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Restore Your Deck With Benjamin Moore Exterior Stains

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Pool and Garden Deck using Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT Exterior Stains with Black Railings and Platinum Gray Decking Stain

Does your deck need some love? Even old decks can look like new with a fresh coat of stain or paint. Now that spring has arrived, it’s the perfect time to do your annual deck maintenance. Investing some time and money now will allow you to enjoy the outdoors all summer long, and for years to come.

To help you do just that, National Lumber offers the full range of Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT exterior wood stains, along with the tools you need to get the job done. All of Benjamin Moore’s stains are formulated to protect and beautify your wood or composite deck. These products also work on fences, siding, and outdoor furniture. Benjamin Moore stains are available in a surprisingly wide range of colors and five opacities, which range from opaque to transparent. Plus Benjamin Moore offers extensive color resources to find the best hue for your wood staining projects.

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“Rustic Retreat” Deck with Alexandria Beige ARBORCOAT Stain on Deck Railings and Floor

On their website, Benjamin Moore offers a library of videos covering topics such as how to choose the right stains for your home, preparation for staining, and deck maintenance. They also offer endless possibilities for deck color ideas. All of this information will help you find the best color and opacity for your wood staining projects.

Springtime is also a great time to freshen up your home with new colors. If it’s time to repaint or stain the exterior of your home. One thing you may consider is taking a two-tone approach with your home’s exterior, as suggested in this ideabook from Houzz. Be sure to consult a Benjamin Moore expert before going ahead, though, to find colors that work well together and fit with the architecture of your home. You could consider painting indoors, as well, breathing new life into your entire home inside and out.

Benjamin Moore exterior wood stains and other paints are available at most of our retail locations. They are also available at our five Babel’s Paint and Decorating locations, the newest member of the National Lumber Family of Companies. At each of these locations, you’ll find Benjamin Moore experts who can give you further advice on which stains will work best for your unique needs.

Find your local Benjamin Moore showroom with ARBORCOAT stain experts at BenjaminMooreExperts.com

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Insulate Your Attic for Year-Round Comfort and Cost Savings!

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Construction worker thermally insulating house attic with glass wool

The Cost vs Value Report released every year by Hanley Wood Remodeling is a benchmark for homeowners to see the potential return on investment of popular home improvement projects. This data is compiled by taking various recently remodeled homes that sold. One of the best projects for return on investment is installing new insulation in the attic. In particular, new fiberglass insulation is installed to cut down on potential heat loss. Because heat rises, this is one of the most important areas of the home to insulate. Good insulation saves on heating and cooling costs year-round!

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Installation of Fiberglass Batt Insulation

The national average of installing fiberglass insulation in the attic is about $1268 according to the Cost vs Value Report. At resale, this upgrade recoups an average of $1468. That’s a 117 percent return on investment. When you look at the regional statistics for New England, the cost is roughly the same, $1292. But the average.return on investment is $1858, a return of 144 percent. This doesn’t even include the residual savings in heating and cooling costs during the life of the new insulation, which can be up to 20 percent. ENERGY STAR has a good tool for estimating energy savings from effective air sealing and insulation.

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Installing Spray Foam Fiberglass Insulation Into Wall Cavity

Aesthetically, installing attic insulation isn’t exciting. But because of how much it adds to a home’s energy efficiency and performance, it’s becoming more of a focus than ever. Being highlighted in the Cost vs Value Report is making attic insulation more popular to install than ever. When it comes to comfort, it’s well worth the $1200-1300 of investments. Knowing you can get all that money back plus 20 to 40 percent at resale is a big selling point, plus as much as a 20 percent cost savings in energy costs.

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Retrofitting an Older Home with Blown-In Fiberglass Insulation

Also, having properly installed quality insulation is necessary in gaining ENERGY STAR certification for your home. Pro Insulators, a division of National Lumber, has expert installation teams and the best available insulation products. Homeowners and contractors alike are quite happy with the work of the Pro Insulators teams. We provide the expertise to meet ENERGY STAR certification requirements for builders and timely, reliable service to homeowners retrofitting older homes.

Being one of the most cost-effective home improvements for homeowners and a selling point for newer homes, proper attic insulation and air sealing is well worth the investment. Not only can Pro Insulators bring your home up to the latest local and state building codes, but you can enjoy a more comfortable home for decades to come.

Living Large – Decks Extend Living Spaces

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AZEK Deck with Planters and Curved Bench

One of the biggest trends in decks for 2016 is a continuing focus on turning decks into outdoor living spaces. More specifically, more homeowners are thinking about basically making their decks into a continuation of their indoor living space. Essentially, decks are being thought of more and more as adding square footage to the home.

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Multi-level Deck with Firepit

These outdoor living spaces are used for a wide variety of purposes. Outdoor kitchens are growing in popularity, not just for barbecues, but everyday food preparation. Entertainment and relaxation are traditionally how decks have been used for entertaining friends and family outdoors. Now more homeowners are expanding their use of outdoor spaces with better furniture and specialty lighting.

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Gazebo with AZEK Decking

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Pergola with AZEK Decking

Personalization of deck spaces is also becoming a strong trend. There are so many railing options and accessories available today that no two decks ever have to look alike. Since decks are becoming everyday living spaces, there are more multi-level decks being built than ever before. Incorporating specialty lighting to steps up to raised portions and stairs improves safety in the evening. Architectural elements are becoming more important. Some homeowners even incorporate gazebos and pergolas into their structures to provide shade and ambiance, making them more versatile spaces. Reliable Truss and Components, part of the National Lumber Family of Companies, can design and build gazebos, pergolas, and other similar structures.

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AZEK Resurfacing Pavers

As deck designs evolve, homeowners can also choose from a wider variety of different materials than ever before. Many homeowners opt to mix and match decking materials. Azek has a line of versatile pavers that come in multiple colors to enhance the design of a patio. Or you can add planters and have curved elements in the design. Different colors can be used to map out certain areas of the deck visually based on their intended function. Certain areas of the deck may even have solid roofing so that they can be used even on rainy days.

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TimberTech ReliaBoard Decking with Post-Cap Lighting

If you’re looking to spruce up your existing deck or build a brand new one, you will want to explore the many decking, railing, and deck accessories options on the market today. Many low maintenance products are now available so you spend more time enjoying your deck and less time maintaining it. We invite you to visit a National Lumber location near you to see products from Azek and TimberTech, offering a range of colors for decking, railings and many accessories such as built-in lighting. Decks are an easy way to effectively add square footage to your home, as well as a significant increase in your home’s value.

Thanks to Azek and TimberTech for the beautiful photos and to Home Town Restyling and Philip’s Fences for their insight into 2016 deck trends.

Simpson Exterior Doors Offer Maximum Performance Against the Elements

Did you know that Simpson Doors offers Performance Series doors that offer additional protection against the elements? Simpson’s Ultrablock and WaterBarrier technology are available on most exterior doors, and each upgraded door comes with a 5 year warranty.

WaterBarrier technology is made from one-piece of Medium Density Overlay (MDO) on the outside – a material commonly used on concrete forms and street signs. It resists moisture absorption and the overlay has a primer topcoat which results in better paint application. You can find if the technology is available on the door you want by visiting Simpson’s Find a Door.

 

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Learn more about Simpson’s Ultrablock and WaterBarrier technologies.

Ultrablock technology already comes standard on many of Simpson’s door lines. This technology offers the best protection against extreme weather and improves warp resistance while still giving you a beautiful genuine wood door.

To learn more about Simpson Doors, visit the National Lumber eShowroom.

Therma-Tru Entry Door Systems Ranked #1 in Quality, Brand Specified and Most Used

When it comes to entry doors, there’s far more involved than just a door. It’s a door system, which includes the door itself, the glass, and components. These components include hinges, sills, and weatherstripping. Everything works together in order to resist the elements, help keep cold drafts out, and keep the heat in. Well-built entry door systems are both energy-efficient and weather resistant.

Therma-Tru fiberglass entry door systems have been rated #1 in Quality by buildings in the 2015 Builder Brand Use Study. Not only that, but Therma-Tru entry doors also ranked #1 in Brand Specified and Used Most, further cementing the brand’s reputation. Each Therma-Tru entry door system comes with a Lifetime Limited Warranty. With all components either manufacturer or specified directly by Therma-Tru, you can count on a quality product that trade professionals trust.

See here how Therma-Tru door systems can work for your needs.

Therma-Tru Entry Door System Illustration

National Lumber is a proud Therma-Tru doors dealer, and samples are shown at all nine of our locations. With entry doors a major part of a home’s perceived value because of their huge impact of curb appeals, Therma-Tru door systems are an excellent choice for new construction or remodels. Whether you are a homeowner wanting to improve your own home, a remodeling contractor wanting to offer the best value to a client, or a builder preparing to sell a brand new home, Therma-Tru is the best choice.

Learn more about Therma-Tru doors on the National Lumber eShowroom.

Welcome to National Lumber!

Welcome to National Lumber’s brand-new blog! National Lumber is the largest building material supplier in New England, with eight lumberyards and stores. We also have divisions dedicated to kitchen design and remodeling (Kitchen Views), installed insulation (Pro Insulators), custom millwork and pre-built staircases (National Millwork), trusses (Reliable Truss), and drywall supply.

Fiberglass vs. Spray Foam Insulation: Which is More Effective?

With home performance energy efficiency standards becoming higher than ever, competition between different types of insulation is stronger than it has been in the past. While many homeowners may think of insulation primarily for staying warm in the winter, proper insulation also saves on summer cooling costs. While fiberglass batts are still the insulation of choice for builders, spray foam insulation has posed a serious threat to batt insulation’s dominance. However, recently builders seem to be leaning back towards batts as their primary choice. So is one type significantly more effective than the other?

According to Pro Sales Magazine, there has been some extensive testing done with the two types of insulation. The findings suggest that fiberglass batts can be as effective as spray foam. Also, they provide statistics on the drop of using spray foam vs. fiberglass batts by builders. The bottom line appears to be that either is effective, if it is installed with best practices. Whether builders out in the real world are using such best practices is the unknown variable.

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Our spray foam insulation installers have all the necessary safety gear and are trained in best practices, to ensure the best results. (Image © National Lumber & Pro Insulators)

Spray foam insulation certainly does have its benefits in certain specific construction conditions. Like with any insulation, proper installation of spray foam is key to maximize air tightness. Some tests have actually found that spray foam, even with voids, can still perform better than fiberglass at extremely cold temperatures. Spray foam also shows significantly lowered air leakage under extreme conditions. Other arguments in favor of spray foam are that it’s more environmentally friendly and better for those with allergies. It also doesn’t make a good home for pests. Are these benefits worth the added cost over using fiberglass batts instead?

It appears that the economic downturn was a major factor for builders moving back to the use of fiberglass batts as a cost-saving measure. This is because they can install them more easily with their own crews rather than requiring the special equipment and training for spray foam. In areas such as typical exterior walls, with proper air sealing practices, fiberglass will certainly perform just as well as foam. However, the detriment to fiberglass insulation is when the air sealing is not done correctly, allowing air to enter the cavities and pass through the fiberglass, effectively robbing its insulating value. Fiberglass is much less expensive compared to the foam product, even after the builder adds the extra expense of the air sealing products and labor to install with the appropriate fiberglass products.

The benefit to both contractors and their clients is that National Lumber provides the quality materials they need to do the job, or Pro Insulators can provide expert teams to install insulation quickly and thoroughly with best practices using either fiberglass batts or spray foam. Hiring that expertise saves time for the builder’s crew and they move onto the next step of the building process sooner. If their high-end clients want to know they are getting the best value in their insulation, then professional best practices can provide that with either product.

What it comes down to with either type of insulation is that the quality of the installation and air sealing are key. Pro Insulators can tell you which type will perform better for a particular project. Also, it’s important that the installer be up to date with the latest energy codes, which today are always evolving. Pro Insulators always stays on top of these codes. Both types of insulation, properly installed, can meet these codes. Simply put, the choice really is the preferred material.

Our team will leave the jobsite clean and ready for the next stage of work. (Image © National Lumber & Pro Insulators)

Just as you subcontract other specialized portions of every project, make Pro Insulators part of your team for expert results that benefit your profits. We all know that time is money, and getting the insulation installed faster by our experienced crews means that your building crew gets on to the next stage of the project faster. In addition, if a regular building crew makes mistakes installing the insulation, that will lead to failed insulation inspections. When such work has to be done over, it increases costs. The work will be done right the first time with guaranteed insulation installation by Pro Insulators. When word gets out that your homes are more energy efficient because the insulation was done expertly, word of mouth reputation for your company will grow. It’s good for the builder and good for the homeowner having Pro Insulators do the job.


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