David Stemler believes in staying true to the past, yet always has an eye toward the future. That philosophy has served him well in the last several decades, as he has transformed a small paneling store into Kentuckiana’s largest locally owned home-improvement company. PC Home Center and PC Lumber and Hardware have grown and evolved since their humble beginnings in 1975, but Stemler has always maintained his focus – providing both homeowners and contractors with the materials and ideas necessary to build their dreams. Above all else, he has built a reputation for excellent service from an experienced, knowledgeable staff.
In the late 70s, Stemler was Paneling Center’s sole employee and worked alongside the store’s owner. But times change, and so do decorating trends and smart businesses. By the mid-1980s, the company was known as PC Home Center (a nod to Paneling Center) and had expanded beyond paneling to include Andersen windows and doors.
PC Home Center
When he purchased the decade-old Paneling Center in 1988, Stemler had his eye on the changing trends in both decorating and building. The newly-christened PC Home Center expanded its inventory to include windows, doors, and cabinetry. In 1995, the company moved to its current facility at the corner of State and Cherry Streets in New Albany. There, with both a growing inventory and staff, PC became the area’s largest local home design center. Just 5 miles from downtown Louisville, PC Home Center sells Andersen and Marvin windows, Masterbrand cabinets, and many other flooring and lighting products. Now also selling smaller furniture and accessories, PC’s flagship location has a 14,000 square-foot home design showcase staffed by professional designers who specialize in individualized kitchen and bath remodeling and construction.
PC Lumber and Hardware
In 2009, Stemler gambled again, purchasing a former Stock Lumber location, Sellersburg Lumber. Now a full-line lumberyard and hardware store in one location, PC Lumber and Hardware has a customer base of roughly 80 percent contractor and 20 percent retail hardware shoppers. Focusing this side of his business on the pro builder and remodeler, Stemler has roughly 16 outside sales reps who personally manage customer accounts with expert product knowledge and individualized service. Many contractor customers appreciate that they rarely enter the store itself – PC’s trained outside sales staff takes care of their needs by going to their worksites or offices.
PC Lumber and Hardware has taken Stemler’s business plan one step further, as retail traffic in the store itself grows each year. Customers of PC’s contractors visit both sites to choose cabinetry and lighting fixtures. As a bonus, PC contracts trusted installers for all cabinet sales in the Louisville market. The company also installs replacement windows, doors and flooring through carefully-chosen subcontractors.