September 2018 The WBS Connection

Sep 12, 2018


Open concept floor plans have been hot for years, but building trends show homeowners are starting to separate spaces again. Is the open concept on its way out?

For almost two decades, open concept homes have been all the rage. As our technology-driven world became more visual, and the popularity of home-design TV shows and blogs emerged, the home layout trend took off.

But now, design experts are saying the trend might be running its course. Open kitchens, living rooms, and dining spaces might look beautiful in photos, but as homeowners spent more time actually living in these homes, their flaws became apparent.

One homeowner we talked to has lived in her Madison-area home for nearly 11 years, and if she could build it again, she said she’d do a lot of things differently.

“I hate the fact that when someone comes to my front door, they can see my entire house — the living room, kitchen, and dining area,” she said. “If one area is filled with toys or the dishes haven’t been done, I feel like the whole house looks messy.”

Her point fits perfectly with the idea that open-concept homes don’t offer enough privacy. It’s no surprise that “man caves” and “she sheds” became popular at the same time.

In luxury homes, one of the current trends is installing a “mess kitchen” away from the main kitchen and out of sight to visitors. The problem with an open concept kitchen is they are harder to keep looking clean, don’t isolate cooking smells, and are much noisier.

Energy inefficiency is another concern with large, open spaces that often have high ceilings, and so is safety. Firefighters have warned for years that fires spread much faster in open-concept homes.

We’re curious to see where this will lead and what the future of home design architecture has in store. But at this point, it seems like WBS contractors might have to start framing up more walls in the near future!


Hitachi Cordless Nailers

Hitachi is taking the idea that time is money to a whole new level with its line of cordless nailers. They save on set-up time and portability while providing the same level of power as pneumatic nailers.

Hitachi Power Tools recently introduced the NR1890DR and NR1890DC 3-1/2” plastic and paper strip 18-volt cordless framing nailers. This line won two awards for innovation in recent months — the Gold Innovation Award for Cordless Nailers from Home Improvement Executive Magazine, and the Pro Tool Reviews Innovation Award Winner for Cordless Nailers — proving that speed and function is a priority in home construction.

Both nailers feature Hitachi’s unique Air Spring Drive System, which uses compressed air to drive nails. The result is zero ramp up time, the ability to drive two-to-three nails per second, and no need to refill an air tank.

The nailers provide a similar feel to pneumatic tools by giving users the power and feel they have grown accustomed to and the ability to drive into hard woods like laminated veneer lumber (LVL). Valuable time is saved in set up without a compressor, and the lack of a hose adds true portability and the convenience of not worrying about finding power on a jobsite.

Cordless nailers are gaining popularity for applications like punch-out work, installation of pre-fab trusses and wall framing, and remodeling jobs where the noise of a compressor can be disturbing and adds more time and clean up to the job.

Hitachi, which will be changing its name next year to Metabo HPT, also offers an angled cordless finish nailer, a straight finish nailer, and a 2-inch brad nailer. These finish nailers are gaining traction with professional trim workers nationwide.

All Hitachi cordless nailers in this line come with a lifetime lithium ion tool warranty and a 2-year warranty on the lithium ion battery.


Win a Ford Truck!

As a professional contractor, driving a pickup truck isn’t just convenient — it’s a necessity. This fall we’re giving our customers the chance to win a brand new one — but only if you use our app!

We’ve done our best to explain how our WBS app can benefit your business and save you time and money, and now we’re giving you an extra incentive to use it.

From now until Dec. 31, 2018, users of our app have a chance to win a 2019 Ford F250 4x4 Quad Cab. For every 20 app clicks, registered users will receive one entry. The more you use the app, the more chances you have to win!

Our new, enhanced app is available on any platform and device — computer, tablet, or phone. It gives you the ability to keep jobs moving even when you’re not on the jobsite. Designed with features like instant access to billing invoices and monthly statements, real-time delivery tracking, delivery notifications with photos, and information on promotions and special offers, the app is an essential tool for efficiency and cost savings.

The App-It-Up & Win Sweepstakes is brought to your by our parent company, US LBM. At the end of the sweepstakes period, one winner will be selected. For more information, contact your sales rep or visit