Two in one: bamboo/recycled plastic decking
Cali Bamboo, a leading manufacturer of green building materials made primarily from bamboo, is now offering composite decking made from bamboo and recycled plastic. BamDeck Composite Bamboo Decking is composed of 60% recycled bamboo fiber and 40% recycled HDPE plastics. (High density polyethylene plastic products are labeled with the number “2” and include bottles, laundry detergent containers, plastic bags and water pipes.)
Tests performed by a licensed third party — in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) regulations and specifications — determined that BamDeck Composite is more than twice as hard and four times stronger than other decking products, according to the manufacturer. Tests show the product absorbs one tenth as much water and scores lower on flame and smoke tests. Cali Bamboo’s decking is also slip resistant and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Two allow for a variety of installation styles.
BamDeck is available for purchase nationwide and comes with a 10-year commercial and 25-year residential warranty. The decking is offered in two different surface textures (ridged or smooth) and four colors: caramel, coffee, slate, natural.
Based in San Diego, Cali Bamboo services residential and commercial building projects across North America with a wide range of products including bamboo flooring, fencing, composite decking, plywood, poles, paneling and more.
Remodeling activity expected to rise
The remodeling industry should expect to see “accelerated growth” by the end of the year and into 2013, according to the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. In their quarterly forecast, called the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), the researchers pointed to a pick-up in home sales and more positive business conditions for contractors. The LIRA suggests that annual homeowner improvement spending may reach double-digit growth by the first quarter of 2013.
“Home improvement activity has been bouncing around the bottom of this cycle for almost three years now, waiting for the industry to get some traction,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “Now, the combination of low financing costs, stronger consumer confidence, improving home sales, and the perception that home prices have stabilized in most markets across the country are encouraging owners to start working on the list of home improvement projects they have been putting off.”
Eric Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center, attributed a first-quarter bump in remodeling activity to warm weather in many areas. “By the end of the year, however, positive market fundamentals are expected to kick in, moving the industry out of this ebb and flow period and into a new growth phase,” Belsky added.
Johnson Lumber now offers prefinished wood
Johnson Lumber Co., a sawmill in Denmark, N.Y., saw an opportunity during the construction downturn to offer a unique product. So it purchased three pieces of equipment in online auctions in 2009 and 2010. After learning how each one works, separately and in tandem, the family-owned mill now offers pre-stained and pre-treated floorboards and siding.
"We realize the demand for colors and the demand for having it prefinished," sales manager George LaBarr told the Journal & Republic. "It’s so hard to do it in the field and do it right."
The prefinished wood with the clear coat is typically used indoors, while the stained-only wood is for exterior use. Retailers can match paints or stains for homeowners and custom-order the prefinished boards in six or eight-inch widths. The company has ramped up production in the last few months and distributes to about 200 independent lumberyards. The mill is located at the foothills of the Adirondacks in Northern New York.
"We’re not reinventing ourselves, but we’re strategically adding products," LaBarr said.