You (our customer), know best. In my 15+ years at Shepley, I’ve seen countless products come and go, with only a handful of “new” products really sticking and passing the test of time. Today’s greatest new decking, sidewall, or trim products sometimes sound like the best thing that has ever happened. When new products are introduced into our market (on the Cape especially), we really test how well the product actually performs—or doesn’t perform. Shepley has always been on the leading edge of new products. The resources we have here are the best in the industry—from our buyers to our suppliers and our sales staff, to our customers. The chain of information flows back and forth with ease; everyone here is up to date and in the loop. Prior to introducing a new product we research it fully. We use it in our own offices at Shepley, or we put together sample displays and expose them to the conditions they would be used in, to see how they will perform. What better way to know for sure that we are selling a quality product? It’s common to see random shingles hung around our facility, with a date and time stamp of when they were put up, tracking how they perform. As a salesperson, it is really comforting to know that Shepley does everything possible to make sure we are selling quality products. Our Purchasing Department works tirelessly to make sure we are getting the best pricing, too.
While most new products are introduced to us through our wholesale suppliers, quite a few are also introduced to us by our customers. When you talk to us about a product that you like, we listen. Your field experience is priceless. One great example of this is PrimeLinx Shadow Gap. About 10 years ago, nickel gap wainscoting/wall paneling took off, and we started stocking the profile in MDF. Some of our customers brought to our attention a primed wood option that was in the market and they loved: PrimeLinx Shadow Gap. (I’m not going to get into MDF vs primed pine in this article, there are pros and cons to both products worthy of a whole article by itself.) We listened, did our research, and brought it into stock. We now stock both MDF Shep-Lap and PrimeLinx Shadow Gap, and both fly off the shelves and are great success stories.
We’ve been so impressed with the PrimeLinx Shadow Gap quality and finish that we are now stocking PrimeLinx S4S trim boards for interior use (which I am personally very excited about). Flat S4S casing, 1×4, 5, & 6, 5/4 headers, 1×6 & 8 baseboards all have become pretty standard specs in recent years, for the shaker style, cottage cozy, interior trim package.
In the past I haven’t been very confident in any interior grade PFJ S4S product. Seems crazy but, true. I would always suggest either primed poplar or our exterior grade S4S product, BodyGuard. Why? Primed poplar is tried and true. It is nice and flat with a sharp finish, which makes it excellent to work with and a great option. BodyGuard is a treated radiata pine graded for exterior use; that also happens to be a good option to use as interior trim (nice and flat, great finish). PrimeLinx changed my mind. It’s an untreated radiata pine, primed with an exterior primer, ready to paint (nice and flat, great finish). PrimeLinx trim boards are available in all the standard widths, lengths, and thicknesses. They even come in v-groove and edge & center bead. We are expanding our stocking program with PrimeLinx and are always looking for that next great product.
If you have products that you find yourself using all the time, and are impressed with the quality, workability, and finish, please let us know. We will do our due diligence, and possibly bring it into our stock for your convenience.
As always, thank you for your business, and if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call.