Bear Creek Lumber

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Volume 20 Number 4
April 2006

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In This Issue:
More Customer Photos
Industry News
Drive By Remodeling
Spring Clearance
Recycled Redwood
Makes A Community Center Stand Out
The Redwood product pictured is recycled redwood
Photos by James and Omaste Witkowski
Bellevue,WA built one of its newest community centers with Bear Creek Lumber recycled redwood. The Lewis Creek Recreation Center was built by Chinn Construction of Redmond, WA. Salesperson James Witkowski says the project shows the community's commitment to using sustainable materials in how it structures community facilities. The project reflects Northwest urban design, a mixture of utility, natural beauty and functional design.
The Redwood product pictured is recycled redwood including 2 x 2 that are cut from 2 x 8 rough cut inventory, ripped and surfaced to 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 squared.
The 1 x 8 T&G is Clear All Heart Mixed Grain. The 1-inch trim, around the doors and windows, is from a Ketchikan , Alaska water tank.

Photo Finishes:
Bear Creek Lumber's Customers Show Off Their Projects
Enclosed are shots of the front of our convent. The damage to our roof is especially evident on the wing shot; over all damage is even more pronounced now that we had a bad storm in mid December.
God bless you for your willingness to help us out--we’d certainly be grateful if any of your newsletter recipients could help us as well. (Bear Creek Lumber donated towards the rebuilding of the convent roof,
photo by Sister Clare) Blessings,
Sister Clare/Community of Jesus
11 Bayview Dr
Orleans, MA 02653
Ela, here are updates. The front columns still have to go in and, back deck finished, many more touch ups and landscaping. (AYC shingles).
Robert Cohen Architect LLC
Westport ,CT
photo by Robert Cohen Architect LLC
Hi Joe,
Merry Christmas from MO
Hope some of the people that have looked at our house and asked where we got the wood, contacted you. In any case, Best Wishes for the New Year. (Blue stain pine)
 Walt Meador
Joplin, Missouri
photo by Walt Meador
Glen Vermette
Long Creek Timber Framers
Mt. Zion, IL (clear WRC bevel siding and cedar shingles)
photo by Glen Vermette
Clear red cedar timbers with clear bevel siding in background.
Our fearless leader, Cloud, reports his clients loved their BCL products!
Photo by Ela Bannick

Industry News
Sales of new homes fell for the second time in three months in January, providing further evidence that the nation’s five-year housing boom is slowing. The Commerce Department reported in March that sales of new single-family homes dropped by 5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.233 million units.
That was a bigger drop than analysts had been expecting and provided support to the view that the housing market, after setting sales records for five straight years, is slowing under the impact of rising mortgage rates.
The biggest decline was a 14.9 percent decrease in sales in the Northeast, which followed an even bigger 23 percent plunge in sales in December. Sales in the Midwest were down 10.8 percent after having risen by 21.2 percent in December. Sales fell by 10.3 percent in the South in January following a 1.2 percent gain in December.
David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, said it is too soon to say there is a glut of new homes on the market. But he said the latest report does confirm other readings that show a softer market for new home sales than seen during the record pace set last year, when a total of 1.29 million new homes were sold. Home builders have reported an increased number of orders for new homes being cancelled in recent months, raising concerns that buyers who were looking to real estate for an investment rather than their own housing needs are pulling out of the market. Such cancellations could put downward pressure on prices in some formerly hot markets.
As housing markets cool, home sellers have been finding creative ways to move product. Some recent freebies include trips to Las Vegas, home-entertainment and security packages, furniture store gift certificates, golf club passes for a year -- even swimming pools, according to Greg Paquin of the Gregory Group, a market-research company.
The Gregory Group reports that in Sacramento, Calif., the value of incentives by homebuilders in the fourth quarter averaged $8,965, double the prior quarter. Incentives include price discounts, upgrades, and promotions. But it’s the non-price incentives that attract the public’s fancy and 40 percent of the builder’s NAHB surveyed are offering optional items at no extra charge to help close deals. A year ago, only 28 percent were doing it.
The Federal Reserve's "Survey of Consumer Finances" showed that average family incomes, after adjusting for inflation, fell to $70,700 in 2004, a drop of 2.3 percent when compared with 2001. That was the weakest showing since a decline of 11.3 percent from 1989 to 1992, a period that also covered a recession. Economists said the weakness in the most recent period was understandable given the loss of 2.7 million jobs from early 2001 through August of 2003, when the country was struggling with sizeable layoffs caused by the recession, the terrorist attacks and corporate accounting scandals.
The weak income and the stock market decline in the early part of the decade, which wIped out $7 trillion of paper wealth, had an adverse impact on family balance sheets.The loss would have been greater except for the fact that homeowners have enjoyed big gains in the value of their homes in recent years.

The Drive By:
How Americans Remodel Their Homes
70 percent of homeowners tour neighborhoods in their cars looking for great ideas and products to incorporate into their homes. This is especially popular among those with household income between $50,000 and $99,999 (77%); those ages 35-54 (75%); and those living in the South (75%). Nearly 25 percent take photographs of homes they like for future reference. Research shows that builders and remodelers see the integration of the exterior elements with a home’s architectural style as a priority. A recent study shows that even consumers/home owners use this tool for their own residential remodeling/renovations.
According to this poll, when studying what they like about a home, women give landscaping top billing at nearly 95 percent, followed by architectural style, the front porch and front door. Men ranked landscaping first, too, but gave it less preference than women. A lower percentage of men than women studied the front door, front porch and windows, but a higher percentage paid attention to the siding and roof.
Conducted in November 2005 as an online survey among a representative sample of homeowners, ages 18 to 60 plus, throughout the United States, the survey respondents were geographically diverse and represented all income ranges.

Editor: Ela Bannick