LUMBERYARDS

Remodeling activity declined in June, according to BuildFax

BY Brae Canlen

Residential remodeling activity in the United States declined 6% in June 2012 compared with May, according to an index compiled by BuildFax, a national database of building permit data. The June 2012 figure is 1% below the revised June 2011 number.

Annual rates of remodeling authorized by building permits across the country in June 2012 are estimated as follows: Northeast, 692,000 (down 11% from May and up 7% from June 2011); South, 1,071,000 (down 5% from May and up 1% from June 2011); Midwest, 487,000 (down 9% from May and down 9% from June 2011); and West, 724,000 (down 8% from May and down 9% from June 2011).

“Remodeling growth is slowing down, but we still estimate that more residential remodeling projects will be permitted in 2012 than in 2011,” said Joe Emison, VP research and development at BuildFax. 

Co-headquartered in Austin, Texas, and Asheville, N.C., BuildFax, a division of BUILDERadius, maintains a national database of historical building permit data. It also operates a proprietary property intelligence engine that contains building and permitting information from more than 4,000 cities and counties throughout the country.

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Owens Corning names new CFO

BY Brae Canlen

Owens Corning has named Michael McMurray as senior VP and chief financial officer, effective immediately, to replace Duncan Palmer, who is leaving the company to join Reed Elsevier, a U.K.-based company.

McMurray, 47, joined Owens Corning in 2008 as VP and treasurer. His most recent position was VP finance leader of the company’s $3.5 billion building materials group. Prior to joining the Owens Corning, McMurray was finance manager of America’s Lubricants for Royal Dutch Shell.

Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens Corning is a global producer of residential and commercial building materials that include insulation, roofing, acoustical systems and other products.

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At Juniata Lumber & Supply, resilience and recognition

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mifflintown, Pa.-based Juniata PRO Lumber & Supply has been named the winner of the 2012 Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award.

The award is presented annually to PRO Hardware retailers that show superior commitment to the principles and ideals of effective hardware merchandising. It is named for PRO Hardware’s founder Paul L. Cosgrave. 

The award marks a strong comeback for the retailer, which two years ago faced an uncertain future. In 2010, the store, then located in a flood plain in Mifflin, was forced to close when the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation replaced a bridge across the Juniata River. Company executives, including John Groninger, Rick Schell and Bill Manbeck, were faced with the decision to close or relocate.

Their decision reflected resilience and dedication, according to Shari Kalbach, managing director for PRO Group. “We chose to recognize them because the store goes above and beyond in every capacity, from serving its customers to serving its community,” she said. “Although they’ve faced some tough decisions, they have continued to be successful because of the dedication of their owners and employees.”

Joe Rhine, general manager, who began work with Juniata as a counter salesperson in 1991, said that even when the location in Mifflin was forced to close, the store’s staff worked hard to serve customers. "For eight months, we worked out of office trailers and storage pods on the construction site and delivered out of our New Bloomfield location," he said.   

The new store, which opened in 2011, is a complete home center, offering hardware products, plumbing, paint, electrical, tools, building materials, lumber, housewares, windows, doors and more. It also features customer-friendly bright lighting and wide aisles. In the fall, the store plans to construct another storage building that will hold roofing products and long lumber. Since space is limited to merchandise building supply products, Juniata constructed a display area across the rear of the store to promote ceiling tiles, doors, tubs and shower units, water heaters, faucets and related products.

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