Big News – Latest Update on our Move!

Big things are coming to Country Lumber – here’s the latest update on our move! This spring we are moving to our new location in the Becker Industrial Park. Country Lumber’s owner, Shooter, and the management team have been dreaming of this for a long time, and it is finally becoming a reality. Last year we bought acreage at 14095 132nd Street SE (across the street from TJ Potter Trucking), and in the fall we broke ground on the office building. Because of the crazy mild winter we’re having, the crews are humming along. The office building is currently being finished, the Millwork House is up, and two other yard buildings are getting started. If progress continues at this rate most of the staff are moving into the office in May. The rest of the yard materials and team will move in the fall.

We’re looking forward to our new and improved facility! The office building has a much larger ground-floor showroom and spacious areas for collaboration and customer interaction. The new yard is thoughtfully designed, including improved docks for material deliveries. Our new location in the Industrial Park offers easy access for large trucks, and proximity to the railroad for bulk deliveries.

Our prime retail location between Bank Street and Highway 10 is available for sale (whole or in parcels).

Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website where we’ll share more pictures, provide updates on the progress, and announce when we officially make the move. We can’t wait to invite you in!

(By: Karah Hawkinson, City Desk and Marketing)

Questions: Or, what happens when an outsider joins the lumber business

By Karah Hawkinson, Social Media Coordinator

If you’ve read the employee spotlight about me, you know that I’m not originally from the lumber/building materials (LBM) industry. My background is in history and marketing. Sure, I’ve done my share of home improvement projects, but I’m an amateur and I know it. In the ten months that I’ve been working at Country Lumber, I’ve learned a lot. And I’m wise enough to know that I’ve only scratched the surface. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the questions that I’ve had this past year, and what I’ve learned since joining the LBM industry. You might just learn something yourself!

  1. Cherry trees are tiny. How do they make enough wood to become lumber, millwork, or furniture?
    Through a quick internet search, I learned that there are different kinds of cherry trees. While we tend to think of the pretty flowering trees from Japan, cherry wood actually comes from a different species called the American Black Cherry Tree (Prunus serotina). The Black Cherry has a much thicker trunk than the ornamental varieties, and makes nice hardwood that usually has a straight grain, making it easy to mill and work with. A cut Black Cherry Tree looks kind of like a bullseye. The inner heartwood is darker in color, and the outer ring, or pulp wood, is lighter.
  2. Is MDF fake? Where does it come from? What is the production and use difference between MDF, plywood, and particle board?
    This question turned into a rabbit trail as each piece of information gave me more questions. As I’ve stated, I’m no expert. But here’s what I’ve learned:
    Engineered wood – including MDF (medium-density fibreboard), plywood, particle board, and a host of other products – is made from real wood, or at least wood fibres. So it’s not “fake” per se.
    These man-made products start with wood fragments, which are put together with adhesives. That’s as general a description as I can give, because each type of engineered wood is created differently. MDF, for example, is tiny wood fibres coated in wax or resin, then adhered together to form a dense, solid material. Particle board is similar, but instead of tiny fibres, it’s made from wood chips mixed with a binder. Plywood, on the other hand, is made of thin sheets of wood veneer which are glued together, alternating the grain to give it strength.
  3. Like I said, learning about engineered wood gave me more questions. Is engineered wood better than real wood?
    Yes and no. Like everything in life, you have to have the right tool for the job.
    Engineered wood is man-made, so it can be created to meet more specific requirements and have greater uniformity than natural lumber. Engineered materials can be made from recycled wood or wood or scraps.
    On the downside, engineered wood products don’t have the grain and look of natural wood unless they’re covered with a wood veneer. Also, the adhesives in engineered products may contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, so you should wear a mask when cutting it.
  4. What is maintenance-free decking made from?
    All this research on engineered wood made me wonder about composite decking. Composite decks are maintenance- and splinter-free, and look like new year after year. But what are they made from? Turns out they’re a composite of wood fibres and plastics, moulded or extruded to look like timber planks. Exact formulas and processes vary by manufacturer, but that’s the basic recipe. I had no idea there was wood involved, and many contain recycled materials, too!
  5. What about treated lumber?
    When we built our deck ten years ago, and when we fenced our garden, we used green treated wood. I wanted to know what that was about, so I did some digging. Wood is a porous, natural material, so it’s prone to rot and insect infestation when it’s in contact with moist ground. To improve the longevity of lumber, they use pressure-treating. This process involves soaking the wood in a preservative, then putting it in a pressure chamber so the preservative can soak deep into the wood. This helps the lumber resist rot and repel pests. As with the manufactured wood, there are chemicals involved, so it’s best to use gloves when handling treated wood, and wear a mask when you’re cutting it.

I hope you got some new information from my wonderings, or at least got a good laugh at what an LBM newbie doesn’t know. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment. I’m always up for new things to research!

Cabin Season – Country Lumber Launch Center in Wahkon

By: Karah Hawkinson, Social Media Coordinator

According to the Department of Revenue, there are 124,000 cabins in Minnesota. Many of them are on the over 90,000 miles of lakeshore around the state. Heading “up north” for the weekend is a tradition in Minnesota, and the recreation, relaxation, and communion with nature is part of our high standard of living.

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The Launch Center, 407 Bennett St. Wahkon MN

Owning a cabin isn’t all fun and games. Just like your home, your cabin needs maintenance and updates. That’s why Country Lumber opened the Launch Center in Wahkon back in 2006.

The Launch Center is a Country Lumber showroom conveniently located in the heart of lake cabin country, on the south side of Mille Lacs Lake. Just like our Becker showroom, customers can shop for options in roofing, siding, windows, doors, millwork, and much more. There are no scheduled hours at the Launch Center, but Chip takes appointments with builders, buyers, and cabin owners who want to shop, and products are delivered from Becker.

The Launch Center can be your headquarters for fishing too. We have seasonal boat slips, guide service, a fish cleaning setup, restrooms with showers, and half/full day boat rental.

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Launch Center showroom

We invite you and/or your company to consider hosting employee seminars, workshops, conferences, family reunions, or employee gatherings for up to 30 people. Launch Center amenities include a large conference table, galley kitchen and a 60” big screen – perfect for presentations or watching sporting events and movies.

Contact Chip Frederickson at chipf@countrylumber.us or 612-221-6923 for Launch Center rental rates or to schedule a visit to the showroom.

Schlage

Schlage Electronic and Smart Locks are a perfect solution to keyless entry. Three lines are available in a keyless option: Schlage Sense, Schlage Connect, and Schlage Touch. All three lines offer an illuminated touch screen for easier visibility at night. They also allow for multiple access codes that can be programmed and deleted by the user. If you’ve got a contractor, cleaning person, etc. coming to your house and you’d prefer not to give them a key you can program a code specifically for them and delete it when you wish. No worries about someone having your key and gaining access to your home!

 

The Schlage Sense offers a Bluetooth feature to pair your lock with your phone.  If you’re not home and have friends or family members coming you can lock and unlock your door using the Schlage Sense app.  It also has a built-in alarm sensor that can issue you an alert when it senses someone trying to gain entry.  It pairs up with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. It is available in 2 styles and 2 finishes: Camelot or Century style and Satin Nickel or Aged Bronze finish.

 

Schlage also offers another keyless line called the Schlage Connect. It has the ability to connect to some home security systems or Z-Wave system. This series can also pair with Amazon Alexa.  This series offers a big selection with 7 options featuring Century or Camelot trim. You can choose a handle set/deadbolt combo, a lever/deadbolt combo, or a deadbolt only.  Satin Chrome, Aged Bronze, Bright Brass, Satin Nickel, Bright Chrome, or the popular Matte Black color.

 

The Schlage Touch line offers a completely keyless option. There is no keyway on this lock to give it a clean look. This line doesn’t offer access via your phone or security system.  It still offers the convenience of programming multiple codes.  This line is available with a touch deadbolt or touch lever.  The deadbolt line offers a variety of options including handle sets and levers with several color options.  The touch lever is offered in several styles as well as colors.

Feel free to check these locks out online or visit our showroom!

Diamond Pier Footings

Diamond pier footings are the perfect alternative to poured concrete pier footings.

They install in minutes with a jack hammer. Just set the head and drive in the pins. This allows for low impact to your yard. No extra dirt to get rid of. No concrete to mix and no ready mix trucks. You can frame right away, no need for waiting for the concrete to dry. They have a cast in galvanized anchor bolt, so you can attach a post base directly to it. You can install them any where you can carry them. Perfect for remote locations.

They can be used for decks, porches, sheds, gazebos, or anywhere you need a pier footing. They come in three different sizes. DP50 w/ 50” pins, DP75 w/ 50” or 63” pins, & DP100 w/ 50”, 63”, or 84” pins. Their load carrying capacity ranges from 2700# to 6300# depending on size and soil type. They come with a life time of the structure warranty covering parts & labor. As you can see these innovative pier footings can be useful for the contractor or the do it yourselfer.

 

See more information at www.DiamondPiers.com or call us at Country Lumber.

Barn Doors

Barn Doors……..Still Popular!
Barn door hardware might be the biggest trend in building and remodeling we have seen in a while.
Farmers throughout the Midwest are puzzled because the brilliant-yet-practical use of a barn door hardware
is not news to them. It’s simple and utilitarian. It opens the barn doors….it closes the barn doors. Yawn…
So, why are we still infatuated with barn door hardware? Because ANY door can be hung on barn door
hardware. A curvy, carved, stained wood door…a painted white, leaded glass door…a flush birch, clear
coated door…and, (that’s right) ….even a rustic BARN door. The options are quite honestly, endless. All that
limits the style of a barn door is the finish of the hardware and how wide the opening is, i.e. how many
doors you’ll need to cover it!
In addition, a barn door can be an ideal solution when a pocket door won’t work. Let’s imagine a tricky
transition between hallway and laundry room. A pocket door won’t work simply due to HVAC, plumbing or
electrical in the wall and a door swinging into the hallway or into the laundry creates a foot traffic issue. A
barn door would quietly hide that laundry room and the pile of dirty clothes in it, quietly and beautifully!
Thank You!
Pam Robideau

Shiplap Siding

“Shiplap is a type of wooden board used commonly as exterior siding in the construction of residences, barns, sheds, and outbuildings. It is either rough-sawn 1″ or milled 3/4″ pine or similarly inexpensive wood between 3″ and 10″ wide with a 3/8″ – 1/2″ rabbet on opposite sides of each edge.”

Shiplap is one of the most commonly requested materials we quote for people here at Country Lumber.  With the Gaines (see what I did there?) it is making in the industry, we are seeing the popularity rise and the implementation grow to different applications, profiles, and species.

It is one of the most versatile products on the market today.   Used on fireplaces, accent walls, complete rooms, wainscot and ceilings.     The wooden panels are easy to install, create a good seal for water management and are popular both for modern and rustic appearances.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for shiplap products…

Size- Shiplap is available in numerous dimensions.   Always verify the depth and reveal of the product you are researching.  Not all shiplap is the same.  Most common are the 8” or the 6” depths.   These have a board width but depending on the overlap may only be 5” reveal or 7” reveal or even less.  Take this into consideration when figuring your square footage required to complete your project.

Profile- Shiplap can be rough or smooth. Also the gap between boards could be tight fitting or a small space between the panels often referred to as a “nickel gap”.

Color- Shiplap is commonly painted or stained depending on your design.   With paint the entire color wheel is your option.  With stain certain products may not achieve the desired look depending on the species selected.  Your shiplap will be what you make of it- It couldn’t be easier to make your project inviting, and a perfectly customizable accent!

If you have ideas, questions or would like to get some samples. Please swing in to see us! Happy to help with you Shiplap project!

Siding Options for your home

 

LP SmartSide

If you have been through a hailstorm, you may have wondered if there is a better siding product out there. LP SmartSide may be a good option for you. LP SmartSide is a treated engineered wood siding made up of either wood strands for a wood grain surface or wood fibers for a smooth surface. That along with a mixture of waxes, zinc borate, a paper overlay, and some resins gives it their SmartGuard protection. This process gives LP SmartSide a 5/50 year warranty. Materials and labor are covered for the first 5 years and the material has a 50 year prorated warranty. LP SmartSide is offered in a full line of lap sidings, panel sidings, trim boards, shakes, and soffit panels, with many sizes offered. It comes either factory prefinished or with a primed finish that can be customized in the field.

The convenient 16’ lengths make for less seams and light weight along with a full line of accessories make it easy to install.

If you like the idea of a solid, durable, and resilient siding for your home or project, come into the Country Lumber showroom to see and touch it.

Thanks

Forever Barnwood

“New meets old”

When you hear the term “Barnwood”, you think of beautiful aged wood used for many different projects around your home. However, the traditional barnwood that is reclaimed to use in building projects comes with its down sides. Timely process to remove from barns and prepare for its end use makes it a quite costly solution, may contain hazards such as lead from the paint used years ago, formaldehyde, arsenic (from pesticides used years ago around the farm), amongst other natural things over many years of being exposed such as dirt, oil, mold, also hidden nails can be an issue when cutting on the jobsite. Read more

Aluminum AFCO Railings

“Carefree” is the goal of outdoor living space.  Aluminum AFCO-Rail can help you meet your “carefree” goal with a virtually maintenance-free product that comes with a limited lifetime structural warranty.

The robust Aluminum AFCO-Rail system is made of extruded aluminum that will never rust and exceeds IBC and IRC requirements to provide the structure you need.  With seven durable, AAMA-2604 power coat paint finishes available for all its unique series, Aluminum AFCO-Rail can give your space the style you want. Read more