Discount Lumber & Building Supplies Inc., a longtime business located at 8003 N. Market, has expanded its services to include metal roll forming, a process that produces metal panels for roofing, siding, and post-frame, or pole building, construction.
Company President Mark Gatlin says Discount Lumber has invested about $1.5 million in launching the new division and began production of the metal products in mid-April. He says the company's new offerings have been well-received and that Discount Lumber presold more than 40 separate orders of various metal paneling and roofing products, worth around $150,000, before beginning production.
It bought a 40-foot-long roll-forming machine manufactured by Spokane-based Metal Rollforming Systems and housed the machine in a roughly 5,500-square-foot warehouse on the Discount Lumber site, Gatlin says.
He says he's hired two employees experienced with metal roll-forming to work exclusively in the company's new division, boosting its work force to 30 employees overall.
Most of the metal products Discount Lumber will produce are used in the construction of warehouses, workshops, and garages, says Gatlin.
"It is unusual that a lumber yard got into this" type of work, he says. He says he saw the opportunity to expand into a market that has relatively little competition here, and that in the current economic climate it's important to diversify. "We're really going to try to make a splash" with the new division, Gatlin says.
Discount Lumber has been in business here since 1943 and sells lumber and building supplies and provides millwork and truss making services. About 60 percent of the company's business comes from general contractors, with the remainder from home owners who are working on private remodeling or construction projects, says Gatlin.
Gatlin owns the business with his father, Bud, and says, "None of this would have ever happened if it wasn't for my grandfather," Howard, the founder.
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