WBS April 2017 Market Update

Apr 24, 2017


From Conception to Completion


If you’re a professional contractor who hasn’t been using the free Visualizer from WBS, you’re about to
find out what you’ve been missing. Travis Baus, a residential designer at WBS in Fond du Lac, says this
tool is the key to saving time and empowering your clients in the decision-making process of choosing exterior finishes for their projects. 

The WBS Visualizer is a great tool that we have available for your use, yet so many of our
Contractors are not aware of or taking advantage of this new technology.  We hope that once you see and hear how it can benefit your business, save you time, you’ll jump on board and take advantage of this business enhancing tool.

The Visualizer makes it possible for your clients to literally visualize what their new home or remodel
project will look like by seeing the finishes come together on a computer screen. The client is able to pull
up the elevation online, and they can choose different color swatches and finish styles at their leisure.  Once they have narrowed down their selections they can save those designs for later review. This means they’ll have fewer last-minute change orders and will be more confident with their selections.

“The contractors that I’ve worked with on projects like empowering clients with this new tool to make the decision process easier,” says Travis Baus, a WBS residential designer. “They also like the fact that when people see the different options on the Visualizer they can explore how that will fulfill their vision of the finished project.”

Windows, exterior doors, garage doors, siding, roofing, stone and brick, exterior vents, shutters, and
decking are all available on the Visualizer. It also has Sherwin Williams, Mastic, and Revere color
swatches that can be put on surfaces.

“The other nice thing about the Visualizer is for remodel projects you can take a picture of an existing
house that the client wants to re-side and can mask it off in the Visualizer and let the client virtually put
on the new siding they are thinking about using on their existing house,” said Baus. “That
has been something that has not been available before and some people have a hard time
visualizing what the new color of siding would look like on their existing house.”
Baus says the natural next step with this technology will be Virtual Reality of a home’s interior, so clients
will be able to virtually walk through their home before it’s built. And while that’s not here yet, why not
start taking advantage of the tools we do have for your benefit?

If you haven’t started using the Visualizer yet, now is the time. We’re sure it will save you time and help build your business for the future. 


2017 Cost of Housing Trends



Alternative Footings for Decks, Porches, and Gazebos

Spring building season is upon us, and that means an abundance of outdoor projects for homeowners. Whether the project involves building a deck, porch, stairs, gazebo, or shed, we have the perfect solution for setting footings, and it will allow you to begin construction immediately.

If you’ve ever wished for an alternative to traditional poured concrete footings that would allow you to begin construction immediately, instead of waiting for concrete to set, get excited about this product available at WBS.

Diamond Pier is a pre-engineered foundation system that can be used on any kind of secondary residential structure. It involves the use of a concrete pier head anchored to the ground by four large, metal pins. And because there is no excavating or concrete pouring involved, the system allows for construction to begin immediately after the piers are in place.

This system is based on pin pile technology, which means the weight the footing is bearing is transferred from the pier head down into the pins, and the pins carry the load and uplift resistance. Once the concrete pier is set in place and level, the pins are driven in with a sledgehammer and secured with a jackhammer.  

Diamond Pier has been used in wetland areas and national parks for nearly 20 years. The product produces very low impact on the environment because no machinery is needed, and only a small amount of dirt is removed to level the pier head, so erosion isn’t a concern. This means the product is perfect for back yards or areas with no clearance for excavating equipment.

You may or may not have heard the term “Internet of Things,” but it is an idea that is gaining steam and making itself known in the building industry this year. At Wisconsin Building Supply, we are excited to offer tools that make use of technology — all of which streamline and simplify your job — and we are excited to see where the future may lead.

As we look for trends that will define the future of the construction industry, it only makes sense to look at the technology available at our fingertips.

According to Business Insider, the “Internet of Things,” or IoT, refers to the connection of devices to the internet, and these internet-connected devices are able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. This phrase is making waves in the construction industry, and it’s one WBS is embracing.

As tech-savvy contractors continue their quest to cut costs and increase efficiency, many are turning to IoT options, probably without even realizing it. They’re cutting back on manual procedures and moving to a system of using and seeing information in real-time.

The free WBS app, for example, is one way our customers are able to keep up-to-date information available at all times, and it’s quickly become a tool just as important as your tape measure.

With the WBS app, contractors are able to track deliveries with real-time GPS updates, quickly send text messages with delivery status to foremen or subcontractors, view photos of delivered orders, check recent deliveries, and search delivery history. Account information like open invoices, upcoming bills, and billing history is available and searchable using quick filters. On top of that, the app allows you to browse current promotions and share them via email or save to your device.  Watch a video about the WBS App now.

Check back in May to learn more about how the IoT at WBS is simplifying your jobsite tasks.