Founded in 1956 and headquartered in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, 84 Lumber Company is the nation’s largest privately held supplier of building materials, manufactured components, and industry-leading services for single- and multi-family residences and commercial buildings.
The company operates 310 facilities which includes stores, component manufacturing plants, custom door shops and engineered wood product centers in 35 states. 84 Lumber also offers turnkey installation services for a variety of products, including framing, insulation, siding, windows, roofing, decking and drywall.
In the early days, founder Joe Hardy, in conjunction with his two brothers, Norman and Bob Hardy, and family friends Ed Ryan and Jack Kunkle, pooled together $84,000 in funds to purchase land and buildings for a new “cash and carry” lumberyard. The idea was that customers would pay by cash or check and if merchandise was unable to be “carried” out, an additional charge was implemented to have the item personally delivered.
As the business expanded, Hardy and his brothers became sole owners of 84 Lumber, and the company entered a new phase of expansion throughout the 1960s. This expansion was accomplished largely by keeping overhead low and adopting a ‘no frills’ warehouse-style approach to most of the stores.
During the 1970s, 84 Lumber’s expansion continued, and the company opened 229 stores. In 1984, the company began remodeling and renovating stores, evolving from no-frills lumberyards to new and improved building materials stores. As this improvement plan generated success, the company relaxed their strict cash and carry policy, and introduced credit options in 1987.
In 1991, the company was named to the top position on ProSales Magazine’s “Dealer 100” list, an annual ranking of the country’s building materials suppliers by revenues.
In 1992, Joe Hardy appointed his daughter, Maggie, president and owner of 84 Lumber. Maggie ushered in a new era in which the company stormed onto the professional contractor market, and the company’s growth continued to skyrocket. With a new leader came an evolved vision. 84 Lumber continued to expand and in 1999, the company opened its first “84 Plus” retail store in Graysville, Tennessee.
The store, designed by Maggie, carried about 12,000 products as compared to the 3,000 – 4,000 in a traditional 84 Lumber store. It was divided into shopping sections targeted to professionals and retail shoppers.
Shortly after, more than one hundred 84 Plus stores opened and in 2002, the company exceeded $2 billion in annual sales for the first time in history. From there, 84 Lumber continued its impressive sales growth throughout the early 2000s.
However, when the housing market crashed in 2009, 84 Lumber – like most organizations associated with the construction industry – suffered significant losses. Difficult decisions were made to save the company, and efforts to avoid bankruptcy ultimately proved success.
Since then, 84 Lumber experienced exceptional growth, powered by Maggie’s vision to expand, and evolve the business. With tenacious leadership, and the 84 Lumber team’s true passion for their company, a new 84 Lumber emerged from tough economic times to become the powerhouse it is today. Now, 84 Lumber is a certified national women’s business enterprise and has held a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies for several years in a row. The company hit $7.9B in sales in 2021, and increased to $8.78B in 2022.