District of Columbia

District of Columbia Construction and Home Improvement AssociationsWashington DC has adopted a practical way to make houses more affordable and reduce the number of vacant houses that attract illegal activities and become rodent infested eyesores. The 203K Loan Program makes it possible for DC residents to purchase foreclosures and short sales that have remained vacant because banks considered them uninhabitable.

The difference between a standard DC FHA loan and 203K loan is that a 203K is used to purchase or rehabilitate an uninhabitable home not qualified for a conventional home loan. And, the home must need between $5,000 to $35,000 in repairs or renovations.

Home repairs can include home energy upgrades to windows or insulation. Homeowners can repair or replace roofs, gutter, and downspouts, HVAC, plumbing, electrical repair, and flooring. Existing homes can have, weatherization, accessibility improvements, basement waterproofing, or lead base paint abatement. If a home needs it, homeowners can even finance structural repairs.

Remodeling on 203K financed homes are usually performed by 203K Contractors. A 203k contractor is better suited because they know how to operate according to 203K renovation guidelines. They are certified under District of Columbia laws and listed in the National Directory of Certified 203K Contractors for FHA 203K loans. To qualify for certification in the District of Columbia, the owner of a general contracting company needs to take 3 hours of educational courses and pass a test with an 80%.

Being a 203K contractor has its benefits for DC remodeling contractors. They have knowledge of the FHA's section 203K rehabilitation loan program, receiving a designation as a 203K contractor, networking with Directors for Renovation Lending offices, and receiving continuing education opportunities in 203k related topics.

American Society of Interior Designers Washington Metro

The mission of the ASID is to bring together people dedicated to advancing interior design as a profession possible of making positive changes in homeowners' lives. The association provides education, sharing of experiences and knowledge among its members. Their network of 36,000 designers worldwide establishes their own business practices and design principles to enrich its themselves and society.

The national chapter of the ASID was founded in 1975 and the Washington DC Metro Chapter, formerly the Potomac Chapter, was formed around the same time. Their 936 members come from Washington DC, northern Virginia, and suburban Maryland and have graduated from accredited 2 or 4 year programs, have full-time experience working in the field, and have passed the two day National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam before joining the trade association.

The ASID offers its members programs and services they wouldn't normally have access to. Members participate in business development courses and explore current industry research before non-member designers. They have access to training seminars on right to practice issues, and, they receive professional recognition from their peers in the form of awards.

The ASID as a student membership open to students majoring in the interior design. They can join a student chapter at their college, university, or design school.

District of Columbia Building Industry Association

The DCBIA serves both the residential and commercial real estate industry in the nation's capital. Members come from the real estate profession and associate members come from the construction industry The non-profit advocacy agency represents its members on issues such as the economy, health care, investments, regulatory reform, and tax reform before local and federal officials.

The DCBIA has events for real estate agents, developers, general contractors, commercial brokers, and the business community. They have seven seminars for real estate professionals on developing trends in the residential and commercial markets. The seminars are certified by the DC Real Estate Commission and can earn participants continuing education credits.

The DCBIA's DLD Young Professionals is for members on their way to being professionals in the real estate community. Established members have a chance to mentor the newcomers on personal development, education, networking, and opportunities for community service. Those new to the industry benefit from the DLD by being introduction to industry leaders and participating on projects and in events.

Operative Plasterers' and Cement Mason's International Association Local #891

The trade association for plasterers, cement masons and shop hands is the nation's oldest building and construction trades union. The union dates back to 1864 when it was originally known as the National Plasterer's Union or the National Plasterers Organization. The founding members believed in an eight hour work day, apprentice training, and fair regulations for workers.

The organization stresses the benefits of union membership because union members enjoy better benefits than they would without union representation. Members of the District of Columbia's Operative Plasterers' and Cement Mason's International Association Local #891 earn more through collective bargaining with management and receive higher wages, fringe benefits, and health insurance. They have retirement money set aside in the form of pension plans. And, education opportunities in Job Corps if they have no experience in the trade, apprenticeships for those with some experience, and journeyman programs so certified tradesman can upgrade skills.

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