Bear Creek Lumber

Quality. Value. Expertise. Since 1977

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Volume 18 Number 11
November 2004

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In This Issue:
More Customer Photos/Letters
Industry News
Housing and the Quality of Life
Will America Be House Poor?
Autumn Sale
Montana Ski Resort Condos Built With Bear Creek Lumber
by Dow's Custom Construction
Custom Work is Our Speciality
Ski resorts are known for having convenient condo units at the base. These multi-million dollar condos used Bear Creek Lumber to achieve that "must have" look. Dow’s Custom Construction of Whitefish, MT built the units with 3/4 x 8 Clear Vertical Grain Red Cedar bevel siding, and 1 X 12 Clear red cedar channel siding. For trim, they used vertical grain clear red cedar 1 inch in varying widths.
The word is out. At Bear Creek Lumber, custom orders are us. We can work up any pattern, timber package or special finish you need to meet your architectual specification. We can't spin gold out of straw, but we can find many products unavailable to your local lumberyards. We would be happy to discuss what your project requirements are, and how we might be able to fill those specialty needs.

Call us at (800) 597-7191 or email your materials list or square footage lumber needs to customerservice@bearcreeklumber.com Be sure to include delivery address, lumber grade, and quantity with your request.
photos by Dow's Custom Construction

Customer Photos, Emails and Letters
Re: Latest Project Pictures
This above house is to designed to be like it was built in the 20’s or 30’s. Also, I tried to balance the light and dark using wood, so that the house is not cavey. The ceiling are 15 ft high. I tried to keep the woodwork and trim very clean and simple. Also the pictures are out of date in that I have since been adding stuff. (like the bathroom and shower doors). Photos of bath and ceiling above.
Dirk E. Leavenworth WA

Cloud,
I want to thank you for the material you have sent me and I am most impressed with the way you care about your customer satisfaction. I am extremely happy with the quality of the Cedar and I ‘ll be more than happy to recommend Bear Creek Lumber to my friends.
Abbas B.
Danville CA

Sorry it has been so long, but here are the pictures of the basement we did with the Blue pine we got from you. As you can see, it came out very well. This was a shot in the dark, we ordered from you based on the honesty of Mark, sight unseen. We were thrilled with what we got. I don’t know if you can tell from the photos, but the furniture is blue pine also, from the now defunct Russell Industries of LaPine Oregon.
We knew what we wanted and found you via the internet. We had great service and expanded the scope of the project and ordered more lumber in order to finish, and we used every board.
Thank you Ela, It would be fun to see our work published (photo above).
Doug C.
Springfield OR

This is just a thank you letter to tell you how much I appreciate all your help in the purchase and delivery of my redwood siding.
I was uncertain about contacting Bear Creek Lumber because I did not have prior knowledge of your company, and also because I was having difficulty finding this particular type of wood from my local suppliers. I cannot tell you how impressed I was by your helpfulness, the speed with which my materials were located and delivered and by my entire experience with Bear Creek Lumber in general. I have seldom had the opportunity to work with a lumberyard so far from Virginia and I have been pleased by the whole experience.
Thank you again, If I have any other large lumber requirments in the future, you will hear from me. Also I would appreciate being added to the catalog list you may have in the future.
Sincerely,
Jeffrey D.
Star Tannery VA

INDUSTRY NEWS
Construction spending surged again in August to the highest level on record, while manufacturing grew at a slower pace in September, offering mixed signals about the economy’s strength.
The Commerce Department reported that the value of buildings put in place clocked in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.02 trillion, a record high. That represented a 0.8 percent increase in August from July’s level. The vigor exhibited in construction in August partly reflected a strong showing in residential projects by private builders, which hit a record high. The 0.8 percent advance was twice as big as the 0.4 percent increase the economists were forecasting. In more encouraging news, July’s performance turned out to be even stronger than previously estimated. Revised figures showed that construction spending jumped by 1.1 percent in July from the previous month.
“This was an extremely strong and encouraging report,” said Kenneth Simonson, chief economist at Associated General Contractors of America.
The housing market has been a key contributor to economic growth. Home sales are expected to hit record highs this year, aided by relatively low mortgage rates. That has kept home building brisk. In August, residential projects by private builders rose by 1.7 percent from the previous month to a record high of $550.6 billion, on an annualized basis. Commercial construction by private builders increased 0.8 percent in August to an annual rate of $227 billion, the highest level since June 2002. That’s encouraging news for the commercial sector which has been hard hit by the 2001 recession and has struggled to get back on solid footing.
No time is a good time for a hurricane, let alone four. But the timing of Florida's big Four couldn’t have been worse for the construction industry. Insurance companies, engineers and homeowners still are assessing the damage, and homeowners waiting for claims. Once the checks are cut and the contractors are hired, Frances & Co. could cause mayhem even in the Midwest, and home builders could end up absorbing the impact. “When you take into account the rate at which home building has been going on in the country and you add to that the impact that these hurricanes are expected to have,we’re facing a potential problem in the coming months.” said Jerry Howard of the National Association of Homebuilders.

Homeowners Invest in Their Homes Primarily
To Improve Their Quality of Life
A large number of homeowners make home improvements to enhance their quality of life and personal enjoyment rather than for financial gain, according to a new survey by Wells Fargo. Seventy percent of those surveyed indicated that making the home more comfortable and attractive was their main reason for investing in home improvements compared to only 29 percent who cited increasing their home’s resale value.
“Creating a comfortable and secure environment at home is becoming more of a priority for consumers,” says Cara Heiden, division president, National Consumer and Institutional Lending, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “Whether it’s a home buyer purchasing a newly constructed or existing property, or a homeowner investing in a property they have owned for several years, we are seeing more and more people center their lives around their home. With the proper planning and education on the new home financing products available, homeowners can make these improvements.”
Many homeowners seem to be focusing on revitalizing and personalizing their homes. According to the survey, half of all homeowners (51%) said that they made interior decorating home improvements in the past year or will make these types of improvements in the coming year. This is a significantly higher than those who have or plan to landscape (39%), take on mandatory maintenance projects, such as plumbing (38%), or exterior decorating (29%).
Source: Well Fargo Bank

Will America Become House Poor?
It’s an ugly downside of the soaring real estate market: Many of those who put a toe in the housing water are finding themselves unable to afford more than the basic necessities, unless they try to survive with a credit card lifestyle.
“Americans are in over their heads when it comes to debt,” said economist A. Gary Shilling. “The value of real estate assets has zoomed, but people are borrowing more and more against their homes.”
A brief layoff or other job interruption can be enough to push many young home buyers over the financial edge to insolvency. Huge house payments are a direct reason for sky-high levels of bankruptcy and foreclosures. In some parts of the country, notably in California, the cost of housing can consume 60 percent of a household’s budget. In the Chicago area, a new study by the Fannie Mae Foundation finds that about 11 percent of buyers are “severely cost-burdened,” meaning they pay 50 percent or more of their monthly pretax income for housing.
Source: Chicago Tribune Sept. 2004

Editor: Ela Bannick ela@bearcreeklumber.com Feature Writer: Sage Bannick sagebannick@aol.com

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