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Area business finds niche in backyard storage

July 25, 2012
By LARRY SHIELDS - Staff Writer ( , Salem News

SALEM- The sales brochures include small, colorful backyard storage sheds to deluxe 36- by 50-foot horse barns and whatever there is in between.

Salem Structures LLC. has been located at 2880 state Route 45 since mid-April and owner and General Manager Aaron Martin said Monday that business has been good.

"We specialize in all sizes of storage for the backyard," he said. "We're slowly ramping up and adding more as time goes on. We work mostly with Amish builders who do the construction."

Article Photos

Ken Strite, left, sales manager and Aaron Martin, the owner and general manager of Salem Structures LLC. at 2880 state Route 45, go over paperwork at the business. The company moved into Salem in mid-April bringing an inventory and catalogs full of Amish-built sheds, modular barns, chicken coops, carports, shed-row horse barns, run-in barns storage barns and garages. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)

Salem Structures also does some construction on its own. Martin said they also sell gazebos and "pretty much anything for the backyard."

"There's been a saying through the years, 'a person has a three-car garage but no place to park the car and they come to us and they have a place to park it.'"

It's a family business, employing three people and Martin works from the Salem office with sales manager Ken Strite who mans the desk in the showroom.

Martin said he came to Salem because of friends he knew in the community. "It wasn't the business that brought me here, but there was an opportunity," he said.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Martin has been in the shed manufacturing business for 20 years and sold a previous operation to a friend.

"I wasn't planning on getting back into it but saw there was a market here."

Martin explained most of the sheds are done on a custom order basis but they can be purchased right off the lot.

Custom orders take about three weeks and off the lot can be delivered "essentially tomorrow," he said, noting the buildings range in price from $1,000 to $50,000 and up for deluxe horse barns.

Strite said, "The larger building would be modular" and noted Salem Structures has a rent to own program.

Martin explained, "We make it easy for someone to get into a building with a credit card or in-house financing is available. "Rent to own is for some people who might have bad credit. It's a three-year plan."

Martin said they key in on people renting storage units who find the small units especially attractive.

"There are people who rent storage units for 10 years and could have paid off a shed four or five times."

He said the most popular size sheds are 12 by 20 feet and 12 by 24 feet.

"In that range," he said, adding, "we do whatever it takes to deliver is as a unit, otherwise we'll send a crew to build it."

Martin has sold thousands of structures and has three young boys and one has been in construction since he was 16.

"My goal is a good quality product and we'll stand behind it; and gain the respect of the local community," he said, and anticipates the shale boom to have some kind of effect.

"Some people that didn't have the money before ... will have extra money ... I think it will have a positive effect."

For more information, call 330-332-9940 or visit



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