Builder Highlight: Smithouse Construction

As a leading local builder material supplier for over 100 years, National Lumber has had the privilege of getting to form relationships with builders across the Baltimore and DC metro areas. It’s our pleasure to highlight the great work they do. We spoke with Shawn Saffran, a Project Manager for Smithouse Construction, about their company and the latest project they’ve undertaken.

About Smithouse Construction

Founded in 2005, Smithouse focuses on home renovation and large-scale remodeling projects for clients across the Baltimore metro area. Smithouse’s guiding principle is improving the quality of people’s lives by improving the quality of life in their living spaces. They are a full custom remodeler who works on a variety of project sizes. Additionally, Smithouse is a design-build company, meaning they can take a client’s project from concept to completion all in-house. Their designers work hand-in-hand with the building team to ensure each project achieves the vision that was conceptualized with the homeowner.

Product Selection

Product selection is a crucial task for any builder, and Shawn explained Smithouse’s preference for products that bring longevity and quality to each build. Instead of simply letting price guide their product choice decisions, the Smithouse team incorporates products that will stand the test of time. This mindset is applied to product selection throughout the process, down to the framing lumber. Even if the items aren’t part of the visible finishes and facade the client directly interacts with, it’s still important to the Smithouse Construction team that they select products that will bring out the most potential in each project.

Current Project: Timonium Large-Scale Remodel

We spoke with Shawn at the job site of their current project, a large remodel and home extension that touched nearly every room of the house. The project began as a main house kitchen and master suite renovation but soon evolved to include a full addition in the form of a suite for the owner’s mother. Built above the newly added three-car garage, the space was tailored for aging-in-place, and to allow ample space for the whole family to co-exist. Additional elements continued to emerge organically, including a new second-floor deck, a sunroom, full window replacements, a covered porch featuring an outdoor fireplace, and outdoor hardscaping. The added suite features a full kitchen as well. The project is a perfect encapsulation of Smithouse’s ability to handle large-scale renovation projects. It also highlights the flexibility of their design-build process, which is able to meet the challenges of a remodel that evolves over the course of the project.

Work With National Lumber

Smithouse has worked with National Lumber to supply materials for a variety of their jobs over the years. For their current Timonoum project, National Lumber provided framing lumber, trim, and decking materials. Shawn highlighted the service provided by Andy on our sales team, who stepped in to manage their needs after their previous rep departed from the team. Throughout the pandemic, his responsiveness and clear communication helped prep the Smithouse team to predict lead times, and get orders in at the right time during tumultuous price fluctuations. We’re proud to supply a great team like Smithouse Construction, and we’re excited to see the great projects they have in store in the future.

We’d like to thank Shawn Saffran of Smithouse for taking the time to speak with us. If you’re ready to get started on your next project, the team at National Lumber is here to meet your building material needs. Contact us today to get started.


Kitchen Design Trends for Fall 2021

A crucial piece of thoughtful kitchen design is monitoring incoming and outgoing trends, and incorporating these trends into the designs offered to homeowners. At National Lumber, we make it our mission to keep track of what’s new in the world of kitchen design so you can create modern, inspired spaces that will appeal to homeowners. Here is our round-up of kitchen design trends for fall 2021.

Walk-In Pantry

The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns made many homeowners deeply aware of how space is utilized and maintained throughout their homes. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and excessive clutter can sour the feelings we harbor about one of the most essential places in the house. While a walk-in pantry may not at first seem like a necessary design piece, a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders found that 81% of homeowners identified this feature as either essential or desirable in their kitchen builds. Walk-in pantries can utilize smart design decisions, such as the build-out shown above from our friends at Done Construction, which adds both pantry space and hidden appliance compartments.


That same NAHB survey identified another item of particular importance to consumers: the double sink. In fact, over 4 in 10 consumers say a double-sink is an essential feature for their kitchens. This is not necessarily surprising. Maximizing space is important for any kitchen design, and a double-sink helps make it easier for homeowners to keep kitchen spaces decluttered. It’s a multi-function design piece that adds value to any home and attracts the attention of homeowners.

Wood Grain Finishes

For a while, it seemed like the trend was to conceal authentic woodgrain textures behind colored finishes to add a flourish to kitchen buildouts. However, for the kitchen design trends for fall 2021, we want to highlight the resurgence in embracing wood grain finishes. More and more we’re seeing homeowners embrace cabinetry that offers an authentic wood style, while still maintaining an elegant appearance. These wood finishes offer a unique way to set your kitchen builds apart from where the general consensus remains.

Handleless Kitchens

In many ways, modern kitchen design is about how it can differentiate and distinguish itself from previous iterations and trends. One of the most prominent examples of this is in handleless kitchen designs, which move away from the distinct hardware pieces that normally accompany cabinetry. Instead, we’re given smooth, free-flowing surfaces that use push-open or recessed handles to operate. This trend may not be for everyone, but it does present some indication of the direction cabinetry may be headed down the road.

Greens Take the Spotlight

We love this shade from Wolf Home’s Classic line

In our blog about kitchen design trends for 2020, we highlighted how blues were becoming a prominent color scheme for kitchen cabinetry, as well as backsplashes and other elements. This year, we’d like to highlight the turn towards greens as a great color scheme to bring kitchen designs alive. Greens help highlight the emphasis on thoughtful, natural builds that give the kitchen a distinct identity within the home. Whether a softer palette green or something more bold and bright, we think green is a color that can readily be brought into kitchen builds. It’s a great example of how the kitchen design trends for fall 2021 offer tons of flexibility to builders in creating unique visions for a finished product. However, don’t wait on finding the right cabinet options for your builds. As one of the most in-demand building materials, some brands are seeing lead times as long as six months for cabinet orders. Be sure to chat with the kitchen experts at National Lumber to stay up-to-date on the latest lead times.

Embracing new design trends can be a great way for builders to attract homeowners, and explore new design philosophies. Regardless of your preferred design method, it’s always important to have the best materials suited to each job. The team at Design Center by National Lumber works with builders and homeowners to bring their kitchen design visions to life. Contact our team today to get started on your next project.


Why Builders Choose Masonite Doors

The quality of your finished build can be impacted by the quality of the products you choose. Many builders go through a process of trial and error to select the products that best benefit their projects. At National Lumber, we work with our builders to identify which products will best meet their needs. Today, we want to highlight one such manufacturer that has become the builder’s standard for interior doors (while also carving their own name in exterior doors). Today, let’s look at why builders choose Masonite.

About Masonite

For over 95 years, Masonite has provided celebrated interior and exterior door products to builders and homeowners across the country. Since its inception, Masonite has believed that doors can do more. By focusing on design, durability, security, and functionality, Masonite has long been a pioneer in door technology, creating door products that meet the changing needs of builders and homeowners.

An Overview of Masonite’s Products

Masonite offers a diverse lineup of products tailored to the individual needs of your project, budget, and build type. Let’s take a look at some of the product lines on offer at Masonite

Masonite Classics

Masonite Classics offers molded panel door designs that can complement any space, offering design flexibility, a higher density profile, and enhanced durability helping it resist cracking, warping, and shrinking. Choose from smooth or textured styles that will fit your aesthetic needs.

Masonite Select

Available in Riverside, Saddlebrook, and Cheyenne variations, Masonite Select doors bring timeless design to the table, offering the authenticity and gorgeous look of authentic wood doors while offering the structural and durability advantages of composite wood options. The smooth surface is perfect for those looking to customize the doors with colors of their choice.


With Livingston, you get a unique, timeless design that perfectly fits the needs of any home. Available in a full range of passage and bifold door options. Customers can customize with a Safe N Sound solid core construction, to improve durability and increase soundproofing.

Safe N’ Sound

Masonite’s Safe N’ Sound solid core door technology can reduce sound in a home by as much as 25%. Ideal for bath and bedrooms where privacy is key, these eco-friendly engineered doors can increase a homeowner’s resale value over hollow-core doors.

West End

Chic and modern, Masonite’s West End collection is inspired by European design philosophies. Embrace a clean, simple design that can fit a variety of home and decor styles.

Heritage Series

This trendy flat-panel-designed series helps complement a variety of decor, combining the classic lines of wood shaker doors with the durability and advancements of composite doors.


One of Masonite’s premier exterior door offerings, the Vistagrande series integrates flush-glazed construction with a clean, contemporary style, yielding up to 18% more viewing area. Its True Square-Edge construction creates a beautiful, authentic wood appearance while not sacrificing any of the advantages of composite doors.


It’s not hard to see why builders choose Masonite when you consider beautiful designs such as the Belleville series. This exterior door offers the durability and protection of a fiberglass build with a smooth surface ideal for painting.

Steel Doors

With a decorative panel design that imitates real wood doors, Masonite’s steel door offering ensures you don’t have to choose between durability and style. Get the ultimate level of door security at an economic price.

So, Why Do Builders Choose Masonite?

These varied offerings are just some of the door series Masonite offers. They bring to the table flexibility, customizability, and options tailored to any kind of project build you have. As the leader in innovative door technologies, Masonite has stayed ahead of the curve in offering its customers doors that serve as more than just an entryway.

If you’re ready to start building with Masonite products today, contact the team at National Lumber. Our door experts will help you select the Masonite options perfect for your next project.