NFC Member Spotlight: Will King, Southern Framers of LA
With a motto to “Live life to the fullest every single day,” Will King has brought 35 years of experience in the construction industry to build and operate Southern Framers of LA, LLC, a Louisiana-based residential and multi-family company that frames 1,200 homes across the southern United States each year. The company boasts a 98 percent on-time completion record and is Louisiana’s largest residential framing contractor. Will works closely with a couple of large building companies and focuses on residential construction. The company occasionally picks up a multi-family or commercial job.
“I enjoy all of it, from the rough framing to the exterior trim work, it all excites me,” he says. “I love to go into neighborhoods to build the model home and the last home. It’s also gratifying to build relationships with builders and homeowners.”
As for his market challenges, King says Louisiana is no different than other markets and finds it difficult to recruit new employees. “We start five houses a day, where we could start 10-15,” he says.
In an effort to combat labor shortages, King has become well-known for paying his employees quickly and on time. He says this policy has been a successful recruitment tool while labor is so difficult to find. “When my crew wakes up Friday morning, they will have money in the bank,” he says.
Will first began his journey into construction surrounded by tools as his grandfather built travel trailers and motor homes. By ninth grade, he was hanging drywall during the summer, and he went to work in a lumber yard after he graduated from high school. It was there that he learned all about materials and how to pull orders. By the mid-1980s, his brother’s framing crew needed some help, which is when he fell in love with the profession and began leading 15-20 men around the Austin area. Over his tenure, Will has framed houses in 12 different states, from Oklahoma and Florida to the Carolinas and now Louisiana.
For decades, King says he has always wanted to start or join a group of like-minded framers and enjoyed attending the National Framers Council’s 2018 Framers Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
One of the best aspects of being a member of the National Framers Council is the access to FrameSAFE, he says. To his knowledge, Southern Framers is the only company in his market providing general contractors and builders with a copy of the program. He’s also found how beneficial it is to emphasize safety on the job.
“Customers are impressed when we hand them a copy; they are absolutely amazed we are doing this,” King says. “It’s a huge draw for them when they see us following safety protocols. It’s one of the reasons we stay extremely busy.”
When King is not at the office, or on a jobsite, you may not be able to find him. With a love of fishing, hiking, and being outdoors, you’re likely to find him on the lake. If not there, King sticks to his motto and sporadically takes trip with his wife, children, and grandchildren.