(October 3, 2022) As the southwest Florida community begins the recovery after the devastating effects of Hurricane Ian, local home builders are warning residents to be beware of scam contractors. Collier Building Industry Association encourages all residents to research contractors to avoid paying for substandard home repairs.

 “Unfortunately, unscrupulous contractors show up after the storm and try to take advantage of homeowners to get them to pay for below-average work or worse, they may not ever show up,” Matt Sellick, CBIA President. “Before you hire a contractor, please make sure to do your homework.”

Collier Building Industry Association (CBIA) recommends that homeowners in Collier research potential contractors:

  • Find out if the firm has a permanent business address and a good reputation.
  • Insist on a complete and clearly written contract.
  • DO ask for references and DO NOT pay cash upfront.
  • Call the CBIA for a list of reliable contractors.

CBIA is a National Association of Home Builders-affiliated home builder association that represents the largest network of craftsmen, innovators, and problem solvers dedicated to building and enriching communities.

About CBIA

Founded in 1985, CBIA is an association of builders, remodelers, interior designers, and other professionals in the housing industry. It is one of 700 state and local associations and operates under the auspices of the Florida Home Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders. CBIA’s Sales and Marketing Council (SMC) provides sales and marketing assistance, information and support to the builder and associate members of the CBIA. The SMC serves as a means to stimulate and maintain a high quality of sales and marketing expertise for CBIA members. CBIA is located at 3200 Bailey Lane, Suite 110, Naples, Florida. For more information, call (239) 436-6100 or visit www.cbia.net. Follow CBIA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Rebuilding and Repairing Your Home After a Natural Disaster

As the southwest community begins the recovery after the devastating effects of Hurricane Ian, local home builders are warning residents to be aware of scammers that may pose as legitimate contractors.

The Collier Building Industry (CBIA) encourages all residents to research contractors to avoid paying for substandard home repairs.

The following is a list of things to remember when hiring a professional contractor. Always do your homework and proceed with care.

▪ Ask for proof of a current license from the Check a Contractor’s License – (cbia.net)

▪ Ask for proof of general liability and workman’s compensation insurance. A reputable contractor should be able to show you an insurance certificate and expect you to ask for it. Usually, we would tell you to contact his insurance carrier and have a copy of the certificate sent directly from the agency, however, this may not be realistic during this time of disaster.

▪ In Collier County and the surrounding counties, jobs should always be permitted (if required) and inspected. You should check with the inspection department in your area for complete information or if fees are currently required.

▪ Ask for references and check those references.

▪ Check with the Better Business Bureau for any history of unsatisfied complaints.

▪ Verify the company’s permanent business address is in this area and not from out of state.

▪ If you get more than one bid, be sure you read through the estimates and are comparing similar scopes of work with comparable materials and labor.

▪ You should understand your contract and warranties that the builder will provide for the work performed. The contract should outline the scope of the work, the price, and at what points of completion payment is due.

▪ Be wary of low bids – the lowest bid is not always the best.

▪ Be wary of a contractor who wants full or cash payments before the job begins and utilizes high-pressure sales tactics to sign a contract.

Visit the CBIA website, www.cbia.net for more information and for a complete listing of builders and
subcontractors. The office can also be reached at 239-436-6100.

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Collier Building Industry Association, Inc. | 3200 Bailey Lane, Suite #110, Naples, FL 34105 | www. CBIA.net

CBIA Leaders Honored by FHBA

Press Release

CBIA Leaders Honored by Florida Home Builders Association 

Naples, Fla. (August 10, 2020) – The Collier Building Industry Association (CBIA) today announced that Past President Ryan Benson, Board Member Robyn Bonaquist and Former State Legislator and CBIA member Mike Davis were recognized by the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) during the Southeast Building Conference, held virtually July 29-31, 2020.  

Ryan Benson, CBIA Past President and A Vernon Allen Builder Principal/Owner, was named FHBA’s 2020 Young Building Professional of the Year.

“Ryan Benson is that one in a million leader…a change agent…who is full of innovative ideas and has the uncanny ability to engage the most effective experts among our members to build upon these ideas and work together to effectively implement them,” said CBIA Executive Officer Amelia Vasquez

Established in 2019, the FHBA Young Building Professional Award recognizes young building industry professionals who propel their careers; advance in local, state and national associations; advocate for the building industry, engage with peers; and embed themselves as exceptional members of their communities. Winners are selected based on career growth and progression, industry involvement, innovation, leadership development, community outreach and volunteerism, continuing education, and personal principles.

“Our successful advocacy efforts locally and with our state legislative delegation, effective succession plan for staffing, current fiscal stability and focus on innovation are exceptional examples of Ryan’s competency, intelligence and true understanding of what it takes to insure the future stability of our industry,” according to John Williams, CBIA president and principal at RWA Inc. “He is powerfully advancing the building industry both locally and beyond, and is setting new standards for its future support and growth.”

Robyn Bonaquist, CBIA Board Member and B-Squared Advertising Founding Partner and President, received the 2020 Associate of the Year Award.

“Robyn is an exemplary role model for women throughout our industry, modeling the most ethical leadership characteristics both in her profession and on behalf of CBIA,” said CBIA Executive Officer Vasquez. 

The Associate of the Year Award encourages expertise in the industry and outstanding leadership qualities. Associates of the Year are selected annually by the FHBA Past Second Vice Presidents’ Council, announced during the Summer Conference/SEBC, and presented during the Fall Leadership Conference 

“Robyn has served as chair of our Sales and Marketing Council, served on several CBIA task force initiatives and currently serves on our CBIA and SMC boards,” said Vasquez. “She has also been a long-time champion and liaison for the Florida Home Builders Association here in southwest Florida, serving for several years as a delegate to FHBA as a member of the FHBA Sales and Marketing Council Board of Directors, and as chair of SEBC.”

Former State Legislator and CBIA member Mike Davis was inducted posthumously into the FHBA Hall of Fame.

According to former CBIA and FHBA president, Al Zichella, Vice President of Development at London Bay who nominated him, shared that Davis was a champion for affordable housing and essential service personnel housing. “As a visionary and consensus builder, his work resulted in effective legislative policies which have enhanced opportunities for the working class to obtain homeownership,” said Zichella of Davis, who died of cancer in 2008.

The primary mission of the Florida Housing Hall of Fame is to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to housing in Florida, the building industry, and the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA). A secondary purpose is to promote a positive image of Florida’s building industry to the general public through increased awareness and education.

 “I cannot think of any one person more worthy of the posthumously being inducted in the FHBA Hall of Fame,” said Zichella. 

About CBIA

Founded in 1985, CBIA is an association of more than 450 builders, remodelers, interior designers and other housing industry professionals. It is one of 800 state and local associations and operates under the auspices of the Florida Home Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders.

To learn more about CBIA programs, services, events and initiativesvisit www.cbia.net, call 239-436-6100, or follow CBIA on Facebook, on Instagram and on Twitter. CBIA offices are located at 3200 Bailey Lane, Suite 110, Naples, Florida.

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Coronavirus Concerns Spark New Home Design Ideas

Homeowners are looking to transform their living spaces into classrooms, home offices and gyms this year. With people spending more time at home, the future of home design is being reimagined. As homeowners seek out ways to maximize the functionality of their living spaces, here are some of the budding trends in home design and renovation.

Modifying Mudrooms and Entryways. A simple area to take off jackets or rainboots when entering your home is no longer an afterthought. Now a focal point, home entryways and mudrooms are a space where mail is dropped off, groceries/delivery boxes are collected, face coverings are removed, or hands are sanitized. Future home design will take these activities in consideration when creating a functional, cohesive and comfortable entryway.

Incorporating Touchless/Hands-Free Home Features. Materials such as copper have natural antimicrobial elements that have the potential to reduce the spread of microbes. Doorknobs, kitchen cabinet handles and other home hardware with copper or other antimicrobial materials could grow in popularity. Touchless faucets, hands-free light fixtures or appliances may also gain widespread usage.

Creating Private Spaces. Getting homework, virtual play dates and work conference calls completed all in the same space at the same time is a challenge. New small, convertible spaces or nooks in homes can help a full house function a bit better with an additional private or semi-private space.

Finding Storage Solutions. From more space to store non-perishable food, home office accessories or items in the entryway, a place for everything is generating appeal for home- owners. With more time at home, additional storage space will be a valuable feature in future home designs.

Transforming Outdoor Spaces. A functional space inside or outside a lanai to comfortably host a socially distanced cookout or dinner will likely be an attractive design feature. Simple improvements from upgrading patio furniture to building out lanai areas will be at the top of any exterior home feature must-have lists.

To find a professional who can help you create the perfect reimagined areas within your home go to www.cbia.net for a list of local professionals working in residential building, design and remodeling here in Collier County.

Thinking About Home Remodeling? Start Here

Sooner or later you may join the millions of people who remodel their homes each year. Whatever the impetus, the thought crosses your mind: Maybe it’s time to start a home remodel. The reasons for home remodeling are as varied as the projects we undertake.

Some of these include:

  • Adding more space
  • Upgrading cabinets, counters, appliances and fixtures
  • Creating a floor plan that’s customized for your lifestyle
  • Improving energy efficiency with new windows, doors, insulation, and climate control systems
  • Increasing the resale value of your home

Where to Begin

The first step is to develop an idea of what you want to do with your home remodel. Write a prioritized list of your needs and wants. There are many sources to find design ideas for your home remodeling project. Look at magazines and websites and collect pictures of homes or remodeling projects you like. The more clearly you can envision the project and describe it on paper, the better prepared you’ll be in making your decision.

Think about traffic patterns, furniture size and placement, colors, lighting and how you expect to use the remodeled space. If your decision to remodel involves creating better access for someone with limited mobility, you may want to consider contacting a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist.

You may want to improve home efficiency and hire a professional remodeler for green home remodeling. These projects include replacing windows and doors, upgrading heating and cooling systems, adding insulation, and other remodeling to make the home more energy-efficient, easier to maintain, and comfortable.

Figure out how much money you have to spend on the home remodeling job, furnishings, landscaping or any other cost you might incur.

Can you do it yourself?

Once you have created your list of priorities, you’ll need to decide how to accomplish that vision. For the handyman or woman, a do-it-yourself project can be both rewarding and cost-effective. However, more than 30% of all jobs home remodelers perform come from failed DIY projects.

Hiring a professional remodeler is the best way to ensure your project’s success. These remodelers are dedicated to maintaining the highest integrity and standards in the industry.

If you decide to hire a professional, your next steps should be to check remodelers at www.cbia.net. You will find an easy to use electronic directory of local licensed member remodels.  Or if you prefer, stop by the CBIA office between 8:30-4:30 any day and pick up a hard copy directory.  Our address is 3200 Bailey Lane, Suites 109-110, Naples FL  34105.  Our telephone number is 239-436-6100.

Finding Design Ideas for Your Remodeling Project

You want to change the look and feel of your house, but you also want your remodeling job to look fresh for a number of years and complement the existing features of your home. How do you choose the right project and design for you and your family?

First, take your family’s lifestyle into account when selecting an area of your home to remodel. For example, if you get a lot of traffic through the house, consider hardwood floors. Families who frequently entertain in the kitchen may want to expand the room and add an island or some comfortable chairs. If your bathroom is the place where you escape the world, add a whirlpool tub or a deluxe shower.

After you’ve chosen an area of your home to remodel, the wide array of project options can be both dazzling and intimidating. To get started, consult the resources below, which can give you specific ideas on how to turn your house into the dream home you’ve always wanted.

TV Shows: There are an increasing number of shows and channels focused on decorating and simple home improvement projects to more complex remodels or home makeovers. For example, HGTV features projects that evolve from start to finish on shows like “Buying and Selling” and “Curb Appeal”; check your local television guide for listings.

Magazines: Magazines that cater to home improvement, lifestyle and remodeling can be an excellent source of ideas. Page through publications such as Dwell, Home, House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Food and Wine, Country Living, Ladies’ Home Journal and Good Housekeeping to identify projects and materials that might work in your home. Additionally, you can request a wide range of free or inexpensive literature by completing the mail-in coupons inserted in such publications.

Websites/Blogs: Surfing the Web is a great way to find fresh ideas and to research projects. Many remodelers, manufacturers and magazines host websites that feature project photos, buying guides and product information. For a list of local CBIA-member remodelers go browse our electronic directory at www.cbia.net.  Other sites such as Pinterest and Houzz have extensive photo collections for inspiration. And, an increasing number of DIY and design blogs created by homeowners themselves can also provide inspiration for simple projects you can do around the house.

Sketches and Floor Plans: No two remodeling projects are the same, but you can gain some insight into how another homeowner solved a space problem by carefully studying sketches and floor plans. If, like most people, you are easily confused by plans and drawings, imagine yourself in the middle of the room or space on the plan.

Books: Browse a bookstore with a well-stocked home improvement section, but beware of books telling you to be your own remodeling contractor. Most remodeling projects call for a level of skill and work hours beyond those stated in these books. The job of a professional remodeler requires experience and competence in a wide range of disciplines, and unless you are highly skilled and licensed in all the trades, you can quickly get in over your head.

Do you know someone who has recently remodeled their home in a style you admire? He or she may still have product manuals, magazines and other helpful information you can borrow, as well as practical advice drawn from his or her own experience.

Remodeling Professionals: One of the advantages of choosing a remodeler early is gaining access to an extensive library of resources prior to starting a project. Once you’ve chosen a contractor, he or she usually can offer you a wide variety of materials, including product manuals, magazines, brochures and blueprints.

Manufacturers and Suppliers: The most obvious place to find information about new products and how to use them is on manufacturers’ Web sites and in magazine ads. Lumberyards, hardware stores and other suppliers also can be valuable sources of information. Many suppliers now offer home planning centers, where you can browse comfortably among the following:

  • Plan books
  • Product manuals
  • Sourcebooks
  • Building tips
  • Magazines
  • Brochures
  • cbia.net where you can browse through the electronic directory of supplier members with contacts, addresses, website information and telephone numbers.

The Collier Building Industry Association is located at 3200 Bailey Lane in Naples.  Call (239-436-6100) or stop in between 8:30-4:00 p.m. and pick up a complimentary hard copy of our member directory.

Made to Last: New Trends in Outdoor Furniture and Fabrics

Creating outdoor rooms remains a popular design trend with home owners particularly in Naples. It’s a simple, budget-friendly way to increase your home’s square footage and to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you have a large small lanai or outdoor space, this space can easily reflect your style and become a treasured gathering for entertaining.

Yet, many home owners quickly become frustrated when the beautiful furniture and fabrics they select do not survive the outdoor elements. Fortunately, manufacturers are now creating more durable outdoor furnishings to help your decorating dollars go even further.

Outdoor fabric companies, such as Sunbrella and Perennials, offer expanded lines of sun- and weather-resistant products that are made to withstand harsh weather. These resilient fabrics are low-maintenance and can easily be cleaned by hand. Despite the increased durability of these fabrics, they remain soft and comfortable for everyday use.

Retailers also are responding to the popularity of outdoor rooms by increasing their inventory of indoor/outdoor rugs, weatherproof cushions and fabrics, and all-weather furniture.  Even big-box stores may have only had three or four color choices for outdoor cushions in the past. Now, you can choose from a wide variety of durable solids, patterns, florals, and stripes, both online and at all major home retailers.

Home owners also want to spend more time enjoying their outdoor space and less time maintaining it.   Not surprisingly, today’s outdoor entertaining spaces reflect the growing trend of creating outdoor spaces with indoor amenities. Clients are requesting fireplaces and other features  to  feel like luxurious indoor spaces. Other home owners are adding kitchens to their outdoor spaces, allowing them to more easily cook outdoors year-round.

Easy Maintenance Tips

After you’ve furnished and decorated your outdoor space, be sure to follow a few simple tips to ensure that you can enjoy it for years to come.

  • Protect outdoor furniture with weatherproof covers during the times of year when it’s not in use. Or, bring smaller furniture items inside.
  • Store cushions in weatherproof containers during summer/winter weather extremes – or if a big storm is on the way.
  • Spot clean spoils or spills on outdoor fabric right away to prevent the growth of mildew. Use a mild, bleach-free soap-and-water solution and rub gently with a cloth or sponge.
  • Always air dry outdoor fabrics, which generally are made of synthetic materials. Never dry clean or tumble-dry these fabrics – or the protective finish will begin to erode.

This article is brought to you by the Collier Building Industry Association at www.cbia.net.


Top 5 Tips for Hiring a Remodeler

Are you among the growing number of home owners who are choosing to remodel their homes to fit their changing needs, rather than selling their home and buying another one? If so, you’ll soon learn that even simple remodels can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. With that type of investment on the line, it’s important to find a contractor you can trust.

As the home building and remodeling industry celebrates National Home Remodeling Month in May, here are the top five tips to ensure you make the right decisions when you find, evaluate and hire a remodeler.

  1. Always Go with a Pro

The best place to start is contact the Collier Building Industry Association to obtain a Directory of members or go to the CBIA website at www.cbia.net where you can download local remodelers through the online directory.

A professional remodeler will uphold the highest professional and ethical standards in the industry. Using the CBIA Directory can help you find a remodeler who specializes in a specific type of remodeling if you need it, such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) to help modify your home to better suit you as you age, or a Certified Green Remodeler (CGP) to make your home more energy-efficient.

  1. Do Your Research

Look at the prospective remodeler’s company website and social media accounts to see photos of their work. Visit review sites like Houzz to see more pictures and to read reviews of remodeling companies. Take the good with the bad when reading online reviews and focus on the descriptions of experiences and qualities that are most important to you as a customer. Ask for referrals from friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and others who have had remodeling work done on comparable homes under similar schedules.

  1. Create Your Short List

Once you have a list of potential home remodelers for your project, do a little more background research to verify that they are appropriately licensed and have a good business track record. You can check their license at the State of Florida Department of Professional Regulation on their website at www.myflorida.com/dbpr. Look them up with your local or state office of consumer protection.

  1. Start Taking Notes

When you begin meeting with remodelers, you want to find out information such as:

  • How long they have been in business in your community? Can they provide references from customers and suppliers they work with?
  • Do they carry insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries? Ask for a copy of the insurance certificates.
  • What is their working knowledge of the many types and ages of homes in the area, and what sort of issues could arise?
  • Do they arrange for the building permit? (The person who obtains the permit is the contractor of record and therefore liable for the work.)
  • Do they provide a written estimate before beginning the work, and a detailed contract that spells out the work that will and will not be performed, protects both of you, provides a fair payment schedule contract and complies with local, state, and federal laws?
  1. Trust Your Instincts

Make sure you are compatible with the contractor you select. Beginning your project with mutual expectations will go a long way towards a smooth remodel. You’ll spend a lot of time with your remodeler so it’s important to have a good rapport and trust in him or her.



Remodeling Right: DIY or Professional?

It’s fun and inspiring to watch TV shows about home design and remodeling – everything from the latest looks in countertops to whole-house remodels. And YouTube and other online video sites are chockfull of helpful how-to’s and demos to assist home owners through countless do-it-yourself projects.

There are relatively simple home projects that can be completed by DIYers, such as hanging pictures, interior painting, caulking, and changing door knobs and cabinet pulls. And, home owners with the correct tools and a higher skill level should be able to tackle some aesthetic work such as installing crown molding.

But it’s also important to know when to stop and hire a professional. Remodelers can tell you lots of funny stories  –  and sometimes scary stories involving do-it-yourself electrical wiring gone awry. So before you buy the latest or trendiest gizmo for your home, ask yourself a few questions.

How much do you know?

Replacing the exhaust fan over your oven with a built-in microwave looks like a reasonably simple swap. But if you notice your kitchen lights are dimming when you zap your popcorn, you’ve probably forgotten that the microwave, unlike the exhaust fan, uses a lot more energy and likely needs a dedicated circuit. A remodeling professional knows that.

What if it doesn’t work?

That YouTube do-it-yourself video may make a tilework project look doable, but will YouTube give you your money back if you don’t lay it straight? Professional remodelers may not know everything, but they do take responsibility for everything they do.

Are there any unintended consequences?

In today’s increasingly efficient and more air-tight homes, it’s more and more important to look at the house as a system. Your new windows are keeping out drafts, but how are they affecting your home’s air quality once the “natural ventilation” of the leaky old ones are gone?  Do you need to look at mechanical ventilation systems?  If so, how big? A professional can tell you.

How do you know if it’s right for your home?

A professional remodeler can advise you on products, finishes and appliances that match your lifestyle, location, house size and budget and help you avoid spending money without a reasonable payback on either resource expense (energy and water, for example) or the sale of your home when you are ready to upsize or downsize.

And how do you find a professional remodeler?  There’s a question with an easy answer.  Contact the Collier Building Industry Association at 239-436-6100 o go to their website and view their online directory of members at www.cbia.net.  The Collier Building Industry is located at 3200 Bailey, Suite 110 in Naples FL.

Making the Most of New Energy-Efficient Homes

One of the many benefits of buying a new home is its increased energy efficiency. Builders are using the latest technologies to reduce household energy consumption, from improved insulation to energy-efficient appliances.

Recent analysis by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that, on a per- square-foot basis, the newer a single-family home is, the less energy it uses. And, even though newer homes are larger, their increased efficiency means that homes built since 1999 tend to use the same or slightly less energy than homes built before 1950.

Yet, the energy-efficiency story doesn’t end with the builder – it simply starts there. To realize the greatest efficiency savings, homeowners also must do their part to use energy wisely.

In fact, even though new homes are built to be more efficient, true energy savings will depend on household behavior. That’s because the size of your household and the number of energy-guzzling appliances and electronic gadgets that you use actually have the greatest impact on your electric bill.

Understanding Your Home’s Electricity Usage

To make smart choices about your home’s electricity usage, it’s important to understand how homes typically use energy. The amount of energy used to heat and cool a home is known as heating, ventilation and air conditioning – or HVAC. Builders generally have a greater influence on the efficiency of a home’s HVAC system as a home is designed and built. In fact, more efficient HVAC equipment installed by builders – and better insulation and sealing – is a key reason for the greater efficiency of new homes.

However, non-HVAC electricity – energy used for things like watching television, charging electronic devices, and using a computer – accounts for more than 70% of a home’s total energy use. That means that most of the energy that a home uses will be based upon the behavior of the household and not the design or construction of the home.

NAHB also analyzed the impact of products usually purchased by a household on overall energy consumption, including an extra freezer, a third television, a home theater connected to a TV and a dehumidifier. The electricity needed to power these products accounted for about twice the amount of electricity required by items usually installed by a builder (e.g., ceiling fans, refrigerator and water heater).

Making Wise Energy Choices

The choices you make everyday about your electricity usage have the most significant impact on your new home’s overall energy consumption. And whether you live in a new or previously-owned home, you have the power to make it even more energy efficient.

Here are a few simple no- or low-cost tips to improve your home’s efficiency:

Lighting:  One of the easiest ways to save electricity is to install compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs both inside and outside your house. This is especially important if you have an outdoor light that remains on overnight. And, start turning off lights in rooms that you are not using.

Electronic Products: With homes using an ever-increasing number of electronic products, it’s important to turn them off when they’re not in use. This includes TVs and computers! To help save the standby power often wasted with these devices, use a power strip to turn off equipment not being used. And don’t forget to unplug small appliances and chargers when they’re not in use or if the electronic device is fully charged. These unused appliances and chargers remain in standby mode and use electricity.

Appliances: Use your dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads. And, use large appliances in the early morning and late evening, when demand for energy is not as high.

Programmable Thermostat: Consider installing a programmable thermostat, which can automatically adjust the temperature of your home when you’re away at work or asleep at night. Even small temperature adjustments can add up to big energy savings.

For more energy-efficiency tips for your home,  visit nahb.org/forconsumers.

To access the NAHB study, How Much Energy Homes Use and Why, visit HousingEconomics.com.