The parking lot of the Sheraton Crossroads hotel in Mahwah, N.J., was full of pickup trucks sporting the names and numbers of builders and contractors. More than 1,400 builders and contractors descended on the hotel for the Kuiken Brothers Product Expo.
Kuiken Brothers, which is celebrating its 100th year as a New Jersey lumberyard and building products dealer, hosts the product expo every other year.
"It's a relationship-building exercise with our customers," said Nick Kuiken, VP of the pro dealer. "To be a resource for them and be able to work together and provide them information that our vendors can provide through us and ultimately be there to serve them."
Among the vendors were Andersen Windows, Marvin Windows, Trex Decking, ThermaTru Doors, Russin Lumber, Masonite, Kleer Lumber and Perennial Wood.
The event took place as parts of New Jersey continue to reel from hurricane damage. In fact, the event also served as a staging area for out-of-state power crews who drove in to offer assistance.
"We've spoken to customers, and we're continuing to say that we're going to be able to service them wherever their project is and whatever they need,” said Nick Kuiken. “And we're continuing to talk to the vendors along the way and make sure we have the products they need."
According to Kuiken Brothers president Doug Kuiken, the rebuilding of New Jersey will take time.
"My personal opinion is there is a lot of rebuilding to be done, not so much up here but in the coastal areas of New Jersey,” he said. “But it's not going to happen overnight. There's a lot of cleanup that has to be done, and also we're coming into the heart of the winter coming up — not a whole lot is going to happen then.”
He added: “We're optimistic. What will be more impactful will be a better housing economy in general, not just what happened from a storm.”