appeals recent decision in Markham (City) v. AIG Insurance Company of Canada has significant implications for situations where several policies are triggered and may lead towards the joint handling of loss from the outset in cases where two insurers are potentially liable.

    This judgment is significant in that it highlights the importance of specific wording. When several policies cover the same risk, priority is often dependant upon other insurance clauses to determine which is the primary policy and which is considered excess. The primary policy controls the defence. It should be noted that the Court of Appeal placed less emphasis on the wording of the primary and excess policies. It departed from the application judges decision by concluding that Lloyd's policy was excess solely in regard to the allegations that overlapped and that fell under the coverage provided by AIG.

    For insurers, this judgment reiterates the importance of implementing appropriate file management systems to minimise potential conflict issues.

    The Supreme Court of Canada refused leave to appeal on December 3, 2020.

    4.SNC-Lavalin inc. (Terratech inc. et SNC-Lavalin Environnement inc.)v.Deguise, 2020 QCCA 495

    This highly anticipated judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal is considered the main judgment in the pyrrhotite files. The matter has been divided into three waves of proceedings, and this judgment was rendered on the appeal of the decision in the first wave.

    Recall that the owners of buildings in Trois-Rivires brought close to 880 actions for damages, grouped into 69 different files, due to the deterioration of their foundations caused by the swelling and cracking of concrete. The actions were instituted against several parties, including the individual sellers, the general contractors and formworkers involved in the construction of the foundations, the concrete producers that supplied the problematic concrete, the corporation operating the quarry that supplied the aggregate, the geologist who approved the use of the aggregate and his employer, SNC-Lavalin Inc., as well as all the insurers of those parties.

    First, and subject to some exceptions, the trial judge found the contractors, the concrete producers, the quarry, the geologist, SNC, and their insurers liable. He found that the presence of pyrrhotite was both a latent defect and a construction defect resulting in the loss of the work.

    The Court of Appeal found that the Superior Court did not err in its interpretation of the insurance policies of the concrete producers, the quarry, and certain contractors. The trial judge correctly rejected the insurers argument that the policies should be declared null and void because the insureds breached their obligation to declare the risks. The insurers also failed to demonstrate the existence of a pyrrhotite exclusion. Finally, the Court of Appeal found that the trial judge did not err in his interpretation of the clauses in SNC-Lavalins insurance policy, including those relating to the exclusions and the retroactive date invoked by the insurers. The Court also found that the contractors had a direct right of action against the insurer in relation to the amount of the liability insurance, which must be used exclusively to pay their claim. The insurers cannot invoke a reduction in the amount of insurance coverage based on erosion caused by claims expenses and legal costs, regardless of the origin of such amounts.

    This decision may be analyzed from various perspectives. In the field of insurance alone, several issues are addressed, including the insurers underwriting process, defence costs outside of limits to the benefit of Quebec claimants and the complications of tower insurance. We refer you to our specific articles on those issues.

    5.Condominium Corporation No. 9312374 v.Aviva Insurance Company of Canada, 2020 ABCA 166

    A recent judgment of the Alberta Court of Appeal reminds insurers that clear policy wording is required in multi-peril or all-risk policies for a faulty workmanship clause to apply.

    The Court of Appeal considered the judgment finding that the claim of Condominium Corporation 9312374 (Condominium) was not covered by its insurance policy issued by Aviva. The appeal was allowed.

    The facts are as follows. Condominiums parkade sustained structural damage when the workers hired to perform repair and remediation work on the parkade membrane cut too deeply into the concrete slab. Aviva denied coverage for the claim on the basis of the exclusion for the cost of making good faulty workmanship in the multi-peril policy. However, the exclusion clause contained an exception for loss or damage caused directly by a resultant peril.

    The Court found that the exclusion clause and the exception were ambiguous. It noted that the parties reasonably expected that the cost of making good faulty workmanship would be excluded, but not the consequences of that faulty workmanship. The Court concluded that the repair and remediation work to the parkade membrane was not covered by the insurance policy but that the damage to the structure of the parkade was a covered loss under the policy.

    6. Constructions Reliance inc. (Constructions Reliance du Canada lte) v. Compagnie d'assurances Temple, 2020 QCCA 947

    In this judgment, the Quebec Court of Appeal provided an interesting clarification on wrap-up insurance policies.

    In the context of a construction project, a painting subcontractor struck a sprinkler head in a stairwell, causing water damage, after the date of receipt of the certificate of substantial completion of the work from the general contractor. Temple denied liability, arguing that the loss could not be covered by the wrap-up policy because the painting work underlying the water damage was not completed at the time of the occurrence.

    Temples policy covered many types of claims for damage resulting from the performance of the construction work by the insureds. However, it contained an exclusion for property damage caused to the project itself.

    The exclusion contained a completed operations hazard exception, which specified that property damage to the project would be covered if the occurrence was after the Insureds Work has been completed or abandoned. The policy also defined this expression.

    In this case, the issuance of a certificate of substantial completion of the work could not be used as proof of completion of the work because the certificate was issued in the name of the general contractor rather than the owner.

    The issue in dispute, however, was related to the application of the expression set out in the policy to define completed work, that is when the work has been put to its intended use.

    The Superior Court accepted three meanings that could be attached to this expression:

    The Court found that so long as the painting work had not been completed, the work could not be put into service or used for its intended purpose. The Court also noted that the fact the lofts were more than 80% occupied had no impact on the analysis. Because the painting work had not been completed in the common areas, that work could not be deemed completed within the meaning of the policy.

    On appeal, the Court added to the Superior Courts analysis, noting that the possibility that incomplete work of another nature could be deemed completed within the meaning of the expression has been put to its intended use could not be set aside. That said, the painting work, in view of its nature and the extent of its progress could not be deemed completed within the meaning of that expression.

    7.Le Treport Wedding & Convention Centre Ltd.v.Co-operators General Insurance Company, 2020 ONCA 487

    In this judgment rendered in July, the Ontario Court of Appeal reversed the trial judgment finding that Treport Wedding & Convention Centre Ltd. was covered for sewer back up only and that there was no coverage available under the flood endorsement of its all-risks policy issued by Co-operators.

    Treports commercial premises sustained severe flooding as a result of a rainstorm. Water entered the building through the doors, floor drains and ceilings, causing significant damage to the premises. Treport presented a claim for indemnity to Co-operators General Insurance under its all-risks insurance policy. The insurer paid out the policy limit pursuant to the sewer back up endorsement. The dispute centered on whether the policys flood endorsement applied to the claim. The trial judge found that the flood endorsement did not apply for two reasons: 1- the damage to the property was caused by surface water, defined in the policy as water or natural precipitation temporarily diffused over the surface of the ground and accordingly, the surface water exclusion in the policy applied to exclude coverage; 2- the event was not caused by a flood as defined in the flood endorsement. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice therefore found that the insured was not entitled to coverage under the flood endorsement.

    The Court of Appeal examined the policy wording in detail to determine whether the event constituted a flood within the meaning of the policy. The Court reiterated that an endorsement is not independent from the policy as it has no independent existence from the rest of the policy. They must be read together. The Court also noted that giving effect to the definition of surface water when interpreting the flood endorsement would have the effect of nullifying the coverage provided. Flood coverage would effectively be nullified in almost all cases because most buildings stand a certain distance away from the water. Thus, the flood endorsement must be read without giving the surface water exclusion any weight.

    Co-operators filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on October 20, 2020.

    8.Sky Clean Energy Ltd. (Sky Solar (Canada) Ltd.)v.Economical Mutual Insurance Company, 2020 ONCA 558

    This is an update to the judgment cited in our 2019 annual review. This decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal addresses the interpretation of an expression commonly used in liability insurance policies, that is, the expression arising out of the operations.

    Sky Clean Energy appealed from the judgment of the Superior Court of Justice dismissing its application against Economical Mutual Insurance Company. Recall that when Sky Clean contracted with Marnoch Electrical Services Inc. for the installation of two transformers in the context of two solar energy projects, Marnoch agreed to name Sky Clean as an additional insured under its CGL policy. However, coverage was limited to liability arising out of Marnochs operations. After installation, a fire broke out at one of the sites where the transformer was located. It was replaced, and Sky Clean eventually sold the projects to Firelight Solar Limited Partnership. A few months later, another fire broke out at the other site, also caused by the solar transformer. Firelight shut both projects down for investigation and repairs and sued Sky Clean for remediation costs and loss of revenue. In turn, Sky Clean filed a claim for indemnity from Economical under the insurance policy to cover its losses pursuant to its liability to Firelight. The insurer denied coverage on the basis of the limit set out in the policy, asserting that the loss did not arise from the operations of the contractor, Marnoch. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice agreed with the insurer, finding that the contractor had been told to install the transformers in accordance with Sky Cleans instructions. The appeal was dismissed.

    The Court of Appeal considered the requisite connection between the contractors operations and the liability of the additional insured. It confirmed the usual limitations to the expression arising out of the operations, which requires more than a but for test to establish the connection between the liability of the additional insured and the operations of the insured. The Court explained that requiring an unbroken chain of causation and a connection that is more then merely incidental or fortuitous between the liability of the additional insured and the operations of the named insured provides certainty and predictability for all parties. The Court also found this approach consistent with the reasonable expectations of the parties to the construction contract and that of their liability insurers.

    9.Future Electronics Inc. (Distribution) Pte Ltd. v.Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, 2020 QCCS 3042

    With the soaring interest in cybersecurity issues, we found it important to highlight this recent judgment on the subject.

    Future Electronics was the victim of a social engineering fraud, a practice of psychological manipulation for the purpose of perpetrating a swindle, in the amount of US$2.7 million. It therefore submitted a claim to its insurer, Chubb, under its crime insurance policy. The insurer refused to indemnify Future for the loss, asserting that it was a case of social engineering fraud covered under a crime policy endorsement with a coverage limit of $50,000. Future Electronics argued that its loss was covered under the computer fraud or funds transfer fraud provisions of the policy. The Court agreed with the insurer.

    The insurance policy provided coverage for direct loss sustained by the insured, resulting from computer fraud by a third party. The policy used the expression unlawful taking. That requires a direct act of stealing perpetrated by a fraudster, through the use of a computer. However, it cannot be construed as being so broad that the simple operation of a computer in an incidental way would give rise to a situation covered by the policy. The use of a computer by the fraudsters as a means of communicating with the employees did not give rise to coverage under the computer fraud provision.

    10.Nagy v.BCAA Insurance Corporation, 2020 BCCA 270

    In this case, the British Columbia Court of Appeal distinguished between omissions and misrepresentations.

    The obligation of good faith is a central element of insurance contracts in the sense that both insureds and insurers must conform to high standards regarding disclosure. For insureds, this means that they must disclose all material facts concerning the risk. Any omission or misrepresentation affecting that risk will be considered a relevant factor should the insurer attempt to cancel the contract. However, there may be differences between the two.

    In Nagy, the Court of Appeal provides advice to practitioners for situations where the boundary between omissions and misrepresentations becomes blurred.

    Read this article:
    Canada Year-end review: The top insurance cases of 2020 - Lexology

    250 Taylor Office Building – 3rd Place (Office-New Construction) Daily Journal of Commerce – Daily Journal of Commerce - December 12, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    250 Taylor Office BuildingSubmitting Company: Turner ConstructionLocation: PortlandOwner/Developer: 3rd and Taylor, LLC with Rockwood CapitalArchitect: Ankrom Moisan ArchitectsEngineer: KPFFAdditional Engineering Firms: GeoDesign Inc., GlumacGeneral Contractor: Turner ConstructionSubcontractors: Afghan Associates, Alliant Systems, American Heating, Balco, Bell Hardware of Portland, Bergelectric, Brian H Smith Demolition, Building Material Specialties, Carlson Testing, Cascade Tower and Rigging, Cessco, City of Roses Disposal & Recycling, Concrete Inspection Services, Cosco Fire Protection, D&H Flagging, Dennis 7 Dees Landscaping, DeWitt Construction, Dmitry Buzhduga dba Quality Cleaning Services, Don Rhyne Painting, Eagle Striping Services, Eco-Pan Inc., Encore Glass, Everlast Climbing Industries, F.D. Thomas, Faustrollean Fixture, Fencescreen, Finish Line Concrete Cutting, Fireside Contracting Services, Forensic Analytical Consulting, Fred Shearer & Sons, Glacier Northwest, Gonsalves & Santucci, Harmon, Insulation Contractors, Integrity Worldwide, K&S Masonry, Kittelson & Associates, KONE, Martin Sheet Metal, Morrison Hershfield, Morrow Equipment, National Construction Rentals, Northwest Handling Systems, Northwest Scaffold Services, OEG, Pan-Van, PERI Formwork Systems, Premier Cleaning Services, Prestige Tile & Stone, Pure Floors, R2M2 Rebar & Stressing, Ralphs Concrete Pumping, RC Building Specialties, Schulz-Clearwater Sanitation, Security Contractor Services, Snyder Roofing of Oregon, Spraylock Concrete Protection, Statewide Land Surveying, Streimer Sheet Metal Works, Sunbelt Rentals, T-Plus Steel Fabricators, Terracon Consultants, Tractel, Turner Construction (concrete), Turner Logistics, UCIT Security, Umpqua Roofing, United Rentals, United Site Services, Urban Bicycle Parking Systems, Vaughn Environmental, Westlake Consultants, Williams Scotsman

    When Pacific Northwest utility company NW Natural decided on a new office space, they didnt pull any punches. They chose one of Portlands newest buildings, the 10-story, 191,500-square-foot 250 Taylor building designed by Ankrom Moisan Architects and built by general contractor Turner Construction.

    Built on a half-block property fronting Southwest Taylor Street between Southwest Second and Third avenues in downtown Portland, the new building features post-tensioned concrete decks skinned with pre-fabricated, unitized curtainwall panels with integrated glass, terra cotta and metal panels that are intended to reflect the craftsmanship and aesthetic of the historic brick masonry buildings that still predominate the surrounding area.

    Large windows provide plenty of daylight for the modern office spaces inside, along with the lobby and ground floor retail space. Each floor is taller than average, designed to have 11- to 14-foot ceilings and open floor plates that are largely due to the offset elevator core that forms the backbone of the structure. Two levels of below-grade parking hold 90 stalls, while the ground floor hosts a bicycle room with mechanical storage racks and locker rooms with private showers.

    Tenant amenities include a prominent ninth-story double-height balcony as well as a roof deck that provides a stunning 360-degree view of the city and Willamette River.

    Finally, because of the critical nature of NW Naturals operations, they also chose the location because the structure is designed for seismic resiliency that allows it to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake with 50 percent greater strength than is required by code.

    The rest is here:
    250 Taylor Office Building - 3rd Place (Office-New Construction) Daily Journal of Commerce - Daily Journal of Commerce

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