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Turning ‘Scrap’ Into Savings

Porters Building Center prides itself on providing whatever its customers need. From a full-service lumberyard to rental and hardware, the four-location business has built a loyal following for service and products. Yet one of its most desired products started as an outlet for “scrap” lumber.

When developing a creative use for warped and unsellable lumber, Porters Building Center founder Mack Porter created a template for what would become a thriving shed business. Mack Porter doesn’t believe in scrap, he says, but he knew there had to be a way to make use of odd cuts of lumber.

The template, which is still in use in the lumberyard behind the Porters location in Kearney, Missouri, was first used to fit pieces of lumber together into trusses, allowing the lumber to be used as the frame for the sheds. The wood would fit into the template like pieces in a puzzle, which allowed employees to use almost any piece of wood to build a shed.

Once enough wood was collected to complete the trusses, a shed could be built on the frame.

Today, the sheds have become so popular in the area that the business has long since stopped using warped lumber for their construction, Mack Porter’s grandson Alex Porter says. The sheds come ready for paint and are delivered to a customer’s yard upon completion.

“We put a lot of pride in their construction, and we’re able to work with customers on alterations and other customization packages they want. That could be moving a door to a different side or adding a window. For the price we put on them, they’re a really great option for our customers,” Alex says.

About Chad Husted

Chad is an assistant editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A Purdue University graduate, Chad has covered sports and news at the high school, college and Olympic levels as a sports writer, editor and designer for multiple newspapers. Prior to joining the NRHA, he was the sports editor for the Herald Journal in Monticello, Indiana, and a designer and copy editor for the AIM Media Indiana group in Columbus, Indiana. When not cultivating his beard, he enjoys backpacking, cooking, traveling and watching too much sports and Netflix.

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