LUMBERYARDS

Andersen’s exterior trim system snaps on, saves time

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bayport, Minn.-based Andersen introduced a trim system that can be installed in about six minutes.

The Andersen Exterior Trim System works with Andersen A-Series, 400 Series and 200 Series product lines. 

The design eliminates measuring, cutting mitering, nailing and filling nail holes, according to Mark Pominville, marketing manager. "Our revolutionary snap-on feature lets you trim out an average house in about half a day, compared to two days using traditional trim."

The Andersen Trim System works completely independent of the water management system of a window or patio door.

Andersen trim is made of Fibrex material, a composite combining the strength and stability of wood with the low-maintenance features of vinyl. Fibrex material has twice the stiffness of vinyl, withstands temperature changes better than vinyl, according to Andersen. 

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Builder confidence doesn’t budge in January

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes stayed at the same level in January as the two previous months, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo House Market Index (HMI).

The seasonally adjusted index, which remains flat at 16, is based on a survey of 420 builders across the country. Numbers above 50 generally indicate that builders are optimistic about market conditions.  

"Unfortunately, a severe lack of construction financing, and widespread difficulties in obtaining accurate appraisal values, continue to limit builders’ ability to prepare for anticipated improvements in buyer demand in 2011," said 2011 NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev.

HMI scores rose by one point in the Midwest and four points in the West in January, to 14 and 15, respectively. Meanwhile, HMI scores fell two points in the Northeast and one point in the South, to 20 and 17, respectively.

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Housing starts finish year on an off note

BY HBSDEALER Staff

If housing starts are going to gain 20% in 2011 as recently predicted, they’re going to have to pick up the pace.

Data released Wednesday morning show housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 — that’s down 4.3% from November and down 8.2% from the December 2009 rate. 

For the full year, the total number of starts finished at 598,200, slightly ahead of 2009’s record low of 583,000.

Single-family homes — the bread and butter of builders and dealers who serve them — were at a pace of 417,000 in December, down 9% from the downwardly revised November figure. The 417,000 pace is the lowest since April 2009, when single-family starts were crawling at a rate of 386,000.

The 529,000 rate is the lowest since October 2009. Clearly, these were not the numbers home channel industry executives were looking for. Analysts were surprised, as well — economists at Briefing.com had expected the rate to be in the 565,000 neighborhood.

However, a bright spot appeared in the measure of building permits for December, which jumped 16.7% to 635,000. Single-family building permits were at a rate of 440,000, up 5.5%.

At the International Builders’ Show last week, economists from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Freddie Mac forecast a 20% increase in residential construction in 2011.

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