Bear Creek Lumber

Quality. Value. Expertise. Since 1977

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Volume 19 Number 2
February 2005
Happy Valentines Day ;-)
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In This Issue:
Customer Pictures and Letters
Industry News
Remodeling Sector Going Strong
Building For The Next Generation
Budget Stretching Ideas From Bear Creek
Bear Creek Siding in NY
Merle,
(Photo) sampling of new siding (above right) versus old (above left). In the spring, when its all done, I’ll take some professional quality photos for your photo album. Everyone who sees it says how beautiful it looks (see closeup above). Also, practically no joints or nails exposed. Bill has done a fine job with the installation. Would you forward this e-mail to Cloud?
  Finally, as I mentioned to you my wife gave away my (Christmas gift) truck, is it possible you have a spare?
  We will most likely be placing an additional order for horizontal boards in the near future.
Dan Rosenfield
Readers Ask
Common Questions About Bear Creek Lumber
As our annual questionaires come back, common questions arise. Here are answers to some of your frequent questions:
Do You Sell to Owner Builders?
Yes, we sell to anyone. Our restrictions are usually based on the feasibility of delivering an order. We can ship almost anything anywhere, but sometimes its too impractical. However, we quote most requests and let the customer decide if they find the price and terms are to their liking. Custom home builders, and architects who specify our custom materials for their designs are our most frequent customers.
Do You Have a Minimum Order Size?
Yes and no. It is not feasible to ship one or two pieces of long thin lumber. Builders of kayaks and canoes often ask for small amounts of long material and it is usually not feasible. To ship long lengths of lumber you need to buy six to ten pieces of wood to protect them from damage, and even then you need to wrap extensively which adds to the cost. To ship just a few pieces is generally as expensive as shipping a whole unit, becasue of the handling involved. So if you need a few pieces, think ahead and see if you could buy some other material you might need later. By bundling, you save on freight and wrapping.
Are You Competitive in Florida?
We like to think we are competitive, apples for apples, with any lumber yard anywhere in the world. Our products are fairly unique. When folks comparison shop, we find many suppliers will quote/sell you an inferior grade for the same cost but we believe that we have the best product for the price, including shipping. We are not competitive with what we call commodity lumber, such as studs, plywood, and common trusses. Anything you can easily buy locally, we won't be able to price any better. For these unique, high quality materials, we are your best bet.
How Long Does It Take to Ship An Order?
For most orders, we generally promise no less than 30 days. With special orders, it is 6-8 weeks, as it is with most companies. We can ship in a faster time frame if all the factors involved line up just right, but its better for both us, and our customers if we not promise a faster turnaround because delays beyond our control can happen. Especially if the weather is bad. We do our best to meet your timeline, and for the most part customers are satisfied with these arrangements. When timing is critical, order well in advance so that the product can arrive in plenty of time.
Do You Have an Outlet in My Area?
To date we only have one shop here in central Washington state. As tempted as we are to expand, it hasn't made sense for us yet. Stay tuned. It could happen in the future. But to date we prefer simplicity as opposed to growth. When our next generation of family members begins to make long range plans, we will look at all potentials.
Can I Get Samples?
We can send small samples but we always prefer to send digital photos of the entire unit so you can see the full range of color and quality of the product you are interested in. Wood samples are typically 6 inches in length and only show a small representation of those features. Costs for wood samples vary according to the number and size, and cover our handling and mailing expense.

Bear Creek Lumber
Customer Letters and Pictures
The enclosed picture is a replica of Norman Rockwell's studio in Arlington Vermont. The replica is located at Lake McConaughy, Nebraska's laregst lake. The large north window provides a clear view of the lake and natural lighting for painting. (pictured right. Bear Creek provided the random width STK vertial cedar siding.
Thanks,
Brad K. Wallace NE
Dear Bear Creek, Attn. Sage,
Thanks again for the outstanding product, service and price. I especially appreciate your attention to this small order. The tight knot cedar was stable and dense as described and produced high quality signage. I'm always grateful for such a high quality product here in the Methow.
Bruce M. - Twisp
Garage with apartment clad with clear cedar siding pre-primed by Bear Creek. Perfect Match to our adjoining house. (picture left and right)
Philip D., Friars Hill WV
Hello Mark
Please forgive me for waiting so long to write and thank you for the beautiful Christmas gift box. I am so sorry, but maybe I was waiting for Dallas to finish the siding so I could include a picture. He said I couldn't send a picture until the house was done. Must be why I waited. We love our siding and how it looks! (pictured with the kitchen, and attic below)
Karen and Dallas G. - Murrieta CA
Sage:
Here’s a photo of a full scale chair, a 1/2 scale chair, and a 1/4 scale chair. Cool, huh?
I’m going to have to get some more boards. Pretty much used up last purchase. How’s your supply of 5/4 x 4 and 5/4 x 6 yellow cedar?
Dan B. - Pateros WA
Companies like yours are what this country is all about and how it was founded. Nice to deal with honest-quality people -products. From the phone conmversation with Merle to prices-delivery-assortment-packaging.All was perfect! If you ever need a rep in this area, be glad to talk to you...
Randy P., owner
Handy Andy - Helena MT
To all the crew at Bear Creek,
Thanks for keeping fine materials at hand and taking the time to dig for the pieces that match the customer's vision(siding picture right).
Victoria V.

Inventory News
U.S. construction outlays dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in November, the first decline in 10 months, the Commerce Department reported Monday. It was the largest decline in construction spending in 21 months. Most of the drop was in the single-family home sector.

Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes stayed stout in December, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The seasonally adjusted monthly gauge of builder sentiment stayed at 71 for December, maintaining the yearly high achieved in the last three months.
“On a nationwide basis, the final quarter of 2004 has been a good one for home builders,” said David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Indeed, the average HMI was up several points for the quarter, reflecting excellent financing conditions, rising home prices and an improving economy.” The NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI is derived from a monthly survey of builders that asks them to rate current sales of single-family homes and the traffic of prospective buyers. Any score over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. In December, the HMI component gauging current single-family sales remained unchanged at 77 while the component gauging expected sales in the next six months rose one point to 79. The component gauging traffic of prospective buyers also rose one point to 52.
Remodeling Still Going Strong
Third-quarter results for the remodeling market moved one point ahead of the seasonally adjusted second quarter of 2004. Continued low interest rates and stable consumer confidence are attributed as key elements, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
“This has been an amazing year for remodeling,” said NAHB Remodelors Council Chairman Douglas Sutton Sr. “With home sales remaining record breaking, the major additions and alterations sector has kept many remodelers busy with continually growing backlogs.”
The remodeling market index, upon which gains have been established, was derived from a quarterly national survey of 500 remodelers. The current market conditions index moved one point, from 50.6 halfway through the year to last quarter to 51.8. Expectations were listed at level of 52.4 through the remainder of the year.
“With the ongoing favorable interest rates, rising employment and household incomes, and high home price appreciation rates, we expect the remodeling market to remain on a strong growth path,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders.“The RMI is still above 50, which signals that the market remains healthy,” he added. “All indicators point to another booming year for remodeling in 2004, and the outlook for 2005 is quite good as well.”
as well.”
Building Retirement Homes For The Next Generation
Retirement housing could be the hottest sector of the construction market for years to come.
For builders planning to sell to the next generation of retireees, old assumptions will not work. Called the "nexers", this generation does not look at their later years as being significantly different from their present life. According to a study by Feinburg and Associates presented to the National Association of Home Builders, homebuyers of this group will most likely keep working, stay close to their present homes, and will want homes that are tailored to their active lifestyles. Forget the country club, this generation will be looking for hiking trails, boating, and fishing opportunities. They will want to be able to go to restaurants and theaters, but be close to parks and recreational areas. Maintenance-free housing will be a key, as these seniors will want to spend their time on leaisure activities like bird watching rather than chores. They won't want to be segrated from people of other generations, such as senior communities are currently. Instead they will be looking for diversity. They'll want homes with a unique character, and communities that are inclusive of all ages. They identify with youth. The word "retirement" will turn them off.
Builders will be challenged to provide services and amendities that to date are not available, but those looking ahead to this growing market will find that once this generation starts to move, they will be a major force in the market.
Top Ten Construction Markets in 2004
1. Atlanta GA 54,857 Housing Starts
2. Phoenix-Scottsdale AZ 48,970 Housing Starts
3. Houston TX 42,225 Housing Starts
4. Dallas-Fort Worth TX 41,520 Housing Starts
5. Riverside-San Bernadino CA 40,329 H. Starts
6. Chicago-Joliet IL 35,707 Housing Starts
7. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale FL 34,068 Housing Starts
8. Las Vegas NV 30, 896 Housing Starts
9. Washington DC 29,102 Housing Starts
10. Orlando FL 26, 270 Housing Starts

Editor: Ela Bannick ela@bearcreeklumber.com

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