LUMBERYARDS

New Jersey-based Kuiken Brothers opens ninth yard

BY HBSDealer Staff

Fair Lawn, N.J.-based Kuiken Brothers opened its ninth location, in Succasunna, N.J. 

The new retail site features a 12-acre, state-of-the-art, drive-through lumber and building materials facility that will serve builders, remodelers and homeowners. 

“Since its founding, Kuiken Brothers has been strategically expanding its New Jersey market, which now includes Succasunna,” said Douglas Kuiken, Kuiken Brothers’ president. “We’re delivering on our promise to be the leading supplier of lumber, millwork and building materials in the markets we serve.”

The Succasunna location features thousands of residential and commercial building materials; an on-site window and door showroom; a kitchen selection center; an on-site window assembly shop; rail siding, which provides direct mill shipments; and a Benjamin Moore Paint Selection center. In addition, Kuiken Brothers offers continuing education seminars, has on-site kitchen designers, free product literature and samples, and veteran building and sales associates to help answer construction or do-it-yourself questions.

Kuiken Brothers now operates yards in eight New Jersey locations — Fair Lawn, Emerson, Midland Park, Ogdensburg, Wantage, Garfield, Succasunna and Roseland. It also has a yard in Warwick, N.Y.

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Settlement reached in Florida drywall case

BY HBSDEALER Staff

One of the largest Florida suppliers of tainted drywall has reached a preliminary settlement with a group of plaintiffs, counsels for the parties announced June 15. 

The insurers of Banner Supply Co. and its various subsidiaries have agreed to pay $55 million to homeowners in Florida who claim their homes were built with contaminated Chinese drywall.  

One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Russ Herman of New Orleans, said that attorneys for the plaintiffs "continue to engage in negotiations with other responsible parties, and [they] expect other settlement developments within the next 60 days. This is an ongoing process to secure complete relief for affected homeowners."

Michael Peterson, Banner’s counsel, of the firm Peterson and Espino of Miami, said, "Our business has thrived for over 58 years because our customers have trusted us. We are settling this matter to bring a resolution for our customers and to allow the homeowners to fix their homes. We regret that this could not have been achieved sooner, but Banner recognizes that prolonged litigation would not have accomplished this goal."

According to the plaintiffs’ counsel, it is estimated that 60,000 to 100,000 homes were built using defective Chinese drywall from a number of suppliers between 2004 and 2008 throughout the country. The defective drywall has been associated with unpleasant and potentially harmful odors and fumes that corrode metals, including air conditioning units, fixtures and other appliances.  

The proposed settlement must receive approval from U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon before it can be considered final.

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Housing starts bounce up 3.5% in May

BY Ken Clark

With seemingly nowhere to go but up, housing starts in May increased 3.5% from the upwardly revised April figure to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000. Single-family starts increased 3.7% to a rate of 419,000.

The figures had easy comparisons from a month ago, when the Commerce Department’s New Residential Construction report posted depressing numbers. While the month-to-month gains are a welcome sign for the industry, year-over-year statistics are negative — total starts were down 3.4%, and single-family starts were down 8.9%.

The May numbers were slightly higher than those of 2009, the slowest year of housing starts on record. 

On a regional basis, the West had the best numbers across the board, showing an 18.1% month-to-month gain and a 20.2% year-over-year gain. The West also showed a 15.6% improvement in single-family starts compared with April.

The Northeast struggled the most of the four regions. Year-over-year starts dropped 18.3%, and year-over-year single-family starts dropped 32.1%, according to the data released today.

Building permits, meanwhile, increased to a rate of 612,000 in May, up 8.7% from April, and up 5.2% compared with May 2010.

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