Volume 46, Issue 3 - April 2007

From the Editor

If It’s Broken, Fix It
Educating You About Wood Flooring Imports and More

Most of you know that I edit Shelter magazine out of my home. That began in 2001 after Key Communications Inc. bought Shelter and moved the magazine’s headquarters from Memphis, Tenn., to Stafford, Va.

For many reasons I consider the buyout a blessing—one of which is giving me a more flexible schedule to raise my twin boys, Clay and Owen, who are now four years old. (Yes, time flies.) 

I try to keep my office off limits, but it never fails—Clay and Owen always seem to need one more piece of paper out of my printer to color on.

One day, a few weeks ago, they were in my office and they began to haul off my box of the January/February 2007 issue of Shelter. “What are you doing with those?” I asked. “These are our fixer books,” Clay said, in a matter-of-fact voice.

“Your fixer books?” I inquired.

“Yes, we need them to fix our house and our windows and stuff,” Clay chimed back.

I had to giggle when I heard, but I also got great satisfaction. A “fixer book” is a description of Shelter that gives me pride. It is definitely my intention to help you—distributors and dealers of building products.

In this issue, I’m hoping to help fix the problem of misclassified wood flooring imports.

After talking with executive vice president Timm Locke of NOFMA: The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association, I found out that three years ago, the association found that wood flooring was being classified incorrectly under a Harmonized Tariff Schedule code that has no tax applied to it. Layman’s terms: some companies were knowingly or unknowingly misclassifying wood and putting it in a specific category that has no duties applied to it.

The article, “Under Investigation,” can be found on page 22, and Shelter gives you the history of wood flooring misclassification as well as ways to safeguard your company—whether you are the importer of record or a distributor working with an importer. 

On page 26, Shelter also looks at how the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina has prompted the use of an established, yet innovative building technique, with the raised flooring system. According to Southern Pine Council literature, “Elevating a structure can prevent or significantly reduce flood damage. Properly elevated and constructed, a raised floor foundation can help keep a home far above flood waters.” Learn about this technique being advocated in coastal regions as well as other products that should be utilized in hurricane-prone areas.

But these two articles aren’t the only sections in this issue to help fix problems within the industry. This month, we are publishing a Third Annual New Products Guide on page 30, as well as a section devoted to new technology. Shelter knows you are always looking for new products to distribute, and these are some products we collected from the International Builders’ Show in Orlando as well as industry contacts. 

If you aren’t using a warehouse management system or other software programs in your business, then now is the time to get educated and implement one. On page 43, you’ll find information on some of the industry’s leading software technology companies and their products.

I hope this issue helps you find solutions to problems you face everyday. Please contact me at scarpenter@sheltermagazine.com with any industry-related dilemma you encounter, and we’ll help you fix it.

Remember, get out Shelter—“the fixer book.”

© Copyright 2007 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.