• Matt Weber

Case Study: Exotic Wood Lover's Dream House

(guest post by Will Chelak)


Joe Wixom “loves wood.” As the president and CEO of Fetzer Architectural Woodworking in Salt Lake City, Utah, Wixom has spent the past six years heading one of the nation’s largest millwork firms and a company that grew from a small cabinet shop in the early 1900s to a leading producer of exceptional woodwork found worldwide.


“Fetzer is renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship and stunning architectural results,” says Wixom. “In business for more than 100 years, we pride ourselves on meeting the prestige demands of exacting woodworking projects. Our work can be found everywhere from high-end public facilities and retail shops to the world’s most luxurious resorts and performing arts centers.”


As a result, Wixom not only understands fine woodworking, but also the aesthetic value of the materials needed to achieve a project’s beautiful look and feel. This was apparent when Wixom’s dream home became available in the Millcreek Canyon section of Salt Lake City, a neighborhood where he grew up and is now recognized as one of the best places to live in the state.


“We spent six years looking for the right house,” explains Wixom. “Then we found the split-level home of our dreams in an area known for its hiking, skiing and magnificent scenery located at the base of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.”


In addition to the locale, Wixom also envisioned a very specific look for his new 3,200 sq. ft. four-bedroom family home. This entailed “gutting the structure down to studs” and then rebuilding it with a new roof; high-efficiency, metal-clad windows; horizontal vertical grain interior walnut paneling; walnut floors; and the exotic, reddish-brown and amber tones of IPE Brazilian Walnut decking, fencing and horizontal shiplap siding.


“Being in the business for years, I grew to love the exquisite, lustrous quality of IPE wood,” explains Wixom. “It’s timeless, rustic feel can provide a cozy, comfortable feel to just about any home, while remaining as strong as nails for decades and naturally resisting fire, insects and other potential problems.”


But even with his wide-reaching industry connections, Wixom found it difficult to find a reliable supplier of high-quality IPE wood products. That was until he found Nova USA Wood Products online at www.novausawood.com.


“Our company buys tens of millions of dollars of lumber and veneer a year,” says Wixom. “But none of our existing vendors could meet my home needs. After a thorough search, Nova USA Wood provided the best collection of high-grade IPE wood at an extremely competitive price. Plus, the process from order to delivery could not have been smoother. I even asked Fetzer’s purchasing team why we weren’t doing more with this company.”


Through Nova USA Wood, Wixom purchased 1200 feet of IPE as well as the company’s ExoShield Wood Stain and ExoClad Rainscreen QuickClips. The process then began with the pre-treatment of the IPE boards with ExoShield’s Walnut Wood Stain and a mockup of the siding installation in Wixom’s backyard. Once the installer was familiar with the guidelines, the IPE shiplap siding and soffits were fastened with the ExoClad Rainscreen QuickClips.


“The installer had never worked with IPE before so we decided to sample the project before starting,” offers Wixom. “We couldn’t have been more impressed with the fit and finish of the ExoClips. They worked perfectly and the ExoShield really brought out the wood’s stunning reddish-brown hues. Everything turned out absolutely beautiful.”


Using a proprietary blend of Tung oil, UV blockers, fungicide, and trans-oxide pigments, ExoShield Wood Stain was specifically-designed by Nova USA Wood to provide long-lasting, superior protection for exterior decking, siding and outdoor furniture, while creating a naturally durable finish with exceptional color stability. In addition, the company’s ExoClad Rainscreen QuickClips were developed to accommodate the natural swelling and shrinkage of wood siding throughout each of the four seasons. This includes expanding when the wood swells and compressing back into its original form when the wood dries out and shrinks to prevent the siding from buckling or the clip from breaking.




Once completed, the next phase involved the construction of 140 linear feet of fencing and a 1,650 sq. ft. deck built entirely with IPE. Applied to both were two thick coats of ExoShield Walnut with a roller, which were then wiped down with a foam brush a few minutes later to “sop up the excess.”


“We had 100-degree days in July and zero-degree ones in December and January. But a year later, everything still looks great,” adds Wixom. “The spacing and gaps on the siding are the same as when they were first installed. Plus, the ExoShield Walnut looks as vibrant as the day it was applied.


“Another benefit surrounded the IPE wood itself. The ratio of board waste was far less than we’re commonly accustomed to seeing during a traditional lumber buy. That said, the quality of the products supplied by Nova USA wood could not have been higher. And that’s the opinion of someone who really knows this business.”


Learn more about Nova USA Wood Products at www.novausawood.com or call 503-419-6407.


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