Archive for the 'Building Industry' Category



Great news for the home improvement industry: Survey says consumers are willing to spend more on home remodeling.

consttruction workers putting up an exterior wall panel

In a recent online survey of 5,000 participants, it looks as though homeowners are willing to spend upwards of 30% of their home’s value to renovate or remodel a part of their home. This figure is higher than recorded percentages of 2007 and 2010 for home remodeling costs, which will be a positive impact on the entire home improvement industry.

The survey was comprised of approximately 70 questions to determine whether the participants would prefer remodeling versus moving from their home. To some degree, all of the participants were interested in some sort of change to their existing home.

Consumers are planning to use more expensive materials, which is projected to scale an average budget of $102,000 on their improvements. Approximately 74% of the respondents plan to hire a general contractor for the work, and more than half of the respondents plan to hire an architect, rather than tackling the remodel or renovations themselves.

Some of the planned projects for these homeowners are larger in scale and include multiple rooms. Right above the halfway mark is the percentage of homeowners who are likely to remodel a kitchen.

Our professionals at National Lumber and Kitchen Views at National Lumber are here to serve you through every phase of remodeling projects. We can supply you with the building supplies you need and the services you deserve. Additionally, our kitchen division has the expertise to work with homeowners on design and selection of materials. Contractors are then provided with detailed plans and materials. One of our designers will follow the project from concept to completion. Kitchen Views at National Lumber, where the designers are pros and the views are yours!

Resource: Americans Willing to Spend More to Remodel, Survey Says 

Tax Incentive To Build Green

green building tax incentive helps put money back in your pocket

Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction puts money back in your pocket.

Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction

Have you taken advantage of the green building incentive yet? The Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction is set to expire on December 31, 2013. The program affords building owners deductions on qualifying energy-efficient upgrades done within the last six years. Real estate advocates are in the process of lobbying Congress to extend or expand the program. Read more about the green building incentive in this article by Bendix Anderson, NuWire Investor.

Have these deductions changed the way you or your clients plan buildings?

Do You Build for Better Energy Efficiency?

A public utility company in Arizona is in the process of lobbying for stricter building codes in order to promote construction of more energy-efficient buildings. Many builders of small to medium sized buildings may not invest in energy-saving features or green products due to the initial costs, regardless of the savings and maintenance benefits the client may reap in the long run.

Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Republic, describes why it’s better to start with green building from the start in his article Building Better Energy Efficiency. He also explains why retrofitting an existing building would be beneficial for now, and for the future.

architect looks at plans for building with better energy efficiency in mind

Planning to build for better energy efficiency, right from the project’s beginning,  will result in better cost savings in the long run once the project is completed.

  • Do you agree that it would be better in the long run, enough that you would start with a green building plan from the beginning?
  • How do you feel about retrofitting existing smaller buildings with more energy-efficient upgrades?
  • How do you feel about the idea of increased government regulation of green features through building codes?

Putting a face on the importance of Fall Protection Training

The OSHA fall protection enforcement extension ended on March 15, 2013. It’s imperative that you get training to meet the requirements as soon as possible. But many are delaying meeting this requirement, thinking that OSHA won’t be watching their work habits. Sometimes, we need to put a face on these preventable tragedies to make them hit home.

James McNally died after falling from a roof. OSHA requires  contractors to stay educated to comply with The Fall Protection Directive.

Posted online July 26, 2013 – James J. McNally, 61, owner of James J. McNally Roofing and Siding of Sandwich and a Cape Cod Baseball League deputy commissioner, died Thursday after falling from a roof.
© Cape Cod Times File

In local news this summer, a Massachusetts resident died from a preventable fall. James J. McNally, owner of James J. McNally Roofing and Siding of Sandwich was 61. Years of job experience didn’t protect him from falling 35 feet while working on a roof.

Speaking in 2011 about a particular enforcement case in Connecticut, Robert Kowalski, OSHA’s area director in Bridgeport, CT said, “There is a simple truth that employers must recognize: Fall protection is a requirement, never an option, when employees work at heights of 6 feet or more. In this case, employees were exposed to 15- to 22-foot falls from the roof and ladders because this employer chose to not provide the required safeguards and training that would protect them.”

One of our popular trainers is Mark Paskell of The Contractor Coaching Partnership. He will be offering his next OSHA Fall Protection training class on Thursday, November 7 from 8:30am to 3:30pm at our Mansfield location. The cost is $225 and includes lunch.

Meeting OSHA Training Requirements

By Mark Paskell, The Contractor Coaching Partnership

Our training will help you comply with the Fall Protection Standard, protect your workers and be ready when OSHA visits your job site. This course is also approved for six (6) Massachusetts Continuing Education Credits towards the new CSL requirement. The approved Massachusetts course number is CS7502 CSL-CD-0075.

What you must do to comply with the OSHA Fall Protection Directive

• Create a written fall protection program or plan for your company describing your practices and the equipment you will provide for your workers to protect them from fall hazards.

• When working 6 feet above the ground or other surface you must use one or a combination of the following — guard rails, fall arrest systems and safety nets.

• If you can prove using one of the three standards is infeasible, you must write a site specific fall protection plan showing alternative methods and keep it on site.  

You must effectively train your workers and prove through documentation that they were trained.

This training is for:  Remodelers, Home Builders, Roofers, Painters, Siding Installers, Gutter Installers and Electricians

Who should attend:  Business Owners, Estimators, Foremen, Crew Leaders, Superintendents, Project Managers and any contractor who works at heights of 6 feet above lower levels.

You will be provided with numerous Forms, Templates and Tools to implement this standard into your business. You will be shown the type of equipment you will need to meet the standard and where you can find it. You will receive a Certificate of Completion at the conclusion of the training.

To sign up for this training class, or for more information visit my website at www.thecontractorcoachingpartnership.com. You can contact me at my office: 1-978-422-6354,  mobile: 1-508-847-0162 or by email: mark@thecontractorcoachingpartnership.com


National Lumber is pleased to help make training on multiple topics more convenient for our customers by hosting various training companies in the Training Room on the second floor at our Mansfield store.  You will find information about upcoming training opportunities on our website at national-lumber.com/events or national-lumber.com/training.

DISCLAIMER: National Lumber is not responsible for the event being offered. Registration and the content are being handled by an outside company. National Lumber is hosting this event for your convenience. By clicking on the links you will leave the National Lumber website and be taken to another company’s website.

National Lumber

245 Oakland Street

Mansfield, MA 02048

508-337-8020

Worries Arise From New OSHA Proposed Ruling Regarding Silica

The National Association of Home Builders issued a press release last week regarding a proposed ruling by OSHA to protect construction workers against the inhalation of silica dust particles. The proposal warrants concern from industry workers because it encompasses core aspects of building.

construction worker sawing dry brick releasing dust containing silica

photo courtesy of nahb.org

Here is an excerpt from the release:  

OSHA’s Proposed Silica Rule Raises Concerns for Construction Industry

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28–A coalition of construction industry groups is concerned about a proposed rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that’s intended to protect workers from inhaling dust containing silica, created by activities such as cutting brick or block, and sawing, grinding or drilling concrete.

“We need practical, science-based solutions that protect workers in all facets of construction,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a builder and developer from Charlotte, N.C. “Unfortunately, OSHA’s initial announcement about this proposed rule indicates we aren’t there yet.”

To read the full press release, click here.

It Takes Teamwork To Build A House

Custom-built home by Heritage Construction with pre-cut rafters supplied by Reliable Truss, a division of National Lumber

Custom-built home by Heritage Construction showing some of the installed pre-cut rafters supplied by Reliable Truss and National Lumber

Heritage Construction is building a custom home in Rehoboth, MA using pre-cut rafters from Reliable Truss and Components. Rob Longobardi is the framer in charge.

Bundle of pre cut rafters being lifted off boom truck to be placed on rooftop

Jesse M. of Reliable Truss drives the tractor-trailer containing the pre-cut rafters to the jobsite. National Lumber boom truck driver Brian L. out of the New Bedford yard will use the boom to move the materials to the roof area.

working together to using Moffatt to move rafters from the truck to the crane of the boom truck

It takes teamwork and communication to move materials safely and precisely

Jesse uses the truck-mounted Moffett to unload the materials and precisely place them where needed. In this case, he’s positioning the pre-cut rafters to be taken directly from the Moffett by the boom. The maneuverability of the Moffett allows him to drive forward or sideways as needed.

Brian expertly maneuvers the boom to take the materials from the Moffett and raise them to the framing crew that is waiting to receive them. He makes it look easy, but correctly balancing the weight of the load and accounting for the width of the load as he turns it all takes expertise earned through experience.

Installing the pre-cut rafters on this particular house will take about a week.

boom truck crane places the rafters on the rooftop where workers are ready with supports

Pre-cut rafters are placed on the rooftop with the boom

Expired Certification – Don’t Risk It! Stay Educated Through Contractor Training.

construction builder holding his head in his hands looking worriedThe busy season is in full swing and the days quickly fill up with task lists for project at hand. Have you checked to be sure all of your safety licenses are up to date? If you know your license is coming up for renewal, be sure you have all your credits earned before you actually need them. It’s better to be educated with current information in case industry codes and safety requirements have changed or have been updated.

There is an array of training to choose from. Depending on what type of position you hold, will determine the training best suited for you. National Lumber regularly partners with industry renowned trainers in efforts to offer the best possible opportunities for your benefit. Our trainers have real world experience and are engaging and informative.

Shawn McCadden training a class at National Lumber in Mansfield, MA

The type of license you hold will determine which training you need and the amount of hours needed to renew your certification. Here is an example of the various licenses and requirements needed to renew each:

Unrestricted: Construction Supervisor License; 12 credit hours = 5 required topic credit hours and 7 elective

Restricted: One and Two Family License; 10 credit hours = 5 required topic credit hours and 5 elective.

Specialty Licenses: 6 credit hours = 5 required topic credit hours and 1 elective.

For more information on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continuing education license regulations, please click here.

Feel free to visit our events and training pages on national-lumber.com to read about our upcoming training classes. We welcome our newest trainer, Phil Sheehan of Construction Safety Institute of New England.

Be sure to bookmark our Training page and check back frequently to see the courses and trainers National Lumber is hosting. Sign up today for the classes you need to renew your license!

Before you have a large gathering on your deck, give it a safety check!

The summer has officially kicked off! Cookouts and outdoor gatherings will abound. Whatever the celebration may be, keep in mind the importance of maintaining and inspecting your deck regularly. Do this to ensure your event won’t be ruined by deck failure or injuries.

Since Memorial Day weekend, there have been several reports of decks collapsing around the country. In each instance there have been guests who were injured, some with broken bones. Better to be safe than sorry – take the time to inspect your entertainment area before your guests come over. Check your deck to make sure it is structurally sound.  If you see anything that you are unsure of, or concerned about, you may wish to consult with a home inspector or contractor.

According to two of the reports, rim joists and band joists, in separate accounts, connecting the decks to the houses had failed and pulled away causing the collapses. If the connection to the main support area is weakened and you add a shifting live load, the results may be very hazardous. See for yourself what can happen when decks are not maintained.

In 2006, North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) dedicated May as Deck Safety Month. Decks are wonderful outdoor living spaces, but like anything else, they require maintenance and inspection. Age and weather elements contribute to the condition and longevity of a deck. Homeowners must be mindful of the dangers of a deck, especially during peak outdoor seasons.

Here are a few safety tips suggested by the North American Deck and Railing Association:

  • Check for any splitting or decaying wood, especially around the areas where connected to the house or building.
  • Check all around the deck for any anchors, nails or screws that may be corroded or loose.
  • All railings, staircases and banisters should be secure.
  • Leaves and debris can cause mildew, along with other damage, to your deck. Be sure to clear these away.
  • Check to make sure there is flashing to direct water away from any wood.

National Lumber is able to provide you with top quality decking and railing products. If your existing deck is secure, but aged, you may consider upgrading the floorboards to give it a fresh, new look. If you do decide to build a new deck, we have a variety of materials to choose from. Things for you to consider would be the material, color options, cost and maintenance requirements. You can come into any of our 8 locations to speak with our staff about your decking project.

Don’t wait til things topple over, we’re here for you!

Save Time Using Factory Finished Siding and Trim

As a contractor, finding experienced, qualified workers today is still a challenge due to the economic downturn. We’ve written about it, as have other industry news resources. Yet the question remains, how can contractors keep up with a rising workload while utilizing a smaller crew to complete a project at or above expectations, in a timely manner?

In a previous blog post, we wrote about the use of engineered wood products and how they save time, money and waste on a project. Today’s savings tip is  about the use of Factory Finished siding and trim. Russin Factory Finishing has teamed up with Benjamin Moore to offer products that will save time at the jobsite because they will arrive finished and ready to install.

Russin man applying coating to end of a substrate of Factory Finished trim and siding image

Each substrate undergoes a precise process to apply the coating, then inspection for quality control to ensure top quality products

The application of coatings on every substrate is followed through with careful precision and inspection to ensure the highest quality and protection on every side of each piece. Benjamin Moore paints and stains are renowned for their superior quality and lasting duration.

By choosing to use Factory Finished products on siding and trim, this will give you the ability to offer your clients a product that will not only look great, but will be better protected and last longer than if you were to install these items unfinished, then stain and seal them after installation.

If you don’t usually offer painting services, this will be a new service you can offer, with no additional labor costs.

Learn more about Factory Finishing and Benjamin Moore Paints and Stains on our website at www.national-lumber.com.

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Real Benefits of Building “Green”

Over the past decade, we’ve seen some interesting developments in the building industry. One trend coming up steadily is “green” building. With a more health conscious society, making buildings with eco-friendly materials that are made for sustainability is becoming more widely accepted and encouraged. At first, it was a more expensive process than conventional non-green building, however, today the monetary playing field is beginning to level out somewhat.

By starting with a green thought process, the planning and design of the project can be tailored to include more efficient and environmentally friendly materials. There is more flexibility in purchasing green materials from vendors that have expanded their stock and adjusted pricing in order to offer these supplies more widely and readily.

Construction worker using green building materials

National Lumber offers a variety of green building materials for customers. Boise, Benjamin Moore, Centurion, Claymark and Guardian are some our featured product lines.

Builders, designers and consumers all have opportunities to benefit from this way of building and living. In an article on curbed.com, different costs are evaluated and broken out visually to show the real savings that can be obtained by careful planning at the beginning of a building project.  Builders and developers may see the value in these buildings more quickly because these buildings usually command, and receive, a higher selling price. Owners of a green building will see savings on energy costs and tenants will feel happier and healthier knowing their space is good for, not only their environment; it’s good for their own health, as well.

We have taken a meaningful approach to implementing and practicing green methods in our own work environment by installing energy efficient lighting and converting office functions to paperless wherever possible. Read more about the green methods we utilize and materials we supply.

Do you use “green” elements in your building projects currently? Are customers requesting you to use green elements in their projects? Have you seen cost savings firsthand?

National Lumber


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