Opening a new door
Having worked as a finish carpenter for nearly two decades, Brian Moore built a niche in the local construction industry.
It's a rugged, physically demanding trade, one that wears and tears on the body. So it was no surprise when he needed rotator cuff surgery to repair his shoulder 18 months ago.
"You always think you're going to be young forever, and then a few things happen and you realize you can't do what you're doing forever," said Moore, as he took a break earlier this week.
With an eye toward the future, Moore and his wife, Sara, sprang into action. After consulting contractors, the Moores decided to go for it last September when they opened Moore's Doors and Trim.
"We felt like it was a venture we could take together, and we were able to get a couple of employees with a great deal of experience," said Sara Moore, who left the dental hygienist profession to start the business.
They quickly outgrew their original quarters on Parsons Drive and moved across town to the former Pacific Wine Club location on Heathrow Way in Navigators Landing.
"Since the recession there have been a lot of ups and downs, but (the industry is) slowly regaining its footing," said George Kress, who handles sales for the firm. "In the past year, building has really picked up, probably 10 times what it was a few years ago. We see people moving to the valley for multiple reasons, and they want to start off with a new home instead of an older home."
Even after the move, business has grown enough that Moore's Doors now uses a corner of neighboring West Coast Paper's warehouse.
"I knew there was going to be a hole in the market, the economy had picked up, and we thought it was the perfect time," Brian Moore said. "When you've been installing the product for almost 20 years, you know what works, what's easy, and what's not. I definitely know what the customer is going to want."
Still, taking on employees and purchasing equipment required risk.
"It's pretty scary," he said. "It's a big investment. There's an opportunity to make a nice margin, but you've got to get the business going."
For now, Brian Moore has one foot in the past and one in the future. He anticipates pursuing both carpentry and the door business for another five years.
"Finish carpentry — as is anything in construction — is labor intensive," Brian Moore said. "You do a lot of baseboards, you're on your knees a lot, carrying doors up and down stairs. You're pretty much carrying stuff all day. A lot of those doors can weigh up to 150 pounds. Over the years it kind of wears on you. I'm 42 now and can see the writing on the wall."
— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.