LUMBERYARDS

Carter Lumber promotes roofing-price calculator

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Kent, Ohio-based pro dealer Carter Lumber is promoting a new, online custom roofing pricing tool. 

The tool is essentially a Web page that allows customers to enter the variables in their roofing projects. The tool calculates a rough estimate for the project, based on materials used, roof pitch and overall area. As the information page explains, "we’ll give you a free roofing estimate. Online. Right now."

The tool also promotes installation and rooftop delivery services. 

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Weyerhaeuser celebrates 25 years of Parallam PSL

BY Ken Clark

Parallam parallel strand lumber (PSL) came on the scene at the Expo 86 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and quickly left a mark on the building industry, according to Carlos Guilherme, VP engineered lumber products for Weyerhaeuser.

"The invention of Parallam was one of those building material breakthroughs that happen maybe once or twice in a generation," Guilherme said. "Engineers and scientists invented a new product that took a great building material — wood — and made it even better."

Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser manufactures Trus Joist Parallam using long, narrow wood veneer strips bonded together with adhesives in a press and microwave process. The material is free of knots and other defects, and has exceptional fastener holding capability.

One of the key benefits of Parallam is its strength, workability and ability to clear spans and open floor plans, according to Guilherme. It continues to allow architects and builders to use wood framing in structures that would have otherwise required concrete or steel.

 

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Existing-home sales increased in August

BY Ken Clark

One day can make a big difference in housing industry metrics.

About 25 hours after the release of a disappointing housing starts report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said existing-home sales for August increased 7.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million.

The August figure is 18.6% higher than the 4.24 million pace recorded in August 2010.

"Some of the improvement in August may result from sales that were delayed in preceding months, but favorable affordability conditions and rising rents are underlying motivations,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties. In additional to bargain hunting, some investors are in the market to hedge against higher inflation.”

Yun added that aberrations in housing data are possible over the coming months, as parts of the country recover from storm damage that may have disrupted closings.

NAR president Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., said market affordability is a positive. But he pointed to some of the challenges to closing deals. “The biggest factors keeping home sales from a healthy recovery are mortgages being denied to creditworthy buyers, and appraised valuations below the negotiated price," Phipps said. 

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $168,300 in August, which is 5.1% below August 2010. Distressed homes — foreclosures and short sales typically sold at deep discounts — accounted for 31% of sales in August, compared with 29% in July and 34% in August 2010.

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