We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Adrian and Eric from Lake Washington Windows & Doors and learned how these two worked their way through every aspect of this business, launched their own companies, and then ultimately came to work together for the greater good of the Pacific Northwest!
Adrian was raised in Edgewood near Puyallup and graduated from Puyallup High School. After high school, he moved up north to the Snoqualmie area, which he says has a very similar, small-town feel as to what he was used to in Edgewood, which is very comfortable and familiar with. He then studied Business Accounting at the University of Washington, spending his summers working in the Glass and Service Department at Milgard Windows & Doors. “This is how I was introduced to the industry,” Adrian says. “I was offered a full-time job at Milgard thinking it would simply be ‘just a job’ for six months until I figure out my life and plan it out. Six months led to six years, and six years led to a 19-year career at a great company. I learned a lot working in a number of different positions, from service to architectural sales to outside sales. I went out to Virginia to help launch a distribution and manufacturing facility out there, and when I came back in 2008, I realized that my passion was elsewhere. We kind of have an entrepreneurial bloodline in our family, and I saw an opportunity in the marketplace for a good window and door company.” That is when Adrian started Lake Washington Windows & Doors.
Eric was born and raised in the Tacoma Area and has lived throughout this city, from the North End to the South End, to Browns Point. He met his wife at Meeker Middle School and graduated from Stadium High School. He only recently moved a little out of the city to get a little more property, which is something him and family have always wanted to do.
Most of the jobs Eric had when he was younger were all based around construction, from landscaping to working with remodelers. One day, he decided to go see if he could work at a bank. “It was pretty funny,” he said. “I went and worked at a bank, and I had to wear a tie and dress up every day. It was great because I love interacting with the customers, and I was good at that. The branch manager one day was like, 'You're never in your seat; you’re always up moving.’ She could tell I wanted more. She then actually set me up with her husband, who was doing construction work for a window company at that time. I went from wearing a tie one day to working in the pouring rain in December, just getting soaked. It was an entry-level spot at a window company and was about 14 years ago. Since then, I've worked through basically every department from installation to service to sales, sales management, and then owning my own company, Marine View Windows and Doors, for a few years. Great experience. It's been a lot of years of hard work to get here.”
Adrian and Eric’s stories are both full of experience, passion, and hard work, and the two of them have been crossing paths for over a decade now. “Eric and my story are actually very connected,” Adrian says. “Eric was running his own glazing, small glass company, Caliber, back in 2009. We recruited him to join Lake Washington back then, offering him a position as an outside sales rep. That was the first time I was able to pull away from the field and let someone else take control of the selling for our company. He accepted and did an awesome job for four or five years before he decided to join his father at his Print Company.”
Eric was in line to take over his father’s company, but it did not suit him the way his father had hoped. Eric’s passion was in windows. Being that Eric lived down south, he was always trying to get Adrian to do more work in his neck of the woods, but Lake Washington just wasn’t prepared to do that at the time, and so Eric decided to start his own business, Marine View Windows and Doors.
In 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, Adrian and Eric started talking about the opportunity of merging: combining forces to expand the marketplace of Lake Washington beyond just King County. “We did some business down in Pierce but not actively. The Pierce County market is growing, and I wanted a little bit more of a footprint down there,” Adrian says. So Eric joined up with Adrian at Lake Washington, and together they serve our area with expertise and quality.
Eric says, “It was good timing. People in our area are hungry for a really good service provider with great quality products. Not to mention that it’s growing like crazy down here, so there’s a lot of need. It is nice to be able to be that company that is recognized for quality and service, in a pretty short period of time, and in the Tacoma area."
What stands out above the rest?
Eric says, “The idea of red-carpet service and constantly innovating how we can service the consumer better. The quality of product and the quality of installs is one thing, but we're constantly focused on how to communicate more. How do we stay above the trend and be industry leaders. That's what's been great about coming back and working with Adrian. We've gone through some pretty crazy times in the last two years, and, historically, in our industry and construction, we get thrown some curveballs. Adrian’s done a really good job coming up against roadblocks finding innovative ways to get through, which ultimately help our customers. It's been really fun, and we’re able to service our customers better than ever.”
What are the signs that indicate windows and/or doors need to be replaced?
“Energy bills are a big sign. There's are ton of single-pane old wood windows in Tacoma in these older homes. They basically have no insulation value whatsoever, and you’re throwing money out the window, no pun intended, but it's true. If you see fogginess in the glass, that's another telltale sign that it's time to change your windows. The technology and innovation in products today with argon gas, the building material, the frame components, they are so much more efficient now than they were even 20 years ago.”
“Window and door replacement are one of the top three ‘return on investments that you can get with your home. Whether it's short-term or long-term, you're getting what you're putting into that investment. It's one of the reasons I’m attracted to construction and remodel. I always say, in a day or two, you can transform the inside and the outside of your home, you can increase your security, your energy efficiency, curb appeal, the warmth of the inside of your home.
How to connect?
“We offer free in-home or virtual consultations. We have two full-time schedulers at the office, so just reach out. You can call the call the office or just go on the website and you can fill in a form, and we will get back to you right away during business hours and set you up with one of our eight consultants to come out and go over some ideas.”
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