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December/January 2017/18

EZ Portable Buildings: Easy Options, Creating Space

Annual Supplier Directory

Sales Signal Trends to Watch Industry News

Local Ordinance Checklist Three Men and a Barrel

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Features 20 26

18 6 Editor’s Note 8 Industry News


EZ Portable Buildings EZ Portable Buildings looks to make “opportunities” for its employees and its customers. By Matt Poe

Year Behind, Year Ahead Shed sales in 2017 signal new trends to watch in 2018. By Megan Headley

Local Ordinances  Helping your customers navigate code requirements is just good business. By Megan Headley

 018 Supplier Directory 38 2Keep this handy directory on file to find sources for all of your shed building needs.



12 COLUMN: NBSRA 14 COLUMN: Local Search Engine Optimization  by Patrick Miller 16 Concession Sheds by Matt Poe 18 The Big Shed Show  by Matt Poe

FINISHING TOUCHES 44 COLUMN: How to Plan by Coach Thom Finn

48 COLUMN: Attitude=Direction by Charles Hutchins

50 Shed Marketing: TV Commercials by Matt Poe

52 Colorado Shed Builder Launches New Website by Chris Stoltzfus

OUT THE DOOR 56 Three Men and a Barrel by Tyler Mayhan


Shed Builder  December/January 2017/18


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Editor’s Note

Opportunity I’m a storyteller. When I’m planning or researching articles for Shed Builder Magazine, I’m looking for a story to tell. Many times, shed builders don’t think they have a story—but you all do. Our cover profile subject, EZ Portable Buildings in Paducah, Kentucky, has a story to tell (page 20). More than that, they know their customers have their own stories, and EZ Portable wants to help build that story. That’s why they say, “We build opportunity.” They’re building opportunities for customers with every shed they build. They’re making opportunities for their employees. And they’re making opportunities by creating customizable structures. Speaking of customizing, that was a shed trend in 2017. Homeowners wanted more options and were willing to spend more on sheds. And that trends will likely continue into 2018. You can read about more trends from 2017 that will create opportunity in 2018 on page 26. Maybe you’re looking for more opportunities for material suppliers in your own business. Well, once again this issue features the Supplier Directory. Starting on page 38, you’ll find listings and contacts for all of your shed-building needs, from the lumber you use to make a frame to the trim you put on the windows. Want more opportunities? Our columnists always have ideas and suggestions to improve your shed sales, upgrade your marketing, even improve your attitude. Last, but not least, Tyler Mayhan from Better Barns always offers the opportunity for a laugh. In this issue, he writes about three men and a barrel. You’ll have to turn to page 56 to get the whole story. Shed Builder Magazine is here to give you opportunities. Opportunities to increase your business. Opportunities to learn different techniques. Even opportunities to share your story. You know you have one. Email me at, and we’ll work together to put your story into words. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Well, once every other month, but you know what I mean.

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017/18 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 6 PUBLISHER Marty Boltres,  EDITOR Matt Poe,  CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Megan Headley, Chris Stoltzfus COLUMNISTS NBSRA Board, Thom Finn, Charles Hutchins, Tyler Mayhan, Patrick Miller, Darren Satsky GRAPHIC DESIGN Stephanie Biddle, Shed Builder Magazine is published bi-monthly by Boltres & Company LLC, P.O. Box 782, Ada, Michigan 49301. PHONE: 616-575-9998. FAX: 616-582-6300.

 att Poe M Editor

Correction: Due to an editor’s error in the Out the Door column of the October/November issue, Byler Barns was mistakenly identified as the business with the Help-a-Hoot. It is Better Barns. Shed Builder Magazine regrets the error and any confusion it may have caused.


Shed Builder  December/January 2017/18

Shed Builder Magazine accepts and considers only unpublished, non-copyrighted, original articles for publication with no guarantee stated or implied. Publisher reserves the right to accept, edit and/or reject any article or advertisement submitted to this magazine for any reason without showing cause. This magazine, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced or stored, in whole or in part, by any means whatsoever including digital or electronic formats, or as part of a computer or web-based retrieval system without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2017 Boltres & Company LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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INDUSTRY NEWS The Parade of Play Homes was on display September 30 through October 15 at various locations during the annual Triangle Parade of Homes presented by the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County and the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties. PHOTO COURTESY OF TERRAMOR HOMES

MIRATEC® BY JELD-WEN HELPS SUPPORT DUKE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AND YMCA MiraTEC by JELD-WEN recently supported Terramor Homes’ 2017 Parade of Play Homes in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company reports. Terramor Homes built 10 play homes that were raffled and auctioned off with proceeds benefitting Duke Children’s Hospital and YMCA of the Triangle. MiraTEC donated materials for construction of the play homes. The Terramor team designed and built each play home with a theme, including a lighthouse and fire station. These play homes were built to inspire young minds and foster creative fun. “The MiraTEC team is delighted to support this unique and heartfelt campaign by donating materials for construction,” says Peggie Bolan, vice president and general manager of building products for JELD-WEN, the manufacturer of MiraTEC trim. The play homes featured MiraTEC® exterior trim, an  environmentally friendly  wood composite product manufactured in Towanda, Pennsylvania, that combines the eye-catching beauty of cedar with the long-lasting performance of an engineered product. Because it is not hardboard, MiraTEC trim will not delaminate and it is moisture, rot, and termite resistant, the company says. MiraTEC products are backed by a 50-year limited warranty. MiraTEC trim has no added urea-formaldehyde (certified by Scientific Certification Systems under certificate number SCSNAUF-01802), and complies with the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) 93120 to utilize exempt status ultra-low emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) resins making it an excellent choice for sustainable building.


Shed Builder  December/January 2017/18

PORTABLE GARAGE, SHED BUILDER MOVES TO NEW LOCATION At the end of October, Sheds Unlimited left the fifth-generation family farm in Gap to occupy their new portable garage and shed building facility in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, the company reports. After months of building and preparation, the company has made the final move from the farm which Sheds Unlimited called home for many years. The company owners say they are excited about the increased exposure at their new facility, which is just off Route 23 and near the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Morgantown. The growing family shed and garage business was launched on the farm in 1989 when Steve Stoltzfus Sr.’s five sons needed work, and he was looking for extra income to support his struggling dairy. Building  portable garages  and sheds began in a small implement shed that still stands and later above the dairy facility on the farm. Then it was a 5,400-square-foot building that was built to accommodate the small business. At first, father and sons built portable sheds and portable garages and delivered within about 50 miles of their farm in Lancaster County. For a few years, manufacturing was moved to Honey Brook due to township regulations but later returned when the zoning rules made room for small farm businesses. Times have changed and the business has grown substantially since 1989.

“Two main things changed the trajectory of the company,” says Chris Stoltzfus, former owner, son of the founder and now the marketing director for Sheds Unlimited at E-Impact Marketing. “The first was a launch into internet marketing and, as a result of that exposure, a growing demand for customized structures. The two combined to propel Sheds Unlimited to become one of the most diversified garage and shed builders in Lancaster County.”  What started as a small portable garage and portable shed company south of the village of White Horse today employs 30-plus people and delivers portable garages, sheds, two car garages, three car garages,  four car garages  and a host of customized structures within 300 miles of their location.  SOUTHERNCARLSON ACQUIRES TIGHTON TOOLS SouthernCarlson Inc., a distributor of fastening and packaging products, has added Nebraska-based Tighton Tools and Fasteners, the company reports. The acquisition was finalized on September 1, 2017, expanding the organization's Midwest footprint and service capabilities. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Like SouthernCarlson, Tighton shares the same core values and commitments to its employees and customers, says Dan Williams, president of Tighton Tools and Fasteners. “We are extremely excited to be joining the SouthernCarlson family of companies,” Williams says. “Utilizing the companies' 14 regional distribution centers will allow us to continue providing excellent service to our customers through our existing retail locations, but also enables us to support our e-commerce footprint and enhance the SouthernCarlson online presence with a wider range of product offerings and faster delivery times. Both companies throughout the years have had a desire to exceed customer expectations which makes this a perfect partnership.” “Tighton Tools and Fasteners has built a very strong organization focused on customer satisfaction and execution, says Jim

Whitley, president of SouthernCarlson. “I look forward to working closely with Dan, as well as the entire Tighton team. Tighton employees and customers have always shared our commitment to service excellence and integrity. Together, we now look forward to an exciting future as we continue our growth in the Midwest market.”

“As pleased as I am personally to be in our new facility, I am even happier for our entire office staff,” says Greg Cook, president. “They very much deserve the ‘upgrade’ and have patiently waited the past few years as discussion and planning finally turned into action.” Construction on the new office building took 10 months. Staff moved into the new facility August 21. Dairyman’s also has a location in Gadsden, Alabama.

BUILDING MATERIALS WHOLESALER MOVES INTO NEW OFFICE Dairyman’s Supply Company moved into a new office building at the end of August at its Mayfield, Kentucky location, the company reports. Dairyman’s is a wholesaler that supplies building materials to retail lumber yards and building centers in the Southeast. That includes materials used by shed builders.

PIEROT JOINS ROSEBURG FOREST PRODUCTS SALES TEAM Phil Pierot has joined Roseburg Forest Products as business manager-Simsboro, Louisiana, the company reports.

The hire took effect September 11. “Phil is a strong talent, who is very familiar with Simsboro and its primary market,” says Jim Buffington, Roseburg’s director of composite sales. “He will be a great addition to our already strong sales team, and we are excited to have him on board.” Pierot has spent the past 28 years in the wood products industry, most recently with Arauco North America, where he served as national sales manager. Mark Avery, vice president of composite business, says Pierot’s deep experience in particleboard sales and his knowledge of market challenges will be critical as Roseburg and other manufacturers adjust to the expanded manufacturing capacity created by several new mills. Pierot will relocate to Louisiana from North Carolina. He will report to Jim Buffington, director of composite sales. Have news to share with the shed industry? Email it, with a photo, to

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FRAMEWORK: lumber market report

Lumber Prices Setting Records Perfect storm of factors cause prices to rise.


es, the lumber market is setting records … but why is it setting records? Improving macro-economic forces, supply disruptions, unexpected

er spending (because of Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida), and a decline in construction. The economy was being powered by a tightening labor market.

By Darren Satsky


U.S. Department of Commerce announced the final determination in the countervailing and anti-dumping duty cases against Canadian lumber imports. Most Canadian producers will pay total duties of 20.83 percent on lumber shipments to the United States. Final duties will not be collected until the U.S. ITC gives a positive final ruling. That decision is scheduled for December 18. If their ruling is positive then Commerce will issue CVD and AD orders around December 26. It appears that any attempt to reach a negotiated settlement has completely stalled. NAFTA negotiations continue sometime next year. OUTLOOK AND TIPS

natural disasters, and unresolved trade policy (Canadian tariffs) are combining to make market swings more volatile. Let’s take a deeper look at why lumber prices are elevated and what you can do to manage your inventory. OVERALL ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

The U.S. economy unexpectedly maintained a brisk pace of growth in the third quarter. The first reading on third quarter GDP was up 3 percent, vs. an expected 2.5 percent rise. An increase in inventory investment and a smaller trade deficit offset a hurricane-related slowdown in consum-

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WSPF 2 by 4 #2 and better prices increased approximately 16 percent over the previous 8 weeks. Prices of WSPF 2 by 4 and 2 by 6 #2 and better are near record highs. ESPF 2 by 4 #2 and better prices rose approximately 14 percent over the same time period. SYP 2 by 4 #2 prices rose about 11 percent. Treated SYP 2 by 4 #2 prices were up about the same amount as the bright stock, 11 percent on average. KD Western SPF studs were down approximately 2 percent, and Eastern SPF studs rose about 4 percent over the previous eight weeks.

Distribution and wholesale inventories are currently extremely low. Carload wood bought last week is three to four weeks from hitting the ground. End users are actively buying truckload wood on a daily basis, because it’s hard to buy multiple cars at today’s levels. Demand in the marketplace continues to be strong. What should you do today? It appears we are in an extended period of elevated lumber prices. Though prices have increased significantly, be aware that the market will likely not provide much price relief anytime soon. If it does, it’s likely a buying opportunity. Meanwhile, prompt wood is king. Darren Satsky is owner of Lumber Technology Corp., a wholesale lumber firm. He has 27 years’ experience specializing in high-quality lumber to the shed builder market. He can be contacted via email at

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Get It in Writing There are immense benefits to having detailed, unambiguous, and well-written documentation in all business transactions. By NBSRA Board


ow many times in business have you heard the saying, “Verbal agreements work fine—until they don’t”? The simple fact of the matter is things can and will go wrong in business. Conditions change for a number of reasons and you end up hearing another common phrase in business, “Did you get it in writing?” Many times, in our industry of rent-to-own, manufacturers find themselves asking if all the paperwork required by the rental agencies is really worth it. At what point is enough, enough? It’s true, as a manufacturer, you may find rent-to-own providers that require less documentation than others. While this may appear to be the simplest choice for your company at face value, it may actually cause a larger problem in the long run. How as an industry can we justify the practice of neglecting proper documentation processes during the early stages of a rent-to-own transaction? Secondly, does the industry, manufacturers and RTO providers, fully understand the ramifications that our upfront decisions can have down the road? We need to ask ourselves, “Are we keeping with the clear and concise narrative of who the shed and RTO

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industry is and the image we strive to uphold?” This narrative relies heavily on caring for the customers and always understanding that they are people, first and foremost, not just revenue. We do our customers an injustice when we do not adhere to collecting all the necessary documentation that will allow their experience with your company, and the RTO provider representing your company, to be the absolute best from start to finish. Rent-to-own shed transactions provide a service to a customer base that may not have the alternatives to traditional financing. It is a no-creditcheck process that encompasses a wide range of customer histories. There is no denying that pickups, whether voluntary or non-voluntary, happen in our business. Proper documentation on landowner permission forms at point of sale can greatly ease the burden a driver may face in the field at time of delivery or pickup. A detailed and specific contract can also provide the clarity and sense of security a customer needs in order to keep from feeling blindsided on pricing and terms. An extensive customer data sheet provides the tools your RTO provider needs to best represent your company when contacting for

payments, locating overdue customers, or serving legal documents to appropriate individuals if the need arises. These are just some of the examples of the proper paperwork that, when collected at point of sale, can have a large impact on your company’s reputation in the shed industry with the public. The average consumer prefers to feel they are entering into a well thought out and organized transaction. There are immense benefits to having detailed, unambiguous, and well-written documentation in all business transactions, including customer, suppliers, contractors, and RTO providers. Remember these four words: Get it in writing. You’ll save a lot of time and money for your business if you do. The race to the bottom always ends with everyone on the bottom. The National Barn and Storage Rental Association (NBSRA) seeks to provide helpful tools to the RTO shed industry by raising awareness of legal issues, providing updated information on ethical and trustworthy business practices, and networking with others in the industry. We highly recommend that your RTO provider be a member of NBSRA and that their RTO contracts be reviewed by an NBSRA attorney for legal compliance. For more information, contact









December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 



Local Search Engine Optimization 7 indispensable local search engine optimization tips for a 2018 SEO strategy.   By Patrick Miller


ocal search engine optimization is the science of ranking well in local search results. More than ever before, local search results are driving customers to small businesses. With a smartphone at hand, your potential customers look for your goods and services online. Let’s face it, the shed business is highly local in nature. While a strong brand can make you well known across the country, most sheds are sold to customers near to the dealers or manufacturers. How can you make sure that your customers find you when they pull out their smartphone and look for storage sheds near them? The following seven tips can help you reach those potential customers. 1. GET LISTED ON GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

The first step is to claim your online listing on Google’s own platform. Go to and claim your profile. Then, update it with the right information about your hours, your products, photos, and your name, address, and phone number. Claiming your listing and verifying it has a lot of advantages, but most importantly, you’ll show up in Google Maps and other local search products. After you’ve claimed your Google My Business page, take advantage of it by posting relevant updates or specials to that page. Recent posts can help your local listing show up in local search results. There are other benefits that I’ll mention further down  2. UPDATE YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, AND PHONE NUMBER (NAP); MAKE THEM CONSISTENT ACROSS WEB DIRECTORIES 

Search engines are big on trust. If your business appears trustworthy to the

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software bots that are crawling all over the internet, your website is more likely to rank higher in search results. A big indicator of trust is if all of your information is consistent across the many web directories that feed info to the search engines. It’s easy to have inconsistent listings (old phone numbers, old addresses, misspellings, etc.) in the dozens of online databases, which makes your business look less trustworthy to search engines.  Start by making sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is prominently displayed on the homepage of your website. Then, check for errors online.  The best free tool to check these listings is found at You can plug in your business info to check for problems. For a fee, Moz will update these listings for you, or you can update them manually for free. (I don’t have any affiliation with Moz, it’s just the best tool I’ve found for this.) 3. SEEK REVIEWS 

As I mentioned, trust is a big factor in rankings. Having your customers review your business online shows search engines that you are a trusted business, and it helps to boost your local search rankings. Moz, the software company I mentioned above, estimates that online reviews contribute up to 10 percent of how Google decides to rank your local business. On your sales receipts or post-sale email content, ask your customers if they would be so kind as to leave a review for you on your Google Business listing, or on Facebook, or one of the other local review sites. (Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, etc.). In addition to helping boost your local rankings, reviews are critical—as much as 90 percent of buyers say they read online reviews when deciding where to purchase a product or service. 


Make sure to mention your location (city, state) in your website content, and even in the URL structure itself. A good way to structure a URL for local search is like this: or similar. Organize your website content for each area you want to serve, and make sure you ask your web developer to include local information in your title tags and header tags on your website. Ask your web developer to put your business information in Schema markup on your website. This is a part of your website’s HTML code that is specifically structured in a way that helps search engines sort out who you are and what you do. It’s also very beneficial to have other trusted websites that have local influence link to your website. For example, a local chamber of commerce other similar organization linking to your website from their site will give you a boost.  All of this makes it much easier for Google and other search engines to tell what you do and where you do it, and it increases your chances of ranking well in local search results.  5. GET MOBILE FIRST

A few years ago, it became clear to many business owners that their websites needed to be “mobile friendly.” Now it appears that the paradigm has shifted, and design needs

to start with a focus on the mobile experience and scale to the desktop from there. Google has made it clear that they will depress your website in search rankings if your website doesn’t work well on mobile. It’s more than just being “mobile optimized,” it means everything should work as well on mobile as the desktop. Your site should load fast, and the relevant information should be easy to navigate through on a smartphone. Avoid any popups or things that could mar the mobile experience. Fortunately, most modern website platforms make it fairly straightforward to have a great mobile version of your website. If you haven’t made this investment yet, there’s no better time than 2018.

of the above steps will help tremendously, for starters. In addition to that, there are a few keyword related strategies you can try: Create a webpage on your site targeted to a “near me” keyword. For example, www.  Create content on your website using the “keyword + near + city” format. You might mention “pool house builder near Nashville” on your webpage dedicated to pool houses. Test local paid search (PPC) with a broad match campaign, to see what people in your area are actually search-

ing for. You can review the searches that caused your paid ad to be shown, then create content on your website around those phrases. There’s a lot to pay attention to when it comes to marketing and digital marketing in particular. As you prepare for 2018, consider your local search presence, and dedicate some resources to making sure that your customers can find you when they’re looking for you. Patrick Miller is vice president of marketing for Woodtex.


Search used to be very “keyword-based.” More and more searches are happening outside of the traditional Google search box. Voice search is on the rise, as people talk to their smartphones to find the information they’re looking for. In addition to looking at traditional keywords like “storage sheds,” consider adding content on your website that addresses voice searches. Voice searches may be highly specific or vague. For example, a potential customer might say to their smartphone assistant, “where can I get a storage shed with low payments” or “place to store my boat.” Add content to your website that includes these queries and answers them. For example, you might have a piece of content titled “The Perfect Place to Store Your Boat.” In the article, be sure to answer questions that a boat owner would have if he was evaluating a shed as a storage solution for his boat.  7. CAPTURE ‘NEAR ME’ SEARCHES

Related to Voice Search, but slightly different, are “Near Me” searches. For example, “storage sheds for sale near me.” “Near me” searches are on the rise, as your customers depend on their virtual assistants on their smartphones to find what they’re looking for.  It’s difficult to pin down one tactic that will help you capture “near-me” searches, but there are a number of things you can do to capture these searches. Implementing all December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 


FRAMEWORK: concession sheds

Market Possibility: Concession Sheds From schools to fire stations, sheds are being made into concession stands By Matt Poe

Some stands are used as coffee shops.


uring the fall sports season, many people no doubt paid a visit to one of the most important areas of a public sporting event. No, not the bathrooms. Or the ticket booth. We’re talking about the concession stand, where folks in the crowd can get all sorts of food and snacks and drinks that make sports viewing all the more fun. Shed builders across the country are adapting their sheds to become concession stands for their customers. One such builder is Stoltzfus Structures in Atglen, Pennsylvania.

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Many concession shed/stands are used by schools.

Jonathan Zook, partner and general manager, says the company got into concession stands because of customer demand. “It was by being willing to listen to customers’ needs and wanting to add value to their lives by building specific structures for any need they may have,” Zook says. He says most of Stoltzfus Structures’ concession stand customers are schools, which use the stands to serve food at sporting events. Zook has also seen fire companies use them for fundraisers. “Sometimes we see them being used by small business owners that sell burgers, wings, or ice cream,” he says. “Or, a coffee shop.” Zook says the company sells around 15-20 of the concession shed/stands every year. That’s roughly 1 percent of the company’s annual business. Adapting sheds to serve as concession stands isn’t too involved, mostly windows and counters. “Our standard concession stand has a 3-foot-high by 6-foot-wide sliding glass window in it with removable panes so they can open the front up on warm days, or if they have two people at the serving window,” Zook says. “On the outside of that is a 12-inch by 6-foot counter for customers to set items on as they are paying. “Also, we include vents because of the heat that comes from preparing food, and an electric package to power their utilities.” The biggest challenge Stoltzfus Structures faces regarding its concession stands? Permitting. “The town can be tough from a code perspective because of food being prepared inside,” Zook says. While concession stands don’t make up a lot of the company’s business, Zook says it’s worthwhile because building the stands doesn’t interfere with traditional shed business. “We have a bay where we build all our specialty buildings as not to have it tie up the production line because of details that go into it,” he says. “Also, it’s a portable shed first, and then all the aspects of a concession are built into what is a shed first.”

Inside, a shed is altered to be able to serve food items.

photo courtesy of Stoltzfus Structures

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December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 


FRAMEWORK: the big shed show

The Big Shed Show: Yes, It Was Big! Attendees were lining up out the door to get into the show.

By Matt Poe

Exhibitors filled the hall with all kinds of products related to shed building.

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t was called The Big Shed Show. And, yes, it was big. The shed industry, from builders to suppliers, came together September 28 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, to share ideas, learn about products, and, ultimately, grow the business. Capital Forest Products in Annapolis, Maryland, and Union Grove Lumber in Harmony, North Carolina, combined efforts this year to put on The Big Shed Show. “It’s one of our biggest shows for attendance this year, and every year it seems to be growing,” says Tom Merkert of Capital Forest Products. “We’re really excited about that. We’ve got people coming from different areas of the country, and, obviously, local.” More than 1,500 shed builders made their way through the James E. Bruce Convention Center. Attendees came from 40 states and two countries. “I have a good feeling for the shed builders,” says Mo Lunsford from Union Grove Lumber. “The shed industry, unlike a lot of industries, has continued to push forward and has been going up as far as sales are concerned.” If the line to get into the show venue was any sign (builders were lined up into the parking lot), Lunsford’s feeling is spot-on. The shed builders were lined up to view the products and services offered by 60 exhibitors in the packed hall. Vendors set up in the hall the day before and got to the center at 6 a.m. to be ready for attendees, who started the day with a hearty breakfast before taking it all in. Lumber, trailers, doors, windows, software, and many more items were available to see and touch and learn more about from the vendors. “I came here to look at all of the products,” says Luke Burkeholder from Overholt & Sons, which is based in Russelville, Kentucky. “I like to go back and think about what I saw. We’re busy, keeping busy all year long.” “It’s interesting to see all these things in one spot,” adds Brian Lambright, Montana Shed Center, located in Great Falls, Montana. Amos Esh, a first-time show attendee from Barns Unlimited in New Castle, Indiana, was impressed by what exhibitors had to offer. “I’ve seen a few things that I haven’t seen before,” he says. Many builders came to the show in Hopkinsville to compare products needed for business. “With lumber prices going up, you have to pay attention to all of the companies,” says Dennis Schlabach from County Cabins in West Union, Ohio. “And the companies here are focused on the shed industry.” It wasn’t just shed builders in attendance. Professionals from all facets of the industry came, including James Mast of J. Mast Transport in Clarkson, Kentucky. “I’m delivering a lot of sheds,” Mast says. “I’m looking at anything to do with delivery, like the Mule, any type of transport item.” In addition to exhibiting products and services, vendors provided more than $40,000 worth of prizes that were given away to attendees by random drawing. Some of the giveaways included crossbows, coolers, gift cards, and much more. David Yoder from Eagle Buildings in Winchester, Ohio, took home the big prize: an Alterra VLX 700 ATV donated by Roseburg Forest Products.

Besides the exhibits and door prizes, attendees also had the chance to attend one of eight seminars on topics ranging from lumber to rent-to-own to siding. Many of the sessions were packed, with attendees listening in from the hallway. “I think our industry is recognized as honest and hard working,” Lunsford says. “These are good folks here, and they sell a lot of barns. We love barns, and when I drive down the road, I want to see one behind every house.” And that’s a possibility as the shed industry grows, especially with events like The Big Shed Show. “The growth over the last 25 to 30 years has been amazing,” Merkert says. “The shops were much smaller. Today, guys are building 25,000-square-foot buildings with moving floors. We’ve really gone to a new level in the shed industry.” “There are great things to come for the show, and for the industry,” says Dan Petershiem, owner of Pine Hill Trailers located in Gordonville, Pennsylvania, which sponsored lunch for the show. “It’s going to be big.”

Daniel Yoder sits on his new ATV, donated by Roseburg Forest Products. The educational sessions were packed by interested builders.

Mo Lunsford of Union Grove Lumber (left) and Tom Merkert from Capital Forest Products. The two companies put on the show together this year. December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 





20 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18

We Build

pportunity’ EZ Portable Buildings looks to make “opportunities” for its employees and its customers.


By Matt Poe

rendon Burnett has always been building. “I was born with a hammer in my hand,” Burnett, jokes. For years, Burnett operated a successful residential and commercial construction business in Western Kentucky, but he always dreamed of something bigger. It was this vision and experience that helped Burnett launch EZ Portable Buildings (EZPB) in 2013. EZPB exists to give people easy options to create more space by building customizable structures that last. “We will not cut corners,” says Burnett. “We’re dedicated to building the best building possible.” “Trendon’s construction experience helped create the fabric and DNA of how EZPB approaches manufacturing,” says EZ Portable CMO Craig Felker.

December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 


“We approach every portable building just like we would build a house,” says Burnett. “Our goal is to become the industry leader in the ‘high-end’ customizable portable buildings market. Ultimately, we want to create a culture that places a higher value on relationships than the bottom line. Yes, it’s important that we make money, but the lasting relationships we build with our customers, employees, and industry partners are what really matters. “We recognize that we are a young company, and we know we’re different, but we’re excited about the opportunity to learn and grow with other great companies in this industry.” SMALL BEGINNINGS

Burnett, CEO of the company, started EZ Portable Buildings with the help of a few close friends, in a small gas station in Metropolis, Illinois.

Pictured, left to right, Craig Felker, CMO; Rob Eaton, COO; Trendon Burnett, CEO; and Andrew Cottrell, VP of Development.

22 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18

The station was so small, builders had to brave freezing temperatures to help build the company’s initial inventory. “As with any start-up company, we’ve negotiated a variety of obstacles with the help of a handful of loyal business partners,” says Burnett. Loyalty is of great value to Burnett. He has a deeply held desire to build an organization that would provide opportunity for others through stable employment. “He learned early in his construction career that quality sells, but recognized that it was extremely difficult to scale a custom home and garage building company and create jobs,” says Felker. “He recognized an opportunity to fulfill a niche in the Portable Buildings industry that could be scaled and provide many jobs in his area.” EZ has quickly outgrew the modest

beginnings, and moved into a new facility in 2015. COO Rob Eaton, a former Army Warrant Officer, was involved in operations and purchasing for large scale residential construction projects in the Southeast prior to joining EZ Portable Buildings a year and a half ago. Today, the company has approximately 100 employees and contracted partners, and two manufacturing facilities. The main manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters is located in Paducah, Kentucky. “In what is likely the largest portable building manufacturing facility in the country, the headquarters is ideally located next to an interstate, and provides 330,000 square feet of covered space, 7 acres under roof,” says Felker. EZ Portable has a secondary facility in Nashville, Georgia. The company reaches



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enginEEred for out-building your outbuilding competition.

a population base of over 35 million people. The company is on pace to sell around 2,000 units this year. EZ Portable Buildings are sold online, through its customer-centric website, or in one of the 50 exclusive dealerships.

and we’re simply the guide with a solution and plan to help them achieve their goals,” he says. “We believe people work hard, and getting the space they need shouldn’t be a chore. That’s why we’re dedicated to keeping things as simple and EZ (see what I did there?) for our customers to get the


space or solution they need.” He says that leading with technology is a central pillar of the company’s strategic plan. An example of this is the “EZ builder,” a customizer tool. “The company takes great pride in creating and developing ways to be better. Steve Jobs once said, ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,’” says Felker. “While we certainly don’t claim to have it all figured out, we do hope to lead with innovation EZ Portable’s goal with the online builder is to allow a consumer to visualize and dream about what their building might look like. The company recently modified the EZ builder so that it is extremely mobile friendly. “We know that over 60 percent of our website traffic is from a mobile device. Thus, it’s imperative our builder is responsive and allows for a seamless experience for every user,” he says.

The company’s success stems from the fact that it is meticulous with every detail of the customer experience and wants to make sure it treats everyone like family. “With that in mind, it’s our focus to build relationships that last,” Felker says. “Whether you visit one of our retail locations, or connect with one of our dedicated online agents, we strive to build trust by educating our customers and being transparent and honest.” From the point of sale to delivery, it’s the company’s goal to offer a best-in-class experience by clearly communicating and doing exactly what it says it’s going to do. “This is the expectation every time we serve a member of the family, and we’re passionate about growing the family,” Felker adds. The company’s marketing approach to facilitate that growth is simple. “Our customers are the heroes, not us,

24 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18

While much of the company’s website traffic comes from mobile devices, the majority of EZ’s sales are conducted on the lot. On the lot, its retail partners have direct, live, access to the company’s proprietary cloud-based point-of-sale software system. “We’re all about making the process as easy as possible for customers,” Felker says. “We exist to give people easy options to create more space by building customizable structures that last.” Popular “structures that last” include the company’s Side Lofted Barn, Side Garden Shed and Standard cabin. However, with the word “customizable” in its mission statement, it only makes sense that EZ Portable’s offerings go beyond the standard. In 2017, they debuted two buildings that gained significant attention: the Cottage Shed and the Austin. The charming Cottage Shed features a faux stone façade, handcrafted shutters and sweeping French doors. The innovative design of the Austin is a first in the portable building industry. “Featuring transom insulated windows and modern clean lines, the Austin has generated more buzz than any other style in our 2017 line,” says Felker. While the company continues to grow in terms of shed design and sale, the leadership team looks to its employees when it looks into the future. “I believe there will be difficult obstacles ahead, but I am a firm believer that those problems will only be solved when people work together in a transparent and honest environment,” says Burnett. “And that’s exactly what we hope to create.” “We’re grateful for the growth we’ve experienced thus far, and have set a goal to employee 500 people,” says Felker. “This is the very heart of our ‘We Build Opportunity’ mantra. The more people we can employee, the more opportunity can be created for our communities.”

Planning ahead for 2018? Good help is easy to find!

December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 


TRENDING: 2017 into 2018

Shed sales in 2017 signal new trends to watch in 2018.

26 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18


he verdict is in: Homeowners are ready to spend on home improvements, and this has been good news for shed builders and dealers. The better news? This is a trend likely to continue into 2018. While the rate of new home construction continues to rise, so too do house prices. Demand, coupled with industry-wide labor shortages and new pressure on building material supply chains worsened by this year’s devastating hurricanes, are pushing prices upward. As a result, more homeowners are opting to stay in place and get creative in how they use their space. As a result, it may be time to consider adding some new options to your sales lot or existing shed styles to maximize your bottom line. HOMEOWNERS ARE SPENDING BIG TO MAXIMIZE THEIR SPACE


Sheds are popular with customers who need to add space immediately.

On the West Coast, California Custom Shed in Salinas, California, is finding customers want the maximum amount of storage space coupled with the least amount of hassle. “Our most common sale is the 120-square-foot shed, which is the 10 by 12 or 8 by 15 [building]. People just want to build the maximum that they can without a permit,” says Patty Denmark, office manager for California Custom Shed. In Penrose, Colorado, Julian Garber, sales manager for Innovative Structures Inc., finds that a simple storage footprint is what customers really want. “Our gable style—others may call it a utility style—is what we’ve sold the most of this year. It’s been the top seller this year and the last year,” shares Garber. The A-shed style is billed as the company’s most economically priced option, but it’s one that offers a wide variety of potential customization around siding, roofing, and the like. But further north, Minnesota homeowners are ready to think big. “This past spring and summer, we’ve seen a lot more garage sales, buildings with an overhead door. Traditionally we’ve sold mostly the standard shed, December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 


Homeowners in the North have been purchasing more garage-style sheds. PHOTO COURTESY OF PRO SHED

with double wooden doors, and it’s still our best seller. But this year we’ve seen a lot more garage styles than we ever have before,” says Andrew Gutchess with Pro Shed in Mountain Lake, Minnesota. In asking customers about the motivation that drives these sales, Gutchess has found that most people buying a garage-style storage building are looking to free up their existing garage and better utilize that existing space—but they still have to have their storage. “It seems like, in general, people have a little bit more cash on hand,” Gutchess adds. “Our garage style is more expensive, but people really like the overhead door. So, it’s one of those things where if they can afford it, they will.” In the third quarter of 2017, the Na-

28 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18

tional Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posted a reading of 57, indicating that more remodelers are seeing increases in market activity. “Remodelers are seeing higher demand in residential repairs, and expect to be busy well into the new year with jumps in work backlog, call for bids, and proposal appointments,” says NAHB Remodelers Chairman Dan Bawden, CAPS, GMB, CGR, CGP, a remodeler from Houston, in a news release on the index. “In addition to the [ongoing] labor shortage, the cost of materials is becoming a pressing issue for remodelers,” adds NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Both of these issues are constraining remodelers’ ability to complete proj-

ects in a timely and cost-effective manner, especially moving forward after natural disasters.” In this regard, ready-made storage buildings may present a particularly attractive option for homeowners looking to add space now. And, as Gutchess points out, those homeowners are ready to spend. “It seems to me like people are spending a little more. We’ve been selling more expensive sheds this year. People are going for the options,” he says. FOR HOMEOWNERS, MORE OPTIONS ARE BETTER

And what are those options? The focus on creating a shed that

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“It didn’t take over quite as well as we figured it would,” Garber says. But as the company continues to present this diverse range of options, it’s also focusing on improving the appearance of its sheds overall. And what is working for this mountain region builder is a cabin look. “We’ve been trying out different cabin models, and that’s been really taking off for us,” Garber says. In the year ahead, the company is looking to further customize its cabin options to further push this line. While cabins may be trending in Colorado, farmhouse chic is seeing renewed popularity in other areas. “The board and batten look seems to be very on trend right now for sheds, as is lap siding,” says Parry Grimm, LP segment marketing associate. In addition to creating the aesthetic popular with today’s homeowners, the products also raise the durability of these building over time. GETTING THE WORD OUT

While cabins may be trending in Colorado, farmhouse chic is seeing renewed popularity in other areas. blends in with the main home—and potentially doubles as additional living, playing, or working space—continues and is driving new options you may see from your distributors. “We’ve added more windows so [the sheds] look more like an office, so people can use it that way—as a home office space—and more than just a shed,” Denmark says. That’s also proved popular in Virginia. Doug Lawin, salesperson for Affordable Shed in Stafford, Virginia, says his top-selling options have included “high-

30 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18

er pitched roofs and lots of windows.” Homeowners continue to push demand for shed customization, which is encouraging more builders to offer a variety of option on standard styles. But finding the right combination of options can take a bit of trial and error. For example, Lawin says, “I tried the metal kick plates on the floors, and they haven’t really taken off yet.” And Innovative Structures developed its Urban Shed as a Millennial-friendly modern option, adding a contemporary flair to more modern homes.

One trend that is truly gaining steam in 2018 is that an increasing number of shed dealers are turning to digital tools to get an edge over their competition. As Garber shares, “We’ve been doing more online marketing since this summer.” In addition, the company has been working with Shed Suite to streamline its inventory process. “We got an app that helps us to keep track of our sheds, where they’re being built, when they were ordered, etc., and our dealers are able to place orders on there. It’s definitely been a huge help,” Garber says. The tool is a one-stop platform for managing every aspect of the shed selling process. If shed sales continue to take off as projected for 2018, one might expect a greater array of tools dedicated to these business owners to push their sales higher still. Megan Headley is a freelance writer with more than a decade of experience writing about the built environment. She can be reached at, or connect with her at meganheadley.

Running a shed business is complicated. We can help.

December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 


Code Control Helping your customers navigate code requirements is just good business. By Megan Headley

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December/January 2017/18


Rural shed owners often have no code regulations to be concerned about.


yler Barns in Virginia cautions homeowners on its website that it pays to do a little advance research on permitting before ordering a shed. “One shed we delivered got a neighbor unhappy. They called Big Brother, and the inspector came down to investigate. Come to find out, the shed was 6 inches (yes, you read right—6 inches) too close to the property line. The delivery guys had to come back out and move the shed. Really, it’s cheaper to check it out beforehand,” the site states. While shed dealers generally make it a policy to ensure the customer manages all permitting to ensure the installation complies with state and local codes, it may also be cheaper for the seller to ensure the customer has a solid education on requirements. Happy customers lead to repeat sales, referrals and more business. And cus-

tomers who find they have to reroof, repaint, or pick up and move a shed mere inches to comply with homeowner association requirements or local codes (and it does happen) are not sending new business your way. WHAT THE CUSTOMER NEEDS TO KNOW

Like many other builders, Pro Shed in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, advises customers that permitting is entirely the customer's responsibility. “In Minnesota, there are certain local setback limits and things like that, and our towns will require a building permit,” explains Andrew Gutchess with Pro Shed. “That’s the part where we tell our customers that’s their responsibility, because it really varies from town to town so much. If we were to get involved, we’d be dealing with probably 50 different sets of rules. So, we tell customers to give their local building inspector a call, usually at the courthouse.”

But prior to these calls, future shed owners have to address issues such as pad requirements, site location, and other issues, and it’s here that shed salespeople can help. “I’d say pretty much everyone knows in the back of their mind they have to at least check into [permitting],” Gutchess says. “I make sure anytime I make a sale or anything like that I mention that we do recommend putting gravel under the shed in order for our warranty to be valid, and things like that. At the same time, I’ll mention that they need to make sure that their permits are in order, because that’s their responsibility as well.” Of course, there are always exceptions. “Now rural customers, and we do quite a few rural buildings, most of them are under the impression that they don’t have to do anything—and that’s usually the case,” Gutchess says. But by making permitting and code awareness part of your standard sales spiel, you may be able to save your business from custom-

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Various entities, such as local government and homeowner associations, may have rules regarding shed placement, appearance, and more.



On the other hand, shed builders do have to watch requirements to the way their buildings are assembled to stay in compliance with state and local codes. “The state has their building codes, but on top of that, the localities can add to those, and so can the home associations,” explains Loren Shetler, president of Capitol Sheds headquartered in Barboursville, Virginia. “For the most part until the buildings go over 256 square feet we’re not too concerned about [codes]. Once they do go over that, then we check with the localities and maybe the Designing and Building offices.” “Now we make sure that our sheds are up to state and local building codes as far as construction. When it comes to door and window placement, things like that,

34 Shed Builder 

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we do have certain limitations in order to make sure our buildings are up to building codes,” Gutchess says. But, he adds, “There haven’t been really any big changes that we’ve been aware of.” Changes can be few and far between, but don’t let them sneak up on you. Consider, the 2018 edition of the International Residential Code is now available; however, states make their own decisions as to when or if to adopt updated requirements. In many cases, these updates are prompted by catastrophes and evidence of failure—the kind that come after a major hurricane, for example. Shetler recalls the last big change proved to be a challenge that demanded the company make a significant change in its approach. “Here about 10 years ago, Virginia started requiring footers or some type of a permanent foundation for structures

over 256 square feet,” Shetler says. “That challenged us because we’d never dealt with concrete footers before. So, obviously, we had to evolve to keep up. Now we have to put footers in for anything bigger than 256 square feet.” As Shetler points out, part of the evolution is adding the costs of regulations into the sale. “The more regulations that they add on, that just means you can charge more to the customer,” he says. To keep on top of regulations, it’s important to watch your state and local building departments’ websites for regular updates before they happen. Megan Headley is a freelance writer with more than a decade of experience writing about the built environment. She can be reached at, or connect with her at meganheadley.

Your Handy Permitting Checklist

Many shed builders offer their customers a simple checklist to help them identify the rules when it comes to placing a structure on their property. While each customer should check their local building requirements, you can advise they consider in advance how the following factors will influence permitting:

o Size: Some localities restrict larger buildings. For example, Montgomery County, Alabama, where wind loads are

an issue, requires a permit for any shed but allows a simplified process for buildings under 200 square feet. Meanwhile Brunswick County, Virginia, requires permitting for any building over 150 square feet in area or 12 feet tall.

o Placement: It’s common for localities and homeowner associations to limit shed installation to backyards only, or

place stipulations on how close to the house the shed may be installed. Other areas will require sheds be set a specific distance from fences, property lines, and pools.

o Attachments: Many areas prohibit attached sheds to the home or garage. o Severe weather: In hurricane- and tornado-prone regions, storage buildings generally must be anchored to the ground, while regions that reach below the freezing point may set requirements around foundations.

o Purpose: Some areas place restrictions upon the building based on how you will use it. Often this limits the number of levels within a building. If you’re planning to use a shed as a workplace, it’s important to let the building inspector know.

o Electricity: Inspections generally are required for wired buildings, and some restrictions may apply. 36 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18

2018 SUPPLIER DIRECTORY ACCESSORY MANUFACTURER CL Aluminum Products LLC IdentiGrow (Blue Ridge Impressions) Innovations Manufacturing Maple Lane Metals Middle Creek Welding & Mfg RAYTEC Manufacturing Ridge Craft LLC Ryan-Al, Inc. (American Shanty) Shed Windows and More Sunset Creations BUILDING PRODUCTS MFR Cordell International Inc Flameproof Companies Georgia-Pacific James Hardie Building Products Kevmar Garage Doors Maple Lane Metals MiraTec by Jeld-Wen RAYTEC Manufacturing Roseburg Ryan-Al, Inc. (American Shanty) Trac Rite Doors Inc Tru Tech Doors USA, Inc WEH Supply, Inc DISTRIBUTOR, LUMBER Capital Forest Products Dairyman's Supply Company, Inc Flameproof Companies Lumbermen Associates Inc. Lumber Technology Corp. NILCO Union Grove Lumber DISTRIBUTOR, OTHER Flameproof Companies Lumbermen Associates Inc. NILCO Ryan-Al, Inc. (American Shanty) Shed Windows and More SouthernCarlson Union Grove Lumber WEH Supply, Inc

LUMBER MILL Bergs Timber AB Georgia-Pacific NILCO Robbins Lumber, Inc. Roseburg Sodra-USA, Inc MISCELLANEOUS Arch Wood Protection Dairyman's Supply Company, Inc E-Impact Marketing LLC Flameproof Companies Hershberger Lawn Structures LTD Honeyville Metal, Inc IdentiGrow (Blue Ridge Impressions) Onduline North America Pine Hill Trailers Porta/Grace Manufacturing RAYTEC Manufacturing RTO National Shed Windows and More Swing Kingdom, LLC Zook Ink & Toner Sales PAINT & COATINGS MFR A & L Paint Davis-Frost, Inc. Haley Paint S & M Enterprises RENT-TO-OWN AFG Rentals BLI Rentals, LLC EZ Pay Buildings LLC RTO National Shed Rentals USA LLC SmartPay Rentals The Shed App Watson Barn Rentals, LLC

SOFTWARE 3D Fish IdeaRoom Inc Shed Suite Sound Data Solutions The Shed App TOOLS & EQUIPMENT, DIST Iron Bull Mfg LLC Metropolitan Staple Corp. SouthernCarlson TOOLS & EQUIPMENT, MFR Golden Rule Machine Cardinal Manufacturing LLC KYFAB, LLC TRANSPORTATION & MOVING EQUIPMENT Cardinal Manufacturing LLC KYFAB, LLC Pine Hill Trailers WKM WHOLESALE SUPPLY Apple Outdoor Supply Capital Forest Products Flameproof Companies Lumbermen Associates Inc. Lumber Technology Corp. Midco Building Products Shed Windows and More Union Grove Lumber WEH Supply, Inc WOOD PRODUCTS MFR Bergs Timber AB CMPC USA Coastal Forest Resources Company Georgia-Pacific Huber Engineered Woods, LLC Lumbermen Associates Inc. McGrath Lumber Co., Inc Robbins Lumber, Inc. Roseburg Weyerhaeuser LP Building Products

Supplier Directory is a list of shed industry-related companies who have advertised in Shed Builder Magazine, and/or exhibited at various shed shows. The following information is supplied by the Listing Company or is referenced from the company’s website. Information is believed to be accurate as supplied to Publisher or found online. Publisher reserves the right to modify and edit listings without cause. Publisher makes no representation as to the accuracy of this content.

38 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18




4496 Mahoning Ave Youngstown, OH 44515 P (614) 996-6991 Dan Willett

107 Gibralter Ave Annapolis, MD 21401 P (410) 280-6102 / F (410) 280-6108 rchitwood@capitalforest.c Tom Merkert, Partner Ryan Chitwood, Sales

1211 NE 17th Rd Ocala, FL 34470 P (352) 694-1800 / F (352) 236-6986 Brad Cordell, Vice President Kyle Cordell, President

A & L PAINT 112 Four Wheel Dr Suite 2 Rebersburg, PA 16872 P (814) 349-8064 / F (814) 690-1800 Tom Snyder, Sales Jonathan Zook, Sales Manager Paint & Coatings Mfr | Manufacturers of quality exterior coatings - paints, stains, urethanes, and clear coatings

AFG RENTALS PO Box 726 Grandview, TX 76050 P (800) 861-9395 / F (817) 866-2708 Jeff Trawick, Executive Vice President Richard Miller, Field Representative Rent-To-Own

APPLE OUTDOOR SUPPLY 2850 Appleton St Camp Hill, PA 17011 P (717) 761-8962 / F (717) 761-8964 Dave Often, General Manager Wholesale Supply | Celebrating 20 years of supplying hardware for the barn, shed and outdoor play industry.

ARCH WOOD PROTECTION 726 Greenfield Abbey Court Martinez, GA 30907 P (706) 840-0241 Jeff Wilson

BERGS TIMBER AB Bergs VA6 13 Morlunda, Sweden 57084 P (503) 329-9103 Blair Whitney, Sales Lumber Mill; Wood Products Mfgr

BLI RENTALS, LLC 715 Merchant St Emporia, KS 66801 P (888) 850-1187 / F (620) 343-4592 Scott Strahm, CEO Brian Dorsey, Dealer Rep Manager

Distributor, Lumber; Wholesale Supply | For 30 years, we have supplied Spruce, Yellow Pine, White Pine, Cedar, panel products and treated material to the shed industry.

CARDINAL MANUFACTURING LLC 426 N Battleford Rd Carrier Mills, IL 62917 P (888) 323-8737 Steve Borntrager James Borntrager Tools & Equipment, Mfr; Transportation & Moving Equipment | Manufacturer of the Mule Shed Mover

CL ALUMINUM PRODUCTS LLC 236 Shanaham Lane Loysville, PA 17047 P (717) 786-3005 / F (717) 438-3746 Chris, Owner Matt, Manager Accessory Manufacturer | Manufacturer of drip edge step flashing.

CMPC USA 1040 Crown Pointe Parkway, Suite 800 Atlanta, GA 30338 P (678) 578-6350 Ryan Wolters, Sales Manager Danny Bagley, General Manager Wood Products Mfgr | Manufacturer of highquality Radiata pine rough-sawn siding, plywood, mouldings and boards.

COASTAL FOREST RESOURCES COMPANY PO Box 1128 Havana, FL 32333 P (850) 539-6432 / F (850) 539-6799 Jim Olson, Sales Manager Dillon Forbes, VP - Sales Wood Products Mfgr | Coastal Forest Resources manufactures plywood siding and flooring panels distributed by Union Grove Lumber.

Building Products Mfr | Family run door and window manufacturer/supplier with quality products.

DAIRYMAN’S SUPPLY COMPANY, INC PO Box 528 Mayfield, KY 42066 P (270) 247-5641 Distributor, Lumber; Distributor, Other

DAVIS-FROST, INC. 3416 Candler’s Mountain Road Lynchburg, VA 24502 P (434) 522-3562 / F (434) 846-0635 Richard Burton, Technical Sales Casey Hackett, Customer Service Paint & Coatings Mfr | Manufacctuer of top quality paint and stains for the shed industry.

E-IMPACT MARKETING LLC 408 Laurel St Lancaster, PA 17603 P (717) 333-4104 Chris Stoltzfus, owner Other; Publication & Marketing | E-Impact has used cutting edge internet marketing to generate $15 million in shed and garage sales.

EZ PAY BUILDINGS LLC 845 Claycraft Rd Suite O Gahanna, OH 43230 P (330) 264-0833 / F (330) 202-7685 Ryan Schneider, Managing Director Nancy Walker, Office Manager Rent-To-Own | Provides Rent-to-Own Programs for Sheds, Carports & Steel Buildings, and More.

FLAMEPROOF COMPANIES 4215 Chickasaw Street Fort Worth, TX 76119 P (937) 716-8570 / F (817) 534-9807 Jason Nichols, President - Barn Division Building Products Mfr; Distributor, Lumber; Distributor, Other; Wholesale Supply; Other, Treater | treater Barn supplier specializing in kiln dried siding- flooring - trim etc.


December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 





133 Peachtree Street NE Atlanta, GA 30303 P (404) 652-5597 Jeff Whitmire, Plywood Sales Jonathan McBryar, OSB Sales

910 W Main Street Suite 208 Boise, ID 83702 P (208) 954-8570 Brittany Pfister, Marketing Russ Whitney, CEO

150 Hickory Rd Hickory, KY 42051 P (270) 856-5322 / F (270) 856-3222 Phillip Kauffeld, General Manager JT Van Cleve, Sales

Other, Software | 3D online shed configurator and quote software that improves customer experience and increases sales efficiency.

Tools & Equipment, Mfr; Transportation & Moving Equipment | We offer shed delivery trailers, hydraulic truss press systems, LED lighting, and custom oversized load signs.

Building Products Mfr; Lumber Mill; Wood Products Mfr

GOLDEN RULE MACHINE 12952 W. Point Rd. Mount Carroll, IL 61053 P (217) 370-9014 / F (815) 244-6688 Mark Lambright, Owner/ Design Engineer Tools & Equipment, Mfr | Rafter assembly is our specialty. Find our booth and see the TRUSS-T press in action.

HALEY PAINT 194 Greenfield Road Lancaster, PA 17601 P (717) 299-6771 / F (717) 299-3046 Mike Paint & Coatings Mfr | Wilderness urethane for primed panels and introducing two urethanes for both unprimed wood and shed floors.

HERSHBERGER LAWN STRUCTURES LTD 8990 State Route 39 Millersburg, OH 44654 P (330) 674-3900

HONEYVILLE METAL, INC 4200 S 900 W Topeka, IN 46571 P (260) 593-2266 / F (260) 593-2486 Rob Yoder, Sales/ Design Other, Dust collection systems and components | Manufacture dust collection systems including fans, rotary airlocks, baghouse filters, cyclones, self-contained collectors and several storage options.

HUBER ENGINEERED WOODS, LLC 10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 300 Charlotte, NC 28262 P (800) 933-8220 / F (704) 547-9228 Shawn O’Conner, Industrial Sales Representative Stuart C Brock, Industrial Sales Rep Wood Products Mfgr | Producers of Performax Engineered Wood Products for shed floors.

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December/January 2017/18



PO Box 50 Port Republic, VA 24471 P (540) 283-9193 / F (540) 283-9194 Jonathan Lee, President Wendell Lee, Sales

414 Union St Ste 2000 Nashville, TN 37212 P (888) 820-0325 Parry Grimm

Accessory Manufacturer; Other, ID plates | We can help you identify your product and grow your business.

Wood Products Mfr

INNOVATIONS MANUFACTURING 4555 Grape St Denver, CO 80216 P (303) 321-0945 Owen Bunker, President/ Owner Dennis Greeley, Sales Accessory Manufacturer | Innovations Manufacturing makers of the ramp that belongs on every shed.

IRON BULL MFG LLC 6064 N 350 E Marshall, IN 47859 P (765) 597-2480 Emanuel King Tools & Equipment, Dist | We make self-dumping scrap and trash hoppers. Our Baby Bull series are designed specifically for using with table or chop saws.

JAMES HARDIE BUILDING PRODUCTS 231 S Lasalle St Chicago, IL 60604 P (704) 953-4930 Justin Jordan, Site Built Sales Manager Rob Reber, (443) 257-4747 Building Products Mfr | James Hardie is the world leader in Fiber Cement siding and trim. Our products deliver durability for a beautiful, lower maintenance exterior.

KEVMAR GARAGE DOORS 188 E CR 600 N Arthur, IL 61911 P (217) 294-1173 / F (217) 543-3323 Willis Miller, Partner Building Products Mfr | Kevmar is a manufacturer of specialty garage doors including models designed for the shed industry.

LUMBER TECHNOLOGY CORP. 500 Morris Ave Springfield, NJ 7081 P (800) 526-4926 / F (973) 467-2104 Darren Satsky, Sales Manager Distributor, Lumber; Wholesale Supply | 45 years experience as a wholesale distributor of K.D. SPF and SYP lumber to the shed builder market.

LUMBERMEN ASSOCIATES INC. 2101 Hunter Road Bristol, PA 19007 P (800) 393-0062 / F (215) 785-5645 Tim Deegan, VP Sales Tom Coleman, VP Distributor, Lumber; Distributor, Other; Wholesale Supply; Wood Products Mfgr | Lumbermen Associates is a wholesale building products distribution company based in Bristol, PA and Crewe, VA serving the shed industry for over 25 years.

MAPLE LANE METALS 422 CCR 320 N Arthur, IL 61911 P (217) 543-3680 / F (217) 543-3103 Merlin Schlabach, Owner Accessory Manufacturer; Building Products Mfr | Manufacturer of aluminum diamond plate thresholds - standard & custom sizes - shipping nation wide.

MCGRATH LUMBER CO., INC 328 Sawmill Rd / PO Box 239 Greenfield, NH 3047 P (866) 332-9663 / F (866) 296-1 Paul McGrath, Owner Wood Products Mfgr | 15+ years of dedication to the shed and manufactured housing industries.




11 Brown Ave Springfield, NJ 7081 P (800) 255-7209 / F (973) 564-8853 Shawn Davis, Sales Manager Howard Kastner, President

440 S Church St Charlotte, NC 28202 P (800) 255-0785 Ron Brown, Director of Sales

2969 Lincoln Highway East Gordonville, PA 17529 P (717) 288-2443 Reuben Miller, Shed Trailer,Truck Bed and Mule Sales Jake Petersheim, Shed Trailer,Truck Bed and Mule Sales

Tools & Equipment, Dist | Extensive inventory, second to none service, and highly knowledgable personnel make Metropolitan Staple the only company to service your business.

MIDCO BUILDING PRODUCTS 1040 Dick Castleman Bypass Mayfield, KY 42066 P (270) 247-7447 Carrey Burnett Justin Burnett Wholesale Supply

MIDDLE CREEK WELDING & MANUFCATURING 201 Hopeland Rd Newmanstown, PA 17073 P (717) 949-2178 Gideon Stoltzfus Accessory Manufacturer | Manufacturer of gate latches, corner braces, ramp angle, shed pulling bracket, etc. Custom production stamping from coil.

Building Products Mfr | MiraTEC trim combines eye-catching beauty of cedar with long-lasting performance of an engineered product.

Transportation & Moving Equipment; Other,Trailer service, sales, custom fabrication, mules, truck bodies, parts | Shed trailer manufacturer; custom truck beds; mules and mule carriages; toolboxes; sales, service, parts.

NILCO 1221 West Maple Street Hartville, OH 44632 P (888) 248-5151 / F (330) 877-3730 Annika Ray, Purchasing Director


Distributor, Lumber; Distributor, Other; Lumber Mill | NILCO is a wholesale distributor of lumber and building products. We offer a variety of products including specialty items.


1675 Old Concord Lane Hopkinsville, KY 42240 P (270) 866-7351 Daryl Grace

4900 Ondura Dr Fredericksburg, VA 22407 P (800) 777-7663 Alan Krusemark



Let your customers build their own storage building 24/7 in the comfort of their home.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas from Shed Builder Magazine

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888-672-1035 December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 





544 Gristmill Rd Ephrata, PA 17522 P (877) 800-2500 / F (717) 445-0511 Barry Spector, Sales

PO Box 9 Searsmont, ME 4973 P (207) 342-5221 / F (207) 342-5201 Alden Robbins

PO Box 9759 Greenville, SC 29604 P (877) 564-1162 / F (888) 598-5199 Brigetta Koepke, Director of Marketing

Accessory Manufacturer; Building Products Mfr; Other, metal shed trim | Raytec maufactures high quality custom metal parts for shed builders at affordable prices.

Lumber Mill; Wood Products Mfgr | High quaility Eastern white pine. Live edge, pattern stock and log siding. Available through wholesalers.



Rent-To-Own; Other, Finance, Storage Buildings and Garages | Our investments in leading technology make purchasing backyard products simple for customers and profitable for dealers.

280 Commerce Drive New Holland, PA 17557 P (717) 335-2254 / F (717) 355-9754 Steve Fisher, Manager

3660 Gateway Street Springfield, OR 97477 P (541) 670-4475 Bob Clark, Market Development Gary Hayes, Market Development

Accessory Manufacturer | Building quality handcrafted cupolas, and outdoor accents for over 30 years.

Building Products Mfr; Lumber Mill; Wood Products Mfr | Roseburg is a family-owned forest products company manufacturing DuraTemp, fir siding, radiata siding, and underlayment for the shed industry.

RYAN-AL, INC. (AMERICAN SHANTY) 105 Clover Dr SW Lenoir, NC 28645 P (909) 263-2079 / F (843) 831-0144 Rick Trainor, CEO Ryan Trainor, VP of Sales Accessory Manufacturer; Building Products Mfr; Distributor, Other | The world’s only fiberglass shed door manufacturer.


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42 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18

7/16/17 8:20 PM

S & M ENTERPRISES 4164 Long Rd Hartville, MO 65667 P (417) 349-1386 Samuel Zook

SHED RENTALS USA LLC PO Box 1439 Seneca, SC 29679 P (864) 280-7192 Rent-To-Own

SHED SUITE 4525 Beneva Rd Sarasota, FL 34233 P (941) 228-2567 Jason Graber, Owner Other, Business Software Solution | Shed Suite is a cloud based business management application designed just for shed businesses. Shed Suite provides dealer websites to generate leads, a POS system to create quotes and orders, and a mobile app to help drivers schedule deliveries.

SHED WINDOWS AND MORE 4716B Northgate Blvd Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 P (843) 293-1820 / F (843) 293-1826 Theresa Slack, Owner James Slack, Owner Accessory Manufacturer; Distributor, Other; Wholesale Supply; Other, Shed windows and hardware | Innovative family owned, quality products, competitive pricing, excellent customer service, same or next day shipping.

SMARTPAY RENTALS PO Box 322 Leola, PA 17540 P (717) 556-0155 / F (888) 506-2081 Dave Miller, CEO Rent-To-Own | We offer rent-to-own services that are innovative, simple and really easy to use.

SODRA-USA, INC 2075 Ridge Point Dr Lake Oswego, OR 97034 P (503) 855-3032 Bob Jank, President Lumber Mill | Swedish spruce and pine premium quality.

SOUND DATA SOLUTIONS/ SHEDS SOFTWARE Navarre, FL P (850) 374-1548 Colin Dexter, Owner Other, software | Sheds software is built specifically for the portable building industry.

SOUTHERNCARLSON 635 Fairgrounds Rd Muscle Shoals, AL 35661 P (903) 399-3721 / F (877) 697-9742 John Elliott, National Sales Distributor, Other;Tools & Equipment, Dist | Let us show you how we can eliminate the need to caulk nail holes.

SUNSET CREATIONS 203 Churchtown Road Narvon, PA 17555 P (717) 768-7663 / F (717) 768-7665 Accessory Manufacturer

SWING KINGDOM, LLC 36 Glenbrook Rd Leola, PA 17540 P (717) 656-4449 / F (717) 656-8464 Phi Viet Le, COO Larry Johnson, Dealer Aquisition Other, Swing set manufacturer | Let the fun begin! We’re a family-operated manufacturer of premiere vinyl swing sets and playsets.

THE SHED APP PO Box 6219 Phoenix, AZ 85005 P (602) 320-8350 Bob Oxley, Principal Rent-To-Own; Tools & Equipment, Mfr; Other, Software | Managing a shed business is complicated. We can help. The Shed App.

Building Products Mfr | Manufacturer of steel woodgrain textured doors for sheds and barns. American made American strong.

UNION GROVE LUMBER 131 Lumber Dr Union Grove, NC 28689 P (704) 539-5506 / F (704) 539-5088 Mo Lunsford, Owner/ CEO Greg Cotheren & Sammy Lail, Wholesale Lumber Buyer/ Trader Distributor, Lumber; Distributor, Other; Wholesale Supply | Innovative leaders in the wholesale lumber industry with intentional focus on the barn industry.

WATSON BARN RENTALS, LLC 1367 Old Manchester Rd Morrison, TN 37357 P (931) 635-2244 / F (931) 635-2255 Philip Rudolph, VP, General Manager Timothy Rudolph, Office Manager Rent-To-Own | Experienced and personal RTO services for portable building manufacturers and sales lots!

WEH SUPPLY, INC 5 Industrial Way Denver, PA 17517 P (717) 336-4984 / F (717) 336-0661 William T Hartman, Sales and Inventory Mgmt Building Products Mfr; Distributor, Other; Wholesale Supply | Serving the Outdoor Structures, Housing, Ag & Equine Industries. Iinventory is our job... service is our standard!

WEYERHAEUSER 33663 Weyerhaeuser Way Federal Way, WA 98003 David Walters, 704-688-2204 John Lincoln, 717-468-1440 Wood Products Mfgr

TRAC RITE DOORS INC 314 Wilburn Road Sun Prairie, WI 53590 P (800) 448-8979 / F (800) 236-8722 Tim Schorn Building Products Mfr

TRU TECH DOORS USA, INC 3000 Mine Rd Fredericksburg, VA 22408 P (877) 276-5110 / F (540) 710-0739 Debbie Queen, Operations Manager Skip MacLean, Dir. of Business Dev.

WKM 98 Catalpa Lane Campbell Hill, IL 62916 P (618) 426-3423 / F (618) 426-3900 Edwin Beachy, Owner Norman Beachy Transportation & Moving Equipment | WKM provides you with a custom delivery solution for your shed deliveries.

ZOOK INK & TONER SALES 114 Town Lane Rd Rebersburg, PA 16872 P (814) 349-5765 Other

December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 



How to Plan Do you have a goal for your shed-building business? How do you plan to achieve it? By Thom Finn

Picture your plans like a pyramid. Pointy at the top with a broad base. At the top of a pyramid is a goal, with one goal per pyramid.


expect to start hearing a lot of messages about planning and preparing for 2018. I don’t think December or January is any better time to create a plan than July or September. The season in which you plan for yourself or your business is much less important than planning you can really use. Below I share with you how I walk

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clients through the whole process of goal setting and planning. As always, take what you need and leave the rest behind. If you are one of the few who have truly mastered it, and you know it all, I would skip reading and go make a sandwich. I am a coach who operates using Method #3. Method #1 is the coach who acts like a counselor or therapist:

“What were your wins?” “How do you feel?” “Yeah! Rah! Rah for you.” Method #2 is the consultant coach who will tell you what to do and sometime give you (what I feel is) a cookie cutter, non-customized approach to what you should do. They will give a few hundred papers of instruction then leave again. The thirrd method is based 100

percent on a plan. I will ask something like, “What is our plan to reach _______?” (insert almost any goal here). Many people need some help in selecting what to focus on first. Usually a full-on complaint session where the owner just whines about anything and everything will get it all out. From these complaints, we can form what the goals should be. A goal could be as simple as the opposite of a complaint. I have the complaint, “I am fat.” So, the opposing goal would be, “I am going to lose weight.” Picture your plans like a pyramid. Pointy at the top with a broad base. At the top of a pyramid is a goal, with one goal per pyramid. The more specific a goal can be, the better. The best goals are written as “From X to Y by when,” but sometimes, “To Y by when” works good enough. Then beneath the goal, in the middle of the pyramid, is where your two or three strategies go. Answer the question, “What are the three ways I can reach the goal?” These strategies are usually more general, but still point you in the right direction. Borrow my definition of strategies as not specific or actionable. When I asked, “How can I lose weight?” I immediately came up with two main strategies: eat less and exercise more. The bottom parts of the goal-planning pyramid are the tactics to execute. Many times when coaching a shed builder, I explain this like a punch list. This is all the stuff you need to get done in order to complete the strategies. This punch list should be bite-sized pieces. Complete the item on the list and move onto the next. Inch by inch is a cinch, but yard by yard is hard. These tactics are what you execute over time. Maybe you are highly motivated and have time to bang out all the tactics in one sitting, or maybe your list of executional action items is longer and takes more time. It’s down at this level that accountability comes in. I must pay a trainer, in advance, so that I show up for my weight lifting

sessions. I show up and he puts me through a workout three days a week. I am accountable to him to execute. Honestly, I would come up with reasons (or excuses) why I could not exercise if left to my own devices. I continue to be surprised when clients tell me it’s this accountability they value most in the coaching relationship. Whether through a paid trainer or business coach, a friend or business partner, your chances of executing the action items on tactics lists go

up when you are accountable to someone to get them done. Examples of executionable tactics, or action steps, for my weight-loss goal exercise strategy could be select a gym, join a gym, work with Kristen to schedule time each week for exercise, set ever-increasing targets for calories burned in a period, and targets for weight lifting. Under the strategy of eating less, I have action steps like avoiding the donut shop, being sure to eat some breakfast,

December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 


only fruit after dinner, and counting the calories. The coaching plans I use with clients are business-based variations of this. One client has a goal to delegate more to his shop foreman. The simple strategies in place are a KPI (key performance indicator) scorecard for the foreman, and teaching him to first manage, then lead. We created a punch list of action steps to complete so we can mark off the strategy as done. Depending on how busy he is, he can get one or 10 of the items done then move on. Because he wants to grow his business, once we get some of these foundational goals accomplished and put away, we will then begin working on goals that will drive growth. Having laid out the basics of the planning pyramid, here is a separate warning about dependent events. I

first learned this phrase when I read The Goal by Eli Goldratt 20 years ago. Many times in our planning, we uncover a sticking point that prevents us from moving forward because it’s broken. But having this broken link fixed is necessary to accomplishing our goal. So, we must back up and fix this broken dependent event. It appears as if we are going backwards, but we must fix this broken link if we are to move forward. I was recently helping a new client on the first-round goal of “Knowing our Per Transaction Gross Profit.” Notice how we were not trying to improve it yet; we needed to start with measuring it. We came across a broken dependent event in that his foreman was far too unreliable to complete the needed data collection. So, we stopped our work and focused on a new goal to fix it, which became

the more urgent goal, “Replace Foreman who can Collect the Needed Data.” Don’t get discouraged if you uncover a broken dependent event. I always say, “Good,” because we know what we are up against and we know what we must overcome to reach the goal. That broken dependent event has been there for a long time and it’s about time we get it fixed. It will delay crossing the finish line, but it’s a reality in the business that cannot be ignored. Coach Thom is a business advisor who has worked with thousands of managers and owners on improving their businesses through customized Business Coaching Plans. It’s only a three-month minimum commitment, but many continue to see value 10-plus years later. Contact him directly at 717-215-4277 or thom@

For a brief, step-by-step guide to writing strategic business goals, contact Kristen at 570-704-5358 or


Make your shed shop more productive with Iron Bull 6 ft., 1 yd. “Stretch” Baby Bull on casters paired with a table saw. Scrap slides from the saw table, directly into the hopper.

Iron Bull™ Self-Dumping Scrap and Trash Hoppers can help you meet your goal for a safe, efficient and pleasant workplace. Join the many shops who have improved their workplace with Iron Bull. “We initially bought two hoppers and placed them under one of our chop saw benches. My employees say they cut clean up time in half. No more clutter. We like them so much that we ordered two more for our other chop saw.” - Ammon King, Creekside Structures

Baby Bull hoppers with Bat-Wing bases. Seen here at Creekside Structures, Rockville, IN Iron Bull’s optional Bat-Wing™ Base features casters mounted on a base that lowers to fit beneath fabrication equipment like table saws, chop saws and other tools. A real space saver.

“Your hoppers are perfectly balanced. We really like them. We should have bought them a long time ago. It’s a good investment” - Daniel, Bald Eagle Barns, Cave City, Arkansas

“We are very happy with our Iron Bull Hoppers. They do a great job.” - Jordan Sweet, Overholt Sheds., Delta, CO “We used to use wooden boxes. With Iron Bull, we now dump our scrap in a fraction of the time and in a much safer manner - we are very safety minded here.” - John Helmuth, Ayr Cabinet in Nappanee, Indiana

Many models, sizes and options. Call to discuss your scrap handling problems. Chances are we’ve already solved them. If not, we make custom hoppers too.

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46 Shed Builder 

December/January 2017/18

6 ft. Baby Bull “Stretch” Open-End hopper on casters with Dump-from-Seat™ option


The ramp that belongs every The on ramp thatshed. belongs on IMevery shed. Innovative Ramp System allows planks to be adjusted, removed or left in �lace. Innovative IM Ramp System allows planks to be adjusted, removed or left in �lace.

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Attitude = Direction Enthusiasm and a service attitude is key when helping your shed customers. By Charles Hutchins


I try to make all of my customers feel like they are the most important people in the world by focusing solely on their needs and wants.


rowing up, when I would have a negative attitude my dad would always tell me “Your attitude, not aptitude, will determine your altitude.” My dad did fly small planes for recreation, so I just thought the altitude part was for pilots and did not apply to me. Boy, was I wrong! Having the right attitude in the shed business, and life in general, can be the difference in whether you are successful or mediocre. Attitudes absolutely make the difference. Salesmen with the right attitudes surpass their quotas. Students with the right attitudes make honor rolls. Right attitudes project confidence. Right attitudes make you effective in

48 Shed Builder 

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dealing with customers and enable you to develop as a leader. Having the right attitude allows you to win in every situation. The following attitudes have helped me develop a much healthier mindset and they can help you in everything you do. ARE YOU ACTIVATED AND ENTHUSIASTIC?

In order to activate others and get them to be enthusiastic, you must first be enthusiastic yourself. A person who lacks enthusiasm never brings it out in another person. But a person who is enthusiastic soon has enthusiastic followers. After I introduce myself to a potential

customer, I enthusiastically inject positive things, such as the pretty weather or that business is flourishing and that I love what I do. Enthusiasm is contagious, and it is amazing how people’s attitudes change for the better when you are enthusiastic and plugged in to the situation. Who really wants to do business with a drab, negative person who couldn’t care less about what they do? ARE YOU PROJECTING A ‘YOU ARE IMPORTANT’ ATTITUDE?

Every human being in the world wants to feel important. Everyone has the natural desire to feel he or she is “somebody.” It is said that the desire to be

important is one of the most powerful human needs. I try to make all of my customers feel like they are the most important people in the world by focusing solely on their needs and wants. I never answer the phone or try to talk to two customers at the same time. I avoid all other distractions when talking to my customers and listening for their needs. Your customers, and people in general, will do more for you when you make them feel important. For example, my customers most always are willing to buy leveling blocks for their sheds and wait a little longer for delivery, after I have rolled out the red carpet and made them feel important. They will also be repeat customers and refer their friends and family when you make them feel important. I’ve told waiters and waitresses how I thought their job was hard and that I couldn’t do it. I ended up receiving outstanding service after making them feel important and needed. Everyone needs to feel important and wanted.

What service first means to me is treating my customers like I want to be treated. Service first means to truly engage with the customer’s needs, wants, and desires and to put them first every step of the way. Service first is following up with my customers after their shed is delivered and letting them know that they can always reach out to me personally. Service first is always putting your customer’s needs above your own interest.

I encourage you to avoid “stinking-thinking” and work daily to develop positive attitudes in each area of your life. Your attitude determines your direction; which way are you heading? Charles Hutchins is president and CEO of Shed-N-Carport Pro in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. If you would like any help on improving spiritually, physically, mentally, and, of course, sales, text your name and email address to him at 502-418-8968.

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” -Albert Einstein


It’s perfectly natural to want to make more sales, make more money, and become wealthy in order to give your family the standard of living that they deserve. Unfortunately, many people we encounter have a “money-first” attitude. People with the money-first attitude become so money focused that they forget money can’t be harvested unless they plant the seeds that grow money. The seed of money is service. I have found that having a service-first attitude creates lasting sales. In other words, put service first and the money will always take care of itself, along with everything else. Early in my career, I was like a hungry wolf, prowling for customers just to close the deal. Yes, I made some sales, but I quickly realized that I was missing out on more, due to my lack of interest in my customers. It was when I began to really connect with my customers with the service-first attitude, that my business began to take off.

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December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 


FINISHING TOUCHES: tv commercials

Shed Marketing: TV Commercials If you think TV advertising isn’t for you, it might be worth another look. By Matt Poe


oday’s shed builder needs to look at all available methods for marketing their product. While shed lots are still popular, and many builders and dealers have taken to the internet, one medium still commands viewers: television. Shed Builder Magazine took some time to ask James Wurst marketing manager for North Country Storage Barns, based in New York, a few questions about TV commercials. The company has made use of the medium for marketing with some creative advertisements.


You can market so many ways, and you must try and see what works for your area, clientele, and demographics. Our sales staff is trained to pull from the customer how they heard about us, and that information is logged into that customer’s account. TV has been an old staple in the marketing world, and for our area, we have a wide range of customers, locals and vacationers. We service the Adirondack park region and the Thousand Islands. We operate in a vacation destination like no other place in the country. Many people have vacation camps and cottages around our area, including a huge military base, and then the locals. TV has been a vehicle to capture the potential customers’ attention with stunning video images and sounds of the products we offer, and a way to show our service and range of product offerings unlike any other way of marketing. I also do not feel that we will be doing TV forever. TV is not what it used to be, and with the internet, TV viewership is not what it was. For today it’s working.

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I have tried (local stations) in the past and cannot accurately measure its success or failure. Broadcast TV stations have wanted me to advertise on local stations, and my thoughts are if you cannot afford cable TV, you cannot afford our product offerings. I also can better control my message and offerings in relation to a channel on cable TV. I advertise on a few dozen hand selected stations. I will only advertise on the “cleaner” stations and refuse to advertise on what the public and/or the rating companies tracks as “popular.” I advertise on stations that fit our customer demographic and target audiences with products that coincide with the station being watched. For example, we sell a lot of animal

structures, so one of my stations is Animal Planet. If you’re an animal lover and watch TV, you will probably watch this station. I’m there offering animal structures for that consumer to fall in love with and eventually come to purchase. HOW FAR DOES YOUR TV MESSAGE TRAVEL?

As of this year, we cover all of New York state on selected stations. Results and customer leads and sales were almost immediate. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE THE COMMERCIALS?

To keep costs down, I write, direct, and appear in most of our TV spots. I also use other sales staff and co-workers from within the company. This is a fantastic opportunity and a morale boost to do

North Country Storage Barns involves its employees in making commercials.

Wurst tries to get customers talking with the company’s television commercials.


When a customer walks in the door and immediately starts talking about a recent spot when we were dressed up as doctors and then purchases a $10,000 gazebo, it makes me smile and know what I do is working. IF A BUILDER WAS THINKING ABOUT DOING A TV COMMERCIAL FOR MARKETING, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THEM?

something different, and it’s usually a fun time. Sometimes reshooting scenes and the time it takes to produce a quality spot is laborious, but the end results leave customers talking. Sometimes the concept comes to me almost immediately, and sometimes I must admit I lay in bed in torment trying to top my last TV spot. Most of my spots are funny and get customers talking, but it’s not easy being funny every month. I typically create and air a new spot every four to five weeks.

Use TV as a platform to show what you do different than everyone else, and if sales don’t improve, try something else. Important: Don’t expect to show your lot and products and have sales busting down the doors. With newer TVs and ways to watch TV, consumers can and will mute commercials and or skip over them. You must catch their attention within the first five seconds and pull them in like a good movie. Be creative and be the one talked about, and not the company that’s skipped over with the dull, boring message. Wurst recommends being creative in sharing your message via television.


I use a wide range of vendors to do the camera work and final editing. I select the film producers dependent on the spot I created. I have done spots with drones, voice overs, and full spots with us doing all the lines and acting. HAVE THE TV COMMERCIALS WORKED FOR YOUR COMPANY?

It has, and when it does not bring valid recorded results, I will try other sources.   December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 



Colorado Backyard Shed Builder Launches New Website New site offers key features for online marketing strategy. Shed photos were touched up to give a uniquely “Colorado” look.



nnovative Structures has been serving the eastern slope of the Colorado Rockies with quality backyard sheds, prefab garages, and other outdoor structures since 2004. But one thing they were lacking was a robust online marketing program. The simple website in place failed to reflect the narrowing of their focus to backyard sheds, garages and other structures and lacked key features necessary for a good online marketing strategy. Devon Eicher founded Innovative Structures in 2004. But in 2014 when the founder needed to leave town to care for his aging family, Nelson Hoover took the helm and has been reorganizing the company since. Nelson came to Innovative Structures with 20 years of construction experience giving him the tools and expertise needed to continue growing the portable shed company in Colorado.  Nelson explains the vision of the shed company in Colorado saying, “We are a faith-based shed and garage company that believes our workmanship and ethics should reflect the God we serve.”

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Early on, Nelson realized the need for a shed and garage marketing plan that could grow their brand presence without having to open new display lots in every major city. So, he returned to his hometown and contracted with E-Impact Marketing to develop the Innovative Structures online presence. The marketing company implemented four key features from the start: 1. The new  backyard shed  website was built with an educational journey for the customer. It starts with landing pages showing the styles available from Innovative Structures. After a choice is made, the customer sees key features that make that particular structure stand out from the competition. From there, floorplans help visualize the size shed or garage needed and then siding types and options are displayed for the shopper. 2.  Customer relations management (CRM) and email automation tools were implemented to assist the buyers in their journey of finding the perfect shed, garage, or other structure and to

By Chris Stoltzfus

Over the next year, the marketing company will continue to grow the reach of Innovative Structures through SEO, social media, ads, and much more. help Innovative Structures keep tabs on possible customers. 3. To broaden the reach of people who will find Innovative Structures online organically, search engine optimization (SEO) was a key feature built into the new backyard shed website. 4. Simple shed photos were touched up in Photoshop to give them a uniquely Colorado look. The website also features two-car garages, carport garages, animal shelters, portable cabins, gazebos, pergolas, and poly furniture for folks in Colorado.  So far, the investment seems to be working well. Within the first few days, leads skyrocketed in comparison to the pre-launch of the new site. But there is much more to come for the new shed and garage website in Colorado. Over the next year, the marketing company will continue to grow the reach of Innovative Structures through SEO, social media, ads, and much more. Chris Stoltzfus is owner of E-Impact Marketing.


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Three Men and a Barrel A lesson about being creative, saving time and effort over the long haul. By Tyler Mayhan


hed builders are very creative folks. You must be creative to put food on the table every week on a builder’s paycheck. My fellow hammer-swingers have learned a few things over the years to simplify tasks, and to save wear and tear on our bodies and equipment. We innovate for many reasons. However, the most common reason I have witnessed for invention is necessity. Seems like some wise fellow said something like that one time…. I have found as I have grown older that necessity seems to happen more often. Whether it is back trouble or knee pain, our bodies push us to find new solutions for old tasks. Youth and energy give way to wisdom and patience over time. Instead of just rushing through and wearing down the only body we ever will have on earth, those of us with a few years under our belt analyze the situation and determine how best to approach the project. Let me give you an example. Years ago, when I was still in my teens, we used 6 by 6 timbers for our longer skids here at Better Barns. The longest shed we built at that time was 30 feet long. Since I was only about 19 then, I thought it was a good idea to try to carry one by myself. A 6 by 6 by 30 treated timber weighs in at somewhere around 350 pounds, and I never have been considered a great weight lifter. I would drag one end and wrestle the skid into position with much effort and many sound effects. It took time, but it was worth it—I was proving to all the guys around that I was tough. Meanwhile, the other guys on the crew would all team up on a timber. These men were all older than me. The youngest was in his early 30s, and the oldest was 50. These three men would manage the other skid for the shed. Three men, one timber. Not only that, but they would pull the forklift up next to the garage door so they could just carry the skid straight in. Not only that, but they placed a 55-gallon drum a little way into the shop so they could slide the timber from the forks of the forklift onto the barrel. Then they just pushed the skid onto the barrel and let it roll into the shop. I never heard them grunt and they didn’t even act like they were straining. What a bunch of sissies! I laughed at them and told them how I hoped I never got so old I had to do that. I told them, “Just put me in the old folk’s home if I ever do that!” I told them that if I ever wrote a memoir about my life at Better Barns I would title it Three Men and a Barrel. I said all manner of very dumb things that I thought were very witty and smart.

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Now, I’m not 19 anymore. I don’t even care if you think I’m tough. I wish I had worked as smart as they did. They tried to tell me I would regret the way I was doing it, but I listened about like most teenagers. I now look for ways to save my aching back as I work through my day. Now, give me three men and a barrel any day of the week. Being creative at work is not about being lazy. It is not about getting out of working hard. It is about saving time and effort over the long haul. Don’t always do what you have always done. Look for ways to make your production processes better. We shed builders are creative folks. Let’s keep creating! Tyler Mayhan is general manager of Better Barns, which is based in Oklahoma.

December/January 2017/18  Shed Builder 


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