Too well known to be a secret society, too populous to be an exclusive club, the Building Industry Association of Greater Louisville has high standards and a broad reach. The professional organization has been building the city â€“ quite literally â€“ since 1946.
You might find yourself, or someone close to you, the recipient of one of its many charitable efforts. You might decide to attend one of the several big events it puts on annually. If the warmer weather has you pondering about remodeling or building a home, the association can connect you with builders who have impeccable reputations â€“ and steer you away from those who donâ€™t.
One of those well-respected builders is Pat Durham, who is closing down his company after 25 years to devote himself to his new job as the associationâ€™s executive vice president.
â€œItâ€™s kind of a daunting thought to know that basically Iâ€™m the voice of 2,000 member companies and 25,000 employee members,â€ Durham says. â€œThat inspires me to make sure Iâ€™m doing the right thing.â€
The association has councils and committees that vet its members and hold them accountable.
â€œThereâ€™s a lot of pride to be a member of this organization,â€ Durham says. â€œSo I can say with full confidence that if youâ€™re a member of our Building Industry Association, you generally are seen as head and shoulders above the general population.â€
By calling the association or visiting its website, you can find out whether or not that builder you might hire is a member in good standing.
The associationâ€™s charitable arm, the Building Industry Charitable Foundation, works in conjunction with a program called YouthBuild Louisville to teach their trade to 16-20-year-olds.
â€œThat might be at-risk youth; they might be young people who didnâ€™t get their high school diploma, and this organization helps them gain a GED and gives them some direction in life in terms of basic skill levels,â€ Durham explains.
Members of the association also sometimes volunteer their time to help people in the community with construction projects.
For example, one recipient of that generosity was a 25-year-old man who lost his home in the Highlands while hospitalized for six-months after an accident. A commercial member of the association donated some space in its building, and others built the man an apartment. Since the man uses a wheelchair, they made it fully accessible.
Association members have also donated their time and talent to renovate a facility for Day Spring, a community for people with intellectual disabilities. And they regularly collaborate with YouthBuild and Kosair Charities to create playhouses that are individually designed to help children with their specific needs.
The association perhaps garners its broadest public exposure through its annual shows and tours.
The next such major event will be the Tour of New Homes, to be held April 30-May 1, from noon to 6 p.m. both days. Last yearâ€™s tour featured 86 homes, and Durham expects that number to be similar or greater this year.
The event is designed to help potential homebuyers locate a home within their budget and desired area. Instead of simply going from home to home, you can download an app that will guide you to the ones on the list that most interest you.
Last January, the sixth Home Product Expo brought more than 70 homebuilders and remodelers to Shepherdsville. The expo included indoor and outdoor furniture, fireplaces, windows, doors and landscaping materials.
The Home, Garden and Remodeling Show, which just took place March 18-20 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, is one of the largest home shows in the country.
Homearama, which featured Spring Farm Lake last year, will take place July 16-31 this year and feature the Norton Commons and River Crest neighborhoods. Designers will be on hand to discuss how they decorated each room and to share ideas and design trends you may want to implement in your own home.
And August 13-14, the association will host its annual Tour of Remodeled Homes. VT
For more information, call 502.429.6000 or visit bialouisville.com.