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Houghton Building Supply on the rise

Ben Garbacz/DMG

Houghton Building Supply has continued to grow in size and business ambitions as the company’s drive-through lumber yard has brought its area to 22,000 square feet compared to 3,000 square feet two years ago.

The expansion of Houghton Building Supply has come from the desire of the local community seeking construction and repair resources closer to home rather than venturing all the way to Marquette.

Over the past four years, Houghton Building Supply has become one of the largest sellers of Milwaukee tool products in the Upper Peninsula.

“The volume of business has dramatically increased,” said Gregg Nakkula, manager of Houghton Building Supply.

“We’ve basically doubled our sales each year we have been here.”

The representation of the growth and success of Houghton Building Supply is evident in the company’s newest building.

The drive-through lumber yard was completed in March after seven months with the help of LR Contracting.

This building is able to shelter materials that were once exposed to the elements which means wood will never be baked and warped by the sun in the summer nor have to be shoveled out of snow during the winter.

The drive-through lumber yard will also keep customers picking up their products out of the rain, snow, or sun when they pull through with their vehicle or trailer.

Houghton Building Supply has more needs than just this building, and is looking to take over Remy Battery next door after they move to their new facility which will add 2,000 more square feet.

After this, Houghton Building Supply plans to add 3,000 square feet of showroom space for retail sales.

These expansions will allow the company to add onto their electrical and plumbing inventories.

With the increase in size and resources, more employees have been hired to meet the exigencies of the company and community. This has included several yard personnel including a new boom truck driver.

Due to the increase in business, Houghton Building Supply is currently looking to hire more counter sales personnel.

In conjunction with building the business, Nakkula is involved with the Copper Country Intermediate School District’s CTE Construction Technology Program and its new house build on the hill behind the facility.

He is hopeful that the high school students involved in this program will help boost the workforce in the Keweenaw. If the company continues to grow at its current pace, internships may even be a possibility.

Last summer Houghton Building Supply added rentable Bobcat equipment to their repertoire. The equipment includes machines used for construction such as scissor lifts, tele-handlers, and cement mixers.

These machines are available for both residential and commercial use, and a Bobcat will be on display and available for operation in the upcoming Open House.

On June 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Houghton Building Supply will be hosting an open house to showcase and demonstrate their products, introduce vendors, and interact with the local community.

The Bobcat that will be available for operation is an enclosed piece of machinery mostly used for lawn maintenance utilizing attachments such as grinders, wood chippers, and more. Aside from the Bobcat an excavator will also be available for operation.

The vendors in attendance will include Wausau Supply Company and the Keweenaw’s own GatorBar, as they will showcase their products and services. A demo and giveaways are also planned at the open house which will show a window installation and flashing for keeping water from leaking into a home.

Giveaways will include Milwaukee tools, gift certificates, and apparel.

Houghton Building Supply anticipates 200 to 300 people in attendance, and they will be treated to free Vollwerth’s hot dogs and beverages.

Houghton Building Supply will plan on more upcoming events as they continue to thrive, and they look to assist and prop up the region in its pursuit of success.

Nakkula strives to be the best of the best regarding the service the company does for the community.

“That’s our long goal reach is to be the best lumber yard and the best hardware store all in one because we don’t really have that in this area. Everybody has a little bit but we want to be the kings in that.”

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