Faces of the Industry


Faces of the Industry

Name: Seth Stormoen
Company: Blenker Building Systems
Position: Project Manager
Years in the industry: 14


•|• How did you get into the component manufacturing industry? Initially, I didn’t plan on doing carpentry, but I was looking for a job out of high school. One of my friend’s brothers worked at Wausau Homes and got me a position on their wall production line. I lived in Amherst at the time and, when I found out that Blenker did the same thing as Wausau, I switched. After a few years, I got my journeyman’s license in carpentry, and began working in the field installing our own products. Eventually, I took over supervising the framing crews.

•|• What are your current job responsibilities at Blenker? How does it compare to your time as a framer? I estimate our commercial projects, as well as supervise all residential and commercial framing projects. On each project, I choose whether we will subcontract out the framing, or if we will use our own crews. Once the projects start, I oversee, schedule and inspect our product as it is being installed. When I used to work on the jobsite, I was constantly trying to streamline how we did things to make us more efficient. Today, my biggest challenge it trying to explain those best practices to framers over the phone so they can continue to improve upon what they do.

•|• What is your favorite part about framing with structural components? Innovation. We are constantly changing and innovating what we do in the shop to deliver the most complete product so we can install a structure as accurate, efficient and safe as possible. As a result, we are constantly engaging everyone involved in the production process to improve and add to what we do and the products we offer.

•|• Have you applied the guidance for handling, installing and bracing of trusses contained in BCSI?  BCSI is a good guide, but every jobsite is different. We send out the jobsite packages with every job where we use outside crews. These guys are very experienced, so it can be a challenge to get them to look at and consider those guidelines. The more important thing is to have smart guys on the jobsite who can make good decisions.

•|• What do you see is the biggest challenge in properly installing trusses?  I think fall protection is the biggest challenge with regard to installation at the jobsite.  Everyone wants a clear-cut answer, but there isn’t one. You really need to look at each job separately, take a stand on how you’re doing it, and be able to explain why you’re doing it that way. [Editor’s Note: SBCA has put together a step-by-step guide to fall protection and truss installation that can be used as a good starting point.]

•|• In your opinion, what is the advantage of framing using components versus conventional framing? For the builder, framing with components just makes sense.  It allows them better control over time and cost. There is greater control over quality, and has the advantage of allowing the builder to physically look at everything going into the building before it’s actually installed, from bearing locations to nailing patterns.

•|• What do you like to do with your free time? I have a wife and two young daughters, which keep me pretty busy. We’re currently living in the second house we’ve built together, and I find I’m always working on a project to improve it.