Bear Creek Lumber

Quality. Value. Expertise. Since 1977

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Volume 17 Number 6
June 2003

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In This Issue:
Siding Your House With Cedar
Sawdust Warning
Industry News
Remodeling And The Economy
June Inventory Specials
Another Award Winning Bear Creek Lumber Home
Company : Wood Visions Construction
Owner: David Glazier
Award: 2000 Custom Home of The Year
Maryland National Capital Building Industry Assoc.
Bear Creek Supplied:
#1 S4S KD FOHC Fir 6 x 12, 8 x 12 beams
Salesman: Mark Buck
Notable Customer Quote:
“ I can’t imagine going through that year to year and a half and not having the customer 100 per cent satisfied with their home.
In fact, we wouldn’t leave until everything is done exactly the way they had hoped and dreamed it would be. That’s our definition of a custom home.”
Bear Creek Lumber Q. and A
How long will it take to get my lumber?
Bear Creek Lumber is seeing an unprecedented number of inquiries and sales in 2003. This is probably due to the combined strong remodeling and new construction markets, as well as our reputation for service and quality. Our fully trained, and professional staff is handling about double the volume they have worked with in the past, but due to better procedures and up-to-date technology within the company, so far they are handling the load. However, our customers need to understand that with a bigger load, schedules become more critical and turnaround times aren’t going to be as automatic as we would always like. Our freight manager is shuffling many trucks going to all points.
We have typically tried to get in-stock material turned around two weeks from the receipt of deposit, with special orders having a six week minimum. That is still our goal but it is not guaranteed. We hire our shipping, and we hire much of our milling, so we are dependent on our shippers, and suppliers, to meet their responsibilities.
We would like to see our customers assist us by giving us as much lead time as they possibly can so that we know when they need the material and we can give them an honest assessment of what we can do. Bear Creek Lumber prides itself on service and quality.
We hope that during this busy building season we won’t disappoint. Your patience is always appreciated!
Siding Your House with Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar house siding is your best choice for beauty, durability and design flexibility. Our cedar house siding is manufactured by members of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association to meet today’s needs for consistent quality in a wide range of house siding products that add value to every project.
Design flexibility is a noted feature of Western Red Cedar house siding. It is available in a range of sizes to meet every end use and allows creative inspiration to be transferred from the designer’s page to the finished product. Cedar house siding’s natural characteristics of durability, dimensional stability, easy fabrication, light weight and beauty ensure your house siding will be admired for years.
The earliest residents of the Pacific Northwest called it the “Tree of Life”. And for all the centuries since, Western Red Cedar has been a vital part of our outdoor lifestyle. As a home siding material, real Western Red Cedar is still the natural choice of value-minded homeowners. For some very natural reasons.
Cedar is a living legend for its “grown-in-the-wood” resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage. Cedar also has exceptional dimensional stability. It lays flat, stays straight, retains fasteners and provides a firm base for many types of stains and paints. Properly finished and installed, it could be the last siding your home will ever need.
Dutiful, yes. But beautiful, too. With its richness of grain, texture and color, Cedar offers a timeless complement to any architectural style, from traditional to contemporary. Put Nature on your side with Today’s Cedar and enjoy the lasting prestige that imitators can only hint at.
Imitations Have Limitations
Natural leaders always attract imitators. That’s why so many artificial sidings have contrived to look like Cedar right down to the fake “grain” and embossed “knots”. Unfortunately, none of them last like Cedar. In fact, during periods of rainfall or high humidity, some of these fair-weather wonders go all to pieces. The only real alternative? Real Cedar, naturally.

For the energy-wise, Cedar throws in a natural bonus: its unique cell structure traps tiny pockets of air to boost insulation and reduce home heating costs. Try that with metal or plastic sidings.
Cedar Lets You Choose Sides
With Western Red Cedar, you don’t have to settle for your neighbor’s siding style. Cedar siding comes in a wide choice of designs and grades; there’s one that’s exactly right for your home’s architectural style, as well as your budget. Bevel, t&g, and board-and-batten are the most popular siding styles and each of these categories offers a variety of distinctive decorative effects. So go ahead - express your individuality with Cedar, the siding of choice.
...or Change Colors.
Cedar takes stain or paint with ease so unlike artificial sidings, it allows you to match existing colors when extending your home. That can’t be done with faded plastics. Or, if you simply want a fresh face for your home, versatile Cedar siding can be refinished quickly to any color you can imagine.
For Any Use, Cedar Makes the Grade
Clear siding offers the ultimate in quality appearance, for applications when only the finest is acceptable. Knotty grades have a casual charm that enhances suburban homes and offices, as well as cottages and cabins.
Wood Dust Added to Federal
Carcinogen List
Dust created by cutting, shaping and finishing of wood has been added to the federal government’s list of substances that are known to cause cancer. Several wood and forestry trade associations, though, are challenging the finding, saying it’s based on European studies that do not have relevance to current practices in the United States. Instead, the groups say the government should have waited for the results of a Tulane study due next year.
Wood dust was included in the 10th biennial report from thee Department of Health and Human Services as one of 228 substances linked to cancer. According to the report, inhalation of the dust can lead to higher incidence of cancer in the nasal cavities and sinuses. For more information on the report, go to
Industry News
The stronger Canadian dollar, combined with a weakening American dollar has thrown the issue of American duties on Canadian lumber products into even more turmoil than when the duties were first enacted. Increased production worldwide has resulted in a glut of medium to low grade lumber products that are worth almost what it costs to produce them. This deflationary pressure will continue the push for countervailing duties at a time when Canadian-American relations are already particularly strained.
Despite a record housing boom in the United States, the construction industry worldwide is relatively dormant. This has sent every major producer, domestic and foreign, into competition for the American construction market. Some producers, both American and Canadian, are warning that unless profit margins improve, many mills will shut down this summer.
The Canadian economy has been fairing better than the American because its government has produced a balanced budget that has enabled the country to attain more fiscal strength. In contrast, the American economy has weakened over the past two years and faces a growing budget deficit. In fact, the greatest danger to the Canadian economy is the American economy’s failure to keep up. Canada and the United States are each others largest trading partners.
The BBC News Service reports that retirees who live near greeen open spaces “ live much longer than those stuck in the concrete jungle”. The report cites research done at a Japanese medical college and included over 3,000 interviews of elderly people. After a five year period in which 897 of the those interviewed died, data established a correlation with longevity.
The study’s recommendation was for developers to “pay more attention to increasing greenery-filled public areas that are easy to walk in, or are easy to walk to.”
Harvard Report:
Remodeling Preventing Deeper Recession
The $214 billion residential remodeling market played a major role in keeping the economy afloat the last few years. That’s one of the conclusions of the latest report from the Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.
“Remodeling is a largely ignored sector of the economy,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program. “No one discusses remodeling when talking about the national economy, but remodeling has played an important role in propping it up.”
The latest Joint Center report uses data from the 2001 American Housing Survey, which measured remodeling spending in 2000 and 2001. During those two years the economy grew at 2 percent annually, but remodeling expenditures increased by more that 6 percent a year.
The $34 billion increase in home improvement spending was responsible for 4.2 percent of the overall growth in economic activity. Spending by high-income households has led the surge in remodeling activity. Households with income over $120,000 accounted for 68.1 percent of the increase in remodeling spending. Of those households, 52.3 percent of them reported hiring a professional remodeler in 2000 through 2001.
“A lot of growth is tied to high-end owners,” says William Apgar, a senior scholar at the center. “If high-end households pull back, it could hurt the market.”
Another potential area for concern is how people were paying for their remodeling. Data indicates that a lot of households paid for projects with money saved by refinancing their home mortgages. According to a recent Federal Reserve Board survey, 4.9 million households refinanced their homes between January 2001 and June 2002. Forty-three percent of those homeowners reported spending at least some of that on home improvements during that time.
“Refinancing can’t go forever,” Apgar says.
However, both Baker and Apgar point to the economic benefits of improvements as reasons homeowners will continue to remodel. While it varies by region, homeowners can recover most of the remodeling
spending in increased sale price, Baker says. Steadily increasing home values will also give homeowners other sources of financing such as home equity lines of credit.
Apgar says that home values should continue to increase, albeit at a slower pace than in the last few years.
“Growth in housing prices will come down to a more sustainable number, but discussion of a bubble is vastly overstated,” he says.
The aging housing stock will also boost remodeling spending. In the Northeast, where the oldest homes are located, remodeling spending has already surpassed new construction expenditures, accounting for 69 percent of the residential investment in cities, 49 percent in the suburbs and 51 percent in non metro areas. The Midwest is also moving in that direction, with 50 percent of city and non metro spending coming from remodeling as well as 34 percent of suburban investment. That trend should continue in the South and West as the homes built in the 1970’s building booms in those areas hit the 25- to - 30 year - old mark when remodeling spending increases drastically.

Editor: Ela Bannick Feature Writer: Sage Bannick