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About Bear Skins
 
 

Home
About Bear Skins
Bear Skin Benefits
Install Instructions
Online Resources
Purchase Here!
Contact Us

 

Anybody who’s ever installed fiber-cement siding knows what a challenge it is-and knows it’s not a product you can install alone. That’s why Mike Walda, a carpenter and now president of Bear Cub Industries, invented the Bear Clip-a little piece of plastic that’s revolutionizing the installation of fiber-cement siding.  “I have feedback from Habitat for Humanity in Orlando, which uses everybody from college kids to doctors and attorneys and people who’ve never swung a hammer to build houses,” says Walda, who launched the company in August, 2005.  “We sided a little 1,200 sq. ft. house in five hours with inexperienced labor-and all the corners were straight.  We didn’t have to take down one piece of siding when it was done.”

 The Bear Clip takes the challenge out of installing fiber cement, says Wald.  The clip hooks onto the top edge of each row and supports the board above-level, hands-free, and at an exact 1 1/4 in. overlap while the installer nails it in place.  After the board is nailed, the exposed portion of the clip snaps off at an engineered fracture point, leaving the hidden portion behind the siding.  If a starter strip is level, the clip-manufactured to a .002-in. tolerance-will hold the siding perfectly level too.  Bear Clips come in various depths to accommodate various siding thicknesses.

 In its first six months, according to Walda, the Bear Clip won distributors and caught on throughout the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.  “The first of this past July we went into Lowe’s, which usually give you 25 stores for a test market,” Walda says.  “They gave us 197 stores.  In the first week sales were $800; $3,000 the third week, and the fourth week was $15,000.  We’ve sold almost a quarter million dollars in product so far this year.”

 Next up for Bear Cub is Bear Skin-a plastic sheet for use as a joint flashing behind every butt joint in the siding.  Scheduled to be available by the end of October, the product is a proprietary plastic, 20-year UV-rated sheet 4 ml thick that is “basically a six by twelve Post-it Note,” Walda says.  “You just peel and stick.”  Builders have been cutting Tyvek and flypaper to put behind the siding.  “Why would you put a 120-day UV-rated product behind 50-year-warranted siding?  Ours is rated 20 years.”

 Both products help builders lower costs, says Walda.  “There are only two ways to lower your costs – one is to increase productivity; the other is to decrease labor costs.  We do both.”

 “A typical job you can put up five or six squares a day,” he adds.  “You immediately go the eight squares a day with our product.  And your $10-an-hour carpenter can do ‘clip, board, nail; clip, board, nail, decreasing your labor costs.”

 Bear Skin was scheduled to be available by the end of October with distribution in the Eastern U.S., Midwest, West and Southwest.

LBM Journal, November, 2006