Housing report lifts mood at HIRI conference
Chicago – The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) Fall Conference kicked off just a few minutes after the Commerce Department released data showing a 15% increase in September housing starts.
It was comforting news to the industry in general. It was also a particular relief to presenter Joshua Rosenbaum of UBS. “It means I don’t have to redo my presentation,” said Rosenbaum, managing director of UBS’s Global Industrial Group, about the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000.
Rosenbaum described a relatively clear path to the million starts level, and pointed out that 2013 housing starts forecasts from 10 different firms range from 1.1 million on the high end to 0.8 million on the low end. The average forecast for 2013 was 924,000.
Returning to the historical average pace of about 1.5 million starts would require a significant improvement in the nation’s employment situation, he cautioned.
Rosenbaum’s presentation here, "The U.S. Economic Backdrop for Home Improvement," pointed to renewed interest in the home improvement sector by Wall Street. “Investors are very excited about the home improvement sector,” he said. “It’s happening.” He established the point by showing significant growth in the last year of price-per-earnings ratios for building product retailers and building product manufacturers. Respectively, the median P/E ratios increased from 11.6 to 20.3; and from 12.1 to 22.6.
Ironclad work glove keeps user connected
Ironclad Performance Wear has introduced a new work glove that enables users to wear them while using touch-screen devices.
The Ironclad TouchScreen glove features exclusive TS1 technology that covers the entire palm side of the glove. Drawing connectivity from the entire palm of the hand ensures that the maximum amount of conductivity is available at the thumb and fingertips, and that the glove works in both clean and dirty conditions, the company said.
"Purpose-built and designed from the ground up, the TouchScreen glove enables the user to operate touch-screen devices without ever having to remove his or her gloves," said Fred Castro, VP sales and marketing. "Built on the chassis of Ironclad’s recently introduced Mechanic glove, the TouchScreen glove provides superior protection, fit and dexterity, while simultaneously permitting the use of touch-screen devices."
RotoZip unveils ZipDiscs
RotoZip has expanded its line of accessories with the introduction of two fast removal and finishing discs. The new ZipDiscs include two 4-in. abrasive wheels, Medium and Coarse, which are designed for the fast removal of coatings and imperfections from metal, wood and concrete.
ZipDiscs can remove stain from a wooden deck, rust from metal or paint from a concrete surface, and only light pressure is required. They feature an integrated solid metal backing, which increases durability and the life of the accessory. This also makes ZipDiscs less susceptible to melting or breakage after prolonged use. Both discs also include an anti-clog design, which protects the discs from excess build-up during difficult coating removals.
The Coarse ZipDisc features a nonwoven, silicon carbide abrasive design that removes paint, rust, corrosion, blemishes, mastic, thin-set and adhesive from wood, metal and concrete. The disc operates up to 13,000 RPM.
The Medium ZipDisc operates up to 15,000 RPM, and is optimized for removing paint, rust, corrosion and blemishes. The 120-grit aluminum oxide abrasive is made up of 85 strips of layered flap material for longer life.
Both ZipDiscs are compatible with the ZipSaw Multi Saw and Spiral+ tools that use the ZipMate attachment. They will be available in home center stores for purchase by November 2012.