100_1695 Last Monday I spent the day taking a building contractor’s continuing education class in Bloomington. The State of Minnesota requires all residential building contractors complete 7.5 hours of education each year. While it is never easy to fit in a whole day at a seminar, I always seem to enjoy the classes. I appreciate the opportunity to chat with other builders during breaks.

Our class focused quite a bit on the new energy code100_1696 that Minnesota is adopting. Every time there is a major code change it takes some getting used to the new or revised items. The biggest one in this code is the requirement that radon gas be dealt with. The code establishes approved methods to safely vent radon gas to the exterior. With so many months of frozen ground (not allowing radon to exit the soils) in Minnesota we can find that radon gas finds its way into our homes.

We also talked about a variety of safety issues and how to keep our employees safe on construction sites. A new provision on Minnesota law establishes a precise standard for determining exactly when an individual is an independent contractor working for a licensed building contractor, and when the individual may be considered an employee.