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Should You DIY or Hire a Pro for Your Home Remodel?

Father and adult son working on home project in driveway

It’s a decision every homeowner will face at some point — whether to complete a project yourself or hire a contractor.

The Home Improvement Research Institute estimates that ⅔ of home improvement projects last year were completed on a do-it-yourself basis. The most common DIY projects include interior painting and landscaping.

Lots of people think it’s more frugal to do the work yourself. However, this isn’t always the case. Let’s go over some considerations for deciding when to tackle a job yourself, and when to leave it to an expert.

Read more »

Choosing the Best Exterior Siding for Your Project

Two story house with covered front porch


Whether you’re building a new home or updating an existing one, you have lots of options when it comes to siding. 

Choosing a quality material impacts many things including energy efficiency, curb appeal and, ultimately, the value of your property. Some criteria to consider are ease of installation, durability and appearance. 

But which one is best for your project? To help you decide, we’ve put together a summary of several common exterior siding materials.

Read more »

What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying vs. Building a House?

Mom dad brother and sister standing in front of their new home

Looking for a new home can be an exciting time, but also a stressful one.

That’s because there are so many decisions to make. Besides location, there are the must-haves you need, the nice-to-haves you want, and of course, the price. 

You must also determine whether building a new home or purchasing an existing one makes the most sense. While there is no single right answer for everyone, there are potential advantages and drawbacks for each of these options.

Here are some of the most important considerations to help you decide.

Read more »

Construction Industry Trends for 2020: Part II

 Interior view of wooden frame of a house under construction

In our last blog post, we highlighted some of the big-picture developments that are shaping construction and remodeling at the dawn of a new decade.

This time, we take a closer look at the design trends influencing both residential and commercial projects. 

Home improvement and repair spending is expected to exceed $330 billion in 2020. That’s a 1.5% increase, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Trends driving demand include low mortgage rates, young adults entering their peak buying years and older folks looking to downsize or age in place.

As for commercial remodeling, the global market is projected to reach $2 trillion in value by 2024. Key objectives for building renovations include reducing fixed costs, increasing energy efficiency and creating an appealing work environment for attracting — and retaining — a qualified workforce.

Read more »

Construction Industry Trends for 2020: Part I

construction worker with iphone and ipad

As the new decade begins, many trends that have shaped the construction industry in recent years continue to be relevant in 2020.

In this two-part blog series, Mid-City Lumber highlights the opportunities and challenges awaiting contractors in the year ahead. 

This month’s article summarizes the ongoing influence of digital technologies, modular building and labor shortfalls. 

Read more »

What’s New in Construction Power Tools for 2020?

Construction worker wearing hard hat and using a power drill

Continued growth in the construction industry translates into an ongoing need for quality power tools to satisfy increasingly stringent client demands. Read more »

Inform Clients about These 7 Home Remodeling Myths

Two contractors working on white kitchen remodel.

Home remodeling is big business.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard tells us that U.S. spending on home improvements reached a record of $425 billion in 2017, according to the most recent data.

On top of that, the typical renovating homeowner shelled out $15,000 on home improvements in 2018. Motivations for renovating include a desire to boost home value, aging in place or accommodating the needs of a growing family.

But not all projects are created equal. While many home improvements do increase home value, many have no impact at all and some even backfire.

It’s essential that contractors take the time to educate clients on the best improvements to meet their needs, achieve the best return on investment and stay within budget.

Here are 7 common myths that lead many consumers astray when it comes to remodeling.  Read more »

Why People Love Open Floor Plans

Luxury open floor plan featuring living room and kitchen

Design fads may come and go, but the open floor plan is still going strong.

After almost three decades, homebuyers continue seeking out large, communal spaces that combine multiple activities for greater convenience. 

Open floor plans remain a must-have feature for new builds and for remodeling older homes.  Read more »

Home Office Design for Maximum Work-Life Balance

With more Americans working at home, a convenient home office is a must-have consideration for new builds as well as renovations.

Some 3.7 million employees already work from home, and one Stanford University researcher found many benefits including greater productivity and fewer distractions.

Whether you’re including a home office with a new construction or adding onto an existing structure, here are some helpful hints for a successful project. Read more »

Construction Industry Outlook for 2019-2020: Smooth Sailing or Rough Waters?

Construction spending fell to $1.287 billion in June, down 1.3% from May. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported a 4% decrease in new housing starts in July. 

Are these numbers a sign of trouble ahead, or just a momentary pause in an otherwise robust construction market? An assessment of current trends reveals both promising opportunities as well as continuing risks for contractors.

  • A recent survey found that most contractors expect the dollar volume of projects they complete in 2019 to be about the same as in 2018. Continued economic strength, the emergence of a new generation of home buyers and historically low mortgage rates are among the trends pointing to opportunities for growth. 
  • However, contractors continue to deal with an ongoing labor shortage, fluctuating commodity prices and emerging concerns about how long the current economic recovery will last.

Read more »

How to Use Shiplap in Your New Build or Remodel

Is shiplap in or out this year? This may be the great home design debate of 2019.

Some caution that the white-hot farmhouse craze, with its heavy reliance on shiplap, may be cooling off as homeowners look for fresher fads to latch onto. Others contend that farmhouse design isn’t going away — it’s just getting a little more refined

Keep reading for some of the advantages of shiplap, as well as ideas for incorporating it into your next new build or remodel.  Read more »

Should Homeowners Remodel, Move or Build a House?

Man and woman dreaming about their new house.

Is it better to remodel or move? Or perhaps it’s time to build a new house?

Contractors frequently hear questions like these. 

A Harris Poll found that 76% of U.S. homeowners plan to complete home improvements in 2019, an increase from 2018. Big-ticket residential remodeling activity increased 4.1% in the first quarter of 2019 from the same period a year ago.  Read more »

2019 Patio and Decking Design Guide

wooden terrace with wicker garden furniture and lots of greenery

After long weekdays filled with traffic jams and tight deadlines, more and more people are seeking the comfort of a relaxing getaway, right outside their own back door.

A well-designed patio or deck is the perfect retreat for delving into a good book, entertaining family and friends, or enjoying a breathtaking sunset before turning in for the night. Homeowners also want a smoother transition from indoors to out, with patios and decks functioning as “outdoor rooms” that reflect the look and feel of the home’s interior. Read more »

Building a Home? Talk to a Contractor Before Buying a Lot

Ghosted house above a grass field

Before you can build that dream home, you must first decide where to build it.

Buying a lot comes with a number of important matters that must be addressed. How do you know if you’re building in the right neighborhood? Is it convenient to work and good schools? Does the land have access to utilities? Are there any legal or environmental concerns?

That’s why it’s best to talk to an experienced contractor before buying land. A reputable general contractor will have the knowledge and relationships to help you select the best lot and navigate the purchase process with minimal headaches and without spending more than you have to.

Keep reading for a summary of the issues to ask about when purchasing a lot. Read more »

NEW Products Coming in May from James Hardie

Mid-City Lumber is proud to announce a new product from James Hardie® Building Products, coming to stores this May!

The Aspyre Collection by James Hardie™ combines Artisan® siding with the Reveal Panel® System.

The newest flat wall profiles, Artisan Shiplap, Artisan V-Groove, Artisan Square Channel and Artisan Bevel Channel, integrate with Artisan Lap siding and the Reveal Panel System, offering a new level of design flexibility with the durability of James Hardie fiber cement.

For more information, check out the brochure – or speak to your Mid-City Lumber sales representative!

Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Innovations in Construction Technology

Contractors face increasing pressure to thrive in a world of stringent client demands, shifting economic trends and a dynamic regulatory landscape.

But the continued emergence of innovative digital tools lets you meet these and other challenges.

Let’s take a look at some of the high-tech solutions making their mark on the construction industry this year. Read more »

Home Design Trends to Watch in 2019

Early indicators point to 2019 as a year of great opportunities for first time homebuyers as well as those who are ready for an upgrade.

Residents want homes that support their busy lifestyles, encourage positive interaction and promote a sense of well-being in today’s topsy-turvy society.

Here are 10 trends to watch as the year continues to take shape. Read more »

Looking for the Industry’s Most Durable Tape Measure? Meet the Milwaukee STUD™

Read more »

Custom Millwork Benefits & Industry Trends

From stairs to custom cabinets and from multi-purpose crown molding to wainscoting, utilizing millwork and custom woodworking is an excellent way to add functionality and personality to almost any space.

The largest purchasers of millwork products include residential and commercial building contractors, wholesalers and retail outlets. Residential construction accounts for about 90% of overall millwork sales, with projects evenly split between new construction and remodels.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the benefits of custom millwork for residential and commercial customers alike, as well as trends affecting the millwork industry, including competition and customer preferences. Read more »

Developing an Effective Marketing Plan for Construction Companies

Whether your construction firm is a new startup or has been around for decades, your marketing strategy must engage customers and create a positive experience for everyone who comes into contact with your business.

It’s also an ongoing effort that includes the whole organization, not a one-time event or a single person, department or agency.

Prospects are more savvy than ever, and effective marketing gives you the opportunity to learn about them so you can provide consistent value and keep them satisfied over the long term.

Let’s take a look at three important ingredients for an up-to-date marketing strategy that lets you stand out from the competition in a dynamic construction industry. Read more »

Must-Have Features for Energy Efficient Homes

Let’s face it – everyone wants to cut costs these days.

It’s no wonder that energy efficiency continues to be a top priority for homeowners looking to remodel or build.

People want features that promote lower heating and cooling costs, smart water usage and a better mix of natural and artificial lighting. And a significant number of consumers are more than willing to take on higher, short-term project costs in return for smaller utility bills over the life of the property.

If your clients are looking to go green or just spend less on utilities, here are some of the energy efficient features that can benefit almost any home. Read more »

House Floor Plans & Architectural Styles You Want to Know About

Many people are looking to build their next home rather than buy.

New housing starts for August 2018 were up 9.4% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

What architectural styles are people seeking out? Home design experts say buyers are looking for comfortable and practical over showy and ostentatious. Eco-friendly features are big with those looking to go green or save on utilities, while tech-friendly options are must-haves for contemporary and traditional homes alike.

Let’s take a look at the most popular house plans, along with some of the hottest building features, that homeowners are looking for. Read more »

Home Design Trends: Update Your Gray with a Pop of Bold

What colors are attracting today’s homeowners for new builds and remodeling projects?

The choice of color plays a major role in meeting client expectations and guides the selection of countertop materials, fabrics and of course paint colors for walls, doors, window frames and more. Read more »

Andersen Corporation to Sell Some Lines

Andersen Corporation recently announced that they have signed an agreement to sell their Silver Line brand to Ply Gem. At this time, Mid-City Lumber does not anticipate any changes to the Silver Line product or service of this brand and will continue to provide all Silver Line products for our customers. If you have any questions, please contact your sales representative or any Mid-City Lumber associate.

Construction Industry Trends for 2018 & Early 2019

It’s no secret that construction plays a vital role in the strength of our economy at both the state and national levels.

Construction contributes $11 billion to the Missouri economy and nearly $800 billion to the U.S. economy as a whole, according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

But what can construction industry trends from 2018 tell us about potential trends in early 2019? Let’s take a look at some of the factors that are currently influencing the near-term outlook for the construction industry and discuss how these factors might influence both Missouri contractors and contractors across the U.S. Read more »

Renovation and Construction Planning: Sweat the Small Stuff to Stay on Time and on Budget


High customer expectations, tight budgets and stringent deadlines mean your reputation and your profits are on the line with every renovation or construction project.

And from weather disasters to costly rework requests to subcontractor defaults and other construction delays, there are lots of things that can throw off your construction timeline and inject unwanted costs along the way.

That’s why going beyond the basics to get the little things right from start to finish is key to maintaining control of your new construction project while meeting the seemingly endless challenges facing today’s contractors. Choosing the right contractors or subcontractors, construction planning and proactive scheduling are more important than ever. Read more »

Lumber Theft Reported Not From Mid-City Lumber

On Wednesday, June 6, the Columbia Police Department reported that Jason Pattillo has been arrested for stealing approximately $25,000 worth of lumber over the course of a month from Mid-City Lumber. This report is inaccurate.

The lumber stolen was not taken from the Mid-City Lumber store, located at 4709 Paris Road as reported, but in fact, was lumber being stored by a contractor who was renting storage space at a facility owned by Mid-City Lumber and located at a different address on Paris Road.

No lumber or any other materials have been stolen from Mid-City Lumber at their 4709 Paris location or at any of their other operating stores in Jefferson City, Boonville or Sedalia.

Boonville Fire Update

Early Sunday morning, our Boonville store was destroyed by a fire. Fortunately, no one was injured. We thank the Cooper County Fire Protection District, Boonville Fire Department and others for their hard work to put the fire out.

Clean up is beginning immediately and we will start construction to rebuild as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to serve our Boonville customers through our Columbia store.

The Boonville phone lines are being redirected to Columbia, so you can still call the Boonville number to place orders. You can also call your sales person directly. We ask for your patience as we work through the cleanup and rebuilding process.

Choosing The Best Decking Material for Your Next Outdoor Project


Your deck is your own little staycation spot. You come together for family fun, to entertain friends, to enjoy your morning coffee or to relax at the end of your day. A well-designed deck can hold many memories, so be sure to do your research before choosing the best decking material for your budget and lifestyle. Read more »

On a Budget? How to Save Money on Your Kitchen Remodel

It is no secret that kitchen remodels make for higher home resale values, engaging spaces and happy chefs. But while kitchen remodels offer a larger return on investment than most other remodels, the costs can be overwhelming. Even minor kitchen remodels can sneak over your budget limit if you aren’t careful. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do a kitchen remodel on a budget without sacrificing style. Read more »

Checklist For Hiring A Contractor: What To Know

The overwhelming process of hiring a good contractor can be made easier with a little preparation. Knowledge is power and your best chance at a great result. Whether your project is a home renovation or a brand new build, knowing what you want, what you can spend and researching several contractors can help you find the best fit for your next project. Read more »

Boonville Fish Fry Makes Good Friday Extra Good

What a great turn out we had at the annual Good Friday Fish Fry held at our Boonville store! We fed about 250 or more local customers and their families and had a lot of fun. Thanks, too, to our own Mid-City cooks as they did what they always do – made a great meal for all! Hope to see you again next year.

Read more »

Great visiting with you!

We enjoyed talking with everyone who came out to the 18th Annual HBA Home Show of Central Missouri!

Thanks for coming!

We had a great time at our Contractor Lunch in Columbia last week. There was lots of good food and good company – thank you to everyone who attended!

Coming Soon: Reveal® Panel System by James Hardie

James Hardie is excited to announce the launch of the Reveal® Panel System. The customizable Reveal Panel System features high-design, high-performance components to distinguish your multi-family projects. 

This new product will be available n January. Contact us for more information.

Good luck, Charlie! We’ll miss you

We are sorry to say goodbye to one of our long-time associates, Charlie Waller, who is relocating to St. Louis. We wish him all the best in his new endeavors and thank him for his service as part of the Mid-City family.

Unique Features Available for Your Home

Mid-City Lumber always offers the very best brands for your projects, large and small. We are also proud to offer unique products for homeowners who want something a little different. Check out this open corner door system available through Win-Dor.

Mid-City Lumber Recognized for Support of St. Jude Hospital

Mid-City Lumber was proud to partner with Shaw Floors on a program designed to raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.


New Winter Hours

closed_sign-1475793852-8115Please note, Mid-City Lumber will continue to be closed on Saturdays for the foreseeable future. Please visit us Monday – Friday 7 AM – 5 PM.

New County Guidelines for Exterior Deck Construction

Boone County will now use these new guidelines in reference to exterior deck construction. Of course, if you have any questions, we are happy to be a resource.

City of Columbia Issues New Guidelines for “Solar Ready”

The City of Columbia has issued new guidelines for “solar ready” buildings, as well as a new city building permit application. Forms are available here.




More information can be found on the City of Columbia website.

High School Football Tailgates

Mid-City Lumber loves to help out our local Booster clubs. Here are some pictures from the tailgates we’ve hosted this year in Boonville, Jefferson City and Sedalia. Thanks to all who attended!


booneg jc1g jc2g jc3g sedalia1g sedalia2g

Another Great Mid-City Tailgate

It was a great day! Thank you to everyone who could join us!



Tiger Win and Mid-City Fun!

Thanks to those who came out to cheer on the Tigers! We had a great time with you!


tailgate-091016_1 tailgate-091016_2

New Building Code Requirements as of October 1, 2016

Significant changes in the 2015 Codes and new enforcement policies will begin October 1, 2016. Columbia Building & Site Development held a meeting on August 23 to share important information about these changes. Please visit their website for more information.




Thanks for Attending!

IMG_2903A big thank you to everyone who attended the Mid-City Lumber Product Showcase! We always have a lot of fun with this event, and we hope you did, too! Let us know if you have any follow up questions about the products and options you saw. We’re here to help make your project a success!



Another win for Mid-City Lumber

It’s always a WIN when Mid-City hosts friends at our tailgate! Thanks to everyone who braved the rain to join us. We didn’t bust out the grills but still had some great food and great company.


Tailgate crowd black and white Tailgate crowd in color

Mid-City Lumber was proud to support the Jefferson City Jays Booster Club when the Jays took on Rockhurst. It was not a win for the Jays, but it was definitely a win for the Boosters as we helped them serve up lots of delicious hamburgers, hot dogs and brats. We always have a great time supporting our community schools!










Mid-City Lumber Homecoming Tailgate Had Huge Turnout

We all wish the final score would have been better, but if you joined us for the Mid-City tailgate, at least you can say that part of the day was worth celebrating!

Thanks to everyone who came out – we had a huge crowd! So many of our customers and their families were with us and that’s what it’s all about. We had a great time with all of you and hope you had a great time, too!

Homecoming 2









Homecoming 3

Let the Tailgates Begin!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the season’s first Mid-City Lumber Tiger Tailgate! We had a great time. M-I-Z!

Football Night in Boonville

Thank you to all who came out and supported the Boonville Pirates!

Read more »

2015 Product Showcase

Mid-City Lumber would like to thank all those who attended our 2015 Product Showcase! We had a really good time with all of our vendors and customers. It was great to see so many home owners and visit with them about their remodeling projects, and we always enjoy the chance to share with our contractors all the best and latest products. If you left hungry, it wasn’t our fault! As always, our Mid-City cooks prepared something delicious for all. We hope you had a great time and will join us again next year! Read more »

Two men drilling nails into a board