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September 18th, 2012

KBI falls below 50 for the first time since WOLF measurement began

September 18, 2012 – York, PA | WOLF, the largest supplier of kitchen cabinets in the U.S. and a leading provider of building products in 19 states along the East Coast, today reported the findings of the WOLF Key Buyer Index (KBI) for August.

The SEPTEMBER KBI score of 41.36 reflects a sharp decline from the August KBI of 58.93.  This decline was reflected in both kitchen & bath products as well as building products.

The decline in the KBI could reflect month to month changes in a number of different factors such as changes in the number of shipping days, anticipation of a normal seasonal slowdown in demand for big project items, or anticipation of a longer term slowdown in demand for big project building products.

Cursory analysis of the data suggests that the question of shipping days is probably the most significant of the three factors in the September reading, although the decline in the KBI from August to September is greater than the associated percentage drop in the number of shipping days, which indicates something more than a simple change in the number of shipping days.

The longer term decline in the KBI from its inception in April – August excepted – is probably a reflection of a broader uncertainty in the regional economy.

Regardless of the cause, the September reading represents the first time the KBI has gone below 50 since Wolf began capturing data for the index.  The KBI for September is below 50 in all regions served by Wolf except for the New England area, which may be attributed to a small sample size rather than a significant regional trend.

WOLF gathers data for the KBI from a monthly survey of key buyers at independent building materials dealers across 19 states, asking whether purchasing will increase, stay the same, or decrease. A WOLF KBI score of 50 reflects a neutral outlook; a score above 50 reflects a positive outlook; and a score below 50 reflects a negative outlook.

WOLF developed KBI, a proprietary metric that offers a monthly snapshot of independent dealers’ sentiments, to provide a concrete measure of how building materials buyers see the near-term future of their industry.

For more information on the WOLF Key Buyer Index, read the detailed explanation on Tom Wolf’s blog or see the latest KBI score at www.wolfleader.com.

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September 18th, 2012

Winner to choose a getaway to one of three architecturally unique cities: San Francisco, Chicago or Charleston SC

September 18, 2012 – York, PA | WOLF, the largest supplier of kitchen cabinets in the U.S. and a leading provider of building products along the East Coast, today announced it would be giving away a trip for two, including airfare and accommodation, to Charleston, SC, San Francisco or Chicago as the grand prize of its fourth Facebook-only sweepstakes.  The sweepstakes kicks off today.

In addition to round trip air transportation for two from a major airport near winner’s home, the prize includes three nights’ accommodation in a hotel to be determined by WOLF.

“WOLF has always provided quality products and exceptional service to allow our customers to build something better,” said Jim Groff, WOLF’s chief marketing officer. “In this new Facebook sweepstakes, we picked three cities for our grand prize that have themselves been known for building something better, and to follow up on the enormous popularity of our previous sweepstakes.”

Anyone over the age of 21 may enter the contest, which ends on October 14. A winner will be selected on October 15. To enter, find complete rules for entry, or guidelines for participation, visit WOLF’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WOLFBUILDING.

WOLF Home Products, which include Wolf Bath Furniture & Vanity Tops, Wolf Deck & Porch, Wolf Classic Cabinets and Wolf Trim & Moulding, has rapidly become a favorite because they offer high quality at a value price point – and they’re made in U.S.A.

Wolf Home Products were introduced in 2012 and are part of a broad strategic shift that began in 2010. The company, once a traditional two-step distributor, has positioned itself as a sourcing company that focuses on identifying or developing products designed solely to meet the needs of independent dealers.

Today, WOLF develops products and programs that enable 3,000 pro dealers across 19 East Coast states to differentiate from big-box competitors.

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September 18th, 2012

Perennial Wood Porch Flooring Is Now Available In The U.S. South Atlantic States

September 17, 2012 – Kingsport, TN | Eastman is proud to announce that Perennial Wood™ porch flooring is now available to trade professionals and homeowners in the South Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, through select professional lumberyards and building materials dealers serviced by Snavely Forest Products. A leading distributor of superior building products for more than a century, Snavely Forest Products was chosen by Eastman for their deep market knowledge, reputation as a provider of high quality products, and track record for providing excellent service and support. The new line of long-lasting, real wood, tongue-and-groove porch flooring is the first Perennial Wood product to be distributed in the South Atlantic.

Porch Appeal

Porches – whether they are screened, three-season, or great-American front porches – have experienced a resurgence of popularity in recent years. This regained favor is due to homeowners’ desires to spend more quality time outdoors and also to advancements in building materials that make outdoor living areas less susceptible to the drawbacks caused by moisture.

“Homeowner investments in outdoor living areas, including porches, continue to trend upwards in our country,” said Brant Mitchell, market development manager for Perennial Wood porch flooring. “The durability of Perennial Wood porch flooring provides a real wood option that is guaranteed to last. Now homeowners and builders in the South Atlantic states can invest in porches that will be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Durability

Perennial Wood brings real wood, with fewer drawbacks, to outdoor porches. Modified through TruLast™ Technology, Perennial Wood is three times more dimensionally stable than unmodified wood and resists changes from moisture for decades. The modification process makes it less susceptible to shrinking and swelling, which can lead to separation between boards, as well as cupping and warping.

Availability

Perennial Wood porch flooring is offered in three uncoated profiles:

  • 3/4″ x  3⅛” finished face in 8′ and 10′ lengths
  • 7/8″ x  3⅛” finished face in 8′ and 10′ lengths
  • 29/32″ x 5⅛” finished face in 8′ and 10′ lengths

All three profiles are available through select dealers serviced by Snavely Forest Products’ location in Greensboro, N.C. To find a dealer location near you, visit PerennialWood.com.

Sustainability

The ability of Perennial Wood to endure is just one of its sustainable qualities. Because it lasts longer than most unmodified wood, it needs to be replaced less often, resulting in less material disposal over the long term. TruLast Technology leaves no toxic substances in the wood, delivering peace of mind about the performance of the product. Harvested from U.S. Southern pine, Perennial Wood is processed in the United States, eliminating the need for shipping wood from offshore sources, lessening the environmental impact.

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September 5th, 2012

September 4, 2012 – Egg Harbor Twp, NJ | Railing Dynamics, Inc. (RDI) is pleased to announce its Material Take-Off Program, designed to save customers time and money through providing material planning assistance. The program assists customers by offering suggested materials and quantity requirements that RDI feels will best suit the customer’s railing and porch product needs- from is a small, residential porch, to a large multi-unit complex- at no cost to the consumer.

According to Joe Russell, RDI Customer Service Manager, “Through us doing material take-offs for our customers, we can provide accurate, detailed material quantities directly from an architectural plan or other building information sketch or model.” Russell advises that customers should have a material take-off done to assure that the customer does not find him/herself running short of materials or in excess of unneeded materials. “Through our providing recommendations at the start of a job, the customer can better budget what materials are needed, and can feel like they’ve got a running start, with less time wasted on guesswork”, adds Russell.

For RDI to provide a material take off, a blueprint or sketch with framework dimensions needs to be submitted to RDI Customer Service for review by the Customer Service and Engineering Teams. RDI will respond to the contact within 5 working days with a suggested material list. Additional information including product brand suggestions, mounting hardware, and installation tips may be provided as well, if requested.

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August 28th, 2012

August 27, 2012 – Scranton, PA | CPG International Inc. today announces the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire TimberTech, a subsidiary of the Crane Group and well-known manufacturer of high quality, low maintenance decking, railing and accessory products. CPG International is the parent company of AZEK Building Products, a leading manufacturer of premium, low-maintenance exterior products that includes decking, railing, porch boards, trim, mouldings and recycled composite pavers.

“The ultimate goal is for our AZEK business and TimberTech to join forces,” said Eric K. Jungbluth, CEO of CPG, “We believe this powerful combination will not only create the largest manufacturer in the trim, decking and railing market, but will also create a premier company in the industry as both entities manufacture highly engineered, outdoor living solution products that offer exceptional aesthetics, performance and longevity.”

Both with strong brand recognition, AZEK Building Products and TimberTech are respected not only for superior products, but also for their leading distribution partners across the U.S and Canada. Tanny Crane, president of the Crane Group, said she is confident that the acquisition positions TimberTech well for future growth. “This was a difficult decision for our company and our family, but we think this acquisition positions the business to continue to be a leader in its product lines,” said Crane.

“This is an exciting opportunity,” remarked Jungbluth. “From our perspective, AZEK and TimberTech are a great fit. This represents the joining of two strong brands focused on quality and innovation. Both have solid relationships with distributor and dealer partners with the proven ability to redefine an industry,” added Jungbluth.

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August 20th, 2012

Perennial Wood Decking named one of the “101 Best New Products” by Professional Builder and Professional Remodeler magazines

Aug. 20, 2012 Kingsport, TN | Perennial Wood™ decking has been named one of the 101 Best New Products of 2012 in the decking/outdoor living category by Professional Builder and Professional Remodeler magazines. Made by Eastman, Perennial Wood is real wood modified to endure nature’s harshest elements. It is modified through TruLast™ Technology to resist changes from moisture and remain dimensionally stable – making it suitable for nearly any outdoor application where the beauty of real wood is desired without wood’s traditional drawbacks. Perennial Wood decking was launched in February and was the first available application of the new modified wood product. Perennial Wood is also available in porch flooring and to other manufacturers for use in their products such as outdoor furniture, windows and doors.

Professional Builder and Professional Remodeler chose Perennial Wood decking as a winner in its annual compilation of the best new products. Perennial Wood decking was chosen because of the sustainability, longevity and aesthetic benefits to builders, remodelers, and architects. Perennial Wood Decking will be featured in August 2012 issues of Professional Builder and Professional Remodeler magazines and will be posted in a special section on the building industry portal HousingZone.com.

“Eastman dedicated many years of research and technical expertise to the development of Perennial Wood to ensure it would deliver longevity without sacrificing the beauty of real wood,” said Deborah Baum Crain, director of Perennial Wood. “We are really pleased with the product’s extensive applications and are honored to receive this award.”

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August 15th, 2012

The Fortress Company Celebrates 10 Years of Success and Innovation

August 8, 2012 – Richardson, TX | The Fortress Company marked its 10th anniversary of manufacturing, supplying and servicing the growing railing, fence and building products industries in North America.  Stemming from Woodmark International, a building materials company with over 40 years of experience in building products supply and design, in 2002 Fortress Iron Railing & Fence Systems started bringing beauty, strength and durability to outdoor railing and fence products.

Last year Fortress Iron Railing & Fence Systems rebranded, when it quickly grew to encompass more than that segment, and became The Fortress Company.  It is composed of three distinct business units:  Divisions Fortress Railing Products and Fortress Fence Products as well as OZCO Building Products, a subsidiary of The Fortress Company.  Starting with a handful of iron railing & fence products, the combined product lines across all of The Fortress Company’s business units have grown to over 20 fully expanded product lines for residential projects as well as product lines designed specifically for multi-family, commercial and industrial projects.

“Our primary focus is simply to develop innovative, quality products for each specific industry we’re a part of,” said Matt Sherstad, President of The Fortress Company, “and I am extremely proud to say that our continued growth and success is attributed to our commitment to that focus as well as the incredible partnerships we’ve built over these last 10 years.”  The Fortress Company’s core philosophy is to build its team, build its production and build its brand.

With distribution throughout North America, The Fortress Company is appreciative of the support from its dedicated distribution partners, sales representatives and all of its staff members.  “We consider everyone who comes into contact with our business units to be a part of our team regardless of whether or not they work within the walls of our corporate headquarters,” said Sherstad.  “We have built an exceptionally talented team which has been a major catalyst for our continued growth.”

The Fortress Company celebrated the occasion in style at the Iron Cactus Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar on the rooftop patio in downtown Dallas for all of its employees and their significant others.  Following an evening of festivities, The Fortress Company hosted an Employee Appreciation Day with company-sponsored events including a challenging round of golf, pistol shooting at the gun range and relaxation at the spa.  Wrapping everything up, all employees enjoyed lunch at the Firewheel Golf Park.

“The past 10 years have been humbling,” said Sherstad, “but I’m proud to say that Fortress has come a long way and we are extremely grateful to our dedicated and faithful team who have helped us achieve this milestone.  We look forward to sharing continued success for many more years to come.”

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July 18th, 2012

July 18, 2012 – York, PA | WOLF today announced it will carry the Cortex Hidden Fastening System for Decking in four custom WOLF PVC Decking colors: Rosewood, Amberwood, Avalon Sand and New England Gray. WOLF is the largest supplier of kitchen cabinets in the U.S. and a leading provider of building products along the East Coast.

Manufactured by FastenMaster, The Cortex Hidden Fastening System is the fastest, easiest way to hide the heads of deck screws on most types of deck boards.  Using the Cortex system, each fastener is countersunk into the decking surface, and a color-matched plug is inserted into the hole left above the fastener head, hiding the entire fastening system.

Through a special arrangement with the manufacturer, WOLF is now able to offer this system of fasteners and plugs in colors that perfectly match WOLF’s four custom PVC decking colors.  WOLF PVC Decking is manufactured entirely in the United States.

The addition of Cortex’s custom WOLF decking colors extends WOLF’s ability to enable dealers to meet customer needs by providing fasteners to match its line of branded WOLF PVC Decking. In 2010, the company introduced WOLF PVC Decking, a product designed to offer dealers a high-quality product at a value price-point — and to demonstrate the economic viability of American-made building products.

WOLF currently distributes kitchen and bath and other building materials to 3,000 pro dealers across the East Coast of the United States. WOLF products are sold only through independent building materials dealers, not big-box stores.  

For more information on Cortex, visit www.wolfbuildingproducts.com. For more information on WOLF, visit www.wolfleader.com.
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February 10th, 2012

February 10, 2012 | Minneapolis, MN based Absolute Distribution, Inc. (ADI, www.absolutedist.com) and Richardson, TX based Fortress Railing Products (www.fortressrailing.com) announce their partnership to distribute Fortress Railing Products in the upper Midwest.

Absolute Distribution, Inc. (ADI) located in Minneapolis, MN is a marketer and two step distributor of decking related specialty products to independent lumber dealers, building centers and home improvement centers. ADI’s focus is on outdoor living related products that enhance the outdoor living experience for the end user.

“ADI has developed an unparalleled reputation for its superior service with specialty products and bringing value to their market,” said Erik Flick, Railing Division Manager of Fortress Railing Products, “and we are excited about cultivating a strong partnership with ADI.”

With over 40 years of combined experience in building products supply and design, Fortress Railing Products is dedicated to manufacturing innovative and quality railing products. In 2012, Fortress Railing Products unveiled new additions to its existing product lines. The new Fortress Al13 aluminum railing system offers first of its kind pre-welded aluminum system, while FortressAccents Post Caps & LED Lighting provides an integrated outdoor accent lighting system for customizing virtually any outdoor space.

“We are very excited to bring Fortress Railing Products to our dealers in the Midwest markets to help grow their businesses. Fortress has hit a home run with their Al13 Aluminum panels and Fortress Accents deck lighting.,” said Roland Pfender, President of ADI, “and our ADI team is energized and looks forward to a fruitful and lasting partnership with Fortress Railing Products.”

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February 6th, 2012

February 2, 2012 – Smyrna, GA | The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) named Decks and More, Inc., of Smyrna, Georgia, 2012 Southeast Regional Contractor of the Year (CotY) in the Residential Exterior Specialty category of its annual awards competition.

Decks and More, Inc., operated by Frank Pologruto of Smyrna, GA, has been serving the Atlanta area since 2001, completing over 400 projects ranging from $1,000 to over $350,000. Decks and More, Inc. has been a member of NARI since 2004. NARI is a professional association whose members voluntarily subscribe to a strict code of ethics.

Contractors from seven regions around the country vie for CotY Awards on an annual basis, and all regional winners are eligible for the National CotY Awards. National winners will be announced at NARI’s Evening of ExcellenceSM on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Conference Center, located in Grapevine (Dallas), Texas.

All projects submitted for judging were an improvement or an addition to an existing structure, with the exception of one category, “Residential Exterior Specialty.” Otherwise, new construction projects were not eligible.

Competing projects were completed between July 1, 2010, and November 30, 2011, and were not submitted in previous NARI National contests. An impartial panel of judges, experts within the remodeling industry and associated fields, selected winners based on each entrant’s submission, which include “before and after” photography and project descriptions. Judging focused on problem solving, functionality, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation, degree of difficulty and entry presentation.

The winning entry submitted by Decks and More, Inc. features a dramatic covered walkway connecting the customer’s garage to her home. Frank Pologruto and his team of professional craftsmen built a structure with a curved dome roof that is supported by custom-built alder wood columns. A flagstone walkway and new lighting further enhance the updated design. Eco-friendly innovations include the use of a rain chain leading to a clay storage basin in lieu of an ordinary downspout and the addition of drought tolerant plants. The project increased the functionality of the area as well as its visual appeal.

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