Newsletter – Old

RERA 25th Anniversary


Dinner meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of every month.

David LaFollette Robbyn Nicola

RERA’s beginnings were crafted in 1991

          Learn what motivated a band of construction industry professionals to give their time, energy, and personal resources to build our association. What challenges did they face, and how did they stay the course to make it possible for RERA to thrive?

And was there something about Santa Rosa and Sonoma County that helped open the door for the success of a remodelers’ organization?

You’ll get to hear stories from RERA’s “founding fathers” - a personal journey that required their sustained commitment. How did it serve them, and how has it served its members and the community throughout these last 25 years?

We’ve invited past and present members along with several Sonoma County notables to help tell RERA’s story.

It’s time for a CELEBRATION !

Join us on Tuesday, June 21st at

Charlie’s Grill, Windsor Golf Club
1320 19th Hole Drive, Windsor, Ca

Bring your spouse or significant other
Sign up and pay in advance by Monday June 20th at

If paying by cash or check at the door,
members register online by Saturday, June 18th
at or call 545-2727.

Dinner Cost is $25.00

6:00 pm Social Hour – beer, wine, etc.

7:00 pm Dinner and everything else

Map and Directions

Upcoming Dinner Events
May: Asien’s Appliance to host at their location
June: RERA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration
July: Inspired Spaces Inc. to host at their location
Aug: Meade Clark to host at their location
Sept: TBD
Oct: Studio H Designs to host at their location
Nov: TBD
Dec: Holiday Dinner

Registration and Signup

Pay in advance with Brown Paper Tickets – now available


    Not a RERA member?

    • You may attend two dinner meetings without being a RERA member.
    • Sign up and pay in advance at:
    • Or register for this event by calling RERA at 545-2727; you will need to pay by cash or check prior to the day of the dinner.

    * ‘no shows’ will be invoiced

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.

Rick Cowperthwaite Contact Information

Rick’s Energy Solutions
707 578-5380, office
707 529-2570, mobile

RERA says "Thank You"

RERA- Redwood Empire Remodelers Association

RERA members,

With the year coming to a close, the RERA board would like to extend its thanks and appreciation to the following offsite event hosts for their contributions to the success of our 2014 monthly dinner events:

Each of these organizations contributed their time, resources, and some amazing food to our Tuesday evening dinner presentations.

We encourage RERA members to look for ways to support the companies that support RERA.

So … give them a chance to bid on the purchases required for your projects. They provide quality products and materials at competitive prices. It is one thing we can do for fellow members who have stepped up to serve us in this unique way.

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Diagnosing Bathroom Leaks

Unless you’re an all-around handyman, plumbing is a specialty remodelers typically subcontract. Since most remodelers will run into plumbing leaks on the job, it can be useful to know whether it’s something that will require a plumbing sub’s attention—and a halt to the job until the sub can get there—or if it’s a problem your crew can handle.

It’s also worthwhile to talk knowledgeably with clients if they mention a bathroom leak. While you don’t want to spend an entire day trying to diagnose a problem, spending a little extra time helping a homeowner figure out where water is coming from will go a long way toward developing a good relationship and establishing you as the go-to person for future projects.

Bathroom leaks usually happen in one of three places: under a shower/under a tub, around the toilet, or under a sink. It’s possible that water is seeping through a wall because of a clogged gutter or a roof leak, but those are easy to rule out.

If the question comes from a homeowner, spend some time asking questions about when and where the homeowner finds the water.

In many cases it’s really simple, says Terry Love, owner of Love Plumbing & Remodel in Bothell, Wash., and creator of the Terry Love plumbing and remodeling forums. “Sometimes, someone is just showering with the door open.”

A great way to check for leaks is with a moisture meter, which you can purchase inexpensively. “You just put it up against the wall to see if there’s moisture,” Love says.

For the leaks that are not readily visible or are hard to pin down and identify, Les Zell, master plumber and owner of Zell Plumbing & Heating in St. Paul, Minn., recommends telling the homeowner “to stop using the bathroom fixtures until it dries up. Then start to use just one fixture for a day and see if the leak shows up; if not, then stop using that fixture and wait a day. Then try another fixture for a day and repeat this with each one until the leak shows up.”

Shower and Tub Leaks

For suspected shower and tub leaks, Love suggests starting the investigation at the drain and working up the wall. Lift the drain grid and check to see if the floor drain is loose.

Sometimes the plumber’s putty, which sticks the underside of the top of the drain to the shower pan (or tub), has cracked or loosened or is just plain old. Zell says this common leak should be repaired by using silicone sealant instead of plumber’s putty.

Check for a loose drain pipe.

Keep in mind that recent plumbing codes require that drains that can’t be accessed for repair have solvent weld joints. Glue these with PVC or ABS cement (depending on the pipe’s material). Love says he glues shower and tub fittings below the floor.

If there are watermarks on the ceiling of the room below the bathroom or puddles of water on the room’s floor, check the overflow on the tub. Often people just fill the tub too high and the water leaks behind the overflow escutcheon. Or, perhaps the washer is missing or is misaligned—an easy fix.

Another common leak is if the tub spout isn’t sealing when water is diverted for a shower. Replacing the tub spout should take care of the problem.

Check the sealing around the valve plate and valve stem from the wall. Look for open gaps in the caulking or for a loose screw holding the plate.

Ensure the shower head and shower arm are on tight. Look at where the shower arm meets the wall. Sometimes the threads are cracked inside the wall and the head is loose and wobbles.

Toilet Area Leaks

Tanks can crack and bolts can rust. Look for a bad washer between the tank and bowl if there is water leaking around the toilet.

The supply line and toilet shut-off connections should be dry. If not, check for a loose supply line, or rusted shut-off valve.

Check for water around the edge where the toilet meets the floor. Often, says Love, the closet flange is too low for a single wax ring seal, and when the plumber sets the toilet, he or she will use two rings. If, over the years, the toilet gets replaced, particularly by a homeowner, “they install it using a single wax ring because they don’t know, and it leaks because there’s space around it. That keeps us busy.”

Another wax ring issue that Love sees: Sometimes installers don’t follow the instructions to put the wax ring in the floor and then set the toilet. They’ll put the ring on the toilet and then set it. The ring drops off and the toilet will be off kilter.

He offers this tip: After installing a toilet, run a bead of caulk most of the way around the bowl—leaving a little open section behind the bowl. “If the wax seal does leak you can see water coming out; otherwise, the floor will rot before you notice anything.”

Sink Leaks

Anywhere there’s a pipe connection there can be a leak. Wipe down the pipe, then use a dry paper towel or tissue to check for water. The shut-off valve is often the culprit and doesn’t get noticed, Love says. “A tiny drip can work its way down. But the shut-off valve can be snugged down and compressed around the stem enough to stop a drip.”

Love makes it a regular practice during a faucet replacement in homes over 30 years old to install a new shut-off. “Sometimes the rubber seal that stops the water has broken up into bits,” he says. “They can clog the kitchen faucets downstream.”

Check the slip joint nut and washer under the sink on the p-trap. These can leak over time.—Stacey Freed

Construction Work and Teens

It’s the time of year when many employers hire “summer workers” to augment their workforce. Many of these workers may be teenagers. It’s important for employers to remember that there are labor laws and OSHA laws that protect young workers. There are restrictions as to the type of work and the hours a teen can work. Also, workers under 18 who have not graduated from high school must apply for a work permit at their school or school district office.

The following are some guidelines for California. but if you are hiring (or have hired) a teen worker, it is important for you to know the laws that protect them (and your company).

No one under 18 may:

  • Drive a motor vehicle on public streets as part of the job, or as an outside helper on a motor vehicle,
  • Operate, clean or repair power-driven machinery:
    • Meat slicers
    • Bakery machines (including dough mixers) • Box crushers/compactors
    • Woodworking machines
    • Metalworking machines
    • Punches
    • Hoists
    • Forklifts
    • Circular saws
    • Band saws
    • Guillotine shears
  • Handle, serve, or sell alcoholic beverages
  • Be exposed to radioactive substances or ionizing radiation
  • Work in
    • Wrecking or demolition
    • Excavation
    • Logging or sawmills
    • Roofing
    • Manufacturing brick or tile
    • Manufacturing or storage of explosives
    • Mining
    • Meat packing or processing
  • Mix, load, or apply Category I pesticides

Also no one under 16 may:

  • Work in building or construction
  • Work in manufacturing or food processing
  • Do any baking or cooking on the job (except cooking at a serving counter)
  • Go from house to house to sell or do “sign waving”
  • Do dry cleaning or work in a commercial laundry
  • Work on a ladder or scaffold
  • Work in a freezer or meat cooler
  • Load or unload trucks, railroad cars, or conveyors
  • Work in a warehouse (except as a clerical)
  • Dispense gas or oil
  • Clean, wash, or polish cars
  • Use power-driven lawn mowers

You can find most of the information you’ll need at the following website:

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