Spokane-based Vestis Systems Inc., an aluminum manufacturing company that builds awnings and sunshades, has added ready-to-install balconies to its product line, said Dan McGee, chief executive and co-owner of Vestis.
The company plans to begin shipping the new product line soon, McGee said.
“Now we’re switching gears to start creating a marketing campaign and a website,” McGee said.
The all-aluminum balcony system is primarily for multi-family residential construction, with expected orders ranging from 30 to 200 units, McGee said.
The balcony prototype measures 4 feet by 7 feet, and the company recently completed shop drawings and engineering for a second prototype that measures 4 feet by 9 feet, McGee said.
Vestis Systems will provide installation brackets to contractors to pre-install during the frame construction phase, McGee said. The balconies will then be delivered ready to install on the consoles.
“It’s a pretty quick process,” he said. “One of our goals is to minimize our time on site, whether it’s us or someone else.”
The prefabricated product will also reduce the number of subcontractors needed to build a balcony on site, he said.
Vestis has sold the prefab balconies to contractors working on projects in Boise, Idaho, and is in talks with local contractors, McGee said.
While building codes and requirements vary from city to city, Vestis now has a design foundation that adapts to the needs of different jurisdictions, he said.
Pricing for a balcony starts at $2,000, subject to current aluminum costs, and increases from there based on size, McGee said.
Vestis has 16 employees and occupies an 11,000 square foot building with a 5,000 square foot mezzanine located at 213 E. Ermina Ave. This location is north of Gonzaga University in the Emerson Garfield neighborhood.
“We have different mentors who help us implement lean manufacturing,” he said. “It’s great to do a lot in a small space.”
Vestis’ annual revenue is trending positively and the company has a good backlog, McGee said.
“It’s the biggest amount (of work) we’ve ever had,” he said.
Vestis Systems purchased the assets of longtime Spokane manufacturer FO Berg Co. in April 2013.