Customers who need ideas as they plan construction of their new homes know they can count on Hilltop Lumber. The Alexandria, Minn., location contains four idea houses within its show room, each featuring different types of siding and various styles of Marvin windows.
“We wanted to do a new display to showcase the different kinds of windows we sold,” general manager Brian Klimek says. “We had the room and height to do real-life displays, so our draftsman put together plans for four different homes, and we worked alongside a contractor to get them set up. We had a designer choose colors for each of the homes and make sure everything was color-coordinated.”
One house contains Hardiplank siding, while another has Certaineed vinyl. Inside, the trusses are open so customers can see more details of the house’s construction. “We have gables, valleys and ridges so they can see all different kinds of profiles,” Klimek says. “On the inside, we do different trim options to match different species of wood, profiles and thicknesses.”
Klimek says the idea houses have helped sales because customers can see and touch products in-person—something they can’t do when shopping online. “There are so many options. Whether it’s an arched-top patio door or tilt-turn windows, I know some of the sales we’ve made are just because customers are able to try the display before making a purchase.” Before putting together the idea houses, Klimek and his team toured other show rooms nearby to look for ideas and see what they liked about each one. “We took the best ideas and put them together in a way that worked for our store and our footprint,” he says.