Bear Creek Lumber

Quality. Value. Expertise. Since 1977

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Volume 18 Number 10
October 2004

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In This Issue:
Customer Projects
Industry News
Shortages Plague Builders
Bear Beer
Construction Safety Website
Fall Sale Specials
A Small But Dedicated Staff
Bear Creek Lumber is often mistaken for a much larger company than it is. This is because we can offer professional services on a global level. Our small but dedicated staff is well trained, so generally our company can offer goods and services on par with any major corporation. The only difference is that we do it with a small (less than 20 people) staff. Sometimes, especially in the fall, that makes things hectic. We ask for your patience and understanding during this demanding time of year.
Discontinued Items
Our goal this fall is to continue to offer the majority of the same services we have offered in the past, but as of this fall we have discontinued sales of pre-built sauna/spa kits and timber trusses until further notice.
Suggested Minimum Order Size
Due to increased freight costs nationwide, we suggest a minimum of 350 BF for most items.

Mark Buck Leaves Us - With Pictures
Salesman Mark Buck has chosen to sail off into the sunset, quite literally. He is taking a sabbatical to enjoy time on his sailboat after working at Bear Creek Lumber for the past 6 1/2 years. He recently sold his labor of love, a house that he built with his wife, Teresa. The house, whose kitchen is pictured below, features fir flooring and cedar ceilings, cedar siding and decking. Douglas fir was used as both trim and flooring in a bedroom. Outside, handhewn posts frame a deck overlooking the river. Cedar soffit and decking, as well as bevel siding finish the natural look.
Photos below taken by Mark Buck

Sahara Japanese Architectural Woodworks Inc.
Toshihiro Sahara is a master craftsman who specializes in traditional Japanese construction, shoji screens and lamps. He purchased clear yellow cedar from Bear Creek Lumber to construct this bridge for a classic Japanese garden in Georgia.
Photos by Toshihiro Sahara

Customer Project Pictures 2004
Your cedar siding is awesome! Thanks for allowing us to take our home to a level we once thought unachievable. Pictures left and right.
 Matthew B. Wells
ARCHITECTS hanna gabriel wells
San Diego, CA

Scarano Boat Builders of NY recently completed a historic renovation of a 1810 sailing ship (right). It will be used as an educational tool by the Coast Guard. The intent was to build a vessel that looks and sails like an early 19th century Great Lakes trading vessel. Bear Creek provided the Port Orford cedar for it. For more info see:
Zollinger Project in Depoe Bay, OR, right. Note the attention to detail as the vertical grain clear cedar paneling inside the cabinet and outside paneling are matched up!

Industry News
Construction spending sprang back to life in July, rising to the highest level on record, the government reported Wednesday. The rebound, which came after a June lull, meant that the value of buildings put in place clocked in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $997.2 billion, an all-time high level, the Commerce Department reported. That represented a 0.4 percent increase over June’s level.
Gains for July were widespread, with spending by private builders on residential units and spending by government on big public works projects each coming in at all-time highs in dollar terms.
Although the 0.4 percent gain was slightly lower than the 0.5 percent rise some economists were expecting, July’s performance clearly showed activity gaining momentum over June. Spending on construction projects was largely flat in June, according to revised figures. That, however, marked an improvement from the 0.3 percent decline initially estimated.
Private builders in July boosted spending on housing projects by 0.3 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $537.5 billion, a record high. In June, spending on residential buildings nudged up by 0.1 percent as builders showed a spurt of caution. Even though home sales fell in July, economists say purchases of both new homes and previously owned ones are still on track to hit a record high for all of 2004

Nationwide Shortages Continue For Builders
Builders facing the rising threat of material shortages and price spikes have been meeting the challenge with contingency planning, long-term supply ties, and other strategic moves.
Builders from every part of the country report an almost unprecedented barrage of material shortages and price increases. In the past, it was one material shortage at a time. It has been a while since all the shortages lined up at once,” said one builder.
Steel, copper, panelized systems, lumber, gypsum board, and OSB board are among the items that have been impacted. China’s construction boom, a hot U.S. housing market, international trading squabbles, record-level gas prices, and other issues all contribute to the challenging situation.
Michael Carliner, National Association of Home Builders economist, projects that the price of a 2,100-square-foot home is $5,000 to $6,000 higher now than at this time last year.
Builders in this day and age have big challenges. How to obtain material, how to secure prices, and when to pass cost increases on to buyers without driving away sales is a balancing act that includes heightened focus on schedules, increased communications with suppliers and accounting departments, dependency on long-term partners, new contractual arrangements with sub-contractors, and a variety of other business strategies.
Maintaining long-term relationships with suppliers is critical. When there is only a given amount of material, suppliers are willing to deliver based on long-term relationships and payment history. Maintaining proper lines of communications before, and during the project can make all the difference when supplies are short.

OSHA, NAHB Launch Web Site for Residential Construction Safety
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has partnered with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to launch a Web site containing safety tips and information for workers in the residential construction industry.
Created as part of an OSHA-NAHB alliance, first formed in May 2003, the site provides building professionals with information on topics including electrical safety, fall protection, fire safety, hand and power tool safety, scaffolding, personal protective equipment, and safety programs.
The page also contains information about OSHA standards, as well as potential solutions available to the industry. Links are available on the site to OSHA inspection and compliance information, the OSHA Training Institute and safety publications available online.
“Working with OSHA has given NAHB the opportunity to leverage our association’s resources in order to maximize worker protections,” NAHB president Bobby Rayburn said.
The OSHA Residential Construction Safety and Health Web site can be visited at

Try This Taste Test On Your Local Bears!
When state WA State Fish and Wildlife agents recently found a black bear passed out on the lawn of Baker Lake Resort in the North Cascade Mountains, there were some clues scattered nearby — dozens of empty cans of Rainier Beer. The bear apparently got into campers’ coolers and used his claws and teeth to puncture the cans. And not just any cans.
“He drank the Rainier and wouldn’t drink the Busch beer,” said Lisa Broxson, bookkeeper at the campground and cabins resort east of Mount Baker.
Fish and Wildlife enforcement Sgt. Bill Heinck said the bear did try one can of Busch, but ignored the rest.
“He didn’t like that [Busch] and consumed, as near as we can tell, about 36 cans of Rainier.”
A wildlife agent tried to chase the bear from the campground but the animal just climbed a tree to sleep it off for another four hours. Agents finally herded the bear away, but it returned the next morning.
Agents then used a large, humane trap to capture it for relocation, baiting the trap with the usual: doughnuts, honey and, in this case, two open cans of Rainier. That did the trick.
“This is a new one on me,” Heinck said. “I’ve known them to get into cans, but nothing like this. And it definitely had a preference.”
Was it less filling or did it taste great? We will never know.

Editor: Ela Bannick Feature Writer: Sage Bannick