A Publication of WTVP

Drywood Products is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Peoria-based Doug Williams Construction, Inc. According to Williams, its founder, the company manufactures “the only patented method of wall and roof sheathing available today.” Its panels are designed to outperform traditional barrier systems by providing a “total building envelope” that assures a weather-tight building for many years. Drywood shares five employees with its parent company and manufactures its sheathing panels here in Peoria.

Describe your background in the home building industry.
My background in the home building industry started when I was 15 years old. Our neighbor, as I was growing up, was a general contractor and needed a laborer for moving material, clean-up and general assistance on job sites. This is when I realized that I wanted to go into the construction industry for my career. I am a central Illinois native; I was born in Peoria and graduated from Dunlap High School in 1988. After graduating from high school I went to Illinois Central College and majored in architectural construction technology. I started Doug Williams Construction, Inc. in 1992 and have been in operation ever since. I am also a licensed unlimited roofing contractor in the State of Illinois, as well as a Realtor with Jim Maloof Realtor. Real estate and construction are my vocations, and I believe that the one really enhances and benefits the other.

Is Drywood Products a full-time venture for you?
No, not yet. I am still trying to fully introduce the product to the marketplace and attract suppliers to sell to their contractors. Things are picking up as we are starting to quote more and more jobs using our next-generation sheathing in the suburban Chicago markets.

When and how did you get the idea for your product?
The City of Peoria adopted ice and water shield into the local code, requiring the use of it on all new homes in 2001. Any contractor who has tried to roll out ice and water membrane on the eaves and valleys of a roof understands what a daunting and hazardous task this can be. I thought there had to be a better way to do this, so I went about figuring out a way to make the entire process more user-friendly.

When was Drywood Products founded?
Our patents on this product were first applied for in January 2002 by the Peoria law firm Husch Blackwell Sanders. That is when I decided to launch Drywood Products and introduce our next-generation roof and wall sheathing. It has been a very long time and a lot of money spent with the patent attorneys, and we are finally ready to introduce the product to the industry in a full capacity.

What is the patentable innovation of these panels?
The patentable innovation to the panels is that the protective overlay membrane is pre-applied to the sheathing panel before the panel is fastened to the substructure or framing of the building. Once the panel is in place, the edges must be taped. Nail heads do not have to be taped, as the product self-seals around the fasteners used for placing the panel as well as the nails used for applying the siding or roofing material on the non-skid surface of the panel. Visit our website ( for all of the details outlining the installation methods of the sheathing. There are installation photos and videos available there for your reference.

What are the benefits of Drywood panels over traditional panels?
The benefits are numerous. Our sheathing panels allow you to greatly increase your efficiency and control costs by eliminating waste and setting up to repeat tasks on the jobsite multiple times. We are confident that our sheathing is less expensive for a builder to use than traditional sheathing and traditional barrier applications. Eliminating waste from excessive use of material and the labor required to re-install traditional barriers that the weather has torn off of a house, the builder can realize a potential savings of as much as 15 to 20 percent in labor and material costs associated with the framing. Using our unique sheathing allows you to “dry-in” the house as it is being framed, so you will eliminate the costs associated with the weather blowing off traditional barriers and costly call backs due to improperly installed moisture guards and house wraps.

Our sheathing also makes sure that the dead spots of a house are sealed, preventing any ice dams from entering the house or wind-driven rain from penetrating the most vulnerable areas of the house. Drywood should be used behind all masonry veneers, (i.e. brick, stone, stucco, EIFS, etc.) and on the entire roof area. Water and ice can and will penetrate masonry veneers, especially at the dead spots where a roof and wall intersection occurs. Drywood helps prevent any water infiltration at these areas, whereas traditional house wrap only stops air infiltration.

How is the installation process different than traditional panels?
Drywood wall and roof sheathing is a structural sheathing panel with a laminated moisture barrier that eliminates the need for air infiltration barrier, ice and water shield, and roofing felt paper. You can use H-clips with our roof sheathing. You simply install the sheathing panels over framing the traditional way, tape the abutting edges, and you have a wall/roof system and code-recognized ice and water shield underlayment all in one. Shingles, siding and brick veneers, and all types of roof coverings, can be applied directly on top of the Drywood roof sheathing with the edges taped. Once again, our website will help builders better understand the product and the advantages of using it.

Describe your decision to manufacture the panels yourself here in Peoria.
After much research and consulting with professionals, I made the easy decision to manufacture the panels myself. I purchased the equipment required to produce the panels and am now working on finding a distributor to carry the panels and sell them to the local contractors.

Are you currently working with local contractors?
I have been busy quoting panels for some of the local builders, but with the downturn in the local housing markets I have had to reach out to other regions and am presently focusing on the west suburbs of Chicago.

In how many sites have Drywood panels been installed?
Drywood has been used on at least 25 different projects. It works perfectly for new construction as well as remodeling. Even roofing contractors find it beneficial as they can dry-in as they re-sheet an old roof.

How do you plan to market and distribute Drywood panels?
My desire is to one day have a wholesale distributor carry the product to distribute to their local contractors. Once the housing markets improve and builders realize how simple and cost effective it is, I think more and more will choose to use our next-generation sheathing.

How has the economic downturn impacted your company?
Demand is down for all types of building materials, but we are looking at this positively. We figure that by introducing a product when the market is slow, we can keep perfecting the product and be ready for full-scale production when demand increases. We are at that point now and ready for some big orders.

What do you hope for in the future for Drywood Products?
The future is looking good for us. Builders are tired of call-backs due to ice dams, blown-off material, and other forms of waste, costing them time, productivity, efficiency and most importantly, money. I really believe that our high-performance panels will be the way homes are built in the future. We have applied for additional patents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and are certain we will obtain the additional intellectual property needed to enhance our product as it develops. Stay tuned to our website, as we will keep everyone updated on future developments as they occur. We are excited for what is ahead in our local and national economy. iBi