Monday, June 19, 2017

Avoid Home Repair Scams - Tips from NARI

Has your home been damaged by summer storms? This time of year, many homeowners become victims of home repair scams. Con artists often show up at a homeowner's door after a disaster, offering an array of services and demanding a hefty down payment up front. They might offer a "great deal," based on using materials left over from a neighbor’s job - but a "great deal" isn't always what it seems.  Frequently these fly-by-night operators drive vehicles with out-of-state license plates, or set up temporary offices from which they can move quickly once authorities start looking for them.

Here are some from NARI Madison to avoid home repair scams:
  • Get the name and address of the company that person allegedly represents.
  • Get all details of the offer in writing and carefully review it. Be sure you understand everything in the contract and that any verbal promises made are included in the contract.
  • Determine how long the company has been in business and call organizations with which the contractor is affiliated, such as NARI of Madison or other trade associations, to determine the firm's legitimacy.
  • Ask for references and contact each one.
  • Remember that any legitimate company that wants your business will be more than willing to allow you the time to do your homework. Don't fall prey to high-pressure tactics such as "this is the only chance you have" or "by tomorrow the extra materials will be gone."

Homeowners should be especially skeptical if the company:
  • Comes to your door unsolicited.
  • Uses high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Requests full payment before completing the work.
  • Gives a post office box without a street address or phone number.
  • Promises to begin and complete the work more quickly and cheaply than any other company.
  • Says they just finished work on your neighbor's house and have just enough materials to do repair work on yours. They might say they can give you a better bargain if you let them do the work today since they have the supplies now.
NARI is a great source for homeowners seeking to hire a professional remodeling contractor. NARI members are full-time, dedicated remodelers who follow a strict code of ethics, observing high standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility. For more information, visit our the NARI Madison website to find a qualified professional who is a member of NARI or to learn more about the remodeling process.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rockweiler Insulation Employee Named Installer of the Year

The team at Rockweiler Insulation is thrilled to announce Aaron Calvert received the ExCEEd on the Job Installer of the Year Award at the Owens Corning™ Certified Energy Expert® (CEE) National Meeting held in May in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The ExCEEd on the Job award recognizes insulation installers who go above and beyond to ensure excellence with each project. As a recipient of a quarterly ExCEED award, Aaron was eligible for this first-ever national award.

“We are so proud to have Aaron on our team!” says Renee Wilson, President of Rockweiler Insulation. “He take such pride in his work and is a great example for his peers, and for installers across the country.”

This recognition is one example of Rockweiler Insulation’s exceptional leadership. With support from the Owens Corning™ Certified Energy Expert® program, Rockweiler Insulation continually trains its employees on the latest building science strategies and innovations. By recognizing employees for their hard work, Rockweiler remains committed to retaining the area’s top industry talent to best serve their customers.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Continuing education is important to us! Rockweiler hosts HPIP regional training.

Rockweiler Insulation recently had the opportunity to host a free regional training in conjunction with HPIP (High Performance Insulation Professionals) for insulators and other construction professionals. Attendees learned the best techniques to achieve grade-one installation standards as well as job safety, building codes, building science, and more. It was a great opportunity for our entire organization to spend two days together brushing up on our insulation knowledge.

This two-day training was a combination of classroom sessions and hands-on training. All the major insulation manufacturers provided valuable instruction on a variety of topics including How Insulation Works, Understanding Air Leakage & Sealing, The Evolution of Building Codes and Building Science, and more.  Local guest speakers included Jeff Grundahl of Brio Design Homes and Vive Home Transformations, and John Crook, building inspector from City of Fitchburg.  They provided excellent perspectives on the relationship between insulation contractors and their builders and building inspectors.

After a day in the classroom the learning continued on day two at a jobsite.  The day began with the most important topic – jobsite safety, and included a walk-through to point out any potential hazards installers may encounter. That was followed by a demonstration of blowing machine operation and maintenance from CertainTeed Machine Works.  Then the attendees divided into groups and went through stations for hands-on demonstrations of Owens Corning ProPink Complete, Knauf Insulation EcoSeal+, CertainTeed MemBrain & Fiberglass batts, and Johns Manville Spider Plus applications. Following the training each attendee took an exam and those who passed received a high-performance certification.

Thank you to HPIP and all the manufacturer and community partners for contributing to this training in support of building excellence and energy efficiency!

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Mrs. Wilson goes to Washington – A Blog from our President

Our Legislative Action Day Team
In late March 2017 I had the opportunity to attend a Legislative Action Day in Washington DC.  This was a coalition of many different organizations within the insulation industry that came together to advocate for energy efficiency, tax reform and immigration reform as it relates to the insulation industry.  Eighty-two people from six different organizations participated in this event.

What prompted an insulation contractor from Wisconsin to travel to Washington DC and meet with staffers?  It was our opportunity to show legislators the impact our industry has on the US economy - putting our energy and passion to work in a real way.

The group was assigned the task of of addressing the follow three issues:

  • The importance of permanently reinstating the homeowner energy efficiency tax credits (25c).  Many times a tax credit is the tipping point for a customer deciding to move ahead with an energy efficiency improvement.  Energy efficiency tax credits drive business and puts extra money in homeowners’ pockets.
  • The labor shortage in the construction industry as a whole.  It is getting more difficult to find qualified workers to work in the trades.  An important part of the solution is immigration.  There are several industries that will depend on immigrants to do certain jobs, so immigration reform must be dealt with very carefully.
  • The importance of renewed funding for the Department of Energy.  Without funding for this organization standards for energy efficiency could be compromised across the country.  Even prominent programs such as Energy Star are at risk right now.

There were two key things I learned during the three days. Washington DC has a different pace than I expected.  Politics is a long game – you must keep communicating your agenda over and over until action happens (this was an important realization as a “do-er” who likes to check things off her to-do list daily). Additionally, Washington DC decision-makers may not know a thing about how your business or life is affected by those decisions – decisions we have to live with.  It is up to us to tell them our story and communicate the challenges to proposed legislation.

- Renee Wilson, President, Rockweiler Insulation

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

U.S. Insulation Industry Contributes Billions, Supports Jobs

A report from the American Chemistry Council was released recently during the insulation industry national policy and advocacy meeting. This report, The Contributions of Insulation to the U.S. Economy in 2016, is the most recent analysis of the massive economic impact the U.S. insulation industry has on the American economy.

This report indicates that the U.S. insulation industry contributes $20 billion annually to the U.S. economy and supports nearly 400,000 jobs throughout the United States. There are three key areas where the insulation industry contributes that directly align with key initiatives in Washington:

  • Health/Healthcare Costs
    • Studies show a positive connection between energy efficiency activities such as adding insulation and sealing air leaks and health. These improvements can create healthier living environments that can have a positive impact on respiration, asthma and general health. These health improvements can have a secondary benefit of cutting health care costs.
  • Reduced Energy Costs/Use
    • Adding insulation lowers energy use and energy costs, allowing homeowners keep more money in their pockets. Increasing insulation levels in existing homes would cut electricity use across the country by 37 billion kilowatt hours. In addition, 90 percent of homes in the U.S. are under insulated, resulting in unnecessarily high energy costs.
  • Infrastructure 
    • Our country’s infrastructure goes beyond roads and bridges to include buildings as well. Activities such as incorporating sustainable materials, efficient building envelope design, insulating and air sealing help reduce air pollution damage. It also can reduce municipal costs through reduced power plants, transmission/distribution lines and more.

For more on this report, click here to read the full document.