Bear Creek Lumber

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Volume 19 Number 11
November 2005

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In This Issue:
Photo Album
Email File
Disaster-Proof Your Life
Industry News/Housing
November Clearance Sale
Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar is one of the most versatile wood species. It can be used as a siding, decking, railing, window trim, fencing, timbers, soffit, and fascia. It also makes a great pethouse! Pictured at left is the family dog house, with Casey the cat wandering by.
Doghouse @ left is done in 1 x 6 Knotty T&G with 1 x 4 trim
Catnip can be seen drying on the roof of the house. In the winter months, a light bulb inside this insulated shelter keeps the house warm and cozy during our sub-zero winters.
Our house has red cedar on all sides. Products pictured are from above right and clockwise: Deck shot /2 x 4 smooth clear railings, 2 x 6 T&G sheathing on roof, 6x6 posts, weathered cedar 2 x 8 decking. Entrance siding/clear 1 x 6 T&G , 1 x 10 fascia, 2 x 6 rafters. Street fence/1 x 8 TK fencing in 8 ft lengths.
About this house: The Bannicks started building a storage shed in 1977. The building, built with reclaimed barn boards,was about 500 sq ft, and uninsulated. It seemed easier to add on to it at first, while waiting to build "the house", but eventually decks became wings, wings grew more decks, which became porches, and so on. It now has a footprint of 4,500 sq ft feet but 1000 sq ft +of that are covered passageways, carports,etc., ideal for our dry climate. Since our area has practically no wintertime wind, snow settles vertically. The house is designed so you can get to your car or anywhere around the outside the house without stepping into the four or more feet of snow that accumulates every winter. The overhang also cools the house in the summer, taking advantage of afternoon breezes. Pictures by Ela Bannick.

Shown to the left, BCL staff playing hooky? Not if the boss is taking the picture! The gang shown on an impromptu field trip to the company timberlands, pictured from left: Karen McCauley, Jessica Blethen, Melissa Hughes, Pete Edwards, and Mark Buck. Picture by Cloud Bannick
At right, pictures of WRC 12 inch turned logs waiting to ship. Note the individual plastic wrapping of each log. Picture by Joe Hammer

From Our Email
Dear Sage,
I got my order today, and I have to say I’m thrilled with it. It is exactly what I needed, and it is better than what I thought I would receive. I am definitely going to refer you guys to other local contractors and you will be the first I call when the need arises.
Again, thank you very much.
Matthew Jones
Omaha NE

Form and function. these outdoor pavillions are an example of how natural wood can be utilized for both strength and beauty.
Pictured : Alaskan yellow cedar #1 and better FOHC.
Pictures by Cloud Bannick

Disaster Proof Your Life
Hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, floods. Are you prepared? With only seconds to escape, would you have the following ready to go?
1) Grab and Go Bag
Important legal, financial, and insurance paperwork in a file that you can snatch if you need to flee your house or city. Consider having copies of birth certificates, estate planning documents, financial statements, insurnace policies, social security numbers, drivers licenses, credit cards, presciptions, and some emergency cash.
2) Contact List
Be ready to contact friends and family to let them know where you are, and that you are safe. List include business asociate names, insurance brokers, doctors, lawyers, anyone who may be able to help you pick up the pieces after a disaster. A laptop with all this info is always handy.
3) Have a Household Inventory
For your insurance claim, having a list, and photos of everything you own is essential to be reimbursed after a tragedy. Keep one copy in the safe deposit box at your bank, and another one in your grab and go bag.
4) Review and Know Insurance Coverage
Most of us look at insurance routinely, but not necessarily thoroughly. Assume the worst and have coverage to match.
5) Update
Keep everything updated, from the bag, to the plan to the list. A move, change in health, a change in employment can drastically affect your preparedness.
6 ) Have a Backup
Sometimes the things you need get lost. Have a backup of all info as mentioned above in a safe and secure place such as a bank safe deposit box. A CD or two with as much info as possible should also be available if you lose your computer. Fireproof safes are also a good bet for keeping backups.
No one knows when trouble may come but those ready for it will have the easiest time recovering. A little time taken now will insure a better outcome in the future.

Industry News
Housing, now in a boom of more than four years, has defied economists’ expectations for a slowdown this year as long-term mortgage rates remained stubbornly low. That has led economists over the past two months to boost their 2005 targets and forecast another record year for sales and construction. Even bigger gains are expected in coming months, spurred by the massive rebuilding required in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Commerce Department said that total August spending rose by 0.4 percent, the biggest increase in three months. It pushed building activity to an all-time high of $1.11 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate.

Existing Homes: Sales of previously owned homes rose in August to the second-highest level on record with home prices rising at the fastest pace in 26 years.The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday that sales of existing homes rose 2 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.29 million units, a sales pace that was exceeded only by an all-time high of 7.35 million units in June. Economists had been forecasting a slight decline, believing that the red-hot housing market was finally beginning to cool off.
The strong demand pushed prices up to a record level of $220,000 last month, a gain of 15.8 percent from August 2004. That was the biggest 12-month increase since a 17.2 percent increase in July 1979.
The 15.8 percent rise in median home prices - the point where half the homes sold for more, and half for less - was just the latest in a string of double-digit increases in home prices over the past number of months. NAR Chief Economist David Lereah, in a monthly forecast, nudged his estimates higher for sales of previously owned and new homes in 2005.
Lereah said existing home sales should rise 2.9 percent to 6.98 million this year, up from his previous forecast of 6.97 million and higher than the 2004 record of 6.78 million.

New Homes: Construction of new homes edged down in August for a second consecutive month, providing evidence that the nation’s red-hot housing market may finally be cooling a bit. The Commerce Department reported that construction of new homes and apartments dropped 1.3 percent last month after a decline of 1.5 percent in July. The decrease was larger than had been expected, and it marked the first back-to-back declines in housing starts in 17 months.
Sales of new U.S. homes dropped a larger-than-expected 9.9 percent in August and the supply of homes for sale surged to a record high, but prices resumed their upward climb, a government report showed on Tuesday. The Commerce Department said new single-family home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.237 million units, the slowest pace since January, from a downwardly revised 1.373 million units in July. July’s sales pace was a record. The August sales pace was 6.2 percent higher than a year earlier.

Rebuilding Homes: Following this year's hurricanes, hundreds of thousands of homes and other buildings have been destroyed and many will have to be replaced. Shelter must be provided for evacuees in their new towns. Still viable, but some damaged homes have to be made livable again.
The French founded New Orleans in 1718 and many of the buildings are hundreds of years old. Some of these older buildings may actually fare better and likely can be saved, said Elizabeth English, an associate professor at the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center.
“The buildings that have historic value, it’s worth much more to try to preserve those,” she said. “And most likely they’ve been constructed from more durable materials, and it may not be as difficult to save them.”
English, who has a degree in architecture, said that old homes were built with a denser wood that is more resistant to mold and rot. And those homes were built with painstaking craftsmanship better than today’s workmanship, she suggested.
With hundreds or even thousands of builders wIped out by Katrina, their tools lost and their workers scattered, homeowners looking to rebuild quickly are in for a shock. The scope of home destruction is so sweeping that it likely will stretch rebuilding for years. It took more than a decade to reconstruct all the homes destroyed by Hurricane Andrew, after it hit Florida in 1992. Katrina destroyed 10 times as many homes as Andrew.
The difficulty of rebuilding could be exacerbated because Gulf Coast contracting has long been the province of small, independent companies without the deep pockets to recover quickly. That has spurred out-of-state contractors to pour into the region, increasing competition for labor and driving up prices.
When the region’s contractors do get back on their feet, most of their time will be directed at repairing homes that are salvageable, not rebuilding ones that were destroyed, industry experts say.
About 9,000 contractors belonging to the National Association of Home Builders are based along the Gulf Coast. While there is no reliable estimate of how many of them were put out of commission by the storm, the group says it is likely in the thousands.

Editor: Ela Bannick