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Johns Manville stocks mineral wool insulation

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Johns Manville added commercial and residential mineral wool insulation to its product mix.

“Mineral wool is a great addition to JM’s already robust line of insulation products,” said Fred Stephan, SVP insulation systems at Johns Manville. “Building occupants benefit from acoustically superior environments, moisture protection and increased fire performance. Contractors also enhance their bottom line because it’s rigid for accurate cutting and fitting, compressed and durable for easy transport and requires zero downtime during installation.”

The wool is made from high-density inorganic fibers and is manufactured using an advanced process, which results in a low amount of shot material and product consistency. According to the company, Johns Manville is the only manufacturer providing compression packaging for mineral wool products.

Mineral wool has a high melting point — over 2000°F — which can help delay the spread of fire, as well as provide better insulation from sound and reduce energy costs.

JM mineral wool lends itself to easy, accurate cuts and is available in various thicknesses and sizes.

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Kodiak acquires Jones-Heartz Drywall Supply

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Denver-based Kodiak Building Partners expanded its footprint in the gypsum distribution market with the acquisition of Jones-Heartz Drywall Supply, also of Denver. 

Jones-Heartz Drywall Supply’s team of 57 people will remain in place, with Greg Lyon leading the combined drywall operations of Jones-Heartz and Great West Drywall Supply, acquired by Kodiak in 2012. 

"We are very excited about having Jones-Heartz Drywall Supply join our team," said Paul Hylbert, Kodiak chairman. "Greg Lyon has built a fine organization and developed a terrific business. In addition to giving us a strong presence in Denver, the company and capable people offer us a platform on which to grow throughout the Mountain Range States."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kodiak Building Partners, founded in 2011, also includes in its portfolio Barton Supply, Gulf and Basco, and New England Building Supply.

Steve Swinney, Kodiak president and chief operating officer, said: "I am thrilled to be partnering with Greg to expand our drywall distribution operations. It is a platform that we want to continue to grow and I look forward to working with Greg to do that in 2014 and beyond."

With 20 delivery trucks, Jones-Heartz is described as the largest independent drywall distributor in the state of Colorado. It was founded in 1997, with a product mix ranging from wallboard, studs and trim to stucco and cover insulation.

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NAHB sees home construction on a roll

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Housing starts were back at a million-plus pace in November, as Commerce Department stats reflected the healthiest residential construction industry since the Great Recession began. 

In its regular analysis of the number, the National Association of Home Builders piled on the good news by pointing to surveys that show builders are increasingly confident that buyers are getting off the bench and into the game. 

On an unadjusted basis, construction began on 82,800 homes in November – and 51,900 single-family homes. A year ago, those stats were 63,200 and 40,100. 

“This upward trend could be even stronger if not for persistently tight lending conditions for buyers and builders facing rising costs for building material, lots and labor,” said NAHB chairman Rick Judson.

As housing starts were up nationwide by 22.7%, the story varied by region. Residential construction activity rose 41.7% in the Midwest, 38.5% in the South and 8.8% in the West. Total starts actually fell 29.4% in the Northeast.

“Single-family and multifamily starts are at five-year highs, providing additional evidence that the recovery is here to stay,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “We hit a soft spot this fall when interest rates jumped and the government closed down, but mortgage rates still remain very affordable and pent-up demand is helping to boost the housing market. We expect a continued steady, gradual growth in starts and home sales in 2014.”

Overall building permits, which are an indicator of future building activity, fell 3.1% to 1.007 million units in November, but marked the second consecutive month of million-plus permits.

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