Builder Buzz: Hornbecks receive new home

McBride & Son Homes, St. Louis’s largest homebuilder, is donating a new four-bedroom, two-bathroom home and three-car garage and Shawn Hornbeck Foundation office space on the family’s existing property in Richwoods, Mo.
“With the rest of the country, we celebrated Shawn’s return to his family,” says John Eilermann, CEO of McBride & Son Homes Enterprises. “We know the road to recovery will be long for Shawn and his family, and we wanted to offer our support in any way possible. By building the Hornbeck/Akers family a home and office space on their property, we hope to allow them to focus on their future together. The family will no longer worry about housing or a mortgage. We also hope to support the continued mission of the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation to help reunite missing children with their families.”
The Hornbeck/Akers family will be receiving a McBride & Son Homes custom Oakwood Series home and three-car garage. McBride & Son Homes will also create the office space for the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation on the lower level, which will continue its work on behalf of the countless children who are still missing.
Shari Frazier, Shawn Hornbeck’s aunt and long-time business associate of McBride & Son Homes, accepted the company’s gift on behalf of the Akers family at a press conference January 23 at the McBride & Son Homes Offices in Chesterfield, Mo.
“Since the miraculous return of my nephew on January 12, the Akers family has once again been blessed with an outpouring of support and encouragement from the community,” says Frazier. “When we learned of McBride’s plans to donate a new home to the Akers family we were expectedly shaken. This is beyond anyone’s expectations. When John Eilermann, Jr. (CEO of McBride & Son) told us about the McBride offer we were without words. It seems we still are.”

St. Charles squeeze
Recently I corresponded with Terry Carriker of RC Barns Building in Troy, Mo. Business was off a bit in 2006 for the company, as uncertainty at home and abroad put customers in a wait-and-see mindset. Gasoline and heating fuel prices were also affecting the disposable income of RC’s customers.
Also of note: Missouri’s St. Charles County has passed an ordinance restricting building sizes to 2,000 square feet unless the property owner owns more than 10 acres. Carriker says people owning three acres or less are greatly affected by this.
Carriker also says many subdivisions are passing restrictions against post-frame buildings. “It seems their committees do not believe post-frame buildings are an acceptable choice, since they don’t understand the strength and design capabilities of a post-frame building,” he says.

Energy credit for homes
In January, I received an email from Sam Froio of the IRS, asking us to remind builders about the energy credit available on 2006 and 2007 tax returns. Under the new provision, an eligible contractor who builds a qualified new energy-efficient home may qualify for a credit of up to $2,000 per home. (See Money Talk, page 12) The credit is available for all new homes, including manufactured homes constructed in accordance with the Federal Manufactured Homes Construction and Safety Standards.
The home qualifies for the credit if it is located in the U.S., construction is substantially completed after August 8, 2005, it meets statutory energy saving requirements, and it is acquired from the eligible contractor after December 31, 2005 and before January 1, 2008 for use as a residence.
In general, to meet the energy saving requirements a home must be certified to provide a level of heating and cooling energy consumption that is at least 30 to 50 percent in the case of manufactured homes, and 50 percent for other homes below that of a comparable home constructed in accordance with the standards of the 2004 Supplement to the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code. It must also have building envelope component improvements providing a level of heating and cooling energy consumption that is at least 10 percent below that of a comparable home.
For more information please visit us at Type in “Energy credit” in the upper right hand corner search window.

Cargill to boost ethanol production
Hot news on what seems to be the hottest agricultural-product topic going:
New Cargill subsidiary Emerald Renewable Energy has announced plans to develop four 100 million-gallon-per-year ethanol plants in the Midwest. The newly formed company is considering several potential sites in the Cornbelt.
Emerald Renewable Energy is a privately held, limited liability company formed by Cargill to develop and invest in renewable energy projects in the United States. Cargill will provide the initial development capital for the projects. Emerald Renewable Energy will contract with Cargill for services to support the facilities, including corn supply, natural gas, price risk management and the marketing of ethanol and distillers grains.
On a related note: FarmNetNews and AgriMarketing report that corn futures have hit 10-year highs. With tight ending stocks, Dennis Smith of Archer Financial Services says the corn market will be forced to move higher to buy the needed acreage. “We’ll need 8 million acres or more to maintain status quo; we’re talking about a shift in acreage like we’ve never experienced before,” said Smith.
That’s a lot of potential grain storage facilities out there for the taking, rural builders!

Steel framing chosen for Children’s Miracle Mansion
The Steel Framing Alliance has been chosen to build the first Children’s Miracle Mansion in Baton Rouge, La., following Hurricane Katrina. Located in the new Lexington Estates residential community, construction for the home began in late November. Cold-formed steel will be used as framing material to build the Miracle home which will be raffled off to raise funds for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network.
The Capital Region Builders Association coordinates the construction of the house and works closely with the hospital to market the house throughout the region. Following a series of marketing efforts, the house is raffled off during a national telethon benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network with local broadcasting on WBRZ Channel 2 in Baton Rouge during the first weekend in June.
“We are excited to be involved in such a prestigious charity program. The construction of the steel framed Miracle Mansion is yet another step to building back communities and building a stronger Gulf Coast region,” says Larry Williams, president of the Steel Framing Alliance. SFA will be actively involved in the construction of the home — extending beyond the framing stage. The total value of the donation by SFA amounts to $55,000. The steel framing materials being used in the building of the home are donated by the Steel Stud Manufacturers Association.
SFA, along with 12 steel companies and the Metal Roofing Alliance, American Iron and Steel Institute and Steel Recycling Institute, is supporting the Gulf Coast Steel Initiative — a collective effort to help reshape the rebuilding efforts and future construction in the region following Hurricane Katrina n.

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