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Apr/May 2014

OUTDOOR LIVING New Codes, New Choices Also in this issue:

EXPO & Wisconsin Convention Recaps Retaliation Claims: Protect Yourself

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Mother nature knows the best footings are big and round. April/May 2014

Adding on? Building a deck? Take a lesson from nature. For stability you can trust, build it with Bigfoot!

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Advertising Sales Erica Nelson (763) 497-1778 NLA STAFF

10/16/08 7:53:21 PMPresident (on leave) Paula Siewert Acting President Cody Nuernberg Financial & Membership Assistant Abbie Diekmann Director of Conventions and Tours Jodie Fleck Website Director Melanie Hultman Professional Development & Communications Coordinator Connie Johnson Administrative Assistant Pam Kivi Field Service Representative Tim Larson EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Daryl Lundberg Rob Treml John Bates Mike Simon The Building Products Connection is published bi-monthly by the Northwestern Lumber Association, 5905 Golden Valley Road, Suite 110, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55422, (763) 544-6822. It is the official publication of the Northwestern Lumber Association (NLA). Copyright ©2014 by the NLA. Materials may not be reproduced without written permission. Annual subscription fee is $30. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: The Building Products Connection 5905 Golden Valley Road, Suite 110 Minneapolis, MN 55422

Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014



Building Products Connection April/May 2014

April/May 2014


EDITORIAL Too Many Choices? By Beth Stoll


ASSOCIATION NEWS & EVENTS News items and member alerts EXPO & Wisconsin Show Recaps












Cover photo courtesy of TAMKO Building Products, Inc.

Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


Decks are everywhere – an estimated two to three million new decks are built every year. Design trends are moving away from the traditional rectangular and square structures. Contemporary redwood decks feature angular, asymmetrical and curved shapes and changing levels. Railing are more creative and often incorporated lattice, built-in lighting and accents of glass and metal. Most of all, today’s decks are loaded with amenities – spas, shade shelters, gazebos, outdoor kitchens, and intricate staircases.

Fiberon Sustainability Producing Fiberon composite decking and railing products with high recycled content in a virtually waste-free manufacturing process is just the beginning of providing homeowners with sustainable, durable and beautiful outdoor living products. Easy to maintain, Fiberon products retain their beauty for decades with only occasional cleaning. Fiberon incorporates smart, energy efficient practices in every phase of the manufacture of our products: • Made from locally-sourced, pre- and post-consumer recycled content. • Manufactured with zero, water waste discharge. • Urea formaldehyde-free – no toxic chemicals are used in the manufacture of Fiberon products. • Fiberon products deliver long-term performance without chemical preservatives, stains or paints. • Contributes to high performance green buildings. • Safe for your home and for the environment. • Sustainable - durable performance year after year.

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2014 nLA bOARD CHAIRMAN — Jeff Reinhardt Interstate Building Supply Cannon Falls, Minnesota 1st VICE CHAIRMAN — Trent Peabody Lumber Mart West Grand Forks, North Dakota 2nd VICE CHAIRMAN — William Wood Fennimore Lumber Co. Fennimore, Wisconsin TREASURER — Ron Enter wRight Lumber & Millwork, Inc. Buffalo, Minnesota PAST CHAIRMAN — Bob Egan Lampert Yards St. Paul, Minnesota NLA PRESIDENT/SECRETARY Paula Siewert (on leave) Minneapolis, Minnesota ACTING NLA PRESIDENT/SECRETARY Cody Nuernberg Minneapolis, Minnesota ILA CHAIRMAN — Brian Carlson Red Oak Do-It Center Red Oak, Iowa NLDA CHAIRMAN — Mike Skillstad Farm & Ranch Building Supply Norfolk, Nebraska WRLA CHAIRMAN — Craig VandenHouten Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders Luxemburg, Wisconsin Directors Bryan Jensen 2011-2014 Central Valley Ag Elgin, Nebraska Daryl Lundberg 2011-2014 Northwoods Lumber Blackduck, Minnesota Brad Kranz 2012-2015 Salem Lumber Company, Salem, South Dakota Stephen McCarron 2012-2015 McCarron’s Building Center, Inc. Forest Lake, Minnesota Bill Brotherton 2013-2014 Wall Lake Lumber Co. Wall Lake, Iowa Brad Spelts 2013-2015 Spelts Lumber Co. Burwell, Nebraska Mike Bertrand 2013-2016 Lloyd Lumber Company North Mankato, MN Jennifer Leachman 2013-2016 Leachman Lumber Co. Des Moines, Iowa Garry Mertz 2013-2016 Mertz Lumber & Supply Ellendale, North Dakota Associate Directors Dave Charpentier 2012-2015 Midwest Lumber Minnesota, Inc. Stillwater, Minnesota Aaron Lambrecht 2013-2016 Shelter Products, Inc. New Ulm, Minnesota Cedar Rapids, Iowa NLBMDA REPRESENTATIVE Scott Engquist Engquist Lumber Company Harcourt, Iowa

Editorial TOO MANY CHOICES? The NLA 2014 convention season has come and gone. Perhaps most noticeable at the shows this year was an increasing sense of optimism. Feels good, it has been awhile. Also noteworthy at both regional and national conventions, there was an ever increasing number of product choices, most noticeably in the outdoor living category. Those who walked the halls at both the DeckExpo last fall and the 2014 IBS tradeshow were met with a plethora of new decking, railings, fasteners, lighting, trim, and accessories options. Keep in mind that these same products are showing up at the consumer shows as well. Fused bamboo decking? Why not. It’s beautiful, feels denser than Ipe, and comes with a 20-year warranty. Take the exotics out of the mix, and there’s still an overwhelming amount of choices within each product category. Composite decking manufacturers were exhibiting enough variations and new color options that would challenge even a specialty deck retailer to stock a full product line from a single manufacturer, let alone two or three. It’s great to see so many choices, but one wonders what happens to last year’s inventory as each new “must have” color is introduced. In addition, railing is now a major component in outdoor living projects. In 2006, the ratio of decking to railing products in the inventory of a typical distributor was about 80/20; in 2013, the ratio was more like 60/40. Color coordinated mix-and-match posts, caps, collars, railings, and balusters — within each line — can create a stocking nightmare. And don’t ignore the increasing interest in designs that incorporate low-voltage lighting. Too many choices? Not when you focus on providing the best value for your market. You don’t have to offer several brands of treated wood if you’re confident the one you have chosen is the best quality at the best price. Same goes for composites. As for how many brands and depth of lines you carry, you know your builders and your market. Fact is, an increasing number of choices allows you to compete in new and different ways. Dealers in areas where high-end lake homes are the norm obviously can benefit from offering a variety of material, color, and style combinations for truly customized builds. In other areas, new manufacturing options — such as the new thermally modified woods — might make sense. You don’t need to be overwhelmed by the options, but you do need to know what they are. Use them to your advantage.

2014 nLI Officers PRESIDENT — John Bates Barnes Building Materials Cedar Falls, Iowa VICE PRESIDENT — Larry Provance Arrow Building Center Chadron, Nebraska

Beth Stoll Executive Editor

Treasurer — Wayne Briggs Crane Johnson Lumber Fargo, North Dakota

Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


News & Events Winter classES Well attended throughout the NLA region Sixteen students, with experience ranging from 6 weeks to more than 16 years, attended the Blueprint Reading/ Material Take Off class in Roseville, Minnesota in January. Casey Voorhees from the Western Building Material Association did a fantastic job in leading the class during the two-day event.

NLBMDA Outlines 2014 Policy Agenda The National Lumber and Building Material Industry (NLBMDA) released its national legislative and regulatory policy agenda for 2014. The 2014 National Policy Agenda brings focus to the common interests of the industry and includes policy goals to revitalize our nation’s housing and building industry. “Our industry was hit hard by the recession, but our members have rebounded with lessons about what needs to be done to set the housing industry on the path to economic

growth. We need policymakers to focus on eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens, creating sound fiscal policies, and reforming our tax code in a way that will aid the economic recovery,” said NLBMDA Chair Chris Yenrick, President of Smith Phillips Building Supply in Winston-Salem, N.C. “The 2014 NLBMDA National Policy Agenda outlines what our vital small businesses need to boost employment and get our country back on track.” NLBMDA will continue to advance pro-growth policies that will strengthen small businesses and protect the many

Calendar of Events april

Lampert’s Yards sent several students to the Blueprint Reading/Material Take Off class in Roseville, Minnesota last January.

According to students, Voorhees does a great job of using visuals for new folks to the lumber business without it coming across as being “too basic” for more experienced estimators. He has an easy to follow step by step procedure that will save a ton of time, all the while being very accurate. One student commented, “Awesome formulas — makes a takeoff easy to get your arms around. Very beneficial.” Two additional classes were held at the end of February in Omaha, Nebraska and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. If you are interested in attending or sending students to classes of this kind, please contact Connie Johnson at (763) 595-4045 or If a class is not currently offered in your area, she will make arrangements with other interested dealers to get one scheduled. 8

2014 NLBMDA Spring Meeting & Legislative Conference Arlington, Virginia


Minnesota Wild Night Xcel Energy Center St. Paul, Minnesota


IOWA Arena Football Wells Fargo Arena Des Moines, Iowa


may Nebraska Golf Outing Quail Run Golf Club Columbus, Nebraska


june IOWA Golf Outing Otter Creek Golf Course Ankeny, Iowa

Building Products Connection April/May 2014


multi-generational family-owned businesses in the industry. The association’s agenda includes the industry’s positions on: housing & construction policy; tax & economic policy; legal reform & consumer protection; workforce policy; the environment, health, & safety; product supply & trade; energy policy; transportation policy; and highway safety. NLBMDA’s 2014 National Policy Agenda will be distributed to members of Congress and key Administration officials and will be used by NLBMDA members when they visit their members of Congress during the NLBMDA Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference early this month.

EPA Releases Final Specifications for ENERGY STAR Version 6.0 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final program requirements for ENERGY STAR Version 6.0 for residential windows, doors and skylights. The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) represented the window, door, and skylight industry during the development of Version 6.0. “While the final requirements for Version 6.0 are not everything that we sought, WDMA worked diligently over the past year with EPA and our supporters

on Capitol Hill to achieve a middle ground that will increase energy efficiency, allow manufacturers time to prepare, and provide consumers with a reasonable payback period. We appreciate EPA’s efforts to work with us to address our concerns,” said Michael O’Brien, WDMA President and CEO. The final Version 6.0 specifications include significant improvements from earlier drafts that increase ENERGY STAR qualification requirements of windows, doors and skylights while keeping those products more affordable for homeowners purchasing them. Further, the agency acknowledges the need to improve the process for future updates to the ENERGY STAR program to make the process more transparent and encourage greater industry participation. In the final document, EPA has agreed to delay implementation of Version 6.0 Northern Zone requirements for windows until January 1, 2016. Until then, the current Version 5.0 requirements will remain in effect in the Northern Zone. Further, the final Northern Zone u-factor for skylights has been set at .50, which is a change from the last draft, which had it set at .48. Those requirements will go into effect in on January 1, 2015, along with the rest of Version 6.0.

Winter Future Lumber Leader’s meetings met throughout the region.

MN/Dakotas FLL Meeting Recap On February 14, 2014, six young professionals from the Minnesota and Dakotas Chapter of Future Lumber Leaders met at J.B. O’Meara in Burnsville, Minnesota for the 2014 Spring Conference. Attendees listened as Dan Fesler, CEO of Lampert Lumber, gave his insights on leadership. Fesler incorporated a number of videos and examples into his presentation that triggered a lively roundtable discussion. Fesler got the group thinking when he asked whether leaders are born or made. Jan Fedora of the Minnesota Safety Council led the group in a discussion on OSHA. OSHA was out and about in 2013 and there are no signs of the organization slowing down in 2014. The group learned about the purpose of OSHA and Jan provided a checklist of key areas that will be highlighted during an OSHA inspection. (continued on page 10)



Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014






replaced or even longer when existing roofs are “recovered”. Until recently this requirement was prescribed using vague and confusing language. “There has been a great deal of confusion given the various terms used to describe roofing projects on existing buildings in both the International Building Code and the International Energy Conservation Code, such as reroofing, roof repair, roof recover and roof replacement,” said Jared O. Blum, President, Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA).

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Moving forward the IECC will use the same definitions found in the International Building code: • Reroofing. The process of recovering or replacing an existing roof covering. See “Roof recover” and “Roof replacement.” • Roof Recover. The process of installing an additional roof covering over a prepared existing roof covering without removing the existing roof covering. • Roof Replacement. The process of removing the existing roof covering, repairing any damaged substrate and installing a new roof covering. • Roof Repair. Reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing roof for the purposes of its maintenance.

(continued from page 9) NLA would like to extend a special thank you to Mary O’Meara Moynihan and Pat Hegseth of J.B. O’Meara for hosting the conference and for their hospitality.

Insulation Levels in Reroofing Projects to Comply with Requirements for New Construction When existing roofs (that are part of the building’s thermal envelope) are removed and replaced, and when the roof assembly includes above-deck insulation, the energy code now requires that the insulation levels comply with the requirements for new construction,


according to a proposal approved by International Code Council at public comment hearings held in October 2013. As a result of this proposal approval, the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) includes new language that provides unambiguous direction on how the energy code provisions apply to roof repair, roof recover and roof replacement. Each year about 2.5 billion square feet of roof coverings are installed on existing buildings. The opportunity to upgrade the insulation levels on these roof systems occurs once every several decades when the roof is

Building Products Connection April/May 2014

“A survey of building departments in many states and regions in the United States found that online roofing permit application forms rarely included any information on the energy code and required insulation levels,” added Blum. “With the changes to the 2015 IECC, it will be easier for building departments to correlate the building code- and energy code- requirements for roof replacements.” The clarification to the 2015 IECC makes the code easier to interpret and enforce. Along the way, it will help ensure the opportunity to save energy when replacing roofs. Another benefit of this update is that the

exemption for roof repair is now clearly defined, making it easier for building owners and roofing contractors to perform routine maintenance without triggering energy efficiency upgrades, which would add costs.

NLBMDA Welcomes NLRB Decision to Abandon Poster Rule The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) welcomes the decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to abandon a rule requiring nearly six million employers to post an 11-by-17 inch notice regarding employee rights to unionize. The NLRB’s choice not to seek Supreme Court review of the Poster Rule follows a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) on September 4, 2013, not to rehear the case. On May 7, 2013, the D.C. Circuit Court overturned the regulation stating the rule violated the free speech rights of employers. In April 2012, the D.C. Circuit Court issued an emergency injunction against the rule, two weeks before it was set to take effect, prohibiting the NLRB from requiring employers to comply with the regulation as the court considered an appeal of a lower court decision upholding the rule. The injunction was granted in response to a request by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

(CDW), an organization of which the NLBMDA is a member.

Nebraska FLL Meets in Norfolk

“The NLRB clearly overstepped its authority with the Poster Rule,” said Michael O’Brien, President & CEO of NLBMDA. “NLBMDA is pleased that the NLRB will not continue its misguided pursuit of the rule and this is good news for lumber and building material dealers.”

The Nebraska Chapter of Future Lumber Leaders met on Friday, February 21, 2014 at the Norfolk Lodge & Suites in Norfolk, Nebraska. Ten future leaders and current industry professionals met to discuss the lumber and building material industry and took the opportunity to network with one another. (continued on page 12)


Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


close to this. I can track every employee and see who has completed their training and who hasn’t. It’s a great tool. Thanks for making it available.” Knowledge Central is an online training, testing and performance tracking system. It also is a human resources management system comprised of dozens of forms, documents, manuals and other pertinent materials that together comprise nearly 7,000 pages of a dynamic content. More than online training and an HR toolset, Knowledge Central is a risk management tool that provides unparalleled protection against a potential catastrophic loss. The robust Knowledge Central training curriculum currently contains over 200 training modules covering the gamut of federal regulatory compliance. It also contains sales training, Safety Data Sheet cataloging and management as well as required state and federal postings.

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(continued from page 11) Chapter President Jason Schmidt, Shelby Lumber, Columbus, led the group in a series of discussion on social media, POS systems and technology. The group also discussed current employee benefits structures and how a company might work with them moving forward. The group was joined by former Nebraska Secretary of State Allen Beerman for a presentation on leadership. Allen told stories of his days in the business and political arena and left the group with helpful hints on being a better leader for both their business and our industry. In the afternoon, Clint Ruether of Federated Insurance held a discussion on succession planning and touched on planning not only for the future of the family business, but also for the future of one’s family. We would like to extend a special thank you to Dealers Choice for sponsoring the 2014 meeting! 12

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Knowledge Central System Enthusiastically Received Knowledge Central is a business tool that enables firms to properly train every employee (including management) and at the same time insulate their company from the day-to-day risks associated with running their business. Simply put, training employees is the best possible protection against the potentially catastrophic loss caused by a lawsuit, whether initiated by an unsatisfied customer, jealous competitor, or disgruntled employee. According to one of our members, Doug Blanchard of Suburban Lumber in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, “The Knowledge Central system is fantastic! It is exactly what we need. Every building material dealer in the country should be using it. If they aren’t, they’re missing the boat, and they’re open to all sorts of liability. Our insurance company is supposedly providing some training, but it’s not even

Building Products Connection April/May 2014

Knowledge Central is FREE to Northwestern Lumber Association (NLA) members. NLA has long realized there is a need for members to train employees — training that is often mandated by state and federal regulatory compliance regulations. We also recognize that many, if not most, of the programs now available to our members are inconvenient or costly. Knowledge Central was created to solve this problem. You can learn more about Knowledge Central by contacting Connie Johnson at or call (763) 595-4045 to get your login information.

THought for the day Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

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Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


EXPO The 2014 Northwestern Building Products Expo at the Rivers Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota featured an expanded, sold-out exhibit floor and a lot of foot traffic through the aisles on Monday afternoon and evening. Mother nature threw a little winter storm Tuesday morning which affected on-site registrations, but several dealers braved the treacherous roads from as far away as Wisconsin to take part in the trade show and seminars. Some highlights of the 2014 show include very well attended half-day sales seminars on Monday, given by Ken Wilbanks and Mick Frank, followed by a buzzing Buying Event on the trade show floor and a packed floor for the Grand Reception. Supplier-sponsored hospitality rooms kept the pool side rooms hopping late into the night. Tuesday was another day for learning, with a several seminars taking place. Topics included legal landmines that affect your business, merchandising, trends in today’s housing, and balanced inventories — all taught by experts in the industry. The Membership Meeting & Lunch focused on youth in the industry as Keynote Speaker Larry Hillman spoke about relating to “Gen Y” in everyday life and business. We’d like to send a big congratulations to all the award winners at this year’s Expo: Freeborn Lumber Company in Albert Lea, Minnesota received the Dealer of the Year Award. Weekes Forest Products won the Best Single Booth award, while Bayer Built Woodworks took home the Best Multiple Booth award. Photos (top right, counterclockwise): Bayer Built Woodworks receives award; Grand Reception on show floor; One of eight $100 drawing winners; Freeborn Lumber awarded Dealer of the Year; Weekes Forest Product awarded Best Single Booth.


Building Products Connection April/May 2014

convention recaps

WISCONSIN The 2014 Wisconsin Lumber Dealers Convention was held at the Marriott Madison West in Middleton, Wisconsin on February 5 & 6. With a new venue in a new location, we saw several dealers and suppliers that hadn’t been to the show in previous years. One large draw to the convention this year was Rick Davis, who gave a half day seminar on “Taking the Mystique Out Of Sales Results.” Davis also was the keynote speaker at the Membership Meeting & Breakfast and left attendees inspired to control their emotions in the work place while facing the daunting challenges of our times. Two other seminars on Legal Landmines and Changes in Healthcare provided key information to dealers in attendance. New this year was the very well attended Casino Night brought in for the Grand Reception. Dealers and suppliers mingled over beverages and hors d’oeuvres as they tried their luck at black jack, roulette, craps, and more. We’d like to send a big congratulations out to all the award winners at this year’s Wisconsin Lumber Dealers Convention: Evan Koshak of Tomahawk Builders Supply received the Wisconsin Lumber and Building Material Dealer of the Year award while Kent Enright of Metal Sales Manufacturing received the Wisconsin Supplier Representative of the Year award. Photos (top right, clockwise): Keynote speaker Rick Davis; Casino Night attendees; Kent Enright receives his award; a new location attracted several new dealers to the event.

Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


Code Updates STRUCTURE Insight on engineering and codes


A new package of prescriptive deck code provisions — RB 264, Cantilever Code Update is partly bywhich Glenn Mathewson

based on the American Wood Council’s DCA 6 — was approved at the ICC code development hearing last October.


new package of prescriptive deck means that joists, such as southern pine familiar with DCA 6 (, but there The new provisions will be included in the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC). Among the code provisions—RB 264, which 2x10s at 16 inches on-center, spanning are a few differences. For example, under provisions are updated span tables for decking, joists, and beams, which will help clarify the rules for is partly based on the American Wood 12 feet are allowed to cantilever up to an the portion of the joist span table for cantilevers of joistsatand Council’s DCA 6—was approved the beams. additional 3 feet (see illustration, below). joists without cantilevers (and thus a final ICC code development hearing There are two sections in the new span longer allowable span), joists are still in early October and will be included table: one for joists with cantilevers, allowed to cantilever up to the depth in the 2015 International Residential and one for joists without cantilevers. of the joist material. This will allow for According to the neware spanCantilevering tables and IRC revisions, cantilevers extend up to one-fourth the backspan Code (IRC). Among the provisions a joist produces greater can minor adjustments to beam placement, updated spanoftables for decking, joists,that stresses the primary joist span affecting the maximum span. the joist. This means joists,in such as southern pine(back2x10s atwithout 16 inches on-center, spanning 12 feet and beams, which will help clarify the span), so the maximum span is often Another difference is that the current are allowed to cantilever up to an additional 3 feet (see illustration). rules for cantilevers of joists and beams. reduced. For cantilevers greater than the IRC requires full-depth blocking over 1 inches for depth of span the joist material the beam when arejoists cantilevered There are two sections in the new table: one (9 for⁄4joists with cantilevers, and joists one for without Joist Cantilevers a 2x10), you must use the span criteria for beyond, while DCA 6 does not address cantilevers. Cantilevering a joist produces greater stresses in the primary joist span (backspan), so the According to the new span tables and IRC “joists with cantilevers.” this. The new IRC provisions strike a balmaximum span is often reduced. For cantilevers greater than the depth of the joist material (91⁄4 inches provisions, cantilevers can extend up to These joist span tables and cantilever ance, requiring blocking over the beam for a 2x10), you must use the span criteria for “joists with cantilevers.” one-fourth the backspan of the joist. This allowances might be old news to those when joists cantilever, but allowing the blocking to be cut to 60% of the joist These span tables and cantilever depth to joist accommodate deck-drainage allowances might be old to systems that install within thenews joist bay. those familiar with DCA 6 (, Meanwhile, the AWC is poised to but there are and a few differences. For include a revised more user-friendly joist and beam span table in theof2012 example, under the portion the joist version its DCA 6, expected nextcantilevers year. span of table for joists without Instead of separate tables for non-can(and thus a longer allowable span), tilevered andstill cantilevered a sin- up joists are allowed tojoists, cantilever gletoproposed table provides maximum the depth of the joist material. This joist span and cantilever distances for will allow for minor adjustments to all conditions, which should simplify beam placement, without affecting the joist specification without compromismaximum span. ing design freedom.

Joist Cantilevers

The 2015 IRC will contain separate span tables for joists with cantilevers (top left) and joists without cantilevers The(bottom 2015 IRCleft). will As contain separate shown in these span tables for joists with cantilevers up to (topICC left)drawings, and joists cantilevers without cantileversone-fourth (bottom left). shown in these theAs span of the joist are ICCpermitted, drawings, cantilevers up to one-distance with the cantilever fourth the span of the joist are per(or overhang) measured from the mitted, with the cantilever distance (or overhang) measured frombeam the to the center of the supporting center of the supporting beam to the outermost framing material, typically outermost framing material, typically the the rim rim joist.joist.


Professional Deck Builder • November 2013


Building Products Connection April/May 2014


Beam Cantilev

Similar to joists, b one-fourth their b with joists, there ent column in th tions. The stresse of the beam are c is a cantilever or 2x12 beam can sp joists spanning a it can cantilever 2 each side. With th the joists, this bea 12 feet by 171⁄ 2 fe While it will be sion is widely ado building officials sions like these as tives to costly eng

Another difference is that the current IRC requires full-depth blocking over the beam when joists are cantilevered beyond, while DCA 6 does not address this. The new IRC provisions strike balance, requiring blocking over the beam when joists cantilever, but allowing the blocking to be cut to 60 percent of the joist depth to accommodate deck-drainage systems that install within the joist bay. Meanwhile, the AWC is poised to include a revised and more user-friendly joist and beam span table in the 2012 version of its DCA 6 expected next year. Instead of separate tables for non-cantilevered and cantilevered joists, a single proposed table provides maximum joist span and cantilever distances for all conditions, which should simplify joist specification without compromising design freedom.

Beam Cantilevers Similar to joists, beams can cantilever up to one-fourth their backspan. However, unlike with joists, there is no need to use a different column in the table for these conditions.

Dropped (top) and flush (bottom) beams will be allowed to cantilever Dropped (top) and flush (bottom) beams will be allowed to cantilever beyond their supports byby a distance thespan span between Glenn Mathewson i beyond their supports a distanceequal equalto toone-fourth one-fourth the between supports, supports, as ICC illustrations. Westminster, Colo. as shown shownininthe theabove above ICC illustrations. The stresses in the backspan portion of the beam are considered whether there is a cantilever or not. A southern pine (2)2x12 beam can span 8 feet when supporting joists spanning a maximum of 14 feet, and it can cantilever 2 feet beyond the posts on each side. With the allowable cantilever of the joists, this beam would support a deck 12 feet by 17 1⁄2 feet.

While it will be years before the 2015 version is widely adopted by local codes, many building officials often accept provisions like these as easy-to-approve alternatives to costly engineering. By Glenn Mathewson Reprinted with permission from Professional Deck Builder, a Hanley Wood publication.

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Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


Too Many

Henry Ford once stated, “You can get it in any color you choose, as long as it’s black.”



Photos courtesy of TAMKO Building Products, Inc.

J 18

ust try using Ford’s approach with today’s savvy homeowners who are looking at options for outdoor living projects, and you’ve just lost a customer. The outdoor living market is growing faster than just about any category. Market research company Principia predicts annual growth rates of 4 percent through 2015, with overall demand for decking and railing climbing to $4.1 billion. The increased demand is bringing new products to market, as manufacturers develop more products in response to the outdoor living trend: more capped wood-plastic composites, which offer many of the same performance advantages as cellular PVC but at a lower price; new types of wood decking; and a growing list of green-decking choices. If there’s a downside, it’s that retailers’ and wholesalers’ jobs won’t get any easier as the number of SKUs they could potentially stock increases and becomes more unwieldy. (continued on page 20)

Building Products Connection April/May 2014

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Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


(continued from page 18)

More Capped Composites The first wood-plastic composites combined recycled polyethylene and wood flour and were a shot in the arm for the decking industry when they were introduced 20 years ago. But a discouraging number of first-generation composites had performance problems, particularly mold growth.

More options mean more SKUs and a space and inventory crunch for lumber -yards. Decking made from cellular polyvinyl chloride fixed that by eliminating cellulose from the mix, but the decking was more expensive. In time, manufacturers found an attractive middle ground by wrapping conventional wood-plastic composites with another plastic, a protective cap. The cap improved scratch and stain resistance while protecting the composite boards from water, and capped composites were less expensive to manufacture than all-vinyl decking because the raw ingredients were less costly. Trex, the company that invented wood-plastic composites, is phasing out its uncapped line in 2014. And a number of panelists at Principia’s Composite Decking and Railing Conference in 2013 said that they expect a steady decline in market share for uncapped composites over the next few years.

Added Variety in Wood Synthetics get a lot of attention, but wood decking still has the largest market share: roughly 70 percent, by Principia’s estimate. A key reason is that standard pressure-treated southern pine has a huge price advantage, plus, it’s familiar to both homeowners and builders, and it’s available just about anywhere.


But even in the wood decking category, change is afoot. Thermally modified wood is a recent transplant from Europe, where it has been available for years. During the treatment process, wood is kiln heated up to 500º F. The wood doesn’t catch fire because oxygen has been removed from the kiln, but heat does change the wood’s properties. It becomes harder, more brittle, more dimensionally stable, and more resistant to water absorption and rot. There are at least two brands of thermally modified wood in the U.S.: EcoDeck, made with No. 1 southern yellow pine, and Arbor Wood, which sells both ash and red oak decking. Even pressure-treated pine is getting a facelift. Universal Forest Products now sells a type called ProWood Dura Color, which has been color-infused during the treatment process. It comes with a two-year warranty against fading and a lifetime warranty against termites and rot. Unlike decking that has been painted or treated with a solid-body stain, it still looks like wood and is compatible with aluminum building products. The cost: less than $1 per linear foot. Osmose, which developed the technology, says that color-infused decking is between 15 to 20 percent more expensive than standard treated wood. That may be one of the reasons the new-generation wood decking products are not in high demand as yet.

Railing: A SKU Nightmare Kits that packaged all the parts and pieces for a section of railing in one box looked to be a good way of simplifying life for both contractors and retailers. But builders couldn’t stop mixing and matching the growing number of rail components on the market to deliver a unique look to their customers. This continuing desire to give everyone every option every time on every item has turned railings into more of a component business.

Building Products Connection April/May 2014

While options do increase flexibility, the sale becomes much harder because retailers are selling options every time. More options mean more SKUs and a space and inventory crunch for lumber yards. One solution? Lumber retailers have been pushing the problem back on wholesale distributors. Rather than stocking the hundreds of items they might potentially need to fill orders, retailers are increasingly willing to ask wholesalers to put the packages together. Yet when special orders increase, margins go down. Tie up cash in inventory and risk making a mistake, or free up cash and give up margin.

Aiming for Green With LEED and its rival green-rating systems firmly established, the number of green-building products is on the rise with products made from waste or easily renewable materials. GeoDeck, for example, is made from powdered paper sludge, dried rice hulls, and polyethylene. Cali Bamboo’s BamDeck consists of 60 percent reclaimed bamboo fibers. NyloDeck is made from recycled carpet. These intriguing products make use of materials that are usually discarded, allowing eco-conscious consumers to feel good about using them. However, retailers have found that unless the advantages are easy to understand, this new wave of green products may not be in high demand. Also, consumers seem interested in green products, but their enthusiasm quickly wanes as the price goes up.

The Bottom Line There’s a lot out there that’s new, but not all of it makes sense for your builders and their customers. The trick is finding the right combination of products, the right way to purchase and the right way to market what you have to offer. * Excerpts from Ready, Set, Deck!, January issue, ProSales Magazine.

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Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


Business Matters

RETALIATION CLAIMS Once again this year, retaliation claims seem destined to be a continued focus of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). While the last year’s enforcement statistics have not yet been released, retaliation claims have been the most-filed claim with the EEOC for the last several years, accounting for more than one-third of all complaints. Employers must be aware of the fact that employees who bring good faith discrimination claims are shielded from retaliation even if their complaint is ultimately tossed out. As a result, employees include retaliation claims as part of their underlying discrimination complaints and often succeed with these claims even when their discrimination charges are dismissed. This is a serious problem since most federal discrimination laws specifically prohibit retaliation against individuals who exercise their rights. In addition, state workers compensation laws and the National Labor Relations Act also prohibit retaliation. Retaliation claims can cost organizations big money even when no underlying discrimination is found. There are four steps (below) you can take to make sure your organization is not liable for retaliation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently won a $675,000 victory in federal court for an employee who claimed age discrimination and retaliation. The age discrimination claim was dismissed, 22

but the retaliation claim resulted in the large verdict. The fact that the employer fired the employee, just three days after he complained of age discrimination, supported the retaliation claim. This is not an isolated case. EEOC statistics released last January showed retaliation claims were the number one discrimination claim filed and continue to rise. Out of almost 100,000 claims filed in 2012, almost 38,000 of them were retaliation claims, accounting for 38.1 percent of the total claims filed. Retaliation claim statistics are significant for employers. Federal discrimination laws prohibit retaliation against individuals who exercise their rights under the statutes. Employees often file retaliation claims in conjunction with discrimination claims when they feel their employer has taken action against them for exercising a legally protected right. In fact, as in the age discrimination case, employees increasingly are succeeding in retaliation claims even when their underlying discrimination claims are dismissed. In addition, the Supreme Court has broadened retaliation protections over the last few years to allow more situations to qualify for coverage. Accordingly, employers need to make sure they review every termination decision to ensure retaliation has not occurred and limit exposure.

Building Products Connection April/May 2014

Federal discrimination laws prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose practices made unlawful by those statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Most state discrimination laws contain similar protections. Thanks to the Supreme Court, former employees, as well as current employees, are protected from retaliation under federal discrimination laws. To be successful with a retaliation claim, employees generally must prove the following three elements: (1) that they engaged in a legally protected activity (such as filing a discrimination claim or opposing discrimination); (2) that they suffered an adverse employment action (such as termination); and (3) that there is a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action. Also, according to the Supreme Court, Title VII also prohibits retaliation not directly related to employment or that causes the employee harm outside the workplace. For a claim to be actionable, a reasonable employee has to show the retaliatory action to be “materially adverse,” meaning that the actions against the employee produced significant harm. The first two elements are fairly easy

to prove. Therefore, most retaliation cases turn on whether there’s a causal connection between the adverse employment action and the protected activity. Courts often will find a causal connection when the time interval between the activity and the adverse employment action is brief and the employee presents evidence that the protected activity was a motivating factor in the employer’s action. For example, in 2011, the court allowed a case to proceed to trial because the timing of the discharge was suspicious. The employee was terminated directly after he gave a note to management complaining that the company favored Hispanics over Blacks. In contrast, in 2005, the court found no connection between an employee’s termination and her complaint about offensive conduct by her boss because her performance had been severely criticized before her complaint and she was not terminated for nearly a year after her complaint during which time her performance deteriorated.

When discrimination claims fail, retaliation claims can still survive As noted, retaliation claims are often filed as part of a larger discrimination case. Employees who bring good faith discrimination claims are shielded from retaliation even if their complaint is ultimately determined to be without merit. As a result, employees include retaliation claims as part of their underlying discrimination complaints and often succeed with these claims even when their discrimination charges are dismissed. For example, in 2010, the court upheld the dismissal of an employee’s hostile work environment claim but permitted the retaliation claim to proceed because the employer allowed a manager, whom the employee had complained about and

who harbored retaliatory and racially hostile feelings toward the employee, to participate in the decision to discharge the employee. In 2007, a nine-year employee who could not prove race and national origin discrimination was allowed to go forward with his retaliation claim. He was fired just days after he filed an EEOC discrimination charge and had never received any performance warnings until he complained to his supervisors about discrimination.

How to prevent retaliation claims in four steps As the discussion above demonstrates, retaliation claims can be as big a problem as the initial claims of discrimination. You need to be aware, also, that many other federal and state laws prohibit retaliation for exercising protected rights, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, and many state discrimination and workers’ compensation laws. Therefore, as a way to limit your exposure to all retaliation complaints, you should take the following four steps:

1. Make sure that managers follow your discipline and termination procedures consistently. Managers should be required to consider their motives before taking adverse action against an employee and should be able to show they are treating the employee fairly and consistently. They clearly must not target, or appear to target, anyone who has made a discrimination claim or participated in a protected activity.

2. Document discipline and termination decisions to show the nondiscriminatory reasons for the action. You should provide an accurate accounting of the facts behind the decision and any steps taken prior to

the action (such as counseling sessions and warnings to improve). These records can be a critical defense if you have to justify your actions externally or defend a lawsuit.

3. Review all discipline and termination decisions before implementing them. In particular, when the employee has been involved in a discrimination claim or is otherwise protected from retaliation, a discipline or termination recommendation should be reviewed before finalization by the HR department or someone at least one level of management above the immediate supervisor.

Retaliation claims can cost big money even when no underlying discrimination is found. 4.

Implement and enforce clear “no retaliation” policies so that managers and coworkers understand the seriousness of the issue. For example, harassment, equal employment opportunity, and complaint policies should state plainly that you prohibit retaliation against employees who make complaints or provide information about discrimination or other protected activity. In addition, managers should be trained to know what actions can be interpreted as retaliatory. Retaliation claims are routinely added to the laundry list of allegations in discrimination and other complaints filed by employees. By taking the above simple steps, employers improve defenses and the odds of winning if the organization gets caught in this trend. And, just as important, the employer is reducing the chances employees will feel unfairly treated in the first place.

Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


What’s New Yard Update Barnes Building Materials has new owners, new name A 60-year-old Cedar Falls, Iowa, building material supplier now is under new ownership — and a new name. Jared Huntington and Jared Honermann have purchased all shares of formerly employee-owned Barnes Building Materials. The deal was approved last September by a vote of current and former employees who had shares in the company. Effective with completion of the acquisition in January of this year, the company changed its name to Builders Select LLC.

purchasing agent with the company as he heads toward retirement in a year or two, the new owners said. It’s the fourth time the company, which Kenny Barnes launched in 1952, has changed hands. When Kenny died in 1976, his son, Paul, who had been working for his dad since the late 60s, took over the family company. In 1992, the company was converted to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan and named John Bates president.

Drexel Expands to Greater Fox Valley Region

Drexel Building Supply opened their fifth location in Wrightstown, Wisconsin, in February. The new store will service customers and the building industry John Bates, who had been president of throughout the Greater Fox Valley the company for the last 21 years and has Region. The Wrightstown location will been with Barnes Building Materials for Hayfield half-page ad 4-12.1_Layout 1 4/11/12 2:11 PM Page 1 be led by Team Leader Nick Whitty. more than 40 years, has “a new role” as

Grant County Lumber under new ownership On December 31st, 2013, Gene Wenstrom sold Grant County Lumber, Elbow Lake, Minnesota, to Dan Denardo and Jason Lindquist. Dan has been the manager since 1990. Jason has been the salesman/estimator since 2002. Gene Wenstrom started Grant County Lumber in 1985 with four other owners.

Supplier News ACE HARDWARE ACQUIRES EMERY-WATERHOUSE Ace Hardware Corporation announced it has acquired Emery-Waterhouse; a 170-year-old distributor of hardlines products for independent lumber, paint, industrial and hardware outlets.

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Building Products Connection April/May 2014

Emery-Waterhouse will move forward as an independently operated, majorityowned subsidiary of Ace Hardware. The Emery-Waterhouse brand will continue operations as a separate business with a distinct management team that provides wholesale distribution services to independent retailers.

Federated Insurance Helps You Manage Employment-Related Risks Every employer, no matter what size, is required to manage human resource issues, government regulations, and employment law changes. Any size business can be vulnerable to employment-related litigation. Employee termination, harassment, or discrimination; improper documentation processes; and a multitude of other situations can expose your organization to potential risk of a lawsuit. Now, Federated Insurance has enhanced resources available for clients to help them address just these types of situations. Federated is pleased to introduce the new Federated Employment Practices NetworkSM(FEPN). Through FEPN, all clients can access: • an employee handbook builder tool • online supervisor and employee training • sample forms and policies • labor posters • monthly HR updates on frequently asked questions Clients who carry Employment-Related Practices Liability (ERPL) coverage through Federated also receive unlimited access to independent employment law attorneys. For more information, go to

New Products

FSC-Certified Suppliers

i-lighting™ Introduces iluma Rail Lighting for Decking & Outdoor Applications i-lighting™, a manufacturer of exterior and interior LED lighting, has introduced a new line of iluma Rail Lighting featuring the company’s proprietary “LED Lighting Simplified” connection technology. Each system’s Easy Plug™ micro connectors simply plug together to ensure easy installations, which can be achieved in half the time of traditional lighting and with near invisible results. Iluma Rail Lighting works equally well with vinyl, aluminum, composite and wood railing, creating nearly invisible downlighting effects. The system’s sleek 5mm design is also available for 4’, 6’, 8’ kits and can be customized to meet user requests. For the best outcomes, users need only email or fax their plans to i-lighting and the company will specify the project’s lighting at no additional cost . Each i-lighting system includes a lifetime warranty for its LED spotlights that use approximately 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and are rated for 12-plus years of operation if used 24-hours-a-day/ seven-days-a-week. For more information on i-lighting’s new iluma Rail Lighting or any of its existing Deck, Stair and Landscape Systems, visit or call 888-305-4232.

Amerhart LTD. (800) 236-2211

Biewer Lumber (800) 482-5717

The Empire Company inc. (800) 253-9000

Forest Products Supply CO. (800) 892-7109

Lake States Lumber (800) 432-3727

Progressive Affiliated Lumbermen, Inc. (800) 748-0089

Rayner & Rinn-Scott, Inc. (800) 221-6953

Roberts & Dybdahl inc. West Des Moines, IA (800) 247-2100

Viking Forest Products inc. (800) 733-3801

Weekes Forest Products (800) 328-2890

If you have news or information you would like included in the What’s New section, email Please submit materials for the Jun/Jul issue no later than April 15.

Building Products Connection Apr/May 2014


Classifieds Advertiser Index WANTED


SALES & MARKETING: Sprenger Midwest, a 35 year old wholesale distributor of lumber and other building materials, has an opening on its sales and marketing team. The ideal candidate for this opportunity should have 3 or more years of experience in building materials distribution sales, be a goal-oriented, team player, who readily accepts challenges, and wants to be part of a dynamic and growing company. Strong communication, customerservice and computer skills are a must. This position is based in our Sioux Falls, SD corporate offices. Please mail resume to Sprenger Midwest (attention Sales Manager) at PO Box 2436 in Sioux Falls, SD, 57101. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

Bigfoot Systems, Inc.


Bayer Built Woodworks, Inc.

12, 13 3

DeckWise USA


DECRA Roofing Systems Inc.


Dolle USA


Edco Products Inc.


Federated Insurance


Feeney Inc.


Hayfield Window & Door Company


J.B. O’Meara Company


Midwest Perma-Column, Inc.


Minnkota Windows


LP Building Products/Wausau Supply Company Precision Equipment MFG

inside sales/account manager: Expanding Building Material Retailer is seeking a self-motivated, energetic person for inside sales/account manager. Must have sales experience and knowledge of the building trade. Duties would include, but are not limited to, managing of contractor accounts, securing new sales/customers, estimating and assisting walk in trade. Full-time, Salary plus commission, health, dental, life, retirement, paid vacation/sick leave. Please reply with resumes or questions to cdeblieck@


PrimeSource Building Products Inc.

9, 11

Seljax Int’l Inc.


Shelter Products


Starwood Rafters


Thermo-Tech Windows


United Purchasing Group



CONTRACTOR SALESMAN / INSIDE SALES: Full-time position with benefits. Position includes take-offs, estimating, and assisting contractors and their customers. Applicants must be ambitious, goal driven and possess good communication skills. A valid driver’s license is required. Contact Darwin or Pat at Bismarck Lumber, 701-223-2145 or or



Building Products Connection April/May 2014


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The BPC is the official publication of the Northwestern Lumber Assocation reaching 2,200 lumber dealers in MN, Iowa, ND, SD, WS and NB.

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