In the news ...

Mentor Lumber & Supply Co. was very fortunate to have a chance to tell people what we do to WKYC Channel 3 Live on Lakeside.

"Renovations during the winter can be a little tough, so why not use the nice weather during the summer to do some home improvement. With the help of Tim and Anna from Mentor Lumber Supply your home will have the perfect makeover."

Check out the video ....

Because there's guys like this on every job ...

Ram Board is a heavy-duty, temporary floor protection engineered for Contractors. Designed with cost and efficiency in mind, it lays out fast and is re-usable. Ram Board is non-staining and utilizes Flex-Fiber™ technology allowing for the proper curing of new floors on jobsites. Exclusive Spill Guard™ technology provides added protection against water, paint, mud, and more.


Seems like a no-brainer.

Installing rafter ties have always been a dreaded task when framing any project.  Tedious and time consuming, it can eat up valuable profits.  What if we told you there was a new way ... that is less $ and FASTER!  Check it out!

Andersen is kicking off the remodeling season with an extra incentive to get your project moving.  Between May 11, 2015 and July 4, 2015 - get a $25 rebate for each 400 Series window and $100 rebate for each 400 Series patio door purchased at Mentor Lumber & Supply Co., up to a $250 maximum rebate per household.  

Go to to participate.  Complete the registration process BEFORE ordering.  We will need the promotion code when placing the order.

Now in stock at Mentor Lumber & Supply Co.

Boral TruExterior Trim satisfies your need for a product that is easy to install, long-lasting, and competitively priced to other products in the market.

Boral TruExterior Trim is creating an entirely new category of reliable exterior trim that offers phenomenal performance, remarkable workability, and a lasting look without the limitations that plague other exterior trim products.

Choosing Kitchen Countertops

Granite or laminate? Get tips on how to find the right surface for your remodel.

Countertops set the tone for the kitchen, so choose materials and a look that not only reflect your style, but also are in line with how you use the kitchen.

Granite is on the must-have list for many homebuyers. But engineered stone products made primarily of quartz are replacing granite in high-end design today, and their functionality as a stain-resistant, durable, sleek-looking surface fulfills lifestyle and aesthetic prerequisites for many.

Burgin says half his clients go with granite, and half go with a quartz surface. Jorge Castillo, whose clients want modern kitchens, chooses quartz for its consistency. He would rather the focus be on a dramatic statuary marble backsplash than the work surface. “One of the reasons I like CaesarStone and Cambria is because it doesn’t make the kitchen busy,” he says.

Meanwhile, concrete has come a long way. With more colors and a sleek finish, today’s concrete surfaces are more durable. Crushed glass surfaces provide an opulent focal point.

Kitchen Countertop Styles and Trends SEE ALL PHOTOS

Countertop Materials

Here’s a wrap-up of workspace surfaces and how they stand up in the kitchen environment. Keep in mind, countertops may dictate the kitchen design and are sometimes chosen before cabinetry.

Granite. Riding a wave of popularity for the last several years as the surface for countertops, granite is available in several grades, generally 1 through 5 (ratings depend on where you buy it), patterns, colors and thicknesses. Depending on what you choose, a slab can cost you anywhere from $25 per square foot for modular pieces of very basic stone purchased at a home center to upwards of $1,000 per square foot. Thickness can really drive up the cost. If you want granite on a budget, you might consider a three-quarter inch thick slab rather than an inch and a half slab, where you’re more likely to get your money back at resale.

Engineered stone. These are your quartz surfaces composed of 93 percent quartz particles and available in a larger range of colors than granite. Prices are comparable, sometimes more. The nonporous surface resists scratches and stains, and manufacturers generally offer a warranty. Brands include Cambria Quartz, Silestone, CaesarStone, LG Viatera and DuPont Zodiac.

Laminates. The surface known as Formica is plastic-coated and available in a range of colors—including surfaces that resemble granite. If you’re budget is tight and you’re doing a quick-and-dirty kitchen overhaul, this is a solution within reach. You’ll have to weigh the resale pros and cons: Does your home value require granite? (It’s not a bad idea to check out real estate comparables.)

Soapstone. These pewter-toned countertops are ideal for historic renovations, such as this one by Superior Homes. They darken over time and require regular maintenance with mineral oil applications, but people like the smooth feel and rich character.

Ceramic tile. You can lay it on the floor, wall and, yes, countertops. You can recover an existing surface, which appeals to DIYers. And with a wide range of colors and textures available in tiles today, options are seemingly endless. But remember, tiles do crack. And perhaps the biggest down side: tiles require grouting.

Concrete. Cast concrete counters can be poured to suit countertops of all shapes. They can be cast in the kitchen, or produced off-site and installed after the fact. The great thing about concrete is its durability. Plus, today’s concrete is even stronger because of treatments that eliminate cracking and seal the surface so it’s less porous. This style suits a modern kitchen—concrete can be dyed a range of colors.

Solid surfaces. Otherwise known by the popular brand-name Corian, solid surfaces offer the same seamless loo as engineered stone, except these are not resistant to stains and can scratch. (You can always sand those out—but do you want to?)

Stainless steel. This industrial-strength surface provides a sleek finish in modern kitchens. It’s easy to clean with soap and water, and it takes hot pans, no problem. But stainless steel can scratch and dent, so you can’t cut on stainless. Plus, it’s a costly surface. You might decide to use stainless in a certain area of your kitchen, such as a dining area or by the range.

This article was written for  Click here to view the original article >>

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

Get tips on how to find the right cabinetry for your remodel.

Cabinets form the backbone of the kitchen. Configure the cabinetry to make the most use of your kitchen’s size and floor plan. Consider different layouts and looks.

Base cabinets get the most attention, whereas hanging wall cabinets are sacrificed for aesthetic features—windows, dramatic backsplashes—to create atmosphere and a living room appeal in the kitchen. That said, base cabinets are moving

Deck Season is back!

Get a head start on your deck project in the month of April.

From April 18th thru May 2nd, receive special pricing and promotions on ALL your deck purchases.

We will also be sponsoring our FREE Deck Clinics
  • Get any deck construction or product question answered
  • Free Deck Building Manuals, tips and tricks
  • Deck desing & material lists to help you plan your new deck
  • Install options available
  • Manufacturer Representatives on hand
  • Games, Prizes, etc. sponsored by CPG Building Products

Mentor Location
Saturday, April 18th  10:00am

Chardon Location
 Saturday, April 25th  10:00am

Click here to print the flier.

The Simpson Strong-Tie® Construction Update is a free monthly report on economic and construction news. Inside this issue:

U.S. Economic News
Nonresidential Construction
Heavy Construction
Residential Construction

Click here to download the April issue of the Construction Update.
Don't forget: You can always find the latest news and product information at

Could You Build a Life-Size Lego House? What Would It Cost?

Toy fads come and go, but Lego is in no danger of pulling a Tamagotchi. Far from it. Revenue is up, more movies are on the way, and complex building kits continue to burn up the free time of kids (and adults) worldwide.

All this leads us to wonder: If Lego continues its slow march toward world domination, what are the odds that some lovable maniac will construct an entire life-size home from the colorful plastic bricks? And at what cost?

Hard to believe we've been at this for a couple months already.  In order to keep the site valuable to you, we need your help.

Please take a moment and let us know how we are doing.  Do you like the posts?  layout?  Things you don't feel valuable?  Information or topics you would like to see?

Get Answers to Questions about Your Deck Project

With the ever changing decking/railing market - comes a lot of questions.  Timbertech has provided a great website to help get those questions answered.  Browse through the already answered questions, or ask your own ... and the folks at Timbertech will find the answer!

View the intro video below, and then go to to check it out.

4 Qualities Your Customers Value

'Quality' is a slippery term.  these four words are much easier to appreciate.

Many contractors use the word “quality” in their advertising, mission statement, or core values. I think what they intend to mean by that word is that the work their company does is done well. From a technical point of view, the work is excellent.

3 Steps to Eliminate Lumberyard Runs Forever

Remodelers are always struggling with the cost of an employee leaving the job site to pick up materials.

Simple calculations often reveal that this consistent behavior costs companies about 2-4% of their annual sales volume. Preaching doesn’t change it; threats don’t change it.

So what does?

... and Mentor Lumber is where you want to be. Click the play button to see why.

Help Wanted

The Mentor Lumber & supply Company is currently seeking ambitious, motivated and hard-working individuals to fill Yardman Positions (up to 40 hours + overtime per week) at our Mentor and Chardon Yard locations.

These positions require heavy lifting of material in outdoor conditions.  Must be clean, neat in appearance, safety conscious, customer service oriented, and valid driver's license.

Can Your Home Be Hacked?

In a recent data usage calculation in my own home, I counted 17 devices that are connected to the internet!  Now, I don't really consider myself a tech junkie, or automated by any means, but that gives you an idea of where the world is headed.  In an article posted here, they discussed stoves and dishwashers that were even connected.  How can we protect ourselves?

The Coolbox Tool Box

Not exactly sure how practical this is on the jobsite, but definitely a cool find!

I’m a sucker for clever names, and naming a toolbox the Coolbox is definitely clever. But this soon-to-be product is not yet available for purchase. Its developers used crowdfunding (Indiegogo) to raise more than $262,000 (so far) to put the box into production. According to them, production in volume will begin this summer.

How to Dazzle Your Clients with Smart Design

How many of your clients request a bigger design in a smaller space? Maybe they want the organization, storage, and convenience that a larger home would have? Many people have found themselves living in smaller spaces and need your help making the most of each inch.

There could be a simple solution to this common issue. Try incorporating Smart Design into the remodel.

What is Smart Design? Smart Design is the combination of using technology, organization, and lighting in cabinetry and other storage solutions to maximize all available space.

Remodel Your Management Style

Challenge yourself to praise good work and rationally address mistakes

In a previous blog I wrote about not being pleased with myself as a person, and how I put two reminders into my calendar on alternating days to help me change my behavior. I mentioned recognizing the need to praise people more often instead of pointing out what I thought they hadn’t done well. Putting in the reminder “praise somebody” every other day helped me modify my behavior.

What You Need to Know About RRP

The EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule has been in force for five years now. Is it working?

Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule has been in effect since April 2010, remodelers say that the agency hasn’t done a good job getting the word out.

Many contractors become aware of this lack of communication when distributing the EPA’s “Renovate Right” brochure, which warns of the dangers of lead dust and outlines how the contractor will work to minimize the danger. “We give the brochure to every customer, but most of the time they’ve never heard of the rule,” says Portland, Ore., remodeler Tom Miller.

Why My Dream Kitchen Turned Out to be a Bit of a Nightmare

While some people consider "open" to be better, here's a take on why it may not be for you ...

I always dreamed of having a big, open kitchen. Growing up, my mother cooked three meals a day in a quaint New England kitchen built in the 1950s, perhaps by Pilgrims, I’m not sure. The kitchen ‘island’ had not been invented, nor had the ‘breakfast nook’, though we had a back hall so cold it doubled as an extra fridge. The lonely kitchen was separated from the dining room by a long hallway. 

After college I lived in a cramped New York City apartment with a galley kitchen so small that I finally gave up cooking altogether, replacing my oven with a washer/dryer. When I finally bought my own little weekend cottage, there was barely room in the cozy kitchen to bake a biscuit, never mind a Bûche de Noël.

We aplogize to our readers for the lack of new content over recent week.  It seems as though the we have moved from the Arctic back to NE Ohio.  Everyone has come out of hibernation and decided to call the lumberyard.

We will be more diligent from here on out, to make sure we post new content just about every day, Monday - Friday (it seems our readers don't surf the web on the weekend).

Stay tuned ... There is a bunch of new content scheduled!

If you have any subjects, or areas you would like us to cover - please forward them to the administrator.

Remodelers University

The New and Improved REMODELERS UNIVERSITY ... Coming Soon to a Browser Near You

Construction Update

An overview and news on the housing market and single-family construction for February 2015.

Housing Starts Fall 2%
Housing starts fell 2% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.065 million units after rising to 1.089 million units in December. Single-family starts fell 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 678,000 in January after rising to 728,000 units in December. Multifamily production rose 7.5% to 387,000 units after falling to 361,000 units in December.  Regional starts were mixed. Starts rose 6.5% in the South.  Starts dropped 3.5% in the Northeast, 22.2% in the Midwest and 3.4%

What is Window Condensation?

After the frigid winter, I'm sure everyone has experienced this at least once.  Condensation on the interior glass of your windows.  Does this mean your windows are bad?  Watch this video by Andersen Windows for a brief explanation as to what causes window condensation, and how to minimize or eliminate it.

If you have condensation on your windows, make sure to wipe them down frequently.  Prolonged exposure to moisture will

Ohio Building Code (full version) - Updated 3-6-15

Can you keep up with all the code changes?  To help, here is the link to the current version (click the picture).

The link has been updated with a searchable version of the Code document.

Is your website working FOR you? - What do your statistics say?

The Secret to Understanding Local Web Traffic and Why It Is So Important
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Few remodelers pay much attention to their web traffic statistics, and fewer still know how to use that data effectively. Ignoring your web traffic statistics is bad enough, but misinterpreting them could be even worse. One of the more potentially misleading statistics for remodelers is a website’s total traffic.

Looking at the total traffic without considering the local and non-local traffic separately gives a misleading and incomplete picture of a website’s performance, which could lead to costly mistakes and missed opportunities.

For most remodelers, local traffic contains potential clients while non-local web traffic almost never includes potential clients. A website visitor from California is not likely to use the services of a remodeler in Maine. Understanding the behavior of these two groups (local visitors and non-local visitors) individually is the best way to look at and understand your web traffic so you can make the right decisions.

Here is one of the methods we use:

Using Google Analytics’ Advanced Segments feature, we set up 3 “segments”. One segment shows only visitors from the Washington DC metro area (the local traffic for this example), the second segment shows only visitors from OUTSIDE that defined metro area (the non-local traffic). The third segment, “All Sessions”, is the combined total of local and non-local visitors. This total traffic segment is what most people look at. It is the default way Google Analytics and most web traffic programs display traffic.

Let’s break down the dashboard view

Sample Google Analytics Dashboard

Column 1 (landing page)

The first three rows show the site traffic to all pages on the site. The next three shows the traffic to only the “home” page as indicated by “/” in that column’s yellow box.

Column 2 (user sessions)

You can see that more of the traffic to this site for the period measured is “local”. More sessions being local may or may not be the case for you. For most remodelers, the behavior and number of local visitors are much more important than non-local.

Column 3 (new users)

This shows the number of individual new visitors and does not include repeat visits (which is why this will be less than total visits or sessions.)
Multiple visits show interest. Notice a greater difference between new visitors and visits for the local traffic than non-local. This is good.

Column 4 (bounce rate)

Bounce rate is important because it shows people that enter the site and leave without looking at any other page. Notice that in this illustration the bounce rate for the local traffic (those who can potentially buy from you) is lower than non-local and the total combined traffic numbers. If you don’t see a lower local bounce rate on your website than non-local, it likely indicates a problem with the website.

Columns 5 and 6 (pages per session and average duration)

These columns represent the average number of pages visited and time spent per visit. Again the local traffic should show more pages and more time than non-local.

Column 7 (goal conversion)

This dashboard shows the conversion of a goal. For this website, that goal is that a visitor submit the Contact Us form. As you can see the local traffic was more likely to go to this page.

As you can see, if you didn’t set up the analytics to look at local and non-local traffic individually, you would think your Contact Us page was converting 15.65% instead of 21.38%.


Here are three ways local/non-local segmentation helps you:
1Is your conversion rate OK? If you have 1000 visitors a month to your website and 20 leads, you could logically conclude that the website is not doing a good job of converting visitors to leads. However, if you find that only 200 of the 1000 visitors a month are local, the website’s conversion ratio (20:200 and not 20:1000) looks MUCH better.
2Is your marketing generating local or non-local traffic? By looking at the growth of local vs. non-local traffic to your website, you can see if your marketing efforts have been increasing local traffic or just non-local. If just non-local traffic, you likely have a problem. While the above site has a balanced amount of local/non-local traffic, some sites can have a 1:5 local to non-local ratio (or more or less).
3Is your site of interest to important visitors? Generally speaking, non-local visitors are looking for general information about a subject while local visitors are looking for specific information about your business and services. So a very high local bounce rate and a very low non-local bounce rate, for example, might be a sign that there isn’t enough pertinent information for prospective clients.

This article was written by David Alpert and published on  Click here to view original story>>

James Hardie: America's #1 Brand of Siding

James Hardie® products grace the sides of more than 5.5 million homes across America. We’ve won over the press, the remodeling industry, and most importantly, our customers, with the beauty and durability of our products.

Siding is exposed to Mother Nature all day, every day, for years. Weather, water, time, fire and pests—all can lead to trouble. That’s

New Deck Calculator by Mentor Lumber

A tool to help navigate the rough seas of deck option pricing.

With decking product offerings exploding over the last few years, pricing decks has become a nightmare.  Any homeowner, builder, or remodeler can attest.  In steps Mentor Lumber.

We have created an online tool to help figure budget numbers for your deck project.  Just enter your dimensions, select your options, and you get a price.  You can even compare two options side by

The REAL Reason You Need Goals (and how to make them)

A friend of mine started a handyman business many years ago. The only goal he had when he first “opened his doors” was to make enough money to live on for the following month. He didn’t write it down either—he just kind of knew it was a goal.

First Impressions Matter

First impressions are hard to shake. Customer service is king and will always help you acquire and retain customers, but what if you turn them away before you even start your pitch? Business Insider writer Drake Baer looks at scientific studies that determined how and why people make assumptions about you before you even open your mouth.

"A Dutch study found that people wearing name-brand clothes — Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger, to be precise — were seen as higher status than folks wearing non-designer clothes. 'Perceptions did not

RSS Feeds

What is RSS?  And how can it help me?

What are feeds?
Feeds are a way for websites large and small to distribute their content well beyond just visitors using browsers. Feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or in some cases good old email. Feeds also make it possible for site content to be packaged into "widgets," "gadgets," mobile devices, and other bite-sized technologies that make it possible to display blogs, podcasts, and major

How to Stop Losing Money on Change Orders

Have you ever lost money because you didn’t manage the change order process effectively?

In a perfect world, your original plans are clear, and the job will be produced as planned and with zero modifications. However, since that rarely happens I thought it would be a good idea to explore this under-appreciated topic.

In this week’s episode, I share best practices you should be

Heat Bending AZEK Trim

A quick look at the labor and time savings when you heat-bend AZEK trim

Sales: How Contractors Can Play to Win, Instead of Playing Not to Lose

Do you play not to loose or do you put forward the effort and prepare to win? When you play not to loose you are on the defensive and appear weak when trying to win business from the consumer. You question your price and the consumer picks up the vibes and your lack of confidence. They make up any excuse or reason to get you to drop your price even further. If you cave and they buy, you end up taking on a project

Home Automation Comes of Age

It’s not quite ‘The Jetsons’, but a dishwasher that can text?!

A futuristic kitchen designed by Virginia Tech University researchers includes a dishwasher that sends a text or email when it is out of soap, a microwave that listens for the moment when popcorn stops popping and a pantry that can report low supplies.

But it will be a while before most big U.S. home builders offer such automation on a mass scale.

Home automation has made great strides in recent years, with wireless technologies enabling users to monitor and control more functions

6 Advantages of Social Media Advertising Over Traditional Advertising

Still hesitant to make a commitment to social media? These reasons may convince you to jump in.

The Internet has invaded all aspects of our lives, becoming people’s main channel of communication. Smartphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi hotspots make accessing the Web a cinch, so reaching people has never been easier for contractors. And with the proliferation of constant access to the Web, companies large and small are allocating more of their advertising budgets to online marketing. This has given birth

Buy Your Remodeling Clients a Meal. It'll Pay You Back Later

Many contractors have pretty clear boundaries between their business activities and their personal activities. After all, why try to mix the two, as wouldn’t that mean one was working all the time?

I used to feel like that for many years when we ran our company. Then I realized that sharing a meal with clients has the potential to take the business and personal relationship to a new level.

More often than not, about two-thirds of the way through a project,

Home Upgrades That Are Totally Worth It

There are upgrades you can easily forego, and there are those you should hold on to for dear life.

A surprisingly large amount of the money you spend on your new home will be determined by the options choices you make — and those options are forever changing. 

For example, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, both considered pricey upgrades for years, are now standard in most new homes.

Three Ways Builders Can Attract Millennials to Combat the Labor Crisis

Young workers are just what the industry needs to avoid a full-blown labor crisis, says BUILDER guest blogger Vineet Jain.

A skilled labor shortage is threatening the construction industry, and contractors across the nation are already feeling the effects. 

A report by Construction Labor Market Analyzer indicates that by 2016, U.S. construction projects will require 6.7 million skilled workers — about

How to Shop Wisely for a New Home — Part Two

STEP 6: Go shop model homes that match your needs. 

The fun part, at last! Walking through state of the art model homes furnished by top interior designers (AKA merchandisers in the new home world) offers some big benefits:

You get a free pass into an interior design showroom, with the latest home furnishing and design trends on display. Picture Crate and Barrel, Ikea and your local furniture, wall-

How to Shop Wisely for a New Home — Part One

Don't believe Mick Jagger — if you’re embarking on a journey to buy and build a new home, you can get what you want in your dream home.

The key is to do your homework first — and then to plan and organize your shopping process to ensure that your journey is rewarding, concise — and most of all, enjoyable.