LUMBERYARDS

New Eco Home models showcase post-Sandy building standards

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Eco Building Products is continuing its crusade against the damage left in Hurricane Sandy’s path — this time with the introduction of two new Eco Home models demonstrating the codified change needed in the era of defensive building practices.

The models — located in Breezy Point, New York, and in Sea Bright, New Jersey — both contain defensive features specific to the region. The New Jersey home is built on concrete walls that are 108 ins. above flood tide, whereas the Breezy Point home is the first in the region to be built on telescoping steel columns 48 ins. above flood tides.

"The realities of what’s happening in this rebuild are further complicated when we see buildings coming out of the ground in areas that had 48 ins. of water, with 30-in. concrete walls and structural floor members that could be subjected to future flooding, when the manufacturer’s product guides state that the products should not be subjected to constant wetting since the core of that lumber is glued like particle board," said Steve Conboy, president and CEO, Eco Building Products.

Eco Building Products will be demonstrating the models to architects and engineers during the Eco Home Tour later this month, as well as promoting the relatively cost-effective brick-and-mortar prices.

"Team Eco’s goal is simple — create defensive models for people to touch and feel, that display our [defensive building practices] principles in living form, that in most cases does not have to raise the cost beyond reach," read a company statement. "At ECOB, we understand change is not easy for builders and contractors to embrace, so we are going the extra mile right now to prove out that Sandy Victims who purchase the complete package from The Home Depot [the Costco of building materials] can build defensively for similar costs of standard building materials."

The team is also hoping to meet one-on-one with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has displayed a renewed commitment to the Sandy rebuild.

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Lumber Liquidators rues harsh winter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lumber Liquidators blamed the unusually harsh winter for interruptions in its long purchase cycle during the first quarter of 2014, though sales still managed to increase 6.9% for the retailer.

Total sales came in at $246.3 million for the three months ended March 31, compared to $230.4 million last year. The company estimates that weather was to blame for an adverse impact on sales in as many as 135 of its 331 store loctaions, declining an average of 3.8%. In all other stores, sales increased 14.6%.

Net income didn’t fare quite so well, decreasing 13.2% to $13.7 million (compared to $15.8 million in year-ago terms).

"Like so many, our team was frustrated by the severity, scale and duration of the harsh winter and the adverse impact it had on our net sales," said CEO Robert Lynch. "Our customers generally follow a long purchase cycle, which we believe was either interrupted or completely suspended due to the unusually severe winter weather. However, as conditions generally became more seasonal in mid-March, customer demand increased. The key strategic initiatives we have implemented over the last two years have strengthened our operations, and we believe we are more capable than ever of serving customers who postponed their flooring purchase in the first quarter."

The company reiterated its full-year outlook for 2014, expecting net sales in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.20 billion, 35 to 40 new store locations in the expanded showroom format, and the remodeling of 25 to 30 existing stores in the expanded showroom format.

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Products recalled over amputation hazards

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ariens is recalling its Sno-Tek Snow Throwers and All-Season Power Brushes due to amputation and laceration risks associated with the machines.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a drive pulley has displayed a tendency to crack while in use, which causes the auger/impeller or brush to continue to rotate after the clutch is disengaged.

The recall affects approximately 5,700 units, though no incidents or injuries have been reported.

Affected models include Ariens and Sno-Tek brand snow throwers and Ariens and Graveley brand power brushes.

The Ariens snow throwers are orange and 22 to 24 inches wide, while the Sno-Tek models are black and 20 to 28 inches wide. The Ariens power brush was sold in orange and the Gravely in red.

They were sold at Home Depot stores and other authorized Ariens dealers nationwide from January 2014 to February 2014 for between $500 and $2,200.

The CPSC is advising consumers to immediately discontinue use (and especially avoid putting their hands into the discharge chute) and contact Ariens for a free repair.

All products have model and serial numbers printed on a white label on the lower rear of the product, near the wheel. Click here for a detailed list of serial numbers.

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