In a somber week for the building and construction industry, we bid farewell to a true luminary, Joe Hardy, the visionary founder of 84 Lumber. At the remarkable age of 100, Joe Hardy leaves behind a legacy that has shaped the landscape of building supply, influencing not only the industry but also laying the groundwork for giants like Home Depot and Lowe’s.
A Legacy Etched in Timber:
84 Lumber, founded by Joe Hardy, stands as a testament to his foresight and entrepreneurial spirit. Long before the era of mega home improvement stores, Hardy established one of the first large lumber yards accessible not only to contractors but also to individual consumers. This revolutionary approach reshaped the building supply industry, creating a model that would later be emulated by industry giants.
Paving the Way for Home Depot and Lowe’s:
Before the 1980s, local hardware stores and smaller lumber yards were the norm. However, the success of 84 Lumber caught the attention of industry executives. Home Depot and Lowe’s, two of the biggest names in home improvement today, drew inspiration from Hardy’s trailblazing business model. The rise of these big box stores owes much to the groundwork laid by Joe Hardy and 84 Lumber.
A Charmed Life and Diversified Ventures:
Joe Hardy’s life was not only marked by his contributions to the building supply industry. In addition to his success with 84 Lumber, he ventured into the luxury sector by establishing a high-end resort in his home state. This diversified portfolio showcased Hardy’s ability to adapt and excel in various business realms.
The Next Generation:
Survived by sons and grandchildren who are now at the helm of the business, Joe Hardy’s legacy continues to thrive. The torch has been passed to a new generation, ensuring that the principles and values instilled by the founder endure in the ongoing success of 84 Lumber.
Reflections from the Industry:
For those who have been a part of the 84 Lumber family, we invite you to share your thoughts and experiences. How did this lumber yard play a pivotal role in your early career? Did it provide materials and supplies when alternatives were scarce? Your stories and reflections pay homage to the impact of Joe Hardy on the building and construction community.
As we remember Joe Hardy, we acknowledge the profound influence he had on the building and construction industry. His vision not only transformed a lumber yard into a nationwide presence but also paved the way for the evolution of the entire sector. Joe Hardy’s legacy will undoubtedly continue to shape the industry for generations to come.