Monthly Archives

July 2013

Michigan Housing Shows Signs of Stabilizing

By | Homeowner News, Professional Builder News | No Comments

Mike-Dykstra-SmallI recently read an article called ˜Fast and Furious Real Estate Market Stabilizing Despite Inventory Shortage.’  For those of us in the housing industry this article comes as little surprise.  Everyone here at Zeeland Lumber and Supply has felt the surge of new home starts and have seen the rebound that the market has taken over the last year.  While this change has been a positive one, it offers a new set of challenges and opportunities.  As we say in our organization, “these are better problems.”

In this article, Jim Harger outlines the rising costs of homes and the reduced amount of time that they are on the market.  These two circumstances have led to a severe reduction in inventory on the market.  This reduced inventory, I believe, has given people a reason to consider building a new home as opposed to buying a used home.  Personally, I think this surge of new business is great.  It shows that the consumer is confident in our economy.

While we have seen that the building market has improved, the home start information as reported last week showed a 9.9% reduction on an annualized basis from the previous month.  This was mostly due to reduced starts on the multi-family front.  This shows that the trend line up to “normalized” housing starts will not be a straight line and not necessarily a steep line.  This shows that an increase in home starts may be not as steep of an increase and therefore manageable for us in the industry.

We have built up our business and added employees to meet your needs at Zeeland Lumber and Supply, Zeeland Truss and Components and Zeeland Contractor Services.  As always, we appreciate your business and support.  Thank you for your business.

Vinyl Siding Installation Tips

By | Homeowner News, Professional Builder News, Projects | No Comments
by Greg Jacques

by Greg Jacques

In the last 20 years vinyl siding has become a ‘go to’ product for many builders in our industry. Boasting easy installation and low maintenance has become two of the leading reasons that vinyl siding can be seen on most homes.  While easy installation may be true (to a certain extent) vinyl siding offers a unique set of installation challenges and opportunities.  The list below should help on your next vinyl siding installation project.

Nailing too tightly. Vinyl siding needs room to move. Installers should nail “loose” rather than drive the nails home, it is best to leave 1/32 of an inch between the fastener head and the vinyl.

Nailing off-center. Every panel of vinyl siding is made with a nail hem that includes elongated nail slots of an inch or so. Centering the nails in those slots allows the panel to move and prevents oil canning.

Cramming the vinyl too tight into an accessory. When a panel of siding ends at a transition point being a corner, J-channel or on top of a wall, leaving a quarter-inch gap between the end of the panel and the accessory allows the vinyl to expand. If there’s no room for it to expand, it can buckle.

Leaving too much space between fasteners. Placing fasteners farther apart invites the wind to cause waviness in the material. Rule of thumb is to nail every 16″ (common stud spacing) to guarantee consistent fastening.

Overlapping too much. The industry standard calls for an overlap of 1 inch to 1.25 inches where two panels meet. Too much of an overlap restricts movement and can cause oil canning.

Creating visible seams. It’s an eyesore rather than a functional glitch, but apply panels so they begin and end evenly all the way up the wall, instead of staggering them in a zipper-like pattern which will draw too much attention to the straight seam.

Not using the right tools. It’s a coincidence when the top of a wall is exactly the height of a 12.5-inch panel of siding. So the installer usually has to cut the top of the panel, which means eliminating its pre-slotted nail hem. That cut edge typically slides into a piece of utility trim, which has a lip to catch the panel. Without the nail hem, however, it usually won’t catch. A thirty dollar snap-lock punch allows the installer to crimp the panel every six to eight inches so the panel catches.

More Vinyl Siding Installation Tips

With these and other proper installation practices which can be found at the VSI manual link provided you will avoid most callbacks. (http://www.vinylsiding.org/PUBLICATIONS/I1_-_Vinyl_Siding_Installation_Manual_English.pdf)