Jan/Feb/March 2020 Digest

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Chairman’s Message

Will Engel, Chairman of the Board

The Cornerstone Club members are a highly visible and an elite group of contributors to the building industry. They are responsible for sustaining a number of Wichita Area Builders Association events and activities over the years to include: special legislative meetings with Key Legislators, social hours at general membership meetings, hospitality rooms at the International Builders Show, hosting Christmas open house, new member orientation mixers, hosting dinners for NAHB staff and officers when they visit our local association, Habitat for Humanity and Homes for Our Troops ribbon cutting events. 

Cornerstone Award 
Recipient for 2019
 Wess Galyon
Cornerstone Award Recipient for 2019 Wess Galyon

In 1979, the leadership of the Wichita Area Builder’s Association wanted to pay special tribute honoring Si Womer, a founder and truly esteemed leader of our Association.  The Cornerstone award was created to honor Si and the presentation ceremony was probably the most memorable event I have experienced as a member since that time.  Also, near that same time we decided that it wasn’t fair to continually ask a very small group of large companies to sponsor our social and political events.  Clearly it was time for the rest of us to help sponsor some of these events but in a much smaller, more affordable way. Although the original award was intended to be a one-time event, the idea caught on.  The opportunity for recognizing a true “Cornerstone” of the industry and the financial opportunity for service from additional members led to the birth of the Cornerstone Club. 

By their active involvement in all three phases of membership beginning at the local level in the Wichita Area Builders Association, on the state level with their participation in the Kansas Building Industry Association and at national level by their committee work in the National Association of Home Builders, Cornerstone award recipients strive to “make a difference” at each level of involvement for the betterment of the entire building industry.

This year, the Cornerstone Award Committee, consisting of the last three Cornerstone Award recipients, Jim Gearhart, David Gatz and Tom Baalmann, made the decision it was past time that we recognize Wess Galyon for all his contributions to our industry.

During the annual Cornerstone Banquet, it was announced that Wess Galyon will be this year’s Cornerstone Award recipient and was recognized for making outstanding contributions to the Association and the industry over his thirty plus years serving as our President/CEO of WABA.  Through his leadership and mentoring process, he has developed one of the top builders’ associations in the country here in Wichita.  To the Cornerstone Club members, he is more than a paid staff member, he is a “builder.”  He does not use 2×4’s and nails as we do to build a house, because he uses alliances and collaboration to bring us together in the association to achieve more than we could ever achieve on our own. 

Under his leadership we built a new Office for our staff, when it became evident, we needed a new “home” and Wess was our builder of choice. Wess lead us into founding the Home Builders Care Foundation to leverage our collective efforts to help all the philanthropic causes we are partners with such as, Habitat for Humanity, Victory in the Valley, Inter Faith Ministries, Wichita Children’s Home, Homes for Our Troops, Make-A-Wish and the Kansas Food Bank to name a few.

Wess has been our voice to the elected officials when it comes to anything that effects our industry politically. The association desires, “to be seated at the table rather than being on the menu,” when dealing in the political realm of our business.  In this arena Wess has served on several selection committees to hire city and county staff that affect the building industry. He oversaw the consolidation of the building codes inspection department from the city of Wichita and Sedgwick county into one government agency known today as Metropolitan Area Building Codes Department.

Wess was instrumental in getting our product, a newly constructed home, into the hands of every buyer with our web presence, “ahouseahead.com.”  The leadership he provided in building this website allows all members the opportunity to market their newly constructed home in a unique way on the internet.  “Ahouseahead.com” only markets newly constructed homes and differentiates them from all the resale homes on the internet by bringing everything “new” together in one location on the web. 

Wess has accomplished many things as our Association’s CEO and has been “making a difference” in our industry since 1986.  We felt it was time to honor him for all his contributions.  The award will be presented to Wess at the Home Show VIP night in February.  We hope you’ll join us that evening in honoring him.

Congratulations Wess Galyon 2019 Cornerstone Recipient.

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President’s Message

Wess Galyon, President/CEO

The holidays are fast approaching as we move toward the end of the current year and look optimistically forward to the challenges and opportunities that will come our way in 2020.  To be sure, we are hopeful things will go better for all of us as we continue to work our way through and out of a what remains somewhat of a flat, but stable, market in our area in terms of the number of new homes constructed and sales made annually the last five years.  With positive things happening such as the elimination of job killing government regulations, especially at federal level; stabilizing costs of materials; continuing near record low interest rates; and what appears to be gradual but still growing confidence in the overall economy, we have much to be thankful for.

Given what we know about our market conditions locally, I thought it would be beneficial if all members of our Association had access to the content of a recent interview conducted with NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz wherein, he talks “growth recession” and housing in 2020.  The totality of the questions posed and Dietz responses to them are below:

NAHB Economist Robert Dietz Talks ‘Growth Recession’ and Housing in 2020

Q&A with the National Association of Home Builders’ chief economist to answer some of the industry’s burning questions about the housing market and economic forecast

By Mike Beirne, Senior Editor | October 22, 2019

Top Takeaways from This Article

  • What is a growth recession
  • Why more growth potential and volatility are expected in the entry-level housing market
  • What supply side factors need to come alongside low mortgage-interest rates to really boost the market for builders
  • Why the inverted yield curve is no guarantee that a recession will follow

What inning is it in the economic cycle? Will the next recession be a mild one? These are the questions inevitably asked whenever home builders get together and an industry economist like Robert Dietz is on stage. 

Dietz worked as an economist for the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation before joining NAHB in 2005, where he currently leads a group of 12 economists producing housing forecasts and analysis across several housing metrics. 

We asked him some of the burning questions home builders currently have, like where the economy is headed, the impact of mortgage interest rates on sales, and what are the supply-side concerns housing policy makers should heed.

Q  What’s your current forecast for the U.S. economy, and does it involve a recession?

A  Our forecast window goes through the end of 2021, and we don’t have a full-blown recession on our forecast tables right now. 

We’ve had a fairly consistent macro forecast for at least two years. We thought 2018 was going to be a fairly strong year because the average GDP growth was 3.4% [in 2017]. But it came in a little under that growth rate, at 2.9%, and we think that was due to the effects of international trade. This year we’re saying it will slow to about a 2.3% growth rate, and then we have it slowing more still in 2020 and 2021, with both of those years having growth rates between 1% and 2%. In fact, in 2021 we predict a 1.5% growth rate. Some economists would call that a “growth recession.” 

In a growth recession, you can have the occasional weak quarter. The unemployment rate begins to tick up. It will still be fairly low, but we don’t think it will be below 4%, which means we’ll have some soft job-market reports. 

Q  What’s causing—or will cause—GDP and job growth to slow? 

A  We think some macro risk factors will be responsible for the slowing. Some of them are already baked into the cake. For example, the reason 2018 had relatively solid growth was because of tax reform and tax cuts, which induced a fair amount of business investment. 

That stimulus effect is over, so now we have drags, such as the ongoing trade wars, which are having an impact on manufacturing and the agricultural sectors, as well as clear local housing market impacts from the weakness in those two sectors. 

Another macro factor is the labor market remaining tight. It’s one of those good news/bad news situations. The unemployment rate is 3.7%, which is fantastic. It’s good for rental housing demand, it’s good for for-sale housing demand. But it can be tough to fill construction industry jobs when productivity growth [GDP] isn’t strong enough and you don’t have wage growth sufficient to lift labor force participation, which means you don’t have an available pool of workers, and therefore, you get slowing job creation. 

Q  You mentioned trade policies affecting local housing markets. How so? 

A  As a result of recent trade policies, agriculture has declined for the last two years. Corn and soybean prices are down 50% year over year. Exports have gone down. All of that has reduced housing demand and economic activity in some agricultural areas.

With manufacturing we have some detail analysis. We do something called the Home Building Geography Index [HBGI], which we use to track local market conditions. We don’t do it by metros because a fair number of people do that. What we do is track regional conditions. For example, we found that if you compare large metro suburbs with the exurbs, in the last year the exburbs have been growing faster.

Our forecast window goes through the end of 2021, and we don’t have a full-blown recession on our forecast tables right now. 

But another cut that we did with this index was to look at areas where a large share of employment is attributable to manufacturing. As manufacturing softened, what we noticed is that single-family construction in those manufacturing areas also declined.

We found that in the second quarter last year, single-family permits in manufacturing areas were down just under 4%. So, you have definite housing weakness that tend to be dependent on manufacturing and exporting, and that’s a consequence of the trade fight.

The plan on this index, going forward, is to update all of those prior regional differences, and in the next quarter, we’ll introduce a new one. So, we’re talking among ourselves now. If it’s third quarter, are we going to do agricultural areas? College towns or areas with a lot of townhouses? There are a lot of different options; the idea being that everybody can come up with a top 10 list of something. We want to stay away from those.

I like this regional thing because it connects the macro elements that we’re talking about to where builders are building. By the way, when we looked at the rest of the country, non-manufacturing areas were down, but they were only down a little bit, so a lot of the recent weakness in single-family construction is concentrated in manufacturing areas. 

Q  What about inflation and interest rates? What do you expect from the Fed? 

 So you have trade conflict, slowing job creation, and then we still have to be on the watch for any inflationary pressures, even though inflation has been missing in this current cycle. For that reason, the Federal Reserve raising the fund rate by 100 basis points in 2018 was too aggressive. There was just not the amount of inflation to require that policy position.

The Fed’s job is to maintain maximum employment and prevent inflation, so it’s going to be vigilant. That may mean that while the Fed has definitely moved into a dovish posture—it cut rates in September and we think it’s going to cut rates again, perhaps twice more after that—but it may offer a smaller number of rate cuts than Wall Street expects.

Q  This recovery started with builders targeting buyers of upscale, luxury homes, while attention to building entry-level product, which has typically kicked off past recoveries, came later. After a growth recession, would we see upscale building picking up first again?

A  No. When we look at inventories right now, there’s not a lot of growth potential for that higher-end market, which was the easiest for builders to build to. I say “easiest” with some reservation, as there is no market in building that is “easy.” But in the—let’s call it the custom market—with larger, higher priced homes, there is a lot more resale inventory there. That share of the market has been about 20% of housing starts. I expect that market to hold flat. 

Where we do expect to see growth is in the entry level [homes] market. It’s just starting to come in fits and starts and has been sluggish. It’s kind of been two steps forward, three steps back on entry level, and, if anything, in the last year, it was more like three steps forward and three steps back. What we saw in the geography index is that the places where there was a lot of potential for entry-level market expansion were those areas where there was either higher density, single-family detached—so, smaller homes—or townhouse construction. 

Where we do expect to see growth is in the entry level [homes] market. It’s just starting to come in fits and starts …

Now, if you think about where townhouse construction occurs, there are good examples in the large metro areas, where you have townhouse construction in the exurbs near mass transit. But in a lot of cases, that kind of higher density—single-family attached, single-family detached—is occurring in the inner suburbs. When we looked at the geography index, what we found was that those large metro suburbs really slowed down the most due to the housing affordability crunch at the end of 2018 and into the first part of this year. 

That’s the three steps forward, three steps back. A lot of builders were getting into entry level, but they pulled back at the start of 2019. Now that interest rates are lower—to the extent that builders’ financing channels are open—I think we’re going to see expansion at that lower end for the remainder of this part of the cycle.

So, in the high-end market, there’s not a lot of growth potential, but it’s relatively stable, partly because a significant share of older buyers are large cash or large down-payment buyers. There’s more growth potential at the entry level, but also more volatility.

As a result, some quarters may be stronger, where we see the expansion of that kind of product, and other quarters—because of those buyers seeking out entry-level homes—are going to be more sensitive to changes in housing affordability conditions. We saw that in the fall of 2018 when mortgage rates got to 5%. That high loaned-value mortgage buyer, that prospective first-time buyer who doesn’t have a large payment, they’re going to be very sensitive to those kinds of interest rates and down payment requirements. 

Q  Mortgage interest rates rose during 2017 and, for some house shoppers, may have created a sense of urgency to buy. What impact, at this point of the economic cycle, might declining/stable low mortgage rates have or not have on buyers and on builder confidence?

A  Buyer prospects are relatively cautious. If you look at the consumer confidence measures, they’re a little off their highs, but they’re near 20-year lows, so we’re in a pretty good position, even if they’ve been reduced this year because of the stock market decline at the end of 2018 and the partial government shutdown.

But the other thing to keep in mind is that for a first-time homebuyer, they have to have the down payment to be able to benefit from the low interest rate. I think that is a challenge because, as home prices and construction costs continue to rise faster than income growth, that down payment requirement has become increasingly out of reach for a growing number of first-time buyers. Sometimes when we focus on the rates, we’re missing the ability to translate the potential demand into somebody who can claim it. 

In addition—and this has been my thing for the last four or five years—we can’t forget the supply side. Something like 75% of builders are not high production, national home builders that get financing through Wall Street. They’re small and regional builders that get their financing through banks, particularly community banks. When we do our quarterly surveys of the financing conditions for acquisition development construction loans [AD&C], interest rates from mortgages went up last fall and then came down. But when we look at interest rates in AD&C loans, particularly construction loans, they went up last fall and they stayed up. For example, a spec 1-to-4-unit construction loan is right around 6%. It did not come down. 

We do our economic builder survey once a year and we still find that two-thirds of home builders are saying lot supplies in their market are low or very low.

So, there are some additional risk factors that are still in place for lending, if you don’t have those lending channels available. And even if you do have some growth and potential demand due to lower mortgage interest rates, it can’t translate into growth for single-family permits unless builders can get financing so they can acquire lots, develop land, and build homes. So, I’m a little concerned about that. 

There’s a lot of discussion about what an inverted yield curve means. Of course, it’s part of the stock market technical analysis, but the inverted yield curve is not a sufficient condition for a recession. It doesn’t guarantee that you get one. It’s usually is a sign of an impending slowdown and some kind of recession, say over the next two to three years.

But what it is a warning about is credit conditions in the bond markets. Those markets are telling you that there is some concern about lending conditions. So, if you see an inverted yield curve and follow that up with some data about the tightening of credit conditions—in other words, the flows of lending begin to decline—that then is a sufficient condition for recession.

So far, we don’t see that. The September 10 consumer credit report shows that consumer credit grew. But the fact that those AD&C loan rates remain elevated is one part of the credit system that appears to be tighter than it was, and that’s a concern. Whether it’s policy makers or homebuyers or other housing stake holders, if they’re worried about housing affordability and the relative availability of inventory, they need to be looking at some of these variables within the home building supply side of the market that says we’re not really going to get this huge growth in inventory to take advantage of these lower rates.

Q  Does the inability of prospective first-time buyers to amass a down payment put builders who want to expand into the entry-level market in a vulnerable position?

A  We know from demographics and economic potential that the growth for the home builder is that entry level market. It’s that first-time buyer … that Millennial who is now in their early 30s and renting who wants to buy a single-family home. There are risks. That’s why I said there is growth potential with higher volatility and, depending on credit market conditions, builders’ financing costs could go up. 

During most of this recovery, regulatory costs are higher, and with building material costs in 2018 we saw lumber prices go on a roller-coaster ride. At one point, prices went up 60%, easily adding $8,000 to a typical single-family home. If you think about the risk … the builder needs to repay the lenders, and they’ve got to cover those costs, some of which are highly volatile. As growth cycles age, risk tends to grow, and I think that’s what we are seeing in these bond market conditions. There is this growing risk of additional slow-down, even though if you look at the basic economic variables, things tend to be fairly healthy right now. 

Q  So, as consumer confidence goes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that builder confidence will follow?

A  Yes. We saw the builder confidence index take a big drop last fall, and it’s been recovering since then. It continues to trend up to the level 65, which is positive. In the comments from the survey, what we hear builders say is, “I’m worried about my access to skilled labor. I’m worried about regulatory costs [which includes things like impact fees], and while I have potential buyers, they can’t all call me for a mortgage because of pricing and affordability constraints.”

Q  Where does the NAHB stand on whether builders are overleveraged or not with land?

 It really depends on the kind of builder and where they build. There are large metro markets with plenty of lots, but they’re in the wrong locations. Our geography index said that at the start of the year exurban locations were the only places that were growing.

Single-family permits were declining in the outer suburbs, inner suburbs, and core areas. Exurbs were growing because there was some lot availability in those markets.  

If you talk to some analysts, they may say that lot supplies are fairly large for this metro area. Well, it depends on where in the metro area. Some of it depends on the kind of builder. Larger builders with deeper pockets are going to have more favorable access to land and lots. We do our economic builder survey once a year and we still find that two-thirds of home builders are saying lot supplies in their market are low or very low. So I would still list lots as being scarce or relatively scarce on a nationwide basis for the typical builder—that builder being a small or regional type builder.

I think a lot of that is due to seeing relatively positive market conditions in front of them, but lots may not be at the prices where builders incorporate them into their business model and can supply homes that meet potential buyers’ budget constraints. Trying to get more efficient zoning rules, trying to fight some of the growth in impact fees, trying to increase the speed at which land development occurs; all those things are factors that could really help with achieving housing affordability.

Q  What is NAHB outlook for home price appreciation?

 Some volatility. What we noticed over the last two years is that home price growth has been slowing. Up until that period, home prices have definitely been rising faster than income growth. In a healthy market, home prices should be growing exactly along the lines of income growth. When they’re growing faster, it’s usually a sign of scarcity. When they’re growing faster than income growth, it’s usually a sign of oversupply. 

Without a doubt, this market has been characterized by undersupply since we got through the Great Recession because of the lack of home building, so home prices are growing a little faster than incomes. That gap has closed a bit. There is some interesting commentary out from Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, who expects a little bit of re-acceleration [5.4% by July 2020]. I was a little surprised it was that strong because when Frank and I talked about it going into 2017, and thinking about what tax reform would do, we said we didn’t expect tax reform to reduce the home building sector, but we did think it was going to slow home price growth. 

This cycle is really about a slowdown. It’s not about a multiyear Great Recession type of environment. 

There were other estimates out there that were more dramatic, such as a 10% decline in home prices. We didn’t think we were going to get anything like that, but we did think home price growth was going to slow. It did. I think what they’re looking at—not us—is that lower rates are going to bring some sideline demand in and home price growth. Our forecast is home price growth continuing a bit faster than income growth. Both could end up slowing if we go into something a little more serious than a growth recession. 

One of the things I think we can look at with current conditions is for builders to ask: Is today more like 1998, or is it more like the year 2000? In both of those environments, you had concerns about a slowing economy: 1998 was connected to concerns about financial issues with financial investment firms, but the Fed was able to ease those concerns and the growth cycle continued; in 2000, the Fed was easing concerns about an inverted yield curve and then we had a recession in 2001.

I tend to hedge closer to the idea that it’s closer to 1998 than to 2000. The current cycle does have some growth potential, but if we would enter into a recession more like 2000, that would give you a fairly good simulation of what this economy in terms of slowing conditions would look like. It would mean a slowdown in price growth and a slowdown in home building. 

This cycle is really about a slowdown. It’s not about a multiyear Great Recession type of environment. It’s quarter to quarter, reviewing your strategic plans. I’ll give you another example that’s consistent with that. Despite the slowdown in home production that we’ve seen since last fall, the size of the residential construction labor force has continued to grow. That is sort of the opposite of what you would expect given that single-family permits are down. You would not expect a lot of growth in home building, but because we had a skilled labor shortage, people still want to get talent into their firms so when growth does return, they’re ready for it. 

We’ve had years of under-building. Builders are being cautious about the macro headwinds, but they still see a lot of demographic potential over the next five to 10 years as those Millennials progressively move into their mid-30s and early 40s and really represent a lot of potential home building demand, particularly on the single-family side. 

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 Clay Shoot Committee

Jim Gearhart - Chairman

Jim Gearhart – Chairman

2019 WABA Bust-A-Clay Shoot

We feel this was our best Clay Shoot to date with two hundred and seventy shooters, dozens of sponsors and volunteers. It a great day at the shooting range for everyone.  There was plenty of shooting of course, but also plenty of fellowship, competition, food, beer and prizes.

We gave away 38 guns between the 2 top guns, the Lewis Class scoring guns, door prizes and raffles, as well as many other door prizes.  Below is a list of the winners for the day.  Please congratulate them when you see them.

Shawn Nelson and his team were the big winners this year, with Shawn winning one of the top guns and his team taking first place on the red course and taking home the traveling trophy. Frank Bauer won the other top gun. Congratulations to all of you and all the other winners!

Thank you SPONSORS! We had an incredible group of sponsors this year and without their sponsorship this event wouldn’t be possible. Please thank them when you see them.

We encourage you to join us next year.  It really is a fantastic day for everyone!

Mark your calendars – October 16, 2020.



Blue Course 1st Place Team: Star Lumber – Jason Woodle                                   

Blue Course 2nd Place Team: Star Lumber – Ron Neises                          

Blue Course 3rd Place Team: Metro Appliances & More                                           

Blue Course Top Shooter: Travis Hall                                                                          

Red Course 1st Place Team: Shawn Nelson Construction                          

Red Course 2nd Place Team: Davis Moore Auto Group                                            

Red Course 3rd Place Team: Vogts Construction                                                      

Red Course Top Shooter: Tim Murphy                                                                         

TRAVELING TROPHY WINNER: Shawn Nelson Construction

Lewis Class Gun Winners:
Shawn Nelson
Frank Bauer
Tyler Rosehammer
Nick Niedens
Geron Smith
James Daugherty
Gaten Wood
Royce Dockins
Brad Fitts
Zach Roberson                                                       
Todd Rosenhagen
Jeff Berblinger                                                         
Mike Cook                                        
Daryl Yoder
Bill Overbeck
Tyson Weidenbener
Phil Hesse
Daniel Kihle
Lance Doll                                                               
Al Ceynar
Dave Workman                                                       
Anne Krueger                                                          
Jim Scott                                                                  
Alan Clutter                                                                

1st Raffle Gun Winner: Ric Gonzales

2nd Raffle Gun Winner: Steve Graf

3rd Raffle Grill Winner: Brian Sereno 

4th Raffle Split the Pot Winner: Nick Niedens   

Lewis Class Gun Winners:
Chris Smith
Gene Ogden
Willy Shideler
Dave Brungart
Matt Bretches
Rhonda Anderson 


Lunch Sponsor
Security 1st Title

Shell Sponsors
James Hardie Building Products
Star Lumber

Happy Hour Sponsor
Pella Products of Kansas

Top Gun Sponsors
Kansas Ready Mix, LLC
Precision Foundation, Inc.

Gun Sponsors
Apex Lawn Irrigation
Artistic Marble & Granite
Baughman Company, P.A.
Bell Mirror & Glass, Inc.
Beran Concrete
BNC National Bank
Carl Harris Company, Inc.
Casado McKay
Cox Business
Craig Sharp Homes, Inc.
Drywall Systems, Inc.
Fahnestock Heating and Air, Inc.
Fisher Lumber
J. Russell Companies
Jim Gearhart Homes, LLC
Kansas Brick and Tile
Legacy Bank
McCollom Construction
Monarch Cement Company
Occidental Management, Inc.
ProHome International, LLC
Silverdale Quality Stone
Wichita Railway Services, LLC

Raffle Sponsors
Andale Ready Mix Central, Inc.
Fisher Lumber
Metro Appliances & More

Flurry Sponsor
LP Products

Long Teal/Long Rabbit Sponsor
Martin Marietta

Awards Sponsors
Lies-Bugner Homes, LLC
ProHome International, LLC

Prize Sponsors
Acme Brick Company
Anderson Windows
BCK Holdings, LLC
C. Linda Mason
Capitol Federal Savings
Central States Electric Corp.
Cheney Door Company, Inc.
Comfort Homes, Inc.
Crabtree & Associates, LLC
Darin Byer
DB Construction of Wichita Inc.
Eaton Roofing & Exteriors Inc
Electrical Contractors, Inc.
Fahsholtz Construction, Inc.
Fenix Heating & Cooling
Frederick Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning
Griswold Property Solutions, LLC
H & H Homebuilders, Inc.
Heartland Home Improvements
Intrust Bank
Jim Goentzel
Kansas Secured Title
Lifestyles by Lane, Inc.
Metro Appliances & More
Nies Homes, Inc.
Oilfield Shelters, Inc.
Paul Gray Homes
Plumbing Solutions of Wichita
Professional Waterproofing & Insulation
Relph Construction, Inc.
Robl Construction & Remodeling
R-Z Electric
Hatchett Buick GMC
Tate Construction, LLC
TW Custom Homes, Inc.
Vision Custom Homes
Wildhorse Stone Company
Windsor Windows

Beverage/Snack Sponsor
Conway Bank

Coffee & Donut Sponsor
Quality Granite & Marble, Inc.

Golf Cart Sponsor
Kansas Golf and Turf

Port-A-Potty Sponsor
Acme Waste Systems, LLC

Station Sponsors
Absolute Distribution, Inc.
Accent Lighting
Ash Grove Cement Company
Emprise Bank
Heiland Enterprises
Pella Products of Kansas
Spec Building Materials Corp.
White Star Machinery

2019 Clay Shoot Pictures! (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

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Codes & Standards Committee

Jerry Warren, Chairman

Expanded Plumbing Board Approved/Appointed

At the plumbing contractors segment of the construction industry’s request, the City of Wichita and Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners, have taken action to approve expansion of the plumbing board that existed during prior years and make all new appointments to the expanded board – some individuals were re-appointed, and others appointed for the first time. There appears to be a good balance of individuals who possess diverse amounts of expertise who will be able to work together for the benefit of their segment of the industry as an integral part of the overall housing and light construction segments of the industry going forward. Here is the list of individuals appointed:

Kirk Stoddard – Master Plumber Installation – City

John Clark – Master Plumber Industrial/Commercial – City

Evan Lies – Master Plumber New Residential – County

Beau Means – Master Plumber Service & Repair – County

Ray Frederick – Mechanical Contractor – City

Curtis Unkel – Master Lawn Irrigation – City

Seth Harrington – Journeyman Plumber Installation – County

Larry Dougherty – Public at Large – Joint

Shaun Conway – Licensed Mechanical Engineer – County

ICC Validated Voter List

As many in the industry know, the International Code Council is constantly engaged in activities that result in the updating of versions of building and trades codes, most of which are adopted for use in various states, cities, and counties used to regulate building and trades practices. Proposed changes to versions of the codes the ICC develops , in conjunction with a diverse group of committees, subcommittees, and working groups, are voted on at different levels within the ICC hierarchy before they are finalized for final approval by ICC Validated Voters consisting of building and trades code enforcement personnel, and fire code enforcement personnel from city/county jurisdictions throughout the country. Thus, the importance of knowing who these individuals are and collaborating with them in order to share the concerns of our segment of the construction industry with the intent of influencing how they vote on code provisions that can have a positive, or negative, impact on what is built.

WABA is constantly working with area building, trades, and fire code enforcement officials to assure that local city/county jurisdictions are validating the maximum number of voters allowed, educating them about specific code change proposals, and why we support, or oppose certain proposed changes. A good deal of success is being achieved to proposed changes being approved, or rejected, for the benefit of us all. We’ll keep all member informed as activities in this regard take place. Click here for a current list of specific proposed code changes we, working in conjunction with our National Association of Home Builders, and where we stand regarding each one. 

Quarterly Member Feedback Survey Regarding Dealings with MABCD

Beginning the first of the new year, our Association will begin conducting a quarterly survey of members who utilize the services of MABCD, to gather feedback for the benefit of our Committee and MABCD management as we continue working together to improve the levels of efficiency, and quality of services the industry expects from MABCD, as well as the public. Efforts advanced to get as close as one can get to having real time information available on an ongoing basis will be helpful to all concerned in anticipating certain problems/difficulties that might develop, and when, and finding solutions to address them a quickly as possible. We hope all concerned and impacted will take the time to complete what will be a relatively short survey when you receive it in early January 2020. Securing a good response will be essential to the success of this initiative.

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Cornerstone Club

David Gatz - Chairman

David Gatz – Chairman

2019 Cornerstone Club Banquet

Recently, Tim Norton, executive director of the Kansas Aviation Museum was the guest speaker at our Annual Cornerstone dinner. Tim reminded us that Kansas and Wichita in particular has a rich aviation history that needs to be preserved and shared with visitors and future generations alike.   Maintaining the unique and wonderful original 1935 Art Deco Municipal Airport Building, restoring and saving the collection of planes and artifacts and insuring storytelling that educates and entertains multiple generations of guests is a daunting task and requires ongoing community support.

Increased memberships, stepped up marketing, gift shop sales and event rentals are all important to the viability of the Museum and are built into the operating budget. But to be transformative and move this hidden treasure to top of mind in our community and beyond AND to continue to tout ourselves as the “Air Capital of the World” it is going to take a commitment from individuals, businesses and organizations to support the Museum financially.

The Kansas Aviation Museum is in the middle of its Cleared For Takeoff KAMpaign so it can continue to renovate the building, update and change out exhibits to keep the experience fresh, continue to preserve and share the unique collection of aviation artifacts, and put the Museum on par with our community tag line of “The Air Capital of the World.”

Donations can be sent to:   Kansas Aviation Museum, 3350 So. George Washington Blvd., Wichita, Kansas.   67210.

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Developers Committee

Justin Strelow, Chairperson

Justin Strelow, Chairperson

Special Assessment Abatement Pertaining to Stormwater Drainage

Our Committee is working to secure a change to City of Wichita Charter Ordinance #212 that presently restricts the use of special assessment abatement/deferral having to do with required stormwater improvements. What is being proposed is modification of paragraph D of the Ordinance. By modifying this paragraph, developers would not be limited to stormwater drainage and any other requirements addressed in this paragraph of the Ordinance.

Inclusionary Zoning Calculator Templates

For the last two years the Land Use Policy Subcommittee of the National Association of Homes Builders Developers has been working with a number of the developers that serve on the Subcommittee and our NAHB Economics Department to develop an Inclusionary Zoning Calculator Template for use by member Developers and Builders when it is given final approval. For the present time is being circulated for information purposes and input is being sought from interested developers and builders as to whether the template tool would be useful.

Click here to view a copy of a template, and please let our WABA offices if you think the template would be a useful tool.

Click to see another template.

Any feedback received will be forwarded to the staff of our NAHB Land Use Policy Subcommittee in this regard.

Posted in Committee/Council News, Developers Committee, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Developers Committee

Legislative Committee

Don Klausmeyer Chairperson

Don Klausmeyer

Looking Forward to 2020 Elections

With the most recent elections now behind us, and the results known, we have concluded that we fared pretty well given the candidates that were supported and elected and that we are moving forward to continue to work with, and establish good working relationships with those that are newly elected and we’ll begin working with for the benefit of the housing and light construction segments of the construction industry in our area. That said, we have also begun turning our attention to the 2020 elections that will be taking place at the federal, state, and local levels which are many, and very important to us given the outcome that will ultimately take place in those elections.

The process of meeting with known candidates, and others expected to become candidates, has already begun and will continue throughout the end of the current year and well into the first quarter of 2020, and beyond as deemed necessary.

Given our membership’s level of interest in who the candidates will be, we will endeavor to keep everyone up-to-date on our activities, and will be calling on all members to do all you can to help those candidates identified as the ones most worthy of support in any way you can in order to achieve the outcome degree of success possible. It going to be a very busy 2020.

Posted in Committee/Council News, Legislative Committee | Comments Off on Legislative Committee

Membership Committee

Most Recent New Member Recruiting Drive Successful

Jim Gearhart - Chairman

Jim Gearhart – Chairman

Tina Williams

Jim Gearhart was the top recruiter with 5 new members and Ann Allaire and Susan Armstrong both recruited 3 new members. Thank you to everyone who participated in the drive and for all you do to support our Association.


New Member Profiles:

Jared BrownJared Brown
Quality Construction and Remodeling/Derby Deck Co.

Jared Brown is the owner of Quality Construction and Remodeling/Derby Deck Co. Jared is a general contractor that specializes in start to finish remodels, interior and exterior repairs, additions, and deck construction. Jared and his wife Mary, who also works for the company, live in Derby and have two daughters, Abbie and Kimber.

Jeff Dexter Jeff Dexter
Midwest Building Supply

My wife, Tracey Dexter, and I are the new owners of Midwest Building Supply in Goddard.  Tracey and I live in West Wichita and have three children, and one grandchild.  Midwest Building Supply has been providing builders and homeowners with kitchen and bathroom cabinetry for over 30 years.  I am a proud new member of the Wichita Area Builders Association and an active member of the Wichita Wagonmasters.

Benard Meyer
Team Home Hero @ ERA Great American Realty   

Meeting Your Needs, Delivering Results
Real Estate Agency has and still is undergoing a massive change in the marketplace. We saw a GIANT need for an updated version of customer service and skills required to solve the problems of the current Home Buyer and Home Seller. We are on a Mission to set a new standard of Quality Service & Skills. Designed to Solve your Problems more effectively than ever before.

Will you help us accomplish this goal? Get to know us in more detail at www.team-home-hero.com

Key Points to promote: Team Home Hero Culture of service first; Certified Business & Life Coach; Digital Marketing Expert; Sales training like none other (unique & learned); Real Estate Investor knowledge; Licensed General Contractor; Best of Zillow, “Best of CRMs”; Strategic Relationships w/ vendors, brokerage, community connections; Inside track on the industry & local market; Coaching & Learning with industry’s Best Systems & Processes that work for *anyone*; Over 200 transaction sides over the last 4-year career (experience & knowledge)

Jeremiah Shaw
Handyman Connection
450 North 159th St E, Wichita, KS 67230
(316) 425-9292

Hello, my name is Jeremiah Shaw.
Handyman Connection Wichita East is owned and operated by Jeremiah and Dianne Shaw. Jeremiah is a native of the Wichita area and a retired veteran of the US Army. He has spent his entire military and civilian career in the construction industry. With more than two decades of experience, Jeremiah is committed to ensuring our craftsmen provide top-notch customer service and high-quality workmanship for our customers..

We serve the following areas:
Andover, Benton, Derby, Greenwich, Kechi, Rose Hill & Wichita

Membership Report December 2019

This proposed new member candidates list is published in compliance with Article V Section 3(c) of the WABA By-laws. If no contest is filed within 10 days these persons will become members effective the first of next month.

Big Al Ceynar
Davis-Moore Automotive, Inc.
8200 W Kellogg Dr
Wichita, KS 67209

Bree Maybee
J. Russell
6402 W. Kollmeyer Ct.
Wichita, KS 67205

Chad Arnett
Quality Granite & Marble, Inc.
1123 S West St.
Wichita, KS 67213

Chaz Doffing
Floor and Decor
9629 E. Kellogg Ave.
Wichita, KS 67207

Cynthia Gorges
Rowe & Gorges, LLC
7701 E Kellogg, Ste. 550
Wichita, KS 67207

Dylan Hartnett
American Family Insurance/Dylan Hartnett Agency
107 W 6th Ave
Augusta, KS 67010

Jeff Dexter
Midwest Building Supply
201 E 6th Street Circle
Goddard, KS 67052

Jesse Schellenberg
Schellenberg Development Company
2243 N Ridge Rd
Wichita, KS 67213

Jim Erbes
Windsor Windows
900 S 19th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265

Jim Vincent
Shady Creek Sporting Clays
1252 N Oliver
Belle Plaine, KS 67013

Joe Mitchel
Land Title, Inc
240 N Rock Rd, Ste 355
Wichita, KS 67206

Juan Morales
Promise of Quality Painting LLC
3134 S All Hallows Circle
Wichita, KS 67217

Kenny Schlegel
Schlegel Carpentry Services
9160 W Harvest Ct
Wichita, KS 67212

LaTasha St Arnault
HumanKind Ministries
829 N Market St.
Wichita, KS 67214

McKenzie Gallardo
Design Gallery
5838 W 21st Str
Wichita, KS 67205

Michael Morrison
Morrison Roofing & Construction
220 N Nelson Dr
Derby, KS 67037

Mike Flores
Chilton Billiard & Spas
700 S Broadway
Wichita, KS 67211

Mike Suellentrop
Floor Coverings Int’l
4520 Westlake Ct.
Bel Aire, KS 67220

Richelle Knotts
ReeceNichols South Central Kansas, LLC
1551 N. Waterfront Parkway, Ste. 110
Wichita, KS 67206

Robin Larkins
Berkshire Hathaway
413 N Osage Rd
Derby, KS 67037

Ryan Parish
Parish Masonry, LLC
3038 N Ridge Port Ct
Wichita, KS 67205

Tina Williams
Qualtiy Granite & Marble, Inc
1123 S. West St.
Wichita, KS 67213

Will E Harmon
Keller Williams Signature Partners, LLC
9526 W Brookridge Ct
Wichita, KS 67205

Zach Fugate
Canvas Wealth Advisors
1133 East 2nd Str North
Wichita, KS 67214

Jack Burks
Eaton Roofing & Exteriors Inc
3821  Street St.
Wichita, KS 67203

Jared Brown
Quality Construction and Remodeling / Derby Deck Co
413 E Tall Tree
Derby, KS 67037

Matthew Mills
A & E Construction, LLC
515 S. Main, Ste. 114
Wichita, KS 67202

Shane Woods
W Homes, LLC
1609 E. Elk Ridge Ave.
Goddard, KS 67052

Tim Chadd
Tim Chadd Homes
808 N Woodchuck
Wichita, KS 67212

Alex Lent
DuraCon Construction, LLC
6510 E. Abbotsford Dr.
Wichita,  KS 67206
SPONSOR: Darin Campbell

Ben Meyer
Team Home Hero @ ERA Great American Realty
8100 E. 22nd St., Bldg. 2100-4
Wichita,  KS 67226
SPONSOR: Kevin Goebel

Brandon Brigham
Quality Granite & Marble, Inc.
1123 S. West St.
Wichita,  KS 67213
SPONSOR: Jeff Chapman

Brad Crone
Golden Belt Roofing & Exteriors
P.O. Box 1784
Great Bend,  KS 67530
SPONSOR: Dave Sproul

Christine Almquist
RCB Bank
10501 E. Berekeley Square Pkwy.
Wichita,  KS 67202
SPONSOR: Jeffrey Richardson

David Dauffenbach
Electrical Systems, Inc
1815 S. Pattie St.
Wichita,  KS 67235
SPONSOR: Tanner Cole

The Insurance Guys
416 S. Market
Wichita,  KS 67202
SPONSOR: Jim Gearhart

Garrett Brand
B & A Mowing, LLC
203 S. Crocker St.
Colwich,  KS 67030
SPONSOR: Ann Allaire

Jim Grow
Milgard Windows & Doors
13748 Mohawk Rd., #804
Leawood,  KS 66224
SPONSOR: David Gatz

Larry Hastings
Star Lumber Truss
1666 S. St. Clair
WIchita,  KS 67213
SPONSOR: Kevin Goebel

Lee Nutter
Wichita Home Inspections
2450 S. Yellowstone
Wichita,  KS 67215
SPONSOR: Susan Armstrong

Lindsey Frack
Drywall Systems, Inc.
3919 S. West St.
Wichita,  KS 67217
SPONSOR: Eric Purkey

Mahlon Alexander
SM Design, LLC
3632 N. Forest Ridge Ct.
Wichita,  KS 67205
SPONSOR: Jay Russell

United Rentals, Inc.
9127 W. Kellogg Dr.
Wichita,  KS 67209
SPONSOR: Randy Coonrod

Robert Hoke
Day & Night Flooring
1105 W. US Hwy. 54, Ste. B
Andover,  KS 67002
SPONSOR: Gene Vitarelli

Tim Owens
128 E. 5th St., Ste. B
Newton,  KS 67114
SPONSOR: Jeremy Berblinger

Trae Staats
Farha Roofing, LLC
1627 S. Hillside
Wichita,  KS 67218
SPONSOR: Dave Sproul

Ernest Warren
Credit Union of America
P.O. Box 47528
Wichita, KS 67201

Amy Feather
Security 1st Title
727 Waco, Ste. 300
Wichita, KS 67203

Chris Elmore
Cox Communications
901 George Washington Blvd.
Wichita, KS 67211

Cory DeShaw
Huber Engineered Woods, LLC
1143 Treeshade Dr.
Saint Peters, MO 63375

Justin Rocheleau
Sierra Pacific Mortgage
111 E 21st St. N., #200
Wichita, KS 67206

Eric Scott
Credit Union of America
P.O. Box 47528
Wichita, KS 67201

Tina Williams
Security 1st Title
727 Waco, Ste. 300
Wichita, KS 67203

Cody Corbet
Cox Communications
901 George Washington Blvd.
Wichita, KS 67211

Nick Johnson
Huber Engineered Woods, LLC
1143 Treeshade Dr.
Saint Peters, MO 63375

Ramona Chapman
Sierra Pacific Mortgage
111 E 21st St. N., #200
Wichita, KS 67206

Posted in Committee/Council News, Membership Committee, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Membership Committee

Next Gen Committee/Remodelers Council

Steve Hund Chairperson

Steve Hund

Steve Hund, Chairman Next Generation Committee

David Francis, Chairman Remodelers Council

The most recent meetings of our Next Gen Group, and the Remodelers Council, consisted of a joint one for the purpose of hearing a presentation on the needs of the local CASAS for Kids Organization. Presented and discussed was information about the important role Court Appointed Special Advocates play in our community – working as volunteers of the CASA Organization – as advocates for the rights of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, and other reasons, while the problems that led to the removal are being dealt with by the Courts, and utilization of other methods. It takes a great deal of commitment to become involved as a volunteer on behalf of children in this regard, but well worth the time as evidenced by the experiences shared by one of our own Next Gen members, Bonnie Mason of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, who became a certified CASA Advocate earlier this year.

David Francis Chairperson

David Francis

Due to the ongoing needs of the CASA Organization, consideration is being given to sponsoring a fundraiser for the Organization via the design and construction of backyard playhouses of the scale and type that members of the Association designed and constructed for display during our Annual Home Show some years ago. It just might be that the time is right to do it again in support of a very respected, long standing organization in our community of which CASA is one. We’ll keep all members informed.

Posted in Committee/Council News, NextGen Committee | Comments Off on Next Gen Committee/Remodelers Council

Grievance & Ethics/Dispute Resolution Committee

Gary Jeskie - Chairman

Gary Jeskie – Chairman

Use of Binding Arbitration Beneficial

Since the establishment of our Committee some 20-plus year ago to help builders and customers settle disputes that can sometimes develop between them it is becoming more and more obvious that parties are recognizing the use of binding arbitration to secure final resolution to disputes, in a more timely, cost effective manner than becoming involved in litigation. Such has certainly been the case on the part of our Committee’s observations and we strongly encourage all builders to include binding arbitration clauses in your contracts of sale. It’s one of the best tools available for you and your clients use, should disputes arise.

All Model Builder Contracts developed by the Association, in conjunction with legal counsel for builders use, have such arbitration provisions incorporated into them. Please contact the association offices if you would like to receive copies of them and they will be provided to you. You can also download them if you wish from the WABA members only part of our wabahome.com website.

Posted in Committee/Council News, NextGen Committee | Comments Off on Grievance & Ethics/Dispute Resolution Committee

WABA Chili Cook-Off

Thank you everyone who participated in this year’s Chili Cook-Off.  We had a great turn out of both teams and tasters till the weather took a turn for the worse about half way through the event.  Nevertheless, everyone had a great time while it lasted.  This year we had 13 teams competing for best chili and best booth.

Congratulations to the winning teams:

Best Chili

1st Place – The Insurance Guys

2nd Place – Cheney Door Company

3rd Place – 1st National Bank of Hutchinson

Best Booth

1st Place – The Insurance Guys

2nd Place – Cheney Door Company

3rd Place – 1st National Bank of Hutchinson

We hope you will all join us again next year and we hope the weather will be more cooperative.


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