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Open house, education credits bring contractors together

An open house that put about two dozen United Building Supply contractors together with several vendors, as well as a 3.5-credit continuing education class, turned into a big win for everyone.

The open house, held at Breaking Bread in Sheboygan, was the first time in several years that UBS has provided an opportunity for contractors to get the educational credits they need.

The educational component was led by Tom Harris of OSI sealant. As part of the course, volunteers from the class took a turn using OSI caulk on a window and also worked together to install a sliding patio door in a temporary frame.

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Unsung heroes: Soffit, fascia and trim

What is one thing all builders know that many homeowners don’t? The purpose and function of soffit and fascia.

Soffit is the underside of the roof, sort of like the skin that covers your eaves — without it, rafter beams would be visible. Covering them with soffit gives the house a unified, tidy look and protects the rafters from the elements.

Fascia, the band that runs horizontally under the roof’s edge, typically goes hand-in-hand with soffit, and United Building Supply offers fascia in two sizes and a wide variety of colors. We offer LP Smartside Soffit products, which are an efficient and economical alternative to MDO and plywood soffits. Soffit options are available in three of LP’s product collections, each with a range of styles and profiles.

In addition, we have 35 colors of trim coil in stock to make sure builders have exactly what they need when they need to match aluminum trim with siding or windows. Our aluminum trim is made by Alsco Building Products, one of the industry’s leading manufacturers.

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Closing out another great year with customers

UBS exteriorSlow season has arrived, and it’s a great time to take a new look at United Building Supply. Over the past year, we have added many new items to the inventory we keep in stock and we’re more ready than ever to help builders and contractors achieve success in 2017.

Whatever you need for the projects you take on — siding, windows, doors, soffit and fascia, insulation and plenty more — we make it our business to get you what you need, on time and with the kind of customer service you could never get at a big-box store.

The relationships we have with the many builders and contractors we do business with are our highest priority. Keep an eye on our website for updated information on products we keep in stock, and let us know how we can help you have the best year ever in 2017. For close to 30 years, we’ve been working with regional builders and building a reputation for superior customer service, and we’re eager to show people what it’s like to work with UBS on a project.

In the meantime, everyone here at United Building Supply wishes you a very Merry Christmas, a happy New Year and a peaceful and prosperous 2017. Thank you for your continued business.

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Great deals abound

It’s not just Christmas shopping season, it’s also a great time to stock up on a lot of reduced-price materials in stock at United Building Supply!

Take a look:

  • Heartland Ultra .40 vinyl siding, in almond, cream, clay, pewter, sandalwood, sienna and white, is priced at $56/square. A great choice for sheds, garages, cabins up north and other outbuildings or structures.

Heartland ultra


  • Draftstop 812 foam for sealing cracks and gaps around the outside of windows. A great deal at $14.40 for contractors who already have the applicator gun. Waterproof, Draftstop 812 is what Nyhof Custom Gutter uses on all its window installation projects.

Draftstop 812

  • Rubber coated extension cords from Subzero. They stay flexible in the cold and there is a lifetime warranty on the ends. Prices are $50.56 for 50 feet (compared to $72 at big box stores) or $97.47 for 100 feet (compared to $150).

extension cords

  • Woodsman Select 0.42 vinyl siding from Norandex, on sale for 5 percent off. We’ve got a huge list of colors, including two new ones, maverick brown and graphite, in stock.



  • Quality Edge soffit and fascia, and coil, all in stock. The soffit is quad 4; fascia is ribbed, 6-inch and 8-inch; and trim coil is 24-inch by 50 roll in more than 30 colors.


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August’s Builder of the Month: Prestige Builders

After working with his dad in home construction for 20 years, Dave Zelm decided to strike out on his own. That was 20 years ago, and his business, Prestige Builders, has become one of the most reputable contractors in the Sheboygan area.

For their commitment to quality and outstanding work, Prestige Builders is our Builder of the Month for August.

Prestige banner“I’m a custom homebuilder, not a tract builder,” Dave said. “I usually never build the same house more than once. There are some model homes we have, but we always change them.”

Of course, custom homes are not the only thing Prestige does. They’re also a go-to company for remodels or additions.

Dave said what sets him apart from other builders, aside from the fact that he keeps a lean staff and still does a lot of the work himself, is design services.

“I offer design service whether it’s for an addition, remodel or new home,” he said. “That to me is key. The reason I offer it is I keep them within the budget they’re looking for. A lot of times, people might go to a lumberyard and have them draw it up, but they don’t understand the cost. If you want to build a $250,000 house, you don’t want to have a $400,000 drawing.”Prestige home1

One of Dave’s enterprises is Prestige Estates on Oriole Lane in Howards Grove, a 28-acre subdivision that still has 10 lots available. One of the things he does for prospective clients is give them a long list of former clients for them to call for a reference.

“I give a list of people I’ve built with in the last year or two, you can call who you want,” he said. “Some builders will only give three or four names out of 50. Also, by having my own subdivision exclusive to me for close to 15 years now, I built every house in there. Some have been sold and re-sold. Residents always refer back to me and are very happy with how I keep the integrity of the subdivision as well.”

His portfolio also includes some large homes in Kohler, condos as well as a Florida home for someone in the Kohler family.

“Every job’s unique,” Dave said. “We have traveled. I have a place in northern Wisconsin, so I do work up there. We’re open to unique jobs and clients if the right time and opportunity comes along.”

Dave has been doing business with United Building Supply since he opened his doors. Over the years, he has added to the number of items he buys from UBS for his clients: Lindsay windows, siding, insulation, gutters, shingles, soffit and fascia.

“I don’t know if there’s anything I don’t get from them that they do offer, to tell you the truth,” Dave said. “They stock a lot of inventory. That’s nice, particularly with siding, I don’t have to wait for it. If I need some extra pieces or whatever they’re right there.The service is outstanding. They’re competitive with the lumberyards.”

prestige home2A good relationship with United Building Supply has been good for Dave as he builds spec homes in Prestige Estates and handles client projects.

“One thing I won’t ever cut clients short on is quality,” he said. “I’m a reality kind of guy in a sense. I tell people, ‘I’m not a car salesman, I need to know how much you want to spend but I’m not going to spend it for you.'”



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This just in: Siding and trim coil on sale for short time only

Builders! We have some exciting news for you as your plan/start/finish your late-summer projects. We have a selection of popular supplies marked down right now. Take a look!

The Heartland Ultra .040 vinyl siding we have in stock is going for a sale price $56 per square (regular price, $62/square).

Heartland ultra-1

Heartland Ultra .040






Norandex Great Barrier .046 siding is on sale now for  5 percent off.

Norandex Great Barrier .046

Norandex Great Barrier .046






Norandex Woodsman Select .042 in sand, dune or almond is going fast for $50/square, (regular price $72).


Norandex Woodsman Select .042






And finally, 24-inch by 50-foot Quality Edge trim coil in snow mist (also known as white) is on sale for $74/roll.

Trim coil

Trim coil






For all the supplies you need to serve your customers on time and on budget, count on United Building Supply.

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July’s Builder of the Month: J&N Construction

JNlogoWhen Nick Kartes started J&N Construction, he was taking control of his own life. It was 2008, and he was a union apprentice in carpentry who was repeatedly laid off.

“I was sick of getting laid off so I started my own company,” Nick said.

Since the day he opened his doors, Nick has been a loyal and enthusiastic customer of United Building Supply. For that reason, and for all the good work he’s has done all over southeast Wisconsin, J&N Construction is our Builder of the Month for July.

Specializing in new home construction, new garage construction and siding, the list of things J&N can and will do for clients is long. Everything from roofing, carpentry and tile work to remodels of bathrooms, basements and kitchen is on their can-do list. And even, on occasion, snow removal.

J&N Construction employs 11 people, who make up two framing crews, a siding crew and a trim crew, in addition to a couple other people who go to whichever team needs them.

That’s a big staff for his business and it reflects the way the construction industry is bouncing back, Nick said.

“Business is good,” Nick said. “There is an abundance of work and if you’re not busy there’s a reason you’re not busy.”

Not that he’d know anything about that. J&N Construction was voted Best Contractor in Sheboygan County in both 2013 and 2015 in The Sheboygan Press Best Of poll.

For the entire life of his business, Nick has done business with United Building Supply.

“Anything I can get from them I buy through them,” he said. That includes everything from siding and soffit and fascia down to nails.

“I wanted to have a relationship with another small business – that’s a lot better to me,” he said. “It’s a local alternative, instead of buying from a big box store. Plus, they deliver for free.”

A working relationship with Jack Ebbers on our staff has made all the difference.

“I’ve known him for eight years – he makes sure I have what I need when I need it,” Nick said.

J&N Construction is located in Sheboygan but their territory is all over southeast Wisconsin and beyond. From Appleton and Green Bay to Fond du Lac and Milwaukee – not to mention all over Sheboygan County – “We go wherever the work is.”

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Inside Out Underdecking answers the call for more outdoor living space

According to one study, 107 million out of 128 million homes in the U.S. have either a porch, deck or balcony. That means there is a lot of square footage down below unused.

One way to make that space usable is with InsideOut Underdecking.

Inside Out 2A specially designed and pre-engineered ceiling system, InsideOut transforms the  underside of a deck or balcony into a desirable outdoor living space by managing rainwater.

How does it work? Water-carrying panels hang from specially designed brackets and usher water to gutters either to the front or rear of the space.

Inside Out Underdecking is available for installation on homes by Nyhof Custom Gutter & Aluminum and also by United Building Supply for contractors whose clients are looking for a beautiful addition to their outdoor space.

It’s an idea whose time has come. According to the Back Yard Idea Book, “the most frequently used spaces are those that visually and physically bridge the gap between indoors and out. These spaces are seen through interior windows and doors.”

Inside Out can make your home look better both inside and out and also create an environment that draws you outside.

The titanium-aluminum alloy under decking from Inside Out is maintenance free and durable in all kinds of weather — and a big step up from the vinyl under deck drain systems also on the market.

InsideOut Underdeck can manage a load (think snow or ice) of 20 pounds per square foot, which means homeowners never have to worry about how the addition will bear up to our nasty winters.

In fact, the InsideOut system is the only one on the market that can manage that much weight — it’s the strongest on the market. That means it’s also strong enough to support light fixtures, ceiling fans and other hanging items that homeowners might want in their outdoor living space

InsideOut Underdecking also comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty against material defects as long as the deck is intact.

InsideOut Onderdeck protection comes in 12 unique finishes: five wood finishes and seven rich matte colors.

Don’t leave that space under your deck to the mosquitos! Give Nyhof or United Building Supply a call and transform that space into an extension of your home.

Before and after

Before and after

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June’s Builder of the Month: Werner Homes

Werner Homes President Bob Werner, center, flanked by his son, Jake Werner, and daughter-in-law, Mandy Werner.

Werner Homes President Bob Werner, center, flanked by his son, Jake Werner, and daughter-in-law, Mandy Werner.

The people at Werner Homes want to make people’s dreams come true. At least, they want to build people’s dream homes. After 53 years in business and a raft of ventures – real estate, land development and, of course, home construction – Werner Homes is our Builder of the Month.

Bob Werner, President of Werner Homes, likes to stress how important clients’ needs and wants are to his staff. Whether they start with an existing floor plan and customize it or create a brand-new design from scratch, the only limits are a client’s imagination and budget.

“We’re not like the big national builders who don’t give a lot of selection, we’re willing to customize to the point you want to give you the home you want,” Bob said.

Every member of the Werner Homes sales staff is trained to do plan design, which means they can sit with clients and work through the home design together.

They also work with clients as much or as little as they need to coordinate countertops with flooring, roof shingles with siding and windows with doors.

“A lot of people don’t realize you have to bring a lot of products together. There’s a lot of color coordination,” Bob said. “We give them as much guidance in that area as they want.”

The largest homebuilder in Sheboygan County, Werner Homes constructs between 30 and 60 homes each year. The family business was founded in 1963 by Bob’s father, Bob Werner, as a building and real estate company known as Lee Realty.

About 20 years later, the company decided to highlight the home building division by giving it the name Werner Homes, and the move has paid off. Werner Homes is now one of the most recognizable names in the home-building industry in Sheboygan County.

Among the things that makes Werner Homes distinctive is its commitment to craftsmanship. Werner, like several other homebuilders in the area, has its own finish and rough carpentry crews.

“That’s not unique in Sheboygan County, but at most building companies they hire out carpenters at the sub-contract level,” Bob said. “It allows us better control of quality.”

Doing business primarily in Sheboygan County, Werner also builds homes in Ozaukee, Manitowoc and Fond du Lac counties. In addition, Werner Homes boasts certifications in Focus on Energy, Certified Aging in Place and Certified Green Professional.

Werner Homes turns to United Building Supply for siding and replacement windows and to Nyhof Custom Gutter & Aluminim for gutters on the homes it builds.

“We’ve been working with them lot of years,” Bob said. “We’ve been very happy with them. We try to pick one supplier in each category and stay with them. I want someone who can provide good service to me before and after the sale.”

The relationship between United Building Supply and Werner Homes began decades ago, when Dan Nyhof started selling them Mirro aluminum siding back when they owned a lumber yard.

“They’ve got a great selection of quality products,” Bob said.

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How it all began: Dan Nyhof’s story

Dan NyhofWhen Dan Nyhof was a very young man, he watched his dad earn a solid living as a salesman selling siding to contractors. When it was time for him to decide what direction to take his own life, his dad gave him a nudge.

“What he saw was there were other contractors getting into seamless gutters,” Dan said. “He said it looked like a good business, so I started saving up my coins.”

With a $6,000 bank loan, 18-year-old Dan opened Nyhof Custom Gutter with just his mom, Irene Nyhof, to help him. That staffing plan didn’t last long, though. One day, the publisher of The Sheboygan Press came home and saw Irene up on a ladder helping to install gutters on his house. He gave young Dan a piece of his mind and it was clear Irene wasn’t going to be able to help out much longer.

So Dan hired his very good friend Dean and for several years, the two of them ran the business with an extruding machine and a secondhand bakery van. Dean died at a young age in a tragic accident, and Dan handled the business alone for some time until he finally decided to add more employees. Then he added even more people, then another machine, then he took on siding and after that windows.

In 1987, Dan says, he had a brainstorm.

By then his father, Fred Nyhof, was working for a business called Modern Materials Corporation in Detroit, which was bought out by Reynolds Aluminum. Through all that turnover, the builders who had been doing business with Fred over the years stayed with him and he spotted a need the business wasn’t filling: Keeping a supply of materials in stock in Gibbsville, where he was based, for fill-in orders. At the time, the Reynolds headquarters was in Ohio.

Fred explained to the Reynolds people that when builders needed a small amount of siding or other material to fill in a job, there wasn’t anywhere for them to go. He convinced Reynolds to supply him with materials on consignment: 20-square of every color, coil stock, trim, etc., which he sold out of a warehouse in Gibbsville.

And that’s when Dan’s brainstorm struck. “Everybody else is selling material out of here, why don’t I?” Dan said. “That’s how we started United Building Supply. We were selling his products – we were one of his customers.”

After that, Dan let nature take its course.

“All I did was just go forward and let it grow as it wanted to,” he said. “I didn’t force the issue, I let it just grow. I hit some of the best years, through the ’70s and ’80s.”

Now, Nyhof Custom Gutter has 15 employees and United Building Supply is run by three of them, who concentrate on that end of the business a little more. Over the years, Dan and his company have taken a few risks, and all but one has paid off. The one that didn’t? Pellet stoves.

Though interest in them was high and it might have taken off, installation season for pellet stoves was in the summer – the company’s busiest season. There just wasn’t time to master it, so Dan let it go.

During the Great Recession, Dan closed down the Nyhof Custom Gutter & Aluminum showroom in downtown Oostburg, which employed four people, and rented it out to My Best Friend’s Closet consignment shop.

“We moved everybody over here and rented out the building,” he said. “We trimmed and kept moving forward.”

For the last several years, Dan’s sons Shannon and Joel have been intimately involved in the business, and now Dan is working on a retirement plan for himself. In the meantime, he’s doing what he does best – responding to the ebb and flow of the market and providing homeowners and builders with a contractor and supplier they can trust.

“Almost everything that I wanted to do and went forth and did it, worked,” Dan said.

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