Archive Page 2

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.

 

technology-detail

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.

open-cell-spray-foam

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.

National Lumber Celebrates the Contributions of Veterans, Then and Now

Veterans day background. Shield on American flag. Vector illustration.

Honoring All Who Served, Veterans Day, Nov 11, 2015. Our locations will be open with regular hours.

Celebrating the Contributions of Veterans, Then and Now

On Veterans Day, we have a reminder to stop at least for a moment and remember the honorable men and women who have protected our freedom, then and now.

Manny Pina, Marine Corporal in Vietnam, 1968-69

Manny Pina, Marine Corporal in Vietnam, 1968-69

Then: They put themselves in harm’s way. Whether in the great world wars against global aggressors, foreign wars with or without the support of the public, or in more recent war zones, they did what was expected of them and served proudly.

Now: They have returned home and worked hard in a chosen field, showing themselves to be reliable whatever the task. Many also contribute by volunteering in their communities. You may not even realize how many of your co-workers are veterans, because they don’t look for recognition. But some have not had a smooth transition from combat back to civilian life. Let us remember those who now need our support, since their service was on our behalf.

Manny Pina, President of National Lumber Company

Manny Pina, President of National Lumber Company

There are still dangerous areas around the world where our military serves in the name of freedom, with the hope of bringing peace. Do your part by honoring their service with your words and actions. They have done so much. What will you do now for them? God bless America.

(PDF Flyer version)

National Lumber’s New Bedford, MA Location Goes Solar – Installs Solar Panels on All 3 Buildings

national-lumber-new-bedford-massachusetts-solar-panels-installation-on-retail-building

Image © National Lumber Company

Did you know that Massachusetts is one of the best states for solar power? With the percentage of sunny days we have in Massachusetts annually, this clean energy source is good for the environment, as it helps us move away from fossil fuels. It is good for business in providing a reliable energy source and cost savings, which allows businesses to produce more and be more efficient. Reducing costs means that money can then be spent elsewhere in the business. It is good for employment at the company using this energy source and creates local jobs for installing solar equipment.

National Lumber Company and our manufacturing division, Reliable Truss and Components, Inc., have spent $2.1 million to install solar panels on all three of our buildings in the Welby Park Industrial Park, off Exit 5 of Route 140, in New Bedford, MA. This is one of the largest roof panel installations in the state with just over one megawatt of solar energy production. Our average electric cost has been $135,000 per year. With tax credits, we expect to recoup the installation costs within four years.  Then, we expect to save 75% annually to run our manufacturing facility for wood trusses and other structural components, as well as their offices, National Lumber retail store and drive thru lumberyard. Since the store will have the lowest electric usage, the power generated will be shared with the manufacturing buildings.

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Image © National Lumber Company

National Lumber is a third generation family owned and operated company that takes environmental responsibilities seriously. As the largest independent building materials supplier in New England, we are a leader in the industry. At National Lumber, Green has a significant purpose, and that is to promote a real and meaningful environmental impact on the way we run our business and promote products to customers.

We believe that “Going Green” is about protecting the environment for all of our children. In addition to offering various environmentally friendly products, such as FSC certified lumber, we have implemented other Green Initiatives to improve procedures in our offices and manufacturing.

The old adage, “Waste not, want not”, has been optimized with modern technology. Office functions have been converted to paperless wherever possible. Office supplies are carefully managed with reusable items such as interoffice envelopes, then paper and cardboard are recycled. Auto-timers are used for more efficient heating and cooling offices; lighting indoors and outdoors are on timers. Our fleet of vehicles is kept at optimal operating condition for fuel efficiency and we have a “no idling” directive. Efficient planning of deliveries provides additional savings. Solar power was the next logical step.

Image © National Lumber Company

The installer, SolarFlair is a privately owned company based in Massachusetts. They know the area, building styles, codes and regulations to make solar power work well for businesses. The company was founded with a mission to deliver cost effective clean energy solutions to residential and commercial clients in Massachusetts. They have decades of experience in the solar energy industry and electrical power systems. In addition to their knowledge of solar technology, they offer creative financing mechanisms to deliver a product that will meet energy goals and save money for both commercial and residential clients.

Massachusetts Stretch Energy Code Adopting Towns – 2015 Update

As of 9/14/2015, the Massachusetts state website now lists 158 cities & towns which have adopted the Stretch Energy Code. The Stretch Code movement is continuing to build momentum and will soon be in almost every town despite the added expense to the builders and homeowners.

IMPORTANT: Click here for Wall Construction/Insulation Comparison The code requirement is R-20 wall cavity insulation, as the National Energy Code has been adopted by the state of Massachusetts in all townships. Stretch Code townships, however, operate under a different set of design and testing standards, which require outside resources such as HERs raters be used by builders for all areas of energy compliance, thereby relieving the building department(s) of this portion of the building construction review & inspection.

Not all Massachusetts cities and towns have yet adopted the Stretch Code, but those which have are indicated on the map and are enforcing its provisions with tenacity. Below is the current map of Massachusetts cities & towns that have adopted the Stretch Code.

mass-stretch-code

Go here for a PDF map showing those Massachusetts towns, as well as a list of the towns that have adopted the Code so far.

If you work in these communities, and you’re looking for help with the recent stretch code changes, don’t hesitate to contact us! We can work with you to help! The expert insulation contractors of Pro Insulators are always ready to serve you for all of your insulation needs and stretch code questions. For more information, visit www.pro-insulators.com or call 978-423-6051.

LP® SmartSide® tests projectiles against siding – see the video

I just returned from vacationing in Pennsylvania, where I was unlucky enough to be a witness to a large hailstorm. While I’m waiting to hear from my insurance company about the damage to my car, this video from LP® SmartSide® was brought to my attention. Homes can also be damaged by hail or other projectiles thrown about by a strong storm. Take a look at the video to see how two common siding materials compare to LP® SmartSide®

LP® SmartSide® Storm Force Striker Projectile Test

Showing Vinyl Siding and Fiber Cement Siding compared to LP® SmartSide®

http://youtu.be/UbgsQmpQlXM

LP® SmartSide® Lap Siding. Image © Louisiana Pacific

LP® SmartSide® Lap Siding. Image © Louisiana Pacific

SmartSide™ products provide the warmth and look of wood without many of the problems associated with natural wood. The cedar grain texture is embossed into the boards providing better continuity of definition making the depth of the grain more visible. The boards are embossed and not cut, allowing better performance against weather and moisture. SmartSide products are manufactured using the borate-based SmartGuard process to resist termites and fungal decay. In addition, a resin saturated paint base overlay is fused to the engineered substrate, resulting in a surface that is easy to paint. Installation is also quick and easy because no special cutting or fastening tools are required.

Click here to see more in our eShowroom

Of course, there are many factors that go into deciding on a siding material for a particular project. Whatever type of siding you prefer, National Lumber has the selection you want.

Check List for Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

Mike McDole speaking to a guest at the EM NARI Networking Event

Mike McDole, Senior Vice President of Sales at National Lumber, speaking to a guest at the EM NARI Networking Event

On April 16, 2014, Kitchen Views at National Lumber and Allstate Glass hosted an EM NARI Networking Event at the Kitchen Views showroom in Mansfield, MA. Please check out Brandy Souza’s Kitchen Views blog posting for more information. There are lots of event photos available on our Facebook and Google+ sites.

Tech, Smech…..By Phill Barrett

April 28, 1994 NPR Memo - the internet is coming

In a 1995 interview on NPR and in a Newsweek essay, scientist Clifford Stoll declared the internet to be a fad. The Motorola Dynatac 8000x (a.k.a. the “Brick” phone) was considered by many as a pretentious status symbol to be used only by Gordon Gecko types.

Motorola Dynatac 8000x (a.k.a. the "Brick" phone)

Motorola Dynatac 8000x (a.k.a. the “Brick” phone)

Obviously, Mr. Stoll was wrong about the internet and the cell phone is now the primary tool of communication for a large portion of the population of planet earth. Access to the internet is now considered a basic human right according to the United Nations and the average low end cell phone has more computing power than the on board computer of the Apollo 11 moon lander.

With the advent of tablets and smartphones, connectivity and productivity have soared in recent years. News, stock tips, 140 character updates from your friends about their activities, weather, and “friend” requests are all delivered to you instantly. It seems there is no end to the stream of information. The naysayers are fewer in numbers as more of the planet tunes in and connects.

Building Information Modeling Software (BIM)

National Lumber’s Engineered Wood Products Division is utilizing online meeting software and Building Information Modeling Software (BIM).

National Lumber is a company embracing connectivity. Connectivity with our customers equals better communication and closer collaboration. National Lumber’s Engineered Wood Products Division is utilizing online meeting software and Building Information Modeling Software (BIM) to “build” our customer’s project before it is built. By connecting a National Lumber design employee with a customer via the internet we are reducing design issues, wasted material, travel time, paper and miscommunication.

National Lumber is utilizing smartphone technology and tablets to provide instant access to installation and engineering documents. Many architects now email their plans directly to National Lumber on behalf of their clients to ensure that everyone is working with the correct revision — reducing confusion and delays.

The technology at your fingertips has the power to transform your business’ bottom line in amazing ways. Take advantage of the tools you already own and communication, productivity, and profitability will soar. National Lumber’s employees are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to collaborate. We welcome you to call 1-800-370-WOOD to get started on your most productive year ever.

Phill Barrett
EWP Division
National Lumber
Mansfield, MA


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