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Oldcastle renames masonry unit

BY Ken Clark

Oldcastle Architectural, a leading producer of concrete masonry products in North America, has renamed its high-density, pre-finished architectural concrete masonry unit Cordova Stone, according to a company announcement. The rebrand is part of the company’s research and development in artisan stone veneers.

The adoption of the new name Cordova Stone signifies the end of the company’s sale of the product under the Prairie Stone brand. Oldcastle Architectural plans to unveil additional artisan product offerings in the coming months under the Artisan Masonry Stone Veneers brand.

Manufactured by Northfield Block, an Oldcastle company, Cordova Stone achieves the look of natural stone by using all natural aggregates. Whether in a veneer or through-wall application, Cordova Stone is suitable for both commercial and residential projects.

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A new primer on paint marketing

BY Ken Clark

The other day, an HCN editor received an email from Cambridge — the one in England. A senior analyst and Ph.D. was asking for an example of an adhesive, paint or sealant product that has “transformed the market.”

Two thoughts came to mind.

1.) A feeling of pride. Our readers will be glad to know that PhDs in Cambridge — hailing from a place called “Cambridge Science Park” located on none-other than “Milton Road” — have turned to Home Channel News. What is one to do but accept the compliment and the reputation as a go-to source for knowledge and analysis and ready examples of case studies.

2.) A blank. Couldn’t think of any examples.

But after some reflection, an example dawned on me. A couple years ago, when Masco’s Behr division introduced its Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint with its promise of “paint and primer in one,” a transformation occurred. Here was a product that was soon to be studied, imitated, criticized in some quarters, envied in others, and — to a certain extant — demanded at paint counters everywhere.

Footnote here: It was actually our friends at Ames Research Laboratories that were first to market with a paint-and-primer-in-one product, according to Ames’ Peter Carey. The product, Ames Paint & Prime, came out about 20 years ago. But it took Behr and its Home Depot partners to make the phrase “paint and primer in one “ a household name.

Now here’s the news flash. Sherwin-Williams this week introduced a new high-end paint in the mid-$60-per-gallon price point. The company’s VP marketing research and design Karl Schmitt used the following terms to describe the new paint: “revolutionary,” “best in class,” “game changer” and “breakthrough.”

I was ready to bet $5 that Schmitt was about to drop “paint and primer in one” to his marketing pitch. 

I would have lost. 

I brought up the omission to Sherwin-Williams’ VP product development Steve Revnew — a man whose very name conjures the image of sales growth. He said quality, sustainability, color, consistency and performance were the goals and the buzzwords. “Paint and primer in one?” Not so much. 

“In most cases, a good primer combined with good paint works best,” he said. 

Few will disagree. But will Americans spend $60 per gallon for a new line of paint that doesn’t offer the one-coat-fits-all mold in an ultra-competitive paint market? That’s a question for those with Ph.D.s in reading the future.

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Lowe’s installer thrives in Dayton

BY HBSDealer Staff

Highfield Door Sales, a Kettering, Ohio, business that installs garage door openers for nine local Lowe’s stores, has purchased and is renovating a 20,000-sq.-ft. former wine and beer warehouse store to expand its operations, according to an article in the Dayton Daily News

The family-owned business, which started in 2009 with just one employee, currently operates out of a leased 1,700-sq.-ft. building in this Dayton-area town.

Owner Rodney Highfield told the newspaper he built his independent company from a personal sideline into a thriving operation that did $890,000 in sales last year, up from $600,000 in 2010 and $400,000 in 2009. The business employs seven workers. 

Highfield began installing garage doors for Lowe’s in 1995, shortly after being hired at General Motors. In 2006, he used his buyout check from GM to start the firm, which sells and installs garage, entry and storm doors and systems. 

In addition to the $225,000 purchase price, Highfield expects to spend $75,000 on renovations for his new facility.

 

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