Ed Watkins

Ed Watkins

President at Watkins Sawmills Ltd.

P.O. Box 3280, Mission, British Columbia, Canada
HQ Phone:
(604) 462-7116

General Information


Chairman - Premium Cedar Products Ltd.


Board Member - Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau

Recent News  


Ed Watkins, Manager
Premium Cedar Products Ltd. P.O. Box 3280 Mission, BC V2V 4J4 Tel. 604 462-7116 Fax. 604 462-7162 Ed Watkins, President Watkins Sawmills Ltd PO Box 3280 Mission, BC V2V 4J4 Tel. 604 462-7116 Fax.

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Above: Edward Watkins (left), owner and manager of Watkins Sawmill in Ruskin, shows Don Lobb, MASH president, how his business will treat roof material for The Cedars.

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Ed Watkins, president of Watkins Sawmill Ltd. in Ruskin, shows off a piece of cedar treated with fire retardant."The process is decades old," said Ed Watkins, president of Watkins Sawmills Ltd.Watkins says that unlike the preservative that other products are treated with to resist weathering, the fire retardant is environmentally friendly, similar to fertilizer.There are three grades of fire retardation, A, B and C, with A the highest.A treated class A piece can resist temperatures of 1,400 Fahrenheit, two minutes of flame on, two minutes off through 15 cycles.The fires in Kelowna, Kamloops and California have brought products of this nature closer to the forefront of builders' conscience.As more of the community expands into more high risk fire areas, the threat of forest fires increases, said Watkins.And the cost is higher - about 30 per cent more than untreated product.The Watkins company decided 10 years ago to move into this industry and at that time, there were three other companies in North America treating product similarly."We figured there was enough of a niche at that time," he said.Soon after, two of those companies shut down the treating operation leaving Watkins and a plant in Ferndale, Wash. the lone remaining facilities.When making the initial forays into the market, Watkins estimated about five per cent of his business was done in treating.That has grown to approximately 30 per cent a decade later.Currently, Watkins treats about 80,000 to 100,000 squares a year.One square covers 100 square feet on a roof.The United States is the primary purchaser, but customers do come from Europe, Australia and our own backyard.Some product is sold locally and goes to Whistler and across the border to Alberta."Demand has grown locally in the last two to three years," Watkins said.And this unique service helps to keep a market share open for the shake and shingle industry, said Watkins.Certain counties in the United States will not allow untreated shakes and shingles to be used in construction.If FSR wasn't present, those markets would be shut out to the product, thus killing jobs."It keeps the industry working and keeps employment in the province," he said.And while the local company does make its own shakes and shingles, two-thirds of the product treated is sent to Watkins from other mills."We're primarily a service," he said.

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