European manufacturer of timber garden buildings and laminated timber Palmako is on the expansion trail.

The Estonian company is part of the Lemeks Group which enables it to control all aspects of the supply chain from the forest to the complete finished product.

Its 2016 production schedule is at an all time high – increasing from last year where it produced in excess of 45,000 wooden buildings, 30,000m3 of glue-laminated timber and 30,000 tons of biomass wood pellets.

In order to meet increasing demand, investment has been made in expanding its three production facilities in Estonia – Kavastu in Tartu County, Laekvere in Lääne- Viru County & Põltsamaa in Jõgeva County.

The head office is in Tartu, while an office is in Edinburgh and a distribution centre in the Midlands, which enables it to service the UK marketplace – offering the direct delivery of single buildings to end customers.

The timber garden buildings range consists of designs as diverse as log constructed summerhouses, pavilions, playhouses for children, garages, carports, Nordic style sheds, workshops, home offices, weekend cottages & even full-blown living houses.

Expansion Plans

Future product development plans include swings, high-end fence panels, trellis, sandpits & garden furniture.

"The ultimate goal is for Palmako to be a "one stop shop" for all of your timber garden product needs," said Craig Pollock, Palmako UK sales.

Mr Pollock said of the 175-strong product range, the classic corner summerhouses, statement clock-house summerhouses & garages are consistently the most popular models.

"We are also seeing considerable growth in the uptake of our bespoke buildings service," he said.

"Allowing our customers to design their own building & helping them bring it to reality is something that is proving to be extremely popular in the UK market.

"We are also seeing growth in the uptake of our new pre-treatment option, giving our customers the option to have their building delivered pre-treated & protected against the British weather in either a clear-white or brown colour."

"The clear-white option is proving popular as we are witnessing the trend of people becoming far more adventurous with colours in the garden."

Palmako believes the days of basic brown & green treatment seem numbered, with the majority of its end customers opting for more interesting & vibrant colours.

"This is a trend that is well supported by paint manufacturers as the choice of wood preservatives & range of colours seem to have developed dramatically in recent years," it said.

UK distribution

Products are sold in the UK via a network of independent trade customers. A typical trade customer profile can vary enormously; anything from a builder’s merchant, a hot tub reseller, a fencing superstore to a family garden centre is possible.

Generally stockists will have retail show areas to display products.

Palmako is on the lookout for more potential trading partners to increase its UK coverage as it moves forward with its expansion plans in 2016.

It is also currently looking at routes into the DIY/national chains market & is seeking suitable partners to try and access this target market.

On the sustainable sourcing front, the company is pressing ahead with plans to increase the number of FSC compliant products and it is aiming for its range to be 100% FSC compliant in the very near future. Meanwhie, Palmako says its products are placed somewhere between the mid to premium end of the market.

"The growth in this end of the market appears to be surpassing previously seen levels & hopefully there will be some decent British summer weather that will help boost demand," it said.

Whether the weather comes up trumps or not, it says it is still expecting to have a record year, with Q1 sales targets already surpassed