Tamara Myers to Judge 2012 NARI Contractor of the Year CotY Awards

I am honored to have been asked to be a judge for the Contractor of the Year (CotY) 2012 Awards. These are national awards bestowed by NARI, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, to projects that represent excellence in our industry.

This coming Monday, January 9th, I will join other NARI members to begin the 3-day job of reviewing the entries and casting our votes. Later this year, a formal ceremony — the academy awards of our industry — will take place at the Spring national meeting, which is being held this year in Dallas, Texas. I had the honor of attending the awards ceremony for 2011 in Jersey City, NJ, in April, and it was an impressive and fun evening.

As designers and remodelers, we love having the opportunity to support with our vote the projects of our peers that shine and show the melding of good design, creativity and craftsmanship. It is our idea of a good time. And it’s a win-win for the industry, for the homeowners, and for those of us who learn and grow by setting a high bar for what good, professional remodeling should be. The wonderful thing about these awards is that, by choosing from NARI members in good standing, they are already selecting from the best in the industry. NARI’s multi-faceted focus ensures its members follow best practices from their industry, maintain and follow a code of ethics, engage in continuing education, and give back to their remodeling peers and their communities.

New on the Design Front

Here at Myers Constructs, we believe that an eager mind will always find fresh solutions. In order to promote continued learning and to broaden our horizons, we stay up to date with industry trends and advances, and we seek out new technology and products to offer as options for our clients.

For example, last week, we sent our design team to Princeton, NJ, to meet with the folks at Design Within Reach, a furniture showroom that offers many of the modern iconic pieces from 20th century designers. We were thrilled to learn the new software they are utilizing to assist in space planning and selecting furnishings. When used in conjunction with the other software programs that we already use on a daily basis, this program will help produce nearly photo-realistic renderings of the furnishings within the spaces we design, kind of like a window into the future.

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Notes from 2011 KBIS – Las Vegas

I was chatting with some folks while waiting in line at the 2011 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, and was asked why I came all the way from Philadelphia for this event. Without hesitation, I said it was because it’s a unique opportunity to meet directly with the representatives of products that we already know and specify, find out what’s new, get to know their product lines better, and see the products in action. It’s also a chance to find and vet out new vendors, or even find out if we want to re-introduce some products that we have not used in a while. And it’s also a chance to see who is coming to the table with sustainable solutions and see if their definition gels with our approach. See who is meeting the challenge of meshing GOOD DESIGN and FUNCTION, especially in the area of universal design. This show offers a chance to meet professionals from all sides of our industry. And, of course, since the show is in Las Vegas, I can now check this city off my list of places to see at least once. 🙂

So here’s some impressions from the first day with the vendors.

One of the biggest show presences is Kohler – their booth is almost the size of a Philadelphia Center City block! They have created a tailored experience to show off what’s new, remind you of how they have been there for the long haul, and introduce the latest. This year is no exception –- there is a new toilet/bidet combo called Numi that is smart! Smart in technology, smart in looks. Here’s the link that gives some details about it.

And they have some new entries for a more standard toilet that aren’t as smart but have water savings integrated into the design.

Kohler's Numi toilet/bidet
There’s a new luxury air tub that is universal in use and seems extremely well thought out! The tub walls raise so you do not have to climb over the walls of the tub. You sit down, swing your legs over and push a control to raise the wall that includes a robust gasket system. This is a great way to allow those less mobile the chance to take spa bath with little to no assistance.

I don’t have a good picture yet, but here’s the link – and, by the way, its footprint is about the same as a standard tub.

For sinks, I was excited to see that kitchen cast iron sinks have been given a new life. Kohler cast iron sinks have a long life, which is something we look for in all the products we specify, and now this tried-and-true material is manufactured with 80+% recycled content and, at last –- a “farm style” sink that can be installed without the yucky caulk gap.
Kohler sink featuring recycled materials
In other news, it seems Kraftmaid is addressing the slamming cabinet door problem with the introduction of a new soft-close hinge. Many of our clients have chosen the option to use the soft-close drawer system; this is the sister function.
Kraftmaid's soft-close cabinet
Some solutions for linear drains are starting to come in. I’ve always loved the look of linear drains, but in smaller residential spaces and a smaller budget scope, we have not always been able to incorporate this clean look. Now companies are making our job easier by creating linear drains that do the work for us. Here’s one pic of just one I saw.
Linear drains - a sleek solution
Stay tuned for more updates from the show…

NARI: Ethics and Standards

Did you know that in order to be a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), Myers Constructs has to agree to a code of ethics, submit our certificates of insurances, and conform to standards in advertising to ensure we don’t misrepresent what we are selling?

In fact, the NARI website outlines its Code of Ethics as follows…

Each member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry is pledged to observe high standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility in the conduct of business by:

  • Promoting in good faith only those products and services which are known to be functionally and economically sound, and which are known to be consistent with objective standards of health and safety.
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    NARI Meeting Update

    Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Spring Business Meeting of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) held in Jersey City, NJ. At this meeting, some of the top leaders in the remodeling industry discussed how to improve their roles as professional leaders, and they also had an opportunity to celebrate their professional successes. I’m happy to report that all of the meetings I attended had clear agendas and came in ON time and ON budget! It was exciting to be among peers discussing common issues and concerns, meet professionals from companies both larger and smaller than Myers Constructs, and find a generous spirit of knowledge across the board.

    NARI is a professional organization that sets standards of practice and ethics in the remodeling industry, and provides educational opportunities and certifications for its members. Myers Constructs, Inc., is a proud NARI member, and I received my “Certified Remodeler” certification from the organization earlier this year. This signifies that I possess “skill and knowledge in a broad range of business management and technical areas.”

    Ice Sculptor Roger Wing

    Roger Wing competes in the 4th Annual Ice Sculpture Competition in Poznań, Poland. In just eight hours Wing and teammate Kirk ‘the Sand Guy’ Rademaker

    Kirk 'the Sand Guy' Rademaker and Roger Wing
    Kirk 'the Sand Guy' Rademaker and Roger Wing

    created ‘Fortune Teller’ from one ton of ice.

    Fortune Teller
    Fortune Teller

    Roger is a friend of Myers Constructs, Inc. and worked with us some years back. Cool fun stuff. For more, visit Wing at his website: rogerwing.com or on Facebook.

    Drawing on a Grand Scale at the Philadelphia Art Museum

    I was out of town when this drawing was lit, but luckily Will Brown did one of his great panoramic shots. The piece, called Fallen Blossoms, was drawn with gunpowder by Cai Guo-Qiang on the front steps of Philadelphia Art Museum on December 11, 2009. It’s my understanding that Cai Guo-Qiang grew up in or near a gunpowder factory in China and has incorporated this material into his work. Move your mouse around to direct your own panoramic views.