New owners of Doors/Windows are no strangers to the business

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2008


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  Kris Hill and John Straume are clearly excited to be the owners of Doors and Windows on K-Beach Rd.

Kris Hill and John Straume are clearly excited to be the owners of Doors and Windows on K-Beach Rd.

For 38 years Doors/Windows on Kalifornsky Beach Rd. has become known nationally for their commercial and custom production of doors and windows. From special dimension windows for local log cabins to commercial office buildings in Seattle, Doors/Windows has earned the reputation as an outstanding manufacturer on the Kenai Peninsula. Formerly owned by Dick Swanson, Doors/Windows is continuing that reputation into the new century under the vision of partners John Straume and Kris Hill. John says after working for the Swansons for 22 years he’s excited to keep the company going and building for the future, “Dick came to Kris and I a year and a half ago and said it was time to retire and that meant either selling or closing the business down, so we formed a partnership to keep the business here and producing commercial and residential doors and windows for the future,” said Straume.


Sealing out the cold to save you money and energy Nick Kemp custom seals everything he makes at Doors and Windows on K-Beach Rd.

“I had been taking care of the financial end of the business for a long time and of course any business needs both the production and accounting end to work well, so John and I decided to form a partnership and it’s been a great balance, I love the front desk and helping people who come in, many of whom come back year after year to do upgrades, and John is a fine craftsman who is familiar with all the challenges of building in Alaska,” added Kris. According to Hill, doors and windows that are pre-fabricated and mass produced in the lower 48 are usually built to different standards than are appropriate for Alaskan conditions, “Fortunately many of the professionals we have working with us are very knowledgeable on how to fix those problems and find a remedy for the homeowners problem, and of course we are here to help both the commercial user or private home owner. But many folks are realizing especially with the high cost of energy today that a cheaper door or window from a box store can be more expensive in the long run,” said Hill.

Most of Doors/Windows work is in commercial construction throughout Alaska from Southeastern to the North Slope as well as the Kenai Peninsula, “We just finished the Homer Public Library and right now in the shop Jake is creating a custom glass laboratory door for the Central Peninsula Hospital, we work hard at being competitive so we can get as much of the local commercial business as possible,” says Straume.


New technology in glass has made it cost effective for both commercial buildings and private homes to upgrade doors and windows for heat and energy efficiency, “The old wood windows from 20 years ago and their insulation factors can’t even compare to the new glass on the market that has greater solar insulation values. Windows are the worst energy wasters in any part of the home, but we can gain 40% greater thermal efficiency by replacing those windows with Low ‘E’ and Argon gas. How it works is the air is forced out of insulating glass and replaced with Argon Gas. Argon is heavier than air and therefore a superior insulator. This helps to keep previously heated air inside the home and cooler air out reducing fuel consumption by up to 61%. Argon Gas is colorless, odorless, and absolutely safe, so it’s really a win-win situation for homeowners to upgrade, because the fuel savings alone will repay the investment,” said Straume.

At Doors/Windows you can order virtually any size door or window you want, “If your home is 20 to 30 years old and you have old wood windows or single pane with storm windows outside you can bring us in the sizes of your windows or we will come to your place and take the measurements at no charge and give you an estimate to upgrade the windows in your home in virtually any size you need, custom design and building is our specialty,” said Hill. For more information on upgrading your home or office windows see the professionals at Doors/Windows on K-Beach Rd. next to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, or call 262-9151.

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