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Editor’s note: Manufacturing harkens a brighter future in 2 ways

Builders are blurring the lines between industries with good results

Of all the industries we cover, manufacturing gets the least attention. But more and more, it’s creeping into the mix of stories about contractors and specialty contractors, engineers and architects, developers and the like.

It’s not because US Builders Review is interviewing more manufacturers. It’s because, in a way, more and more builders are becoming manufacturers.

Take Zarrilli Homes. The New Jersey-based builder makes high-end modular homes on assembly lines. Its clients, including classic rocker Bon Jovi and former late night personality Jon Stewart, appreciate that their houses were made in climate-controlled facilities, meaning their living rooms were never exposed to the occasional rain shower. And they cost 10 to 15 percent less than site-built homes.

It’s not just modular homes that are being manufactured, though. Components of homes and more massive structures are also being manufactured in shops.

Two glazing contractors from Texas—Denison Glass & Mirror Inc. and Dynamic Glass—recently told us they increasingly frame, glaze, cap and waterproof windows in shop to make installation faster and more precise. That allows them to keep up with demand in one of the busiest building markets in America.

Denison Glass even built a 40,000-square-foot facility for this purpose. Which, some might point out, is beyond the means and muster of many. And they would be right.

There’s another variation on this theme: Manufactured precast components, and companies like Genest Concrete are providing these components to remove some of the construction steps.

One of Genest’s products, the Comfort Block, is a lightweight masonry unit used for constructing walls. It has hollow spaces in which insulation can be inserted and electrical wire can be run. It has a rough texture that easily takes plaster and stucco. And it ensures not only time-efficient building, but mold and mildew resistance, higher R values, fire and insect resistance and sound dampening.

Workforce shortages are among the most frequently referenced roadblocks in our conversations with builders throughout America.

Likewise, Bautex Systems manufactures lightweight, composite wall-building blocks whose particular benefit may be blending concrete and foam into a proprietary blend. “The absolute genesis for our style of construction is its simplicity,” Bautex’s president, Paul Brown, told us.

Yet not everyone finds comfort in this minimalism. It’s possible that more manufacturing portends fewer skilled workers.

But the era of the day laborer is far from over. Workforce shortages are among the most frequently referenced roadblocks in our conversations with builders throughout America. And just consider that, when prefabricated units are installed, it tends to be all at once. That takes a lot of people, as does the actual manufacturing.

Don’t take our word for it? Consider what history shows.

Since the first roof was raised, people have been trying to erect more of them in less time and with fewer steps. That’s how traditional masonry and timber framing gave way to stick framing and concrete. And then as now, the result was more buildings, not fewer builders.

So read this edition, with all its references to efficiency, in relative comfort. And know that all these advancements are a form of security, no matter the weather or economy.

Testimonials

Everyone that we worked with was polite, professional, responsive & very good to work with. It was amazing to see the ideas transformed into the final product. We are very happy with the end results and would not hesitate to work with them in the future or recommend them to other business!
— James Kowalski, Owner, Kowalski Construction Inc.
We are excited to be featured as a case study in US Builders Review and look forward to sharing our company’s story with a national audience.
— Ryan Sanzari, Director of Operations, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
I would like to commend the US Builders Review staff for their work in developing and writing a fantastic article for Miller Contracting Group, Inc. It was truly a pleasure to work with their professional and well organized staff.
— Chuck Daniels, Business Manager, Miller Contracting Group Inc.
The process was simple: we were provided questions that the writers wanted to discuss, we were interviewed, and then we got to see a few drafts before the final version went to print. Given the quality of this publication, on behalf of Giroux, I can assure everyone that all of my partners would be happy to participate in similar articles in the future.
— Barbara Kotsos, Director of Marketing & PR, Giroux Glass
Kyle Gahm was instrumental in coordinating this project from beginning to end. He was always available and a pleasure to work with. It would be a pleasure to work with Kyle down the road. Bill Keaton was very impressive in raising money from advertising which resulted in ASE getting the cover story, so thank you Bill. Lia Prysunka and Jeanee Dudley are both very impressive individuals who deserve a lot of credit for this featured piece. They were both very patient and accepting of any changes we suggested. The format, quality, and resolution was awesome. To sum it all up: Our upper management, who never have been high on PR and things of this nature said that it was "absolutely fantastic" and were blown away. They now are requesting multiple copies of the full magazine and are very proud of the work you all put in. Thanks again.
— Ryan Sanzari, Director of Operations, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
I was contacted by the company to write a review on my business. They handled the process very efficient and professional. The pictures came out great and the article was perfect. I am very happy with their work.
— Kirt McGhee, Owner, K4M Construction
I would like to commend the US Builders Review staff for their work in developing and writing a fantastic article for Miller Contracting Group, Inc. It was truly a pleasure to work with their professional and well organized staff.
— Chuck Daniels, Business Manager, Miller Contracting Group Inc.
The final product was an exceptionally well written and thorough story integrated with many of our project photos. It is a great endorsement of our company and our work that we are promoting on our website and through social media. We were impressed with the quality of the editorial and the professional follow-through.
— Susan Howell, Marketing Director for Howell Custom Building Group
Kyle and his team were very professional and patient in explaining their program to us. Their communications were clear and concise and did a great job of guiding us through the process of getting published in their magazine.
— Michael Henthorn, Owner, Henthorn Commercial Construction
Ryan at TrueLine was a pleasure to work with and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend him or TrueLine to anyone in the future. They were professional, organized and great to work with through the process!
— James Cahill, President and Partner, J. Calnan & Associates

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Spring 2018

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