By Alex Karn
Nearly ten years ago, Chemong Home Hardware Building Centre co-owners Terry Jenkins and Randy Kingdon recognized that they needed to consider creating more storage space at their 1699 Chemong Road location. “We had been storing quite a bit of our product in outbuildings which made us a lot less efficient than we knew we could be,” explains Jenkins, noting that many key retail areas were also feeling cramped.
As they began to plan for this renovation however, the economic downturn of 2008 hit, and the owners decided to wait and see what the future would hold for their company. “We survived when many didn’t and we actually continued to grow. By 2013 however, we knew it was time to get serious about expanding.”
With the help of Cornerstone Builders, the design/build company which oversaw the initial construction of the Chemong Home Hardware Building Centre location in 2005, the owners carefully planned the renovation in order to maximize the building’s space within the constraints of local regulations. “Initially, the idea was just to add more storage in order to meet the demand of the sales we see here, but as we got closer to starting construction, we thought it made good business sense to expand our retail area as well.”
Many local trades worked for over ten months to complete the renovation, an investment which totaled over $2.5 million. Construction crews were hard at work late into the night for customers’ safety, as the store remained open throughout the renovation process. “Timing was a big concern, and we tried our best to do as much work during closed hours as possible, but of course there were many instances where it was impossible to accommodate that.”
With an additional 14,000 square feet, the renovated Chemong Home Hardware Building Centre’s main building now totals 39,000 square feet and features more product displays, an enhanced contractor sales department, dedicated areas for kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and seasonal merchandise; all of this in addition to the existing25,000 square-foot drive-through warehouse.
“As more and more homeowners are tackling do-it-yourself projects to improve their properties, I feel it is more important for them to see how their space could look when it is finished,” Jenkins says. “With our renovated space, we’re focusing on showcasing our products in such a way that contractors and homeowners will be able to better visualize how they will look in the space they are working on.”
“At the end of the day, our goal is to create a brand new shopping experience for the community. No matter the size of the project, customers will be able to come into this store to have their home improvement dreams realized. We have a team of 80 knowledgeable staff members on hand to provide the expert advice consumers are looking for.”