Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Successful remodeling contractor marketing techniques

Business Results Survey: Repeats and Referrals

Repeats and referrals dominate in the remodeling industry

Jonathan Sweet, Senior EditorApril 1, 2009

Professional Remodeler

Repeats and referrals continue to be the most reliable source of leads for most contractors, accounting for almost 80 percent of lead activity.

Remodelers use a variety of tactics to get the word out, with the most popular being job/truck signs (74 percent), company Web site (58 percent), organization membership/networking (48 percent), print advertising (48 percent), direct mail (39 percent) and Yellow Pages (35 percent).

Conversely, this means that many remodelers are ignoring two of the basics of marketing: 24 percent of companies don't use job site or truck signage and 42 percent don't have Web sites, including 21 percent of those with revenues over $3 million.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Building Permits Doink (Chart)


Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 513,000.

This is 9.0 percent (±4.1%) below the revised February rate of 564,000 and is 45.0 percent (±4.1%) below the March 2008 estimate of932,000.

Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 361,000; this is 7.4 percent (±3.5%) below the revised February figure of390,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 132,000 in March.

TML - If we could have the growth we had from 1992 to 2007 all over again, that would be nice.

AIA Compiled Guide to Stimulus Funds

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that was signed into law in February has just now begun releasing tax dollars into the economy. The AIA estimates that the ARRA contains up to $130 billion that can be used for the design and construction of buildings. AIA has compiled a list of where much of this money is going.

Architecture Firm Billings Show Signs of Change

The AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) improved significantly in March, easing to its highest level since August 2008 with a score of 43.7. This means that while business conditions at architecture firms still remain weak, the number of firms reporting declining firm billings is fewer than it has been in the last several months.......

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program

Starts: Tuesday May 19, 2009, 08:30AM
Ends: Tuesday May 19, 2009, 11:30AM

Event Type: Training/Seminar

Westchester Community College
Peekskill Extension Center
27 N Division St
Peekskill, NY 10566

Price: Attendance is free, but registration is necessary


Industry: Architecture & Planning

Intended For: An owner of property located within a Historical District on the National Register of Historic Places, Architects, Accountants, Attorneys, Contractors, Building Inspectors, Historical Review Board Members

Organization: City of Peekskill

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program encourages private sector rehabilitation of historic buildings and is one of the nation’s most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs. It has been used as a stand alone resource for the rehabilitation of commercial structures. Additionally, once you qualify for the Federal Tax Credit, you will automatically eligible to receive a 6% NY State Historic Tax Credit. The basics of these programs will be discussed along with several examples where they have been used as a part of the project financing package.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Peekskill Open Studios 2009
June 6 & 7, 2009
Noon to 5 pm

Open your studio and put it on the map.
Storefront display windows from local shopkeepers.
Bus to/from downtown, riverfront, HVCCA, Hat Factory
Member show "DRAWN" at Standard House Gallery
Map with participating artists, contact info
Manned info booth at the Gazebo
Guided tours
Post cards

For further information call
Larry D'Amico at 734-1292
Jo-Ann Brody at 737-1646
Peekskill Arts Council
P O Box 2268
Peekskill, New York 10566

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lower South Street/Louisa Street Charrette


Lower South Street/Louisa Street Charrette

Friday April 24, 2009 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Saturday, April 25, 2009 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Bus Tour of Area on Saturday at 8:00 am

Centennial Hose701 Washington StreetPeekskill, NY 10566

Anthony J. Ruggiero, AICP
Director of Planning
City of Peekskill
840 Main Street
Peekskill, New York 10566
Telephone: 914.734.4212
Fax: 914.737.2688

Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Sunday, May 17, 2009 12:00 – 5:00pm

Artists are invited to bring their portfolios for review. These one on one constructive critiques with leading gallerists and collectors offer artists the chance to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Each review is 20 minutes and reservations are required. Portfolios should include 10-20 examples of your best work. Artists are encouraged to bring in laptops and high quality images. HVCCA provides no equipment.

The panel includes: -Caren Golden, Caren Golden Fine Art, NYC -Stefan Stux, Stux Gallery, NYC -Peter Surace, Owner, RARE Gallery, NYC-Skarlet Smatana, Director, L&M Art, NYC-Emilio Steinberger, Director, Haunch of Venison, NYC-Joel and Zoe Dicterow, collectors, NYC-Marc and Livia Straus, collectors, Founders, HVCCA

There is a high correlation between online video ads watchers and an increase in web site traffic.

There is a high correlation between online video ads watchers and an increase in web site traffic. Online video watchers are more likely to act after watching web video ads. This is according to an online survey conducted by Google and AOL, as part of larger effort to get marketers to move their ad budgets from other mediums such as television to online video advertising.

- 78% of respondents said that online video ads provide as much or more of an opportunity to learn about an advertiser than television.
- 64% of respondents indicated they have taken action after seeing an online video.
- 44% went to a company's Web site after watching an online video ad.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Artists Work / Live Lofts For Sale

We currently have several work/live lofts available for sale. The buyer would be purchasing shares in the overall cooperative ownership corporation and paying a monthly maintenance expense consisting of the underlying mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance and operating expenses. The value of the monthly maintenance is based on the size of the unit and the value of the subsidized construction cost based on a 30-year period. Buyers need to certified as artists by the City of Peekskill.

For full details, see our website at

Thomas M. Leigh, AIA, LEED-AP
President and Acting Treasurer
Peekskill Art Lofts

Volunteer Design Charettes Facilitators Needed

Volunteer Design Charettes Facilitators Needed

Subject: City of Peekskill Charrette Facilitator Hello,

I am writing to invite you to become a facilitator for an upcoming charrette. As you may be aware, the City of Peekskill is organizing a charrette to determine the future of the Lower South Street corridor between Welcher Avenue and Louisa Street.

A charrette is essentially an extended public hearing and public input process where citizens provide feedback as to what they would like to see developed in an area. Because a charrette involves extensive public input, facilitators are necessary to attend meetings and collect feedback.

Due to your experience and expertise in public affairs, planning or an art-related field, Staff feels that you would be an excellent candidate for a facilitator. The time commitment, while significant, would not be onerous.

Facilitator training would be at 7pm on Tuesday March 3, 2009. The visioning workshop will be held one week later from 7pm to roughly 10pm on Wednesday March 11, 2009. The charrette itself has not been scheduled but is expected to take place over one evening and one full day (most likely a weekend) sometime in April.

Please consider joining us as a facilitator. This is a great opportunity to serve your City as well as get an ‘inside view’ of how contemporary planning occurs. Unless I hear from you beforehand, I will contact you individually over the next several days to discuss this further.

Kind regards,
Tom Marotta

Thomas Marotta Assistant City Planner
City of Peekskill
840 Main Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
p: (914) 293-0914 f:
(914) 737-2688

Attract investment by creating zones for artist work / live lofts.

Attract investment by creating zones for artist work / live lofts.

Community Builders Handbook on Creating Artist lofts and Arts District in the City of Peekskill, NY. Contemporary artists revtalize a historic downtown. Attract investment by creating zones for artist work / live lofts.

Using Icynene Spray Foam insulation in existing construction.

Using Icynene Spray Foam insulation in existing construction.

It has a 60:1 expansion ratio.

I just saw a trade video by Icynene Insulation using spray insulation application in new construction, but, even a better application of pour in spray insulation that expands at a 60:1 ratio in existing wall cavities of say a older victorian home which might not be insulated at all and have just plaster walls. That is a tremendous opportunity for work.

Definition: Architecture and Architects

Definition: Architecture and Architects


“The practice of the profession of architecture is defined as rendering or offering to render services which require the application of the art, science, and aesthetics of design and construction of buildings, groups of buildings, including their components and appurtenances and the spaces around them wherein the safeguarding of life, health, property, and public welfare is concerned. Such services include, but are not limited to consultation, evaluation, planning, the provision of preliminary studies, designs, construction documents, construction management, and the administration of construction contracts.”

NYS Education Law, Article 147, Architecture § 7301

Practice of architecture and use of title "architect".

Only a person licensed or otherwise authorized to practice under this article shall practice architecture or use the title "architect".

NYS Education Law, Article 147, Architecture § 7302

Thomas M. Leigh, Architect is licensed and registered to practice Architecture in New York State.

Hudson Rise Urban Planning Video

The interesting use of multimedia to discuss urban planning issues.

5O Strategies to Green your Environment

The 50 strategies represent readily available and effective tools and techniques that will have an immediate impact on architects’ ability to achieve significant carbon reduction. They span a spectrum from broad-based site and planning objectives to specific, building-based concepts.

Each strategy includes an overview of the subject, typical applications, emerging trends, links to information sources, and important relationships to other carbon reduction strategies.

Does green building make cents?

It depends. Two new studies offer conflicting views Much of the savings that advocates of green measures tout is compared with older buildings, those erected to minimum standards or ones with different uses, not with similar, recently built structures,

Insurers Find Potential and Risk in Green Buildings

Insurers Find Potential and Risk in Green Buildings
[Source:, March 4, 2009]

While some may dismiss the move toward green building and sustainability as a fad, insurers of buildings think otherwise. In fact, says Stephen Bushnell, senior director, emerging industries, commercial insurance at Novato, Calif.-based Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., today’s green buildings are a harbinger of the future. “Energy efficiency and green building are not just about the environment,” Bushnell said, speaking at a recent Web seminar. “We believe they have a profound economic advantage that has captured the attention of many segments of the business community. We see some indications from retailers like Wal-Mart that sales improve in green buildings.”

"The Home Inspection Professional Licensing Act." in New York State.

Home Inspection: General Information

Effective December 31, 2005, the real property law is amended by adding a new Article 12-B, "The Home Inspection Professional Licensing Act." While you are not currently required to be licensed as a home inspector to perform home inspections, licensure will be required effective December 31, 2005.

What is Home Inspection?

Home Inspection is defined as the process by which a home inspector observes and provides a written report of the systems and components of a residential building including but not limited to:
A. Heating System
B. Cooling System
C. Plumbing System
D. Electrical System
E. Structural Components - foundation, roof masonry structure, exterior and interior components or any other related residential building component recommended by the Home Inspection Council and implemented by the Department through the regulatory process.

Who must apply for a license?

Persons engaged in performing home inspections of residential buildings for compensation.

What do you mean by residential buildings?

A Residential Building means a structure consisting of 1 to 4 dwelling units and their garages and carports, but shall not include any such structure newly constructed or not previously occupied as a dwelling unit.

Who is excluded from licensure?

1. A person regulated by the state or a political subdivision thereof as an architect who is acting within the scope of his or her profession; or
2. A person regulated by the state or a political subdivision thereof as an engineer who is acting within the scope of his or her profession; or
3. A person who is employed as a code enforcement official by the state or a political subdivision thereof when acting within the scope of that government employment; or
4. A person making home inspections for the purpose of meeting the requirements of § 444-e (b)(i)&(ii) of this article to qualify for licensure as a home inspector. That is home inspections performed in the presence of and under the direct supervision of a licensed home inspector, registered architect or licensed professional engineer, who oversees and takes full responsibility for the inspection and inspection report. The sole purpose of these inspections is to gain the experience necessary to qualify for a license as a home inspector.