For the second year in a row, Steve Pray has been saying, “It’s been an extremely cold and snowy winter.” Pray, who is the manager of Hammond Lumber Company’s store in Auburn, shakes his head in admiration of his staff.

“By the time I get here in the morning,” said Pray, who usually arrives by 6 a.m., “the yard guys are already out there picking orders and loading trucks — even when it’s 25 below zero!”

In addition to picking and loading, the yard crew also plows, shovels and de-ices to make sure the area is safe for customers and co-workers.

On the inside of the Poland Road store, other members of the crew have been busy performing a major overhaul of the Kitchen, Bath & Flooring Center. Designers Jessica Rice, Elizabeth Babb and John Trenoweth have created new displays showing off the latest in cabinetry and fixtures. Located upstairs in the store and accessible to all, the Auburn center is one of the largest in Maine, accounting for more than 10,000-square feet. In all, there are more than 25 kitchen displays, more than 20 bath displays, and hundreds of flooring samples.

More than just displays

Pray is not only delighted with the physical look and features of the remodeled center, but also with the professional expertise and people skills of his designers.

“They’re doing a great job,” he said, “especially when you consider all the challenges we’ve thrown at them this winter. They’re really good at what they do, and our customers love dealing with them.”

One customer who agrees with Pray’s assertion is Jackie Rybeck, a feature writer with the Sun Journal. Rybeck and her contractor-husband Pete worked with Trenoweth to completely redesign and expand the kitchen in their home. The experience led the writer to pen a feature story for the paper’s Spring Home Improvement issue titled, “How to survive a kitchen renovation,” which chronicles her experience and also offers tips to others.

“A reliable designer”

In the article, Rybeck addresses the question of where to begin a kitchen renovation by saying that finding a reliable designer “is the first, and probably most important step,” since the customer will be working with the designer from beginning to end of the project. Pete Rybeck had already enjoyed good business dealings with Hammond, so the couple’s choice was easy.

Jackie Rybeck also spells out how to prepare for working with a designer, whose first question will be, “Do you have a budget?” It’s also important, she said, to have a plan for where to store your stuff and how you’re going to eat while the kitchen is being torn apart and rebuilt.

“With the help of John,” Rybeck wrote after completion of her dream kitchen, “and preparation prior to and during construction, our project was completed in about two weeks with minimal hiccups.”

Trenoweth, Rice and Babb are ready to share their knowledge with other customers as well, and they point out that if you buy the materials for your project from Hammond, the design service will be free.

A roof over every head

The challenging winter also led Hammond Lumber to undertake a different venture. Realizing that many Maine roofs took a heavy beating from the weather, the company teamed up with Everlast Roofing of Bridgton to market and provide metal roofing to large and small houses and other buildings throughout the state.

At the beginning of April, Hammond began running television and radio commercials actively promoting the benefits of metal roofing and of dealing with “two Maine companies working together to serve you.” The commercials point out that the 28-gauge steel in an Everlast roof is so strong and durable that an Everlast is guaranteed to last 40 years — non-pro-rated. It is also “heat-formed” at 200 degrees to prevent the paint on the metal from cracking.

And, as always, Hammond Lumber will deliver Everlast orders (as well as kitchen orders) free within striking distance of their stores faster than you can say, “I wish my roof didn’t leak.”

Shared values

“It’s a perfect partnership,” said Lee Eastman, general manager of Everlast, “because the companies share the same Maine values and philosophy, especially when it comes to customer service and superior product quality. Both Everlast and Hammond will do whatever it takes to take care of their customers.”

Eastman has known the Hammond family for many years and is impressed with how their company has grown from a three-man sawmill to a 13-store building supplier without losing its vision or core values.

“It just keeps getting better,” he said, “generation after generation, from Skip to Don to Mike. I’m excited about partnering with them.”

Customers interested in an Everlast roof or a new kitchen can call Hammond-Auburn toll free at 1-800-439-2826 or 784-4009. Directions for driving to the store are available by phone and email, and by visiting www.hammondlumber.com. Customers may also call 1-866-HAMMOND toll free, and they will be connected with the store nearest to their calling area.


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