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USG looks to honor drywall finishers with contest

BY David Salazar

Chicago-based Building materials company USG is looking to highlight the best drywall finishers by rolling out a new Building Greatness program.

The program takes the form of a contest whose winner gets a trip to the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Contestants can submit photos of drywall finishing jobs they’re proud of to USG through March 1, 2015.

“We want to show drywall finishers that USG values their hard work,” USG’s director of product marketing performance surfaces Kevin Moyer said. “The skill and craftsmanship that goes into this profession is too often overlooked.”

Contestants can send in submissions once a month, all of which will be displayed on the Facebook page for USG Sheetrock. There will be four runners-up, who will receive a prize worth up to $100.

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Duracell plans Quantum leap this summer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Duracell will launch new Quantum C, D and 9-Volt batteries during the summer of 2014. The launch will coincide with the first anniversary of the launch of the Quantum battery line.

The new batteries will have the same suite of exclusive features and technologies as Quantum AA and AAA batteries. All three new batteries include a Hi-Density Core to deliver more fuel and superior, unbeatable performance, the new Powercheck to instantly see the remaining power in the battery, and Duralock Power Preserve Technology to stay fresh for up to 10 years in storage. 

These features increase battery life and dependability, the company said. 

“We are excited to build on last year’s introduction of the Quantum battery,” said Paul Schacht, Duracell professional team lead. “Our customers need reliable, long-lasting batteries to help them perform critical jobs in the work place every day, whether they are plant managers, office managers or hospitality professionals. We are confident they will find the new C, D and 9-Volt Quantum batteries to be excellent additions to the Duracell lineup.”

The new Quantum batteries are part of a growing sector of the battery market. C, D and 9-Volt batteries currently represent more than a third of the battery market, and the share continues to grow. More than 300 million devices in the United States depend on the power of C, D and 9-Volt batteries. These devices include smoke detectors, flashlights and lanterns, among other critical devices.

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Report: remodelers seeing growth

BY HBSDealer Staff

A report from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) states that the second quarter saw an increase in remodeling market indicators.

The 2014 Remodeling Business Pulse (RBP) survey demonstrated growth compared to conditions in March, at which time market indicators had just declined.

On a scale of 1 to 9 — where 1 is "much worse than a year ago," 5 is "about the same as last year" and 9 is "much better," — current business conditions increased from 6.07 to 6.29. 

The number of inquiries increased from 6.24 to 6.38, and requests for bids rose to 6.29 from 6.16. Conversion of bids increased to 5.83 from 5.71, and the sales value of jobs went up to 6.20 from 5.84.

“This quarter didn’t show much change in conditions driving growth,” says Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning Committee. “People needing to do postponed projects remain the number one driver at 80 percent, and improving home prices, at 59 percent, continues at number two. What is encouraging — is that the value of jobs sold had a statistically significant growth.”

One factor that did decline: the three-month outlook for business, which dropped to 6.32 from March’s previous high of 6.51. However, only 8% of remodelers reported decline; 70% are still seeing some level of growth.

“As the industry slowly recovers from the 2008 downturn and comparisons are being made to healthier year-ago periods, we may see these ratings soften some,” O’Grady says. “Remodelers report that shortages are particularly acute for trained workers with basic carpentry skills to work in the field."

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