2008 Custom Builder Symposium

The 2008 NAHB Custom Builder Symposium moves to Austin, Texas for this year’s event held Thursday, Oct. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 26. Offering different networking opportunities and new educational programs, this event presents a chance for those involved in custom building to get new ideas and solutions for the challenges they face in today’s market.

The Custom Builder Symposium is not an event only for custom builders; it is an event for anyone closely involved in the custom home building industry. “The attendees include people affiliated with the custom home industry such as interior designers and marketers,” says Randy Rinehart, CGB, CAPS, CAASH, and chairman of the 2008 Custom Builder Symposium. Rinehart is also president of Rinehart Custom Homes in Charlottesville, Va.

“The biggest change for this year’s event is the cooperation with the BALA Design Institute, an arm of the National Association of Home Builders. There is an emphasis on design with five design classes, as well as an emphasis on green building,” Rinehart says.

Continuing this year is the always popular home tour on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. “We devote a day to seeing the local product. There are about six to seven homes that we will tour and about 200 attendees,” Rinehart says. Each year the home tour is a sold-out event.

Another popular event at the symposium is the Custom Builder of the Year Award. This is an award that recognizes a builder who is nominated by his or her peers. “The men who won the last two years were so well deserving of the award. It’s about what that person has done to enhance the profession of custom building — being innovative and giving back including endorsements from their clients and fellow trades,” Rinehart adds. The Custom Builder of the Year Award, sponsored by Dryvit Systems, moves to Saturday afternoon at 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.

The committee that organizes the classes and speakers recognizes the unique market atmosphere most of its attendees are experiencing. Committee members spent a great deal of attention on choosing keynote speakers who will match the needs of this group of attendees. The three keynotes will be presented by Al Trellis, Home Builders Network; Paul Montelongo, Paul Montelongo International; and, Beverly Koehn, Beverly Koehn and Associates.

To answer the question of why a builder should attend this year’s event, Rinehart emphasizes the importance of meeting fellow builders who are experiencing the same challenges. “You need to get yourself out of the environment you’re in — there is so much negative news in the industry. This is an opportunity to attend an educational event where like-kind will be in attendance,” he says. “Even though times are tough, I encourage builders to re-energize their batteries. If you get one idea out of the symposium, it could easily pay for your trip.”

Register by visiting nahb.org/custom