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Capital Lumber is a cool neighborhood lumber yard place that sells construction supplies. Unlike the big box stores Capital Lumber has a cadre of helpful, knowledgeable staff to assist folks with any level of knowledge of the building trades. Although geared to the contractor they do a very good job for the homeowner DIY crowd. Primarily it is because they are willing to share their understanding of product and experience. A member of the Boise Chamber of Commerce since 1905 they are a pillar of our local economy. Many businesses have tried to compete by having a little bit of everything and Capital is no exception. However, lumber and construction supplies are their primary product.
The majority of Levco’s work is centered in the North End so naturally Capital is our go to shop.
Bob Perrin the Owner has had the business since 1974. He is usually seen there working at his overloaded desk, in a worn out recliner with his green computer screen. His son Chris is a vital part of the business and a regular fixture as well.
Wandering the yard you can find things that haven’t been made for years like a 20′ foot wooden ladder and original wood siding not made any longer that was used frequently in the North End.
They hooked up with True Value Hardware in 1976 which gave them better buying power on the hardware side, as well as co-op marketing. If you look around you can find or have access to nearly everything under the sun. They can easily provide 90% of what is needed to build a structure. They also have everything to repair a home that includes fixing anything under the sun.
Bob says that the true lumberyard concept is what makes Capital so rare. “There are many hardware stores, but few true independent lumber yards left. The Home Center concept seems to be taking the country by storm.” As a contractor I appreciate so many aspects like delivery, having a charge account, getting expert advice, and being able to drop off a set of plans to get a bid.
Another of the rare but precious things Bob is proud of is his connection with his clients. He mentioned a story of how he went to a 90 year old woman’s home yesterday to show her what she needed and referred a person to come fix her screen door. Granted it is only a $20 job for someone, but legendary service in my book.
In another twist, on recent historic home tour of the North End, there was a cool write up about Capital Lumber. They repossessed a home and resold it years ago when the owner stiffed them for the lumber.
Some of the current players have been around for years; they include Bob’s son Chris, Joe, Alex, Darren, Tyler, and, Shelly the bookkeeper.
Although these types of neighborhood lumber yards are a dying breed around the country, each town used to have one. We have another one, Overland Lumber, clear across town I have an account and visit when I can. The bottom line is that I am proud to be a regular customer. I also encourage you to find your home town lumberyard and use them when you can. The Home Depot’s and Lowe’s of the world will never be able to provide the service that the Mom & Pop shops have to offer.