How Warren Knox works outside—and often on top of—the box
At age 16, Warren Knox was already an entrepreneur. He came up with a one-of-a-kind business venture—making elevated garden boxes for people who couldn’t bend down. In essence, he made them for people like his grandfather who was fond of gardening but either didn’t have the appropriate dirt for planting carrots and such, or simply couldn’t reach a ground-level planter box. Since then, Knox has been building these garden boxes on legs and shipping them across the country.
That’s how it all started—his company, Knox Garden Box was birthed when other kids were screwing around, wasting their summers, and Knox was hard at work. His grandfather’s theory was that Knox could sell so many of these garden boxes that he’d be able to retire before he got out of high school. While things didn’t happen quite that way, the adolescent did launch a business that has comfortably survived well into his fifties.
Following his success with the garden boxes, Knox went on to college. After that, in 1980, when a recession hit, he answered an ad for a roofing salesman in Modesto, and he happened upon another new venture. Soon he was selling roofs, which transitioned into attaining his own roofing license, and eventually going into business for himself, establishing Knox Roofing and Knox Garden Box. In 1993 he moved to the Santa Cruz area and set up shop in Scotts Valley where he’s been working ever since, offering up myriad services to people with leaky roofs, holes in the ceiling and so on.
Under Knox’s leadership, he employs 47 workers, and his company services Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. “We install every type of roof worth putting on,” Knox says. “We do both commercial and residential. We do a lot of accessories, such as solar heating sky lights, gutters and insulation, venting of roofs, decks, carpentry work and all varieties of roofing from tile to wood.”
Price ranges for roofing work start at around $5,000 on the low end and go up to $250,000 on the high end. Some of Knox’s high-end clients include The Catalyst, Chaminade at Santa Cruz, Ideal Bar & Grill and many others. The company has recently been “diamond certified,” meaning that it’s reported to be top-notch in work and service.
Knox adds that his company often fields phone calls from prospective clients with leaks in their kitchen, to someone needing a full roof replacement. In addition, Knox often offers roof inspections for local realtors whose clients are buying or selling property. He adds that the “number one failure of roofs (that he sees) is never material, it’s workmanship.” And that’s why with Knox Roofing, “We don’t hire any Tom, Dick or Harry to do work, because of what we’re asked to protect.”Knox Roofing and Garden Box is open from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Warren Knox says he’ll buy you a cup of coffee if you drop by at 4 a.m. The business and its extensive showroom are located at 46 El Pueblo Road, Scotts Valley. For more information, call 461-0634, or visit knoxroofing.com .