Bear Creek Lumber

Quality. Value. Expertise. Since 1977

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Inventory Highlight:
Spruce-Pine Turned Logs

Order Now, (We Can) Ship Later

Prices for lumber typically are high in fall, and low in the winter. If you know what you are going to need to build with, it might be a good time to buy, before the summer prices start heating up. Many lumberyards insist that once they have your money, you have to take immediate possession of your lumber.
At Bear Creek Lumber, we can store your lumber for you until you want it shipped, at no extra cost to you. Get on our shipping schedule early, and you will have priority treatment!

Above: Winter is all but over in the Methow Valley by March. Late season skiers still enjoy the lodging at Freestone Inn in Mazama, a lodge built with Bear Creek Lumber cedar products.

Bear Creek Lumber’s effort to increase their diverse specialty lumber product line continues.

For the past 25 years, we have been providing popular log siding products. Recently we have expanded our log home product line .
New products include dry planed logs, as well as the popular D log, and coped products which are used as walls for log homes and shelters. Our dry logs compliment our timber inventory. They are available 8" though 12" diameter in 6' to 20' lengths. These logs are from the dried white wood species; spruce and pine. Our D logs and coped logs are used for walls in log homes. Both are kiln dried, and have a double tongue and groove pattern.

What’s in This Product Line
1) Lathe Turned Logs
• Cut from standing dead lodgepole pine/spruce
• Available coped or uncoped
• 8”-12” diameter, 8-16 ft long
2) Dowels
• Cut from standing dead lodgepole pine and spruce
• 4”-6” diameter, 8,10 and 12 ft
3) D Logs
• Cut from standing dead lodgepole pine/spruce
• Western Red cedar also available
• 6 x 6, 6 x 8, 8 x 8 and 8 x 10 available
• 8-16 ft. R/L heavy 16 ft
4) Waney Cants
• Cut from standing dead lodgepole pine/spruce
• Primary use is to be turned into lathe turned logs
•8 x 8, 10 x 10 and 12 x 12 available

Dear Cloud,
Thanks for your help. By the way, Pete wanted you to know that the material that arrived for our last job was, in his words, ” some of the most beautiful stuff he’d ever had delivered to a job site”.
San Juan Island, WA

We send our owner-builder kit customers to Bear Creek for speciality siding, flooring, etc. They always report satisfaction.
Gary Davis

More Customer Response

Hi! We finished our building ( pictured left), and are already thinking of building #2. Will hold off for awhile. Enjoy the clapboards and had just enough. As we are doing a few smaller out buildings may need to order more in spring. Thanks for your help on this project.

Hope everything is going well for you.
Best wishes,
John Bayles

Quick Tips: Install Wood Lap Siding Correctly

Though natural wood is much more aesthetic, and environmentally friendly, problems in preservation have caused less educated buyers to seek non-wood siding. Non-wood products are touted to have lower initial cost, and less maintenance.
Yet, the only problem with wood as a preservable material is the multitude of factors in applying the proper adhesive coating.
Below is a list of tips on how to install, and treat wooden lap siding (clapboards) the right way.

1. Install a moisture barrier. A moisture barrier should be installed on the warm side of exterior walls. This is especially true when you are building in areas of high moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens. This prevents moisture from migrating in winter from the interior to the exterior, where it might cool and condense behind the siding.
2. Use building paper/wraps. The wrap is designed to accomplish three things: slow infiltration, provide a secondary rain barrier under the siding and allow the wall to breathe. 15 lb. or 30 lb. felt paper also works well.
3. Use rain-screen strips. Thin (1/4- by 1 1/2 inch) vertical strips of wood or plywood fastened over the sheathing and building paper at the locations of the studs, provide nailing for the siding and an air space vented to the outdoors. This provides the moisture with a way out, allowing the siding to dry.
4. Select the right wood. Western red cedar, yellow cedar, white cedar, fir and redwood all have long-lasting qualities There are many buildings over a hundred years old with these sidings still in place and serviceable.
5. Pay attention to grain. Wood shrinks and swells with moisture about twice as much along the grain (tangentially) as it does perpendicularly to the grain. The best clapboards are radial sawn. Next best are quarter sawn.
6. Avoid weathering. Exposing wood to the sun and rain produces a thin layer of decomposed wood that prevents the paint from bonding to the sound wood. It is often recommended that wood be sanded before painting, in order to give the paint a firm grip.
7. Back prime your wood. By priming both sides and the ends of the clapboards, you will minimize the absorption of water and resulting swelling, cupping and peeling. The best primer for alkyd or latex finish paint is an oil-based, stain-blocking primer.
8. Use good fasteners. You may be scared by the sound of spending over $100 for stainless steel siding nails, but any other fastener, even galvanized, will eventually cause unsightly rust stains.
9. Use the highest quality coating. Check Consumer Reports (exterior paints in June 2001, exterior stains in October 2001).

Even with the proper wood selections, and top notch treatment you can assume that the work of wood preservation will need to be continually updated. Clear or transparent treatments: every one to two years. Semi-transparent stain (water or oil): three to five years. Solid stain (water or oil): six to eight years. Paint (100% arcylic latex): 10 years.


Sales of new homes climbed to an alltime high last year even as the country was mired in a recession. Low mortgage rates helped to motivate Americans to make such a big purchase. The Commerce Department reported Monday that a record 900,000 new single-family homes were sold in 2001, a testimony to the resiliency of the housing market, one of the economy's few bright spots. Last year's sales performance surpassed the record of 886,000 set in 1998, and represented a 2.6 percent increase from sales registered in 2000.
“The housing market was the shining star in a very dark constellation,'' said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors.“ While manufacturing and technology and investment collapsed, households still showed their confidence in the future by purchasing homes at a record pace.”
For existing homes, sales reached an all-time high of 5.25 million in 2001, the National Association of Realtors said last week. The rise in overall sales pushed up housing prices. For all of 2001, the median sales price, meaning half sold for more and half for less, increased to $174,100, a 3 percent advance from 2000. Appreciation in housing values, and the resulting cash from a wave of home-mortgage refinancing has helped support consumer spending during the slowdown, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said last week. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of all economic activity.

Canadian Tariff Update

Talks between Canadian and American negotiators continue to stall. Americans want to see a timber sale system similar to their own, while Canadians want to limit any an auction-based program . Canadians, meanwhile, are seeing a surge in imports to the US from other countries, especially in the high end mouldings grade materials. The biggest increases are from Europe and New Zealand. Imports from Canada were expected to have declined in 2001, and a 1 billion board feet decline could be expected in 2002 if tariffs are left in place. Left in place, the cost of tariffs to
consumers is expected to be $1,000-3,000 per new home, according to the Building
Industry of Washington.

“ I believe that if they want to have free trade in natural gas and oil, they should have free trade in wood, too, because if they were not to have oil and gas from Canada, they will need a lot of wood to heat their homes” -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien , after anti-dumping duties were imposed on Canadian mills last year.

TV Ads
Recruit New Blood Into the Trades

The Associated Builders and Contractor’s Portland Chapter decided that during this recessionary period it would be a good time to look for new blood. Spending a sizeable amount on TV advertising, the Portland chapter has been heavily recruiting during televised news broadcasts, football games and stockcar races. “With so many layoffs, and more people in school, we’re try- ing to attract and educate people about jobs in construction”, says Tammy Hawkes, executive director of the chapter.

Customers: Chose The Right Ones

No matter what your niche your business aims for, it is always best to work for the right customer. Working for nice people eliminates bad debts, boosts crew morale, reduces call backs, and improves referrals.
The initial screening can be difficultto master. It’s a blend of intuition, hard facts , and timing. If you sense yourself believing you have to have the job, step back immediately. It is your job to be in control, because you are the professional.
Always check how the client got your name. Was it over the internet, by a Yellow Pages ad, or from a referral? If it was from a referral, who was the client referred by? Check for other indicators. How hard is it to schedule the initial meeting at a time convenient for both parties? Did they call and reschedule, was there more than one time the client canceled? If so he or she is probably not worth your time.
Once you meet them what happens? Do they try to hurry you through the conversation, or do they let you control the pace? If the client is part of a partnership, then how do they treat their partner? That is often how they will treat you. Do they refuse to talk about money up front? Do they go on about what bad luck they have had with other contractors? Any of these can be warning signs of bad potential customers.
The most important thing in any business situation is to find nice clients and keep them nice. Let your competition deal with everyone else.

Editor: Ela Bannick Feature Writer: Sage Bannick