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As published in Toledo Business Journal - April 1, 2021

Construction taking place at Backyard Products’ facility in Monroe

Construction taking place at Backyard Products’ facility in Monroe

Backyard Products invests $3M in expansion

Backyard Products, a designer, manufacturer and installer of backyard wood structures, is investing $3 million to expand its current 200,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Monroe, Michigan by 60,000 square feet and create 15-20 new jobs. The investment offers additional warehousing and storage along with new manufacturing technology for product and logistical efficiencies.

The expansion will provide a new state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and product prototype area, and, according to the company, it is also planning $1-2 million in equipment upgrades to improve efficiency and safety in the workplace.

The project broke ground in October 2020 and has an estimated completion of spring. Davison Building and Development out of Monroe is the general contractor for the project.

“We are proud of our company’s Michigan presence and origins starting back in the ‘70s. Since then, we have expanded in many other backyard-related categories and we see tremendous growth opportunities both organically and through continued acquisitions,” said Thomas van der Meulen, CEO, Backyard Products.

“We’re excited at the prospect of creating 15-20 new jobs and also very appreciative of the continued support from the Monroe community and assistance from the Monroe County Business Development Corporation,” said Dan Dalach, executive vice president of human resources, Backyard Products.

Backyard Products designs, manufactures, and installs backyard wood structures

Backyard Products designs, manufactures, and installs backyard wood structures

For over 45 years Backyard Products has sold sheds, playsets, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and outdoor living structures through direct channels and major retailer partners like Lowe’s, Costco, and Home Depot. The company’s key brands include Heartland Sheds, Gorilla Playsets, Handy Home Products, Swing-N-Slide, Studio Shed, and Lawn Master.

Currently, Backyard Products has a total of 500 employees between its corporate office in Ann Arbor and four divisional headquarters in Monroe; Atlanta; Boulder, Colorado; and Dallas, plus 33 branch offices that provide installation services for its products across the country.

According to Dave Davis, marketing manager, Backyard Products, the company has strong growth demand in outdoor products and renewed home improvement focus.

“We continue to diversify our product offerings by adding companies. Acquisitions over the last 10 years have bolstered our roster of lifestyle products under the Backyard umbrella,” explained Davis.

The company also recently relocated its corporate office to Ann Arbor. The new corporate office occupies the top two floors of a newly constructed, six-story building located at 317 South Main Street in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. Previously, Backyard was headquartered alongside its manufacturing facility in Monroe, where its manufacturing and operations will remain.

According to Backyard, by moving corporate offices to Ann Arbor, it positions the company to retain and attract top talent in business-critical leadership and support roles.

“Upgrading office environment and location amenities for our current corporate employees and new hires was essential as our company continues to grow and evolve,” said Dalach.

The new office will accommodate marketing, sales, product development, IT, finance, and executive leadership teams. Both floors feature an open office environment for plenty of collaboration space and an outdoor covered patio that overlooks downtown.

“It really doesn’t get any better than this in Ann Arbor. The location alone is fantastic,” commented van der Meulen. “This move represents another significant milestone for our fast-growing company. The new space better accommodates our growing team and enables us to hire additional talent to support our aggressive growth plans.”