UM Arboretum Hsaio-Ho Garden Path.

UM Arboretum Hsaio-Ho Garden Path. Architecture from the far east!

If you’ve been to the Arboretum in Chaska recently you may have noticed a little commotion and construction on the far southwest side of the facility. This is a new installment for a full Chinese garden path that features vegetation, sculpture and design from the other side of the planet! One particular piece here will most defiantly draw you in and possibly be inviting enough to relax in for a couple minutes, the Peony Pavilion!

 This small but beautiful piece of architecture resembles a 14th century Song Dynasty rest area called a pinyin tíng which is a type of covered structure without surrounding walls and is a traditional part of Chinese culture to this day. These are mostly found along the sides of pedestrian roads and paths and are symbolic in their presence, which is obviously, just a beautiful place to relax and rest. If you’re looking for unique to Minnesota, this is it!

Unique but expensive might be the first thing that comes to mind when you see something like this! Surprisingly, this little gem may not be as completely complex as it seems. Much of the woodworking was assembled offsite and sent to the arboretum as a kit-of-parts. The wood is simple, common and local white pine that was grown and harvested only 300 miles away! A CNC (computer numerical controller), while sounding complex, is actually a router blade that is used to cut shapes out of wood and metal. This machine cut all the decorative panels from pieces of 1×12 pine. Using normal Simpson Strong Tie wood connectors these ordinary items become art! Read more


If you are looking to build a new home, a townhome may be a good solution for you.

Let’s start with defining a townhome. Townhomes and condos are similar, but typically with a townhome, you own the piece of land that your home sits on. With a condo, you own the space between the walls, but the exterior elements are held in common.

A homeowner’s association (commonly called an HOA) normally is formed when the buildings are built and takes care of the exterior of your home, provides lawn care, and in our climate, takes care of snow removal. In exchange for these services, you pay dues each month. There may be rules on what you can or cannot do in your yard or to your home. Usually these rules protect you as a homeowner, but do your homework ahead of time to avoid surprises. Read more

Deck Railings

“Beauty Meets Strength”

So, you have your decking picked out for your new deck and now it is time to pick out the railing for it. When choosing, consider strength, distinction, low maintenance, long lasting beauty and a “Made in the USA” innovative company that builds it. This is what you will find when choosing Westbury aluminum railing for your deck project. Here at Country Lumber, we consider all these factors before choosing to stock such a product, and that’s why we chose Westbury to be one of our top deck railing choices, because we know that you, the customer, will be happy and satisfied for years to come with your new deck with Westbury aluminum railings on it. Read more

Delivery capabilities

Country Lumber is happy to announce that we have added a truck mounted forklift to our fleet. This will increase our efficiency and will allow us to deliver product to more locations. Imagine having your new deck materials delivered to your backyard, next to your work location instead of carrying them by hand from the driveway. We now have this ability with our new truck mounted forklift. It has 4 way directional capabilities so we can also travel through narrow areas to make a delivery.



In addition to the truck mounted forklift Country lumber has updated one of our boom trucks to help serve our customers better. We now have two boom trucks and one truck mounted forklift for specialized delivery service.

Stop in or give us a call for an opportunity to experience first class customer service and a variety of delivery options for your project


Things to think about when replacing windows

Colgate Residence - 2013


  • Why are you replacing your windows?

Do you have condensation on the inside of your glass when it gets cold outside?

This is caused by high humidity in the house and not from the windows themselves. When replacing your windows you should also install an air exchanger or adjust your current air changer to take the humidity out of the air. Just replacing the windows will not alleviate the problem.

If you don’t want to install an air exchanger, you should consider windows with a vinyl, fiberglass, or composite interior. This way the condensation won’t damage the windows. You still may need to wipe them dry when it gets cold outside.

Triple glazing is also something to consider. It will cut down on the condensation, but not eliminate it.

If you want the beauty of a stained or painted wood interior, you will need an air exchanger. Read more


Malarkey, Coralville, IowaShingle Blog

We carry 2 lines of shingles here at Country Lumber.
Our preferred line is Malarkey Vista AR. Malarkey Roofing Products as been a family owned business since 1956 operating in Portland, OR. Malarkey is committed to new heights in polymerization and the development of long lasting products.
We currently stock:

Antique Brown
Black Oak
Midnight Black
Natural Wood
Rain Forest
Sienna Blend
Storm Grey
Weathered wood

We also carry TAMKO shingles for a more budget conscious project. Since 1944, TAMKO has headquartered in Joplin, MO and currently has manufacturing and warehouse facilities across the country. Read more




Starting the process of a building project can be very exciting and confusing at the same time. I always get asked where do I begin? What do I need to get started?  Well, the first step is the design and planning of your building project. Whether it’s a garage, deck, remodel, or new home. You will want to get your ideas on paper, so when you start getting bids everyone is on the same page.  Most builders will want to see a scaled drawing. They can start getting bids if they can measure the plans.

When getting started planning your building project, you will want to gather ideas. The internet is a great start. With all the sites out there to choose from there are many ideas available. If you’re not finding what you are looking for, meeting with a Designer/Draftsperson is a great way to get ideas or you may just want to grab some graft paper and sketch something up. All of these are good starting points.

Once you have gathered ideas it’s time to bring your vision to life. Sit down with a Design Professional. Bring all your ideas, pictures, sketches, and notes. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” and it’s true when it comes to designing a project.

When choosing a Design Professional look for someone with experience. There are many things that need to be considered when designing a building project, especially with new homes and remodels. Finding someone who has knowledge of construction and space planning is crucial. Anyone can make a house look good on paper, but it is structurally sound?  Are the spaces adequate for how you want to use them?

Do not rush! This is a big deal and in most cases the biggest investment you will make. I’ve seen many times people who are in a hurry, rush through the design process and something gets overlooked. You don’t want to be standing in your new home asking yourself why didn’t I think this through. Take your time and ask questions.

Remember this your project, do what you want as you will be the one living in it. People may say “well I wouldn’t do that” and there are some things you probably shouldn’t do, but again this your project. If there is something that is important to you be sure to mention it to your designer so they can work it in to you project.

A good set of plans will save you headaches down the road!

Design Center

Employment Opportunities

Employment Opportunities:


Country Lumber, Inc. is looking for an experienced bookkeeper/business assistant to join our great team. This full-time position will manage business affairs and accounts, track inventory, and assist customers at our office in Becker. Knowledge/experience in the lumber/building materials and/or construction industry is a requirement

  • This position requires:
  • Positive attitude is a must
  • Willingness to learn and increase knowledge of the lumber and building materials industry

This position includes a full benefit package.


Country Lumber, Inc. is looking for an experienced Driver to join our great team.  We are accepting resumes from individuals that have 2+ years experience in the lumber/building industry. This full-time position will help load and unload materials from a flatbed, boom truck, or van from our facility in Becker to the job site. They assist customers at the job site and walk-in customers at the yard. Our drivers are home each night.

This position requires:

  • Knowledge of the Twin Cities metro area
  • Experience in the lumber and building materials industry
  • Forklift experience a plus
  • Positive attitude and good work ethic a must
  • Willingness to continually increase knowledge of the lumber and building materials industry

This position includes a full benefit package.


Country Lumber, Inc. is looking for experienced salespeople to join our great team. We are accepting resumes from individuals that have experience in the lumber/building industry and in sales. This full-time, commission-based position will generate leads and meet with contractors and homeowners to help them choose the right lumber and building materials for their project needs.

  • This position requires:
  • Positive attitude is a must
  • Customer service/sales experience
  • Knowledge of and willingness to increase knowledge of the lumber and building materials industry

This position includes a full benefit package.

Yard Employee

Country Lumber, Inc. is looking for an experienced Yard Employee to join our great team.  We are accepting resumes from individuals that have experience in the lumber/building industry. This full-time position will help load and unload materials from a flatbed, boom truck, or van from our facility in Becker to the job site. They assist customers at the yard, and sometimes accompany drivers to make deliveries.

This position requires:

  • Experience in the lumber and building materials industry required
  • Forklift experience a plus
  • Positive attitude and good work ethic a must
  • Willingness to continually increase knowledge of the lumber and building materials industry

This position includes a full benefit package

Country Lumber, Inc. has been providing the best in customer service and materials to contractors and their clients in Central MN since 1984. We have learned that the key to selling building products is providing the best customer service. The key to providing great customer service is hiring great people. If you are looking for an opportunity to serve clients in the lumber and building materials industry, consider a career with Country Lumber. Our full-time employees receive full benefits, and our drivers are home each night. Click the link(s) above to see our current employment opportunities.

Please e-mail resumes to Diane Stangler at

Condensation in your home

315807334_f57641773eABOUT CONDENSATION

During cold winters, there is a great temperature difference between the inside of a house and the weather outside.  When the temperature drops outdoors, the glass on you windows and doors tends to have lower temperatures than other surfaces in your house, and is the first place that you’ll notice condensation in your home.  This is not due to any defect in your window or door; it’s simply a sign of thea high humidity in your home.  Warmer air is capable of holding much more moisture than cooler air.  When the temperature reaches its dew point, the moisture condenses, attaching to the nearest cool surface.  The first surfaces where you’ll notice this happening is the glass on windows and doors.  Condensation is an unsightly problem.  The last thing you want on your windows is a fog blocking the view.  But the problem goes deeper than that—if condensation is a chronic occurrence in your home; chances are it is accumulating on other harder to see surfaces such as wall and roof cavities.  If left uncontrolled, excess moisture can have serious consequences, including:

  • Mold or mildew
  • Wood rot and warping
  • Roof ice build-up
  • Damp, ineffective insulation
  • Discolored, blistered or bubbling pain
  • Damaging moisture inside walls and attic

Read more

Deck season

azek_vintage_darkhickory_premier_slategray_deck_high-dtWhen it comes to choosing the right deck there are many things to keep in mind. Such as size, location and materials.

The first step is planning. You will want to ask yourself a few questions.  How will I use this deck? Is it a private area for you to relax and enjoy your views or will I be entertaining on my deck?

What is the location or exposure to the sun? Do you want to take advantage of morning sun or evening sun? Decks on the south can get very warm in the evening. In which case you may want to consider a covered deck or screen porch.  Next you will need to check with your local building official on what codes and setback you may have on your property.  Take moment and think about future plans. Someday do I want a hot tub or would I want to turn it into a screened or four season porch? If you are thinking of any of these things you will want to plan for them right away. You will save yourself headaches and money to have the proper structure in place for your future plans. Now it’s time to make bring your deck to life. Having your plan drafted will give you the chance to see you deck before it is build. You will get to see what all your planning has accomplished. Getting a drawing of your deck is the first step in getting a building permit.  Most building official will want to see a set of blue prints of your deck to verify it will meet all local codes.

Read more