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Building to the future

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by MATTHEW NASH Sequim Gazette

Despite hard times for many builders, Thomas Building Center has opted to look to the future with its new expansion, Designs by Thomas.
The addition is next door to the building center, at 337 W. Washington St., Sequim.

It offers products and installation services for home kitchens, bathrooms, windows and more.

Expanding the 37-year old business always has been in the plan, says manager Andrew Thomas.

“Thomas as a whole is always looking to expand their product line.”

“We created (Designs) to expand certain departments because we didn’t have room,” said owner Rand Thomas.

“So far it’s right in line with what we wanted.”

Building on the customer’s desires
Designs was built to give customers more options for their homes.

“We look at customer needs and try to adapt to those needs,” Andrew said.

“With the new facility, we can help streamline decisions. 

“The new displays make it easier for customers to decide, making remodeling less overwhelming.”

Countertop and kitchen counter tiles line pillars near the entrance, giving customers a bigger visual than sorting through hundreds of small samples.

The kitchen displays are working samples to give a more personal feeling for customers deciding which devices and styles to choose.

Andrew said there’s a synergy when choosing items and projects from Designs because they can use the resources from the neighboring building center.

Tony Steinman, store manager for Thomas Building Supply, said this is advantageous because most customers want to work with only one entity for projects.

“People come to us and we act in the middle and help them get what they need,” Steinman said. 
Designs staff ask a lot of questions to help customers refine their plans.

“The idea here is using our experience in getting the customer what they want at the price they want,” Andrew said.

“We help them complete their vision.”

Building a better home
Designs by Thomas staff will come to an installation at least once to ensure the customer’s needs are met.

There are no in-house installers. All work is sub-contracted to local builders under the Thomas umbrella.

“In this economy, we’ve got some of the best contractors available to use,” Andrew said.

“We even used a broad mix of contractors to build Designs.”

“We put a lot of our contractors to work through this — and helped put food on their tables,” Rand said.

As part of the remodel, all outside racking is being replaced to make 20-percent more storage.

Parking will be added to the left of Designs once the racking is replaced.

This past summer, Designs built a 1,000 sq. ft. decking display in front of Thomas Building Center to promote the decking styles available.

The expansion allowed Thomas Building Center to expand its paint room and tools section.
A grand opening for Designs by Thomas will be announced shortly.

Thomas Building Center is at 301 W. Washington St. Both buildings are open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.
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