Storm shutter company looking for opportunities in a “plywood” city | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record
First Coast Hurricane Shutters is preparing for storm season by moving into a new headquarters and manufacturing facility.
The company formed by Brent Durban in 2019 purchased a 9,500 square foot facility on May 5 at 3521 St. Augustine Road for $ 525,000.
The company previously operated out of the Durban home in the St. Johns Bluff area.
Durban teamed up with high school friend Shaun Mayberry, vice president of Prime Realty Inc., to find the site. The two played basketball at Bishop Snyder High School, graduating in 2008.
“I told Shaun that I wanted to buy a new place if we found the right place. He ticked many boxes – size, location, and price. It made our budget, ”Durban said.
With a turnover of around $ 2 million last year, Durban wanted to find a place to store the materials and do some prefabrication. His business partner is Jeff Neff.
“I’d much rather cut something in a warehouse than in a customer’s aisle,” Durban said.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30.
When it comes to hurricane preparedness, Durban said Jacksonville has traditionally been a city of plywood.
Jacksonville’s story of avoiding costly direct hits has placed hurricane shutters as a low priority home improvement item for longtime residents.
However, times are changing with more frequent hurricanes and windstorms.
Also, as more people from South Florida move to the Jacksonville area, they realize that protective shutters are a necessity, he said.
The fchurricaneshutters.com website has protective and decorative shutter options. Roller shutters are the company’s top selling, but customers with storage space often opt for corrugated aluminum that attaches with wing nuts or slide rails installed above and below from the window.
Fabric window coverings are another option.
Durban expects material costs to increase 10% to 30% over the next few months due to demand and logistics affected by COVID.
Durban employs 14 people and said it has had no difficulty hiring workers. Its crews remained with the company.
He cites his incentive program as the reason. Called “Better People, Better Projects,” he rewards his team with paid vacation credits for jobs that are completed on time and without customer complaints.
Credits can be used to pay if a worker is ill or to get paid while on vacation. These are benefits that many construction workers don’t receive, Durban said.
“I think it’s important to have a work-life balance. Workers in the workplace are generally undervalued, ”he said.
“It’s important to me that when everyone is apparently pressured into going to college, there aren’t that many guys who are good with their hands out there. How can I get them to come and work for us? “