(Photo | Courtesy of Masters Touch)
Douglas Raley started a small family business called Masters Touch in 2008 with his wife and the four of his sons who lived at home at that time. Being able to spend time with his sons and teach them how to have a correct attitude and work ethic was his motivation for starting a service business. His goal has always been to provide excellent quality work, along with great customer service. “At Masters Touch,” Douglas says. “I teach my sons that we can and will ensure that our customers are happy and satisfied with our work.”
Master’s Touch Air Duct LLC now offers services in three areas of expertise. They Clean air ducts and dryer vents, sell, service and install Sunsetter Awnings as well as cleaning, selling and installing wood stoves. But it all started with chimney sweeping.
Although Masters Touch started a little over ten years ago, Doug has a history of chimney and dryer vent cleaning that goes back decades. He has been cleaning chimneys since 1987, when he had a part-time business with his brother called Raley’s Chimney Service. In 1994, he bought Cascade Chimney Service and began working it with his oldest son, Doug Jr. He sold that business three years later to family friends, David and Carrie Thompson, who do an excellent job of running that business to this day. The Raleys went on to other adventures in England and Holland, then Montana and Ohio. In 2005, eight years and three boys later, (there are six Raley boys now), Doug and the family moved back to Bend. The family’s fortunes went up and down with the economy for the next couple of years, and then in 2008 — remembering what a blessing the family’s service business had been to his older son’s — Doug began sweeping
Although Doug Jr. and Phil (the older boys) have long since been out on their own finding their own way in the world, the four younger Raley boys are keeping the home- business fires burning. Nickles Raley came back to the family business after serving three years in the Army at Fort Lewis. In 2016 David Raley married and six months later he and his wife Sierra came back to Bend to work at the family business. Sierra has jumped right in and helped out with just about every aspect of the business, but the family particularly appreciates her work on the computer as they have recently updated their systems. Daniel Raley works part-time during the school year while also carrying a full-time load at COCC and wrestling at Summit High. Peter, the youngest of the Raley boys, also pulls his weight part-time on the crew in between going to school and wrestling, and is looking forward to working on the crew this summer.
In addition to being a full-service chimney company, over the years the Raley’s have branched out and added additional services to Masters Touch. These include air duct and dryer vent cleaning, and the sales, service and installation of Sunsetter Awnings.
“As the local Sunsetter Awning dealer in Bend, it is not uncommon for us to install awnings in the late fall,” says Douglas. “However, our busiest time of year for awnings is of course in the summer. Sure, the 90 degree weather days working under the hot sun can be brutal, but we enjoy working hard to satisfy our customers, while keeping safe and staying hydrated. Satisfaction comes with a long, hard day of work and the look of joy on our customer’s face when they see their finished awning.
“As for chimneys and dryer vents, we take pride in knowing that we prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a dirty job, but we work hard to keep our customer’s houses as clean as when we arrived. Creosote buildup, especially second or third degree, is a huge fire hazard,” Douglas continues. “Lint buildups inside dryer vents can be just as much of a fire hazard. Keeping a dryer vent clean also extends the life of your dryer. Up to 80 percent of service calls on dryers that are not functioning optimally are actually in need of a vent cleaning. That is why we recommend customers have their chimneys and dryer vents cleaned every year.”
As for air duct cleaning, Doug purchased his first air dare system in 2009 and have never had a day’s regret. “A lot of people don’t know just how dirty their air ducts can be,” Douglas said. “There can be anything from toys to construction debris, animal hair trapped in your floor vents. We use a strong vacuum with a 30-foot long hose to suck out all the large debris, then we follow up with another vacuum that has a 40-foot long hose and a soft spinning brush on the end to knock off and suck up the remaining dust. We also have the capacity to do a microbial fog on the system if the customers feel it is necessary. We finish up by washing and sanitizing the register covers. After getting their air ducts cleaned, customers notice right away how much fresher their air is.”
Looking back at all the joys and struggles of raising a family, Doug and Amy Sometimes think, “I wish we had done this,” or “I wish we hadn’t done that,” but the one thing they never regret is raising their boys in the family business. They have learned to be hardworking, responsible and entrepreneurial — all qualities that should serve them well in the future and are certainly serving the Masters Touch customers well now. “We are thankful to God for prospering our family in our efforts, and to our customers for giving us the opportunity to serve them,” concludes Douglas. “Today we have six employees; Nick, Daniel, David, Sierra, Amy and myself. Soon [we will]bring on Amy’s and my youngest, Peter.”
At Masters Touch, Douglas is providing his sons and daughter-in-law, David’s wife, with a secure future. Family and a great work ethic means the world to Douglas and Amy Raley.