Bear Creek Lumber

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Volume 16 Number 12
December 2002
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During this holiday season, Bear Creek Lumber will be open weekdays in December,
with a reduced staff, and hours, after 12/13/02
We will be Closed Dec. 24-29 and Jan. 1-5

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In This Issue:
A Barn Grows in Iowa
Generation Next
Industry News
A Divine Deal
Timbers, Boards and More

The Marianetti Project III
Timbers / cedar supplied by Bear Creek Lumber
Mr. Deck was the Designer and Builder for this project
Thank you Mr. Deck (Robert Hauck) for your pictures and text.
All pictures and text are Copyright © Mr. Deck 1998

This Mr. Deck project site is located in an agriculture greenbelt south of Silicon Valley between San Martin and Gilroy, CA. The setting is country-gentry living, and the architectural style is neo-Spanish. The arbors are constructed entirely from rough-cut premium-grade cedar timbers supplied by Bear Creek Lumber. The project consists of two identical shadestructures at opposite ends of a large swimming-pool patio. Both arbors are stained two-toned (transparent California Rustic and Canary) to highlight the natural wood-grain and amplify the details.
At first glance, the arbors' design appears to be one of those Stack-of-Stacks structures criticized in the Critiques. However, these arbors handle the columns and beams in an entirely different manner. The major beams are pierced by minor beams. Moreover, the minor beams are pierced by 3- inch diameter cedar lock-pins front and aft of each major beam. Both the major and minor beams are undercut with broad arches, having a style popular in 18th century Spanish architecture. The support columns are decorated with canary-stained recessed panels on all four faces. Each column is topped with a hefty capital and collar, and anchored with a robust 10-inch high base. All of these column elements were glued together with polysulfide caulk. The only fasteners even close to a nail were 1.5 inch pin-brads, used in the trim-strips just to keep the pieces in place until the caulk stiffened. The capitals, collars and bases are held together with just the caulk. Not one nail was used in either arbor's fabrication, anywhere. Of course in the connections of column-to-beam, joist-to-beam, and canopy's topmost lath, all the fasteners are zinc-plated bolts, ranging from 3/8 inch to 7/8 inch in diameter. Yet as is customary with Mr.Deck's arbors, no screw, bracket or bolt is visible anywhere!
This rustic construction is quite a departure from our usual more finished arbor-style.It was designed with the owners' insistence that it be reminiscent of California's earlier days. In light of today's fast-paced work-styles in bustling Silicon Valley, and the fact that a home in the country offers the ideal sanctuary, there was a serious interest in recapturing the look and feel of a more leisurely era. Swinging under one of these vast shade arbors in a large hammock with a warm breeze blowing across the valley is just the ready remedy the owners were seeking. What a great life!
Copyright © Mr. Deck 1998

A Barn Grows In Iowa

Bear Creek supplied all of the Doug Fir #1 & better S4S timbers , except for a few salvaged ones Tom already had. He also purchased the exterior Doug Fir o#2 & better rough board & batt siding from BCL.
Photos from Tom And Mary Ipsan
of Mount Vernon, Iowa.
Dreams come in all sizes and shapes. This one grew with the corn in Iowa. You hear a lot about people tearing the old barns down but not about those building them back into the landscape. This is a labor of love. I asked Tom if he had any completed pictures yet , and he said he was down to a one-man crew, so the finishing touches were still a ways off. But he welcomed his Bear Creek Lumber salesman, Mark Buck to stop by with his tool belt, any time. “Been waiting for him to show up!” , Tom (pictured to the right) said with a grin, over the phone.
Generation Next: Today’s Most Active Homebuyers
Under 30 and ready to buy. This is the generation that grew up with VCRs, central air, microwaves and a personal computer with a 28k modem. Today the Nintendo generation - anyone under 30 - is moving out of apartments, and into their first homes. They are buying fixer-uppers, converted apartments, and ranch houses. In fact, nation wide, the percentage of young home buyers has risen every year since 1994, no doubt a natural lift from a buoyant economy. Buyers under 25 have increased the most dramatically: they now make up 21.7 percent of the home ownership rate, up from 14.9 percent six years earlier. They recognize they’ll have to sacrifice some things to get equity, but it doesn’t change perhaps the biggest difference between this generation and the first-time buyers of years past: they know exactly what they want.
Studies by the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Realtors and Builder magazine have drawn strikingly similar conclusions. Builders and remodelers can’t rely on old standbys when it comes to this market. This demographic is less inspired by a formal dining area than by a spare room wired for high speed Internet access. They’re uninterested in a three-car garage, but would love more kitchen counters. They expect tasteful and hip accents, and might consider such standards as brass fixtures and oak trim woefully out of fashion. If they can’t have charm, they want the comforts they found in apartment living: dishwasher, disposal , air conditioning, and a minimum of two bedrooms - one for a roommate to help with the mortgage. Since single women comprise about 22 percent of first-time buyers, safety and low maintenance are also a concern. Bombarded with advertising since infancy, under-30 buyers are mistrustful of marketing hype and sales ploys.
The one need they have in common with previous generations, however, is affordability. Many first-time buyers are qualifiying for adjustable-rate mortgages, which may be one reason ARMs loans in 1999 rose 30 percent in a year. And although a third of these buyers are getting hefty down payments from their boomer parents, most still struggle with up front cost. For them, an attractive financial plan could mean the difference between staying in that funky loft , and moving into a starter home - as long as it has a DSL line.

Industry News
Housing construction rebounded with gusto in September, soaring 13.3 percent to the highest level in 16 years. The huge increase reported by the Commerce Department Thursday propelled the number of housing units that builders broke ground on in September,to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.84 million, the highest level since June 1986.
Building permits, an indication of builder confidence ,and a gauge of future strength, rose 3.7 percent to 1.727 million units from
1.666 million units the preceding month.
Sales of new homes rose 0.4 percent in September while sales of existing home were up by 1.9 percent as the lowest mortgage ratesin decades kept the housing industry on track for a record year. The Commerce Department reported that sales of new single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.021 million last month, the highest rate on record, surpassing the old record of 1.017 million set in August. The increase was led by a surge in sales in the Northeast. The median price of an existing home sold in September -- that's where half sell for more and half sell for less -- was $159,000, up 7.9 percent from the same month a year ago.
Rates on 30-year mortgages dropped to a new low this week, Mortgage giant Freddie Mac, in itsweekly nationwide survey of mortgage rates, reported that the average interest rate on 30-year fixedrate mortgages fell to 5.98 percent, the lowest level since Freddie Mac began tracking these rates in 1971. That not only was an improvement over last week's average rate of 6.01 percent but also represented the sixth time this year that rates on 30-year mortgages hit recordlows. This week's rate barely inched out the prior low of 5.99 percent, which was set at the end of September.
A Divine Deal

Many developers find themselves at the end of a project stuck with a few less than desirable lots. What the Drees Co. did with them was commendable.
The company was finishing Southbridge, a master planned community in Prince William County, Va., where it had been building for three years. The Fort Mitchell, Ky.-based builder decided to sell its remaining 33 town home lots to a nonprofit developer, the nondenominational Catholics for Housing (CFH). Under contract, Drees then built and helped sell the homes for the nonprofit.
To an outsider, even to a Southbridge resident, the transition appeared seamless. The town homes looked the same as the ones Drees had been building all along - on the outside at least. Inside, the partners downgraded the vinyl, carpeting, and cabinetry to take some cost out. The new CFH units listed for $107,000. Even though the average sales price of the previous town homes had been $125,000 prices in the subdivision had gone up and down often enough through the years that existing owners hardly noticed the difference.
“It took the lots off our books so we could wrap up,” says Drees vice president Mike Kledzik, explaining the company’s practical motivation. Bledzik had a higher purpose as well. “It was a way to give back to the community with our personnel. The only cost was time.”

Under construction:
Right: Kevin K. puts the finishing touches on a pergola project in New York City using Bear Creek Lumber clear Alaskan yellow cedar beams.

Left: Bear Creek Lumber 1 x 10 STK Red Cedar milled into a channel siding graces this almost finished horse barn in Washington State. Picture by Mark Buck
California Red Hot
The housing market in California will continue to be strong next year, according to economists for the California Association of Realtors. The median home price in the state next year is expected to jump 10 percent to about $344,000, a record.
"We simply do not have enough homes for all the people who want them," said Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the Los Angeles-based association.

Editor: *Ela Bannick Feature Writer: *Sage Bannick