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What Are Best Types of Windows for Your Home?

When remodeling your home, or having it built from the ground up, there are a lot of important considerations you should have. Among those is your choice about what kind of windows work best with the shape and function of each room in your house. There are a ton of options you have to choose from, and different types of windows serve unique purposes. Today, we’ll take a look at what the best types of windows for your home are.

Double-Hung Windows

Double-Hung Windows from Marvin’s Elevate Collection

Double-hung windows are one of the most common and recognizable window styles, even if you don’t recognize them by that name. Double-hung windows utilize two operating sashes, allowing you to create ventilation from the top or bottom. This flexibility in choice and functionality makes double-hung windows a popular choice for homeowners. The classic yet stylish look is perfect for bedrooms where you want optimal ventilation. Double-hung windows are also one of the most commonly produced types, meaning you’ll have a wide range of manufacturers to choose from.

Casement Windows

Gorgeous casement windows from MI Windows.

Casement windows offer unique functions and optimize clear sightlines to help bring a ton of light in. To operate casement windows, you utilize a crank that creates a vertical opening for ventilation. We love the implementation of casement windows for sitting rooms, bedrooms, and main living spaces as they allow for maximum light to enter each room. Many homeowners appreciate the modern style casement windows offer, and how the vertical openings allow them to more intentionally direct airflow within their homes. One downside to casement windows is that due to their narrow openings, they can be difficult to clean the exterior of. However, some brands, such as Marvin, have found creative solutions that allow you to turn the exterior inside for cleaning. When searching for the best window types for your home, casement windows are a great choice.

Sliding Windows

Modern, wood-framed sliding windows from Marvin.

The simplistic functionality of sliding windows doesn’t take away from their modern, eye-catching appearance. sliding windows function in the same manner as sliding doors, with one panel that slides open to allow for airflow. We love their addition to common spaces such as kitchens and living rooms. The ease of use also provides for clear sightlines and optimal light. If you like to constantly open and close your windows, sliding windows are a style you should take a look at.

Bay and Bow Windows

Plants getting some much needed sun on this bay window from Jeld Wen.

Bay and bow windows are instantly recognizable as centerpieces of the rooms where they’re implemented. These window styles either (curved) or flat (bow) are matched best with rooms where you want ample views outside, and for the windows to be a statement piece for the room where they’re utilized. Homeowners love the way bay and bow windows can create shelf space, increasing the functionality of the window beyond just a way to create ventilation and entry of light. while one of the best types of windows for your home, you should be aware bay and bow windows may require framing work done to your house to properly install.

There diverse options homeowners have at their disposal when choosing which type of window fits to each room. If you want expert advice, don’t hesitate to contact the Window Team at the Design Center by National Lumber. Our team has the knowledge that will help you select which window type and collection from which manufacturer is best for your needs. Contact us today to get started.

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Lumber Forecast Spring 2021

With Spring upon us, it is once again time to take a look at the state of the lumber market. The trends that persisted throughout a record-shattering 2020 have not reversed or slowed down as some experts anticipated. Instead, prices have continued to skyrocket along with huge demand. Let’s take a look at the lumber forecast for Spring 2021.

Record-Breaking Numbers

By all accounts, 2020 was a shocking year for those in the building material industry, both on the supply and consumption sides. Record highs continued being broken month after month. However, due to the seasonal nature of the building industry, and supply chains rebounding from pandemic related-delays, closures, and understaffing, many industry experts predicted prices would level out and product would be easier to come by. This has not been the case. In fact, on April 16th prices for lumber products hit an all-time high at $1,104 per per thousand board feet, a 208% increase from lumber prices the same time last year when the lumber boom began. Prices continue to rise despite the fact that production shortages have reversed, with February seeing a 13-year high for lumber production. These staggering numbers lead some experts to believe that even if prices go down, they may not fall to pre-boom costs anytime in the foreseeable future.

What Impacts Can Does This Boom Have On the Industry?

Aside from high prices, issues are primarily existing in the industry right now due to sky-high demand. Mortgage rates continue to remain low, and with homebuyers anxious to take advantage of these rates, home builders are striving to keep up with demand. While production is strong, shipping materials has been a challenge that is creating more delays to get products to distributors. Trucking agencies are experiencing staffing shortages leading to slower deliveries. This issue is compounding with demand to create a perfect storm of high prices and low availability. And all these challenges come as the industry enters its busiest period in the summer months.

What Steps Can Builders Take?

Delays are an inevitable reality of the current state of the market, but they can still be mitigated. Our best advice is for builders to keep lines of communication open with the National Lumber team to ensure we can best meet your needs. Right now, no amount of time is too early to start planning your pr0ject and coordinating orders for the materials you’ll need to get the job done. Our team is working hard to get you the most up-to-date estimates possible and provide delivery timelines with as much accuracy as we can feasibly manage given the current state of the market. By starting early and communicating often, we can help make sure that your projects can continue uninterrupted.

If you’d like to get started, contact the National Lumber team today.

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A Closer Look at Fiberon Good Life Decking

Spring is almost upon us, and for many builders, that means decking season is fast approaching. The purchase of decking materials boomed throughout 2020 as homeowners invested in their living spaces. To meet this increased demand, the team at National Lumber has brought in more top-tier decking lines to meet the needs of our customers. Today, we’re excited to highlight the Fiberon Good Life Decking we now stock. This composite decking line comes in beautiful colors with great durability features builders and homeowners alike will love. Let’s dive in.

An Overview of Fiberon Good Life Decking

Good Life Decking is a modern composite decking line that offers affordable decking materials without sacrificing quality. Fiberon breaks its Good Life Decking brand into two distinct collections that help give buyers a variance in design styles. The Good Life Weekender Collection presents traditional-styled decking boards that offer classic, monochromatic color options for those looking for a more natural wood imitation. On the other hand, the Escapes Collections conjures the image of tropic getaways with subtle and dramatic streaks of color. Both collections come with limited residential warranties that protect against staining, fading, and performance issue. The Escapes Collection offers a 30-year limited warranty and the Weekenders Collection includes a 25-year limited warranty.

A Variety of Colors

Good Life Decking in Cabana

Fiberon Good Life Decking comes in diverse color options that allow builders to tailor their decking design to unique outdoor spaces. National Lumber currently stocks two colors from each collection.

Escapes: Cabana

Get away with Cabana. This tan tone brings deep grain patterns that reflect real aged-wood products without all the hassle those genuine wood boards bring.

Weekender: Cabin

Breathe in the great outdoors with a gorgeous, earthen brown that evokes classic deck board design but with a decidedly modern vibrance to the color.

Escapes: Beach House

Turn a backyard into a trip to the shore with the Beach House option. This stunning gray is flexible and perfect for diverse outdoor designs to be built around it.

Weekender: Cotttage

Soak in the sunshine with the classic appeal of Cottage. This neutral gray helps create outstanding color contrasts that will delight homeowners.

The Advantages of Composite Decking

Composite decking offers all of the beauty of traditional wood decking without any of the hassles of maintenance. Fiberon’s composite decking is resistant to weathering and discoloration, eliminating the need to repaint deck boards. Composite decking also resists chipping and breaking, which means deck boards age better over time. They are also a sustainable alternative to traditional decking materials, utilizing recycled woods and plastics that reduce waste going into the landfill.

Get Started on Your Next Deck Project with the Team at National Lumber

As decking season approaches, it’s important to have a reliable material supplier that can meet the demands of your projects. The team at National Lumber stocks some of the leading decking brands, and can help you get the materials you need when you need them. Contact our sales team today to gets started.

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Builder Highlight: Black Women Build – Baltimore

At National Lumber, we have the privilege of getting to work with fantastic builders and contribute to the projects they have underway. Today we want to highlight Black Women Build – Baltimore, a West-Baltimore based wealth-creation and home-building program. We spoke with Shelley Halstead, the founder of BWB, about the initiative.

What is Black Women Build – Baltimore?

Founded in 2017, BWB is a home-ownership and wealth-building initiative that focuses on diminishing the wealth gap for Black women in Baltimore. Home-ownership is a key contributing factor in building financial stability and intergenerational wealth. Black households in Baltimore experience higher rates of unemployment, have lower net worths and generally earn less than half of their white counterparts. BWB seeks to address localized racial wealth inequality among black women in West Baltimore by training participants in carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work. They then have the opportunity to purchase the homes they build.

The Journey So Far

To select participants, BWB accepts applications on their website. As mentioned above, BWB doesn’t function just as a skills-training initiative. The core goal is to help participants build homes that they will be purchasing at the end of the building process. This helps endow each participant with knowledge about the inner workings of their home and helps build a stronger attachment to the home and the community they’re working to revitalize.

This community-oriented approach ties into how the homes are built. These aren’t fix-and-flips. Instead, BWB is building in clusters of homes, block by block in West Baltimore. Participants also agree to not sell for at least five years upon purchase of their completed home. This way the impact isn’t just relegated to the personal growth of participants but is making tangible progress towards building a strong sense of community in an often neglected area of the city. So far, BWB has completed a cluster of four houses. They have the capacity to build three houses in clusters every 4 to 5 months. The program is growing, so they’re always seeking eager applicants.

How Did BWB Get Started?

Black Women Build – Baltimore was founded by Shelley Halstead in 2017. Halstead worked as a carpenter for 25 years, including as a member of the Local 131 Carpenters Union in Seattle, Washington from 1996 to 2009. She conducted electrical work in Antarctica for a period. Halstead also received a law degree from the University of Washington School of Law. Eventually, Halstead moved to DC to do policy work before relocating to Baltimore and passing the Maryland Bar. Instead of working in law, Halstead founded BWB as an initiative to help address issues of racial wealth inequality and prevalent blight. She identified how those in the community lag in net worth and intergenerational wealth, and BWB is a tool to help process these challenges for local residents.

The Future of Black Women Build – Baltimore

The hyphenated title of the initiative is no mistake: Halstead sees the potential for what BWB is doing to be replicated across the country. Her hope is that the program can be expanded to other regions over time, addressing the needs of the local communities. Within Baltimore, she looks forward to eventually expanding to other neighborhoods where the service would be beneficial and continuing to grow the team of women who can train and mentor participants.

Work With National Lumber

The team at National Lumber is proud to supply the crucial work BWB is doing in our city. As a woman in the male-dominated construction industry, Halstead said she appreciates that she’s been treated with respect by the National Lumber team and highlighted Jon from our sales team for his great work ensuring BWB always gets the building materials they need.

It’s been a pleasure to supply projects for Black Women Build – Baltimore, and we look forward to seeing how this initiative will continue to grow and address inequality within Baltimore.

If you’d like to contribute to the great work they do, click here.

And if you’re ready to get started on your next big project, don’t hesitate to contact the expert team at National Lumber for all of your building supply needs.

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New Products at National Lumber in 2021

In 2021, there’s a lot of things that the team here at National Lumber is looking forward to. As one of the Baltimore and DC area’s most trusted building material suppliers, we’re always striving to stock new products that meet the increased demands of our customers. Today, we want to highlight some new products at National Lumber in 2021.

AdvanTech Subflooring

We’re excited to stock AdvanTech subflooring products. Created by Huber Engineered Woods, AdvanTech is a favorite of builders across the country. The AdvanTech subfloor assembly is designed to withstand moisture exposure. The panels are built with strength and stiffness in mind. The high wood density of the product works to ensure fasteners stay in place and reduces nail popping as well as floor squeaking. Along with the ZIP System products we carry from Huber, AdvanTech flooring is a great, streamlined building material with a wide appeal to builders of all scopes.

Fiberon Good Life Decking

2020 saw a huge increase in demand for the decking products we stock. As such, one of the essential new products at National Lumber in 2021 is the Fiberon Good Life Decking line. We’ll be carrying four unique colors of high-quality composite decking: Cottage, Cabin, Beach House, and Cabana. This decking line features authentic grain patterns to emulate the classic wood-look homeowners love while saving the trouble of maintenance that comes with traditional wood decking. Fiberon’s Good Life Decking is durable against the elements, and with a distinct lineup of colors, there’s something for every homeowner.

Medallion Cabinetry

In mid-2020, we added Medallion Cabinetry products to our list of cabinet offerings, and we look forward to highlighting this fantastic cabinetry brand as we move through the new year. Medallion Cabinetry brings a level of unparalleled customizability for homeowners, including unique glaze, stain, and paint finishes. Customers can choose from the Silverline, Gold, and Platinum Collections, each offering distinct options at different price points to help accommodate a wide range of budgets.

There’s Plenty to Look Forward to at National Lumber in 2021

In 2021, we look forward to providing more diverse product options for all of our customers to help you build the way you want to. Let us know if there are any additional brands you’d like us to stock. If you’re ready to get the materials needed to get started, request a quote from our expert team today.

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New Year Lumber Forecast for 2021

Lumber had a record year on the market in 2020, but industry experts predicted that this trend may finally begin to slow as winter ramped up. However, in December, lumber prices shattered all-time highs for the month, and January looks to be continuing the trend. Following an altogether unpredictable year, demand has greatly exceeded the typical winter lull, leading to delays, higher prices, and a temporary shortage of some materials. Let’s take a look at the new year lumber forecast for 2021.

Record-Breaking Numbers

Courtesy of Bloomberg News

The lumber futures market reached a record $845 per thousand board on December 14th. This eclipsed the previous high seen in August when the boom was thought to have peaked. These market trends seem to be moving in conjunction with builder confidence, which hit its highest level since monthly surveys began in 1985. As the building industry booms, so goes the lumber industry. Additionally, as noted by Forbes, the six-month forward price for lumber futures in early January “is around $670, or only about 24 percent below today’s spot lumber price.”

How the Trend Has Been Sustained

2020 was a unique year. There were a variety of factors that have contributed to the unprecedented highs the lumber industry has experienced. But as highlighted earlier, the seasonal industry tends to slow down as the colder months come. That was not the case in 2020 for several different reasons. Weather was largely warmer and drier, making building conditions more favorable. Additionally, in the Western US and Canada, lumber production was devasted in 2020 by rampant wildfires that saw the loss of enough lumber to build over a million homes. This scarcity is helping drive lumber prices across the country.

The housing market is still booming as well, with record-low mortgage prices fueling a building binge as suppliers try to keep up with the demand for housing. Multi-unit building demand has gone down, however that has been matched by increased demand for lumber-intensive single-family homes. Home remodeling has also ticked up, as many homeowners were placed under stay-at-home orders and began investing in their living spaces. However, while the building craze continues, delays in the supply chain have caused prices to reach all-time highs.

Industry Challenges

2020’s initial lumber boom that came in April was partially driven by supply delays due to the COVID pandemic when some mills were forced to close and production slowed. This is still a prevalent factor. The huge demand has been difficult for producers to meet, a trend that was exacerbated over the end of December as many mills across North America closed for the holidays. This has the potential to delay the delivery of materials up to three months into this new year.

Product delays are prevalent for a variety of different building materials. Our team notes, for instance, that some cabinet lead times are expected to be extended by 8 weeks currently, while vinyl windows are landing as far as twelve weeks out. Pandemic-related production and delivery delays are matched with unprecedented demand from builders, creating a perfect storm.

New Year Lumber Forecast Wrap Up

2020 was an unpredictable year for the lumber industry. Even when expected to slow down, the industry has defied the odds. From all the available data, it looks like this lumber binge is only going to continue through 2021. However, some experts do expect to see a tapering off as mid-February arrives, but with the unpredictability of the previous year, only time will tell.

What Can National Lumber Do to Help?

If you have a project upcoming, reach out to the expert team at National Lumber today. The staff will prepare a takeoff and estimate for your project. With extended lead times for several products, it’s important for builders to contact suppliers far in advance for needed materials to help minimize material delays once your project has begun. Send us your plans so you can ensure that you are using real-time costs to estimate your projects and minimize any loss in profit. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Unprecedented Lumber Market Demand Continues into Autumn

2020 has created unique circumstances for various commodity industries. The lumber market has experienced an unprecedented boom that looks, for now at least, to be continuing into autumn. In our last blog on this topic, we discussed the reasons for this unprecedented lumber demand, including low mortgage rates, service-industry businesses adjusting to outdoor seating requirements, and homeowners turning their attention to remodeling and decking projects, among others. Today, we’ll take a look at some hard numbers that highlight how unique the situation in the lumber market currently is.

Lumber Trends as They Currently Stand

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to emerge as a global challenge, the lumber industry expected a huge downturn in demand as lockdown restrictions came into place and businesses waited to learn whether local governments would consider their operations essential. This uncertainty was reflected in the price of lumber, hitting an annual low of $264 per board foot on March 30th of this year. However, as demand exploded rapidly, the price followed suit. It peaked at $948 on September 7th, an increase of 153.48% over the previous year. This staggering trend has been unprecedented within the industry. Since its peak, prices have trended downward. However, even with this downward trend, prices for lumber are still far outpacing the averages for years past. Most recently, the price was $607.60 on September 21st, an increase of 62% over the previous year. Using the chart below courtesy of Davis Hawn, we can see how these trends break down for individual lumber products.

How Long Will the Trend Continue?

Some experts predict that prices will continue to fall as autumn approaches, a typical trend for what is often a seasonal market. However, the degree to which remains to be seen. Even if the prices continue to fall, they will still likely eclipse the monthly averages from last year. The direction of this trend may largely be dependant on whether building companies continue their demand for lumber products or if they too slow down as the weather changes and the uncharted effects of the global pandemic begin to balance out. In the meantime, lumber market prices are still far outpacing predicted prices, and while the trend is slowing, we will still have to wait and see to what degree.

Get the Lumber Products You Need for Your Next Project

Despite the unprecedented times, the team at National Lumber has made it our goal to deliver the lumber products and other building materials you need to you on-time. If you’re ready to get started on your next project, request a quote today.

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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.

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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.

Saddle

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.

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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.