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Far West Furniture Commercial Office Building

California Steel Buildings

New Hope Rising From the Ashes

Late on a hot August night in 2003, Brian and Kim Thomas watched their dreams go up in smoke. Literally.

Just 200 yards from the bedroom where the couple slept, flames engulfed the building that housed the custom-furniture business they had built together just five years earlier.

“We got a call at about 11:30 and it was our silent fire alarm,” Kim says. “We looked out the window and saw smoke and fire coming from off the rooftop. My husband and son ran out and were able to get our trucks and trailers moved, but by the time the fire department got there, the roof was gone.”

Brian, Kim and their four children were devastated. Their company, Far West Furniture, had been based out of a converted milk barn on the couple’s 20-acre property in Lincoln , Calif. In the fire, the Thomases lost customer orders, inventories, supplies, antique tools and computer equipment.

“We lost everything, even Christmas presents!” Kim said. “That little building had been our livelihood and a huge part of our life.”

After spending a week in what she describes as “a fog of sadness,” the pair decided to rebuild their company in a brand new building. They searched the Internet and contacted several manufacturers of pre-engineered steel buildings before choosing Allied Steel.

“What was nice is that they had a building that met our specs,” Kim says. “Other companies I talked to seemed to tell me what I wanted to hear, but then there was always some kind of hang-up. With Allied, the whole process went smoothly.”

The Thomases were rebuilding their entire business from scratch – and had no experience in putting up a steel building.

“But our salesman Rick Akram was outstanding! I can’t say enough good things about how easy he made the process,” Kim says. “The blueprints looked like Chinese for all we knew, but Rick was patient and helpful.”

She says Allied Steel delivered the building on time and that Akram helped walk them through the blueprints and instructions. She credits the support of Akram in helping them build the entire structure by themselves in just six weeks.

“My husband and I did every bit of it ourselves, except one day when we needed a friend to come help us with the roof,” she says. “And believe me, we had no experience in steel working. We’re furniture makers.”

Kim says that Akram even used detective work to help them overcome a major obstacle along the way.

“The door manufacturer was a week late in delivering the roll-up doors,” she says. “Even though Allied had nothing to do with it, I called Rick at 11 in the morning. He was able to track down the doors at a warehouse in Sacramento and they were delivered by 10 o’clock the next day.”

Although Brian and Kim secured the necessary planning and zoning permits and paperwork, she said that Allied provided vital support every step of the way.

“I can’t say enough good things about Allied Steel, and not just the quality of the building,” Kim says. “We were emotional wrecks when we first called them – and now we’re looking ahead to a bright future in our new facility.”


Location: Lincoln, CA , United States
Square Footage:
Industry: Commercial, Warehouse