Reg Wayland and Tom Camarca’s relationship started with the camaraderie that forms between teammates.
The two Northern Virginia natives first met in the 1980s while playing on the same flag football team, but it did not take long for them to discover their shared background in the construction industry.
A graduate of Annandale High School, Wayland worked as a concrete specialist at the time, and Camarca went into carpentry right after finishing high school in Alexandria.
They quickly combined their disparate areas of expertise to work on side-jobs in the evenings and over the weekends. Those odd jobs then became something more when Wayland and Camarca left their full-time jobs to launch a general contracting company called TRS on June 20, 1989.
Now, almost 30 years later, Wayland and Camarca’s partnership remains strong as they have jointly owned the Chantilly-based home improvement company Windows Plus since May 3, 2000.
“It’s very professional,” Camarca said of his and Wayland’s working relationship. “Obviously, we’ve been friends forever, so that makes for a better working environment, but we understand what we’re doing, and that, to me, is critical in our success.”
A strong foundation is the basis of Camarca and Wayland’s acquisition of Allied: The Window Center, a window and door installation company that Windows Plus bought in February.
Windows Plus complemented its acquisition of Allied with a purchase of and relocation to the company’s building at 4321 Markham Street in Annandale, which will be unveiled to the public with an open house scheduled for 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Oct. 25.
Established as a family business in 1957, Allied serves the Northern Virginia area as a specialist in the sale and installation of custom-made vinyl windows and doors. The company has been such a staple of the region that Camarca recalls his parents going there to buy windows when he was growing up.
When the owner of Allied decided to sell his business, he first turned to The Window Man, another window replacement company that services the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
However, The Window Man focuses on wood windows only, and its owner declined to expand to vinyl, according to public relations executive and Wayland’s daughter, Ashleigh Wayland.
The Window Man’s owner suggested to Allied manager Charles Worthington that he contact Windows Plus instead.
Worthington’s call came at an opportune time for Wayland and Camarca. They had started contemplating expanding their business, which focused primarily on commercial work for condominiums and high-rises, into the residential side of window replacement.
Allied mostly catered to single-family homes, so it looked like a perfect fit.
“They have a very good reputation,” Wayland said regarding Allied. “They operate the same way we operate, which is just being very honest with the homeowners, not leading them on, not stretching the truth, just giving them the facts on what’s involved in a home improvement project.”
While Windows Plus will move into its Annandale home, Allied will still retain its original name.
Windows Plus was originally born as Wayland and Camarca decided to shift away from general contracting and concentrate on exclusively doing replacements.
“For every home that’s being built, it will eventually replace its roof, windows, doors, and siding, so it’s a larger market,” Camarca said. “It was a type of business that we felt we could control and grow at a better pace than the general contracting that we did prior.”
The partners gradually phased out TRS between 1999 and 2003.
Recipient of the 2017 Best of Chantilly award in the “windows” category from the Chantilly Award Program, which recognizes local businesses, Windows Plus provides window, door, roof, and siding replacement services.
After focusing on commercial work primarily for management companies and associations, the company added a service department that offers maintenance and repair services as an alternative to a full replacement about two years ago.
Windows Plus’ acquisition of Allied represents another attempt to expand its scope as it branches out into residential properties.
As a relatively small company with 10 direct employees and about 15 subcontractors, Windows Plus is well-positioned for growth, and Camarca calls Fairfax County one of the best markets in the country for the home improvement industry.
“The economy’s definitely getting better, and for all the people that are buying new places, it increases value in the neighborhoods, and therefore it builds equity in one’s home,” Camarca said. “A lot of people will stay in that home and just improve it as opposed to purchasing. So, the boom in housing is very, very helpful for the replacement [industry].”