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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           August 25, 2015

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Construction industry feeling pressure
Tyler Morning Telegraph
As many as 1,000 people continue to move to Texas every day, the executive director of the Texas Association of Builders said — and they have to live somewhere. Speaking to the Tyler Area Builders Association, M. Scott Norman said the construction industry is feeling pressures from all sides, but that some key legislative achievements last spring and cooperative agreements with school districts will help the keep the industry viable in coming years.
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TAB's 2015 - 2017 residential construction contracts available Sept. 1
TAB
Available only to builder/remodeler members of the Texas Association of Builders, TAB's updated 2015 – 2017 contracts package will be available Sept. 1, 2015. Unlike other contracts packages, TAB's package reflects the most recent mandates coming out of the 2015 Texas Legislative Session and case law updates, in addition to a new design-build contract and architect addendum. As always, the package will also be updated to include needed clarifications, various improvements and greater ease of use.

The TAB contracts subscription is your blueprint for typical construction and remodeling transactions in the State of Texas. The package of contracts and related addenda is a fantastic value and can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees. The subscription includes any needed updates that may occur during the two year cycle.

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For now, Texas economy shrugs off low oil prices
The Texas Tribune
Just one short year ago, Texas drilling country rumbled with activity and high expectations that the good times would last a long while. So much for that. Amid a plunge in oil prices, the bonanza has paused at the very least, wiping out thousands of jobs in the oilfields and communities dependent on them.
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HomeAid Houston Day inspires kindness
Houston Chronicle
In 2013, Mayor Annise Parker proclaimed July 23 "HomeAid Houston Day" at a ceremony held at City Hall. The Proclamation lauded HomeAid's accomplishments as a Greater Houston Builders Association charity, completing at that time, 21 construction and remodeling projects to benefit Houston's homeless community.
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Next Texas energy boom: Solar
The Wall Street Journal
A new energy boom is taking shape in the oil fields of west Texas, but it’s not what you think. It's solar. Solar power has gotten so cheap to produce — and so competitively priced in the electricity market — that it is taking hold even in a state that, unlike California, doesn’t offer incentives to utilities to buy or build sun-powered generation. Pecos County, about halfway between San Antonio and El Paso and on the southern edge of the prolific Permian Basin oil field, could soon play host to several large solar-energy farms responsible for about $1 billion in investments, according to state tax records.
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Heavy spring rains mess with Texas home construction
Construction Dive
During the last week of May, the eastern part of Texas was doused by more rain than the region usually gets over a month and a half, according to a local affiliate of ABC News. Much of the Austin area was under water after days of downpours, leaving the ground too saturated to build on. More than a dozen people died in the resulting flooding. The heavy rains pulled Texas out of a five-year drought, but created problems for outdoor crews, homeowners whose houses flooded, and drivers.
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Building and retrofitting for efficient homes
Fox News
The buzzword in home construction today is "sustainability" — building homes that integrate with the landscape, are energy efficient and use renewable materials. And an eco-friendly home doesn't mean sacrificing luxury or design. Whether you're buying new construction or renovating an older home for greater efficiency, there are a few terms and concepts you should know about.
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Millions slated to hire more border troopers
The Texas Tribune
One way or another, the 84th Legislature was bound to pass immigration and border security bills. That was the general consensus after tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants flooded across the Rio Grande into Texas last summer. Border lawmakers balked, arguing that the border was safe, and that the immigrants were fleeing violence and meant Texans no harm. But Republicans pointed out how exposed the border was and immediately supported a temporary, multimillion-dollar border surge of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers.
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Austin homes demolished to make way for 'McMansions'
KHOU-TV
Nearly 1,000 homes in Austin were partially or fully demolished in 2014 to make way for new homes, and that number is expected to be even higher in 2015. Before homes that were built more than 40 years ago can be demolished, the demolition application must go through the Historic Preservation Office for review. If the HPO determines that the structure is not historically significant, the demolition application will be approved.
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Legislative roadblock to recovery
Houston Chronicle
Even though there was enough to go around to triple spending on border security, the state Legislature directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to slash Medicaid reimbursement rates for therapists who work with Texas' most vulnerable children. Legitimate questions are percolating about the reasons for the jump in the number of Medicaid clients now served by therapists. Nevertheless, there exists a very real likelihood that the extreme cuts proposed will be catastrophic for many Texas families.
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New luxury home development planned in River Oaks
Houston Business Journal
A Houston luxury home builder plans to launch a new residential project in River Oaks. Mazzarino Construction and Development Ltd. closed on a nearly 6,000-square-foot lot at 2423 Brazoria St. for an undisclosed price. The land is located one block southeast of San Felipe Street and Kirby Drive, behind the River Oaks Bank Building and The Huntingdon residential tower.
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Texas again ordered to pay lawyers' fees in redistricting case
Austin American-Statesman
In a scolding tone, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., ordered the state of Texas to pay more than $1 million in attorneys' fees in a case challenging district boundaries drawn by the Republican-led Legislature. First under the direction of then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and now under Attorney General Ken Paxton, the state has been fighting a court order for more than a year to pay the lawyers who battled the state over the issuance of redistricting maps for the Texas House, Texas Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
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'Texas basements' coming to Fort Bend patio homes
Houston Chronicle
Darling Homes has an unusual offering for their latest home plans in Fort Bend County master-planned communities: basements. Or rather, "up to 450 square feet of floored attic space accessible by a stationary staircase." The builder calls the new design a safer way to reach additional space than pull-down attic doors. These "basements" can be found in Sienna Plantation and Imperial Sugar Land communities.
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DFW developer buys Texas Hill Country master-planned community
Dallas Business Journal
The Frisco-based development firm behind the $1.2 billion Windsong Ranch in Prosper has added another ranch to its portfolio with the help of capital giant Wheelock Street Capital LLC. Terra Verde Group and Boston-based Wheelock Street Capital have acquired Boot Ranch, a 2,052-acre master-planned Texas Hill Country community in Fredericksburg from Lehman Brothers, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008.
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Texas Greek Revival-style home welcomes a contemporary remodel
Houston Chronicle
Contemporary home renovations often begin with complete demolition. A tear-down structure is leveled to welcome a sleek, boxy building with clean lines and stark features. That's not always the case, however, even in demolition-happy Texas. When Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects in Austin took on the task of bringing new life to a 1935 Greek Revival cottage, they left the original bones and facade virtually untouched, save for some reinforcement work.
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TAB News Briefs

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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