Remodeling activity climbs everywhere but Midwest
Residential remodeling activity in March 2011 rose 14% in year-over-year comparisons, according to an index compiled by BuildFax, which uses a national database of building permit data. All regions of the country showed gains with the exception of the Midwest, which posted a decline in remodels.
The same trend held true in year-over-year comparisons. The BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) for March 2011 registered 17 straight months of year-over-year gains.
The West posted the largest gains, up 18.5 points (22%) year-over-year and up 5.4 points (6%) month-over-month. The Northeast gained 2.7 points (4%) year-over-year and 4.5 points (8%) month-over-month, and the South improved 7.8 points (10%) year-over-year and 7 points (9%) month-over-month. The Midwest, however, saw significant drops, down 15.3 points (20%) year-over-year and 3.3 points (5%) month-over-month.
“The winter of 2010/2011 was one of the worst on record,” said Joe Emison, VP research and development at BuildFax. “The economy is continuing to struggle, and gas prices have soared. However, consumers in March still continued spending on renovations and home improvements as they drove the remodeling industry to yet another month of solid gains compared with a year ago. Significant improvements in the West continue to drive activity nationally to the best year in remodeling since 2006.”
Based in Austin, Texas, BuildFax derives its remodeling index on monthly building permit activity filed with local building departments across the country.
Royal Group opens new DC
Royal Group, a manufacturer of decking, trim, pipe and other building materials, has announced the grand opening of a new distribution center in Terrebonne, Quebec. The new DC, called Produits de Bâtiment Résidentiel, will cater to the residential market, providing building products for new construction and remodeling projects.
“This is an optimal location, since approximately 25% of our current customer base in the Montreal region is in the Terrebonne area,” said Adrien Pilon, general manager of distribution at Royal. “Just as significant, the Terrebonne area has the highest projected new construction rate for the next five years in the Montreal region.”
The Terrebonne branch is 30% larger than the former Royal distribution center in Anjou, allowing the company to increase its selection of siding, trim and accessories, moldings, decking and windows. The expanded space will also enable the branch to carry Versetta Stone, Solid CoRe Siding and additional products from selected suppliers.
Based in Woodbridge, Ontario, Royal Group is a subsidiary of Georgia Gulf Corp., which makes a variety of remodeling and new construction products, including siding, deck, fence and rail, trim and moldings, pipe and fittings, and window and door profiles.
West Virginia lumberyard to close
Evans Lumber Co., an 81-year-old lumberyard in South Charleston, W.Va., is looking for a buyer, according to an article in the Charleston Daily Mail.
Owner Don Evans said he put the place on the market several weeks ago, citing competitive pressure and a loss of local businesses. He will operate the store for another six to nine months, he said, before closing it for good.