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%.

Conclusion

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 www.remodelersadvantage.com.  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.

PERFORMANCE & DURABILITY
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