Marling Lumber Expands its Showroom Presence

August 10, 2009
The leadership at Marling Lumber, a 105-year-old company with several locations in Wisconsin, believes in investment for the future, despite the economy.

Marling Lumber completed a $2 million renovation of a former lumber yard in Janesville, Wis., into an elaborate showroom concept called HomeWorks in July. The 17,000 square foot facility took 18 months to complete and includes both the showroom and renovated corporate offices.

Founded in 1904, the company operates lumber yards in both Janesville and Madison, Wis., and has four HomeWorks showroom sites in Janesville, Madison, Waukesha and Green Bay, Wis. The company also includes a cabinet distribution company and an exterior door division.

"We've seen downturns before in our 105 years in business," says Kurt Marling, CEO and president. "We were around during the great depression and survived a fire in 1971 that destroyed our yard. Customers and employees remained loyal. So today, in spite of the economy, we continue to invest in the future by expanding our operations with a new location and 7 new staff members."

The showroom has building products displayed with a full-scale city street showcase, complete with a hand-painted sky on the ceiling.

The HomeWorks concept features a city scape inside the building displaying various exterior products and wall facades, elaborate kitchen and cabinet displays, an area dedicated to products that help people age-in-place, and offers builders and contractors 24-hour access to serve their customers. The showroom also includes windows trimmed in more than 16 different wood species and interior and exterior doors in about 60 styles.

"Homeowners remodel and build even during downturns, and they will hopefully see our new HomeWorks showroom as a source of fresh ideas for their next home or remodeling project. We view this downturn as an opportunity to set the stage for growth over the next several years," says Tom Marling, vice president.

On July 18, the company hosted  a grand opening for its renovation. During work hours, the showroom is staffed by 11 designers, and approved builders have 24-hour access in order to bring homeowners to the facility at their convenience.