Vernon, BC based Poulin Timber Works Ltd. was incorporated in 2003. The owner, Joe Poulin, having operated a home based business creating wood carvings and manufacturing custom furniture, realized that there was a better market in the construction industry. He attended the Timber Framing Program at the College of The Rockies, with the intention of setting up his own business. After gaining two years of experience working for other log and timber framing companies, PTW went into production and hired its first (external) employee in 2005.
“Initially, 90% of our business was building timber frame accent pieces and small structures,” Poulin said. “In 2006, we landed contracts for three resorts in Vernon; building log Hashi Post decks at The Outback; trellises and pergolas at The Strand Lakeside Resort; and all of the timber frame entries and accents at The Rise. We went from a company of 2 employees, to a company of 8 highly skilled craftsmen. That was as big as we wanted to get! Keeping a low overhead was paramount in the company’s business plan…it helps to keep us competitive.”
After a few years of going ‘flat-out’, the economy changed, and PTW had to either change its strategy, or go down like other log and timber frame companies. Diversification was key and they gained a valuable working relationship with Structurlam Products Ltd. based in Penticton. The BC Government started implementing ‘Infrastructure Projects’ to help bolster the economy, and as heavy timber specialists, PTW fit right into the ‘structural glulam installation’ scope of work.
“Even when glulams were not shipped pre-cut by CNC machines, we had the tools and expertise to cut precise joinery and knew the techniques to raise and fit them. There was certainly a learning curve, especially dealing with steel connectors, rather than traditional wood-to-wood mortise and tenons, secured with oak pegs. We have perfected the process, and are proud to be amongst only a few companies in BC who can legitimately claim it! We have served as consultants throughout BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, and as far away as South Korea.”
PTW is a strong community supporter as Gold Sponsors of the 2005 Sovereign Lake FIS World Cup, the 2008 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship and currently the NONA Child Development Centre in Vernon. Our most fulfilling charitable contribution was to rebuild the roof of a community hospital in Peru after an earthquake destroyed it in 2009.
What makes them unique in their industry is that they have managed to recognize, and diversify with the changes in their economy. “My grandfather taught me that if you’re proud of your work, then put your name on it! That’s why my name is my company and I’m prepared to back it with quality work, performance and recommendations from our clients.”
Current projects include: Prince George new Kin Arena; Northern Lights College Training Tower; Maple Ridge Pump House; NONA playground shelter; Grizzly Den log stairs & railings.
For more information on Poulin Timber Works, please visit: http://www.poulintimberworks.com/