Softwood Forest Products Buyer


Feature Story


As spring building season approaches, sales of treated Southern Pine lumber will peak.
Southern Pine Industry Is Primed for Recovering Markets

For more than 25 years, the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) has operated a comprehensive marketing program to grow demand for Southern Pine lumber products. Working under the banner of the Southern Pine Council, SFPA staffers are in front of key audiences advancing the merits of one of America’s first building materials: Southern Pine. While dismal economic conditions persist, SFPA is working hard to manage the long, painful climb back to healthier markets. Buyers know the versatility and value Southern Pine affords their customers: exceptional strength, treatability and attractive appearance. And SFPA supports key customer groups with the resources they need.

More than 15 years ago, SFPA was one of the first wood products associations to host a website. Today, is the authoritative resource for product information, plus a product locator to help dealers and distributors find sources of supply for more than 400 items. The site has recently been remodeled and upgraded, offering more features, easier navigation and the latest product details. Span tables, treated lumber information – it’s all here – a buyer’s one-stop resource for Southern Pine lumber information.

New resources from the Southern Pine Council help distributors of treated Southern Pine boost sales.
SFPA’s lumber library is collections of helpful publications that wood industry professionals can rely on to help educate themselves about the proper selection and use of Southern Pine materials. Online, visitors can download a free PDF copy as a handy reference at their offices.

Promising Market: Raised Floor Foundations

For more than ten years, SFPA and the Southern Pine Council have actively promoted the merits of raised wood floor foundation systems. Successful dealers and distributors know that when they promote raised floor foundations, fully a third more lumber is added to the typical new home framing package.

“Choosing the right foundation is an important decision for both the builder and the home buying client. For today’s informed homebuyer and builder, a raised floor foundation system is the premium choice, with exceptional advantages in terms of aesthetics, comfort, security, and ease of construction,” comments Cathy Kaake, SFPA’s senior director of engineered and framing markets.

SFPA sponsors a dedicated website,, that provides all the facts and selling points of this proven foundation concept. The site is conveniently divided into two sections – one for consumers thinking of building a new home and one for building professionals. The professional side offers a handy locator where a search can be conducted to find a local professional architect, engineer, designer or contractor that has experience with raised floor construction techniques. 

Southern Pine Shines Indoors

The new website helps professional deck builders and advanced do-it-yourselfers build safe, code-compliant decks and porches.
With historically low demand for new residential construction, repair and remodeling activity is generating orders for Southern Pine specialty products – materials available in a wide range of patterns, sizes and grades that are ideally suited for projects all around the home.

A wood floor adds comfort and value, not to mention being a premium alternative to carpeting or ceramic tile. Southern Pine flooring can enhance the look of any indoor space, whatever the décor. Southern Pine patterns are readily available in long lengths to eliminate or reduce splicing. Clear or semi-transparent finishes draw attention to Southern Pine’s distinctive grain. When it comes to being energy-efficient, wood is a natural insulator. The look of real wood for wall paneling and ceilings adds a dramatic flair to all rooms of the home, while contributing to lower utility bills.

Selling more Southern Pine flooring, paneling and other specialty items starts by knowing the proper installation and maintenance tips. SFPA and the Southern Pine Council offer comprehensive guides for both interior flooring and exterior porch flooring. Printed copies are available as a free PDF download from A two-part DVD program covers installation of both materials from start to finish. For only $10, dealers can obtain a copy for their next employee training session by emailing and ordering AV80. SFPA also has three staff members, certified by the National Wood Flooring Association as installers, to answer any questions distributors and wholesalers might encounter with customers; submit inquiries by e-mail to

New Resources Promote Treated Lumber Sales

Since 1950, SFPA’s Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition has showcased the latest products and services.
Sales of treated Southern Pine products for outdoor projects can be enhanced using new resources available from the Southern Pine Council. Professional deck builders can now find the key information needed to build safe, durable decks and porches by visiting a new website: “There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there about the pros and cons of using real wood versus composites, and we thought it was time to tell people why pressure-treated Southern Pine remains the best material available when building outdoors,” said SFPA’s Russell Richardson.

The site explains why treated Southern Pine decking is the preferred material, offers specification tips, covers steps in the building process, and more. Links to the American Wood Council’s publication, Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide, appear throughout the site.

Help for building outdoors is available in print, too. The Southern Pine Council has highlighted the information contained online and published a new 12-page booklet: Southern Pine Decks & Porches. This publication is aimed at professional deck builders and advanced do-it-yourselfers, offering design and construction guidance. It’s loaded with striking photos – impressive views of completed decks and porches that showcase what treated Southern Pine lumber can do to naturally enhance any landscape. Like the online material, generous references to AWC’s construction guide are included. A free PDF download of this new publication is available at

EXPO 2011: Wood Industry Gets in Gear

Building a home on a raised wood floor adds a third more lumber to the typical framing package.
As markets recover, Southern Pine manufacturers will need to be equipped with the best machinery and equipment. Every two years, SFPA sponsors the premiere opportunity for the industry to showcase its latest products and services. The 31st Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition – EXPO 2011 – will be held August 11 and 12 at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center. Attendees will view the newest hardware to run sawmills, treating plants, pallet operations and bio-energy facilities. In conjunction with the show, the Expo University conference program will provide educational opportunities for all attendees.

“Our industry is at an important turning point. EXPO 2011 helps wood products manufacturers and secondary processors to be properly equipped for the return of healthy markets,” says SFPA’s exposition director Eric Gee. Complete information about EXPO 2011 is available at


The superior strength properties of Southern Pine lumber make it ideal for raised floor construction.
As SFPA approaches its 100th year, the association continues to conduct a wide range of promotional programs, weathering every cyclical downturn. This year, SFPA launched a comprehensive strategic plan to guide activities through the recovery. The association is positioning itself for the commodity check-off program that may become a reality next year. Providing the necessary services to its member companies and the industry while healthier markets are on the horizon, SFPA can help assure the long-term success of the Southern Pine lumber trade. Complete information about SFPA programs and services is available at

Remodeling contractors know the features of Southern Pine specialty items, including ceiling and paneling patterns.

Southern Pine flooring enhances any décor, and is available in a range of sizes and grades.


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