Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) has filed legislation that will require energy audits and assessments as a prerequisite for selling a home in the state. This act will require homeowners to provide an energy scorecard showing the carbon footprint and energy rating of their home to buyers. The title of the bill is, An Act Relative to Consumer Access to Residential Energy Information,Read More
The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog
Construction Supervisor License holders in Massachusetts now have new requirements for continuing education to renew their license. Also the new building code effective 1/1/2018, is the Ninth Edition. License holders must now follow the 2015 IBC, IRC, IECC and the Massachusetts amendments. Below see the new CEU requirements for CSL's as listed on Mass.Gov.Read More
They are calling the Blizzard of 2018, causing widespread damage in Massachusetts, a bomb cyclone. We are about to see an explosion of thousands of homeowners filing insurance claims for water damage, tree/branch/wind damage and flooding. Contractors, get ready for frantic calls from property owners to help them restore their property and provide an estimate for repairs for the insurance company. If you need help with this we have the Insurance Claim Workshop for remodelers and contractors on January 24th, 2018. We teach contractors the ins and outs of estimating and dealing with insurance repair work.Read More
In 2015, a Massachusetts insured (homeowner) had major ice dam damage and filed an insurance claim. The initial insurance company offer was approximately $25,000 for repairs. They called a Mass contractor to get help with the estimate and quickly found out that the insurance company offer was low on scope and money to restore their home. This contractor called me to help him with the situation. He said he was sick and tired of giving free detailed insurance estimates and dealing with low ball insurance company adjusters.Read More
For some time now I have been a Massachusetts Licensed Public Adjuster helping homeowners who have low ball estimates from insurance companies adjusters. I also help contractors who have clients that have sustained property damage by assisting them with insurance estimating services.Read More
Ask residential contractors if they are required to provide OSHA 10 training for their employees and you will hear varied responses.Read More
As hurricanes Harvey and Irma wind down and Jose approaches New England, thousands of homeowners will soon face the prospects of dealing with insurance adjusters who write scope and price deficient repair estimates on the clandestine software known as Xactimate. The vast majority of insurance companies have adopted this one software program that is confusing to homeowners and contractors alike. Over 80% of all repair estimates will be written on this program. In lieu of Xactimate we recommend using Excel workbooks and the critical path method for figuring damage claims.Read More
Why do insurance companies continually short homeowners on claim estimates when obvious damage is in clear site?Read More
OSHA fines were increased in August of 2016, jumping 78% over 1990 levels. We are starting to see the increases on contractors fined for violations after August of last year. In March a contractor from Massachusetts received fines totaling $159,343. Luis Quindi from Lowell, Massachusetts received 3 Serious, 2 Willful and 3 Repeat violations. The OSHA standards violated are Subpart M (Duty to have fall protection) Subpart X (Ladders) and Subpart L (Scaffolding).The list published on the OSHA website follows. The first table shows the violations. The second table has a link to the OSHA citation and the standard cited.
This information is often viewed by underwriters who work for insurance companies, general contractors who hire subtrades and sometimes consumers looking to check out their contractor. In any case this public listing, will not help a contractor looking for General Liability and Workmens Compensation Insurance. If he can get WC his rate will be sky high.
In this picture from a jobsite on Beacon St. in Newton, Mass you can see workers have no fall protection on scaffolding 12-16 feet above the ground. Also they are using framing lumber for planks, have a man made basket on the lull and no guard rails in the opening.
To keep your workers safe OSHA requires that contractors provide fall protection training before they are exposed to fall hazards. Remember that OSHA also holds General Contractors responsible for the safety of their subcontractors. It is wise to make sure all sub trades work safe on your projects as OSHA can fine the unsafe subcontractor with you the General Contractor.
OSHA will continue its' targeted focus and enforcement on residential contractors in 2017. Injuries, deaths, fines, little or no safety training and lack of OSHA required safety programs still plaque the residential construction industry. In response OSHA, has renewed ongoing Local Emphasis Programs designed to instruct OSHA inspectors to prioritize audits on residential job sites targeting builders, remodelers and trades. In addition, there are numerous other OSHA changes aimed at exposing prime contractor employers who do not provide safety training and programs to protect their employees and require that sub-contractors work safe on their job sites.Read More