The Merchant Jan. 2021

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ACROSS the Board By Patrick Adams

My favorite word T

hose who know me might think I’ve had a bit too much eggnog (okay, we’re being honest, I hate eggnog—it would be whiskey) and I’m going to start throwing off four-letter words. And no, this article is not about New Year’s resolutions and how I should moderate my foul mouth (had too many failed resolutions to try yet again)! Instead, it’s about the year we’ve ALL been through. We are globally united in our past year in the sense that no human on Earth was spared from some level of concern or impact of COVID-19. Our lives changed. Regardless of how OCD routine of an individual you are, or how spontaneous and adventurous you are, you had to change. Dramatically. Not a person who likes change (some claim to—they only like good, convenient change), or is afraid of change had a choice—we all changed. For me, there were a LOT of lessons learned. Many good—like I should spend more time creating memories with my family while I can because the more time I spent with them, the more I discovered my “best self,” and it was surprising to me. I learned even more that I have an amazing team of dedicated, talented people who have determined spirits to serve this industry and, sometimes the result is far better when I just shut up and let them do what they think is best. I was reminded even more than normal that all of our time is limited and we should take a daily accounting of how we spend it. There were a few bad lessons along the way, too. I don’t wash my hands enough, I touch my face too often, and in trying to change that, I haven’t had even a sniffle in over a year. I learned that I have to have far more discretion about what I take as “news” and how I allow it to influence my mood and actions. I also learned as my 4-year-old son developed a fever and a sore throat that the confidence in your plan of action can crumble quicker than a house of cards as your mind races to every worst case scenario imaginable (it was just some odd 24-hour bug). But, what I learned more than anything is something that I’ve always enjoyed and prided myself at being good at—being able to IMPROVISE. It is truly my favorite word because it is counter to most people’s nature. Yes, I’ll admit it—I used to be a “planner.” Oh, I’d plan EVERYTHING! I wish I still had some of my five-, or even 10-year plans! I heard a keynote speaker once proclaim that “business plans aren’t worth the paper they’re written on because they’re obsolete by the time they came out of the printer!” Yes! I believed I found my spirit animal that day! Improvising doesn’t mean simply allowing yourself to

be blown by any given breeze. But think about it—EVERY business plan that was completed (late) in January was obsolete by February 15 and now would look outright ridiculous! Vacation plans? Marriage plans? Retirement plans? Investment plans? I would argue ANY plan written as late as January is laughable, unless you just got lucky (luck isn’t a plan a wise old friend used to tell me). So along with all of you, we improvised this past year. We navigated a global pandemic, record unemployment, a shutdown, civil unrest, and a contentious election. We remained nimble, humble, thankful and focused on who we serve, and each other. We took time to reach out more often, and had far more quality conversations about the things that mattered without looking at the clock. We took a bit more time for family, and ourselves, under the guise of “being safe.” We were creative in making memories, rather than using the credit card to create good social media picture backdrops from exotic locales. We didn’t set sales records. Many plans were derailed, if not destroyed. And especially as I write this, the pandemic is far from over. But, we have realized that being able to improvise in our lives has brought out more than just our survival instinct, it has brought out our focus on what’s most important, and our creativity to experience things that will truly be memorable. It has cleared away the clutter and helped us to focus on what’s most valuable—personally and professionally. As we start this new year, I am certain that many of us will have a single word in our annual plan: IMPROVISE. Or maybe adapt. Or maybe overcome. Regardless, I hope everyone has done more to live in the moment over the holidays and starts this new year with hope and gratitude. For me and my team, we are thankful for this industry, and grateful for the privilege to serve you. Happy New Year!

Patrick S. Adams Publisher/President



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January 2021

FEATURE Story By Ben Drury

WITH WARM LIGHTING, a covered area finished with bright white Kleer trim and column wraps, and plenty of space for social distancing, this outdoor space is perfect for weathering stay-at-home orders.

Exterior product trends for 2021

How is COVID-19 shifting preferences? hen the COVID-19 pandemic first took hold last spring, many builders, dealers, and manufacturers faced enormous uncertainties about whether they would be able to work and whether it would grind housing construction to a halt. But rather than devastate the industry, the pandemic had nearly the opposite effect, fueling home improvement projects as well as new- and existing-home purchases as homeowners sought out more space or more property. Here’s a look at some of the exterior product considerations tied to the pandemic—as well as some trends that remain on top.


Stay-at-Home Additions

• Easy upgrades: The downtime during the pandemic has seen many homeowners tackling their to-do lists. Simple updates to the exterior, such as replacing aging siding, add-


n The Merchant Magazine n January 2021

ing gable vents or decorative mounting blocks, or installing decorative trim, can go a long way to improving curb appeal while still remaining affordable and in reach of DIYers. • Outdoor living elevated: Outdoor living has been trending for years, so much so that it’s hardly worth the label, but the need for great exterior space is stronger than ever with the pandemic. For homeowners stuck in the house, the outdoors have become a much-needed place of respite. Making outdoor living areas even more inviting—with everything from integrated seating to warm lighting to a flashier grill—has become even more desirable. Along with the deck and patio surfaces, your customers should consider how the surrounding façade looks, adding trim and other accents to make the space feel more refined and complete. Awnings and overhead coverings, as well as fire pits and outdoor heaters, also are helping to extend the usability of

those outdoor spaces during colder temperatures. • Elevate the workspace: Exterior siding products make a perfect decorative element on the interior. With more workers logging in remotely, creating home offices that are welcoming and well-designed is top of mind. Shiplap siding or panelized stone siding is an easy way to add an accent wall to elevate a guest bedroom into a cozy home office. • Window options and placement: More time at home means even more need for better indoor air quality and comfort. For windows, this means paying attention to placement to maximize both daylighting and cross-ventilation. Sound control options also should be considered to minimize disruptions during the work day.

Enduring Design Trends

The pandemic hasn’t held back some of the ongoing design trends—in fact, as homeowners look to make their homes their sanctuary, optimizing aesthetics is just as important as preserving practicality. • Authenticity: Authentic siding and trim profiles offer the nostalgia of tradition and the comfort of the tried-and-

BOARD-AND-BATTEN looks, such as this façade created with TruExterior poly-ash trim, are trending for home exteriors.

A SHIPLAP WALL made with TruExterior poly-ash siding dresses up this office space.

true, fueling a greater sense of normalcy in a world that is anything but. • Multi-textured facades: Multi-textured facades continue to be in demand over more one-note exteriors. Blending multiple cladding types, such as a stone siding half wall with vinyl or poly-ash siding above, and incorporating shingles or vertical accents on gables and bump-outs helps distinguish homes along the streetscape and adds warmth and curb appeal. • Vertical and board-and-batten siding: Vertical and board-and-batten siding are ideal ways to add dimension and visual interest to the home exterior, particularly as homeowners clamor for multi-textured façades and Modern Farmhouse looks. Vertical applications also can help spice up accent areas, such as gables. Even after the restrictions of COVID-19 fade into memory, the idea of the home as a place of escape and sanctuary is likely to remain for some time. Simple touches can add physical and aesthetic comfort to secure the feeling of home. – Ben Drury is brand manager for Boral Building Products, manufacturer of exterior building materials with 11 product brands including Foundry Siding, Kleer Lumber, TruExterior Siding & Trim, and Versetta Stone siding. For more information, visit www.

January 2021


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INDUSTRY Trends By Deb Lechner & Jim Horn

Bonus builds shed light on home project trends or the residential building sector, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the old adage that a homeowner’s work is never done. People across the country have spent extra time at home tending to projects they have been putting off for weeks, months and maybe even years. For some homeowners, the pandemic has led them to think about projects beyond the four walls of their home. Whether you call them bonus


builds, accessory dwelling units, she sheds, or casitas, these extra-on property spaces have been growing in popularity for the past few years. In fact, according to a recent study by mortgage loan company Freddie Mac, there are over 1.4 million spaces of this nature across the country. As people spend more time at home with their entire family, the thought of having an additional space on their property is even more appealing.

With a growing interest in bonus builds, building material retailers have an opportunity to not only provide their expert insights, but also showcase a wide range of product offerings. To begin, ensure your customers have done their homework in terms of homeowner association or local and state regulations before diving into this type of project. Once that is confirmed, it is time to talk products. What is needed for a bonus build will vary according to the purpose it is serving, i.e., a guest house vs. a home office, but there are a few items that will be standard throughout.


Unless the homeowner wants their space to be completely void of sunlight, windows will be a key component of the project. What is great about bonus builds is that they are an opportunity for people to think about new types of products, beyond what is currently being used in their primary living spaces. This is a chance for homeowners to think about more energy efficient windows and even windows in different colors, shapes, styles and grill patterns, so consider the full range of window products at your retail location. Some homeowners may even prefer a more trendy or customized look for their windows, with different colors on the interior and exterior.

Doors DUE TO COVID-19, homes are now serving as space for remote work, virtual school, fitness, hobbies, entertainment and more. Some homeowners are adding additional, detached bonus build structures to their property to meet their needs. (Photos by Cornerstone Building Brands)


n The Merchant Magazine n January 2021

Homeowners need a way to get into their bonus builds, but do they want to go the traditional front door route, or might they consider a patio door for

ON THIS COASTAL Virginia property, the primary residence features a shingled roof and white exterior windows, but the bonus build, designed to complement the home, is modernized with a metal roof and black Mira windows.

their new space? Sliding, swinging, pocket or French patio doors can open a world of possibilities for a bonus build and complement any design style. Beyond aesthetics, how does the homeowner need the door to perform? Do they want the look of a traditional wood door minus the maintenance? Aluminum-clad wood or wood composite doors will do the trick. Superior energy efficiency can be achieved with vinyl doors, while aluminum doors offer strength and a narrow frame for more natural light. Additionally, with hand hygiene top of mind today, another area to consider for doors is remote control functionality and keyless door locks.


When it comes to the exterior of the bonus build, does the homeowner want this space to be an extension of their home with similar coloring and aesthetics or do they want to pursue an alternate style? Do they have any specific requirements for the space? For example, some homeowners may require soundproofing to keep out as much noise as possible, and for those customers you will want to share information about siding (and window) products that have been designed to reduce the transfer of outdoor noise. Additionally, consider the location of the home. Bonus builds in hurricane prone areas or extreme temperatures, for example, will require more from their siding products and windows, so homeowners will benefit from learning the features and benefits of those specialty products relative to other offerings on the market.

PLY GEM MaxView multi-slide patio doors can bring outdoor spaces in with a touch of a button. A motorized automation option is available with a wall mounted touch pad and remote control.

These are just a few of the topics to consider as customers approach you for help with a bonus build project. As with other home design projects, the important thing to keep in mind will be what the homeowner wants from their new space. From there, the opportunities are endless. – Deb Lechner is vice president of marketing for Ply Gem Siding and Jim Horn is director of channel marketing for U.S. windows at parent Cornerstone Building Brands. For more information, visit January 2021


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MARGIN Builders By David Koenig

Visualizer tools help dealers close siding sales UstoMers no longer have to be encouraged to “just imagine how great” new siding and trim will look. Color visualizers let them see for themselves. Interactive exterior house color visualizers let individuals experiment with different siding and trim options with the click of a button. The tools generate a near lifelike image of the unique selections—often placed right on a picture of the actual home—creating a virtual depiction of the finished project before a single product is purchased or installed. Visualizers provide much more than basic color comparisons—trim sizes, shingle shapes, surface textures, and more, can all be individually colored.


Get the Most Out of Visualizers Allura offers advice on maximizing the value of home exterior visualization tools:

1. Experiment with color combos.

Already set on a two-tone color palette? Think again! This is your chance to play with different color combinations and explore the options. Consider a three-tone composition, or try an alternative color for the soffit and eaves.

2. Try something unexpected.

Have you considered vertical siding panels? What about a traditional lap instead of smooth? Apply an option you have never considered before, just for the sake of experimentation.

3. Experiment with surface texture.

Changing the surface texture can be an exciting way to switch up a home’s exterior and achieve an altogether new look. For example, swapping a traditional lap for a stucco paneling might be the refreshment that your home needs.

4. Customize the visual options.

A color visualizer provides a wide variety of different home styles to play with, and sometimes have an advanced upload option that can bring your ideas to life with more precision.


n The Merchant Magazine n January 2021

Often, what we imagine is slightly different than the final result. By taking out the guesswork, the exterior visualizer can save homeowners an incredible amount of time, money and worry. They will know precisely what the home will look like before it is complete. This also gives homeowners the freedom to experiment with their ideas without a lot of risks. They may find that their fourth or even fifth idea turns out as the clear winner during the design process—without the expense of physically installing the first, second, and third attempts. For dealers, visualizers remove one of the biggest impediments to closing a big sale: customer uncertainty. Tando recently rolled out My Tando Home Creator. The free online tool has been invaluable to Castle Masstown Hardware in Nova Scotia. “With My Tando Home Creator, we can help contractors narrow down product selection and close the sale with homeowners with minimal physical contact,” explained store manager Nick Redden. “And, we can assist customers with seeing what they’ve dreamed up as far as colors, textures, and mixed materials. It lets customers get a picture of what they can’t see in their mind’s eye—such as how the Tando products will look when installed.” The most obvious benefit of using a visualizer is seeing how different colors will interact with surrounding elements. Choosing an exterior house color is much more complicated than picking out a pretty hue. Siding colors should coordinate with other parts of the home’s exterior, like the soffit, roofing, door, and shutters. Still, it should also fit with the rest of the home’s surrounding setting, like the driveway color, architectural design, and landscaping. Finally, in the age of COVID, online tools are a safe substitute for in-person consultations—a primary driver behind Renoworks Software being asked to help create James Hardie’s new Remote Measurement & Visualization Tool. According to Renoworks’ Doug Vickerson, “Whether the challenge is social-distancing or increasing demand for convenient, fully-digital experiences to book remodeling projects, the visualization tool will serve contractors well, now and into the future.”

January 2021


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PRODUCT Spotlight

EUREKA MDF is ideal for interior, commercial and residential applications, including moulding, millwork, cabinetry and furniture.

CalPlant launches world’s first rice straw-based MDF alPlant, a Northern California-based company focused on manufacturing sustainably-sourced building products, has begun production of the world’s first no-added-formaldehyde, rice straw-based medium density fiberboard, Eureka MDF. Eureka is manufactured using post-harvest rice straw, an agricultural waste product, and is engineered to match the performance of traditional wood-based MDF in machinability, paintability and strength. Annually renewable rice straw provides a consistent and abundant pipeline of raw material, and because CalPlant has been constructed in proximity to the straw, all fiber for Eureka MDF will be procured from Sacramento Valley rice growers within an average 25-mile radius of the plant, significantly reducing transportation impacts. And the annual reclamation of 20% of the available straw will significantly reduce levels of water that would have been diverted from regional waterways to flood rice fields after harvest. Fewer flooded fields also mean lower methane emissions resulting from the straw’s decomposition over the winter. At full capacity, the 276-acre operation will produce more than 150 million sq. ft. annually (3/4” basis) and use 280,000 tons of rice straw. The plant in Willows, Ca., started production in November, with Eureka MDF becoming commercially available this year. The product meets the performance of traditional wood MDF with excellent machinability, paintability, and consistency. Its annually renewable fiber source ensures a steady, homogenous supply of MDF. “This is a defining moment for the CalPlant family and



n The Merchant Magazine n January 2021

the industry as a whole. Decades of work have brought us to this day as we launch Eureka,” said Jerry Uhland, CalPlant founder and CEO. “When the Boyd family and I first set out to find a solution, we never could have imagined it would end in creating the world’s first-ever rice straw-based MDF, and in turn a more sustainable future for our planet.” Employing a ContiRoll Generation 9 Siempelkamp continuous press, which is 10 ft. wide and 117 ft. long, CalPlant will be staffed by 140 full-time employees with as many as 500 part-time jobs created during the annual straw-collection period. The mill will be able to produce MDF thicknesses of 2.0 mm to 32 mm (0.080” to 1.25″). The state-of-the-art press is currently the only one of its caliber in the U.S. Eureka MDF represents rice straw’s transformation from a wasted natural byproduct into something of utility, and by using a formaldehyde-free resin system to produce it, Eureka panels don’t negatively impact indoor air. And the plant’s use of rice straw vs. wood fiber reduces overall plant emissions, with comparably sized, wood-based MDF plants producing as much as 20 times more VOCs. Eureka MDF is an interior, commercial and residential building material used in cabinetry, furniture, moulding and millwork applications. “Eureka is a game changer. We are able to offer our customers a product that helps them win in the marketplace and improve our environment at the same time,” said Geri Freeman, VP of sales, marketing & logistics. “Our customers have fueled us along this journey and we can’t wait to see the product in their hands.”


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COMPETITIVE Intelligence By Carla Waldemar

Renovation a Boone

oone Kenton Lumber & Building Supply Co., of Erlander—in business for 101 years—is the oldest enterprise in the Kentucky town and the third-oldest lumberyard in the entire state. That, and a couple of bucks, will get you a cup of coffee at the local diner. Good for braggin’ rights. But does it make Erlander’s 75,000 citizens brake for the driveway on their way to Menards, Lowe’s and Home Depot, all just five miles down the road? This might, though: Boone Kenton’s revenue jumped from $1.7 million in 2018—the year 40-year-old Gene Works took over ownership from his dad, Herb—to $2.5 million today. Clearly, they’re still doing something right. Part of the credit goes to that realtors’ mantra, locationlocation-location. The town, it seems, had the good sense to build the airport that serves everyone flying into nearby Lexington, Ky.; Dayton, Oh.; and Cincinnati—all of which receive Boone Kenton deliveries on a daily basis. Erlanger itself arose around the lumberyard. Herb Works bought it, with a partner, for its prime site smack at the end of the railroad line from Cincinnati. His son Gene recognizes the wisdom in staking his bet on the town’s future: “Kentucky is growing at an unbelievable rate,” he attests, “and our town is filled with lots of old, Victorian houses, now being converted into four-family apartments. “Remodeling work, like that, is our bread and butter. We do lots of renovations, using our custom millwork



n The Merchant Magazine n January 2021

operation and extensive line of rare hardwoods. We’ve made a name for ourselves on the premier hardwoods and our promise to keep them in stock.” Plus, he adds, Churchill Downs racetrack has nearby expansion plans on its radar the moment the economy allows. All of which are armor against the likes of Depot. “We never (never!) carry any brands the big boxes have. Ours will be better, cost a little more, whether it’s 2x4s or decking or our railings, which accounts for close to 15% of our sales. We buy them by the container load. Plus our service is tops: If we get them in once, they’ll be back,” Gene guarantees. “The way our store works,” he continues, “is that I, my wife Crystal, and my manager Paul focus on our (8,000sq. ft.) showroom; we keep everything in stock and do it all ourselves. Our hires are mostly in the yard, where the qualifications for working here are: pass the drug test and present a truck driving license. It’s a bonus if they’re good with a forklift or have worked around lumber in the past— even better if they’re familiar with the different types of wood. Also,” Gene notes, “my brother works three hours daily, starting at 7 a.m. You couldn’t catch me out here that early,” he laughs, “so I delegate that to him!” Crystal is responsible for the books and for interior inventory as well as the new computer system installed last year (replacing the antique model from 1988). “She trained herself, then the rest of us, and it revitalized our bottom line. Minimized our waste. The biggest thing was, orders no longer come up by job number, so we can now retrieve them five years down the road if need be. It really helps to get the books squared away, especially on inventory. In the lumber business, you can get caught short real quick, and there’s a lumber shortage right now.” But no longer any surprises, thanks to the technology update. “When I came aboard, I noticed in Accounts Receivable, we were carrying some bad debt. Because credit had been available, things had gotten a bit sloppy. We needed to get rid of our antiquated ways because custom orders cannot be returned; now, if you order a door, you pay for it upfront. “Our number-one challenge is competing with the boxes, which have more buying power.” To counteract that, “I massage my relationships with our vendors, who are now entering a new, younger generation. I specialize in hardwood. Specialty cuts. Without those specialty items, such as cuts for a coffin company (1,800 cuts of OSB), we could be out of business. Those contracts can help us get through the slow time in winter, plus give us solid numbers to look for, coming up. “That was my number-one change. Number two? To service our existing customers and keep them coming back.

RECENT REMODEL brought more and improved displays, including a fully built in-store deck and endcaps for new additions like SPAX screws.

I started attending meetings of the Kentucky Building Materials Association, the Rotary, Kiwanis: If you’re out there, making friends, they’ll remember you,” Gene finds. Before returning to Kentucky—which he swore he’d never do—Gene had worked in New York, Chicago and elsewhere—bartending and whatnot—including a stint at Carter Lumber in South Carolina. “The manager there taught me, in approaching a potential builder client, to learn what he needs. If he has an alliance with another dealer, someday there’ll be an item that yard can’t supply. Bid for it, deliver it, and service it, and you’ll get his business. If it’s promised by a certain date, stand by it. (We’re only as strong as our vendors make us,” Gene adds as a heads-up caution.) “When you hear, ‘It used to take two weeks at x, but you got it for me in two days,’ well, that’s how you grow your bottom line. It may not be a big product, but if you sell more of it, that’s profit in the future.” Yet, there remained a bigger hurdle to doing more business, and at last Gene faced that elephant in the showroom: The property itself, which had undergone two fires, had not been remodeled in almost 40 years. Eight months ago, Gene and Crystal decided it was high time, after a woman tripped over a loose floor tile in an aisle. “Right away, we started stripping that tile like mad, working till 4 a.m.—which led to more than we were prepared for: bad underpinnings beneath the showroom floor. “We rented a machine and ground the concrete down to stone, doing a patch at a time, moving the fixtures back and forth and keeping the dust out. It took two months, and we stayed open for business the entire time. We did it all ourselves. “Crystal found some Rustoleum garage floor paint and did the whole floor (‘Stay outta my way!’) herself; she paints far better than I do. A Kmart down the road went out of business, so we bought their gondolas, which Crystal painted black and hauled on over. “Also, we installed more lighting and created a new display area in the front of the store in former dead space. We opened a walled-off area that had not been used in 30 years. We painted it and use it like Costco does—a place for discounted over-stocks and pallets, maybe windows and doors.

“The best thing about the project is, we built a deck inside. Every five boards it changes color. We put a rail around it, sided it, and attached a Masonite door; through that door are our kitchen cabinets. At the end of the whole renovation project, I will say this: It was such an endeavor! We did it all ourselves, and we are NOT professionals.” Customers became cheerleaders, monitoring the daily progress as they shopped (“Gonna ever finish?” “Looking great!”) Now, they love the open spaces and increased light. It’s also far easier to clean, which “the ladies appreciate.” It’s brought in scores of new customers as well. As Gene reports, “My dad said to me the other day, ‘Look around! For the first time in 60 years, people are shopping, not just in-and-out. They’re browsing the aisles.” Plus, people here like to shop small, shop local. Our staff knows them by name; they greet each other with a COVID-style elbow bump.” The renovation also won the company an award as the Best Lumberyard in Northern Kentucky by the prestigious Cincinnati Inquirer newspaper poll. Never mind that Boone Kenton prices are a bit higher than those at the competitors’ boxes. “We handle good quality, and people know it, and that protects me. The other day, a man told me he’d picked up some exotic plywood at Menards because it was $10 cheaper. ‘I sanded the stuff and it all came apart,’ he told me. ‘It was too cheap.’”) Bucking the trend in many a yard across the country, Boone Kenton’s walk-in customers outnumber the ranks of pros. (The company does keep a roster of reliable contractors to recommend to these homeowners, upon request. And, of course, those pros know where to shop.) “We keep composite decking in stock, buying it by the truckload for a better price, and it gets people in here. Then,” Gene laughs, “they end up buying a nicer grade. We’re able to upsell, especially if their wives are along. Plus Crystal knows so many people because she came from the hospitality industry, so that’s brought us a whole new customer base.” Railing is unique niche that’s grown to account for close to 15% of sales. “I sell three types—two aluminum and one iron,” Gene notes. “My philosophy is, find a niche and then make money on it.” Gene’s marketing efforts, he explains, are “all digital. And it works! For example, we advertised on Digital Dashboard for a small product we’d never sold before: an oscillating blade. When I checked the shelves to see how it was doing, all I found was an empty box. It sold out before it even hit the shelves! Marketing like this can turn us into a 24/7 business, which I’d like to happen down the road. We might have to hire a second shift, to ship across the country.” Sounds like Gene, 40, is hooked for life. But you couldn’t have told him that at 18. “I went to college to get away from the business. After many jobs in many cities, I ended up at Carter Lumber. But soon, I thought, ‘This is crazy, working for someone else’s lumberyard.’ Then Dad called to say he was selling the business.” You know how the story ends…. Carla Waldemar January 2021


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OLSEN on Sales By James Olsen

Selling our opinion ne oF the things that makes selling in the lumber market more interesting than just selling a product, is that the market moves, sometimes dramatically. This movement creates hazards to be avoided and opportunities to be taken advantage of for those with enough moxie and risk tolerance to do so. Because sellers have so much pressure to perform, many lose sight of the long-term goal of creating a partnership relationship with clients we can count on and who count on us. Most sellers: • Present product and wait for the customer to buy. • Don’t ask for the order. • Don’t overcome objections. • Don’t tell the customer why the product is a good deal for the customer. • Don’t ask questions about the customer or customer’s business! • Don’t give market information or advice that will help the customer. All of these don’ts send a crystal-clear message: “I don’t care about you or your business. I’m just here for the order.”


Sell Our Opinion

Part of bringing value to our customer is giving them our opinion on the market direction. We can hustle and be a shopping service for our customers; there is value in that. But in most cases, we will be able to save them some money with hustle, but we can save and make them a lot of money by helping them navigate the market. Most sellers are so afraid of being pushy that they don’t ask for the order at all. These same sellers are also so afraid of being wrong that they will never give their opinion of the markets and strategies to navigate them.

Develop Our Opinion

We develop our market opinion by: • Asking our customers lots of questions about their sales, their inventory turns, what they are paying out of distribution, what are they being offered. • Doing the same with our suppliers. • Listening to the best sellers in our office. • Reading. There’s a mountain of detailed information about the lumber market online—get curious and read.

Delivering Our Opinion

Write out bullet points of the reasons we think the market is going to continue to be strong: • Interest rates at all-time low. Great time to borrow and build.


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• Housing starts at 1.545 million. Ten-year high. • Stock market at all-time high. Even with COVID-19, smart money is betting on the future. • Holiday and COVID-19 production shut-downs. • Trucks are tight. • Imports are tight. • Inventories nationwide in all sectors of the lumber industry—mills, office wholesalers, distributors, retailers and manufacturers—are low and all segments are busy. Then we write it out and practice it until it sounds natural. Then we deliver it. Us (after the greeting and small talk): “Sara, I’ve got two great deals for you, but before we get into those, let’s talk about the next six weeks. I know it’s winter and all and normally there would be a buying opportunity somewhere between now and March 1, but let me tell you why just the opposite is going to happen. Housing starts are driving this market. We are at 1.545 million housing starts which is the highest it’s been in 10 years. Interest rates are so low the money’s almost free, so it’s a great time to borrow and build and that is happening in single and multi-family. Home Depot’s sales are up 7% over 2019 and they had a fantastic 2019. Have you gone to a Lowe’s or Home Depot on the weekend? You’d think the Rolling Stones were playing it’s so crowded. We are going to have holiday shutdowns and possible shutdowns because of the virus. But even without those shutdowns inventories are low in all segments of our industry. My advice is that we look at whatever we’re going to need before March 15, and we buy it now.”

What If We’re Wrong?

Most of the lumber sellers I know who sell their opinion are wrong about 13% of the time. That means they are right 87% of the time, which brings huge value to their clients. Their customers appreciate and will pay for this expertise. In addition, and almost more importantly, it sets them apart from the crowd. They are an expert that uses their expertise to help their customers make important decisions.

James Olsen Reality Sales Training (503) 544-3572

We do. Call it unconditional, all-encompassing, you name it. As a software developer committed solely to the lumber and building materials industry, DMSi has every corner of your operation covered. From inventory and sales to production and procurement, we make sure no corners are cut and no detail is left out. And that’s a promise we’ll hold true.


THE REVENUE Growth Habit By Alex Goldfayn

The power of gratitude in the selling profession how much success we have. Want to have a better year? Communicate with customers and prospects more. Pick up the phone. Tell people how you can help them. Nobody else has this kind of direct and immediate impact on their success except we who sell.

The Power of Gratitude

t has been a difficult and, at times, borderline impossible year. But for those of us who sell for a living, there is so much to be grateful for. Gratitude is the feeling of conscious appreciation for what we have (our customers), what we get to try acquire (prospects and new business), and even what we do not have (customers who have rejected us, or those who do not even know us yet). I believe being grateful for what we don’t have is more powerful than gratitude for what we do have. Let us be grateful for the customers who have told us no, because they’ve taught us that perseverance in sales is the most important thing. And a good number of those who reject us today become our customers tomorrow! Let us be grateful for the customers we do not yet have, because one day, we will get to help them also, and that’s a pretty wonderful thought. Let us give thanks that we have so many products and services to offer our customers and prospects, which they do not yet buy. There is so much value left to provide! Let’s give thanks for the amazing ways we get to help people. How lucky are we to be spreading this kind of good in the world?! Let’s be grateful for our family—who are the reason for our work. We sell for them. We spend more time working than with our family, and still they support us. We go on the road, and still they support us. The point to all of this is to take care of them. Our family deserves all the good things that more money can buy. They deserve our hard work. They deserve our gratitude. Let us appreciate that we work in the only profession in which we are in direct control of our future. People who sell are the only ones who determine how well we do, or



n The Merchant Magazine n January 2021

In his wonderful book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor writes that “Few things in life are as integral to our well-being [as gratitude]. Countless studies have shown that consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed, anxious, or lonely. And it’s not that people are only grateful because they are happier, either; gratitude has proven to be a significant cause of positive outcomes.” How powerful is that?! He is saying gratitude causes success. Pause here for a moment to internalize this wildly important fact. Also, how do you think having more energy and being more emotionally intelligent and forgiving will affect your sales?! What do you think happens to our sales results when we are less depressed, anxious, or lonely? That is the immense power of gratitude.

Actively Seek Out Gratitude

I think one of the keys to selling more is to actively seek out areas to appreciate in our lives and work. Find gratitude, even when it may not be obvious. Defend your gratitude even when people and events seem to conspire to rip it away. You are in charge of your gratitude. And you are in charge of your success. Nobody does these things to you. You get to create it. Unlike most people, you get to create it, and enjoy it. And that is something to be very grateful about.

Alex Goldfayn Revenue Growth Consultancy (847) 459-6322

The Virtual Experience March 16-17, 2021

Learn more or register at

TRANSFORMING Teams By Paige McAllister

What to expect in HR in 2021 long with a new year, January 1, 2021, will bring many employers new regulations to follow. Affinity HR Group is tracking legislative updates in your state so we are ready to advise you on what it means for you and what to do next. Some changes include: • Employers in Colorado, Maine, and New York will be required to offer employees paid time off. California employers will need to expand the permissible reasons for using sick time. • Mississippi and South Dakota approved medical marijuana laws, so 36 states and Washington D.C. will now recognize some forms of medical marijuana. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota passed measures legalizing some form of recreational marijuana use, increasing this to 15 states and Washington, D.C. • Florida is expanding their e-verify requirements to include certain private employers, increasing the number of states mandating some or most private employers to use e-verify to 20. • Hawaii and Missouri will further restrict the consideration of an applicant’s or employee’s criminal history in employment decisions. • Iowa, Minnesota and Virginia will implement new classification requirements for independent contractors. Below is a compilation of some other significant legal changes being implemented in several states. California: • CFRA expanded to cover all businesses with five or more employees, removes the 75-mile radius criteria, and adds categories for qualifying reasons. • Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) expanded to include absences due to a family member’s military service. • Protected time off for crime victims expanded to include leave for any crime that caused physical injury or mental injury with threat of physical injury. • HR professionals who work for businesses with five or more employees which employee minors will be designated as mandated child abuse reporters. Colorado: • Mandates employers with 16 or more employees provide all employees with paid sick leave (accrued at one




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January 2021

hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked up to 48 hours per year) (applies to all employers as of January 1, 2022). • Mandates employers provide up to two weeks/80 hours of paid leave to supplement an employee’s available sick time during a public health emergency for use for covered reasons. • Equal Pay for Equal Work law: (a) prohibits wage discrimination based on sex and gender identity and (b) requires wage transparency by prohibiting employers from seeking salary history from applicants and preventing employees from discussing their wages and requiring all employers (including those located outside of Colorado) to include compensation and benefit information in postings for all jobs in Colorado. Connecticut: Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) payroll deductions (0.5%) begin with first quarterly payment for Paid Family and Medical Leave due March 31, 2021 (leave available as of January 1, 2022). Illinois: All employers must deliver sexual harassment prevention training to all employees no later than December 31, 2020, and each year thereafter. Maryland, Montgomery County: Employers must provide a minimum 30-hour work week for certain employees including janitors, building cleaners, security officers, concierges, doorpersons, handypersons, and building superintendents who perform janitorial services for office buildings 350,000 sq. ft. or larger.

Maine: Most employers must offer eligible employees up to 26 weeks of Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) for a qualifying reason (paid through 0.75% payroll deductions that went into effect October 1, 2019). Virginia: Handheld use of a cell phone or smartphone while driving is prohibited with few exceptions such as to report an emergency. Increased State Hourly Minimum Wage Rates as of Jan. 1, 2021: Certain cities and counties may have higher wage rates, including some in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Washington where minimum wage rates will increase in 2021. State

New Minimum Hourly Rate

New Hourly Tip Credit Rate

(as of January 1, 2021—unless otherwise noted)

Alaska Arizona Arkansas California

$10.34 $12.15 $11.00 $14.00

prohibited no change $8.37 prohibited




Colorado Connecticut

$12.32 $13.00

no change $6.62/$4.77

Florida Florida

$8.65 $10.00

no change no change

Illinois Maine Maryland

$11.00 $12.15 $11.75

$4.40 $6.07 $8.12




(employers with 26+ employees) (25 or fewer employees)

(Aug. 1, 2021)

(Sept. 30, 2021)

(15+ employees)

(14 or fewer employees)

Massachusetts $13.50 Michigan $9.87 Minnesota $10.08

$7.95 $6.12 prohibited




Missouri Montana Nevada

$10.30 $8.75 $9.75

$5.15 prohibited prohibited

(employers that gross $500,000 or more)

(employers that gross less than $500,000 and certain industries)

(no health benefits offered)

New York


New York


New York


New York


Ohio Oregon

$8.80 $12.75

$4.40 prohibited







South Dakota Vermont Virginia

$9.45 $11.75 $9.50

$4.725 $5.87 $7.37

(Nassau, Suffolk & Westchester counties, Dec. 31, 2020) (rest of state, Dec. 31, 2020) (non-NYC fast food, Dec. 31, 2020) (non-NYC fast food, July 1, 2021)

(general, July 1, 2021)

(urban areas, July 1, 2021) (non-urban areas, July 1, 2021)

(May 1, 2021)

Washington $13.69 Washington, D.C. TBD

prohibited TBD

(July 1, 2021)

State Minimum Salary Threshold for Executive, Administrative & Professional Exemptions as of Jan. 1: While the FLSA salary threshold for exempt employees will remain at $684 per week, some states set a higher minimum salary threshold that must be met for white-collar (executive, administrative, and professional) employees to be classified exempt. State Minimum Weekly Salary

Minimum Annual Salary

Alaska California

$827.20 $1,120

$43,014.40 $58,240




Colorado Maine New York

$778.85 $700.97 $1,050

$40,500.20 $36,451 $54,600

(employers with 26+ employees) (25 or fewer employees)

(Nassau, Suffolk & Westchester counties)

New York (rest) $937.50 Pennsylvania $780

$48,750 $40,560







(Oct. 3, 2021)

(50 or fewer employees) (51+ employees)




New Jersey


no change

New Jersey


no change

New Jersey


New Jersey


As always, Affinity HR Group is here to help you navigate any regulatory changes that impact you and your business. We also offer two plans (HR Support and Regulatory Updates) to help you stay up-to-date on regulatory changes.

New Mexico



Paige McAllister, SPHR Affinity HR Group

(health benefits offered) (general)

(small or seasonal employers) (farm or piece rate)

(long-term care facility direct care staff)

January 2021 n

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Capital Completes Move in Sacramento

Capital has relocated to an extensively remodeled distribution location in Sacramento, Ca. The new location offers eight paved acres and 90,000 sq. ft. of a combination of warehouse and office space. A rail spur, nine gradelevel doors, two dock high doors, and excellent access to Interstate 80 provide improved inbound and outbound freight services. The new location allows Capital to expand its service model with products that supply the retail segment with the level of customization and responsiveness that they have been accustomed to receiving from Capital. Founded in 1948, Capital operates eight regional DCs in the West that offer sales, market development, inventory management, and distribution services to the LBM industry.

Westlake Ace Readies #12

Westlake Ace Hardware will open Ace Hardware of Livermore in early April in the former Orchard Supply Hardware location in Livermore, Ca. Remodeling begins early this month. In addition to standard hardware fare, the new 31,961-sq. ft. branch will feature several “store-in-a-store” concepts and departments, including The Garden Center, Backyard BBQ, Outdoor Power Equipment, Tool Shop, Paint Studio, Westlake Pet Supply, and Kitchen Essentials. Since 2019, Westlake Ace has opened 11 stores in California formerly

occupied by OSH—Chico, Fresno, La Crescenta, Mountain View, Pinole, South Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, Turlock, Van Nuys, West Los Angeles, and Woodland.

HDI Buys Aura Hardwoods

Hardwoods Distribution Inc. has, through its subsidiary Hardwoods Specialty Products US LP, purchased substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Northern California distributor Aura Hardwoods for $12.7 million. Aura is a wholesale architectural building products distributor with estimated annual sales of $53 million, operating six locations in Modesto, Rancho Cordova, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Fresno and Santa Cruz. Aura will operate under the Hardwoods brand name going forward. “California represents a significant market opportunity for us and we are excited by the addition of Aura to our operations in this state,” said HDI president and CEO Rob Brown. “Together with the acquisition of Far West Plywood in 2019 and Diamond Hardwoods earlier this year, we have grown our location count in the California market from three to 12 distribution sites, giving us comprehensive coverage in this attractive growth market.” Overall, HDI operates 71 distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada, making it North America’s largest distributor of architectural grade building products to the residential and commercial construction markets.

Rough TiMbeRs uTiliTy Poles

Borates CA-C

Above + Ground Contact

PRessuRe TReaTed luMbeR FiRe ReTaRdanT TReaTed luMbeR and PlyWood

Call the experts: • Robert Moore • Jim Winward

UTAH WOOD PRESERVING CO. 1959 SOUTH 1100 WEST WOODS CROSS, UTAH PHONE - WOODS CROSS: (801) 295-9449 FAX (801) 295-9440 PHONE - SALT LAKE (801) 262-6428 FAX (801) 748-0037



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January 2021

NEWS Briefs Ganahl Lumber , after nearly four years of negotiations, received city council approval to purchase 17 acres in San Juan Capistrano, Ca., where it plans to relocate its Capistrano Beach hardware store/ lumberyard. Crown Ace Hardware , Corona del Mar, Ca., unveiled a storewithin-a-store, Corona del Mar Pet Supply. International Wood Products, Clackamas, Wa., is distributing Thermory modified wood

products in the Pacific Northwest, Intermountain region, Alaska and Hawaii.

Dealers Choice , Spokane Valley, Wa., is now distributing Avon Plastics’ Armadillo Lifestyles and Essentials composite deck lines and TurboClip universal hidden deck fasteners in the Pacific Northwest. Fortune Brands Home & Security completed the acquisition of Larson Manufacturing , Brookings, S.D., incorporating it into its Outdoors & Security segment.

Flexpak , Woods Cross, Ut., is now making more recyclable lumber bags. A new patented design makes the woven bags more recyclable for the end-user. Deceuninck North America’s Revolution XL Picture

Window achieved the North American Fenestration Standard/Specification’s AW100 rating—the most stringent requirements established for the AW Performance Class commonly used in high-rise and mid-rise buildings.

Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity has broken ground on a second ReStore discount LBM outlet in Colorado Springs, Co.

LP Building Solutions

was presented BMC’s Commodity Product Group Award for OSB Supplier of the Year.

AZEK Co. was presented the Vinyl Sustainability Council’s 2020 Vinyl Recycling Award.

Seneca Pays Off PPP Loan

Due to the lumber market recovery, Eugene, Or.-based Seneca was able to pay off its PPP loan with interest instead of applying for forgiveness. When Seneca applied for a PPP loan in April, lumber prices were low, demand was the lowest it had been in decades, and the drastic market disruption created by the coronavirus had resulted in rolling closures in their facilities. The qualification for the loan gave Seneca an influx of cash that allowed them to bridge the difficult time. The company used the funds to reestablish and maintain full employment during that time of uncertainty. Ensuing months saw lumber market improvement. The rise in the demand for lumber was first led by homeowners who were spending more time at home and repairing or remodeling their existing homes, then it was led by homebuilders due to pent-up demand for housing starts that had been paused during the first few months of the pandemic. The strong lumber market helped Seneca get back to business as usual. “We want to thank the SBA for the support and opportunity to help keep our employees employed during that time of uncertainty,” said CEO Todd Payne. The SBA has given over 5 million PPP loans to date in a landmark lending initiative to reduce the historic loss of jobs in the U.S. economy due to COVID-19. Most recipients will apply for and receive loan forgiveness. Since Seneca used the PPP funds for the purpose intended, they trusted that if they applied for loan forgiveness, they would receive it as well. “One of our core values is to do the right thing, so we had to consider the situation and decide what the right thing to do was,” said Payne. Many factors went into that consideration. The wood products industry in Oregon continues to face challenges including the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the effects of historic megafires that will be felt for decades to come, and the threat of additional taxes in the upcoming legislative session. The industry is also experiencing lumber markets that have been favorable in the second half of this year, and Seneca currently has sufficient resources outside of PPP loan funds to maintain full employment and thrive. Ultimately, they decided that the right thing to do was to pay back the loan.

January 2021

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THINKING Ahead By Tom Le Vere

A positive 2021 outlook t the end of 2020, I had the privilege of moderating a virtual panel discussion with industry-leading executives for NAWLA Exchange, and hearing their lessons learned during the many disruptions of 2020. While many of us, myself included, have a playbook for downturns and other challenges, last year presented new conditions that none of us had previously experienced. These new operating “curve balls” required us to adjust and innovate in new ways. The panel also shared their thoughts on what lies ahead for our industry for 2021. Our panelists included Don Kayne, CEO, Canfor Corp. and Canfor Pulp; Craig Johnston, president and CEO, Forest City Trading Group; Grady Mulbery, president and CEO, Roseburg; Jim Enright, CEO, Pacific Woodtech; and Matthew J. Missad, CEO, UFP Industries. There was great consistency in the panelists’ thoughts on how COVID changed the way they served their customers and maintained continuity in their operations. The top priority was employee safety, especially in the early days of the pandemic, when much was still unknown and the responses from state and local authorities were inconsistent. All employees who could work remotely were doing so by early March, and those who were still in factories or other shared workspaces were following the appropriate protocols. This was made possible through a combination of foresight early in the year and investment in technology



platforms in the years prior. While strategic initiatives and investments were put on hold out of a desire to hold on to cash in 2020, companies reaped the benefits of those activities from prior years. COVID has certainly pointed out the need for our companies to stay current with technology, especially technology that links us closer with our employees, our vendors and our customers! Their second area of emphasis, which will continue to be a focus for these leaders in 2021, is delivering outstanding customer service. Because their businesses and differing roles in the supply chain, responses here were more diverse. Successful approaches included proactive efforts to ensure their businesses were deemed essential (which was ultimately the case in most U.S. states), adoption of new supply chain management technologies, increasing capacity to dispatching teams, and leveraging redundant production facilities or different products from other regions. They credit their teams for flexibility and creativity in serving customers

n The Merchant Magazine n January 2021

who could not get product. For both groups—employees and customers – the importance of communication was the key takeaway. Transparent, frequent and accurate communications were implemented by each of these organizations. Effective communications helped address areas of uncertainty and ensure the desired levels of service and safety were achieved. For those on our panel with staff members who thrive on interpersonal relationships and businesses driven by those one-on-one relationships, a fundamental shift in communications was necessitated by the pandemic. As the ability to go onsite to a customer and identify solutions through observing a customer’s operations ceased, new communication channels and processes were implemented to help identify and meet customer needs. While each of these measures were critical based on the circumstances that were encountered in 2020, the consensus is that they are temporary solutions, not “forever ones.” Our businesses thrive

A Special Series from North American Wholesale Lumber Association

About NAWLA North American Wholesale Lumber Association is the association that delivers unparalleled access to relationships and resources that improve business strategy and performance through sales growth, cost savings, and operational efficiencies for wholesalers and manufacturers of forest products and other building materials that conduct business in North America. Learn more about how NAWLA can help your business at

with someone physically answering the telephone, and when in-person interactions occur between customers and employees and between employee groups. We acknowledged that it will be difficult to completely eliminate remote work after this lengthy time that our employees have proven their ability to work remotely. Each of us has heard from employees who are finding great satisfaction with the remote work environment, but have equal numbers of team members who have expressed dissatisfaction with the current situation and an eagerness to return to an office environment. Even with the rapid transition to remote work in early 2020, many company leaders communicated the temporary nature of those changes and have continued to express that expectation, making this an issue that requires further consideration in 2021. In looking back at the year with the benefit of hindsight, these leaders were pleasantly surprised, as was I, that the forecasted recession didn’t materialize, and customer demand and company performance remained so strong throughout last year. They credit factors such as the government stimulus; a shift back to suburban, single-family homes from urban areas; surges in home improvements resulting from stay-at-home orders; low interest rates; and Millennials being in the position to buy their first homes for the positive outcomes they saw. Unfortunately most of those circumstances cannot be influenced by our companies. However, when looking ahead, we all believe that 2021 provides similar reasons for cautious optimism, with the potential for additional government stimulus, a safe and effective vaccine, sustained low interest rates, continued repair and remodeling as homeowners continue to spend more time in their homes, and the return of more people to work as the economy improves. All that being said, volatility is expected to accompany growth and accelerated demand this coming year as well. While some may be seeking ways to improve supply and/or production, even through government action, the sentiment is that there is not great opportunity to do so, especially after forest fires and beetle infestation issues plaguing the U.S. and Canada have impacted production and wood fiber availability, especially on the west coast of both countries.

It is anticipated that suppliers in North America will prioritize opportunities and untapped markets domestically at the expense of international exports to help address current shortages. An overall increased focus on portfolio management so that companies are ensuring they’re making the right products to meet current demand will continue well into 2021. This will be offset by greater challenges on the import side of the business making it more difficult and less cost-effective to bring products into the U.S. from abroad. Challenges in the areas of transportation and qualified labor shortages are also expected to persist and be made worse by the pandemic this year. Until schoolchildren can fully return to in-person learning and their parents return to the workforce, there is little that can be done to help mitigate those challenges. With a number of more severe crises averted and this more positive outlook for the year ahead, panelists indicated they would revisit strategic plans and corporate initiatives that had been placed on hold last year. A shared area of focus and investment will be improvements across the supply chain and the customer experience. Ensuring the tools are in place to give customers the service they deserve through software and logistics systems upgrades or better utilization of new systems were top of the list. By providing greater access to real-time information and analytics that increase efficiencies and reduce time and costs or allow customers to be better suppliers to the end market, these companies will demonstrate their reliability and commitment to their customers in new ways. I left our panel discussion with a renewed excitement about 2021, and the opportunities that will present themselves. As noted by our panelists, many of the factors that supported our success in 2020 are expected to remain in play this coming year. Personally, I am also hopeful about the recent advancements in COVID-19 vaccine development and government approvals, and eagerly await widespread distribution to help bring us greater safety and comfort across the globe. There is much to look forward to in 2021! In closing I’d like to thank each and every one of you, for your comradery and support over a very difficult and challenging period in our history. You are a testimonial to the vibrance and resilience of our industry. Thank you for your encouragement, your steadfast support and friendship. Here’s wishing each of you continued success in the New Year! – Tom Le Vere is president/shareholder of Weekes Forest Products, St. Paul, Mn., and 2020 NAWLA board chairman.

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Western lumber resources at your fingertips A TREASURE TROVE of informative WWPA publications is available to industry professionals to support the efficient and proper uses of western softwood lumber. These publications have long been a valuable resource for architects, engineers and builders that require technical support for their projects as well as retailers for their customers. WWPA provides over 60 publications covering multiple topics on western lumber including, grading, species, design values, span tables, patterns and storage, to name a few. The WWPA website’s Resource Library provides access to download and print this vast collection of western lumber product and technical information. Millions of visitors have downloaded hundreds of thousands of publications to assist them with their projects. The WWPA Resource Library has an intuitive filtering system

INTUITIVE filtering system allows Resource Library visitors to easily find exactly what they’re looking for.


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that allows site visitors to easily find their publication by topic, product or species. The library filtering system uses four major categories (Usage, Topic, Product and Species) with over 50 subcategories to choose from. Visitors can choose multiple categories at once to narrow down the subject matter so only publications of interest are displayed. The top 10 filtered content from the library are design values, dimensional lumber, structural lumber, douglas-fir, hem-fir, grade stamps, spans, appearance lumber, decking and machine stressrated lumber. Out of the many publications offered, the Western Lumber Span Tables and the Western Lumber Product Use Manual are the most accessed. About 33% of all visitors access the Span Tables book and 30% of all visitors access the Product Use Manual. Other popular Resource Library publications are the WWPA species books, Douglas Fir and Western Larch, Hem-Fir Species Facts, and Ponderosa Pine Species Facts. These books have been important tools for sellers that need support educating customers about specific lumber products. The species books describe resource considerations, harvesting, production, attributes, grades, recommended end-uses in structural, appearance, remanufacturing and industrial products. Each book comes with enhanced photographs of selected grades and applications. Latest additions to the library are a collection of redwood technical publications, including Redwood Lumber Grades and Uses, Architectural Guide, Deck Construction and Lumber Patterns, among others. The 2019 Standard Specifications for Grades of California Redwood Lumber is available to purchase from the Library as well (hard copy only). The 2019 edition includes Supplement No. 1 changes for Close Grain, Clear Heart Structural, Clear Structural and Supplement No. 2 changes for Wane. For those who need easy access from their phones or computers, Western Lumber Grading Rules is available on Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks. The ebook can be downloaded using Kindle’s phone or desktop app. The Resource Library provides easy links to both. Access to WWPA Resource Library at is available free with registration. Once through the registration process, visitors can download WWPA publications as PDFs.

WESTERN LUMBER shipments in 2020 surpassed the previous year’s robust levels, despite myriad challenges.

2020 in review

Western lumber output stays busy ing new housing construction and the expectation of increased production of mass timber in North America will continue to consume solid lumber products. Western lumber production looks to continue being busy in 2021. With safety in mind, WWPA decided to cancel the 2021 annual meeting. We look forward to seeing our members and industry friends in person at the 2022 WWPA annual meeting.

THE YEAR 2020 started with a strong U.S. economy with record low unemployment. Little did we realize what lie ahead.

COVID-19 & Western Wildfires In mid-March, the COVID-19 pandemic locked down the Nation except for the essential services which included building materials manufacturing (lumber, plywood, OSB, EWP). The industry was challenged and mills implemented protocols to keep employees safe from COVID-19. As well, the western wildfires added log supply uncertainty for some western lumber mills.

Respecting the forest, honoring the past, building the future. A nation’s pride you can build on.

High Demand, Higher Prices Western lumber output in 2020 stayed strong at levels similar to 2019. Low interest rates supported housing. Construction continued during the pandemic and home building was strong. With more people staying at home, DIY projects took off yielding strong demand for building materials. This created a situation of high demand for lumber and translated to higher lumber prices. We heard builders saying in October “lumber prices have doubled.”

Manufacturers of 6 million bd. ft. monthly of • 5/4 & 6/4 Ponderosa Pine Shop • 4/4 Premium Pine Board Programs State-of-the-Art Hewmill & Headrig Mill Contact Sheldon Howell

A Busy Year Mills learned to cope with COVID, took little downtime, and had a great year in 2020! As of early December, we see some seasonal slowdown in demand for building materials, yet housing continues strong, rising home prices, low interest rates, and a depleted inventory of homes for sale due to pent-up demand.

What Does 2021 Hold? We are all awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine and a return to a more normal times. A continuation of low interest rates

(509) 874-1163

Yakama Forest Products 3191 Wesley Rd., White Swan, WA 98952 Fax 509-874-1162

January 2021

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What you need to know about western lumber and design values HERE ARE THE BASICS to understanding western lumber species and their design values:

Principal Species Combinations For production and marketing purposes, the Western Wood Products Association groups the more than 20 commercial western softwood lumber species into six species combinations/ groups. These six principal species groups are Douglas Fir-Larch, Douglas Fir-South, Hem-Fir, Spruce-Pine-Fir (South), Western Cedars, and Western Woods for dimension lumber nominal 2� to 4� in thickness.



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In each group, the species are grown, harvested, manufactured and marketed together, and have similar performance properties which makes them interchangeable in use. Some of these species cannot be visually separated in lumber form. Since the composition of species in timber stands varies, there is no practical way to determine the species percentage that might be included in a particular shipment. Lumber marked with a species group in the grade stamp may be all of any one species or some mixture of any of the species in the species group. Where it is practical to separate one or more species of a species group and where such separation can be verified through quality control of third-party lumber agencies such as WWPA, they may be separately identified. When one or more species included in a species group is identified, the applicable design values are those published for the species group in which the species occurs. For example, the applicable design values for Douglas Fir are those published for the species group Douglas Fir-Larch.


Alternate Species Combinations Western lumber producers do use several alternate species combinations. The applicable design values for these alternate species combinations are tabulated on the previous page.

U.S. and Canadian Combinations WWPA allows mills to co-mingle logs of species originating from the U.S. and Canada during production and provide necessary structural information for the resulting lumber products of the combined species groups. Lumber produced from a mix of U.S. and Canadian logs must carry a grade stamp showing both species group designations. The most common combinations are Douglas Fir-Larch, HemFir and Spruce-Pine-Fir. The applicable design values for U.S. and Canadian species group combinations are the lower of the two individual country values in all grades. Size-adjusted design values and span ratings are provided in WWPA’s Design Values for U.S. and Canadian Species Group Combinations (Lumber Solution 2005-01).


Douglas Fir-Larch, Hem Fir, SPF – 2x4 and 2x6 framing lumber Spruce, Pine, Fir (SPF) 2x4 and 2x6 studs and 6- to 9-ft. trims Southern Yellow Pine – 2x4 and 2x12 framing lumber Machine Stress Rated (MSR) Southern Yellow Pine - 4x4 and 4x6 timbers Douglas Fir Plywood – AC, BBOES, CCPTS, CCX, Industrial Panels





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The structural advantages of Douglas fir and western larch

UNPARALLELED PROPERTIES make Douglas Fir-Larch the go-to lumber species group in the West.

• The highest modulus of elasticity (E) of any North American species, delivering the stiffness in floors and other systems home builders and buyers desire today. • The highest rating of all major western softwood species for extreme fiber stress in bending (Fb), tension parallel to grain (Ft), horizontal shear (Fv) and compression perpendicular to grain. These properties, along with the moderate durability of its heartwood, make Douglas fir a favored species for structural lumber. • Span applications that achieve, in most cases, the same span deflection requirements recommended for wood I-joists to minimize bouncy floors. • Documented superior performance against forces such as earthquakes, high winds, and storms, making it ideal for use in residential, light commercial, multi-story and industrial construction. Produced in a wide variety of sizes and grades, Douglas fir and western larch lumber is available as framing, structural joists and planks, timbers and specialty products. Douglas fir is one of the few species available in large sizes and is preferred for heavy timber framing. Attractive and strong, It can be a cost-effective alternative to laminated beams. The durability of Douglas fir and western larch makes them a wise choice for subflooring. Run to patterns such as tongue-andgroove, it performs well in subfloors and crawlspace construction.

Dimensional Stability DOUGLAS FIR is the West’s most abundant species for lumber. It grows throughout the western states, predominately in the Pacific Northwest. In eastern Oregon, Washington and the other western states, Douglas fir grows intermixed with western larch. Since larch shares nearly identical structural characteristics, the two species are marketed in the combination Douglas Fir-Larch. In the West Coast region, Douglas fir lumber production is usually sold as Douglas fir. As a building material, Douglas fir and western larch lumber is recognized for its top performance for joists and rafters as well as other load-bearing framing. It is dimensionally stable and is noted for its superior strength-to-weight ratio as well as its fastener (nail and metal plate) holding capabilities.

Structural Benefits Structural lumber for residential, commercial and industrial uses is graded for its performance in load bearing or load carrying applications. Structural lumber is graded primary for structural performance and appearance is secondary. Engineers, designers and builders specify Douglas fir and western larch because of its many structural benefits:



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Douglas fir is unique among all softwoods in that it is naturally dimensionally stable. Able to season well in position, it is often sold in the “green” or unseasoned condition. Builders prefer green Douglas fir for its ease of nailing and cutting. The species’ structural properties make them well suited for special products such as Machine Stress-Rated (MSR) and fingerjointed lumber. Douglas Fir-Larch MSR lumber is popular for use in trusses due to its strength and stability. Fingerjointed structural lumber can be used interchangeably with dimension and stud products of the same size, grade and species in construction.

WWPA Grading & Product Support The WWPA gradestamp assures conformance of graded pieces with its applicable WWPA Western Lumber Grading Rules. These rules provide lumber users with a dependable measure for determining the quality and uniformity of lumber as well as its performance capabilities. Lumber carrying the WWPA grademark is backed by a collection of technical information offered by the association. Find additional information on Douglas fir and western larch at

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WWPA proceeds with Master Lumberman Award INTELLIGENCE. DURABILITY. INTEGRITY. These are some of the key characteristics that an individual must have in order to thrive in the tough work environment that is a lumber mill. It is often a long, hard, and sometimes dangerous road. These individuals, many often right out of high school, work their way up the mill ranks from pulling dry-chain to planers to graders and eventually quality control. All through the years they commit themselves to supporting their communities, raising their families, and perfecting the skills that enable them to contribute to successful mill operations. In 1968, the Western Wood Products Association pioneered a program to recognize these key individuals at mills who dedicate their professional careers to making lumber. Since then, the Master Lumberman Award has become one of the most prestigious honors to a sawmill employee. Charlie Phillips, WWPA Quality Standards field manager, was inducted into the 2016 class of Master Lumbermen. Phillips says the award has a profound effect on those who have received it. “My single biggest honor is announcing the Master Lumbermen recipients at our group grade meetings. Many times these gentlemen have their backs to the crowd as they rise when I call their names and I alone can see the pride in their eyes.” To qualify for the award candidates must be employed by a company subscribing to WWPA’s grading service, worked at a proponent company for a sufficient number of years, be a certified grader for at least 20 years, be an expert lumber grader, held a position in quality control or supervisory capacity, have extensive experience in lumber manufacturing, be of good moral character and must be nominated by their companies. Invitation letters are sent out annually to mill managers giving them the opportunity to nominate those in their company they believe are Master Lumberman candidates. The nominations are then reviewed by the WWPA Master Lumberman Task Group to determine which nominees will be added to the latest class


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of Master Lumbermen. The task group is made up of WWPA members at the executive and management level. The Master Lumberman Awards are presented to the recipients at the WWPA annual meeting. The annual meeting program includes an outing with the recipients and their significant other. At the Industry Luncheon (350 to 400 attendees), a slideshow of each recipient is presented and after the inductees are introduced to the stage where they are presented with their plaque. Pete Austin, WWPA director of Quality Standards, presented the awards for the first time at the 2020 annual meeting. “Presenting the award was very humbling,” he said. “Knowing the history of the award and the individuals who have been involved from presenting, creating, and receiving; it was humbling to tie my name to those before me.” Although WWPA has canceled the 2021 annual meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nominations and recognition of the 2021 class of Master Lumberman have moved forward. Those receiving the 2021 Master Lumberman award will be invited to the 2022 annual meeting to receive their award amongst their family and peers with the 2022 class of award winners. Two lumbermen have been approved by the WWPA Task Group to receive the Master Lumberman Award for 2021: Armando Lavalle, Sierra Pacific Industries, and Gordon Watts, Mendocino Forest Products. These two gentlemen will bring to 427 the number of recipients of the award since the program was inaugurated. Through their many years of experience and commitment to the highest ideals of the western lumber industry, they will be awarded the title of Master Lumberman. Nominations for the award are accepted each fall with November as the deadline. WWPA encourages all Association mills to consider qualified employees as Master Lumberman candidates. For more information about the Master Lumberman Program, contact WWPA at

LIGHTNING STRIKE fire near Waddell Creek, photographed from Big Creek Lumber’s Davenport, Ca., sawmill early during the CZU Fire. This particular fire expanded rapidly over night and combined with another lightning fire. It then expanded and moved east, destroying the communities of Last Chance and Swanton. (Photo by Bob Berlage)

Fighting fire with forest management By Bob Berlage

RIDGETOP TIMBER was completely devastated by the CZU Fires. (Photo by Big Creek Forestry)


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WILDFIRE IS NO STRANGER to WWPA member Big Creek Lumber Company. In fact, Big Creek’s co-founder Bud McCrary first met his wife Emma while fighting the Pine Mountain Fire in 1948. Since then, Big Creek’s operations have been affected by wildfires from time to time, including the 2009 Lockheed Fire that burned significant forestland owned and maintained by Big Creek. The devastating CZU Lightning Complex Fires in August 2020 burned almost 87,000 acres in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. Most of these acres included coastal redwood forestland. Thousands of acres of forestland owned by Big Creek Lumber were severely burned, as well as thousands of acres of forestland owned by their long-term clients (private timber landowners). As soon as it was safe, Big Creek’s Registered Professional Foresters (RPF’s) were in the woods assessing the damage to their forests. The foresters determined

LANDSCAPE-WIDE destruction was left in the wake of the CZU Fires. (Photo by Big Creek Forestry)

that salvage harvesting would be necessary in the most critically burned stands of timber. In these areas, only dead and severely damaged trees would be cut. While it is true that some of the individual redwood trees may survive, the fire was so intense that even the surviving trees are highly damaged. Over the past 74 years of manufacturing coastal redwood lumber, Big Creek Lumber has witnessed the effects of fire scar on trees. Those redwood trees that do survive an extreme fire will grow around the damaged portion of the tree. As time goes by, the fire scars seem to disappear, but they remain inside the tree. These scars become internal cavities that decay over time, resulting in a complete loss of usable wood. Big Creek’s objective is to restore the forest’s health and vigor by removing dead and severely damaged trees to accelerate the growth and viability of emerging root sprouts. They will also be planting tens of thousands of seedlings grown from local seed. Replacing dead and dying trees with healthy ones will benefit wildlife, help prevent future wildfires, and ensure a sustainable supply of locally produced timber. All their salvage logging must comply with the same stringent environmental regulations that apply to normal logging operations. Logging in California is regulated by the California Forest Practice Rules and overseen by the Cal Fire. This agency is responsible for ensuring that all harvest operations, including salvage logging, are properly permitted and take whatever steps are needed to protect natural resources. The necessity of conducting salvage operations will likely result in some future harvest projects on unburned stand of timber being delayed several years. Road closures during the CZU Fire postponed some existing harvesting operations, but Big Creek’s sawmill survived the fire and was back in operation as soon as roads were opened and power restored to the mill. Big Creek Lumber Company’s long-term objective is to promote viable forestlands that exist as complex ecosystems, while producing sustainable and renewable forest products in perpetuity.

Specializing in Softwood Species with an Emphasis in Western Cedars Circle Sawn • Wire Brushed • Hand Hewn • Timbers • Boards • Patterns • Log Cabin • Peeled/Turned Logs • Corbels • Split Rail • Aged Wood Process

Standard & Custom Match Patterns In-House Factory Priming & Staining Certified Grading

– Bob Berlage is communications director for the Forestry Department of Big Creek Lumber, Davenport, Ca. (www.

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MOVERS & Shakers Jeff Webber has been appointed president of SDS Lumber Co., Bingen, Wa. He succeeds Jason Spadaro, who remains with the company as a consultant and board member. Wil Hays, ex-Meek’s, has joined OrePac Building Products, Sacramento, Ca., as a territory mgr. Tyler Alaric, ex-Millar Western, has joined the sales and purchasing team at Dakeryn Industries, Vancouver, B.C. David Piwoski, ex-Oregon Truss, is a new truss designer for FoxworthGalbraith Lumber Co., Colorado Springs, Co. Jake Pronio, ex-American Building Supply, has been appointed VP and general mgr. of distribution for JeldWen, Corona, Ca. Lynn Wilson, former VP with Louisiana-Pacific, and Jim James, former CEO and chairman of Ideal Industries, have been elected to the board of directors of Roseburg Forest Products, Springfield, Or.


Madison Holmen, ex-CWallA, is new to inside sales at Beacon Building Products, Sacramento, Ca. Russ Taylor, ex-Wood Markets Group, has launched Russ Taylor Global, Vancouver, B.C. Russ Kathrein, ex-Alexander Lumber, has joined Do it Best Corp., Fort Wayne, In., as an LBM business development mgr. Coley Arnold has been promoted to sales support mgr. New to the co-op are Lyndsey Lockridge, lumber sales support coordinator; Tegan Nilles, category management planner; and Kassie Staubach-Ross, demand forecasting analyst. Bart Bender, senior VP, sales & marketing, Interfor, is the newly elected chair of the board for WoodWorks—Wood Products Council, succeeding Chris McIver, VP, sales & marketing, West Fraser. Keith O’Rear, senior VP of wood products, Weyerhaeuser, is new to the board, replacing outgoing director Shannon Hughes, sales director-lumber, Weyerhaeuser.

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Dennis and Michelle Webb, Big Creek Lumber, Davenport, Ca., are the proud parents of future fourth generation lumberman Andy Webb. Dan Eschette, ex-CWallA, has joined Valhalla Construction Products, Lakewood, Wa., as outside sales rep in Eugene, Or. Igor Tistical is the new social media director for Mungus-Fungus Forest Products, report co-owners Hugh Mungus and Freddy Fungus.

FenceTech 2021 Canceled

The American Fence Association has decided it will be unable to hold FenceTech/MetlalFab 2021 next month in Nashville, Tn. “As always, the health and safety of our members, attendees and exhibitors is our priority and while AFA is heartened by recent developments in the fight against COVID-19, we are still not in a situation where an in-person event of our size and type is feasible,” the association announced. In November and December, AFA held successful AFA University Online and in-person On The Road schools. Additional AFA University opportunities are planned for 2021, and some of the content planned for FenceTech will be delivered as webinars later this year. The next FenceTech will be held Feb. 15-18, 2022, in New Orleans, La.

Blue Book Now Offering Velocity Index

The Blue Book Network has launched The Blue Book Network Velocity Index, a new leading economic indicator for the construction industry. The Velocity Index measures the direction and magnitude of month-to-month changes in bidding activity in The Blue Book Network, accounting for seasonality. The Index provides distributors, manufacturers and contractors with a vital leading indicator of construction spending to inform their critical business decisions. The Velocity Index for November continued to reflect the October decline, dropping to 100.8, a 4.8% decrease (December 2018 = 100). The rate of decrease for the Index slowed considerably compared to the revised 13.9% drop seen in October, likely still reflecting concern over increases in COVID-19 rates. The Index remains strong, 19% higher than April’s revised low of 84.7.

ASTM Issues EPD for Freres’ Mass Ply Panels

Freres Lumber Co., Lyons, Or., has published its first Environmental Product Declaration for its Mass Ply Panel (MPP). Product specific information in this report was independently validated by the internationally recognized standards organization, ASTM International. EPDs provide a standardized, objective assessment of the relative

environmental impact of a product from “cradle-to-gate,” beginning with material sourcing and reforestation practices, to material transportation all the way through to the final product manufacturing and packaging. ASTM independently verified and validated Freres’ MPP EPD information, finding that MPP meets necessary standards for builders, architects and engineers alike to meet various green building and LEED standards. According to Maureen Puettmann, director of operations for CORRIM, who wrote and edited the report, more than 51% of the energy consumed

in producing MPP is sourced from renewable fuels with a net embodied carbon for MPP of –742 kg of CO2e. MPP holds this carbon, keeping it from being released into the atmosphere for the lifetime of the panel. The EPD validates that MPP creates less global warming potential upon manufacturing than its competitors in the same category. Additionally, MPP uses approximately 20% less wood than CLT and can be constructed from small diameter timber (as small as 5” in diameter) to create large format panels.

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NEW Products

Deflector Screws

Simpson Strong-Tie’s Strong-Drive SDPW Deflector screw line of fasteners is designed to connect non-load-bearing, full-height partition wall top plates to trusses or joists while allowing for vertical movement. Not only does single-screw installation make the SDPW Deflector screw an efficient fastener, but the polymer sleeve also allows for sliding during deflection, eliminating costly callbacks often associated with squeaks from metal-on-metal connections between walls, top plates and joists. n STRONGTIE.COM (800) 999-5099

More Power DeWalt has integrated FlexVolt Advantage Technology into four new 20V MAX* Brushless Tools—a 7-1/4” circular saw, 1/2” hammer drill/driver, reciprocating saw, and 4-1/2”-5” cordless grinder. The tools have the ability to recognize FlexVolt Batteries and adjust, providing a new threshold of power and performance. n DEWALT.COM (800) 433-9258

Lights Up

Deckorators has introduced three new aluminum deck railing accessories for the 2021 deck building season. ALX post extensions for hanging string lights, ALX Contemporary aluminum deck gate solutions, and ALX Contemporary continuous top rail brackets help deck builders and homeowners create personalized outdoor living spaces. All three new accessories are easy to install and perfectly complement the sleek, simplified look of Deckorators ALX aluminum railing systems.

With a 33% lumen increase over the original model, Milwaukee Tool’s new flood light is designed to fill large indoor and outdoor areas with 4,000 lumens of TrueView High Definition Light Output. The second generation M18 Rover Dual Power Flood Light features three different lighting modes and easily lights up a workspace for up to 12 hours at a time. For all-day performance, users can utilize an AC port to power the flood light with a 120V extension cord. For maximum versatility, the light head rotates 120° to direct light in multiple orientations. Built to go anywhere and withstand tough jobsite conditions, its compact size and integrated handle allow for easy transport or storage. It also has integrated keyholes for hanging on overhead surfaces.

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n MILWAUKEETOOL.COM (800) 729-3878

Aluminum Railing Accessories


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Exterior Twosome AZEK is adding two new exterior products that combine the natural aesthetics of premium wood with the long lasting, low-maintenance durability of PVC. AZEK Shingle Siding with PaintPro Technology features vertical woodgrain texture, varied-width shingle tabs, and true varied-width keyways, giving it the most natural look with a panelized shingle siding product on the market. It comes with straight or staggered edge. The panels are moisture-resistant, accept paint easier and dry faster than ever before. AZEK Capped Polymer Cladding provides the look of contemporary wood cladding minus the maintenance. It is available in open-joint square shoulder boards and closed-joint tongue and groove profiles.

Longer, Groovier Decking

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Expanding its popular Ridge Premium collection to meet market demand, Envision has added a new 20-ft. length square edge board and 16- and 20-ft. grooved edge boards. Square edge boards were already offered in 12- and 16-ft. lengths. Crafted using proprietary Compress Technology, Ridge Premium’s high-density cap and EverGrain Core are physically bonded together with tremendous heat and pressure to squeeze out air pockets and create a deeper grain. The line is available in three softly blended colors: Black Walnut, Gunstock and Vintage Oak.

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Wear the Heat Bosch Power Tools is rolling out its newest heated gear additions—the GHJ12V Heated Jacket and GHH12V-20 Heated Hoodie. The garments feature three temperature settings for enhanced control and comfort. Strategically placed heat zones in the chest and lower back offer through, efficient heating in a lightweight, easy-to-wear package. Both come packaged with a 12V Max Portable Power Adapter. n BOSCHTOOLS.COM (877) 267-2499


FRTW Subfloor Screw

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Simpson Strong-Tie has introduced the Strong-Drive WSVF subfloor screw approved for use with fire-retardant-treated lumber, joining the WSV family of collated screws developed for fastening subfloor sheathing using the Quik Drive auto-feed screw driving system. Featuring a fire-retardant coating, the WSVF provides corrosion resistance for use with FRTW and wood-based materials that might otherwise compromise the performance of carbon-steel fasteners. It provides a no-squeak, efficient subfloor connector for repair and replacement projects opting for fire-resistant subfloor materials. A redesigned tip and thread pattern provide easy starts, up to 25% lower driving torque, and 20% faster overall driving. n STRONGTIE.COM/WSV (800) 999-5099


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Roasted Hue

Ryobi’s new 18V ONE+ HP Brushless 1/2” Drill/ Driver features a brushless motor to deliver up to 20% faster drilling and up to 50% more torque saving time and energy per application. A powerful 750 in.-lbs. of torque maximizes output power when drilling through tough materials. Designed with the user in mind the two-speed gearbox and a 24-position clutch provide ultimate control while drilling and driving.

MoistureShield, has introduced Cold Brew, a warm and inviting medium-roast brown with subtle color variegation, to its Vision capped composite decking line. An on-trend natural color with the look of a rich, roasted coffee blend, its distinctive variegated design strongly resembles the beauty of interior hardwoods. It joins Smokey Gray, Spanish Leather, Sandstone, Cathedral Stone, and Mochaccino. The boards come in non-grooved square edge boards and grooved profiles for hidden fasteners, in 12-, 16- and 20-ft. lengths with fascia boards in 12-ft. lengths.

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n MOISTURESHIELD.COM (866) 729-2378

Brushless Drill/Driver

NORTH IDAHO POST AND POLE We are the manufacturer of Round Wood

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Entry First TruStile has introduced its first entry door collection. The Wood Entry Door Systems encompass a wide selection of door, sidelite and transom combinations, including modern, traditional, coastal or craftsman styles. Homeowners can also build a custom entry system around one of TruStile’s 500 door styles now available as entry doors. Developed over two years in partnership with Marvin, the doors include innovative materials, including Tricoya exterior-grade MDF.

Super Glue Tape Shurtape Technologies’ new T-Rex Double Sided Super Glue Tape is a mess-free replacement for traditional liquid glues and instantly adheres to surfaces without staining them. It won’t bond to skin, making it a great addition to any toolbox for quick fixes on the job.



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12/17/20 1:28 PM

IFG Plans Mississippi Sawmill

Idaho Forest Group, Coeur d’Alene, Id., announced plans to build a new sawmill in Mississippi—the company’s first greenfield location. Marc Brinkmeyer, CEO, said the $120-million facility in Lumberton, Ms., will produce a variety of wood products and create up to 135 jobs. IFG currently operates six sawmills in Idaho and Montana, producing over 1 billion bd. ft. of lumber a year.

65-Year-Old Hardware Store Closes

Hayward Hardware, Hayward, Ca., locked its doors for the last time on Christmas Day 2020, a victim of the pandemic, big-box competition, and high rent. Established in 1955 and owned since 2006 by Jim Wieder, the business reportedly is the third hardware store in the Hayward area to close within the last 12 months.

a byproduct of burning organic materials like sawdust and other forestry residuals in a controlled process called pyrolysis. Once produced, biochar can be added to soils by farmers and other landowners to aid in water retention, nutrient conservation, beneficial microbial composition, and overall quantity of stable organic matter. To bring its biochar to market, Humboldt Sawmill has partnered with Pacific Biochar Benefit Corp. (PBBC), which provides raw and processed biochar products to agricultural and other users. PBBC purchases Humboldt Sawmill’s certified biochar, mixing it into compost and selling it to farmers. The European certificate provides one of the two necessary links to marketable Climate Credits via carbonfuture, the organization leading monetization opportunities for carbon sequestration through biochar. The second link to Climate Credits is certification from the user of the biochar that such use ensures stable sequestration of the carbon over a long period of time. One such use case is application of biochar directly to soil by a farmer. Climate Credits are available on the carbon future market for purchase by emitters.

Arauco Certified Carbon Neutral

Arauco has become the world’s first forestry company to be certified as carbon neutral. Price Waterhouse Coopers audited the calculation process of the carbon capture by forests and its storage in forest products. Deloitte then developed a neutrality protocol, which was applied to verify Arauco’s global operation and that other businesses and industries can also apply.

BIOCHAR—a charcoal-like byproduct of Humboldt Sawmill’s Scotia, Ca., cogen plant—has helped it become the first U.S.-based company to enter the European carbon sink market.

Humboldt Sawmill Qualified to Enter European Carbon Sink Market

Through the production of biochar, a byproduct of its Scotia, Ca., cogeneration plant, Humboldt Sawmill has obtained a European Biochar Certificate, the first U.S. based company to do so. The Scotia cogeneration plant produces biochar as a byproduct of energy production. Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that is a stable form of carbon. According to NASA, mitigation—or reducing emissions of and stabilizing the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—is achieved either by reducing sources of these gases or enhancing the “sinks” that accumulate and store them. Reduction efforts often emphasize fossil fuels. Enhancing “sinks” usually centers on the largest carbon sinks on earth, namely forests, oceans, and soils. While globally recognized entities including The Ocean Conservancy and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC C013133) have focused on the health of oceans and forests over many decades, focus on soils has been slower to develop. Fortunately, over the last 10 years, understanding has accelerated in terms of how the health of soils can help mitigate greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As a stable form of carbon, biochar has an important role to play. Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that is

888-807-2580 Bend, OR DISTRIBUTION LOCATIONS Colton / Fontana / Modesto / Salinas / Stockton, CA PRODUCTS & SERVICES Framing Lumber / Pallet Stock / Industrial Lumber / Softwoods Hardwoods / Cedar / Fencing / Decking / Redwood Custom Cut Stock / Treated Lumber / Tile Battens 3-Hole & Slotted Vents / Custom Cutting / Remanufacturing Heat Treating / Fire & CCA Treating

“Focused on the future with respect for tradition” January 2021


The Merchant Magazine n


CLASSIFIED Marketplace Rates: $1.20 per word (25 word minimum). Phone number counts as 1 word, address as 6. Centered copy/headline, $9 per line. Border, $9. Private box, $15. Column inch rate: $55 if art furnished “camera-ready” (advertiser sets type), $65 if we set type. Send ad to Checks payable to 526 Media Group. Deadline: 18th of previous month. Questions? Call (714) 486-2735.



LUMBER BUYER Opening position as an Assistant/Jr. Buyer with great promotion opportunity for the right person. Good compensation package, growth and full benefits. Jones Wholesale Lumber is seeking a motivated professional who wants a career in commodity purchasing. If you are seeking a growth opportunity in a fast-paced environment with a dynamic team, we encourage you to apply. Contact Hilda Alvarado, hilda.alvarado@, (323) 567-1301, or John Pasqualetto,, (323) 5671301. JWL is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

OUTSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVE – CALIFORNIA BASED Hoover Treated Wood Products, Inc., the premier manufacturer of fire-retardanttreated wood, is seeking an Outside Sales Representative based in California. The ideal candidate is a self-motivated, success-driven professional with excellent communication and presentation skills. A college degree with at least 5 years of documented sales success is strongly preferred. Building product channel sales and lumber or plywood sales experience is preferred. This position is responsible for growing profitable sales through HTWP’s network of wholesale distribution partners and other sales channels. The candidate must possess the technical acumen to convey the varied product and service benefits that define the HTWP brand. This position requires significant overnight travel. Hoover Treated Wood Products, Inc., offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, life and disability insurance, 401(k), paid holidays and vacation as well as opportunities for annual bonus, profit sharing, and tuition reimbursement. No relocation assistance offered for this position. Submit résumé to; no phone calls please. Desired Skills and Experience: • Excellent written and oral communication • Demonstrated critical analysis skills • Strong negotiation skills • Excellent organizational skills • Self-motivated and success driven • Extensive travel within the USA • Knowledge of commodity lumber and plywood markets • Channel sales experience • Experience utilizing CRM systems

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP – EWP ENGINEERED WOOD PRODUCTS Great compensation package with incentive, growth and full benefits. Jones Wholesale Lumber-Riverside is expanding its EWP customer service team… are you interested in joining a dynamic team of professionals with a great future? We encourage you to apply. Contact Hilda Alvarado, hilda., (323) 567-1301 or John Pasqualetto,, (323) 567-1301. JWL is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

IN Memoriam John Herbert “Jack” Milliken, 93, former operator of Viney-Milliken Lumber Co., Covina, Ca., passed away Nov. 22 in Covina. After serving in the U.S. Army at the end of World War II, he attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1950. Jack returned to Covina and worked at Viney-Milliken Lumber Co., a company his father and uncle William Amos Viney founded in 1910, running the company from 1969 to his retirement in 1985.


William B. “Bill” Gretz, 91, retired owner of Palo Alto Lumber, Palo Alto, Ca., died Nov. 29. After working as a salesman at McElroy Lumber, Palo Alto, he served in the Armed Forces during the Korean War. In 1960, he opened Palo Alto Lumber and ran the company for 53 years. Delano “Dee” Church, 87, founder of Dee’s Supply, Delta, Ut., died Dec. 2 in Delta.

n The Merchant Magazine n January 2021

Dee began his lumber career as a Murray, Ut.-based regional sales representative for Georgia-Pacific, serving Utah, Idaho and Northern California. In 1969, he bought some land in Delta and opened his own lumberyard. He sold the business in 1978 and opened a storage unit company. Jack J. Alles, 89, former owner of Mid Valley Lumber, Billings, Mt., died Dec. 14. After graduating high school, he served in the U.S. Navy. He then received a degree in agricultural education from Montana State University in Bozeman. He purchased the lumberyard following careers in teaching and banking. William “Bill” Rugg, 92, former owner of Rugg Lumber Co., Upland, Ca., died Dec. 10 after a fall in his home. After receiving a degree in economics from Pomona College in 1950, Bill served with the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division of the U. S. Army in Korea until 1952, reaching the rank of Sergeant. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Service Medal with two battle stars. He joined his father’s lumberyard in 1952, serving as owner and manager until 1996. Cecil D. Ingram, 88, former controller for Boise Cascade’s Transportation Division, Boise, Id., died Oct. 29. While working at Kogap Lumber Co., Medford, Or., he was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in the Korean War, attaining the rank of Captain. He then received a degree from the University of Oregon, Eugene, and moved to Boise to begin his 29-year career with Boise Cascade. After retirement, he spent six years as an Idaho State Senator and four years as Ada County Treasurer. George Wayne Shamo, 82, owner of Shamo Box & Lumber Co., Hurricane, Ut., passed away Dec. 15 from COVID-19 pneumonia, complicating severe dementia. A graduate of Brigham Young University and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Il., he taught communications at Memphis State University and Purdue University. He eventually sacrificed his career to return to his hometown and take over the family lumber business.



Timber Products Co.


Cover II

BC Wood Specialties


UFP Industries

Cover III


Unity Forest Products


CT Darnell


Rough TiMbeRs Utah Wood Preserving uTiliTy Poles PRessuRe TReaTed





Fontana Wholesale Lumber


Borates CA-C

Above + Ground Contact


Versatex TReaTed luMbeR and PlyWood FiRe ReTaRdanT

Call the experts: • Robert Moore • Jim Winward

Yakama Forest Products


PHONE - WOODS CROSS: (801) 295-9449 FAX (801) 295-9440 PHONE - SALT LAKE (801) 262-6428 FAX (801) 748-0037


Huff Lumber


Humboldt Sawmill


Jones Wholesale Lumber


Maze Nails




North American Wholesale Lumber Assn.


North Idaho Post & Pole Co.


Parr Lumber

Colorado Springs Home & Landscape Expo – Feb. 12-14, Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs, Co.; www.


Pelican Bay Forest Products

Southern California Hoo-Hoo Club – Feb. 17, speaker meeting/golf, Los Serranos Country Club, Chino Hills, Ca.;


PotlatchDeltic Corp.

17, Cover IV

Redwood Empire



Cover I

Simpson Strong-Tie


Siskiyou Forest Products


Snider Industries


Stimson Lumber Co.


Swanson Group Sales Co.

DATE Book Listings are often submitted months in advance. Always verify dates and locations with sponsor before making plans to attend. National Retail Federation – Jan. 12-14, virtual show; BC Wood – Jan. 25-29, virtual Global Buyers Mission & trade show; Cameron Ashley Building Products – Jan. 25-29, virtual Dealer Show 2.0; National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors – Jan. 27-28, digital executive summit; Orgill – Feb. 8-19, virtual spring market; International Builder’s Show – Feb. 9-11, virtual IBS, sponsored by National Association of Home Builders; Kitchen & Bath Industry Show – Feb. 9-11, virtual KBIS; www.kbis. com.

True Value Co. – Feb. 19-20, 2021 Spring V-union virtual show; www. LBM Advantage – Feb. 22-24, virtual annual buying show & shareholders meeting; Pacific Northwest Association of Rail Shippers – March 3-4, virtual conference; Tacoma Remodeling Expo – March 5-7, Greater Tacoma Convention Center, Tacoma, Wa.; Do it Best – March 7-19, online spring market; Ace Hardware – March 9-12, digital show; University of Innovative Distribution – March 15-17, virtual educational program; North American Wholesale Lumber Association – March 16-17, Leadership Summit: The Virtual Experience; Redwood Region Logging Conference – March 18-20, Ukiah, Ca.; LMC – March 25-27, annual meeting, Phoenix, Az.; Portland House & Outdoor Living Show – March 26-28, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Or.; International Mass Timber Conference – March 30-April 1, virtual conference; January 2021


The Merchant Magazine n


FLASHBack 57 Years Ago This Month


ifty-seven years ago this month, in January of 1964, The California Lumber Merchant was expecting big business for building material markets, citing forecasts of 1.5 million housing starts in the new year. Interest rates were anticipated to dip, leading to a slight softening in multi-family building but explosive growth in single-family construction. In other news: • Sixty-three years after it began manufacturing forest products, Weyerhaeuser Co. became listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading began with the purchase of the first 100 shares by chairman F.K. Weyerhaeuser. Simultaneously, Weyerhaeuser shares were admitted to trading on the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. In all, 31 million shares were listed on the two exchanges. The stock, formerly traded overt he counter, was assigned the ticker symbol WY. THE JANUARY 1964 front cover was sponsored by Rockport Redwood Co., Cloverdale, Ca., manufacturer of Rockport Redwood Bevel Siding. Owner Ralph C. “Bill” Rounds sold Rockport Redwood to Georgia-Pacific in 1968. In 1973 it became part of the spin-off Louisiana-Pacific Corp.

Listing originally had been scheduled for Nov. 25, but was postponed because of the death of President Kennedy. Today, there are about 745 million outstanding shares of WY. • During its 12th annual convention, the National Building Material Distributors Association voted to merge with the National Plywood Distributors Association, retaining the NBMDA name. An NBMDA Plywood Council was formed to address specific needs of the segment. Combined the group, now known as the North American Building Material Association, boasted over 500 members. • Dinuba Lumber, Dinuba, Ca., unveiled its revamped lumberyard and brand new 440-sq. ft. showroom at a sneak preview to 200 invited guests. The company, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, still operates on the same site, using the then-new showroom as its Ace Hardware store.

FOLD-AWAY DOOR manufacturer Artesia Door Co. snagged crooner Bing Crosby as its pitchman


n The Merchant Magazine n January 2021

• Wholesaler Marquart-Wolfe Lumber relocated its head office from the corner of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles to Long Beach, Ca. “We are moving to get out of the traffic complex and also the smog,” said president Horace Wolfe. “We will continue to exert every effort to maintain our standard customer service.”

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