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Updated: May 5, 2022

Building material company finishes its own $150M build-out in Aroostook County

people with board Courtesy / LP Building Solutions Tennessee manufacturer LP Building Solutions completed a $150 million expansion at its Houlton plant to expand production of its flagship home siding product, LP SmartSide.

LP Building Solutions, one of Aroostook County’s largest employers, has finished a $150 million expansion of the company's Houlton plant, the company said this week.

The build-out, which broke ground in June 2021, converted the facility to manufacture LP’s flagship home siding product, LP SmartSide.

LP has made SmartSide for over 20 years. To meet growing demand from home builders and renovators, LP in early 2021 announced a phased, multiyear plan to expand siding production capacity. That expansion started with converting LP’s Houlton facility from manufacturing of oriented strand board and laminated lumber to SmartSide.

LP Building Solutions and LP Houlton, which is actually in the neighboring town of New Limerick, are part of Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE: LPX), a manufacturer of engineered wood building products headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.

LP Houlton is the parent corporation’s second-longest-running mill, commissioned in 1981. 

Due to increased demand for home construction products, production at the mill increased substantially during 2020, going from 100 employees working five days a week to 160 working a 24/7 schedule.

LP Houlton stopped production in the fourth quarter of 2021 in order to finish site construction.  

The conversion added a 90,000-square-foot facility to house new equipment to trim and finish the siding. Part of an existing building, where logs are received for debarking and conditioning, were demolished and replaced. The pressing of the mill’s first siding board took place in late March.

LP has seen consistent year-over-year growth of SmartSide.

The site expects to achieve full operating capacity within a year, adding 220 million square feet of SmartSide operating capacity to LP’s siding business. That addition is enough siding for about 100,000 homes per year, the company said.

Overall, the company’s operating capacity will increase to 1.9 billion square feet. Louisiana-Pacific has 10 siding manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada. 

The mill’s conversion to siding production is expected to increase sustainably and locally sourced annual fiber consumption by 30% and substantially increase expected shipping volumes. 

Gov. Janet Mills lauded the mill's expansion, saying, “LP’s decision to invest $150 million to manufacture its signature building products right here in Maine is big win for hardworking LP Houlton employees, the people of the county, and our entire state."

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