HOUSTON – Owner Ron Karr wears many hats at Karr’s Building Supply & Service LLC (KBS) in Houston. He says no two days are the same at the office.
“I interact with construction contractors on a daily basis,” Karr said. “I enjoy visiting with existing customers and meeting new customers.
“I have worked in the industry since 1979. I established the company in April 2000.”
Karr’s Building Supply & Service sells
and services rollforming machines for the metal construction industry, including gutter machines and metal roofing machines.
Are you originally from the Houston area?
My wife, Terri, is originally from Houston. I was raised in Denver, CO. It is a great place to grow up. It has a good family environment.
I loved spending time in nature and being near the Rocky Mountains when I was a kid.
I think the only thing I don’t miss about living in Colorado is the snow. Shoveling snow isn’t much fun on a cold morning.
The Houston business market has been good for us at KBS. That is really why I started my business in Houston – because the manufacturers I deal with are from the Denver, CO area.
To do what I am doing would be a little tougher if I were based in Colorado. It is great to be working in the central south United States.
What was your very first job?
I worked in construction off and on when I was a teenager. I started out doing foundation work, I worked at roofing jobs and I did work in wood framing and exterior trim.
I had a construction background leading into working for a manufacturer. I think working in construction was a good learning experience for me.
What high school did you attend in Denver?
I attended and graduated from Adam City High School. I didn’t do anything very spectacular in high school. I was on the “B” Honor Roll.
I took some machine shop classes and did some vocational technical schooling. I did all three years in high school in the machine shop.
Did spending time in the machine shop spark your interest to do what you do these days?
Yes, working in the machine shop helped me in my career nowadays. I worked for a manufacturer that made rollforming machines after I got out of school.
In the beginning, I worked as a welder and then I eventually worked my way into working in machinery assembly.
Next, I became a service manager and a sales representative. I gained valuable experience in service and sales at the time.
What were the early days like at the company?
I started the company at my home, which is a few miles from our current Milwee Street location.
Then, I began looking at several buildings in the area and decided to lease the one we are at today.
I eventually added a second unit for more storage space. This location has worked out well for us.
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