Manufacturer Specializes in Heavy Timber Trusses

Originally published by: Your Houston NewsSeptember 12, 2011

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For anyone who wants to know what Charles Kott has been up to, all they need to do is look up.

Kott, owner of Magnolia-based Structural Wood Components, supplies many local builders with heavy timber trusses used in custom home and commercial construction. The trusses, Kott said, are designed to be visible and add a rustic feel to the interior of a building or home and provide structural support.

Kott, who lives in The Woodlands, said his company has built trusses for restaurants, churches, schools, golf clubs and car dealerships across the United States. Locally, Kott said the dining room at the Club at Carlton Woods, Rob Fleming Aquatic Center at Creekside Park, Benihana and The Woodlands Fire Department Station 8 are just a few that feature the company’s product.

“Anyone looking for that rustic, timber look is interested in our product,” Kott said. “Our typical customers are large custom home builders and a big chunk of our business is commercial and institutional.”

According to Zac Murtha, owner of The Woodlands-based Zac Murtha Customer Homes, Structural Wood Components gives his company the quality and look they want.

“They are very good at what they do,” he said. “They are able to give us the authenticity we are looking for with a southern living, rustic feel inside a home.”

Building a dream

Structural Wood Components, located at 38201 FM 1774, was founded 17 years ago by Larry Margreiter, who recognized the need for a specialized heavy timber truss and component manufacturing company in the Houston area.

Kott, who had spent 20 years in the oil field equipment manufacturing business, said he was looking for something a little different and close to his Woodlands home.

He learned Margreiter was planning to retire and contacted him about purchasing the company.

“I had always wanted to try a business of my own,” Kott said. “I had searched around and my prime objective was to find a company that already existed.”

Kott said he always has been interested in architecture and added the business would be a good fit for he and his wife, Suzanne.

“It satisfied my objectives in terms of something interesting and unique to build,” he said.

Using both bank financing and his own savings, Kott bought the company in 2008.

Since taking over the company, Structural Wood Components has successfully delivered more than 1,100 custom heavy timber trusses, added two AutoCAD stations for timber truss design, introduced a new timber connection system to its product offering, implemented a job scheduling system, created a dedicated estimating and procurement position and implemented other procedures aimed at supplying quality trusses in compliance with the customers’ design and schedule requirements.

Kott said also part of the company’s mission is to give back to the community. In fact, earlier this year the company donated trusses for the television show Extreme Home Makeover for a home that was built outside Waco for a military veteran.

“We like to give back and do those fun projects,” he said.

A cut above

The trusses vary in size, with some of them spanning 16 inches wide. The company, which has about 10 employees, builds 10-20 trusses a month.

“This is not a high-volume business,” he said. “It’s a big product so it takes some time to build.”

Not only are the trusses eye appealing, Kott said they often provide a critical structural role in the construction of a building.

“It supports the roof of whatever structure we are putting them in,” he said.

Kott said his company is positioned to provide trusses to both large and small customers. He added Structural Wood Components sells other items such as steel fabricated pieces, wood beams and wood accent pieces.

“They make up different architectural elements,” Kott said. “This is specialized work

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