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Building Products Digest



There’s a lot to be said for a quality product and customer service. That’s why since 1965, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum has provided a dedicated group of professionals who not only stand behind our products, but also behind you. Visit or call 1-800-947- 4497 to locate your GP gypsum rep. %XLOGLQJ 5HSXWDWLRQV 7RJHWKHUŒ © 2010 Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC. All rights reserved. The color GOLD, BUILDING REPUTATIONS TOGETHER and the Georgia-Pacific logo are owned by or licensed to Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC.


September 2010

 Volume 29  Number 7

Building Products Digest

Special Features

In Every Issue












 Building Products Digest  September 2010


TOTALLY Random By Alan Oakes

Do you know how to drive the people who drive your business?


WAS 16 YEARS OLD and needed to earn money to pay for those Saturday nights out on the town. So I found my first real paid job selling clothes every Saturday at a local men’s store. And I loved it! Apart from the great discounts on the clothes—meaning I never earned anything at the end of the day—I enjoyed the banter with the men and even more with their girlfriends. But the biggest thrill was making the sale. When the summer recess came, I started working there full-time. I discovered I loved selling. Three years later, after dropping out of college and working in accounting, finance and banking, I realized I would never enjoy office life or earn enough money to fulfill all my dreams—including my short-term goal of affording a car. So I went into real selling, where I knew I could earn better money and, most importantly, a company car. I started in the U.K. with a large U.S. FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) company and enjoyed the travel, the chase, the sale, and, of course, the car. In fact, I think my second sales job decision was based on getting a better car! But the reality is that for many of us in selling, we never planned it—it just happened. We may have even seen it as a stop-gap measure till something better came along. Yet somehow many of us find ourselves still in it 20, 30 years down the road. If successful, little else offers the same thrill and same financial rewards. When those commissions start hitting and we see our lifestyles, needs and egos grow bigger, it’s hard to walk away. In fact, if we are good, we don’t want to do anything else. We may hate having to pander for a sale, but even if we have been fired for missing a target or two, we still expect ourselves to be motivated and as bright as a button after that fifteenth “No” of the day. Whatever we end up doing, we always need to know how to sell. Even in my c.e.o. jobs, I couldn’t wait to get out into the field with those who drove the success of my companies. And there lies the rub. Too many companies fail to recognize that their company lives or dies by the talent in their sales force. They see sales as that necessary evil, the ones constantly complaining, lacking humility, and always asking for more. They do not realize what the sales force deals with day in and day out, especially in these times. Try getting a “No” every call, try sounding as positive at 4 p.m. as at 8 a.m., try working on a new account for a year and then losing it to issues outside of your control, try dealing with irate customers whose orders were botched, etc., etc. Inside and outside rarely see eye to eye. You ask sales to toe the line, yet think outside the box. You tell them it can’t be done, yet expect them to find a way to make it happen. You say you’ll work on it when you have time, yet demand they get the deal done now. Yes, we may be demanding, poor at paperwork, averse to playing by the rules or toeing the company line or caring about your problems. But it’s that same spirit that makes us successful salespeople. We sell—and get rejected for—who we are. Some of us take it personally. Others let it roll of their backs and move on to the next success. We build networks, we answer to our customers often more than to our own company, we face everchanging targets, and our jobs are on the line more than any other position in the company. Last quarter’s sales are but a faded memory by the end of the next quarter. What most inside don’t understand is that it is our success or failure that keeps everyone else’s job going or not. And we carry that burden each and every day. We shouldn’t be taken for granted or have our budgets changed just to avoid paying bonuses. Our opinions, gleaned from being on the ground every day, should be listened to. Respect our role and don’t see us as demanding, overbearing and dumber than doorknobs. Don’t force us to do dishonorable things or cram product down customer’s throats. Understand what your decisions will mean to your customers. Management needs to be accountable just as it expects us to be. Our role is to understand the needs of our customers, find a solution at a price the customer will accept, walk the order through the system, face up when things go wrong, and solve problems often not of our own making. We sell one order at a time with no guarantee of a future order, particularly if we don’t get it right. And, yes, your customers are my customers. We all suffer the same consequences of success and failure.

Alan Oakes, Publisher


 Building Products Digest  September 2010


Building Products Digest

A publication of Cutler Publishing

4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Publisher Alan Oakes Publisher Emeritus David Cutler Director of Editorial & Production David Koenig Editor Karen Debats Contributing Editors Carla Waldemar, James Olsen, Jay Tompt Advertising Sales Manager Chuck Casey Administration Director/Secretary Marie Oakes Circulation Manager Heather Kelly

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BUILDING PRODUCTS DIGEST is published monthly at 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660-1872, (949) 852-1990, Fax 949-852-0231,, by Cutler Publishing, Inc. (a California Corporation). It is an independently owned publication for building products retailers and wholesale distributors in 37 states East of the Rockies. Copyright®2009 by Cutler Publishing, Inc. Cover and entire contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission. All Rights Reserved. BPD reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter, and assumes no liability for materials furnished to it.

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FEATURE Story Opportunities in OSB

Opportunities in OSB

Structural insulated panel sales hold up


ESPITE FOUR YEARS of declining U.S. housing starts, the structural insulated panel (SIP) industry—a top consumer of OSB—has avoided the full force of the recession, according to a recent survey by the Structural Insulated Panel Association. Results indicate that the industry experienced a modest 12% decrease in residential production volume in 2009, compared to a 28% drop in U.S. single-family housing starts over the same time period. 2009 is the fifth consecutive year the industry has gained share in the residential market. It is now estimated that the panelized building system accounts for between 1% and 2% of U.S. single-family home starts. SIPA executive director Bill Wachtler attributes much of the industry’s growth to the increasing popularity of green and energyefficient homes. SIPs are composed of insulating foam sandwiched between two structural facings, creating an effective thermal barrier that can save homeowners up to 50% on heating and cooling costs. “The rising cost of energy and concern over global climate change has really pushed green building into the mainstream,” said Wachtler. “SIPs give architects and builders an easy way to create an airtight building envelope that will improve the energy efficiency and durability of any home or light commercial building.” Of the total 42 million sq. ft. of SIPs produced in North America in 2009, 43% went to residential buildings, 32% to non-residential buildings, and the remaining 24% were used for non-building purposes, such as industrial coolers. An estimated 1,300 commercial buildings were constructed with SIPs in 2009, including schools, retail stores, and

agricultural buildings. Non-residential production declined 19% from the previous year. “Like all industries, we are affected by the recession and the drop in new construction,” said Wachtler. “But the strong marketshare gains we’ve experienced in the residential market indicate that the SIP industry is likely to see a significant boost in production as the economy recovers.” Several different combinations of materials are used to construct SIPs, but the basic concept remains the same. By far, the most popular facing materials are OSB and metal. Plywood and other materials such as fiber cement board account for only 6% of SIPs used in building applications. The top regions for SIP use are the Mountain, East North Central (upper Midwest), and Pacific regions.

OSB 2010

LOUISIANA-PACIFIC, Nashville, Tn., enjoyed a spike in OSB prices in the spring, as second-quarter 2010 OSB sales jumped 122% to $217 million. LP has eight OSB plants running and two idled. “The U.S. economy remains in an unsettled state that requires companies to be extremely agile to respond to wide swings in demand,” said c.e.o. Rick Frost. “I believe we’ll see an erratic path for the rest of 2010 and into next year.” NORBORD, Toronto, Ont., also saw second-quarter profits rise—to $37 million vs. an $18-million loss a year earlier. The boom persuaded Norbord to run its nine North American OSB mills ran at 100% of capacity, compared to 85% in the first quarter. “Economic news continues to be mixed; however, a housing recovery is taking hold and we remain confident that our financial performance will continue to improve on the prior year,” said c.e.o. Barrie Shineton. WEYERHAEUSER, Federal Way, Wa., has been operating five OSB mills this year, though this month it will restart its plant in Hudson Bay, Sk., after a two-year break. “The Hudson Bay OSB mill is important to our OSB system, and we expect its resumed operation will help us optimize production across our facilities as the market recovers,” said Cathy Slater, v.p., iLevel Engineered Wood Products. Hudson Bay’s annual capacity is 550 million sq. ft., though volume will be limited in 2010. September 2010  Building Products Digest 


Opportunities in OSB

Tapered-edge subflooring offsets moisture exposure


SB PRODUCER Ainsworth has introduced an engineered subfloor solution that utilizes a unique technology to accommodate the effects of swelling due to moisture exposure. New PointSIX Flooring features a patented taperededge technology whereby a thin layer of the highly compressed fiber along all four edges of the OSB panel is milled off, removing the part of the subfloor that’s most prone to swelling. PointSIX takes its name from research results indicating a .6mm taper depth to be the most effective in reducing edge swell. The engineered solution was developed over five years of extensive research and testing, in which PointSIX was subjected to repeated wet and dry cycles to simulate severe, wet jobsite conditions. In one rigorous test, the engineered panel was flooded for 14 days. After drying out, the average edge swell was contained to 0.01 inch, not much more than a sheet of paper. The taper on PointSIX is almost imperceptible, and it’s a dimension that won’t require sanding. With moisture, the wood fibers expand to essentially “fill up to flush” the micro-taper. If no moisture contacts the engineered subfloor, it does not require any filler or mastic. APAapproved for structural integrity, PointSIX features a precise tongue-and-groove profile for a secure fit. “Builders recognize what many manufacturers are reluctant to admit: wood swells when it gets wet,” commented Robert Fouquet, v.p.-marketing & sales for Ainsworth. “We’ve brought an entirely new approach to solving the problem before the subfloor gets to the job site, by engineering the panel to accommodate moisture.” The idea for PointSIX came from Steve Bailey, technical manager at Ainsworth’s OSB mill in Barwick, Ontario.

OSB 2010

AINSWORTH, Vancouver, B.C., was encouraged by rising OSB prices in the first half of the year to increase production at its facilites in 100 Mile House, B.C.; Grande Prairie, Alb., and Barwick, Ont. , As demand increases, Ainsworth is poised to add another 1.1 billion sq. ft. to its current operating capacity of 1.6 billion sq. ft., by adding a second production line at Grande Prairie and restarting its idled facility, co-owned with bankrupt Grant Forest Products, in High Level, Alb. 10

 Building Products Digest  September 2010

“I suddenly had this epiphany: that by shaving a slight taper off the panel edge, we could avoid the problems associated with edge swell,” Bailey explained. The solution at first seemed too simple to be effective, but research, trials and field tests proved it to be a viable solution. “The big question we’ve had from builders is, ‘Why hasn’t someone thought of this before?’” said Bailey. According to Fouquet, PointSIX products will be priced competitively, with no additional cost for the new technology. “We believe that every builder should be able to expect subfloor that offsets the effects of moisture without paying a premium,” said Fouquet. For the premium level PointSIX Durastrand Flooring, suitable for high-end projects such as custom homes, Ainsworth offers a lifetime limited warranty against delamination and a 180-day no-sand guarantee. For Ainsworth’s standard PointSIX Flooring, it’s a 25-year limited warranty. Other OSB manufacturers have also tried to improve moisture resistance in their subflooring products. Louisiana-Pacific recently introduced two premium subflooring products with higher levels of waxes and resins to resist edge swell. LP TopNotch 350 series offers a 100-day no-sand warranty, the 450 series a 200-day no-sand warranty. Norbord has long produced a premium OSB subfloor, Stabledge, and now has a mid-priced offering, Pinnacle, and a reformulated commodity product, TruFlor.

Opportunities in OSB

OSB manufacturers show off their green side

tion with energy savings by transforming their panels into radiant barriers, including L-P’s TechShield, Ainsworth’s Thermastrand, Weyerhaeuser’s Structurwood, Norbord’s SolarBoard, G-P’s Thermostat, Langboard’s EnergyLock, and RoyOMartin’s Eclipse and WeatherGuard (which doubles as a vapor barrier).

OSB 2010



their green image or to uncover more ways to rack up LEED points, builders are searching for environmentally-approved versions of construction materials, and OSB makers are answering the call. Environmental certification is a natural for OSB, since manufacturers have long contended that their products held green advantages over plywood because OSB can be produced from smaller trees and cuts down on waste. The majority of North American OSB producers now offer third-party certification. OSB from Louisiana-Pacific, Georgia-Pacific, iLevel by Weyerhaeuser, Norbord, and Huber Engineered Woods is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Tolko products are certified to Canadian Standards Association and Environmental Management System ISO standards. Buyers can also pay a premium for OSB subflooring that’s Forest Stewardship Council certified—from Norbord, RoyOMartin, and G-P (thanks to its purchase of Grant Forest Products’ mill in Englehart, Ont.). “When it comes to being ‘green,’ we pride ourselves on listening to our customers and strategically aligning our timber base and manufacturing processes with the customer’s request for environmentally responsible building products,” said Bobby Byrd, OSB sales manager for RoyOMartin. “Our decision to become FSC certified in 2001 proved to be a sound one, both for the environment and consumers.” G-P’s DryGuard and Huber’s AdvanTech subfloor also carry the NAHB Green Approved label, and the latter is also ESR certified. Additionally, producers have upgraded OSB’s

G EORGIA -P ACIFIC , Atlanta, Ga., expanded its OSB offerings to include oversized and FSC-certified panels with its acquistion of Grant’s OSB plants in Englehart and Earlton, Ont., and Allendale and Clarendon, S.C. G-P already operated six other OSB mills, although its facility in Mount Hope, W.V., is slated for closure Oct. 1. Plant manager Neil Belt blamed “current market conditions. It remains unclear as to when the facility will reopen or whether it will reopen at all.” HUBER ENGINEERED WOODS, Charlotte, N.C., continues operating five OSB mills from the Southeast to Maine.

ROYOMARTIN, Alexandria, La., continues expanding the capabilities of its three-year-old facility in Oakdale, La., including formulating its 7/16” OSB to carry four different APA gradestamps. “Our customers ask us how to drive their inventory costs down,” said OSB sales manager Bobby Byrd. “We respond with products that can perform multiple tasks, thus reducing inventory costs by having to inventory one item versus four.” Its OSB structural panels also have received third-party verification from the Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association International. TOLKO, Vernon, B.C., returned to full production in January at its plant in Meadow Lake, Sk., which was damaged by a late 2009 fire. Its other OSB mills remain mothballed. LANGBOARD produces OSB at its plant in Quitman, Ga.

GRANT FOREST PRODUCTS, Englehart, Ont., sold four of its facilities to G-P after filing for bankruptcy protection. At least two groups of investors have expressed interest in Grants’ mill in Timmons, Ont., but it would take $35-40 million to get it running again. September 2010  Building Products Digest 


MANAGEMENT Tips Marketing Resources for Redwood

Redwood grows its web resource


HE CALIFORNIA REDWOOD Association has added a new video to its website to help retailers and consumers understand the green attributes of redwood decking. The newest addition to the site is consistent with CRA’s plan to better educate consumers and retailers on the environmental advantages of choosing redwood. “We launched a revamped website in June with the goal of providing retailers and consumers with a more valuable, easy-to-use reference for all things redwood,” says Bob Mion, CRA’s marketing director. “We put a new framework in place with the expectation that the site would grow.” CRA’s newest video is a slight departure from the video content already on the site. The new-look site features “how-to” videos designed to accompany downloadable project plans, with contractor Jeff Imwalle demonstrating proper construction techniques. The latest video, Redwood for Green Living, runs about four minutes and is meant to help consumers considering a decking purchase. “Consumers have questions about what it means to be

REVAMPED WEBSITE from California Redwood Association stresses the green attributes of redwood.


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

green,” says Mion. “We want retailers and consumers to understand there is a wealth of science behind the assertion that choosing redwood is an environmentally friendly choice, and this video presents key findings in just a few minutes. The video elaborates on the green attributes of redwood beyond the advantages of redwood being a renewable, sustainable resource.” New studies have shown that naturally durable wood products offer significant environmental benefits compared to manufactured composites, particularly with regards to energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Because most of the energy used to produce redwood comes from the sun, whereas most of the energy used to produce composite decking comes from burning fossil fuels, choosing redwood can lower a consumer’s carbon footprint. In fact, because redwood is half carbon by weight, a redwood deck can actually store more carbon than is released to the atmosphere during the entire manufacturing and transportation process. “When you store more carbon than you release during manufacture, you have a positive overall affect on greenhouse gas emissions,” notes Mion. “The typical redwood deck can store more than a half ton of carbon.” In another effort designed to add retailer value, CRA has updated its award-winning sales-training course and cut the enrollment fees. Redwood Basics for Sales & Marketing, a self-paced correspondence course proven in the field for more than a dozen years, provides valuable training on all aspects related to selling redwood. The course addresses topics ranging from what grades are appropriate for certain applications to details on redwood chemistry, finishing tips, sustainable forestry certification, and more. The enrollment fee has been reduced to $100 per student. For more information or to sign up for the course, contact Anita MacKusick at (925) 935-1499 or “It’s important that everyone in the supply chain be able to articulate the environmental benefits of choosing redwood,” Mion says. “Retailers are encouraged to download materials from our site and share them with customers, and to establish links from their website to ours. We’re committed to making our website a valuable tool to help drive sales.”

INDUSTRY Trends By Carl Shoenhofer, The California Redwood Co.

What’s ahead for redwood?


the past decade has proven to be one of the most challenging business environments that the redwood industry has ever faced. In addition to the headwinds created by the recent economic downturn, redwood products have faced increasing competition from composite offerings that have challenged its leadership position in key markets. These challenges have forced the industry to reevaluate its market position and create new strategies for remaining competitive in an increasingly crowded market. Despite the inroads made by composites in the marketplace, natural wood still represents the lion’s share of all decking materials (with approximately 80% of the total market, primarily southern yellow pine). Redwood occupies a premium, niche segment of the total decking industry, with an approximate market share of 17% west of the Rockies. Due to the economic pressures of the downturn, it is likely that the industry will experience consolidation within distribution and manufacturing. Several key consumer trends are affecting the markets that redwood producers serve. Changing consumer needs in the outdoor living segment have created an environment in which consumers are much more careful in their purchasing decisions. Due to economic uncertainty and decreasing home equity, consumers are more price-sensitive and more likely to stay close to home. With approximately one-quarter of homeowners facing a situation where they are “underwater” in their mortgages, many consumers are choosing to upgrade their current homes to make them more livable, instead of buying a new home. One of the most popular upgrades to achieve this objective is the addition of a deck or outdoor living space (approximately 82% of all homeowners desire an

door living space to share with friends and family). The segment’s growth has been focused primarily on smaller and less expensive projects than we witnessed during the housing boom. How is redwood performing in these market conditions? Dealers report that redwood is in a “sweet spot” due to its superior performance, natural beauty, and excellent price position. Consumers who have navigated to “new” materials have come back to revisit redwood. It is certain that this has been partially price-driven (redwood is consistently less expensive than composite material, for example), but we also hear that consumers are coming back to redwood because it is a “tried and trued” material they can trust. Research also consistently shows that redwood is perceived to be the most beautiful outdoor lifestyle material. Although consumers are price-sensitive, they still care very much about the aesthetic value of their outdoor living projects. Contractors report that redwood is increasingly popular in their projects because it can help create customized outdoor living spaces at an incredible value relative to other options. Greg Vorce, Vorce Construction, Chula Vista, Ca., sums it up best: “As a third-generation craftsman, I learned the benefits of redwood at an early

Photo by The California Redwood Co.


age: beautiful grain patterns, easy to work with, and long lasting. Redwood is my first choice for all exterior decking projects.” Even given the momentum that redwood is experiencing in the marketplace, how will the industry remain competitive in the future? The redwood industry cannot rest on its laurels and assume that the material will “sell itself.” In order to successfully compete in a crowded market, redwood will have to continually improve and innovate its product offerings, product quality, and marketing communications. The industry will also have to create value-added support for its distributors, retailers, and contractors. Marketing campaigns must better communicate to consumers the benefits of redwood and support our channel partners more effectively. And, finally, our industry must begin to effectively communicate our forest stewardship practices and the fact that natural redwood products are the truly sustainable and renewable material for outdoor living spaces. If we are successful, redwood will retain its legacy as a leader in the outdoor living category for years to come.

– Carl Schoenhofer is vice president and general manager of The California Redwood Co., Arcata, Ca., (707) 2683000;

September 2010  Building Products Digest 


PRODUCT Spotlight Western Red Cedar Siding

Siding with green


as beautiful, durable and sustainable. Materials that offer all three qualities provide the most value—especially when it comes to siding. Exteriors make both that all-important initial impression and figure heavily in environmental impact. Wood meets all three style criteria. Independent research verifies wood’s green credentials. A life cycle assessment performed by FPInnovations-Forintek, Canada’s leading forestry research laboratory, found western red cedar to be the “most sustainable building material.” The study took a cradle-to-grave look at environmental impacts of various building materials, comparing residential siding applications such as WRC, brick, fiber cement, and vinyl. Complex analysis considered such factors as resource use, water use, energy use, transportation and waste created. WRC fared best overall among siding choices. It was found to create lower greenhouse gas emissions and allow for recycling and energy recovery opportunities that cut methane gas emissions in landfills. Alternative building materials, often lauded for durability, create more environmental life cycle burden than wood, according to the study commissioned by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. “As green building regulations become the standard in building, consumers who previously favored more ‘maintenance-free’ materials as their siding products of choice will need to consider alternatives such as western red cedar to help lessen their environmental footprint,” said green consultant John Wagner.

Photo by Western Red Cedar Lumber Assn.


WESTERN RED CEDAR siding offers the top three qualities sought in a building material—beauty, durability and environmental friendliness


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

Outdoor apparel retailer Columbia Sportswear places a premium on high design, function and sustainability when selecting materials for its stores. The Portland, Or.-based company selected WRC exterior siding for a new Seattle store and a remodeled flagship store because of the wood’s aesthetic and environmental appeal. WRC also contributed warmth, longevity and character as one of the more prominent sustainable materials of the Margarido House in Oakland, Ca.—the first home in the country to receive LEED-H certification and a GreenPoint rating from the state. Cedar’s performance and maintenance record is also strong, so the choice to finish a WRC project is up to the project owner. WRC can weather naturally or, with the application of a protective coating to ensure maximum performance, retain the natural beauty of the wood, or enhance those good looks by applying coatings in an array of colors. A factory-applied primer and/or top coat keeps cedar’s long-lasting good looks and ensures optimum performance. Some applicators offer long-term warranty programs. Factory priming is performed in an industrial setting where a machine applies a coating to all six sides of each board. Coated boards are dried prior to shipment to the job site. Pre-primed siding and trim delivered to a job site should be kept dry and clean prior to installation. All field cuts should be resealed with a primer prior to the boards being installed. Top coating should be completed as quickly as possible, as most primers are not intended to be exposed to natural weathering for more than 90 days. Factory finishing is similar to the above process; however, it allows for the additional application of one or two topcoats of acrylic latex paint, solid stains, or natural stains in job lot quantities and in the colors selected by the builder or homeowner. A beautiful example of a well-finished home—Hillside House in Mill Valley, Ca.—marries high design and high sustainability in an elegant natural wood exterior. Wrapped in the reddish hues of WRC siding, the house is the first LEED-for-Homes Platinum custom home in Marin County and one of only a handful in Northern California. “An important part of minimizing the impact of a project involves selecting products, like western red cedar, that minimize the carbon footprint from manufacture to end use,” said Mike McDonald, owner of McDonald Construction & Development, the green builder that constructed the home. Recent history suggests consumers will continue to push for the best design and most sustainable materials, while architects work to balance those needs in what some are calling “eco chic.” Durability will always be important to builders. Natural wood siding offers the whole package.

INDUSTRY Trends By Bill Tucker, Simpson Strong-Tie

Structural fasteners turn on changes in building materials


EALERS MUST KEEP UP on the latest construction trends in order to provide customers with the right fastener for the right building material and ensure the best home building package. Fastener companies can assist dealers and builders to make sure they are educated about the factors that impact proper fastener installation.

Structural Screws for Laminated Materials

More diverse building materials are entering the marketplace, and fastener companies have been charged with keeping up with these new materials. Glue-laminated beams (glulam, LVL) are a good example. They’re engineered in several different sizes for a wide range of load capacities and applications. Traditional, old-style lag screws do not have the performance

requirements that are needed with today’s engineered building products. To handle the load capacity of these building materials, a larger diameter fastener is required. Installation of traditional lag screws in glulam materials also poses a challenge. The correct way to install a traditional lag screw is to drill a pilot hole for the thread length and an oversize clearance hole for the shank of the fastener. This practice is very time consuming and costly. Couple that with the need for larger fasteners and you’ve spent a lot more money on the job. To address the problem, manufacturers are creating fasteners for engineered building products with safety, load capacity, corrosion resistance, and speed of installation in mind. These new structural wood screws are designed for a variety of wood-towood applications and feature special thread and point styles that in most cases reduce installation torque, make driving fasteners easier and predrilling unnecessary, and minimize wood splitting—while still meeting the requirements of the building.

Structural Screws for Use with Metal Connectors

STRONG-DRIVE SD structural-connector screws have been tested and approved for use with many popular Strong-Tie connectors.


In some structural connector applications, screws have been developed to replace nails. For example, in tight spaces or overhead applications, screws are much easier and more convenient to install then standard structural connector nails. New structuralconnector screws feature an optimalsize shank that is specifically designed to match fastener holes in connectors. The fasteners’ material also mimics the bend and yield of a connector nail, achieving the appropriate load values needed with metal connectors.

 Building Products Digest  September 2010

STRONG-DRIVE SDW structural wood screws are code-listed to fasten multi-ply truss and engineered-wood assemblies.

Coating Innovations

New coatings are now available that exceed the standards of hot-dip galvanized fasteners. It is important that building inspectors and others get up to speed on these new coatings in order to determine if the coating has enough microns of plating to match or exceed hot-dip galvanizing. The education of builders, contractors, inspectors, code officials, and homeowners will continue to be the key to fastener growth and innovation. The best way for dealers to encourage customers to upgrade to better fasteners is to educate them about the products, their choices, and the results of those choices. Since fasteners are such a small cost of the overall project, it always pays to specify and buy the proper fastener for the job.

– Bill Tucker is a fastener project manager with Simpson Strong-Tie. He can be reached at


LaCrosse Lumber Co., Jacksonville, Il., was destroyed by an Aug. 23 fire of undetermined origin. The dealer has had a lumberyard on the site since 1901. Depot Building Supply, Lexington, S.C., is closing after 26 years.

True Value Hardware, York, Ne., has been acquired by Blake and Casey Burgess from Jane Thompson. Her husband, Loren, had operated the store from 1965 until his passing early this year. Blake had been an assistant manager at an Ace Hardware in Des Moines, Ia. Blevins Building Supply

opened its 6th location, in West Jefferson, N.C. (Will McNeil is store mgr.).

Brinkmann True Value Hardware, Blue Point, Va., held an

Aug. 7 grand reopening to celebrate its expansion from 5,000 to 11,000 sq. ft. The remodel incorporates the coop’s Destination Format.

Shoreline Lumber, Fort Myers, Fl., added a showroom in Cape Coral, Fl., for marine construction materials.

Plainville True Value Hardware , Plainville, Ct., is closing this month after more than 60 years.

Mobile Lumber & Millwork is

renovating its Mobile, Al., store.

Busbee’s Hardware , Texas

City, Tx., has closed after 69 years, with the retirement of owner Benny C. Busbee.

ANA Enterprises closed its two Ace Hardware stores in Norman, Ok., as it restructures to relieve debt. Stores remain in Purcell and Blanchard, Ok.

Lowe’s submitted plans for a 100,000-sq. ft. store in Hoover, Al.

Menards expects a spring 2011 opening for a two-story, 236,000-sq. ft. “mega-store” in Eden Prairie, Mn., and has broken ground on a 240,000-sq. ft. store in Columbus, Oh.

Marling Adds Wisconsin Yard

Marling Lumber will add a lumberyard to its HomeWorks showroom in Janesville, Wi., by October. Marling opened the 17,000-sq. ft. showroom, incorporating a new company headquarters, 14 months ago on a former Wolohan Lumber site. Its existing lumberyard in Janesville, as well as operations in Madison, Waukesha, Green Bay, and Edgerton, Wi., continue to operate.

Kentucky Dealer Flooded

Graham Lumber, Flemingsburg, Ky., was damaged by excessive rain and flooding in late July. The nearby Fleming Creek flooded after a total of 6 inches of rain fell, according to owner Woody Graham. “It got into our lumber sheds,” he said. “We had a lot of inventory damaged there.” Also damaged were several cargo containers, two delivery trucks, and four or five delivery trailers. Graham said it was the worst flooding he’s seen in the area and cleanup would take several days. “I’ve got all my workers here and I think we can handle it, but everybody’s been really supportive—right down to my banker showing up and saying, ‘Hey, whatever you need.’”

Cincy Showroom Expands

Hyde Park Lumber & Design Center, Cincinnati, Oh., has expanded its showroom to 8,000 sq. ft. and updated its website to reflect new products now offered. “Although we have always catered

to male customers and contractors, we are now seeing more and more women come into our showroom with their own list of requirements for remodeling jobs,” said owner Mike Judy, whose great-grandfather started the business in 1902. “The whole idea is to let the customer see exactly what the product looks like when used, before they buy it.” The expanded center includes decorated mini-rooms and a large display area for exterior products such as light poles, decking, columns, and siding. “There is so much available in one place, saving customers and contractors from running around town to find different products,” said Judy. “If it is for interior or exterior, new construction or remodeling, we are the place for most of your building needs.”

Depot Adds Quick DC in Ohio

Home Depot started receiving merchandise in its newest DC last month, in a 657,000-sq. ft. building in Van Buren, Oh. General manager Lance Hunt said the new facility is called “a rapid deployment center” because goods will be there no more than three days—versus the 14 to 21 days common at traditional DCs. He said it’s all part of Depot’s strategy to make it easier to keep the right products in stock when consumers need them. The “RDC,” Depot’s fifteenth, will distribute to 127 stores in eastern Michigan, northern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, N.Y. Three more RDCs are planned.

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September 2010  Building Products Digest 


McClain Takes over North Pacificʼs Hardwood Operations

McClain Forest Products, Alton, Mo., announces the acquisition of North Pacific’s Missouri and Arkansas hardwood lumber and flooring operations. The deal includes drying yards in Van Buren and Raymondville, Mo., and Western Grove, Ar., and an office in West Plains, Mo. McClain is the parent company of Ozark Mountain Hardwoods, which has drying concentration yards in Alton and Koshkonong, Mo., where it has produced Ozark Mountain Hardwood brand flooring. All locations now operate as McClain Forest Products LLC, with headquarters moved to West Plains. All flooring, including the former Ozark Mountain Hardwood line, will be branded under the Springcreek Flooring trademark. Darwin Murray, who spent 10 years running North Pacific’s Missouri hardwood operations, is now president of McClain. D.Q. Perna is v.p., and Larry Rainwater, chief financial officer.

BlueLinx Granted More Time to Analyze Buyout Offer

Cerberus ABP Investor LLC has given BlueLinx Holdings, Atlanta, Ga., more time to evaluate a proposed $49.6-million offer by the private equity firm to buy all outstanding shares of the distributor’s common stock. Cerberus already owns a 55.4% stake in BlueLinx. The cash tender offer was extended from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3 at the request of a special committee of BlueLinx’s board.


New England Lumber Specialties, W. Springfield,

Ma., has closed after 22 years.

Cushman Lumber, Bethel, Vt., has acquired the former North Pacific reload in Charleston, N.H. Georgia-Pacific will indefinitly idle its OSB mill in Mount Hope, W.V., beginning in October.

LP Building Products’ OSB mill in Roxboro, N.C., has added LP TechShield to its manufacturing capabilities. Roxboro becomes LP’s fifth OSB mill to produce the radiant barrier sheathing.

Uniboard will close its particleboard laminating plant in Fostoria, Oh., Oct. 1. Uniboard bought the facility from Industrial Dimensions Inc. in 2000.

BlueLinx is now distributing Barrette Outdoor Living’s Xpanse brand railing, fencing, sheds, lattice and

yard accents nationwide.

Advantage Trim & Lumber Co., Grover, N.C., is now distributing cumaru decking and FSC-certified Brazilian teak and tigerwood.

Haddon Windows & Doors is the new name of Haddon Windows, Bensalem, Pa., which had been operating as Accu-Weld.

Fiberweb’s Typar facility in Old Hickory, Tn., is now marketing and distributing Benjamin Obdyke’s Home Slicker rainscreens that incorporate Typar housewrap. Boston Cedar, Holbrook, Ma., is distributing the new Home Slicker Plus Typar rainscreen in the Northeast. Universal Forest Products, Grand Rapids, Mi., has acquired manufactured housing/RV component distributor Shepherd Distribution Co., Elkhart, In., for its UFP Distribution subsidiary. LP Building Products, Nashville, Tn., was awarded the UL label for its LP FlameBlock fire-resistant sheathing.

Railing Dynamics, Egg Harbor Township, N.J., was awarded a patent for its Novaline cellular PVC railing.

Versatex, Pittsburgh, Pa., received national code compliance CCRR-0149 for its cellular PVC trim, after testing by Architectural Testing Inc., and was certified as a Green Approved Product by the National Green Building Standard. The producer is also now offering trimboards in 12’ lengths. Azek Building Products , Scranton, Pa., has launched a green website at

Redesigned websites: American Architectural Manufacturers Association, … BW Creative Wood, … Hardwood Council, … Superseal Window & Door Co.,


 Building Products Digest  September 2010


COMPETITIVE Intelligence By Carla Waldemar

Thinking positive pays off


IMING IS EVERYTHING. That’s both the good news and the bad news in this desolate economy if you’ve been dreaming of adding another yard. Time to turn lemons into lemonade? A year ago, when things were at their bleakest, Dennison Lumber, of rural Northeast Wisconsin, took the

plunge. They anted up for real estate they’d had their eye on, then built a new store in Shawano, 30 miles and 30 minutes from Dennison’s original yard, operating in Clintonville since 1981. The new store is different, explains co-manager Cody Bessette. And that’s

WISCONSIN’S Dennison’s Retail Lumber owner Rod Dennison—with manager Cody Bessette at his side—cuts the ribbon (above) for his new store, which (below) was designed to resemble a log cabin so it fits into the vacation home community.


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

what made it a now-or-never opportunity. “Our original store is in the middle of nowhere,” he admits, where only its contractor base can find it. In Shawano, owner Rod Dennison purchased the name and inventory of longstanding Retail Lumber, with its established retail following, then proceeded to erect a brand new 18,000sq. ft. store from scratch. In a mere four months. And in the midst of a deadly Wisconsin winter. Says Cody, laughing now that it’s done and over, “It was a challenge! We built it between November 1, 2008, and April 1 last year. For the size, a big, big task. Besides, we got hit with winter snow daily, so we’d spend the mornings shoveling it, then work all afternoon—and start over the next morning.” But back to our original premise: If timing is everything, then—why now? “It was a good decision,” he submits. “We got better prices by building in 2009; the price of lumber was down. Plus, we were able to negotiate deals with vendors and manufacturers, who needed to move inventory.” To sweeten the pot even further, idle contractor customers were delighted to pitch in on the project—and likely to return the business as an uptick gains momentum. In the new building, they and their homeowner customers now have a showroom to visit, which already is driving business upward as planned, Cody reports. “Before, they had to order something from a catalog, but people want to touch and feel, not buy something out of a book. It’s helped us big-time,” he testifies. “Sales are up in all those departments,” thanks to the new kitchen design center and display areas for windows. “We’re adding flooring, too,” he says.

RICH WOODSY feel carries through from the exterior, straight through the sales floor and right to the central sales counter.

Plumbing and electrical SKUs have mushroomed as well. Hardware also has multiplied, and by strategic planning: “There’s an existing hardware store in town, so finally we can compete with them. And if we don’t carry something,” he adds, “we’ll get it for you.” And they’ll deliver it. Thanks to the 19-strong staff of experienced employees Dennison inherited, “we go the extra mile. We answer homeowners’ questions and walk folks through their projects—something the boxes” in nearby Wausau and Green Bay “can’t hope to offer. We try to beat them on service,” Cody explains. “People shop them once, then come back to us. They weren’t happy.” Having two stores now allows for greater buying power. And inventory can quickly be shifted between locations when needed. “Plus, we’re a member of a nine-yard buying group,” Cody adds. The Clintonville store, which serves contractors, also offers a forklift to rent. Contractors love the new Shawano store, too. It was designed to include a special area where they can enjoy free coffee and doughnuts while their orders are being filled, as well as a second-story conference room. Cody uses this space to host a variety of the classes these pros need to keep up their accreditation in the state’s builders association—sessions on lead paint safety, trusses and engineered wood, housewrap and other new products—“another new service to gain and retain a builder’s business,” Cody explains. “When a contractor is successful, that makes us successful,” this savvy manager knows full well. In the months to come, he plans to host additional contractor events, such as cookouts. He encourages his own staff to sit in on these sessions, too, when duties allow. They’re otherwise mentored on the job by Dennison’s veteran outside sales and counter personnel. “We care about our co-workers just as much as our customers,” Cody notes. “That’s why they stick with us.” He’s proven himself to be a smart and passionate

ager—one to the manner born, all right, but not exactly to the industry. Until hired at Shawano, the young man had worked in the automotive field. But, as he himself underscores, “You can teach product knowledge, but you can’t teach customer service,” an area in which he clearly knows how to shine. New business comes Dennison’s way thanks to its outside sales crew. “It’s a small, tight community,” explains their boss, “so you know what’s going on. We don’t go out scouting building permits. I’m not a believer in that; by then, it’s usually too late.” While contractor business is bigger in dollar amounts, percentage-wise the new Shawano store draws more retail customers. And, while few new homes are going up in this hard-hit area (its interior door plant went into bankruptcy, throwing many town folks out of work, but hopes are for a restructuring), homeowners are working on smaller projects—maybe replacing windows or doors. “Even during this struggle, there’s remodeling going on,” Cody notes, pointing to nearby summer cabins in this vacation mecca, for which the new Shawano store— designed to resemble a log cabin itself—is ideally located. “We’re very visible from the highway, so we’ll get ’em coming or going. And they still seem to have money to spend!” So, even during this slowdown, “sales have increased in most departments, especially our new ones. Now,” he boasts, “we can compete!” Carla Waldemar September 2010  Building Products Digest 


OLSEN On Sales By James Olsen

Sales is not for everyone



people make the best salespeople. The order is not that important, but if one of these traits is missing, we will have a struggling seller in our future. Companies waste millions of dollars every year hiring people who have very little chance of success in sales. Below are methods we can use to start with a “better piece of clay.”

1. Write a good ad. What kind of person are we trying to attract? We should not write the same ad for an accountant as for a salesperson. Ernest Shackleton’s Arctic exploration ad: MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY, SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD , LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS , CONSTANT DANGER , SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL , HONOR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS.

What kind of people answered this ad?

2. Screen applicants by phone. The salesperson who says (s)he can only sell face-to-face is not a complete salesperson. If they can’t convince you over the phone, how will they get appointments?

3. Reality Sales Training. Have an outside professional interview new hires before you pull the trigger. We interview potential hires for our customers.

4. Go deep. Ask about grade school, high school, jobs, and friends. Is this person social? Do they have the support of their parents? How young were they when they started accomplishing things? Did they show initiative early or did their parents pave the way for them?

5. Ask situational ethics questions with no right or wrong answer: “Your customer tells you they will give you the order if you can ship it in two weeks. You know that what you have is going to ship in three. What do you do?” Our applicants answer will give us a real idea about them, how aggressive they are, etc.

6. Tell them no. Sometime towards the end of the interview, say something like, “Steve, you seem like a great guy, but I don’t think you are cut out for sales the way we do it.” If they cannot or will not overcome this objection, how will they overcome objections from customers? 7. Beware of the friendly interview. Being likeable is a great tool for the salesperson, but they must be able to take the friction that comes with the job. Friendly salespeople who can overcome objections will be great salespeople.


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

Those who want to be liked more than they want to grow their business will not make you money and will be difficult to fire.

8. Read two books: Top Grading for Sales by Bradford Smart and Greg Alexander and The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes. Both have developed “systems” for hiring salespeople. Both are short and very specific about the steps. 9. Put the potential hire in front of a committee. In addition to getting buy-in from our current sales team, questions coming from different mind-sets are a great test. We are also able to observe our potential hire more freely than we would be able to in a one-on-one interview.

10. Dig in on the details of their resume. Drill all-theway-down on the sales question. Many applicants say they were in sales when they were only involved with the sales process. 11. Ask about best/worst order. Great sellers will give a lot of detail and will show emotion as they tell the story. Journeymen salespeople will give less. An applicant’s answers will tell us how developed a salesperson we have in front of us. Beware the excuse maker! 12. Test the personal. Caliper Inc. has an affordable personality test for evaluating possible hires.

13. Don’t be the “college transition” job. The best salespeople are the ones who have already sold or are already selling. These people are looking to better their career, not just land a job.

14. Family, children, mortgages and consumer goods. People who have, like and want these things are good salespeople. We don’t want to hire a bohemian minimalist to sell for us. We want people who are selfmotivated to make money. If we have to motivate, we are lost before we begin. Building a sales team is a long-term project. Hiring the wrong salesperson will derail our growth efforts more than any other thing we do. The best time to solve the struggling, non-profitable salesperson problem is before it happens. James Olsen Reality Sales Training (503) 544-3572 james@reality-

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GREEN Retailing By Jay Tompt

Sorting out recyclables


“GREEN” like recycling—or so many people assume. Since the pioneering programs in the 1970s, recycling has become one of the greenest virtues we Americans can claim. However, all is not what it seems. Like most issues in the realm of sustainable business and green building, there are various shades of gray, not to mention green. In today’s green building and green consumer markets, “recycled” and “recyclable” have become the low-hanging fruit for marketers eager to pin green credentials on their products. But these attributes alone don’t necessarily signify sustainable or green in any meaningful sense. Context is everything. What kind of material? What percentage is recycled, and is it post-consumer or postindustrial waste? How relevant is “recyclable” if in fact the material is not recycled? In addition, LEED guidelines vary by application and product type, so a building material with some recycled content may or may not earn LEED credits depending on how and where it’s used. It behooves the merchandiser to dig a little deeper to determine whether these terms indicate real value or are simply “greenwash.” OTHING SAYS


In the LBM and home improvement supply chain, aluminum, steel, glass, plastics, paper and wood are the predominant materials potentially recycled or recyclable. Aluminum, glass, and steel can be used indefinitely to manufacture the same kinds of products, and can therefore be truly recycled. For example, products like Maze Nails typically contain a high percentage of recycled steel, as do most steel products made in the USA. Generally, plastics, and paper can be used to manufacture things of lesser material integrity in a limited number of cycles, and are therefore downcycled. A great example here is Green Fiber cellulose insulation, which is made from more than 50% post-consumer recycled paper. Whether a material is recycled, down-cycled, or even up-cycled, it’s a good thing, since manufacturing from recycled feedstock is often less energy intensive than manufacturing from virgin feedstock. So, buying and stocking products with recycled content is a good thing, too, creating a market for such products and keeping the demand cycle going, so to speak. But when evaluating products, all “recycled” and “recyclable” claims are not created equal. Post-consumer recycled content trumps post-industrial every time. Claims that don’t make this distinction should be assumed, if true, to be post-industrial. Is this still good? Yes. Is it the mark of truly sustainable product? Not always. Post-industrial recycled content is usually scraps and cuttings that may or may not be easily put through the

 Building Products Digest  September 2010

production process again. In some cases, such as “re-grind” in the world of plastics, it’s easily reprocessed and is normal operating procedure. Generally speaking, it’s also harder to earn LEED credits with post-industrial recycled content. The term “recyclable” is next down the list. In fact, it’s very often misused by overeager marketers and can be deceptive. If the material is recyclable in theory, but not in practice, then the claim is probably not worth the virgin paper it’s printed on. In fact, deceptive claims of this sort violate the Federal Trade Commission’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Claims. Where there is no recycling infrastructure, per se, a manufacturer may have a “take back” program, which accomplishes the same thing. In sorting out product claims concerning recycled content and recyclability, manufacturer transparency and third-party certifications can help separate the green from the greenwash. It can also help to determine whether the product will meet your customer’s LEED project requirements.

Jay Tompt Managing Partner William Verde & Associates (415) 321-0848

GSW employee Jerry Jones (left to right) and retired major general Don Morrow presented the Department of Defense’s Patriot Award to president and c.e.o. Jimmy Rane.

Great Southern Earns Patriot Honor

Great Southern Wood Preserving, Abbeville, Al., was recently honored with a Patriot Award for enabling an employee to serve with the National Guard or Reserves. Jerry Jones, an outside sales rep for Great Southern’s Glenwood, Ar., facility, nominated his employer for the honor and helped make the presentation. He has served in the Arkansas National Guard since 1971. President and c.e.o. Jimmy Rane accepted the award during a July 27 customer appreciation meeting. He also received a lapel pin and certificate of appreciation from the Department of Defense. “I love this great country of ours, and nothing is more important than giving of yourself through military service,� said Rane. “It is truly an honor to receive the Patriot Award and to have a chance to publicly thank Jerry Jones for his service to our nation. We’re proud to have him on our team and we greatly appreciate the sacrifices he’s made to help protect our freedom.�

Sawmills Installing New Equipment

Sawmills in Mississippi and Maine are seriously upgrading their production capabilities, according to machinery provider USNR. Rex Lumber is installing new equipment at the former Columbus Lumber sawmill in Brookhaven, Ms. Upgrades include an extended length infeed reducer twin primary line outfitted with USNR’s new precision geometric log rotation system, a carriage optimizer, horizontal double arbor shape sawing gang line, Quad Cam board feeder, Multi-Track Fence, 60-bin drag chain bin sorter, and MillTrak lumber flow management system. Irving Forest Products, Dixfield, Me., is installing USNR’s transverse optimized Edger Maximizer line to replace its 1980s edger system. The system features an unscrambler with speed-up transfer chains, lug loader, scanner, dual positioning pin infeed to accommodate high speed processing, four-saw edger with picker tailer, and MillExpert optimization.

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Green Dealer Sprouts in Austin

House + Earth, Austin, Tx., has been opened by Zach House and Scott Kuryak, specializing in green building materials. The shop has 6,000 sq. ft. of retail space plus 2,500 sq. ft. for product demonstrations and workshops.

September 2010  Building Products Digest 


COMPANY Focus RedBuilt, LLC

Commercial EWP provider returns to its roots



commercial division of Trus Joist, is celebrating its predecessor’s 50th anniversary by getting back to its roots: providing innovative engineered wood products for commercial projects. The new focus was instituted last August, when Atlas Holdings LLC partnered with a group of former Trus Joist leaders to buy the unit from Weyerhaeuser, rename it RedBuilt, and move its headquarters back to Boise, Id. Trus Joist was founded in May 1960 by wholesale lumberman Harold “Red” Thomas and inventor Art Troutner. When its parent, TJ International, entered into a joint venture with MacMillan Bloedel in 1991, the company became Trus Joist MacMillan. Weyerhaeuser bought the company in 1999 and the focus shifted to residential building. “Trus Joist enjoyed significant growth during the housing boom when it adapted its innovations to fit the needs of residential builders, but these groundbreaking products

were initially designed for commercial construction,” said president and c.e.o. Kurt Liebich, who oversaw commercial and industrial operations at Trus Joist for Weyerhaeuser before serving as the division’s chief execu-


Cost more? No. Work better? Yes. End of story.

tive. Tom Denig, who was president and c.e.o. of Trus Joist MacMillan, is now chairman of RedBuilt. According to Liebich, Weyerhaeuser’s business model was not a good fit when it came to the needs of the commercial construction industry. “Theirs is production-and-distribution system that delivers an array of relatively standard engineered wood products to dealers who then sell to residential builders and contractors,” he said. “Little is ‘standard’ in commercial construction. Success in this arena demands a high degree of consultative, personal service and technical engineering skills, coupled with state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facilities.” Liebich added that being a stand-alone business allows RedBuilt the flexibility to make decisions and design processes based solely on customer needs. “We have a unified team comprised of technical representatives and engineering and production associates that shepherd individual projects, not products, through the entire construction process from design inception to manufacturing to jobsite support,” he said. “Our ultimate goal is providing our customers with not just the best products, but with the best solutions that meet their building needs.” RedBuilt operates commercial manufacturing plants and design centers in Chino, Ca., Hillsboro and Stayton, Or., and Delaware, Oh., a design center at headquarters, and 13 design and sales offices located across the United States. Products include open-web trusses, Red-I Joists, and RedLam LVL that is used for beams, headers, forms, and scaffold planks. “Because we don’t share manufacturing with other (Please turn to next page)

RED-I-JOISTS proved an important component of this major commercial project near downtown Los Angeles, Ca.

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REDBUILT’S team provides support through the entire construction program, from initial design through manufacturing and jobsite support.

businesses, our facilities are focused on meeting our customer’s project specific needs—not on building large inventories of standard products,” said Liebich. “We are small and nimble, which means we don’t need permission to act on our ideas,” said Randy Ruim, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “If an idea is intriguing and has merit, we are free to pursue it. Within the first 10 months of our existence, we’ve established the frame-


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

work of our new business, launched the RedBuilt brand, and designed our RedSpec sizing software, which is available this month.” The company currently has 234 employees, but Liebich expects that number to grow as the economy rebounds. “With the help of our loyal customers, we will remain a leader in engineered wood products for another 50 years— and beyond—by building on our legacy.”

NeLMA Special Section

Building today, benefiting tomorrow A

The environmental advantages of eastern white pine

of choice for both traditional and contemporary design, eastern white pine remains a reliable building resource, skillfully incorporated structurally and cosmetically into a diverse array of projects. On top of its versatility, another added benefit is that the species is an environmentally sound building material. When looking at the use of different building materials over time, the superior properties of eastern white pine offer multiple environmental benefits. Some notable ones include: • Produces low energy consumption levels • Produces low CO2 emissions • Is biodegradable for disposal • Is naturally renewable • Offers greater potential for re-use As the world’s only renewable building and natural construction matter, wood has the best environmental attributes among all building materials. Interestingly, while wood products make up 47% of all industrial raw materials manufactured in the United States, it only consumes 4% of the total raw material manufacturing energy. When compared with its nonrenewable counterparts, such as concrete and steel, the product lifecycle of wood achieves negative CO2 emissions; a critical factor when gauging environmental impact. Wood also depends very little on non-renewable energy sources for its production, which is important when looking at its lifecycle or “cradle to grave” picture. But, considering architect and designer William McDonough’s “Cradle to Cradle” S THE VERSATILE WOOD

approach to design—using materials that biodegrade and become nutrient for another process after their useful life has ended—wood may in fact be the most environmentally preferred building material we have. Consider insulation as an example in determining environmental impact and efficiency. To start, we know that the cellular structure of eastern white pine provides a very effective and environmentally friendly insulator against heat and cold. Studies also

validate that an inch of wood is 15 times as efficient an insulator as concrete, 400 times as efficient as steel, and 1,770 times as efficient as aluminum. The use of eastern white pine is not only energy efficient because it’s an exceptional insulator, but versatility allows it to adjust and accommodate where necessary; thereby offering additional environmental benefits. Such benefits are quite apparent when (Please turn to next page)

SHEATHING with eastern white pine produces strong and well-insulated structures that require less energy to heat and cool. September 2010  Building Products Digest 


NeLMA Special Section

looking at a home sheathed with eastern white pine, a building technique that produces strong and well-insulated structures that require less energy to heat and cool. Combining its superior insulating capabilities with its versatility, eastern white pine meets the most demanding energy needs with less cost and greater efficiency. In addition measuring efficiency, research experts are also interested in analyzing the environmental impact and performance of building materials. Their findings continue to validate wood as superior in its environmental performance to both steel and concrete. According to the Athena Model, developed by Canada’s Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, when comparing houses constructed of these three different building materials based on the lifecycle assessment—production of greenhouse gases/solid waste, air/water pollution, and energy use—wood is the most environmentally practical. Sustainability Attribute

Total energy use

Greenhouse gases

Air pollution

Water pollution

Solid waste







Ecological resource use Lowest



140% more

45% more

42% more


70% more

81% more

67% more

1900% more

90% more

16% more

97% more

36% more

96% more

– Source: Athena Institute

 Building Products Digest  September 2010

The Athena Model compares wood, steel, and concrete from resource extraction, to manufacturing, to on-site construction, to building occupancy, to building demolition, and ultimately to the building material’s disposal, reuse, or recycling. Based on the findings, wood’s high insulating properties, recycling and resource recovery rates, and low pollution rates in harvesting and milling, constitute it as the most sustainable and environmentally friendly building material. While all building materials originate in some form from a natural source, ores and petroleum used for nonwood building materials are non-renewable, meaning once they are used they are gone forever. Wood, however, is renewable and can be regenerated by way of healthy growth and frequent replanting. Impressively, with average reforesting activities leading to an additional 2 billion new trees planted every year in the U.S., the forest products industry is responsible for 41% of all replanted forest acreage. So it is both the sustainability of material and enduse that is important to keep in mind. Overall, with a good strength to weight ratio, reasonable pricing, energy conservation benefits, and workability, eastern white pine’s natural attributes make it uniquely suited to both the performance and environmental demands of modern building materials.

– For more information on the benefits and applications of eastern white pine, visit Those looking for additional tools and resources about lumber grades, visit the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association at

NeLMA Special Section

Marketing eastern white pine

10 tools to help get the job done


for the wood products industry, the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association provides a variety of tools that will assist lumber retailers and building material distributers with the sale and marketing of eastern white pine. This handy overview covers 10 of the most popular reference materials, helping ensure that retailers, wholesalers, and distributers have tools to provide their customers with all the most pertinent information about eastern white pine. Many of the tools are available from or, and can also be conveniently mailed directly to you by request. All literature requests may be sent to or by calling NELMA at (207) 829-6901. S A LEADING MARKETING VOICE

N E LMA’s 2010 Buyer’s Guide is a handy resource that is both convenient and comprehensive.


1. NELMA Buyer’s Guide

What It Is: A directory listing of eastern white pine producers and distributors. This convenient resource is

 Building Products Digest  September 2010

published in a pocket-size format (41/2”x6”). The buyer’s guide displays company contact details, products produced, and other vital specifics for each lumber manufacturer, secondary wood products producer, lumber wholesalers, industrial equipment manufacturers, and industrial services member. How to Use It: Provided free of charge upon request, this handy resource is a great lookup tool for retailers and distributors, with easy access to essential company and contact information in one place. The buyer’s guide information may also be accessed online at either website under the Product Locator search feature.

2. Standard Grade Rules for Northeastern Lumber

What It Is: This heavyduty, spiral-bound, pocket-size booklet is all-inclusive, covering the official NELMA’s grading rules divided into 12 easily referenced sections.

This resource is available for a nominal charge and can be obtained by contacting NELMA. How to Use It: Serving as the definitive resource for lumber grading specifics, this fantastic piece is a great training tool for sales staff that need to know the details of allowable wood characteristics within each grade.

3. The Swatch

What It Is: This one-of-a-kind, compact, informational tool takes on the look and size of a paint swatch, detailing out specifics on the five pri-

PRINTED in a 4”x9” horizontal format and showcasing the official 23 standards, this NELMA booklet is the perfect sales and informational tool.

mary grades of eastern white pine: D&Better, Finish, Premium, Standard, and Industrial. High quality photos of sample boards and basic grade and rule summary information are included for each section. How to Use It: The swatch is a fantastic reference piece for architects, designers, lumber retailers, and building material wholesalers—and is both an extremely effective sales tool and display piece for retail locations.

4. Patterns of Eastern White Pine Booklet

THE SWATCH is a compact tool that serves as a great reference piece for architects, designers, lumber retailers and wholesalers.

What It Is: This updated publication showcases the official 23 standard patterns of eastern white pine. In a convenient 4”x9” horizontal format, a single page is devoted to each pattern, including an illustration of the final “look” of two pattern pieces. How to Use It: With two-pages of end-use photography, this makes for

September 2010  Building Products Digest 


NeLMA Special Section

the perfect informational and sales tool for retailers, wholesalers and distributors. The booklet can also be used to supplement literature requests and as marketing support for your own sales cycle.

5. White Pine Monographs

What It is: Having successfully

NELMA’s iPhone app offers a diverse assortment of material, including end-use photos that are both applicable in the field and for enjoyment after a hard days work.

SPREAD THE WORD to the talented architects, designers, and builders in your area about the White Pine Monograph’s call for submissions.


revitalized this historic periodical that made its debut in 1915, The White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs provides visual documentation of classical and unique applications and remain a favorite among builders, architects and designers. How to Use It: Illustrated with crisp photography and detailed editorial, monographs can be ordered in bulk quantities to be distributed to your own company database. (Members can also have N E LMA directly manage mailings.)

 Building Products Digest  September 2010

With ongoing calls for story submissions, there is a unique opportunity for builders to provide content to this reputable publication, showcasing your customers’ projects that incorporate eastern white pine.

6. iPhone Publication App

What It Is: The lumber industry’s first iPhone application provides easy access to NELMA’s publications with the simple touch of a finger. In addition to the white pine monographs, product profiles, grade photos, and

Grade Rules, the application also displays full color end-use photos of eastern white pine. The NELMA app is available for free, downloadable from Apple’s App Store. How to Use It: For those who carry their iPhones everywhere they go, this is the perfect tool to reference technical specification while in the field. With an array of end-use photos, it also provides design inspiration on the spot for prospects. Offering timely and accurate information, this app ensures users are always carrying the most up-to-date information.

7. Eastern White Pine Brochure

What It Is: This comprehensive brochure is a showcase folder containing tabbed information on all aspects of designing, specifying, installing, and finishing eastern white pine products. It includes elements such as the standard patterns for siding, paneling, and interior products, along with helpful technical and installation information. How to Use It: Both retailers and distributors find this helpful tool provides thorough answers to many of the frequent questions asked by their building clientele. Outlining technical and installation specifics, along with details on the species strength characteristics, this tool helps designers and builders alike to appropriately incorporate eastern white pine into their plans.

on advertising opportunities, email

or entertaining clips about the lumber industry in general.

What It Is: N E LMA produces video web material and publishes this content on YouTube under the N E LMA TV Channel. N E LMA TV serves as the portal for educational, informative, and entertaining video of interest to a wide variety of audiences. How to Use It: Send your prospects links to N E LMA TV to learn more about the use of eastern white pine, either as comparative information with substitute materials,

What It Is: NELMA maintains a Twitter account (@inelma) that pushes out the latest information to the online building community. It’s a marketing tool frequently utilized by the tech-savvy, both retailers and building material distributors alike. How to Use It: Be the first to receive relevant updates and industry information by becoming a follower @inelma or link your company’s Twitter account to broaden the lumber industry’s information exchange on the web.

9. YouTube (

10. Twitter (@inelma)

8. “AskNELMA” ENewsletter

What It Is: Complete with interesting industry news, association happenings, and upcoming industry events, NELMA’s electronic newsletter, “AskNELMA,” is sent on a monthly basis to over 1,500 members of the building supply, design, and construction community. How to Use It: “AskNELMA” is an effective advertising platform and place for retailers, wholesalers and distributors to submit informational content pertinent to the building industry. For more information

September 2010  Building Products Digest 


Roofing Dealer Grows in Atlanta

SRS Acquisition Corp., McKinney, Tx., has added units to its roofing dealer and window supply divisions. Last month, SRS acquired its 40th location—Builders Prime Window & Supply Co., Bridgeport, Pa. The 48year-old operation becomes part of SRS’s four-unit Pace Supply division. “Builders Prime allows us to fill in a hole in our local area geography and also provides us with greater diversity with their strength in the new construction segment,” said SRS c.e.o. Ron Ross. “We plan to focus on roofing and windows in this new location, but the branch will have access to all of the products that Pace currently offers in


Carrollton Lumber & Wrecking Co., New Orleans, La., has closed after 60+ years and auctioned off its remaining inventory.

Ace Hardware, Orange City, Fl., will install a 10-kil-

lowatt solar generator.

Seigle’s Cabinet Center added a 5,000-sq. ft. show-

room in Elgin, Il.

Sears is opening an 8,000-sq. ft. Craftsman tool store this month in River North (Chicago), Il. Stock Building Supply sold a site in Paradise, Pa., to Bird In Hand Window & Door LLC, Bird in Hand, Pa., for $1.275 million.

Habitat for Humanity opened ReStore discount LBM outlets in Danville, Il. (Bob Marble, mgr.); Newbury, Oh., and Oshkosh, Wi., and next month unveils locations in Waldo, Mo., and Mooresville, N.C. The group will also open a 20,000-sq. ft. ReStore in the former Busy Beaver Building Center at Edgewood Towne Center, Pittsburgh, Pa. Mead Lumber recognized its Beatrice, Ne., yard as the chain’s 2009 Store of the Year.

Home Lumber , Whitewater, Wi., in business since 1907, was named a Wisconsin Family Business of the Year for businesses with less than 50 employees.

Kildare Lumber , Ogallala, Ne., recently donated $10,000 to both the McCook Community College Events Center and the health complex at North Platte Community College.

Ace Hardware , Oak Brook, Il., has been ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Major Home Improvement Retail Stores” by J.D. Power & Associates. The co-op has also launched a Helpful Hands campaign, a nationwide contest that will award a $2,000 paint makeover to one high school in each of the 50 states. Anniversaries: George Ternent & Sons, Lonaconing, Md., 125th … Meyer Ace Hardware, Petoskey, Mi., 75th … Derstler Lumber Co ., Richmond, Mo., 50th … Mobile Lumber & Millwork, Mobile, Al., 35th.


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

their other four branches immediately.” Builders Prime owner Russell Lyons retained two operations—its installed sales and masonry supply businesses. Days before the Builders Prime announcement, on Aug. 16, SRS opened a 20,000-sq. ft. roofing store in Marietta, Ga. The new facility, along with its existing Atlanta South Supply unit in Fayetteville, Ga., will take the name Atlanta Roofing Supply. Chad Stanton, ex-Owens Corning, is branch manager of the new location.

Weyerhaeuser Selling Shortlines

Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wa., has agreed to sell its six short-haul railroads to Patriot Rail Corp., Boca Raton, Fl. The six railroads operate over 160 miles of track, handling about 60,000 carloads of freight annually. The lines include the DeQueen & Eastern and the Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern railroads in southeast Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas, Golden Triangle and Mississippi & Skuna Valley Railroads in Mississippi, and Columbia & Cowlitz Railway and Weyerhaeuser Woods Railroad in southwest Washington. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Time Runs out for Tooltime Hardware

Tooltime Paint, Hardware & Rental, N. Fargo, N.D., is liquidating and will close its doors for good by Oct. 31. Tim and Joan Beaton bought the long-time hardware business, then called Northport True Value Hardware, in 1996 and planned to run it for 10 years, but have been unable to find a buyer. The store opened in 1956 as Brakke Hardware and later became Bob’s Hardware. Beaton changed the name a year ago to Tooltime, in honor of the Home Improvement TV show, since customers had taken to calling him “Tim the tool man,” after the show’s main character.

Cabinet Demand Recovery Ahead

U.S. demand for cabinets nationwide is forecast to climb 7.4% annually through 2014 to reach $15.2 billion, prediccts the Freedonia Group. From 2004 to 2009, demand decreased 4.8% a year. Kitchen cabinets, which account for 80% of total cabinet production, should rise 7.8% annually, while bathroom cabinets increase 6.9% a year. Cabinets elsewhere in the home grew 0.9% annually from 2004 to 2009, with the rate expected to jump to 3.8% a year to 2014.

Ideal Picks Up Hand Tool Business

Ideal Industries, Sycamore, Il., agreed to purchase assets of 89-year-old SK Hand Tools Corp., Chicago, Il., which filed for bankruptcy protection June 29. Doug Spitler, v.p. and general mgr. of Ideal Industries’ retail and industrial divisions, will run the new subsidiary. The deal was expected to close by the end of August.

Green Building Show Postponed

Green Contractors Expo has been rescheduled from this month to May 17-18, 2011, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nv. The inaugural show was held last year at the same site, under the banner of the National Green Builders Products Expo. Ironically, the first show had been scheduled to debut in the fall of 2008, but was postponed to May 2009.

MOVERS & Shakers

Brian Muelenaer has replaced retiring Bill West as v.p.-operations at Smith Mountain Building Supply, Hardy, Va. Bobby Smith, sales mgr.-southern pine, Canfor/New South, Myrtle Beach, S.C., retires Sept. 30 after 38 years in the industry. George Layton succeeds him as director of sales & marketing-southern pine. Mike Wauson has been promoted to mgr. of McCoy’s Building Supply, Eagle Pass, Tx. Fran Monk has been promoted to marketing director for Lumbermens Merchandising Corp., Wayne, Pa. Andrew Hess, ex-North Pacific, has joined Progressive Affiliated Lumbermen Cooperative, Grand Rapid, Mi., as a business development specialist for the Midwest. Lynn Wilson, ex-Plum Creek, has joined Rayonier, Jacksonville, Fl., as v.p.-forest resources. Eric Wischmann, Carver, Mn., has joined Ainsworth as market development rep for the Upper North Central region, including Iowa, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

Michael Coulton has been appointed general mgr. of Benjamin Obdyke Inc., Horsham, Pa. Bill Myrick has been promoted to c.e.o. of ProBuild Holdings, succeeding Paul Hylbert, who continues as a senior advisor and director. Raul Alvarez, ex-McDonald’s, has been elected to the board of Lowe’s Cos., Mooresville, N.C. Robert Scoble has been named president and chief operating officer of Hyde Tools, Southbridge, Ma. Chuck Fuqua has been appointed executive director-strategic communications for American Forest & Paper Association, Washington, D.C. Brian Hawkinson is new as executive director-recovered fiber. Mark Rieser is the new president of Windsor Windows & Doors, W. Des Moines, Ia. He succeeds John Smit, who officially retires Dec. 31, but will remain on the board of parent Woodgrain Millwork. Richard Stephens is now chief operating officer for Windsor. Jay DeLuca, ex-Benjamin Obdyke, has been named product mgr.-adhesives for Laticrete, Bethany, Ct.

Julie Porter has been promoted to v.p.-marketing & sustainability for Hanson Building Products, Irving, Tx. Mark Carpenter is now senior v.p. for the West region. Cassandra Rhodes, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Granville, N.Y., is now inside sales & service rep-acoustics for Green Glue noiseproofing technologies. Carol Eicher has been promoted to v.p.-advanced materials division at Dow Building & Construction, Midland, Mi. Dan Nelson is now v.p. of R&D at Gaco Western’s new coatings/spray foam plant in Waukesha, Wi. Jeff Stefani, Anthony Forest Products, El Dorado, Ar., was elected chair of American Wood Council’s technical advisory committee. John W. “Jake” Marvin, chairman & c.e.o., Marvin Cos., Warroad, Mn., was re-elected chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Gerard R. Bourassa, Bourassa’s True Value, New Bedford, Ma., was named 2010 Franco-American Business Leader of the Year by La Ligue des Franco-Americains. Sara Bellum has joined the braintrust at Mungus Fungus Forest Products, Climax, Nv., report owners Hugh Mungus and Freddy Fungus.

September 2010  Building Products Digest 


FAMILY Business By Bernard Kliska

What is the definition of family?


and regular family meetings are two of the strongest predictors for a successful family business. How do we decide who’s to be involved in a family meeting process and who can’t be? That used to be an easier question to answer. Family members have expanded to include individuals who could not have been predicted (or at least openly acknowledged) a few decades ago. Recently, we consulted with a family business owner who openly talked about and accepted his daughter’s lesbian relationship. His daughter—the company’s chief financial officer—and her significant other had been living together for 10 years and both were always present and comfortable at all family gatherings. Our client had scheduled an important family meeting a month away to discuss a critical issue in the family— a succession plan—and had called us in to help make sure that things ran smoothly. As we went over the list of attendees, we expressed concern when we realized that his daughter’s partner hadn’t been invited. “My God, I didn’t even think about it!” he replied, embarrassed. We realized that on one level, despite his good grace and benevolent intentions, he still hadn’t really accepted his daughter’s partner as a real family member. Fortunately, he OOD FAMILY COMMUNICATION


realized his omission in time to avert a potential disaster. Although underway for decades, fundamental changes in American families still challenge our long-held values and half conscious assumptions. It used to be that all we had to worry about were in-laws. Some people are still surprised to learn that the traditional nuclear family is actually a statistical minority. Between 1970 and 2000, married families with children dropped from 40% of American households to 24%. Unmarried couples account for 4.5% of all households, an increase of almost 75% in the past decade. At some point in their lives, more than one-third of American children can expect to live in a single-parent household. These facts suggest that any modern American family business is likely to include live-in partners (of the same or opposite sex), divorced or separated spouses, stepparents, adopted children, or stepchildren. We can decry, worry about, or embrace these changes, but, at the very least, family businesses have to acknowledge that these changes exist so family members can make clear, conscious decisions and anticipate their consequences. For example, what’s to be done with divorced spouses? Will the ex-spouse’s extent of participation hinge upon the amicability or bitterness of the divorce? What if the original family member is the one who caused the divorce by doing something horrible? What’s to be done for the children? Will decisions about the children be based upon their ages or their feelings and actions during the divorce? Are there any conflicts between what other family members feel is

 Building Products Digest  September 2010

right and what the embittered family member wants to do? Although there are no hard and fast rules for making these difficult decisions, a wide array of options exist. During emotionally wrenching times, it usually best to think of options as existing along a continuum. A vast middle ground lies between doing nothing and doing everything possible for a family member who is legally moving away from the center, and it is the area between the poles where the wisest solutions usually lie. When our hearts yank us toward extremes, it’s best to invite our heads into the negotiations. For example, a family may decide to exclude ex-spouses from ownership in the business but still include them as employees. Blended families can also present dilemmas. If a family member marries someone with children and legally adopts those children, are the children to be included in the family with the same rights and privileges as other family members? Some families decide this on the basis of the children’s ages at the time of marriage. But occasionally, notions of fairness and inclusion may conflict with some family member’s inherent belief that blood is thicker than legal status. In such situations, remembering to bring heads as well as hearts to the negotiating table will help members find compromises. Some values clarification may also help. Values are infinitely more rigid when they’re unconscious. Often, after people are allowed to clearly express their own values, they are willing to modify them. The trick in helping family members discover and express their values is to make certain they take responsibility for every statement they make. Saying, “I have trouble accepting that

children who don’t share our genes and family history should have the same rights as my own children,” puts the issue squarely and honestly upon the table. Saying, “Why should your new husband bring his kids into our family and expect us to take care of them?” is certain to intensify the kind of defensiveness that can erupt into a battle. Finally, are long-term, live-in partners part of the family? If so, for how long must they live together before they’re accepted? Here, again, so many variables exist that the answer can only come from the family’s willingness to discuss the issue without insult or recrimination. A good starting point may be to discuss what each person really means by family. Some family members may purposely tailor their definitions to include or exclude the person whose presence has triggered the discussion. To avoid that, everyone should write down his or her definition. Then someone collects the papers and redistributes them so that each person ends up with a definition written by someone else. One by one, each person reads aloud the definition in his or her hand and a discussion follows. This exercise will not necessarily lead to a consensus definition of family—although that would be the ideal—but it will generate an honest, vigorous discussion that enables each person, as well as the family unit, to come closer to deciding what constitutes a family. Doing this exercise orients the family toward working together. It saves them from fighting for values that actually stand in the way of what is usually the ultimate goal: family unity. A parent’s fantasy is that the family that they have always envisioned will work together and stay together. It doesn’t always work out that way. But if parents can approach the new realities with understanding, if they are willing to accept a challenge and to work at the challenge, then the most important parts of their dream—a supportive family and a successful family business—can still come true.

CertainTeed Goes Solar

CertainTeed Corp. has leased roofing space at its fiberglass-insulation distribution facility in Berlin, N.J., to NJR Clean Energy Ventures, Wall, N.J., for installation of a solar system. “The Berlin solar roof project demonstrates the true strength of partnerships when it comes to mitigating the impact on the environment,” said president and c.e.o. Peter Dachowski. “CertainTeed is wholeheartedly committed to



incorporating sustainable practices in the design of our buildings and the manufacturing of our building products.” NJR will lease 300,000 sq. ft. of roof space from CertainTeed for 20 years. The system, scheduled to be operational by January 2011, is expected to supply nearly 90% of the building’s energy needs. The roof will feature Uni-Solar thin-film laminates, which are said to provide both weather protection and clean energy.



Based in Annapolis, MD, Fletcher Wood Solutions® is the largest manufacturer of defect-free, appearance grade radiata pine products in New Zealand. Distributing our clear boards, mouldings, LIFESPAN® treated wood, and lumber to the North American market through our proven and completely integrated supply chain, Fletcher Wood Solutions® maintains direct access to one of the largest FSC certified® pine plantation forests in the world.

– Bernard Kliska is an associate of the Family Business Consulting Group, Marietta, Ga. He can be reached at (800) 551-0633 or

Reprinted with permission from The Family Business Advisor, a copyrighted publication of Family Enterprise Publishers. No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of Family Enterprise Publishers.

1.866.FSC .WO O D September 2010  Building Products Digest 


ASSOCIATION Update Northeastern Retail Lumber Association will install David Moore, Wiley Brothers Inc., Schaghticoke, N.Y., as chair during its annual meeting Oct. 22-23 at Gideon Putnam Resort, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Eastern Building Material Dealers Association has booked Luke Tilley, regional economic advisor for Philadelphia Federal Reserve, to speak at its annual meeting Sept. 22-24 at Delaware Park (Wilmington), De. In addition to board and committe meetings, golf and awards dinner, Sandy Sawyer will address “Dealer Roundtables—Do Them the Right Way!�

Mid-America Lumbermens Association will hold its Fall Fling Nov. 4-5 in Kansas City, Mo.

Northwestern Lumber Association has enlisted Ken Wilbanks as facilitator of its next dealer roundtable, Oct. 20-22 at Freeborn Lumber,

Albert Lea, Mn. Financial data will be compared anonymously using the new Building Materials Operations Comparison tool Roundtable module.

and immediate past chairman Todd Merriss, Dixie Lumber, Easley, S.C.

Florida Building Material Association has scheduled an Oct. 28 regional meeting and lunch at its headquarters in Mount Dora, Fl.

Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association elected Danny White, T.R. Miller Mill Co., Brewton, Al., as its new chairman at its recent conference. Other new officers are vice-chairman Johnny Hall, Industrial Wood Products, Climax, N.C.; second vice-chairman Ben Stimpson Jr., Scotch & Gulf Lumber, Al.; treasurer Chris DeMilliano, Steely Lumber Co., Huntsville, Tx., and immediate past chairman David Richbourg, H.W. Culp Lumber, New London, N.C. New board members are Steve Keadle, Keadle Lumber Enterprises, Thomaston, Ga.; J.D. Hankins, Hankins Inc., Ripley, Ms.; Jay Jordan,

Wisconsin Retail Lumber Association is sponsoring a regional golf outing Sept. 20 at Royal St. Patrick Golf Link, Wrightstown, Wi.

Southern Building Material Association installed a new board of directors during its recent summer conference. The new chairman is Mike Christian, Massey Builder’s Supply, Richmond, Va.; 1st vice chairman Patricia Jones, Jones Lumber, Henderson, Tn.; 2nd vice chairman Leon Huneycutt, Locust Lumber, Locust, N.C.; 3rd vice chairman Jon Stier, Stier Supply, Columbia, S.C.,

National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association has elected Joseph R. Collings, Ferguson Lumber, Plainfield, In., as its new chairman. He is a past president of Indiana Lumber & Builders’ Supply Association.

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 Building Products Digest  September 2010

Jordan Lumber & Supply, Mt. Gilead, N.C.; Charles McRae, Rex Lumber, Graceville, Fl., and Bob Dixon, M.C. Dixon Lumber, Eufaula, Al. Henry “Hank” Scott, c.e.o. of Collum’s Lumber Products, Allendale, S.C., was honored with the Harold F. Beal Award for his work with the association, the industry, and the community at large.

North American Building Material Distribution Association is teaming with the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors to present the first-ever NAFCD & NBMDA Distributor Marketplace on Nov. 16-18 at The Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, Co. On the schedule are manufacturerhosted meetings, keynote speakers, and roundtable discussions.

Southern Forest Products Association will gather at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, Ga., for its Oct. 24-26 annual meeting. Highlights include exhibits and roundtable discussions, golf and fishing excursions, and a reception and dinner dance.

IN Memoriam

Claude Parent, 57, vice president, Universal Forest Products, Union City, Ga., died July 15 in Newnan, Ga. Mr. Parent joined Universal in 1979, as a buyer in the purchasing department. Tom Moore, 69, retired manager of Dyke Industries, Orlando, Fl., died July 19 in Sanford, Fl.

John “Jack” Kirschling, 76, retired president of Lumber Dealers Supply, Green Bay, Wi., died Aug. 18 in Green Bay. He received a degree in economics from Marquette University in 1955 and a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1974. He spent 50 years at wholesaler Lumber Dealers Supply, starting by unloading boxcars during the summers in high school, rising to president in 1973, and retiring in

December 1999. He was former president of Associated Building Materials and director of the National Building Material Distributors Association.

Keith Iverson, 63, owner of Iverson’s Lumber, Highland, Mi., died of heart failure Aug. 7 in Hartland, Mi. His father, Clifford Iverson, founded the business in 1950.

Kermit Schott, 40, owner of Red Mill Lumber, Casco, Me., died July 6 in Cumberland Center, Me. He graduated from the University of Maine with a B.S. in forestry, and earned a master’s degree in forest products from Oregon State University. He purchased the mill in 1997. Charles Elliott Skaggs, 72, former plant supervisor at Wickes Lumber, Mansfield, Oh., died Aug. 17 in Clearfield, Oh.

September 2010  Building Products Digest 


NEW Products

Deper I-Joists

TJI 560D I-joists from iLevel by Weyerhaeuser feature depths up to 24” that are suitable for singlelayer fire separations and heavier-duty loads. The joists are lightweight, available in long lengths, and engineered to better resist warping, twisting, and shrinking.


(888) 453-8358

Stealthy Soffits

The PVC Stealth soffit from Versatex Trimboards is available in 12” and 16” widths and lengths of 18” to reduce joints. The vented soffit has a series of 1/8” grooves to keep insects out, and a venting pattern with 10” of free airspace.

 VERSATEX.COM (724) 857-1111

Stoned Look

Dune ceramic wall and floor tiles from Eliane offer the look of natural stone with a satin finish. Available in three desert colors, the collection includes two large-format sizes for flooring (18”x18” and 13”x13”) and a standard 10”x13” wall-sized format. Accessory pieces include bullnose, trim, mosaics, inserts, and listellos with chamfered edges.

 ELIANEUSA.COM (972) 481-7854


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

Lighter Sheetrock

USG’s Sheetrock UltraLight gypsum wallboard panels reportedly are up to 30% lighter than traditional panels. The panels are available in standard lengths from 8’ to 16’ and 48” and 54” widths.


(800) 950-3839

Wraps with Certainty

CertainTeed’s CertaWrap weather-resistant barrier provides primary protection during construction and secondary protection after cladding is installed. Properly installed, the wrap will reduce drafts in the wall, inhibit the growth of mold, reduce energy costs, and not disintegrate over time.

 CERTAINTEED.COM (800) 233-8990

Recycled Cork Floors

Cali Bamboo now offers CaliCork ready-to-lay flooring, constructed from recycled cork. Cork naturally insulates against both temperature and noise. A proprietary ceramic coating reportedly protects against scratches, scuff marks, scoring, and rough spots.

 CALIBAMBOO.COM (888) 788-2254

September 2010  Building Products Digest 


Rosettes on Display

A freestanding merchandising board displays hand-carved keystones and rosettes manufactured by Themed Millwork. Customers can choose from more than 35 different themes, or design their own. Customized wood-framed mirrors and chalkboards are also available.

 THEMEDMILLWORK.COM (208) 687-1200

Faster Wood Floors

The FloorMaster nailer from Duo-Fast speeds up blind and face nailing when installing hardwood flooring. Detachable pads and a nailing guide protect floors, walls, and cabinets during installation. The tool uses 16-guage finish nails that leave a smaller, less visible hole, for a cleaner finish.

 DUO-FAST.COM (888) 386-3278


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

Staying Connected to Trusses

Simpson Strong-Tie’s VTCR connector simplifies the installation of valley trusses. The connector can be installed after the valley truss has been set, with SD-9 nails or SD structural connector screws.

 STRONGTIE.COM (800) 999-5099

Save Toilet Water

HydroRight dual flush converter from MJSI Inc. promises to reduce water usage in toilets. The product simply drops in and attaches to the existing flush valve. Its dome gasket replaces the flapper, to prevent leaking. No tank removal or tools are required.


(888) 466-5741

Composite Deck Screws

Screw Products’ 10x23/4” C-Deck screws have been redesigned to eliminate mushrooming on composite boards. They are available with either an ACQ-compatible e-coat or stainless steel with a color-matched head.

 SCREW-PRODUCTS. COM (877) 844-8880

Crisp, Easy Corners

Stick to Green Floors

DriTac 7500 Eco-Urethane flooring adhesive contains zero VOCs and zero solvents. Easy to spread, it provides a permanent bond for a range of flooring and underlayments.

FibaTape composite corner tape is made of PVC and coated with a tight-fibered matrix. Offered in 2-3/8”x25’ and 50’ rolls, the tape is said to fold quickly and adjust to any angle for straight, professional corners and angles when installing drywall.

 FIBATAPE.COM (800) 762-6694

Water-Saving Head

Alson’s Fluidics water-amplifying showerhead has earned the EPA’s WaterSense label. The fixture features a series of chambers that control the shape, velocity, and thermal dynamics of water for an invigorating shower experience. Finishes include chrome, satin nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze.

 ALSONS.COM (800) 421-0001


(800) 394-9310

Cleaner Gutters

The Leaf Defier helps keep all kinds of litter from entering and clogging roof gutters. The lightweight, flexible device is made of urethane polymers, with a foam-filter insert to allow water and fine particulates to flow freely through gutters.

 LEAFDEFIER.COM (866) 795-4770

September 2010  Building Products Digest 


OVER THE Counter By Mike Dandridge

3 tools for providing an A+ customer experience “A

CTION, NOT WORDS!” is the demand of today’s customer. Just saying you have the best service isn’t going to cut it. Store décor, staffing, inventory, product selection, and timely delivery speak much louder than any worn out phrases we profess to believe. These elements are visual representations of the actions we take. The sum of these parts equals the customer experience factor—a mental scorecard a customer uses to grade your performance against his expectations. Meet expectations and you’ll receive a “5” on a score of 1 to 10. Congratulations. You’re average. Disappoint a customer and your score may fall to a 2 or 3. Do it often enough and you might end up on another mental list – the “Never Again as Long as I Live” list. Only by exceeding customers’ expectations can you ever hope to raise the score. Raise it often enough and you’ll earn their loyalty. Customer Experience Management (CEM) is a methodology and discipline for improving the customer experience factor. Of course, you’re already managing the customer experience to an extent. But, the real power of CEM is only tapped when every channel of customer interaction is carefully, intentionally administered. By every channel, I mean phone, sales counter, warehouse, Web presence, staff appearance and any other impression point between your company and the customer.

It Don’t Come Easy

Even though intellectually you may accept the idea that

What Customers Really Want

A 2004 survey taken by the IBM Institute for Business Value revealed that the key drivers of customer loyalty are the person-to-person and in-store experience. In fact, the scoring in these two areas was triple the response to “pricing and value.” (So much for the belief that all customers buy on price.) What customers really want is personal attention. They want to do business with a company who can turn an ordinary transaction into a compelling customer experience.


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

CEM is a valid strategy, it’s important to understand that it isn’t easy to implement. In fact, most businesses fail to deliver a compelling customer experience even after admitting that CEM makes sense. Often, it’s just a matter of using the right tools. Here are three tools that provide the foundation for building an exceptional customer experience unique to your customers.

Law #1. See through The Customer’s eyes.

John Daniels, manager of Average Wholesaling Supply, walked into the sales counter the morning after a heavy rain and noticed a roof leak had discolored one of the ceiling tiles with a muddy black stain. “I’ll have to get that changed,” he thought. But there were customers waiting and the phone was ringing and John was pulled into the busyness of the day. The next morning, John again notices the stain and makes a mental note. And the days turn into weeks. Gradually, the stain becomes invisible to John. He no longer notices it, but “The Customer” still sees it. And, as irrational as it may seem, The Customer makes a connection, a micro-association, between the stain and the service. He begins to think that John doesn’t care as much as he once did. Am I exaggerating? Tom Beebe, former chairman of Delta Airlines, didn’t think so. He told employees, “Coffee stains on the flip down tray may make a passenger wonder if we pay attention to engine maintenance.” For four bucks and 10 minutes, John could’ve headed this negative perception off at the pass. Again, this may not be rational or

fair, but arguing the point is senseless. The Customer’s perception of your sales counter, your office, your warehouse, and dozens of other little impression points influence buying decisions. Change the ceiling tile, sweep the floor, and wipe off the dust. Pay attention to details. See your business through the eyes of The Customer.

Law #2. Listen to The Customer.

John thinks he’s a good listener, but like most people, he filters what he’s hearing through his own point of view. This causes John to jump to conclusions before the customer is through speaking. At other times, John is a selective listener. Remember when your parents said to you, “You only hear what you want to hear.” John is like that. One customer says something favorable about the service and it goes straight to his head. But, when another customer walks up and tells him the restroom is dirty, he dismisses him as being OCD. No matter how plain the words, John can never hear exactly what the other person says, because he cannot bring to the moment his undivided and unemotional attention. Active listening requires intense empathy. Act as if the person talking is the only one in the room. Then pretend the information you’re about to receive is a matter of life or death. If it were, I guarantee you’d suddenly develop listening skills to rival Superman.

Law #3. Empower all employees.

The phrase “You’ll have to talk to the manager” both emasculates the employee who has to say it and infuriates the customer who has to hear it. In the language of the consumer, this is known as “the runaround.” The needs and demands of customers vary daily and employees must be empowered to handle any situation. When you empower employees it transfers confidence to them and gives the customer an impression of competence. Richard Kessler, owner of Kessler’s Diamonds, tells his employees, “When you’re helping a customer, you are the company. If a

decision needs to be made, make it. Do whatever you think I would do.” When asked about employee mistakes, Richard admits, “One time in 10, I’ll wish an employee had done something different. But that’s a price I’m willing to pay to get the other nine fabulous decisions.” Remember, Richard is selling diamonds. If he can trust his employees to make decisions that carry that kind of price, shouldn’t you be able to trust frontline employees to use discernment when helping customers. If you’re not comfortable with giving employees total latitude, then set a dollar limit for what they can and can’t do. For example, one manager places a $100 ceiling on returns employees can accept at their discretion. Even then, teach employees something else to say besides, “You’ll have to speak to the manager.

Action! Not Words

Every business provides a customer experience. Most of time, it’s by default. Most of the time, it’s simply a matter of following what others have done before. But the great businesses, the ones that have become household names, like Apple, Starbucks, and Nike, design every detail of the customer experience. They understand that any chestthumping words of self-aggrandizement sound hollow and that a compelling customer experience smacks of action. Take a minute to think of the many tired phrases those words could replace. “Best service in town.” “The customer is king.” “Fast service, friendly staff, fair prices.” As a customer, I know that when I hear these empty clichés, I’m reminded of how the adults sound in the Charlie Brown Christmas special: “Wa-wah. Wa, wa, wah.” Show us, don’t tell us, our customers silently plead. Customer loyalty isn’t earned by the words you say, but by the actions you take.

Mike Dandridge High Voltage Performance (254) 624-6299

September 2010  Building Products Digest 


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WE ARE LOOKING for aggressive sales representatives to grow with our company. We are a well-established (since 1922) and reputable family-owned wholesaler looking to expand into new markets. Work from your hometown and earn the best commissions in the business. Call Jim at (800) 647-6242 for more information. The McGinnis Lumber Company, Inc., Meridian, Ms.

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LUMBER TRADER We are a wholesale lumber company looking for an experienced trader. Any species. No restrictions on mills or customers. No relocation. 60% split for trader. Call John at Lakeside Lumber at (623) 566-7100 or email


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 Building Products Digest  September 2010


Listings are often submitted months in advance. Always verify dates and locations with sponsor before making plans to attend.

Virginia Tech – Sept. 10, energy reduction workshop, South Boston, Va.; Hoo-Hoo International – Sept. 10-12, annual convention, Holiday Inn Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.; (800) 979-9950.

Kentucky Building Materials Assn. – Sept. 23, golf tournament, La Grange, Ky.; (800) 844-1774; Illinois Lumber & Material Dealers Assn. – Sept. 23, golf outing, Alton, Il.; (217) 544-5405;

Blish-Mize Co. – Sept. 24-25, fall market, Convention Center, Overland Park, Ks.; (800) 995-0525; Mid-Hudson Lumber Dealers Association – Sept. 27, golf outing, Powelton Club, Newburgh, N.Y.; (518) 286-1010;

HDW Inc. – Sept. 11-12, fall dealer market, Shreveport Convention Center, Shreveport, La.; (318) 686-8527.

Building Component Manufacturers Conference – Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Charlotte, N.C.; (608) 310-6722;

DeckExpo – Sept. 15-17, Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md.; (866) 475-6495;

Peak Auctioneering – Oct. 2, LBM auctions, Indianapolis, In.; Oct. 9-10, St. Charles, Il.; Oct. 16, Berea, Oh.; (800) 245-9690;

True Value Co. – Sept. 13-15, fall market, Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nv.; (773) 695-5000;

Remodeling Show – Sept. 15-17, Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md.; (866) 475-6495; Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Assn. – Sept. 17, golf, Jackson Village, N.H.; (207) 829-6901;

Twin Cities Hoo-Hoo Club – Sept. 17, annual LBM auction for education, Scott County Fairgrounds, Jordan, Mn.; (612) 490-8583. Peak Auctioneering – Sept. 18, LBM auctions, Detroit, Mi.; Sept. 25, Louisville, Ky.; (800) 245-9690;

New York & Suburban Lumber Association – Oct. 1, annual meeting, Queens, N.Y.; (518) 286-1010;

House-Hasson Hardware – Oct. 7-9, market, Convention Center, Sevierville, Tn.; (865) 525-0471;

Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Assn. – Oct. 9, Fun Shoot, Triple H Gun Club, Linton, In.; (317) 875-3660;

Do It Best Corp. – Oct. 9-11, fall market, Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, In.; (260) 748-5300;

Wisconsin Retail Lumber Association – Sept. 20, golf outing, Wrightstown, Wi.; (262) 250-1835;

Association of Millwork Distributors – Oct. 9-14, annual convention, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, Tn.; (727) 372-3665;

Florida Building Material Assn. – Sept. 22-24, convention & expo, Disney World Dolphin, Lake Buena Vista, Fl.; (352) 383-0366.

National Hardwood Lumber Assn. – Oct. 13-16, annual convention, Vancouver, B.C.; (800) 933-0318;

Door & Hardware Institute – Sept. 22-23, annual conference & expo, Navy Pier, Chicago, Il.; (703) 222-2010.

Northeastern Young Lumber Execs – Sept. 22-24, timber tour, Adirondack Park, N.Y.; (518) 286-1010;

Builders Hardware Manufacturers Assn. – Oct. 11-13, fall meeting, Palm Desert, Ca.; (212) 297-2109;

Northwestern Lumber Association – Oct. 20-22, dealer roundtable, Freeborn Lumber, Albert Lea, Mn.; (763) 544-6822;

September 2010  Building Products Digest 




A hardware store Money Talks

in Franklin, Ma., has learned that money talks—especially if it comes in the form of a $1,000 shopping spree. Jim Daddario, president and owner of Daddario Hardware, is using the twice-yearly giveaways to publicize the store’s spring and fall merchandise catalogs and draw curious customers into the store. This spring’s winners, Bob and Anne Marie Lynch— selected at random from hundreds of entries submitted to the store from March 1 to May 31—were able to choose from more than 65,000 items available either at the store or through its alliance with Do it Best. “Bigger isn’t always better,” says Daddario, who opened the store last September. “Our supply partner, Do it best Corp., affords us the ability to have access to thousands of products.” From the beginning, Daddario’s goal has been a general store atmosphere that supplies products and services needed by the local community. Along with the usual hardware and building material categories, the store offers screen repair and a complete rental center onsite. “I want to help empower the everyday do-it-yourselfers to take pride in their homes,” he says. “Many projects are easier than most think, and small changes or general maintenance can make a world of difference.” Customers have until Nov. 30 to enter the next shopping giveaway. Until then, special offers on the store’s Facebook page draw customers with no-sales tax deals on store purchases and special orders, as well as other discounts such as 10% off bird feeders and bird feed.

For more information on advertisers, call them directly or visit their websites [in brackets].

Advantage Trim & Lumber []..........45

AERT [].......................................................Cover I Ainsworth [] ................................................26-27

Anthony Forest Products [] ...................3

Auto-Stak Systems [].....................................49

Boston Cedar [] ......................................15 Capital []............................................4, 47

Cedar Creek Wholesale Inc. [] .................44

Chicago Suburban Lumber Sales .................................................17 Crumpler Plastic Pipe [] ................................18

Enduris [] ............................................................7

Fasco America []....................................41 Fletcher Wood Solutions [] ..........................39

Georgia-Pacific Gypsum [] ..............Cover II GRK Fasteners [].....................................37

Hancock Lumber [].............................30

HG Wood Industries [] ....................................35

LB Plastics [] ................................................38

L.I. Industries [] .........................48

Matthews Marking Products [] ......40

New South []................................................8 North American Wholesale Lumber Assn. [] .....25

Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Assn. []...31

Send us your news! Have your recent expansion, personnel promotions, new product introductions, or other company changes published in the next issue of Building Products Digest. Just Fax your news to 949-852-0231 or send by email to

BPD (a free service)

Building Products Digest


 Building Products Digest  September 2010

Progressive Solutions []...........5

Redwood Empire [] ......................Cover IV

RISI [] ......................................................34

RoyOMartin [] .............................................19 Sandy Neck Traders [] .................................33

Seaboard International Forest Products []...........32

Simpson Strong-Tie []...................................23

Tank Fab []........................................................43

Viance [] .........................................Cover III



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Building Products Digest - September 2010  
Building Products Digest - September 2010  

September 2010 issue of lumber trade magazine, BPD.