The Home Depot announced April 17 the launch of Eco Options, a product classification program that will brand all of the green products the retailer sells. A third party will determine which products qualify within five categories: clean air, water conservation, energy efficiency, healthy home, and sustainable forestry. The Atlanta-based retailer said it has identified more than 2,500 products thatqualify, including compact fluorescent light bulbs, cellulose insulation, and certified lumber.

As part of the launch, the company gave away 1 million compact fluorescent bulbs on Earth Day, April 22. "... We are committed to helping improve the environment and lessen our impact on it," Home Depot chairman and CEO Frank Blake said in the announcement. "Eco Options is the next step inexpanding our commitment and making sure we help our customers who want to make a difference themselves."

Hispanic Construction Jobs Continue to Grow

A report released by the Pew Hispanic Center on March 7 finds that Hispanics filled two-thirds of all new construction jobs in 2006. "Employment in the construction industry grew by 559,000 workers in 2006," the report says. "Hispanic workers, mostly foreign born, were responsible for nearly two-thirds of the increase in industry employment." Hispanic workers account for 25% of industry employment but for 66.5% of the increase in employment last year. The report, compiled from Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau statistics, stated that 60% of the increase in industry employment went to foreign-born hispanics, and most were recent arrivals. In addition, the Center said, "The recent slowdown in the housing sector has not diminished the importance of the construction industry to the job prospects of Hispanic workers."

By region, the South and West continue to account for the most construction jobs for Hispanics, with 86% of the 2.9 million Hispanic construction workers, according to the report.

These findings further emphasize the need for dealers to recognize what has or could become a significant customer base and take steps to ensure they are equipped with the personnel to serve it. What's more, those dealers that hire employees from the trade ranks should keep in mind that Hispanics may be part of the talent pool a generation or two from now, and how you serve those customers today can impact the impressions of their successors.


Englewood, Colo.?based Pro-Build Holdings' US Components division has purchased Riverside Roof Truss, a Danville, Va.?based manufacturer of floor and roof trusses for builders in Virginia and North Carolina. Pro-Build also announced that its Hope Lumber & Supply division has purchased Merit Millwork, a two-unit supplier and custom manufacturer in Houston. ...Stock Building Supply, Raleigh, N.C., announced its acquisition of Albuquerque Door. The single-unit Albuquerque, N.M.?based company assembles pre-hung doors, manufactures specialty architectural millwork, and distributes vinyl windows....SelectBuild, the construction services division of San Francisco?based BMHC, has finalized its acquisition of Riggs Plumbing, which provides turnkey rough and finish plumbing installation in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. ...Beacon RoofingSupply, Peabody, Mass., has entered an agreement to acquire Twinsburg, Ohio?based North Coast Commercial Roofing Systems. North Coast had $253 million in sales for its fiscal year completed March 31, 2006.


84 Lumber announced the following location openings in March: Sarasota, Fla., managed by Chris O'Donovan; Yuma, Ariz., managed by Ricardo Villa; Gonzales, La., managed by Matt Hausmann; Spanish Fork, Utah, managed by Shane Kober; Fultondale, Ala., managed by Greg Reaves; and Lexington, S.C., managed by Matt Ashley. The Eighty Four, Pa.?based dealer also announced the relocation of its Fayetteville, N.C., store. ...Gainesville, Ga.?based manufacturer Peachtree Doors & Windows celebrated the grand opening of its Alpharetta, Ga., design center on April 27 and 28. ...Boise Building Materials Distribution, Boise, Idaho, has opened a new, 80,000-square-foot distribution center in Milton, Fla., that will serve customers from Tallahassee, Fla., to New Orleans.


Joseph Beckman, CEO of the LumberPlus Cos.–aka Home Lumber Co. of Crown Point, Ind.–has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Cornerstone Alliance of Southwest Michigan. ...Carrollton, Texas?based wholesale distributor PrimeSource Building Products mourned the loss of its CEO and chairman, Charlie Choi, who passed away in late March. The company announced April 18 it has appointed Ken Fishbein and Mona Zinman co-CEOs. ...The Empire Co., a distribution and supply chain management company based in Zeeland, Mich., announced the hiring of Dave Wendland as product manager, purchasing. Wendland has 31 years experience with Stock Building Supply. Jeff Leys has joined the company as strategic marketing manager, bringing 10 years of experience with Zeeland Lumber. ...Cellular PVC building product manufacturer Kleer Lumber, Westfield, Mass., has appointed Jack Delaney senior vice president of sales and marketing.

In Brief

Lumber Direct opened its doors in Greencastle, Pa., Feb. 26 and will celebrate its grand opening May 12. ...The Atlanta area leads the nation in population growth among metropolitan areas so far this decade, the Census Bureau reported, recording 890,000 new residents there so far. Five additional metro areas gained at least 500,000 people each: Dallas?Fort-Worth, Houston, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana. St. George, Utah, recorded the biggest percentage growth, climbing 39.8%.

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$32.8 billion

Size of U.S. equipment rental market in 2006. The construction and industrial equipment segment accounts for 68.6% of that total. Source: American Rental Association


Board feet of lumber used in a typical new wood-framed house. Source: NAHB


Percentage of single-women home buyers in 2006, up from 14% in 1995. Source: National Association of Realtors


Percentage of U.S. households 55 or over by 2012. Source: NAHB

A study conducted by the NAHB revealed the life expectancies of some common home components. The association stressed that the results represent general guidelines only. Among the findings:

  • Insulation of all types can be expected to last a lifetime if it is kept dry, properly installed, and not punctured, cut, burned, or exposed to UV rays.
  • Aluminum windows can be reasonably expected to last 15 to 20 years; wood windows can last upwards of 30 years.
  • Slate, copper, and clay/concrete roofs can be expected to last more than 50 years; asphalt shingle roofs should last about 20 years; fiber-cement shingles about 25 years; and wood shakes about 30 years.