Our company began on the wooden seaside docks as a Yacht Repair Company (Knepp-Craft) in Alamitos Bay, Long Beach, California.
From my nautical commercial experience and years at sea as a Ships Master and Commercial Fisherman in Alaska. The winter commercial vessel rebuilding in Seattle, Washington, this became a natural starting point as an entrepreneur for business in California.
Yacht & Boat repairs were a part time vocation for a family man, with out becoming a local ships master in California and heading out to sea. Home based.
One child. Three mouths to feed.
Home handyman repairs began with a widowed woman needing some help on her home maintenance items in Long Beach, CA. Our name changed to Knepp-Kraft.
A custom tool and material Trailer was build from a bare steel frame bought at a Yard Sale. The portable shop on wheels towed behind a Ford EXP. A construction truck was not an option at this time. Part time Youth Pastor, Yacht Repairman and Home Handyman in the Long Beach, California area.
Two children. Four mouths to feed.
General Contractor License #547307B was issued to our company from the State of California.
Resigned youth pastor position and now a full time referral based General Building Contractor.
Word begins to spread and referral business begins to become a steady full time job five days a week. Saturday is family day and Sunday is God’s day of rest. The company rests during the weekends. Areas of work projects expand around Southern California. The Knepp-Kraft one ton work truck was purchased on a sales contract from the owner. Our Logo was designed and painted on the side of the truck.
We are now an official General Building Contractor in California. Time for some help in the office and the field. Word keep spreading.
I attend a Remodeling Seminar in San Francisco, CA and discover who we are: “we are Commercial & Residential Remodeling Contractors”.
We now identify with a whole new industry in the world.
Knepper’s Alaska Fish Camp ministry for men begins in tents along side a river in Ninilchik, Alaska.
Three children. Five mouths to feed.
Commercial & Industrial Construction is introduced to us from one of our residential clients. We now offer TI work in Los Angeles.
Still 100% referral, from client to client. Time for an office. The bedroom office is maxed out! The garage is built out with a custom office and back yard window view for bookkeeping and estimating.
A computer is purchased and a part time bookkeeper is hired in the new garage office.
Knepper’s Alaska Fish Camp purchases our new two acre cabin on the bank of the Ninilchik River in Ninilchik, Alaska. We have a base of operation for our ministry.
Three children. Five mouths to feed.
Business is booming. Time to move out of the garage! A raw warehouse space is rented for our first office in North Long Beach. We hire builders. We are now 3 men and a PT Bookkeeper in a real office space and warehouse/shop. Word spreads and we are working for Industrial Bank Trust Real Estate Offices in downtown Los Angles, CA. We travel everywhere to work in the greater Los Angeles and Orange county basin. The first mobil cell phone sits in my truck seat. Chuck the pager!
More men are hired in the field to keep up with the work load.
Still 100% referral. Client to client. Business to business. Friend to friend.
Four children. Six mouths to feed.
Earthquake! Insurance restoration work begins in North-ridge for the next 3.5 years for our company. We move our office out of a cold dingy warehouse into an adjoining nice built-out office space. The team is building. We begin a new company: Contractors Door Supply. Insurance Restoration Division begins at our firm.
We buy a new office from the earthquake profits in Los Alamitos, CA. Our new home: 10761 Los Alamitos Blvd. with 2200 s.f. of space. Two business. Home sweet home.
Four children. Six mouths to feed. They are eating more now.
Ten year anniversary! Wow, we made it this far. We beat the odds of the 90% failure statistic as a small business.
Recession! Quick lesson in No Cash Flow. Work stops. Loans & Line of credit is established.
Recovery! We lean out our office overhead, cut back staff and keep our doors open by God’s grace.
Still working from referrals and now we have become experts in home medical handicap rehab with a local medical equipment provider, by installing grab bars.
SCIF brings us into their preferred builder status mode as a Design Build Home Modification specialist for handy-cap patients.
We survive this one, barley. Our team is faithful and still in tack. The tide turns. Project begin to flow again. We are lean and mean. Ready for the upswing.
Four children. Six mouths to feed. They are now in private school.
We become “A” licensed Engineering Contractors. Open doors to Commercial Tenant Improvement Contractors with Trammel Crow Development Company. We are now building thousands of square feet of interior office space full time as well as mixing in all our past referral projects covering LA and Orange counties. Remodeling homes, offices, warehouses, underground pipelines, larger building and engineering projects and still getting referral phone calls from our 13 year old history.
Knepper’s Alaska Fish Camp summer ministry is now 10 years old!
The children work and clean the office for the company.
Millennium! 15 year milestone. Insurance Restoration & Consulting is introduced to our firm and we become a preferred provider for Travelers Insurance Company. A million dollar fire restoration on a Santa Monica commercial building places us in a new full time insurance industry. Building Experts! We now appear in court as expert witness with fifteen years of education and history under our belts and professional status with law firms needing our construction expertise.
Our company is now 30 persons strong on Los Alamitos Blvd. in Los Alamitos, CA.
Education has a strong emphasis for our staff in the Construction Industry from conventions and seminars. Referral leads still come into our company. No advertising.
The children now begin to work in our company in the summers.
EARTHQUAKE! Nisqually in Seattle, WA in 2001. Our team heads north for a year. Consulting services for a firm in Connecticut We enjoy CAT Team national disaster consulting events. Our ten persons team live and work remotely, while we examine and report on thousands of Multi-housing Apartment units and shopping malls in the Nisqually area of Renton. Project completed. We are now licensed in five Western states to work as General Contractors for any sudden National Disaster: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Texas. The KKCC CAT Team is ready to roll anywhere, Nationwide. We have a new nit-ch in the marketplace as Insurance Cost Estimators Nationwide. We become active in PLRB for insurance related commercial loss work and purchase an exhibit booth at the show.
Children now work for the company and enjoy the travel projects with their computer skills and education.
Twenty Years Old! HURRICANE! New Orleans, LA. Our CAT Team is assembled again and we travel to the battered Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas. Our 20 + person team live in hotels and work in a bitter torn up coastline establishing costs of repairs for commercial properties, municipalities, parishes, shopping malls, boutique hotels, schools, restaurants, apartment complexes, arenas and large warehouses for almost two years. We compete 65 files and estimate over $76,000,000. in damaged real estate with property assessments for insurance adjusters. The strength of our company and staff become assets in our industry.
Contractors Door Company is sold to the General manager and grows into a multi million dollar company.
Referral work in California continues with our home based crew in Los Alamitos.
Commercial Insurance Claim Assignments are managed on the west coast, from Alaska to the Mexico border in San Diego for fires, floods and wind claims. We continue our referral General Building & Engineering and Consulting work in the medical fields, home remodeling, commercial TI and Insurance Restoration repair work for our clients.
New and old clients continue to call upon us for our services. We develop a reputation as Contractors and Consultants in the Insurance Industry.
Knepper’s Alaska Fish Camp builds a log lodge from first fruits profits earned.
Recession, again. This one hangs on for more than two years. We scale back to once again, a lean and mean machine. Projects and work fade away as the economy is at a stand still and people are not spending money. We do not blame them.
We remain steadfast, with a faithful crew and keep our doors open for the upswing ahead of every recession. Strong, powerful and ready for the new opportunities that lie ahead.
Twenty-Five years in business. Still deeply in the recession. Office is sold as it is not needed. Temp office space is set up and life is good. We have been blessed with years of referral clients and flexibility to build in many different venues.
We remain steadfast looking for new work opportunities until this recession ends in our country.
The children have now moved on in schooling and they still work for the company part time.
The land has rested and consumer confidence in our countries strength has turned a corner. Banks are loaning money and commercial property investments begin to trade with little inventory for all that.
There is a new heightened sense of positive upturn in the economy and our phone rings with new opportunity.
Times and work is good. The excitement of rebuilding and a future renews energy and people begin to dream again.
KneppKraft rebuilds a fire torn strip mall in Burbank and a duplex destroyed by fire in Long Beach with several other projects fit in between. Ipe is the new exterior deck product requested and we enjoy working with this new material that lasts a lifetime.
A reoccurring need that surfaced is repairing broken structural beams to commercial roof systems throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area for a roof company. Plans, engineering, permits and a timely repair to occupied industrial space prior to the re roofing of that section.
Old world European Design & building with the theme of brick, wood beams and mortar continue to excite and energize while making new spaces for entertaining and authentic feeling life styles of So. Cal.
Our Commercial Cost Consulting team remains on the ready for any worldwide CAT or National disaster assignments the insurance industry needs from our expertise and mobilization.
We enter into 2015, our 30th year in business strong and eager to enjoy our passion to design, build and create new exciting spaces that our clients enjoy and restore property damage better then new!
Here’s to three decades of building and consulting and into the next generation of Trusted Builders & Consultants at KneppKraft.