Company Spotlight

Company Spotlight: Guardian Industries


The retail lumber yard that Guardian Building Products can trace its humble beginnings back to means that 2017 marks its impressive 150th birthday. In 1867, W. M. Cameron opened his yard in Warrensburg, Missouri, and supplied timber for construction to the emerging Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad. The ‘Guardian’ part of the name first appears in 1932, with the Guardian Glass Company in Detroit, contracted to make windshields for the celebrated Motor City’s car industry.

However, the company in its present form really started to take shape in 1980, as Guardian Fibreglass set up shop in Albion, Michigan, forming the foundations for the Guardian Building Products of today. Today, with more than 30 distribution centers across the United States, Guardian Building Products is a leading specialty building products distributor.



Guardian Building Products pride themselves on quality, and delivering that quality to their customers. They select their suppliers through their consistency in terms of what they deliver, as this is what keeps their customers coming back. They offer:

  • Roofing products – with brands including Tarco (roofing underlay specialists), and Tamko (who specialize in color-matching existing roofing, adding visual appeal to residential properties)
  • Doors – including Thermatru (with a range of classic wood residential doors)
  • Acoustic solutions – USG offer ceiling and wall panels which make a significant impact on sound transfer out of the building
  • Ceilings – Armstrong Ceilings has an impressive global project gallery, showing off their innovative products in place

In short, they stock brands which cover every aspect of residential and commercial building, and which deliver quality and value to the customer every time.

Direct Services

Guardian Building Products also offer a team of sales experts to help customers with purchases. Twenty-plus strong, the team averages around two decades’ worth of industry experience each, giving their customers confidence that their answers aren’t just quick, they’re reliable too. Combined with their 30-plus distribution facilities, it gives them national reach, and the buying power that implies; in fact, one telephone call gives the customer access to hundreds of big brands and products, saving time and therefore money. They also offer a loyalty program to regular customers.


The company hasn’t finished expanding either; in 2016, Guardian Building Products acquired Hawkeye Building Distributors, a company based in Rock Island, Illinois, and a distributor of building materials including hardline roofing and millwork products. Hawkeye were serving independent lumber yards in the Midwest, and also had additional locations in Chillicothe and Joplin in addition to their millwork assembly facility in Rock Island.

2016 also saw the takeover of parent arm, Guardian Industries, by Koch International, who saw the company as a “world-class organisation, and a leader in providing innovative products”. Earlier this year, SRG Global, another company under the Guardian parent arm, opened a new Innovation Center in Taylor, Michigan.

By James Aiken

President of Legacy Search, James Aiken has been dynamically involved in recruiting the elite candidates within the building materials industry for many years. With strength in sales and operations, James has built out multiple sales teams for manufacturers and distributors alike. Email him at

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