One of the ways lumberyards can attract more consumer business is to offer simple, do-it-yourself building projects using materials they stock. That’s exactly what April Salsman did for customers at the Foxworth-Galbraith Home Improvement Center in Woodland Park, Colorado.
Salsman, who is a department manager at the store, created a plan for a customizable greenhouse that can be made to fit any size backyard. Greenhouses have been popular because they help do-it-yourselfers grow plants in the Colorado environment, which can often be challenging for gardening. It also taps into a larger trend of consumers who want to grow their own food.
“I actually got the original idea from an issue of Countryside magazine; I just embellished it,” Salsman says. “I created a plan for it that used a lot of the items we sell in the store. It shows people what we can do with a limited amount of space.”
Salsman has assembled a complete kit of building materials used to create the greenhouses, including wood for the base and door, cattle fencing panels for the frame and heavy plastic to cover the panels. Since customers are building the greenhouses themselves, they can customize them to fit their needs. The standard width is 6 feet, but the length can vary, depending on how many panels customers want to add. For inside the greenhouse, Salsman provides a plan for creating raised beds.
To guide customers along the project, Salsman created a pamphlet that includes the list of materials, step-by-step instructions and some tips for building.
For anyone who has questions, she can provide firsthand experience. Outside the front of the store, Salsman built a small greenhouse to advertise the project, and she keeps it full of blooming, colorful flowers. That helps sell the project and even attracts a few new customers.
“We fill the greenhouse up with flowers to help set the mood and draw people in to see it,” she says. “Many of those are people who never even knew we were here. I think it’s also helped draw in more female shoppers.”