Shelley Osterloh ReportingIn an age of home improvement and construction and superstores like Lowes and Home Depot, a homegrown Utah company has managed not only to survive, but thrive. And Burton Lumber just today moved into a new and enormous facility, perhaps the largest of its kind in the country.
Burton Lumber and Hardware has been selling to Utah builders for more than 90 years. When it first opened at 2220 South State street it was on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.
Jeff Burton, Vice President Burton Lumber: "Burton Lumber started in 1911 from great grandfather … great great grandfather. I am fourth generation. My brother Dan and I are running the business now and this move is probably the biggest thing Burton Lumber has ever done."
Big is right. Burton Lumber's new home is just off the Bangerter Highway at 1170 South 4400 West in a 200-thousand square foot building, surrounded by 30 acres. There is still a showroom and retail area, but the largest portion of the building is for manufacturing. Owners say they could fit four University of Utah Rice-Eccles stadiums inside the building.
Burton Lumber has consolidated five different operations, all under one building. In one room workers build prefabricated walls to go in commercial and residential properties. Other crews produce doors and building trusses.
The company has always sold lumber and other building materials; Burton has managed to find a solid market niche in a highly competitive industry.
Jeff Burton, Vice President Burton Lumber: "A lot of the big boxes have come into this valley and gone after the do-it-yourselfer and the retail. And our focus years ago was to deal with the professional builder. And that's why we said, the contractors’ choice, Burton Lumber.”
Burton employs about 230 people, but hopes in the future to expand its operations and now it has even more room to grow. In addition to its Salt Lake store, Burton also operates in five other Utah cities from St. George to Logan.