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Fypon launches National Curb Appeal Month

BY HBSDealer Staff

Fypon is deeming August its first-ever "National Curb Appeal Month" in an effort to teach homeowners new ways to add value to their homes.

The month-long event will feature daily tips desseminated on the Fypon Facebook and Twitter pages, including color advice from national color expert Kate Smith of Sensational Color.

"Realtors tell us that potential home buyers make a ‘street decision’ in less than 12 seconds on whether or not to view a home that’s for sale," said Niki Decker, senior manager of product and marketing for Fypon. "That’s a very short time to make a large impression, and it all relies on the curb appeal of the house."

Fypon is also presenting some evidence on how adding vinyl siding or an attractive patio can increase a home’s return-on-investment, as well as adding color in strategic places (like the entry door, shutters and trim).

"Different curb appeal elements, such as well-maintained shrubbery, decorative millwork and trim, colorful plants and an appealing front entryway can have a fast, positive impact on home buyers," added Decker. "Even if your home is not for sale, curb appeal is important in setting a welcoming tone for your family and visitors."

Among Fypon’s top tips for increasing curb appeal are adding trim and easy-care shutters to exterior windows, as well as adding a door surround to the entryway.

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Armstrong lowers 2014 guidance on Q2 earnings

BY HBSDealer Staff

Armstrong World Industries fell short of its stated goals in the second quarter, leading in turn to a lowered full-year guidance for 2014.

"Despite soft sales, we delivered second-quarter adjusted EBITDA in the middle of our guidance range," said CEO Matt Espe. "The softer-demand environment we experienced in the quarter and first half of 2014 has tempered our outlook for the back half of the year."

Net sales did increase slightly year-over-year — by 0.5% — to $710.0 million during the three months ended June 30. This was driven by price and mix offsetting lower volumes.

However, both operating income and net income declined. Net income was down 31.4% to $21.0 million for the quarter, and operating income fell 14.5% to $57.8 million.

Full-year guidance pinpoints sales in the $2.7 to $2.8 billion range, and adjusted EBITDA was between $370 and $400 million.

The company owed approximately $8 million in severance and other charges associated with the closing of the resilient flooring plant in Thomastown, Australia, and the engineered wood flooring plant in Kunshan, China.

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for July 25, 2014

*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.

Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report. 

Lumber: Mill shutdowns in eastern Canada and order files extending into early August at western mills left SPF prices flat in both regions. Buyers looked to secondaries for moderate discounts. Smaller mills in the West showed a willingness to back off quotes a bit to keep orders coming their way. Southern Pine lumber pricing continued to follow recent trends. Narrow widths continued to carry a degree of strength while wides remained weak. Sluggish 2×8 through 2×12 #2 sales prompted producers to seek orders a little more aggressively. Coastal species lumber mills continued to sell enough volumes to keep most prices at levels established the week prior or gently raise them. Buyers often looked for quick shipping volumes to fill in inventory gaps, guarding against any potential weakness in the market. Inland dimension lumber producers report steady business, but more and more say that sales are “tally dependent.” Both producers and buyers are frustrated by mills’ frequent inability to generate specific items or volumes being sought. Availability of New Zealand-derived Radiata Pine or Chilean stock is, and has been, consistently predicated on the consistency of demand. Ponderosa Pine #3 Shop has shown no real market action that would justify any downward adjustment. The available volume of wood has increased, and the market should further clarify within a week or two, according to sources. Ponderosa Pine board mills continue to see modest weakness in the #2 Commons, notably in 1×12. Idaho White Pine is stable and firm at current levels. Eastern White Pine producers continue to report a balanced market. The flow of Western Red Cedar through the distribution chain continued at a seasonal pace. Producers reported moderate sales activity. Excess inventory was limited at both mills and yards.

Panels: OSB continued its sideways slide this week, with mills drawing lines in the sand on pricing. Spot deals were to be had on multiple truckloads, but there is still no urgency to buy. Having run inventories low, buyers aggressively purchased strong volumes of Southern Pine plywood in response to a western U.S. mill fire the week prior. Producers experienced moderately slower sales activity as order files moved into the week of August 18. Western Fir plywood mills sold volumes rapidly early and again exited the market before again reentering at higher prices. By Friday morning, many CDX prices had increased $50 to $60. Canadian Plywood mill and distribution reps watched pricing gain another five points from last week’s level, putting benchmark Toronto 3/8-in. at close to $500. Inquiries continued to come in fast and furious all week. A few particleboard producers described the market as “uneventful,” and others varied little from that narrative. Particleboard producers continued to sell volumes at a pace close to weekly production, with some modest variances. Several MDF producers reported that sales did not keep up with production. Producers often pointed to the calendar, having expected summer sales to slow.

For more on RISI, click here.  

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