Waiting…….

I talk to A LOT of people in my job from all over the world, but mostly in the United States. It seems that everyone is “waiting”. Yet, many of us are asking the question, “…for what?” Are we waiting for a talking head to appear on the TV one night and say “It is OK to now go and spend your money”? Are we waiting for someone to tell us that it WILL get better? Are we waiting for the stock market to bottom out at some mythical number that most of us really don’t know the meaning of anyway?

Here’s some food for thought. Your home is likely the biggest investment you have. And unless you live somewhere that is immune to the current state of things, selling a house right now is an undertaking in patience similar to watching water boil. So why not go for it, and put some of your money into your home, your investment, where you know it will eventually pay for itself? At the end of these tough times, you’ll have lived on a new floor, enjoyed cooking on a new countertop, organized the kitchen in new cabinets, or maybe just relaxed with a fine glass of red wine over a handsome new coffee table. The durability of reclaimed wood will surely outlast the current economic trends – and Pioneer Millworks can supply it any form you wish.

Beyond your home though, when making a purchase, now is the critical time to really think about where that product is coming from. The global economy we live in has had many effects on the earth’s population, from the spread of disease to the expansion of wealth, from increasing trade deficits to shrinking domestic employment….the list goes on and on. But it can get a little ridiculous too – I was quite surprised recently to notice that a simple can of mushrooms in the local supermarket was made in China. Mushrooms. A staple of my pantry, and I had to do some digging to find a brand made in the US, where I know mushrooms grow, because we’ve reclaimed wood from those farms before! For the additional $.20 per can, I can spend the extra money to support our domestic workforce and ensure that my children are eating something better for them. I encourage you to think in the same manner – about how much your job relies on other having theirs, and how we can all help eachother turn the ship around. When you buy flooring that was harvested in one country, shipped to another for processing, and then shipped across another ocean to a distributor, and then on to your local mega-mart home improvement store, it does nothing to support regional and local manufacturing jobs, and you end up with a lesser quality product in the end. Perhaps everything we buy can’t be put under the microscope – but when you’re about to make a big purchase, thats the best time to sit back for a minute and look at what the real trickle-down effect will be to the planet, the economy, and – YOU.

Buy local. Think for the earth. Support your neighbors. Stay in touch.

– Jered

We’ll make it…..

Times are tough right now. Everywhere you look, the unemployment line is growing longer, and people are really thinking twice about how they spend their money. As tax refunds come out, stimulus packages get passed, and financing becomes easier, consider putting dollars in a place where it will matter – your home.

Now is a great time to renovate a kitchen, add some built-ins, or put down some wood flooring. Prices have never been better ( 20% off at Pioneer Millworks this month! ) and you get the benefit of a more beautiful house in which to ride out the storm. When things do turn around, and they will turn around, you’ll have made a worthwhile investment that will easily pay for itself. Best of all, by keeping your hard-earned money in the United States, you’re supporting our economy and the domestic workforce.

Give us a call, drop us an e-mail, or stop by and see the newly expanded shop. We’ve got plenty to talk about. We’ll make it through this.

– Jered

I miss my camper…

I miss my camper. I really do.

I mean, its right here outside my kitchen window, but the white roof and panels are camouflaged by the 7 inches of snow on top of it. It looks very cold, after all it is 17 degrees outside, considering it is something designed to celebrate the warmth of summer, save for sheltering us in the occasional rain storm. My wife and I bought our camper 2 years ago because we realized that we were spending our lives on the run – always going somewhere and doing something – and that we needed some time with our boys to just “do nothing”. I’ll be the first to admit, I am a workaholic – whether its answering e-mails from customers on the weekends, or in the sense of our house, constantly working to make it better – there’s always something I am working on. Getting me to sit still for even a one hour television show is an exercise in futility. So our camper takes care of this for us – by driving it and our family to a small campground near Cayuga Lake in the warmer months, we’re able to “do nothing” for the weekend. I might assemble a model train or 2, Jamie reads a book, the boys fish, or ride their bikes, or explore the forest with the new friends they make every weekend, meeting kids from all over the country.

As any of you DIY handymen ( and handywomen! ) know, it is hard to not be doing “something”. I always have a hard time relaxing when we’re camping, knowing there’s a project to be done. Pioneer Millworks works with you to make it easy to get things done. Despite what you might think, installing a wood floor is not rocket science – and it can easily be a weekend project in a small to mid-sized room. Our Wood Experts can explain how to prep the room, guide you through installation, and provide NWFA recommendations to make it a smooth and simple process. Even better than our charming personalities and expert advice, we offer pre-finishing as an option on many of our grades & species. This means there’s no messy spills, fumes, or cleanup – you install the floor, and move back into your room that same day. It also takes the hardest part of a wood floor installation out of the mix, and makes it possible to have a brand new floor in a matter of a few hours.

Pioneer Millworks has a great section of our website, the Bargain Basement, where you’ll find smaller batches of flooring we have in the shop, and some special deals and prices that don’t come around that often.

We have enough variety to suit most design styles, and there’s even some of our swanky new engineered wood flooring available. Check it out – there’s sure to be something there that could be used in a room or two of your home, and we’ll help you make it a fun weekend project. OK, we won’t BE THERE to help – but we’re only a phone call away!

Now – back to the camper. I wonder if I can put some Heart Pine flooring in there….

Stay warm, be creative, and keep in touch.

– Jered

A New Year, New Projects!

As I sit here anxiously awaiting what I hope will be a great 2009, I am also way too used to working 2 days, being off for 2 days, so on and so forth. The Holidays, as wonderful as they are, are now behind us, and as we pack up the tree, take down the stockings, and shuffle the boxes off to the attic for the next 11 months, take a look around you.

Those projects you’ve been putting off because relatives are coming; some new flooring for the living & dining rooms, a new wood countertop for the kitchen, maybe even for the bedrooms upstairs…. Now is the time to get a jump on those projects.

Here at Pioneer Millworks, we have taken advantage of the slower pace of business to re-build some inventory in our most popular floors, such as our Settlers’ Plank, and Character Select Heart Pine. We have these floors available for quick shipments, as well as many others. These next couple months are the best time of the year to get those projects done on your house, before the hectic pace of summer, vacations, and warm nights on the patio come back around. Boy, a warm night sounds like a real treat right now, with the whopping 8 degree temps outside!

Our engineered flooring line is up and running in full swing as well, so if you have a basement room to spruce up, we can get you the best in eco-friendly flooring, and ship it to you just as fast as our solids. All of them are made right at Pioneer Millworks’ shop in Farmington, NY.

So Happy New Year to you and your family. We’re ready to help with any project you have in mind – just give Jered or Julie a call, or an e-mail, and we’ll help you sort out the details. Thanks for checking in!