Monthly Archives

June 2015

Trex Railing

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Trex railing offers variety in both style and color.  Whether you are building your dream deck from the ground up or adding railing to an existing deck, there is a railing style to fit your vision.

Traditionally, decking was only available in PVC or treated lumber.  While this worked for many years, homeowners demanded more choices.  This is where Trex railing shines.  Available in three different product lines (Trex Transcend, Trex Reveal, and Trex Select) there is a product that can fit perfectly into the decor of any home. Trex Railing is available in several different colors with different baluster options.

To show the ease of installation, Trex’s Jeff Ruddick partnered with Zeeland Lumber’s Jay Ellsworth in the videos below.  If you have any questions about Zeeland Lumber’s decking products, you can visit any of our showrooms to learn more, or contact us directly to schedule an appointment.

How to Install Trex Railing

June Lumber Prices

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LumberyardDimensional lumber pricing rebounded the second quarter off what many experts believe will be 2015’s overall low.  As permits rise, this signals increased activity in the fall with labor constraints keeping that activity from running away.   My first thoughts are that this means builders will have a nice order file this fall and it will create a longer building season… Weather permitting.

The first quarter commodity price drop this year was a function of favorable exchange rates, the absence of China in the Canadian lumber market, and manageable housing starts.  The second quarter increase was also a function of these factors but curtailments, tariffs and quotas were introduced.  Additionally, I am starting to see that freight services are becoming strained as demand in the housing market begins to tick up.

The tariff situation will continue to be something we watch for the next few months.  In July tariffs in some parts of our region will increase to 15%.  This tariff will only apply to lumber producers in Canada that ship into the United States.  Although this tariff may have impact on pricing, it could be a short term headache.  The current agreement will expire at the end of the calendar year.  It will be up to the government to decide to extend this program or let it expire.  Tariffs can be a complicated subject, so please feel free to contact me (johnc@zeelandlumber.com)  if you have any questions.

So, tariffs aside, what is lumber doing now and what does that mean for you?  From a big picture the mills have done a good job cutting back production and raising pricing off the lows.  My personal belief was that July was going to be the transitional month with numbers climbing higher into the fall.  In retrospect it happened a little earlier than expected.  Going forward, with permits being what they were, I would expect relatively stable pricing and maybe a slow climb towards fall with possibly a few small bumps along the way as mills curtail production or simply over produce or under produce specific offerings.  Things are looking better but we still have a long way to go!

Popular Cabinet Colors

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Zeeland Lumber’s cabinet designers recently sat down to discuss popular cabinet colors.  The overwhelming response from the group was that light colors are becoming increasingly popular in modern kitchens.  Whites and Grays are growing in popularity while darker stains seem to be ‘fading away.’

According to Zeeland Cabinet Designer, Tiffany George, homeowners want their kitchen to feel bright and inviting.  That’s why we’re seeing the change in color.  Certain dark cabinet colors will always be popular, but as the kitchen continues to be the focal point of the home, people want their guests to feel invited and invigorated.

Lumber and OSB Prices

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John-Colley-Final-1024x1024OSB pricing has ‘softened’ over the last month and returned to April’s levels.  I certainly wouldn’t expect further downward movement from this point on.  There is still ample production so pricing should not change dramatically.  If pricing does change it would be attributed to loss of production or natural disaster.

2×4 and 2×6 dimensional pricing slid a little over the last couple of weeks, but the window of opportunity to capitalize on the limited amount of deals did not last long.  Lower than anticipated demand related to weather and labor constraints left for some excess production.  The deals only lasted long enough for dealers to clean up any production they had left over from the first half of the year.  Typically, we see prices drop a little more than they did this time of year.  Regardless, we would expect prices to move back down in the fall.

Studs have been problematic the first two quarters.  Mills were getting such a good return on 104 5/8″ trims that they cut production on the 92 5/8″ trim.   92 5/8″ stud pricing is now coming in line with lineal pricing but 104 5/8″ studs still appear to be trading at the premium where they should.  This is due to the fact that 8′ logs are harder to harvest than 9′ logs.  Couple bullish pricing with an intentionally low production and a bad batch of logs, and I think it is easy to see why studs have been problematic.

Wide dimensional also fell consistent with what the narrows did but at least the product availability issues are going away. Unfortunately, rail issues are still with us but they are getting better and at least the mills have product to ship which is unlike studs.

Finally, Southern Yellow Pine has been mixed.  2×4 is up, 2×6 is down, and wider dimensional held its own.  I would expect a correction between 2×4 and 2×6 but sometimes these things take a couple months.  Southern Yellow pine has generally been a better value option to the western species due to differences in freight costs.

What does this mean for you?  Overall, we have products available.  The mills and species may be a little different but the strength and quality have not been diminished.   Look for pricing to remain relatively stable and at good value.

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Now Hiring: Driver III

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Location: Waterford, MI

Driver III drives a tractor with one or more trailers (18-wheel) on public streets or highways to transport materials and merchandise.  May load or unload truck using Moffett and Skytrak equipment.  Drivers are responsible for securing the load using approved devices and methods.  Requires a valid Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Move materials from one location to another.
  • Delivery of materials to customers.
  • Pick up materials from customers as required.

Qualifications / Requirements

  • Energetic, forward-thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards and an appropriate professional image.
  • Ability to read shipping documents.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and cognitive skills.
  • Commitment to company values.

Education / Training / Experience

  • High School Diploma or GED Equivalent.
  • Valid Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

 

  • Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; balance; stoop; talk or hear.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 80 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

 

  • Work Environment: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time.  The noise level in the work environment is usually minimal.

If you would like to be considered for this position, please email your resume to recruiting@zeelandlumber.com.

Now Hiring, Driver

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Location: Elkhart, IN

Drives a motor truck under 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW), on streets or highways to transport materials and merchandise.  May load or unload truck using Moffett and Skytrak equipment.  Drivers are responsible for securing the load using approved devices and methods.  Requires a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Move materials from one location to another.
  • Delivery of materials to customers.
  • Pick up materials from customers as required.

Qualifications / Requirements

  • Energetic, forward-thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards and an appropriate professional image.
  • Ability to read shipping documents.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and cognitive skills.
  • Commitment to company values.
  • Knowledge of technology programs (WMS/bisTrack)

Education / Training / Experience

  • High School Diploma or GED Equivalent.
  • Valid Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or Chauffeur License

Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; balance; stoop; talk or hear.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 80 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • Work Environment: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time.  The noise level in the work environment is usually minimal.

If you would like to be considered for this position, please email your resume to recruiting@zeelandlumber.com.

Now Hiring, Window Service Tech

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Location: Waterford, MI

Field Service Technician is a mobile repair or assessment technician who travels to a site to troubleshoot equipment/product issues.  Technician’s job is to repair and maintain all makes and models of a windows, doors, garage doors & operators.  Assist in custom Millwork shop using power tools. Other product categories may be added at discretion of supervisor.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Establishes service by studying system requirements; ordering and gathering components and parts; completing installation; performing acceptance tests.
  • Maintains rapport with customers by examining complaints; identifying solutions; suggesting improved methods and techniques; recommending system improvements.
  • Keeps personal equipment operating by following operating instructions; troubleshooting breakdowns; maintaining supplies; performing preventive maintenance; calling for repairs.
  • Documents service and installation actions by completing forms, reports, logs, and records.
  • Assist in custom Millwork shop using power tools such as  planers, sander, belt sander, jig saw, table saw, band saw, portable drills, drill press
  • Shop customer service and processing credits
  • Insure that safety policies and practices, concerning vehicles, tools and equipment are complied with.
  • Maintains customer confidence by keeping service information confidential.

Qualifications / Requirements

  • Knowledge of residential construction and the ability to use hand tools is desired. Must be able to work from ladders and scaffolding, and work well unsupervised.
  • Energetic, forward-thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards and an appropriate professional image.
  • Ability to listen, troubleshoot and problem solve.
  • Ability to plan projects and work independently.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and cognitive skills.
  • Commitment to company values.  Maintain confidentiality and focus on quality

Education / Training / Experience

  • High School graduate required, some college preferred.
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Must have 3 years of experience with installation, service, and repair.
  • Qualified candidates will possess 1-2 years of related education and/or experience, particularly in the area of building materials or construction.
  • Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications.

Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  1. Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to walk; sit; use hands and fingers to handle or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; balance; stoop; talk or hear.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 100 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  1. Work Environment: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time.  The noise level in the work environment is usually minimal.

If you would like to be considered for this position, please email your resume to recruiting@zeelandlumber.com.