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Growth-oriented US LBM strikes again

BY HBSDEALER Staff

US LBM Holdings has acquired Lumber Specialties of Dyersville, Iowa, a company described as the largest independent manufacturer of structural building components in the Midwest. 

US LBM bought the company from majority shareholders Carl Schoenhard, Bob Lex and Terry Bahl. Dennis Westhoff will become president of Lumber Specialties, managing the business with Bob Lex, Terry Bahl and their existing team.

“Lumber Specialties is excited to join the US LBM team,” said president Dennis Westhoff. “This new partnership will allow Lumber Specialties to continue to grow as a company and improve our operations and enhance customer service. The opportunity for growth for our employees and vendors is amazing.”

Lumber Specialties was founded in 1983 in Dyersville with 10 employees. After 30 years in business, Lumber Specialties has grown to almost 220 associates and is the largest independent truss and wall panel manufacturer in the Midwest.

Operating out of two facilities in Dyersville and Story City, Iowa, that total more than 100,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space on 64 acres, the company produces roof and floor trusses, wall panels as well as provides engineered wood products, steel beams and laminated columns to lumber dealers throughout the Midwest. 

“We are very pleased to have the Lumber Specialties team join US LBM and further our reach and abilities for truss and panel products,” said L.T. Gibson, president and CEO of US LBM. “Lumber Specialties has state-of-the-art facilities, a first-rate group of associates, and we are happy to have them on the US LBM team.” 

For more information on the Lumber Specialties, go to lbrspec.com.

US LBM, recipient of the 2013 HCN Pro Dealer of the Year Award, is a collection of 17 leading building material distributors across the U.S in 19 states with over 90 locations.

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Housing starts decline in November

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Housing starts had a disappointing showing in November, dipping below their monthly and yearly comparisons. And with just one more month left to account for in 2014, breaking the million mark looks unlikely.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that privately owned housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,028,000 in November, down 1.6% from October’s upwardly revised figure of 1,045,000 and 7.0% below November 2013’s rate.

However, this is more or less in line with expectations of a 1.04-million-unit-rate, according to economists polled by Reuters.

At 1,035,000, there were only slightly more housing units authorized by building permits. That’s 5.2% below October and 0.2% below November 2013.

In terms of single-family housing starts, November’s rate came in at 677,000, or 5.4% below the revised October figure of 716,000.

On an unadjusted basis, total housing starts for the first 11 months of the year add up to 927,200. To break the million mark, December starts would have to exceed 72,800. In December last year, there were 67,600 total housing starts on an unadjusted basis.

Though the drop in building permits suggests a continuation of the slow growth seen throughout 2014, November’s estimate marks the third consecutive month that housing starts have cleared the million mark.

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Plumbing company boosts sales team

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Keeney Manufacturing Company and Plumb Pak, a plumbing industry supplier, welcomed John Watkins to its sales management team.

Watkins is responsible for key account sales and will be based out of Chicago. 

He is a graduate of Purdue University and brings 15 years of experience working with leading retail and wholesale accounts in the plumbing and hardware industry, the company said. 

"I look forward to helping Plumb Pak and Keeney further its position as an industry leading manufacturer and supplier, and enhancing our strong U.S. and international brands," Watkins said.

"We are extremely excited to have John as a part of the Keeney Manufacturing team, as he has an expansive comprehension of the retail plumbing industry," said Stuart Holden, CEO. "He is focused on positioning us as a creative, aggressive American manufacturer, while leveraging our international assets. Both our Canadian brand, Belanger Faucet Company, and our KMC Jiangmen manufacturing operations benefit from John’s leadership."

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