Disney's Main Street USA concept has always intrigued remodeler Tim Thompson. So when he recently moved his insurance restoration firm, tripling his office and warehouse space to 16,000 square feet, he built his dream: a nifty "town," set in the 1930s for a classic feel, under one roof.
While clients who visit the new Thompson Building Associates showroom in Columbus, Ohio, stand agape at the facades, Thompson says it's the employees who get the real kick out of the $45,000 extra he spent to make his $180,000 office remodel truly unique. "They're reminded that we're an unusual company, not just a carbon-copy contractor like anyone else on the street," he says.
Thompson's 60 employees complete 800 jobs a year, nearly 200 of them houses destroyed by fire. When clients visit the new showroom, they're able to look at fiber cement, vinyl brick, stucco, and cedar lap siding. Or, they can examine the windows and other products built into "buildings" that frame the town square, where Thompson presides in the "Mayor's Office." Clients can "window-shop" down "Selections Lane," opening windows to touch products in displays maintained by vendors.
"I wanted people to see that we're capable of the odd and unusual," Thompson says. "We can be creative, we're problem solvers, and we're proud of ourselves." As an owner doing business for 26 years, he adds: "I wanted to have a sense of permanence so customers could see that anyone spending this kind of money plans on staying here."