The House has approved the “Cash for Caulkers” bill, which seeks to stimulate construction and manufacturing jobs and boost energy efficiency in homes. The two-year, $5.6-billion Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, which the House passed on May 6, would provide up to $3,000 in rebates to homeowners who install insulation or energy-efficient windows, doors and other products. The Senate has not acted yet on the measure. The bill’s supporters include the National Association of Home Builders, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, labor unions and environmental groups. But 154 Republicans voted against the legislation. The Associated Builders and Contractors also opposes
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.