Few comments, suggestions, and ideas…

BC Wood and member companies participated in the annual Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in San Francisco this past week and upon reflection, one could come away with a couple of ideas and thoughts.

First, if there is any commentary that the US Economy is not firing on all cylinders, you wouldn’t have known it visiting PCBC. The builder and architect community that I spoke to at the event were all crazy busy. The general comments were along the lines of “we haven’t been this busy since 2005″ and ” we are having a hard time keeping up”.

The show itself is experiencing somewhat of a resurgence with a reported attendance reaching the 20,000 mark for the first time in over a decade. The cautious optimism, experienced at last years event in San Diego has been replaced with a “we’re going full throttle” as one Napa based residential builder commented. With the relatively weak Canadian Loonie and pent up demand, sales potential in the California market remains strong for BC producers.

Secondly, the trend towards contemporary or modern aesthetic in residential housing was evident at PCBC. Gone are the California monster homes of the mid 2000s’, replaced with smaller, well designed, thoughtful homes that incorporate modern aesthetic and the latest in technology. This was probably best evidenced by the latest offerings showcased by the numerous “cultured stone” companies at PCBC. Firms such as Eldorado Stone and Boral had displays that were completely different from years past. The stacked stone and rustic designs have been replaced with clean lined brick and stone offerings better suited for today’s modern designs. How this push to a contemporary aesthetic impacts the wood industry and in particular the BC secondary wood products sector is, I think interesting, and will be further explored in the next Wood Connections Newsletter. As always, for more information on the US market please feel free to contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com.