Business Profile

Forest Hembree

Posted: Tuesday, February 06, 2001

Title and firm: Forest Hembree, owner of Round Tuit Construction Services.

Services: The company does light remodel jobs including kitchens and bathrooms, but also some larger projects such as roofs.

Biographical information: Hembree, 40, has worked as a carpenter on and off since high school.

He grew up in Hoonah where he met and married his wife, Barb. They moved around Alaska, including living in Fairbanks where they built a small cabin out of pocket.

Showing photos of the home led to a job doing apartment building maintenance when he moved to Juneau. In 1985, Hembree started Round Tuit as a side business, but didn't go full time with it until 1995. Customer requests and encouragement from his wife eventually overcame his own hesitation, he said.

Barbara Hembree is an integral part of the business. She does all the bookkeeping, billing and paperwork.

"I like the work part, but I hate the billing," Forest Hembree said.

One of the smallest jobs he's ever done turned into a much larger job. He installed some tracking wheels on a sliding closet door and told the customer to call him if she had any real work. The customer later called him to redo the roof, a job too large for his one-man operation.

"If it's something I can't handle, I'll work with another contractor," Hembree said.

Normally Hembree doesn't handle large projects and he never does new construction, he said. Instead he finds more satisfaction from working on smaller projects. For the most part, he doesn't do bid work, instead estimating hours and materials cost for customers. And he relies on those customers because almost all work comes via word of mouth, he said.

Family: Hembree and his wife have a dog, Scruffy.

Notable: Hembree is a wildlife painter who would like to eventually make his living as an artist. Another of Hembree's hobbies is coral. He and his wife have a large tank of tropical coral in their living room.

Employees: Just Hembree and his wife. Without employees, he saves the hassle of payroll.

Contact: The phone number is 789-6980.

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