Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, March 12, 2001

RAM Buildings adds retail supply division

By Patrice Salmon

RAM Buildings, Inc. of Winsted, has expanded its construction business to now include building supplies.

The partnership between Gregg Machemehl and Rawelin "Rollie" Radtke started when Machemehl joined Radtke, who then owned Waconia Building Center.

Their business in Winsted started in 1999, when the two created RAM Buildings, Inc., which specializes in post-frame agricultural, residential, and commercial buildings.

Radtke saw a need to provide labor along with building materials, thus leading to the creation of RAM Buildings, Inc.

It was also the intention of Machemehl and Radtke when they formed RAM Buildings, Inc. that the pair would offer lumber and supplies to contractors and walk-in customers in the Winsted area.

Their new business, RAM Building Supply, which opened Feb. 1, is designed with the contractor in mind, but offers many services to those with home projects.

Their idea is to provide materials and also sell materials to other contractors, at competitive contractor prices, and offer the convenience of shopping locally to those with home projects in mind.

"We've worked real hard to make this come together," said Machemehl.

He cited the efforts of former mayor of Winsted, Floyd Sneer, former city administrator Aaron Reeves, and City Clerk Betty Zachmann.

"They were very helpful when we were first starting. They helped us make our vision a reality," said Machemehl.

"We appreciate how the City of Winsted worked with us. Without their assistance, none of this would have happened," Machemehl said.

The supply part of the business has only been open for a few weeks, but it is already gaining the support of the Winsted community, and has established accounts with some of the local businesses.

Some of the building supply materials available in stock, include: SPF #2 and better framing material, green treated .40 CCA, plywood, OSB, sheetrock, paslode products, cement products (no block), insulation, nail and screw fasteners.

Non-stock but also available include: vinyl and steel siding, cedar decking material, shingles, doors and windows, vinyl fencing, horse stalls, and much more.

If something is needed, but not in stock, many items may be special ordered with a one- to three-day turn-around time.

The two businesses employ 20 people, and it is anticipated that delivery, lumber yard, and office staff will be added, as the need arises.

Two key employees in the new building supply business are Brad Radtke, lumber yard manager; and Danny Dammann, yard manager.

Brad will be the one to direct most questions to, while Dan has 20-plus years of material handling experience.

Estimates may be given for a variety of home projects, such as decks, sheds, or for materials necessary for finishing a basement.

Existing design standards will be used for estimating the materials necessary for everything from small projects to building a home.

RAM Building Supply will have CAD (computer-assisted drafting) capabilities, for drawing, estimating, and design. If the staff can't answer a question, additional engineering help is available, and the staff will be able to offer advice as to where to go for more assistance.

While hopes are to gain the business and trust of local construction firms, the staff at RAM Building Supply is also ready to serve those customers who may need information and materials for doing a home project.


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