It’s not a secret that nominal lumber dimensions aren’t their actual dimensions. A 4x4 hasn’t measured 4 inches by 4 inches since the 1950’s, when standard lumber sizes and moisture contents were established by the US government. Prior to that, it was common for wood to be sourced locally and installed “green,” meaning it was not kiln dried prior to purchase. When lumber began to be shipped to different regions throughout the country by rail, it became clear that a national standard for dimensions would be necessary. According to a very interesting 1964 report from the US Department of Agriculture, the actual dimensions of lumber were derived by a combination of after-kiln shrinkage, saw blade width, and other factors in order to reach a consensus from lumber distributors.
For over 60 years, nominal lumber dimensions have been used in lieu of actual dimensions for lumber. That fact hasn’t stopped 2 class action suits, one for Menards and one for Home Depot, from being filed by an Illinois law firm over the size discrepancy, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The firm claims that customers have been receiving 23% less product than what has been “advertised and represented” for 4x4s and the practices cause “substantial injury to consumers.”
The suit claims that the companies should clearly mark that the sizes stated are nominal and not actual sizes and it’s unreasonable for an “average consumer” to know that. The firm claims that 2 separate plaintiffs felt they were wronged by Menards and 1 other felt he was wronged by Home Depot after measuring the lumber they purchased.
The retailers are obviously not buying the claim, citing government approved industry standards and claiming that the size differences are common knowledge.
Full story: Whacked with a 4x4: Menards, Home Depot face lawsuits over descriptions of lumber size | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
We interrupt this utter domination by Midwest states in our top 10 list with a West Coast state: Washington. This is the only non-Midwest state that has landed in the top 10 so far and, spoiler alert, it’s the only one you’re going to see.
A new 21-story apartment building proposed for Milwaukee, Wisconsin as received unanimous approval from the City Plan Commission. If built, the new tower could possibly be North America’s tallest mass timber building.
Michigan, the mitten shaped state consisting of two peninsulas and which also seems to be both south and north of all surrounding states somehow, lands at #5 on our list. The state is already the 6th state from the Midwest Region in the top 10, joining Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Construction Junkie has once again been nominated as one of the top construction blogs on the internet and we NEED YOUR HELP to make us #1. Each year, Construction Marketing Ideas organizes a Best Construction Blog competition featuring some the best blogs in the industry. While we’ve come up short of taking the top spot in the past, we think this year is our year.
JPMorgan Chase announced their intentions to tear down their existing 52-story headquarters in Manhattan, New York City early last year. When the demolition is complete, it is widely believed that it will be the tallest building ever to be voluntarily demolished. It’s speculated that the building will be dismantled floor-by-floor, as opposed to imploded, due to obvious safety concerns.
Wisconsin, home of cheese, Milwaukee Tool, and 3 months of tolerable weather per year, lands just outside the top 5 on our countdown, continuing the overall dominance of the Midwest Region. The state is very close to average when it comes to cost of living, at 2.8% below national average.
Two and a half years ago, I came across one of the most interesting construction projects I’ve ever seen, called The Guedelon Castle. In a world with cordless power tools, smartphones, and tables strewn across the jobsite, the Guedlon Castle is being constructed solely from 13th Century building techniques in Burgundy, France.
To be honest, being an Ohio resident, I figured Ohio would end up around the #25 mark on this list. The state, as a whole, tends to be extremely centered, whether it’s politics, geography, weather, or many other indicators. I can’t say there’s anything overly exciting about living in Ohio, but it is simply a nice place to live.
Wellll, North Dakota will be certainly be enjoying these bragging rights. Not only do they land in the top 10 of the countdown, the Dakota to the south of them landed at #45. As the 19th largest state by land area, North Dakota is also ranked 47th in both population and density. It has a slightly lower than average cost of living, at 1.1% below the national average and 0.7% lower than South Dakota, according to MERIC.