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Company News

A Message from the National Lumber Team

As 2020 comes to a close, the team at National Lumber wanted to take time to express our sincere gratitude to all of our customers who continue to support us.

The building material industry has been unpredictable, to say the least, throughout 2020. But in that unpredictability, we’ve also seen some really exciting growth for our company. In March of this year, we opened our second location in Chevy Chase to help meet an increased demand in the Washington, DC area. We’ve had the privilege of collaborating with fantastic builders across the Baltimore and DC areas to supply some great projects. We can’t wait to see what new things they’ll build in 2021, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen these relationships.

We can’t thank you enough for continuing to choose National Lumber as your trusted building material supplier. 

We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season filled with health and hapiness.


the National Lumber Team

Product Highlight

Project Highlight: Attic Suite by Done Construction

One advantage of the industry we work in is getting to partner with fantastic contractors across the Baltimore and DC metro areas. Today, we want to highlight an awesome recent project by Done Construction completed in Baltimore County. National Lumber supplied the lumber materials for this project. We spoke with Beth Pointer of Done Construction to learn more about their recent attic suite renovation project.

About Done Construction

Done Construction is a woman-owned, Baltimore-based home remodeling company. The team works on interior projects, with a focus on kitchen and bathroom renovations. Beth founded Done Construction after 20 years as a union organizer. She met the three other members of her team while volunteering at the Station North Tool Library The Done Construction team is multi-discipline, though they have a primary background in carpentry. When needed, they work with trusted sub-contractors for different aspects of their projects, including electricians and plumbers. Their laser focus on interior remodeling has allowed them to perfect their craft and build spaces homeowners love.

About the Attic Suite Project

Done Construction was contracted to turn a client’s attic space into a master bedroom suite. The attic was outdated, and the space wasn’t being properly maximized. The project involved a full scale remodel of the attic to convert it into a bedroom, and a bathroom addition to complete the suite. Because of the low ceilings in the attic, the team had to raise the roof in the shower area to ensure it fit properly. Beth spoke about how much the team at Done enjoyed this project because the homeowners gave them free rein to flex their creative muscles, and were very trusting of their judgment to put together something fantastic.

Unique Touches of the Attic Suite Project

Beth explained that the team loved how the bathroom came out, especially within the limited space of an attic. Shiplap was utilized in several areas to bring a distinctive aesthetic to the project. Throughout the project, the Done Construction team crafted custom shelving and storage to help the homeowners make get the most out of their space. Another key feature? A custom nook so the family dog could have a space all to himself!

Work With National Lumber

Done Construction has worked with National Lumber to supply several projects. We were very excited to get to supply such a unique and awesome finished product. Beth said she appreciates that National Lumber has just about every material her team needs, and can easily acquire those not stocked on hand. She also highlighted Travis in our Kitchen Department for helping to make the Done team’s supply process smooth and super easy. We love how this project turned out, and are glad we could help Done Construction with the fantastic work they do.

If you need building supplies for your next big project, reach out to the National Lumber team today.

Product Highlight

What is the ZIP System Building Enclosure?

For each project a builder undertakes, careful consideration goes into the materials used to get the job done. From framing materials to doors and windows, choosing the right products can make a difference in the final product. More and more often, new technologies are being introduced to the market that allow builders to make different decisions about their building processes. Recently we’ve seen a trend toward the use of Huber’s ZIP System to serve as both a sheathing material and weather-resistant barrier for new builds. Today, we take a look at what is the ZIP System building enclosure, as well as its pros and cons.

What is the ZIP System?

ZIP System was designed to help streamline the construction process by combining both the sheathing and weatherproofing steps. OSB boards are coated with a phenolic-impregnated polymer-modified material that embeds the weatherization needs of a builder into the boards, eliminating, in theory at least, the need for a home wrap material. The boards are then sealed with a specialized, durable acrylic flashing tape to prevent water entry at any seams or fastening points. Alternatively, builders can utilize Huber’s liquid flashing product to caulk each seam and fastening point.

zip system building enclosure
Product Used on Urban Design Group’s Peabody Walk Project

Weatherproofing Made Easy

The goal of the ZIP System is to provide a structurally sound sheathing material that does the work of preventing both water and air entry into the OSB boards. The protective coating allows the ZIP System to prevent moisture entry without the builder needing to take many additional weatherproofing steps. In the event of a leak occurring, the waterproofing facer being built into the board means there’s less opportunity for water to penetrate deep into the OSB. For those looking for additional weatherproofing, the ZIP System-R product line is also available, which comes with an added layer of thermal insulation built into the board.

A Streamlined Process

The ZIP System can help streamline your sheathing process and reduce the manpower needed for installation. The taping process can be handled by one person, reducing the overall man-hours needed to seal the sheathing. ZIP System claims an installation time of over 40% faster than traditional sheathing + home wrapping processes, but these numbers are disputed by their competitors.

Proper Assembly Required

A criticism levied at the ZIP System is that the taped seams and fastening nails can create unexpected entry points for water. After pouring over the data, what we’ve discovered is that much like industry-standard home wrap products, issues often arise from improper installation practices. If the fastening tape is not properly rolled, lips and bubbles can be created where water can become trapped or enter in between the seams. Over-penetration of the nails used to fasten the board to the frame can also create possible moisture entry points. Just like with traditional home wrap products, proper installation following the manufacturers recommendations should result in a final product that protects your project from water and air intrusion.

Choose the Sheathing and Weatherproofing Products Right for You

We’ve explored what is the ZIP System today, and hope this information helps you make educated decisions about the materials you want to select. Whether you prefer the time-tested home wraps of Tyvek or are looking for a new solution from Huber, among many others, we have the building materials to help you create something spectacular. Contact our lumber team today to get started.

Design Center

Window and Door Trends for Winter 2020

Each season, new design trends help inform builders and homeowners on what choices they should make when building or remodeling a home. Windows and door options have become more diverse and expansive than ever before, so it can be hard to keep track of what trends are currently in. Today, we take a look at some of the window and door trends for winter 2020 you should keep an eye on.

Black Frames and Panes

Much like other areas of interior design, modern sensibilities are influencing window design trends. The old standard of white vinyl or earth tone wooden frames are being replaced with the stark, contrasted look of black window frames. Set against the bright whites as seen in the example from Jeld-Wen above, you can see how the window frames are being used to play off the other elements of the interior in an eye-catching way.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is always on the mind of homeowners, but the technology that goes into crafting windows and doors has only gotten better at helping them save on their energy bills. Doors, like the one showcased above from Therma-Tru, are designed with an efficiency-first mindset to keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Craftsmanship is going into how doors and windows seal to prevent air from escaping or entering, passing the savings along to homeowners. While energy efficiency is always highly valued, it’s especially important as a window and door design trend for winter 2020 as the colder months arrive.

Narrow Sightlines and Natural Light

What’s the use in a great view if it’s obstructed by bulky sightlines? We’re seeing a careful consideration from homeowners about how sightlines affect the amount of natural light that enters their home or interferes with their view. Narrow sightlines, like the ones on offer here from Marvin Windows, are in high demand, especially for rooms central to the house like a living room. Natural light can drastically change the look and feel of a home’s interior, and narrow sightlines are a fantastic way to achieve this goal.

Doors with Sidelites

Speaking of natural light, sidelites are coming back in a big way. These small panels of glass flanking an entry door offer a creative way to draw more light into a home without sacrificing privacy. Not only do they add that much-desired light, but they’re versatile in design options, adding a stylish flair to the exterior of a home. The gorgeous entryway featured above from Masonite offers top-notch design inspiration for what sidelites can offer to a home.

National Lumber Helps You Stay on Top of the Window and Door Trends for Winter 2020

The expert window and door team at National Lumber can help you meet all your window and door needs. We have a great assortment of diverse brands on offer for different budgets and design philosophies. Whether you’re a builder getting started on your next project, or a homeowner looking to replace your windows, contact the team at National Lumber today.

Design Center Kitchen Design

Kitchen Design Trends for Fall 2020

With each new season, kitchen design trends tend to fluctuate. What’s big in spring might not be big by the time fall comes around. The design team at National Lumber wants to keep you updated on the newest trends to help you create a kitchen that’s perfect for your tastes and needs. Let’s check out the kitchen design trends for Fall 2020!

Gold Accent Colors

Gold and brushed bronze are becoming new accent color favorites in kitchen design. Color contrast helps bring out the beauty and craftsmanship of each kitchen. Gold and brushed bronze elements help draw the eye against a backdrop of bold blacks and whites.

Open Shelving

Kitchen designers today are brainstorming new ways to add individual flair to every item within your kitchen. Instead of hiding kitchen items behind cabinets, open shelving allows you to thoughtfully curate the look and feel of your kitchen with each accessory you include.

Embracing Blues

Woodharbor Cabinetry in Hale Navy

Gone are the days where traditional cabinetry in wood tones are the options most homeowners choose. Instead, colorful kitchens are blossoming. One of our favorites is the trend of blue cabinetry and countertops. Whether you want something darker and more muted, or popping with brightness, there are unique blue shades to choose from.

Kitchen Plate Racks

A kitchen classic is making a comeback. The plate rack is a great way to add a traditional flair to modern kitchens. The way the dishware is exposed also lets you add your own personal touches to the design of your kitchen, allowing for different plate styles to easily be swapped out with the season or mood.

Disguised Appliances

This awesome GIF comes from the SWEETEN blog.

If large stainless-steel appliances don’t suit your tastes, you’re in luck; there is an outstanding alternative. Different appliances such as your fridge and dishwasher can be disguised with cabinetry panels to unify the aesthetic of your entire kitchen. This is without a doubt one of the coolest kitchen design trends for Fall 2020.

Want to Put Kitchen Design Trends for Fall 2020 Into Action?

Then you should reach out to the Design Center by National Lumber. Our team of expert kitchen designers brings decades of experience to each project they help you craft. Each detail will be carefully considered to bring the kitchen of your dreams to life. Contact us today to get started on your kitchen project!

Project Highlight

Project Highlight: Peabody Walk

National Lumber has the privilege of providing building materials to fantastic companies across the Baltimore and DC metro areas. These companies create projects of all scales and types. Today, we’d like to highlight one such project. Peabody Walk is a 22-unit apartment complex located in Charles Village, Baltimore, in progress by Urban Design Group & Urban Scene Development. We spoke with Patrick Lundberg, Design & Development Manager at UDG about their vision for the Peabody Walk project, and how it’s coming together.

About Urban Design Group

Urban Design Group is a Baltimore-based architecture & design firm that takes a different approach to creating a select number of its projects. Most construction involves a collaboration between separate entities: the owners who purchase the property, the architects who design the new build, and the contractors that bring that design to life. Instead of separating these three aspects, Urban Design Group & their internal team have the capability to control each of those facets in-house. Internally they perform as developer, architect, and general contractor on Peabody Walk, as well as other active and ongoing projects.

In its design work, UDG focuses on its specialties of historic preservation and urban infill through a variety of projects, in addition to new build properties. This work includes single and multi-family homes, commercial, and industrial builds, and renovations. They have worked on high-profile projects across Baltimore City, including the new build of the Merchant Point townhouses in Fells Point, historic preservation of the Patterson Park Lofts, and commercial construction of the Blueprint Robotics in the Canton Industrial Area.

About Peabody Walk

Peabody Walk is a new project by UDG & Urban Scene Development currently being built in Baltimore’s up-and-coming Charles Village neighborhood. The lumber for the project’s framing was supplied by National Lumber. Originally, the project was envisioned as 14 individual townhomes. However, over time the team at UDG assessed how best to maximize the site while preserving the space. Charles Village is an area with a strong rental market thanks to its proximity to Johns Hopkins University and varied transit options including I-83 and Penn Station. Thus, the decision was made to craft 22 apartment units instead.

Upon purchase, the area was a vacant lot and presented unique challenges to begin construction due to poor quality soil. This required the team to complete soil tests and foundation planning to get the project off the ground. A key to the approach of constructing Peabody Walk has been communication with the surrounding community and immediate neighbors of the new development. Peabody Walk is sandwiched between three blocks of existing rowhomes, so getting feedback from the residents was important to create something that’s right for the Remington community, including crafting more open space in-tune with the existing architecture of the area.

Unique Touches of Peabody Walk

The collaboration between the architecture and construction management facets of UDG’s internal team allows for unique touches that may not be featured in other similar multi-family projects. A design-forward philosophy ensures each detail is not only functional but adds a custom flair and character to the project. The apartments feature industrial bay windows that let natural light pour into each unit. The dark brickwork prioritizes quality and detail thanks to the masonry from South County Construction and brick supplier Potomac Valley Brick.

Work With National Lumber

National Lumber has provided building materials to several of Urban Design Group’s projects, including all of the framing lumber for Peabody Walk. Patrick Lundberg noted the UDG appreciated working with National Lumber as a fellow local business. He also highlighted the NL team’s ability to handle large capacity orders, offer a diverse selection of building materials, and ability to deliver building materials efficiently.

It has been a pleasure getting to work with Urban Design Group on their newest project, and we look forward to seeing the finished product. If you need the right materials for your next project, contact the team at National Lumber today.

Lumber Market

Lumber Prices Begin to Fall

As we’ve explored in previous newsletters, 2020 has seen an unprecedented surge in lumber demand that has driven prices for lumber and building products to an all-time high. However, new reports indicate this trends looks to finally be slowing. Let’s dive into the current lumber market forecast.

Lumber Prices Finally Drop

September saw the industry reach its all-time high for the price of framing lumber, reaching $950 per thousand board feet. However, as of last week, that price has fallen to just over $750, a drop of nearly 20%. However, this is still an increase over prices in October of last year, where lumber peaked at just over $420 per thousand board feet.

What’s Responsible for This Trend?

Lumber is a notoriously seasonal market. Winter usually brings a downturn in demand for lumber products as construction projects slow. DIYers that helped feed the initial 2020 lumber demand spike have also begun to taper out with the colder weather. However, the market still is experiencing higher demand than this time last year for a variety of factors, including a surge in the homebuilding market, and vast forest fires that have limited lumber production across the Western US and Canada. Lumber prices begin to fall with each winter season, but the unique conditions of this year mean we can expect prices to fall slower than years past.

The Housing Market Remains Booming

Prices for residential construction are still on the upswing, including a 1.8% climb in for prices paid on residential construction goods in September, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. More staggering however is how 2020’s lumber boom has increased the prices paid for new homes. This unprecedented year has added as much as $16,000 to the price of a new home, as of August. Exceptional mortgage rates and huge demand across the US don’t look to be on the downturn as of yet. While lumber prices begin to fall approaching the winter, it still appears that they aren’t trending down as fast as they have in years past.

National Lumber Works With You to Provide the Building Materials You Need

At National Lumber, we’ve worked with builders throughout the unexpected ups and downs of the year to make sure they have the materials they need to keep creating fantastic projects. Reach out to our sales team today to get the lumber you need for your next build.


Meet Mario Meneghelli Gerard

Our Team is what keeps the gears turning at National Lumber. As such, it’s our pleasure to get to highlight the fantastic people who work for our company. Today, we’d like to introduce to you all Mario Meneghelli Gerard, a General Manager at our flagship Baltimore location.

About Mario

Mario was born and raised in Brazil. When he arrived in the US, he came with few resources and a basic level of English. After working for several years in a retail store, Mario began his journey in the building supplies industry. For the past 16 years, he has stuck with the industry and has been part of the National Lumber team for the past 5 years. As an immigrant and native Portuguese speaker, Mario had to adjust to the challenges of the industry, including learning the vocabulary of specific products.

Mario’s Role at National Lumber

As General Manager of our flagship store in Baltimore, Mario is a familiar face. He takes on a variety of responsibilities to ensure daily operations within the storefront run efficiently. Mario’s responsibilities include sales management, inventory control, merchandising, and purchasing. In addition to his managerial duties, Mario is also heavily involved in sales, helping a huge variety of clients find the right products for their next project.

Construction and general contracting are diverse industries and many clients for whom English is not their first language shop at National Lumber and place orders for building materials. As a speaker of English, Portuguese, and Spanish, Mario is able to assist these clients to ensure they get the materials they need. At National Lumber, Mario has come to appreciate the aspects of working for a family business and within a team environment.

Getting to Know Mario

Over the course of his time at National Lumber, Mario has built personal connections with his clients over mutual interests such as their love of soccer. Together, they formed a soccer team, the Brazucas. When you visit National Lumber, you find a framed team jersey honoring this connection between NL and our customers. Mario is a family man and spends his free time with his wife and son. Currently, he’s trying to teach his son Portuguese. Any chance he gets, you can find Mario on the beach, whether it be Bethany Beach for a short weekend or Jamaica for a longer trip.

Mario Meneghelli Gerard is a staple of the National Lumber team, and an extraordinary person who helps make the experience of our clients the best it can be when they come into our store.

If you need help with your next material order, contact our team today to get started.


Exploring the Trex Building Materials We Stock

Trex is the industry leader in composite decking products. At National Lumber, we’re proud to stock some of their most popular products. Each Trex decking option is thoughtfully designed to fit the diverse tastes of homeowners. Composite decking materials have overtaken wood as the new standard and for good reason: they offer unparalleled durability, lower maintenance, and are built from recycled materials that help builders and homeowners make an eco-friendly choice with the product they choose. Today, we’ll explore some of the most popular Trex building materials we stock at National Lumber

Trex Enhance

Exceptional Decking to Fit Your Budget

Trex Enhance offers great decking options at an attractive price perfect for your next project. On hand, we stock three of the most popular colors:

Foggy Wharf

Foggy Wharf is the perfect choice for those that like a clean, neutral tone approach to their decking. The soft gray evokes waterfront piers, and brings revitalizes a classic aesthetic with the modern feel of Trex composite decking.

Clam Shell

Clam Shell inverts Foggy Wharf with a deep gray that stands up to dirt. Perfect for those who want to create beautiful color contrast between the darker tone of the decking and vibrant accessories such as railings and furniture.

Beach Dune

Bring the sunny beachfront to your next home build with Beach Dune color of Trex Enhance decking. The sandy brown is the perfect versatile shade to mix and match with rustic outdoor furniture in other earth tones.

Trex Select

Unique Color Options to Build Unbelievable Outdoor Spaces

Trex Select brings luxury decking to your next project at an affordable price. With a great lineup of colors to choose from, select the perfect Trex building materials to create something incredible.

Pebble Grey

Homeowners can feel as if they’re walking along a beautiful lakeshore with this Trex Select color choice. Pebble Grey strikes a strong balance between lighter and darker tone gray options.


Evoke the earthen tones of the American West with this standout Trex Select option. Homeowners will love how they can match the color to wooden exterior features of their home such as doors and windows.

Get Trex Building Materials When You Need Them

All of the options we’ve looked at in this blog are stocked in store by National Lumber, allowing us to deliver the decking product you need next-day. Looking for a different Trex product line or color option? We can order them for you at a great price so your project turns out exactly how you envision. National Lumber prioritizes flexibility and efficiency. All of our decking deliveries come equipped with mechanical unloading. Don’t worry about having to take time from your building schedule to lug materials from the front yard to the back. We’ll deliver your decking products directly to where you’re constructing it, saving you time and manpower.

If you’re reading to craft exceptional decks that will be the selling point of your next project, contact the team at National Lumber today. We can help you pick the perfect Trex decking products.


The Lumber Market Is Experiencing a Boom

While many commodity markets have experienced huge fluctuations since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many industries have been forced to make tough decisions in uncertain times, the lumber market is experiencing a boom many suppliers didn’t predict. Let’s take a look at this unexpected turn of events, and the reasons for the success of the lumber market in 2020.

The Numbers Speak for Themselves

As highlighted by the Wall Street Journal in July, “Lumber futures are up more than 85% since April 1. Lumber for July delivery settled Thursday at $499 per thousand board feet while the more heavily traded September futures ended at $481.90. Both are above the pre-pandemic high of $463.00, set during the hottest home-building market since 2006.” These numbers speak to an unforeseen trend predicated on a huge increase in demand, a surprise in a year when many industries have slowed due to lockdown and personal spending was expected to shrink. There are several important reasons that have contributed to why the lumber market is experiencing a boom.

Unexpected Spending Trends

While many other industries experienced an expected downturn in consumer spending as lockdowns increased, the same cannot be said for lumber. Instead, an explosion of home contractor and DIY projects has become prominent across the U.S. Homeowners are having decks, fences, and other outdoor features added to their homes. Restaurants have been adapting to changing regulations by adding outdoor seating areas. And while builders initially slowed construction, many have been deemed essential businesses. Low mortgage rates have helped drive increased demand for homebuilders. All of these factors have contributed to an upturn in business that many in the lumber industry didn’t foresee.

Mills Are Attempting to Keep Up

When the pandemic began, many lumber mills expected demand to diminish, and began to slow production and consider alternative business models to adapt to the circumstance. However, the opposite quickly became apparent and has left many suppliers struggling to keep up with clients who are running low on inventory. The unique situation in 2020, including March and April closures of mills that have since resumed operations, has led to a skyrocketing price-tag for lumber supplies, hungry buyers trying to meet the demand of builders and consumers, and an unprecedented futures market on lumber products. While the question remains how long the boom will last, there’s no doubt that the industry is in uncharted territory, and will likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Need Lumber for Your Next Project? National Lumber Has You Covered

For over 100 years, National Lumber has been supplying contractors and homeowners across the Baltimore and DC metro areas with building materials they need to get the job done on time, and right. Request a quote from our expert team today, and see what National Lumber can help you build.