SELLING ENGINEERED LUMBER: Getting Back to Basics
The post-recession housing market is bringing new challenges for dealers and their customers.As construction activity grows, the industry is feeling the impact of a new and reduced construction labor force.
“When everything slowed down, a lot of people left the industry, so you’re getting a whole new generation of people coming in,” says Todd Booze, president of construction at Ideal Homes in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
With all these newcomers on the job, manufacturers are seeing an increase in callbacks caused by easily avoidable errors—errors that weren’t seen as much during the downturn.
Booze and his team have turned to APA and product manufacturers for training support to ensure installers have the right skills and aren’t making rookie mistakes. “We need help from dealers; they sell the product,” notes Booze. “It’s our responsibility first and foremost, and we work hard to do that, but we appreciate when our lumber suppliers are informed on the products and can provide support.”
Indeed, dealers can be a vital link in educating customers on proper installation. Here are three back-to-basics techniques that dealers can learn and pass along to help builders prevent callbacks when framing floor and wall systems:
1. Prevent Panel Buckling
Like all wood products, plywood and OSB expand or shrink slightly with changes in moisture content. If the wood structural panels are tightly butted, there is no room for expansion, and buckling can occur. To ensure best performance, install panels with a 1/8-inch space between panel edge and end joints. A 10d box nail is a handy tool to gauge the 1/8-inch spacing.
2. Prevent Nail Pops
Nail “pop” or “backout” sometimes occurs when green (wet) lumber shrinks because of drying; the nail point stays put while the lumber shrinks along the shank, exposing the nail head. Repeated wetting and drying of the wood may also cause nails to pop incrementally.