Barcom Construction Inc.
In 1986 Dave Hoffman and his wife Elaine started Barcom Construction Inc. Working out of their garage, Hoffman ran the operation while his wife earned a CPA degree and ran the books for the company. Over the next 30 years Barcom would experience steady growth and eventually become a leading general contractor in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Hoffman began his career in the construction industry in 1982 working for a drywall contractor. In an effort to find his true talent, Hoffman tried his hand at a few trades in the industry. “I did a lot of rough-necking,” says Hoffman. “I worked stocking sheet-rock, and worked as a carpenter’s helper. When I started doing desk work and managing crews, that’s when I really found my talent.”
From firsthand experience in the administration sector of the business, Hoffman had earned a real-world education in construction management. After witnessing a few companies go out of business due to poor financial decisions, Hoffman decided it was time to venture out on his own. “I told my wife that I really felt like we were capable of doing it ourselves,” says Hoffman. “I borrowed some money and got our first contract for a small job through a friend. We started working out of our garage and off we went.”
Blazing a trail
As a general contractor, Hoffman considers his company somewhat different from what one would expect from a standard contracting company. Barcom is a midsized company that will take on jobs of all sizes, and perform the majority of the work in-house.
“The higher revenue jobs will involve more subcontractors while the smaller jobs we’ll use our own employees,” explains Hoffman. “We have our own millwork shop, and carpenters. We also have our own concrete company that operates right out of our office.”
Self-performing work on the smaller renovation jobs enabled Barcom to remain competitive and efficient. “For this area we are a midsized contractor,” says Hoffman. “We can do things that some of the smaller contractors do while we’re also capable of completing the larger projects as well.”
Setting the bar high
When it comes to establishing relationships with subcontractors, Hoffman knows that his clients expect top-notch quality, so Barcom hires the best subcontractors. “We make sure that a subcontractor is 100 percent qualified for the job before we hire them,” says Hoffman. “If we have never worked with a particular subcontractor we will interview them, do a nexis search on them and check their references. We do everything we possibly can to make sure that we are comfortable working with them.”
Among the many projects Barcom has been working on, the company has been involved in the construction of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Domes. Also known as Safe Rooms, a FEMA Dome is a structure specifically designed to provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes. “We’re building two of them right now with a schedule of about a year for each one,” says Hoffman. “We’re doing the project management on these projects and some of the concrete work.”
Barcom often works in hospital renovation. “I really enjoy the hospital work we do,” says Hoffman. “We’ll do jobs ranging from the installation of a $300 door to a $1 million renovation of an emergency room.” Over the years Barcom has become very involved with Spohn Hospital. As a strong supporter of the medical facility, Barcom performs numerous renovations and often donates to the hospital.
Successful for a reason
After being in business for almost 30 years, Hoffman is proud to watch his employees grow and become successful. “Everything that I have is due to the people around me,” notes Hoffman. The fact that the first carpenter that Hoffman hired is still employed by the company is testament to Barcom’s employee retention.
“I have employees that have been with me for almost 20 years,” he explains. “They are the backbone of the company. One of the things that I am most proud of is to see the lifestyle that a lot of our employees have as a result of working here.”
“I’m also proud to see people come work for us for a while and then go start their own company somewhere,” says Hoffman. “We’ve had some employees who have learned the business working for us and then have gone on to be successful with their own companies.”
Hoffman is also excited to have his two sons working with him. David Hoffman II recently graduated from the University of Texas San Antonio with a degree in Construction Management. He is now an assistant project manager with Barcom. Son Patrick Hoffman has been working for the company as an estimating assistant.
Hoffman is optimistic about the future and the industry. Barcom Construction Inc. will see continued, steady growth in the next few years and will continue building relationships with clients and employees.
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