Change and the Art of Survival

Rusty MacLachlanA very large Oak Tree was uprooted by a storm and thrown across a stream. It fell among some reeds, which the powerful tree addressed, “How is it that these winds can knock me down, but you who are so weak and frail survive?”

They replied, “You fight and contend with the wind, and consequently are destroyed; while we have learned to bend, and therefore survive.” The art of survival is not to avoid life’s storms, which we cannot, but to learn to adjust.

The time to adjust is here. In fact, a new state law affecting all new homes (custom built and spec homes,) is now in force. Any contract signed after August 28, 2009 must include an offer by the builder to install a fire protection sprinkler system at the expense of the buyer. The choice is fully up to the buyer as is the financial responsibility for the cost of the system/installation. As builders we should supply the buyer with an informational pamphlet endorsed by both the Home Builders Associations and the Missouri Fire Service Alliance, and ask the client to sign a form that confirms their intentions. Both forms are available at the HBA office. State law requires that builders make the offer; including the form as part of your contracts is your proof of compliance with the law. The HBA is requesting that you also provide us with a copy of the Offer Form. As you will come to discover these forms will provide invaluable data for future building code development. The current law sunsets December 31, 2011. At that point each municipality is free to decide for themselves whether or not to adopt the full IRC code that requires fire sprinkler systems to be installed in all new, and many remodeled homes.

The times they are a changing. In fact, in response to our ever changing and ever hungry for instant news society, your HBA has been testing, and is now ready to improve the way that you receive industry news. The printed newsletter that you are accustomed to seeing each month will become a quarterly printed report, and we will be adding a weekly e-Housing News. The board is receiving the test runs and we are more than impressed with the real time, useful reports. This e-newsletter is possibly the most professionally prepared report that you will find anywhere on the web. The navigation, the up-to-date information, and the easy click format is very user friendly. I am confident it will be a welcome new marketing option for those of you who want cutting edge, targeted advertising options.

The HBA is working tirelessly to make sure that our members are the best informed, best represented, and best prepared for success, industry professionals. Hey, now that the storm is over, the weather is looking pretty good. Sales are up and gaining strength. Permits are up, and new home inventory is getting very low. Watch for your weekly e-news reports for more details. God Bless.

Keeping the Faith,
Rusty MacLachlan