A new model

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Archives - December 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
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“We’re going back to the way homes used to be built,” says Miranda Homes owner Rob Boydstun. “We are building the whole house.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF MIRANDA HOMES

PORTLAND When Rob Boydstun’s autocarrier manufacturing company near the Port of Portland was going the way of the rest of the auto industry, he decided to ditch it and re-create his business.

He chose an industry you wouldn’t expect in this recession — the housing industry.

Making a large capital investment (in a quantity Boydstun would not disclose), he took three years to retrain his engineers from Boydstun Metal Works, which he closed in April. The business, Miranda Homes, is using the same facilities his car business did to build homes in Oregon. It’s raising eyebrows both locally and nationally because they just might be the most sustainable and energy-efficient homes being built in the state right now.

“We’re going back to the way homes used to be built,” Boydstun says. “We are building the whole house.”

Contracted to build 20 homes in Newport, the company sold its first house on Oct. 6, before it was completed. Located in Clackamas near 132nd Avenue, it went for $285,000.
_MG_8842“Miranda is showing that you can build a more energy-efficient house and the house could end up costing less,” says Mike O’Brien, a green building specialist at Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development.

The outside of the house doesn’t reveal that the frame is made out of recycled steel. And rather than being built on site, large pieces of the home are assembled at Boydstun’s Clackamas plant and then transported to the site where the panels are pieced together.

That makes the house so well insulated that the National Association of Home Builders, which is monitoring the energy efficiency of the home in Clackamas by measuring air flow and changes in temperature and humidity, estimates the house’s energy consumption will be around 50% of an average house.

“Headed toward 50% in energy efficiency savings is big,” says Amber Wood, a program manager at the National Association’s Research Center. “They’re going to be a leader in energy efficiency, nationally.”

“Their envelope is much better than a site-built house. It’s flawless,” says O’Brien.
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Miranda Homes just might be the most sustainable and energy-efficient homes being built in Oregon right now.

And it was all done in 48 days, with Miranda’s 15 employees and four subcontractors doing electrical, plumbing, HVAC and landscaping — unlike the usual six months and numerous contractors.

Rather than using subcontractors, Miranda’s engineers are cross-trained. Wood says that “bringing everybody back in adds a lot of aspects of making it easier to build a house.” Miranda Homes also owns all of its own equipment.

Wood says it is that capital investment that’s key to Miranda’s uniqueness, funding the numerous up-front costs associated with bringing the various trades in home building in-house.

Boydstun, who knew nothing about building homes three years ago, was able to create Miranda’s business model and way of building homes — both radically different from typical home builders — because he and his engineers were able to approach home building from a completely different perspective.

“It’s not that it hasn’t been figured out,” Wood says. “It is somewhat unusual to combine everything the way Miranda Homes has.” 
AMANDA WALDROUPE

Correction, published Dec. 17, 2009:

The facility where Miranda Homes are being built was mistated; they are being built on privately owned property that was used by Boydstun Metal Works for R&D.  Also, Miranda Homes is cross training its site workers, not engineers, instead of using subcontractors

 

 

Comments   

 
Affected Party
0 #1 Affected Party 2009-12-11 11:20:35
There is another side to your article in the December issue of Oregon Business about Rob Boydstun and Miranda Homes.

The first sentence states: "When Rob Boydstun's auto-carrier manufacturing company near the Port of Portland was going the way of the rest of the auto industry, he decided to ditch it and re-create his business." He did just that, he ditched it on April 6, 2009, by filing a voluntary petition for liquidation under Chapter 7 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon, and in the process cheated the people who had supplied parts to Boydstun Metal Works for the auto carriers he built and sold by refusing to pay for those parts.

Your article goes on to state: "Making a large capital investment (in a quantity Boydstun would not disclose), he took three years to retrain his engineers from Boydstun Metal Works, which he closed in April." Much of the "large capital investment" that he made was not his money at all, but money that he stole from his creditors via the "legal means" of bankruptcy. Also, during the three years that he took to retrain his engineers from Boydstun Metal Works for the new enterprise, they were probably still on the payroll of Boydstun Metal Works, and not that of Miranda Homes. That would be part of the reason why Boydstun Metal Works was getting farther and farther behind on payments to its creditors, because the engineers were not doing productive work for Boydstun Metal Works that was paying their salaries. Rather than laying off engineers to save money if they were not needed for the amount of work at the time in the auto transport business, Boydstun was taking every advantage that he could from Boydstun Metal Works before ditching it in bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Boydstun was leading his creditors to believe that he would pay his bills in due time, and that they needed to continue to supply parts, because if they didn't, it would force him out of business and they would lose everything he owed them. Because of this, it is little wonder that Boydstun would not disclose the quantity of the large capital investment. He would not want the creditors who lost their money due to his bankruptcy (and who really financed this new enterprise) to know how much he really got away with from them.

The next to the last paragraph states that Boydstun "knew nothing about building homes three years ago" and that "he and his engineers were able to approach home building from a completely different perspective." As stated above, it is very probable that this was all financed by Boydstun Metal Works so that they were all preparing their new venture in the same facilities he used for the car business as their collective golden parachute. Instead of honestly funding his enterprise with his own capital or that of other investors for the new enterprise, he has done it on the backs of the creditors that he cheated.

I do not deny that Boydstun has come up with a great idea for the housing industry. It is just unfortunate that people are able to abuse the bankruptcy system without consequences and that Oregon Business has lauded that success as though it were all funded by him. Imagine how the other businesses that that lost money due to the bankruptcy of Boydstun Metal Works feel when they read in Oregon Business that he planned his exit for three years instead of paying them.
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Rob Boydstun
0 #2 ....Rob Boydstun 2009-12-14 13:52:31
My name is Rob Boydstun and I am responding to the comment left by 'Affected Party' regarding myself and my former company, Boydstun Metal Works. This comment follows an article written by Amanda Waldroupe about my current company, Miranda Homes. Although I believe that Ms. Waldroupe's intention was to write an upbeat article about a new Oregon business, her suggestion that I “ditched” my former one is inaccurate and misleading, as ‘Affected Party’s’ comments confirm.

Boydstun Metal Works was a 21-year-old company that, at one point, provided 450 jobs to the state of Oregon and spent millions of dollars annually with suppliers, most of them local. Most of our suppliers and many of our employees had been with us for 15 years or more. When I read the suggestion that I had "ditched" my company, I was dismayed. You don't "ditch" a company that you started in a garage and grew for 21 years. I was acutely aware that hundreds of employees and suppliers depended on Boydstun Metal Works for their livelihoods. Boydstun Metal Works' business depended on the auto industry. As this industry went into a free fall, Boydstun Metal Works’ revenue fell to almost zero. Boydstun Metal Works survived for as long as it did because of the support it received from its suppliers and from personal, internal sacrifice.

I and other upper management at Boydstun Metal Works kept the company going by not taking any salaries for more than a year, among other things. I also personally infused my own money to keep the company going. If I had wanted to “ditch” Boydstun Metal Works, I could have, and would have done so a lot sooner and saved myself a considerable amount of money, time, and frustration. Unfortunately, all of my efforts to keep Boydstun Metal Works alive long enough to survive the economic collapse were foiled when one of Boydstun Metal Works’ unsecured creditors, Reliance Steel, exercised its option to seize the company’s bank account. Once that occurred, Boydstun Metal Works had no legal choice but to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy because we had no access to operating capital to run the company. I can honestly say that I did everything in my power to save Boydstun Metal Works. If there had been anything else I could have done, I would have.

The primary accusation by the unidentified 'Affected Party' is that I used Boydstun Metal Works’ capital to fund Miranda Homes. This simply did not happen. All transactions between Boydstun Metal Works and Miranda Homes, including the use of Boydstun Metal Works engineers’ time on Miranda Homes projects, were carefully documented and accounted for. Again, I used my personal money to fund Miranda Homes and allow it to purchase services from Boydstun Metal Works. I also used my personal assets and other facilities to operate Miranda Homes' fledgling business. If, in fact, I had used Boydstun Metal Works’ resources to start Miranda Homes, the bankruptcy Trustee would have "clawed back" that money. That did not happen. If 'Affected Party' had attended the creditor's hearing he would have heard the Trustee explain that he had carefully reviewed the relationships between Miranda Homes and Boydstun Metal Works and concluded that the two companies were entirely separate from each other and that Boydstun Metal Works had no claims against Miranda Homes.

Even though I am disappointed about how the recent article characterized my relationship with Bodystun Metal Works, I do want to thank 'Affected Party' for acknowledging that Miranda Homes has developed a great product for the housing industry. We intend to grow this company and provide quality jobs, which in turn grow supplier's businesses and the Oregon economy.

Finally, I would like to apologize to any unsecured creditors that have read this misleading article and the response from ‘Affected Party.’ I invite anyone with any questions to contact me directly. My cell phone number is 503-849-7337.

Thank You,

Rob Boydstun
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Bill Beutler
+1 #3 Ditching CompanyBill Beutler 2010-01-03 09:29:06
I would like to say I agree with Mr Boydstun, you can not run any business,withou t any capital, anyone in Business knows this, unfortunately people who have no business, have no business talking about what they know nothing about,I am in the car industry and it has been a very tough year for all, I would like to also say Boydstun metal works built the very best car transport trailers and equipment period, I was sorry to hear they no longer are in business, I have done business with Boydstun and have a Boydstun transport, and am In need of a new trailer, would of bought a new one from them, I will just keep my old one, anyway besat of luck to you Mr Boydstun, I hope your Homes are as good as your trailers,P.S., Mr Boydstun should be commended, he is suppling jobs and stimulating the economy,he could just of just sat back and did nothing......
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Bonnie Blaner
0 #4 Former Boydstun EmployeeBonnie Blaner 2010-01-04 10:08:17
I would like to comment by saying. Rob Boydstun/Boystu n Metal Works was a wonderful company to work for. We all worked very hard for the cause and did what we could to stay afloat. Based at the Jacksonville location, I believed very much in the product and believe that if the economy had not taken a plunge we may still be up and running.I hope is new venture is very lucurative.
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KC
+1 #5 Former welderKC 2010-03-25 11:51:33
I bet it was nice for those of you working in the air conditioned offices. I bet it was nice not having to physically shoulder the responsibilitie s of getting trailers out the door in 3 to 4 hours. I remember a time when someone wrote on a trailer "Overworked, over managed, underpaid."
I remember it was the workers who caught sh%^ for that comment. Not the people responsible for us being overworked, over managed, and underpaid. I don't know who wrote that, because by then, I'd been fired for a back injury from lifting, and thus no longer being "of use" to the company. This company was so foolishly run, I remember when the boss man, Jim Carey, was annoyed by the sound of metal hammers in the shop. So he banned them. We had to use rubber mallets to fabricate 3/8 inch steel. If you know ANYTHING about metal, anything about physics, THAT DOESN'T WORK. Eventually the ban was lifted. I also remember working the summers and the shop was up to 110F. I remember being yelled at for taking time to take off my leathers that I was literally sweating through so I could cool off and take a drink of water. I was yelled at. Told to "get back to work." I remember feel so rushed, that as I was working, I broke my finger. It took me 4 days to convince my supervisors that my bent and swollen finger needed medical attention. To this day, my finger doesn't have full range of motion. This is what it was like for those of us who physically built the very products that stuffed your wallets. Rob Boydstun, I have a huge issue with you. I don't know what type of person it takes to allow such things to go on in your own shop, a shop you claimed to have such pride in. Had I known my rights, I would have sued you. I will NEVER use my talents and effort towards a company as heartless and foolish as Boydstun's.
Apologies will be accepted at 360-910-4577
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Amanda Caldera
0 #6 Former Employee and Reciently Discovered Unsecured CreditorAmanda Caldera 2010-05-19 14:17:52
I truly enjoyed the four years I was employed at Boydstun Metal Works. I felt I was paid fairly for the work I did. I enjoyed most of the people I worked with. I loved how Jim Rhodes always kept me hopping with never a dull moment in the paint shop. Yes, the work we did there was fast paced and sometimes the management forgot that we are only humans, but for those of us who could handle it, it was a rewarding job.

I know Rob Boydstun and several other top management did everything they could to keep the doors open. Towards the end of my time there, Jim Rhodes was working with a salesperson to help drum up outside painting work. When the fab shop was shut down for a week, the paint booth kept on chugging along. The day I was laid off, I knew it was time. I saw the labor hours shooting through the roof and knew there was no way to turn a profit on the little outside work we were able to get. In 3 weeks I went from worrying about too low of hours and having our tact times dropped to too high of hours and worrying about how many are going to be laid off. Jim and Rob tried their hardest to keep us there for as long as they could.

We had great medical and dental coverage. It is sad to say that because Boydstun was a self-insured employer, I got screwed over. There is no government agency to regulate self-insured employers. By the time I was able to discover the whole truth, it was too late to file a claim against the bankruptcy case. I found out in December of 2009, well past the 90 days, that Boydstun never paid the insurance portion of my son's orthodontics. I now have to pay an extra $937.74 that should have been paid by my insurance in 2008.

To Rob and all of the other former Boydstun Metal Works employees currently at Miranda Homes:

I wish you all the best of luck in the new company. I do hope that it thrives just as Boydstun was when I was first hired.

Good luck
Amanda
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Karla
0 #7 Former Employee wishes the bestKarla 2011-12-14 13:02:37
As being a former employee from the years 1998-2001 Boydstun Metal Works were in their prime when I first started, doing payroll for them. I absolutely loved the people I worked with and to this day stay in touch with many of the people that I formed friendships with there. With a company that rapidly grew, many changes took place, some good and some not so good. I am glad to say that I did not have any bad experience working there. Good Luck Rob and I hope your new business will be successful
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Mitch Nelson
0 #8 Mitch Nelson 2012-04-19 11:15:31
As a former employee of Boydstun Metal Works for 12 years I regret to hear such dishearting comments about Rob and the management! There was a real family atmosphere there and if the auto industry had been what it used to be I would be going on 18 years there now. I honestly thought I would retire from Boydstun Metal Works. I loved almost everyone I worked with as if they were family. Great job on Miranda Rob. Maybe someday we can work together again my brother.
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Guest
0 #9 A former welder weighs in...Guest 2013-07-19 01:08:50
There is no mention of the ongoing labor troubles that plagued the shop, which exacerbated all other problems. Boydstun had a great management team (with the possible exception of Jim Carrey) that worked hard to keep things going.

Having witnessed the situation first-hand, I place primary blame on the Steelworker's local that just couldn't accept the fact they had been voted down twice. Some blame does go to Boydstun management for their retaliatory tactics that have been well-documented in other forums, but fighting fire with fire is the only weapon available sometimes.

The far Left tried every lie and propaganda story they could muster to get their foot in the door, it was a shame the company had to stoop to their level by firing those who took an interest in organization.

I did learn valuable skills and experience that I rely on to this day, so I bear no ill will towards the company or towards Rob Boydstun personally.

Rob, if you read this, I was the guy who was at a truck Shop meeting; you came in and started haranguing us. I had never met you before, so I asked: "With all due respect, sir, who are you?" You replied, "I'm Rob Boydstun, I own this company." I will never forget that, lol.
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Guest
0 #10 A former welder weighs in...Guest 2013-07-19 01:15:27
Quoting KC:
I bet it was nice for those of you working in the air conditioned offices. I bet it was nice not having to physically shoulder the responsibilities of getting trailers out the door in 3 to 4 hours. I remember a time when someone wrote on a trailer "Overworked, over managed, underpaid."
I remember it was the workers who caught sh%^ for that comment. Not the people responsible for us being overworked, over managed, and underpaid. I don't know who wrote that, because by then, I'd been fired for a back injury from lifting, and thus no longer being "of use" to the company. This company was so foolishly run, I remember when the boss man, Jim Carey, was annoyed by the sound of metal hammers in the shop. So he banned them. We had to use rubber mallets to fabricate 3/8 inch steel. If you know ANYTHING about metal, anything about physics, THAT DOESN'T WORK. Eventually the ban was lifted. I also remember working the summers and the shop was up to 110F. I remember being yelled at for taking time to take off my leathers that I was literally sweating through so I could cool off and take a drink of water. I was yelled at. Told to "get back to work." I remember feel so rushed, that as I was working, I broke my finger. It took me 4 days to convince my supervisors that my bent and swollen finger needed medical attention. To this day, my finger doesn't have full range of motion. This is what it was like for those of us who physically built the very products that stuffed your wallets. Rob Boydstun, I have a huge issue with you. I don't know what type of person it takes to allow such things to go on in your own shop, a shop you claimed to have such pride in. Had I known my rights, I would have sued you. I will NEVER use my talents and effort towards a company as heartless and foolish as Boydstun's.
Apologies will be accepted at 360-910-4577


That was the summer of the Toyota debacle, wasn't it? I remember. Carey was a douchebag, no doubt, and belonged overseeing a chain gang rather than working men. I hope his life is as miserable as he was to us.
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