Monthly Archives: November 2006

Voyageur Flooring on one of our favorite topics: Fly Fishing

Voyageur Flooring is owned by three brothers: Ben Witham, Micah Witham and Jake Witham. All three of us grew up fishing the state of Minnesota from the Mississippi River in St. Paul all the way up to the hallowed waters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. When we have a day off, or sometimes just an hour to kill in the morning, you can almost be certain that these three Voyageur‘s will be in search of water to fish.

Recently Voyageur Flooring crossed paths with an organization that uses Fly Fishing as means to develop a person’s or perhaps a team’s ability to embrace leadership. This company, Leaders on the Fly, has been featured on Ron Schara’s Minnesota Bound. We think Leaders on the Fly is a really impressive concept and encourage you to check them out if you are looking for a unique business/team building experience.

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Voyageur Flooring on Reclaimed Timber

Over the last ten years the wood flooring industry has been introduced to a new phenomenon called Reclaimed Timber. Reclaimed Timber is somewhat of an art form. Old barns, buildings, fences, etc., are often comprised of old wood that is rich in character and as these buildings are taken down, the wood is being reclaimed instead of being sent to a landfill.  When the wood is sent through the reclamation process, it brings out the richness of color and character of the wood and reflects a beauty that only something that’s been around for 100 years+ can bring. Reclaimed Timber is often coverted to be used as flooring, beams in homes, doors, desks, etc. Below is a more in-depth article on Reclaimed Timer found in the Architectural Salvage News

The popularity of wood floors and other products milled from reclaimed lumber continues to increase and shows no signs of slowing down, with demand strong across all reclaimed wood species and throughout the country, according to representatives with several leading companies in the reclaimed wood industry. Consumers and designers specifying the material for use in residential new construction and remodeling projects, as well as in commercial projects, are fueling the demand, helped by the continued strength of the construction market. “We’ve significantly expanded what we’re doing and the reason behind that was quite simply to keep up with demand,” said David Foky, director of marketing for Ruckersville, Va., based Mountain Lumber, one of the leading companies in the reclaimed lumber industry. Mountain Lumber recently purchased Madison Wood Flooring in order to expand operations and keep pace with the growing market demand for reclaimed flooring (see related story in this issue).

Iain Harrison, marketing manager with Pioneer Woodworks said his company has seen its sales of reclaimed wood flooring increase 25 percent this year alone. Harrison agreed that both residential and commercial projects are fueling the product’s demand, with inquiries coming from builders and homeowners alike. “We’re also seeing a fair number of inquiries from architects and interior designers,” Harrison said. Pioneer is headquartered in Farmington, N.Y. Harrison estimated that 99 percent of the company’s sales are from reclaimed wood. While several company representatives cited the northeast and the entire east coast as being areas of strength for product sales, reclaimed lumber’s popularity certainly isn’t limited to those areas.“We have recently opened a new sales office Salt Lake City,” Harrison added. “That market and the mountain states we’re looking to expand into. We wouldn’t be there if we didn’t believe there was a good potential market there. We’ve been fairly active in pursuing the market in California as well. “One company already seeing, and meeting, the demand from the Western states is Stoddard, New Hampshire-based Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Marketing Manager Connie Glover said Carlisle sells its product around the country but sees strong demand in several areas in particular, including Summit County, Colo., where many ski resort towns are located; the Bozeman, Big Sky, Yellowstone, Montana area; Northern California, and Florida.

Reclaimed lumber is popular for many reasons, including its appearance, uniqueness, the fact that it’s a “green” building material, the history or story often associated with the wood, and the wood’s quality, strength and stability.But it’s the product’s uniqueness factor that seems to intrigue buyers the most, regardless if it’s Goodwin Heart Pine’s River Recovered logs, Mountain Lumber’s Ancient Chinese Elm or Carlisle‘s Antique Chestnut.

People are looking for a way to differentiate their project or home,” Foky said in citing the strong sales of Mountain Lumber’s Ancient Chinese Elm. “When you’re talking about wood from the Ming Dynasty in China, you’re talking about a unique product that certainly isn’t available anywhere else.”

*Architectural Salvage News (                                                                                                          

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Voyageur Flooring on the topic of, “Why Wood Floors”?

As Voyageur Flooring talks with homeowners every day about their homes, one of the topics we hear discussed is “why should we put in wood floors versus carpet or another product”. At Voyageur Flooring, we feel that’s a great question to ask considering that wood flooring products can be expensive. Voyageur Flooring also believes that wood floors are a great investment and we’ve found an article that highlights a few of the advantages of hardwood floors.

Affordable: Wood floors add value to your residence at resale time, not to mention it is a lifetime product. They increase in value as your home does. Hardwood floor products are one of the most sought after hard surface flooring in remolding and new home construction.  

Easy to Maintain: Routine maintenance is a little more than simple sweeping and vacuuming, always making sure your hardwood floors are protected from moisture and heavy wear which creates scratches. Preventive maintenance like area rugs, floor protectors (on ALL furniture on your hardwood floors), and routine maintenance with proper hardwood floor cleaner should always be exercised (improper products can contribute to additional wear, may VOID your warranty, and cause failure when recoating. 

Ecological Sound: Unlike most floor coverings, wood floors come from a natural resource that is sustainable. Long gone are the days when timber was cut down with little thought for the long term consequences on the nation’s forests. Today most timber is cut from forests that are carefully managed to ensure continued resources in the future. In fact, according to U.S. Forest Service statistics, almost twice as much hardwood timber Is added every year through new growth as is harvested. Additionally, there is more standing hardwood timber today than there was 50 years ago. 

Healthy: The Environmental Protection Agency has said that indoor air quality is one of our top health threats. Installed in the home or elsewhere, wood floors help contribute to a healthy living environment. Hard surface flooring such as hardwood floors does not rap or harbor dust mites or molds. That creates better air quality for all inhabitants, but especially for the estimated 35 million Americans who suffer from allergies. The hard surface of wood floors also helps avoid artificial substances such as pesticides that can accumulate on some floor coverings. A recent EPA study found that pesticides used in gardens and homes accumulate on floors and other surfaces in the home, but that wood floors greatly reduce the accumulation of such toxins. Another concern for the home environment is the off-gassing of toxins that results from some synthetic materials. Any of these chemicals can make people in the home chronically ill.  



Filed under Minneapolis Hardwood Flooring, Minneapolis Wood Flooring, Minnesota Wood Flooring, November, St. Paul Wood Flooring, Why Wood Floors

Voyageur Flooring finds great article on Remodeling vs. Moving

Voyageur Flooring came across a great article on the topic of remodeling vs. moving. So many of our valuable clients are either preparing to move, have just moved recently or are in the midst of a remodel. Voyageur Flooring hopes that this article proves to be helpful:

Is remodeling something you really want to do or should you move? Which is the better choice? If you do remodel, should you do-it-yourself (DIY) or hire a professional? If you hire someone, which type of professional should you choose? There are so many questions to ask yourself before you make a firm decision to remodel.

Remodeling and moving are both significant financial investments. The difference between the two investments is where the money is going. In remodeling, the money is being reinvested. However, remodeling cannot offer a change of neighborhood or school system. If these are the reasons you want to make a change, remodeling may not be the right answer for you.

The American Homeowner Foundation states the cost for selling your home and moving is at least 10 percent of your current home’s value which covers such costs as real estate commissions and the termite inspection. This amount does not include the following costs though:

  • The actual moving and storage costs, which could be an additional several thousand dollars, depending on the distance of the move and the weight of your household belongings.
  • The cost of any cosmetic work that needs to be done to put the house on the market.
  • Any housekeeping services to maintain the house while it is on the market.
  • Any discrepancies between the listing price and the sale price.
  • Or the risk of not selling the home.

Moving can be a serious financial drain. While you are adding up costs, don’t forget to tack on those incidental items you always need after a move: new shelf paper, plants, curtains, etc.

However, if you are looking for a new area to raise your children or a dramatically different home, then moving may be a good investment of your money.

Then again, how much remodeling could you do with 10 percent (or more) of the value of your home? Could you change the parts of the house that you don’t like? Before you pull up stakes and move to a bigger home, decide what it is you want to change. Do you want more space? More light? A new style?

Most of those can be accomplished through remodeling. The best way to approach this decision is to contact a professional remodeler to find out what is possible in your particular home and to establish an estimated budget. With this information, you will be able to make an informed decision.

*National Association of the Remodeling Industry (

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Filed under Minneapolis Hardwood Flooring, Minneapolis Wood Flooring, Minnesota Wood Flooring, November, Remodeling vs. Moving, St. Paul Wood Flooring

Voyageur Flooring now partnered with Edina Realty

Voyageur Flooring is excited about our new affiliation with Edina Realty, the leading Real Estate company in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Edina Realty offers a program where homeowners can find information pretaining to home improvements in a centralized location. Edina Realty calls this program “Edina Realty Recommends“. Voyageur Flooring has been a part of this program for a few months and has helped numerous homeowners either prepare to sell their home or spruce up the home that they just purchased. This link will take you to the page within Edina Realty’s website where you can see additional information on Voyageur Flooring.

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Filed under Minneapolis Hardwood Flooring, Minneapolis Wood Flooring, Minnesota Wood Flooring, November, St. Paul Wood Flooring

Voyageur Flooring joins the blog world

Voyageur Flooring is excited about being apart of the blog world. It is our hope and intention over the coming years to provide information regarding our passion, which is obviously hardwood floors, to our audience in St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs. We believe at Voyageur Flooring that hardwood floors are a great investment and we exist to help homeowners protect that investment or perhaps add value to their own home by installing wood floors. Stay tuned as Voyageur Flooring prepares content that we hope will greatly benefit those that are seeking information on hardwood floors in the St. Paul and Minneapolis area.

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Filed under Minneapolis Hardwood Flooring, Minneapolis Wood Flooring, Minnesota Wood Flooring, November, St. Paul Wood Flooring