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Softening lumber prices offer hope for homebuyers, renovation project builders

Analysts say recent softening of record high prices for lumber could translate into a little relief for homebuyers and do-it-yourselfers while continuing to spur high profits for producing companies.

RBC analyst Paul Quinn says a US$14 drop to US$941per thousand board feet in the North American framing lumber composite price on Friday represents the first weekly decline noted by industry watcher Random Lengths since April 10. In the same week last year, the price was US$367.

He says declines could be expected to continue in coming weeks, but pointed out the November lumber futures contract increased US$28 over the same week to US$607 per thousand board feet.

Kevin Mason, managing director of ERA Forest Products Research, says prices are levelling off after hitting record levels this summer because price-conscious buyers are delaying projects and the peak summer construction season is drawing to a close.

However, he said the change in prices will simply drop lumber producers from “astonishingly profitable” to “remarkably profitable” levels, adding he expects robust financial results for the remainder of this year and likely through 2021.

Random Lengths reported that oriented strand board, a panel product commonly used to sheath new houses, was unchanged on the week at US$690 per thousand square feet, up from US$218 a year ago.

Homebuilders say forest product increases this year have added as much as $10,000 to the cost of building a typical single-family house in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2020.

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Semtech, Amazon Unite to Offer Connectivity for Smart Homes

Semtech Corporation SMTC recently partnered with Amazon AMZN to collaborate on the latter’s network, Amazon Sidewalk.

Amazon Sidewalk is a low-bandwidth, long-distance wireless network that is used to connect smart devices, both inside and outside one’s home. Importantly, even when devices fall offline, the network allows the operation of a few functions.

Therefore, with the integration of Semtech’s LoRa platform in the Amazon Sidewalk network, the range of a customer’s home network can be extended to connect both outdoor and indoor low-bandwidth smart home products. These products include smart lights, pet trackers, sensors for asset tracking, smart irrigation, among others, which are used for residential purposes.

The LoRa Technology enables long-range connectivity of IoT devices and aids in connecting sensors to the cloud. Its long-range performance and low power consumption requirement enhance overall performance. Moreover, this technology helps in real-time communication of data and analytics to enhance efficiency, as well as productivity.

Semtech is witnessing growing strategic alliances and contracts, thanks to cost-efficient abilities of the LoRa technology in creating as well as deploying IoT solutions.

Consequently, the move is likely to boost the adoption rate of the company’s LoRa technology, which in turn will drive the top line.

Semtech Corporation Price and Consensus

Semtech Corporation Price and Consensus

Semtech Corporation price-consensus-chart | Semtech Corporation Quote

Market Opportunities to Aid Growth

This deal will strengthen Semtech’s presence in the smart home market on the back of increasing Internet users, rising importance of home monitoring in remote locations, and the growing need for energy-saving as well as low carbon emission-oriented solutions. Moreover, the rapid proliferation of smartphones & smart gadgets, growing concerns about safety and security, along with convenience among people are expected to fuel the demand for smart home solutions.

Per a report from MarketsandMarkets, the smart home market is expected to reach $78.3 billion

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H2O Waterproofing Birmingham Partners with Acorn Finance To Offer Easy Access To Home Remedial Schemes

“At H2O Waterproofing, we pride ourselves with providing our customers with the best customer experience, one waterproofing job at a time. – H2O Waterproofing”

In a bid to provide more pocket-friendly waterproofing services to its customers, H2O waterproofing LLC has partnered up with leading financial service agency, Acorn Finance. With an increasing demand for waterproofing around homes and offices, the team at the agency has identified this partnership as a way to bolster their offers and attract customers who are interested in home improvement.

Most homeowners report that water intrusion is their worst fear. This is understandable considering that moisture causes ugly stains and damage to walls, and in severe circumstances, structural foundations can be threatened. A representative at H2O Waterproofing disclosed that unwanted water intrusion is mostly caused by unfortified and weak structures or roofs. With the right quality of waterproofing, sealants, and remediation measures in place, the damage can be controlled to a great extent or even made to disappear permanently.

H2O waterproofing has long been serving the community of Birmingham and surrounding areas, offering a variety of home improvement and remediation services. H2O Waterproofing is currently the only company in Alabama that specializes in exterior and interior waterproofing. The company serves both homeowners and businesses alike, and with Acorn Finance now in the picture, prospective clients can expect affordable offers.

Among the many services provided by H2O are Basement and crawlspace waterproofing, foundation repair and renovation, and mold and mildew remediation. H2O also offers customized commercial waterproofing solutions for both large and small businesses. H2O is preferred by many because of its innovative use of technology in waterproofing. An example is the use of polymer-modified asphalt membranes, foundation boards, and strip drains. They are widely referred to as the latest drainage technology and water sealant methods available

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Anonymous UMD student’s Instagram-based campus bathroom critiques offer dry-humored commentary

“It’s been, like, 100 or some years,” the UMD senior said in a recent phone interview, “and people still don’t have omni-directional showers.”

The dry-humored and anonymous voice behind the popular niche Instagram account UMD Bathroom Reviews celebrated the site’s one-year anniversary last week with a colorful cake served on Minecraft snack plates. A public service that started in mid-September 2019 with a few shots of a third-floor bathroom in the Labovitz School of Business — “slightly cold inside” — averages just more than a post a week in places on campus and off, but always with ties to the university and its students.

The anonymous voice behind UMD Bathroom Reviews called this spot at the Tweed Museum of Art "truly a top tier UMD bathroom." (photo courtesy of UMD Bathroom Reviews)

The anonymous voice behind UMD Bathroom Reviews called this spot at the Tweed Museum of Art “truly a top tier UMD bathroom.” (photo courtesy of UMD Bathroom Reviews)

The News Tribune allows anonymous sources on a case-by-case basis. In this case, the critic’s anonymity is part of the draw of the content. She plans to reveal her identity — which some friends and friends of friends are privy to — near graduation.

“I talk too much smack on here to be real public,” she said. “I’ve said some pretty wild things about various programs at UMD and people at UMD.”

What she is willing to reveal: She is a senior and not a design major. She’s short, she said, just 5-foot-3. She wears glasses regularly and often wears Doc Martens. She’s into spreadsheets, restoring cast iron skillets and then cooking with them. She likes “Little Women,” Lorde, Paramore and Fleetwood Mac.

“Unmatched to this day,” she says of Stevie Nicks and company. “Truly alone in their field.”

The UMD student behind an anonymous Instagram account said she doesn't know why the university needs a gym when the bathrooms near Romano Gymnasium are large enough to play half court. (Photo courtesy of UMD Bathroom Reviews)

The UMD student behind an anonymous Instagram account said she doesn’t know why the university needs a gym when the bathrooms near Romano Gymnasium are large enough to play

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