I was going to start by saying a lot has changed in the building industry since I started at Shepley 14 years ago, but after reading Ron Winner’s article last month, it’s hard to follow his 42 years of experience in the industry—especially considering I’m only 37 years old, ha-ha! Kudos to you Ron, the Cape has its challenges in terms of careers for young professionals and along with Shepley, you certainly have paved a way for young people to have a solid career path in a strong industry on the Cape. Thank you!
Speaking of changes in the building industry on the Cape, I couldn’t imagine what building a home here would look like without the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod. From energy codes to the International Residential Code, to bringing all the different towns together, the HB&RACC and all its members are on the forefront of change. They are not only the reality check when proposed regulations are unrealistic for our community, they are the center of the building industry on the Cape and they strive to give back to the community at all turns. HB&RACC will also miss Ron Winner and not only for picking up the bar tab on most meeting nights, but for the constant support, involvement and dedication he gave for all those years.
My small niche of the building industry is interior millwork and although not as glamorous or publicized as IRC changes, wind-born debris, impact ratings, DP ratings, stretch energy, etc., we have seen our fair share of changes in interior design. Building codes haven’t dictated the changes but we certainly see more detailed and extravagant interior millwork now than we have in the past. I’m sure this trend is due to the availability of information we have at our fingertips. I recently did a search on HOUZZ for “Craftsman Front Entry” and it came back with 189,468 results in “Home Design Photos” alone. This “information overload” as I call it can sometimes be overwhelming for building professionals, not to mention your homeowner customers. Shepley is in a unique position where we see and do take-offs on hundreds of home plans a year. Not only are we constantly looking at new products in the marketplace, but we are also testing them in-house, supplying them to job sites, and seeing the final result in the field. We are able to identify and sort out the good products from the bad, the short-term trends from the long-term trends, and provide sound advice to help homeowners make good decisions on product selections. In 90% of the houses I’ve measured in the past few years, the interior details call for some kind of wall or ceiling trim. Whether it is bead-board wainscoting in the powder room, crown and v-groove in the great room, an entire house of wall paneling or a 7 piece coffer ceiling detail in the dining room, interiors are not just sheetrock with window and door casing anymore, even in the simplest home. In some cases, we see a product trend that turns into an industry standard. We’ve been shipping “Nickel Gap Shiplap”, as it has been called for years now, to Nantucket by the literal boatload. This profile detail trend has been imported to the mainland in recent years and has really taken off. In the past, we would custom run it per order but due to demand, we recently started stocking it at Shepley. Shep-Lap, as we are calling it, is a 1⁄2” x 8-1/4” overall, primed, and buffed MDF shiplap board with a 7-3/4” face. It leaves a 1⁄4” square edge gap when two boards are put together and they are all 16’ lengths (see below). The success of this profile warranted a stocking program here at Shepley based on the volume of orders we’ve had for it in the past and where we see the trend going in the future. I believe this profile has already changed over from a trend to an industry standard, like an edge and center bead or v-groove profile (both also stocked at Shepley). If your next project calls for nickel gap wall and/or ceiling trim, think of Shep-Lap first as it is in stock and priced right. Also, if you find yourself ordering a certain product over and over again, whether it is something new or a tried and true, please let us know. We will put our product research team on it and make sure we are buying it right.
Peter Iodice started with Shepley in 2004. He has worked his way from Receiving and Quality Control to Outside Interior Trim Sales, covering the Cape & South Shore. Peter is backed inside by Lauren Amster.
You can reach Peter and Lauren at 508-862-6225.