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Got bricks? Study looks at costs

BY HBSDealer Staff

The brick industry is promoting a study that compares the cost of fired-clay brick to six common home exteriors and declaring a winner in the lifetime ownership category.

The study — developed for the Brick Industry Association — comes from RSMeans. It showed that for a 2,700-square-foot, two story house, the national average for brick is $9.45.

That’s way less than $19.34 for adhered manufactured stone, but more than the average cost for stucco, $8.96; horizontal wood siding, $7.61; wood shingle, $6.10; fiber cement, $6.24 or vinyl siding, $3.24.

According to the BIA, these numbers don’t take into account lifetime ownership costs.

“Brick exteriors are a smart, sustainable home choice that provides superior protection from hail and windblown debris, higher resale values, virtually no maintenance costs and is 100 percent recyclable,” said Ray Leonhard, BIA’s president and CEO. “Other exterior options cannot match the many advantages of brick, and need to be painted or likely replaced every 10 years from regular wear and storm damage.”

The BIA has another concept that it is promoting eagerly: Fired-clay brick, it says, saves on energy costs through its dense thermal mass, superior durability and moisture resistance, lower insurance premiums, a minimum one-hour fire rating by itself (without additional backing materials and installation labor) and a 100-year lifespan.

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PLM offering cyber liability insurance

BY Andy Carlo

Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company, the Philadelphia-based insurance carrier serving the LBM industry, has introduced a new suite of coverage that is geared toward digital crimes.

The Cyber Suite is a liability insurance program offering five types of coverage to help businesses respond to digital incidents, PLM said. This includes data breaches, intrusions, cyberattacks and damage to data or systems.

Also included in the program is a comprehensive package of cyber coverages including: data compromise response expense coverage, computer attack coverage, cyber extortion coverage, data compromise liability coverage and networking security liability coverage.

Under the terms of the program, insured companies will receive access to risk management and computer diagnostic resources including eRiskHub, an online portal that helps insured business owners prepare for and respond to data breaches and cyberattacks.

“Though we all hear about the big data breaches, cyber risks are an increasing threat to small and medium sized businesses as well — and the lumber and building materials industries are no exception,” said John Smith, president and CEO of PLM. “Our Cyber Suite offering can help cushion our insureds against the expensive and time-consuming task of recovering from cyberattacks and data breaches.”

The Cyber Suite will be available to all property policy holders. With aggregate limits between $50,000 and $1 million, it will be included as a coverage enhancement for companies already insured by PLM and does not require a separate application.

PLM has about 6,000 businesses customers nationwide with property, general liability, inland marine, business automobile, commercial excess liability and equipment breakdown coverages.

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HBSDealer Stock Watch: Stocks slip on Friday

BY HBSDealer Staff

Most industry stocks were down at Friday’s close with SHLD falling 5.15%. Gains included HD, up 0.33%, along with LOW rising 1.03%. BXC also saw an increase with a 2.43% gain.

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