Posts Tagged ‘lumber


Cancer and Encouragement

This particular blog is yet another that has nothing to do with building materials.  Except that it is written by someone who owns and runs your favorite building materials company.  That said:

You ever notice how you don’t know what to say to someone who has cancer?  ‘What if I say the wrong thing?’  ‘What if they cry?’ Etc.

Let me state clearly here that I cannot possibly relate to someone with the disease and I would not dare to try.  What I can relate to is having a condition that is somewhat debilitating and that everybody knows about.  In January, I tore my ACL, MCL and suffered Meniscus damage.  How? you ask.  Well, I was fighting off wild lions from attacking a group of orphans… or something like that.

Anyway, from that perspective, I believe I can actually offer a bit of advice here.  I heard Tom Brokaw on the radio the other day talking about his battle with cancer.  He stated, “People with cancer do not need to be reminded that they have the disease…  It is a full time occupation.”

tom brokaw

Tom Brokaw was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in August of 2013

This statement, I can relate to.  I don’t mind being asked about my knee, it shows that you care enough to ask.  However, I understand what he means about it being a ‘full time occupation’.  It is all I have thought about for the last 9 weeks.  I am sick of it, sick of crutches, sick of my knee hurting, sick of my therapist telling me to push harder.  I do not need to be reminded of my condition.

Then Brokaw made his next point, ‘If you have a funny story, call me.  Or if you have something new to share, let me know’ (I did a bit of paraphrasing there).  What he meant was this.  People with the condition do want your company, especially if you’re going to help them get their mind onto something else.  If you heard a good joke, call me.  If you want someone to share ice cream with, I’m your guy.  And even if you have a similar story as mine with a HAPPY ending, tell me.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard about how awful someone’s knee surgery was.  Not to offend, but that is really not what I need to hear right now.

motivation board

My daughter’s ‘Motivation Board’

That said; the best thing for knee rehab is a daughter with a whiteboard and a little creativity.  I see this every day as I walk out of my bedroom.Now that’s the kind of thing a hurting person needs to see.  And actually, she’s added to it since I took this picture.  Do you see what I mean?  No mention of surgery, nothing about a knee.  Just confidence in and encouragement for her Daddy.  While I’ll admit that daughters have an inside track on the rest of you, she’s figured out that it’s all about encouragement.  I think between her and Tom, we can all learn something.


know who you are

There are really two sides to Wilson Lumber.  There’s the side that most people know, that is, that we sell building materials to pro’s who are building and remodeling homes (although as frustrating as it is, most people don’t know that we sell a whole lot more than just lumber).

But then there’s the significant side of our business where we sell to homeowners.  Now most of our interactions with homeowners (at least in dollar volume) is with what you might call larger ticket items.  Replacement doors, decks, cabinets, etc.  Hence, our tag line “way more than lumber”.

Trex_transcend-decking-tiki-torch-lava-rock-circular-outdoor-furniture-black   McClel After   newhomeoffice1

Anyway, recently we have discontinued all electrical, plumbing and paint products (well, almost all).  It’s not that we didn’t enjoy selling this stuff, or even that we didn’t make money at it.  The problem was that we were not excellent at it.  And we believe that if you cant be excellent at something, you just shouldn’t do it.  Also, we realized that people don’t need us for that kind of stuff.  And we are perfectly OK with that.  It gives us more resources, energy and space for the stuff we are excellent at.

As if that is not enough, I attended a conference recently where I saw this particular study by the Farnsworth Group that I’ve previously written about.

Major Categories

Basically, professionals depend on us for Lumber, Millwork and Building Materials.  (I must admit, I thought lumber and millwork were building materials.  I guess they meant stuff like siding, brick, gypsum, etc.)  So, as we are excellent at those things, that is where we focus our resources.

You might notice on the study that only 3% of pro’s made their last paint purchase at a place like Wilson’s.  And only 15% for electrical and 4% for paint.  I guess I’m now wondering why we kept that stuff around as long as we did.  O well, hindsight is 20/20.

If you need any lumber, millwork or building materials, give us a call (256-852-7411) or visit our website.  And if you need electrical, plumbing or paint, we can refer you to someone excellent:)


Why Builders Buy Where Builders Buy

Last week I posted some of the results of a study about why remodeling contractors buy where they do.  Now, here are a couple of slides from The Farnsworth Group from the same study done on new home builders.  What are the most important factors to a new home builder when choosing a supplier?

builders selection

Looks like availability wins again.  This one is a little more interesting than last weeks.  In 2005, availability was tied at 3rd with customer service, behind quality products and price.  Now you can see that it has worked its way to the top, with price being in 2nd, customer service 3rd and quality in 4th.

Why?  I can tell you that availability isn’t really a problem right now so its not due to supply.  Is it because suppliers are getting worse at delivery?  Well, not this supplier anyway.  Is it because builders are so busy they just want the stuff regardless of quality?  I do know that a few are super busy but I don’t know of any builders who wouldn’t take more business.  Do builders simply care less about quality and service than they used to?  Maybe but I hope not.

Draw your own conclusions here, all I have is theories and I don’t particularly like any of them.

Now, where do new home builders choose to get their products?

builders where

Well, one thing is clear on this one.  What hasn’t changed is the need for “Lumber/Building Materials Dealers”.  I know this because I are one:)  The amount of purchases from Specialty Wholesalers has dropped a bit.  That’s guys that specialize in one area, like vinyl siding, sheetrock or the like.  I don’t know why.

I do know this.  While its comforting to know that the need for people like Wilson Lumber is constant, we dare not let ourselves get complacent.  Two reasons: One, there are plenty of other guys like us that want what we have.  And two, although the building process generally hasn’t changed in decades, there may be a better mousetrap around the corner.

And when it comes, Wilson Lumber will be on the forefront, as always.  If you need anything, give us a call (256-852-7411) or visit us on the web at


Rabbit Season! Deck Season!

Remember that old Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs and Daffy are both being hunted by Elmer Fudd.  They get into an argument over what season it is; “Rabbit season!”, “Duck Season!”, “Rabbit season!”, “Duck Season!”.  And on it goes until Bugs turns it around on Daffy and the ever frustrated Elmer Fudd shoots Daffy in the face.

Ah, they don’t make them like they used to.  This of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with my blog but it’s what I think of every time I hear the words Deck Season.  Get it?  Deck Season?

Anyway, I really shouldn’t even be blogging. See, here’s how I go about it.  There is a wealth of information around this place (Wilson Lumber) and so I basically just ask people about jobs they’ve done or for pictures or whatever.  And then I get pictures that only make me jealous (in a good way of course).

Recently I requested pictures from everyone so that we could run a loop on TV screens in our booth at the Home Show.  I got a ton of them.  Decks, garages, cabinets, closets, doors, etc. etc. etc.  I came accross this one.


Timbertech Decking installed by Straightline Construction in Huntsville, Alabama

Oh, deck season.  Very nice.  I’m about to do some work on my patio.  This makes me wish I had a deck instead of a Patio.  You would think a guy that owns a lumber company would have built a deck… Anyway, I love this.  It’s so warm and inviting, makes me want to grill out or something.  Then I got this.


Aeratis Porch Flooring installed by Barton Construction in Huntsville, Alabama.


Are you kidding?  The perfect postcard deck.  Very cozy.  Looks like a great place for a good book.

It is indeed Deck Season.   And the deck market has changed a lot since I built my patio.  Where is your imagination taking you? Maybe it’s time you came on in to see what’s available.  Or give our Deck Specialist, Alan Hill, a call at 256-852-7411.  As for your home, we can help you pick out materials that will compliment your tastes and lifestyle.  As for this blog, in the words of Bugs Bunny, “that’s all folks”.

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