IRON SHARPENS IRON: Sean Sullivan leads NCHBA to a very successful 2015

IRON SHARPENS IRON: Sean Sullivan leads NCHBA to a very successful 2015

By Mike Carpenter, NCHBA Executive Vice President & General Counsel

Sean Sullivan’s theme was “iron sharpens iron”. He carried this message in his travels to every corner of the state during his tenure as 2015 President of the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA). Like iron sharpening iron, Sean strongly believes in the value that NCHBA imparts to its members, both professionally and personally, arises from active participation in the multitude of opportunities that the association offers. This belief is firmly grounded in his personal experience as a member and he freely shares his story both to educate and motivate others.

Sean first became exposed to NCHBA during his tenure on the leadership ladder of his local association in Asheville. He quickly recognized the value that NCHBA brought to his business not only from formal educational opportunities but also from informal networking with other builders who weren’t directly competing with his business. Sean recounted on many occasions how his business volume dramatically increased, and continues to do so, as he put into practice those things he learned by and through his NCHBA involvement. By utilizing his own story as an example, he urged others to become involved—and many have followed his lead.

During 2015, Sean expertly juggled the responsibilities of his rapidly growing business with the duties of NCHBA President and made both a success. He was significantly aided in achieving this result by his delightful wife, Laura, who is a talented design professional in her own right. In addition to Laura’s support, he has a great employee team which he nurtures by exposing them to NCHBA events like the 21st Century Building Expo and Conference. He also received solid support from his excellent Senior Officer team which Sean would be the first to credit with helping him cover the bases.

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Get your Roof Ready for Winter

thiemkeyFor many American families, homeownership brings a sense of stability, accomplishment and peace of mind. Owning a home also means being responsible for its upkeep, in order to make sure it is a safe, comfortable sanctuary for your family to enjoy. As the winter months approach, the first measure of protection for a home against rain and snow in many parts of the country is the roof.

These tips from GAF (, a New Jersey-based roofing manufacturer, offers advice to home owners for how to get your roof ready for the cold winter. 

  1. Start off by checking the roof framing structure to make sure it is not compromised.  Visually scan the roof for any sagging or uneven areas. If you do see an area that looks uneven, this may mean damage to the roof deck below the shingles.
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Homeownership Tax Incentives Still Important to Americans

Universally Designed BathrromAs House and Senate lawmakers consider slashing tax breaks as part of their tax reform process, they should listen to the voters who put them in office and they will hear a loud and clear message: Americans overwhelmingly believe the mortgage interest deduction is an important middle-class tax provision that is worth keeping. The latest poll documenting this strong belief is a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted in July 2013. 

When the surveyed adults were asked how important it is to keep the mortgage interest deduction for people who own homes, 61 percent of respondents said it was “very important,” and an additional 25 percent said it was “somewhat important.” 

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Beware Unscrupulous Contractors

A fly-by-night contractor is one disaster you can prevent if you pay attention to some common warning signs. In fact, it makes sense to look for these signs when you are evaluating any potential contractor, whether it’s for post-disaster repairs or a planned-for renovation to your home.  Here are some common warning signs:  Price and payment   You’re told you have to sign the contract today to get the quoted price, and that if you sign later the price will be higher.  You’re asked to pay the full cost in advance, before work begins. Paying a deposit of anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent is common, however.   You’re asked to pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check, money order or credit card to a company. The salesperson says you’re getting a special low price because you’ve been “chosen” as a demonstration project. The contractor asks you to sign over your insurance settlement check to him instead of paying him directly.    (more…)