Platinum Exteriors Inc.

PlatinumPlatinum Exteriors’ niche is to rehab or build high-quality waterproof exteriors on new or existing construction on budget and on time.

By Russ Gager

Although general contractors and building owners do not expect the exteriors installed by Platinum Exteriors to be literally platinum, they find the company’s waterproofing capabilities and the appearance and quality of its jobs to be as good as gold.

General/Regional Manager Ryan Green estimates that approximately 70 percent of Platinum Exteriors’ business is with repeat customers. “Our company is about building relationships, not just doing a single project,” he says.

Owner Keeton Epps agrees. “Our main focus as a company is to take care of our customers,” Epps points out. “So once somebody works with us, they continue to work with us. Then we get to the point where with big builders, it’s more negotiated work than it is bid work, because we created a relationship with them. They don’t want to use anybody else because of our professional quality and speed. We hit their time frames so we never delay them.”

Platinum Exteriors works as a subcontractor on new construction or rehab work or as a general contractor mostly in Oregon and Washington. The company specializes in rehabbing or installing new exteriors on mid-rise buildings, many of them with four or seven stories of wood frame construction above two stories of concrete construction. Epps estimates that approximately 40 percent of the company’s work is four to seven stories of downtown residential above a single story of retail space. Platinum Exteriors box

The moist and rainy climate in the Pacific Northwest and shoddy construction results in the deterioration of the exteriors of many residential apartment and condominium buildings. Epps estimates that approximately half of the company’s work is litigated work in which Platinum Exteriors is hired to repair an inferior exterior system.

Epps says that waterproofing technology has advanced substantially in the last 10 years. Platinum Exteriors restores deteriorated exteriors or even exceeds their original design by installing the latest waterproofing technology. The company provides its own equipment on multifamily and commercial projects including pump jacks, boom lifts, aerial work platform lifts, extension ladders and poles.

Platinum Exteriors says it can install many manufacturers’ complete waterproofing systems. “They’re all designed to do the same thing – keep moisture out and let the building breathe,” Epps says. “Each system has different materials and perm ratings, and they perform differently. You can see the difference in the way we install these different materials.”

Platinum Exteriors has been awarded EPA certification and accredited renovator status. The company says its employees have spent years training, educating and taking many development courses and certifications on waterproofing, integration of flashing and the proper building methods that protect exterior envelope cladding. Platinum Exteriors offers LEED-certified materials specifically formulated for the environment, a sustainable future and a minimal carbon footprint.

Typical Jobs

A typical rehab project for Platinum Exteriors is at the Cedar Heights condominiums in Vancouver, Wash. The $5 million rehab of the exterior of the 110-unit building includes

all-new roofing, gutters, fascia, decks, siding, windows and fixing all the dry rot.

On another project in Portland, Ore., called The Boathouse, Platinum Exteriors installed a special metal panel that rusts to a rich red. “It’s a little more expensive than other products, so they put it on the front corner to give it a dramatic presentation as you drive up to the building,” Epps says. Last year, Platinum Exteriors did one of its largest jobs in Corvallis, Ore., for student housing. “Our company specializes in large-scale projects,” Green says.

Platinum Exteriors rehabs the exteriors of hotels/motels, assisted living facilities, apartments, condos, student living facilities, banks and government housing. The company does all types of exterior work such as installing fiber cement panels, metal cladding, vinyl and metal siding, windows, sliding glass doors, soffit, gutters, fascia, roofing, decks, stucco and exterior insulation finish systems.

“We do everything except brick and stone veneer,” Epps says. “We subcontract that out.” The company also does prevailing wage work, such as for the Coast Guard, Veterans Administration and schools.

The company has grown from $2 million in sales in 2013 to $20 million projected for this year. “We’ve gone through exponential growth every year,” Green emphasizes. Platinum Exteriors has been hiring more estimators to keep up with the growth. Its use of PlanSwift takeoff software has streamlined its paperwork and helped the company to integrate its plans with the Bluebeam software many general contractors use.

Future Growth

For the future, Epps and Green anticipate further growth. Green would like the company’s base of six regular customers for midrise construction to increase to eight to 10 regular customers. Establishing new offices and doing projects in adjoining states is a possibility in five to 10 years.

“We would only consider that if we are continuing to grow and taking care of current customers,” Green says. “We have such a good clientele in Oregon and Washington. We are not searching for work. We continue to get repeat work due to our professional quality, management style and ability to get done on budget and on time.”

Platinum Exteriors is cautious about growing with the right general contractors. “We are looking to create relationships with general contractors that we know are going to be around,” Green emphasizes. “So part of my screening process is I go out and sit down and interview with these large general contractors to know their stability, to ensure that I’m partnering with a company that will be around in good times or bad.”

Epps attributes the company’s success to “the way you treat people – be honest and have integrity. I believe if you treat people well, they will appreciate it, and they’ll take care of you. That’s probably what our success is because we try to treat people right.”

That attitude extends to Platinum Exteriors’ subcontractors as well as its customers. “We’ve created a great name for our company,” Green declares. “We pay our bills, we take care of business, we pay on time and treat them like people. We understand they have families to go home to. We look at them like that and not a dollar sign in and out.”

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