Welcome to National Lumber’s Blog

As the largest independent building materials dealer in New England, let National Lumber be your source for all of your building & remodeling needs. The National Lumber Family of Companies includes Reliable Truss, Pro Insulators, National Millwork and Kitchen Views – covering everything from the rimboard to the roof shingles and everything in between. Visit our websites to see all we have to offer.

Our blog will keep you up to date with our latest products & services. If you’d like to keep up with the blog via email, you can easily subscribe using the box at the right. You can also keep up to date with the latest events hosted by National Lumber as well as new products and services by joining our Constant Contact mailing list.

We’re ready to serve you. If you have any feedback, questions or concerns, be sure to leave a comment!

Did You Know – Babel’s Paint & Decorating is Now Part of the National Lumber Family

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Babel’s Norwood, MA store front

You may have known that National Lumber has Benjamin Moore paint showrooms at eight of our locations: Newton, Mansfield, New Bedford, Salem, Berlin, Gardner, Boscawen NH and Oxford CT. Each of these showrooms is staffed by paint experts, serving both painting contractors and homeowners. The New Bedford showroom just opened earlier this year. So if you are in that area, please stop by and check it out.

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Babel’s customer selecting paint colors

But did you know that we’ve now added Babel’s Paint & Decorating to the National Lumber Family of Companies?

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Babel’s Foxboro, MA – Matt Listenfelt

Babel’s has been in business since 1950, when Victor Babel, Sr. and his wife Mickey opened the first Babel’s Paint and Wallpaper store in Norwood, MA. In the 1970’s, Victor’s youngest son, Vic Jr. and his wife Jeanne took over the business. By the 1990’s, the business had expanded to include professional designers and became renamed Babel’s Paint & Decorating Store. In 1996, Babel’s opened its second store in Jeanne’s hometown of Needham, MA. In 1999, Babel’s opened its third store in Foxboro, MA.

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Babel’s Canton, MA Decorating Dept.

A fourth location was added when Babel’s acquired a paint shop at Cobb’s Corner in Canton, MA. Finally, a fifth location was added in Brockton, MA.

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Babel’s Canton, MA – Ted Swift

With 5 locations in Massachusetts, Babel’s not only has Benjamin Moore Paint Experts, but also have interior designers and colorists available. The Decorating Departments are at 4 locations, plus designers travel to clients’ homes. Babel’s in Brockton only has paint. We recommend that you call ahead to the Decorating Department at a location that is convenient for you and make an appointment for personal service.

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Babel’s Brockton, MA store interior

With the addition of Babel’s to the National Lumber Family of Companies, you’ll continue to get the same great service, with the Benjamin Moore products you trust. But now you’ll also have access to decorating and interior design expertise. With these expanded services, we hope to serve our contractor and homeowner customers alike even better than before.

If you work with a specific National Lumber representative, please ask about these products and services. If you don’t have a specific contact, you can email insidesales@national-lumber.com and we will have someone contact you.

Thank you for your business. We are honored to be your supplier for building materials and more!

The National Lumber Family of Companies
www.national-lumber.com

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Residential Contractors: Beware of OSHA Fines

OSHA-acknowledged scaffold/fall protection in place and ready for roof installation.

In case that you didn’t know, OSHA increased their penalty fines by almost 80 percent on August 1st, 2016. This means that their Top Serious violation fine increased from $7,000 to over $12,000, and their Willful and Repeat fines increased from $70,000 to $125,000. The fine increase has prompted many contractors to double down on their safety training and to invest in the best safety equipment. It also has made many contractors realize the importance of OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 certification training, but especially Fall Protection training.

Fall Protection is the number one violation cited by OSHA, so understandably, it’s definitely an area the construction industry as a whole needs to work on. It’s also important that all contractors have developed and implemented a proper safety manual and training program to keep both their workers and subcontractors safe.

Fortunately, companies such as The Contractor Coaching Partnership, among others, have been keeping up with the OSHA changes for you. These coaches are well-versed in OSHA regulations and will ensure that you develop the proper program and acquire the right equipment to keep your workers safe. The small investment now is well-worth avoiding hefty fines later, and of course, to avoid preventable work site injuries. Training companies offer both OSHA Fall Protection and OSHA 10 and 30 Certification courses on a regular basis. You also can often schedule individual sessions to fit your schedule.

However, you decide to do it, it’s imperative to get the proper training for you and your employees as soon as possible. Get the necessary certification, too, so that you can avoid even the more minor infractions. The fines exist for a good reason, as OSHA is trying to prevent as many injuries and deaths as possible and this seems to be the best way to motivate people to do so. Don’t get fined. Get trained and stay safe!

To make it more convenient for contractors, builders, and remodelers in Southeastern Massachusetts, National Lumber provides training opportunities in Fall Protection, OSHA certification, and other certification and training courses. These classes are offered by outside companies who use National Lumber’s training room above the Mansfield, MA store. You can see our latest classes on our website at www.national-lumber.com/events. If the provided dates or location does not work for you, feel free to contact any of our affiliated training companies directly for more information.

Be safe!

Restore Your Deck With Benjamin Moore Exterior Stains

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Pool and Garden Deck using Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT Exterior Stains with Black Railings and Platinum Gray Decking Stain

Does your deck need some love? Even old decks can look like new with a fresh coat of stain or paint. Now that spring has arrived, it’s the perfect time to do your annual deck maintenance. Investing some time and money now will allow you to enjoy the outdoors all summer long, and for years to come.

To help you do just that, National Lumber offers the full range of Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT exterior wood stains, along with the tools you need to get the job done. All of Benjamin Moore’s stains are formulated to protect and beautify your wood or composite deck. These products also work on fences, siding, and outdoor furniture. Benjamin Moore stains are available in a surprisingly wide range of colors and five opacities, which range from opaque to transparent. Plus Benjamin Moore offers extensive color resources to find the best hue for your wood staining projects.

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“Rustic Retreat” Deck with Alexandria Beige ARBORCOAT Stain on Deck Railings and Floor

On their website, Benjamin Moore offers a library of videos covering topics such as how to choose the right stains for your home, preparation for staining, and deck maintenance. They also offer endless possibilities for deck color ideas. All of this information will help you find the best color and opacity for your wood staining projects.

Springtime is also a great time to freshen up your home with new colors. If it’s time to repaint or stain the exterior of your home. One thing you may consider is taking a two-tone approach with your home’s exterior, as suggested in this ideabook from Houzz. Be sure to consult a Benjamin Moore expert before going ahead, though, to find colors that work well together and fit with the architecture of your home. You could consider painting indoors, as well, breathing new life into your entire home inside and out.

Benjamin Moore exterior wood stains and other paints are available at most of our retail locations. They are also available at our five Babel’s Paint and Decorating locations, the newest member of the National Lumber Family of Companies. At each of these locations, you’ll find Benjamin Moore experts who can give you further advice on which stains will work best for your unique needs.

Find your local Benjamin Moore showroom with ARBORCOAT stain experts at BenjaminMooreExperts.com

Insulate Your Attic for Year-Round Comfort and Cost Savings!

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Construction worker thermally insulating house attic with glass wool

The Cost vs Value Report released every year by Hanley Wood Remodeling is a benchmark for homeowners to see the potential return on investment of popular home improvement projects. This data is compiled by taking various recently remodeled homes that sold. One of the best projects for return on investment is installing new insulation in the attic. In particular, new fiberglass insulation is installed to cut down on potential heat loss. Because heat rises, this is one of the most important areas of the home to insulate. Good insulation saves on heating and cooling costs year-round!

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Installation of Fiberglass Batt Insulation

The national average of installing fiberglass insulation in the attic is about $1268 according to the Cost vs Value Report. At resale, this upgrade recoups an average of $1468. That’s a 117 percent return on investment. When you look at the regional statistics for New England, the cost is roughly the same, $1292. But the average.return on investment is $1858, a return of 144 percent. This doesn’t even include the residual savings in heating and cooling costs during the life of the new insulation, which can be up to 20 percent. ENERGY STAR has a good tool for estimating energy savings from effective air sealing and insulation.

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Installing Spray Foam Fiberglass Insulation Into Wall Cavity

Aesthetically, installing attic insulation isn’t exciting. But because of how much it adds to a home’s energy efficiency and performance, it’s becoming more of a focus than ever. Being highlighted in the Cost vs Value Report is making attic insulation more popular to install than ever. When it comes to comfort, it’s well worth the $1200-1300 of investments. Knowing you can get all that money back plus 20 to 40 percent at resale is a big selling point, plus as much as a 20 percent cost savings in energy costs.

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Retrofitting an Older Home with Blown-In Fiberglass Insulation

Also, having properly installed quality insulation is necessary in gaining ENERGY STAR certification for your home. Pro Insulators, a division of National Lumber, has expert installation teams and the best available insulation products. Homeowners and contractors alike are quite happy with the work of the Pro Insulators teams. We provide the expertise to meet ENERGY STAR certification requirements for builders and timely, reliable service to homeowners retrofitting older homes.

Being one of the most cost-effective home improvements for homeowners and a selling point for newer homes, proper attic insulation and air sealing is well worth the investment. Not only can Pro Insulators bring your home up to the latest local and state building codes, but you can enjoy a more comfortable home for decades to come.

Living Large – Decks Extend Living Spaces

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AZEK Deck with Planters and Curved Bench

One of the biggest trends in decks for 2016 is a continuing focus on turning decks into outdoor living spaces. More specifically, more homeowners are thinking about basically making their decks into a continuation of their indoor living space. Essentially, decks are being thought of more and more as adding square footage to the home.

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Multi-level Deck with Firepit

These outdoor living spaces are used for a wide variety of purposes. Outdoor kitchens are growing in popularity, not just for barbecues, but everyday food preparation. Entertainment and relaxation are traditionally how decks have been used for entertaining friends and family outdoors. Now more homeowners are expanding their use of outdoor spaces with better furniture and specialty lighting.

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Gazebo with AZEK Decking

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Pergola with AZEK Decking

Personalization of deck spaces is also becoming a strong trend. There are so many railing options and accessories available today that no two decks ever have to look alike. Since decks are becoming everyday living spaces, there are more multi-level decks being built than ever before. Incorporating specialty lighting to steps up to raised portions and stairs improves safety in the evening. Architectural elements are becoming more important. Some homeowners even incorporate gazebos and pergolas into their structures to provide shade and ambiance, making them more versatile spaces. Reliable Truss and Components, part of the National Lumber Family of Companies, can design and build gazebos, pergolas, and other similar structures.

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AZEK Resurfacing Pavers

As deck designs evolve, homeowners can also choose from a wider variety of different materials than ever before. Many homeowners opt to mix and match decking materials. Azek has a line of versatile pavers that come in multiple colors to enhance the design of a patio. Or you can add planters and have curved elements in the design. Different colors can be used to map out certain areas of the deck visually based on their intended function. Certain areas of the deck may even have solid roofing so that they can be used even on rainy days.

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TimberTech ReliaBoard Decking with Post-Cap Lighting

If you’re looking to spruce up your existing deck or build a brand new one, you will want to explore the many decking, railing, and deck accessories options on the market today. Many low maintenance products are now available so you spend more time enjoying your deck and less time maintaining it. We invite you to visit a National Lumber location near you to see products from Azek and TimberTech, offering a range of colors for decking, railings and many accessories such as built-in lighting. Decks are an easy way to effectively add square footage to your home, as well as a significant increase in your home’s value.

Thanks to Azek and TimberTech for the beautiful photos and to Home Town Restyling and Philip’s Fences for their insight into 2016 deck trends.

Little Compton, RI Custom Home Showcases National Millwork’s Abilities

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Front portico of custom home in Little Compton, Rhode Island, built by National Millwork.

This custom home in Little Compton, Rhode Island is nearing completion with the beautiful millwork details made by our craftsmen at National Millwork in Mansfield. This front portico, over the main entrance to this house (shown above), is probably one of the most challenging things we have done, only because of its sheer size. There are four beams made out of Western Red Cedar, which are 4 inches thick, almost 5 feet in height and 21 feet long. These were glued in the shop, and cut on the CNC machine. Each one had to be run through the planer, then through the sander (several times) before they were completed. It took four guys to lift and move them every time. The beams holding them up were also pretty large, at almost 6 feet by 8 feet when fully assembled. Note the curved gutter above the doorway, and dentil blocks.

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Exterior Millwork Details

The next picture is a perfect example of what we can do. Starting at the top, above the roof line is a widow’s walk that we built for this customer. All PVC 12″ wide hand rail, with matching upeasings and ballusters. Coming down to the roof line, this is one of the curved gutters that we built (like the one we bring to our shows). There were 12 of these in total, all made out of mahogany and fir. These were glued together and then cut out on our 5-axis CNC machine. Also, at the roof line are the PVC brackets that we made to a total of 755 of them! We assembled all of these in the shop, and the backside of each block was made to match the crown moulding, which we supplied.

By doing all of this custom millwork in our shop this way, the contractor estimated that we saved him over one month of labor on the fabrication, and installation side. Plus the fact that every one is identical.

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Custom Ceilings –  Octagonal (Above), Coffered (Below)

The custom octagon ceiling and coffered ceiling were built by us, including the beadboard and matching trim. These were cut on the CNC machine and assembled in the shop out of poplar. They were then sent out to the job for installation.

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Custom pilasters

We also built 18 PVC pilasters (non-structural columns) and brackets, which were then attached to the columns when installed at the jobsite. This extensive project gave so many opportunities to showcase our capabilities that we look forward to sharing more pictures in the future.

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Interior millwork details

The last photo is of some of the Interior Custom Millwork work we did. This was all made out of poplar, and the columns, and detail blocks were made and assembled in the shop. There were 22 of these columns and block assembles that we made. Also note the curved wall and trim. We made a template of what they wanted, and then we actually made the wall in our shop, which consisted of top and bottom plates and the studs. These were cut on the CNC machine. By doing this we now had the programs to make the radius trim. This really pushed the envelope as to what we could do on the CNC machine because of the height of the trim itself.

What can we do for your customers?

If you are interested in discussing the millwork needs for your next project, contact Bob Nickerson at 508-261-6455 ext. 4124 or email bnickerson@national-millwork.com

 


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