BEST Contracting Services Inc.
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Dave Gushee
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Moji Taba established BEST Contracting Services Inc. (BEST) in 1982 as a small residential roofing business serving the south end of Los Angeles. For more than 30 years, the company has grown, diversifying into larger commercial work and expanding the focus to a range of external construction services. In the mid-90s, the business added waterproofing to its line of services, later adding sheet metal work, panels, curtain walls and comprehensive building envelope services.
Today, Sean Taba, Moji’s son and current CEO of BEST, now runs the company. “I received my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in electrical engineering from UCLA,” Sean explains of his training and experience. “I worked here at BEST in the summers throughout school and eventually came to realize that engineering was not really what I wanted to be doing.” Sean’s interests shifted to business and he continued his education on the management end.
Sean also enjoys the challenges of specialty construction work and takes great pride in the skill and dedication of his team. “Efficiency is really important to us,” he explains. “We hire professionals with experience and training who often have worked for other companies for some time. Our crew is known for their expertise in roofing.”
Taking over the business in 1995, Sean now oversees a team of approximately 300 professionals between the field and offices. Moji is still involved in the business, but has stepped out of the management role.
BEST operates from two California office locations; one in Los Angeles and the second in Union City, both serving major commercial/industrial, state, local and federal customers. While most of the company’s work is in the southern California area, BEST is also licensed to work out of state and crews regularly travel throughout the southwest United States for projects.
A growing portfolio
Over the years, BEST has put together a strong portfolio of projects for both public and private customers. One of the company’s more memorable and recent projects has been work on the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.
BEST crews worked under general contractor Walsh Austin on the airport expansion project contracted by Los Angeles World Airports, and performed a considerably large scope of work, including procuring and installing metal soffits and panels on all of the new buildings. BEST crews have worked at LAX over the past several years performing regular upkeep and repair work at the airport.
Another recent high profile project has been work on the historic Los Angeles Central Library. Working directly for the city of Los Angeles, BEST performed a major roofing scope of work, which required the removal of more than 400 tons of existing ballast rock covering an aging EPDM membrane.
This was a logistically challenging project for the crews. Tear-off required street closures and crane work to remove the existing roof system. Once the roof was removed, BEST installed a new ½-inch thick DensDeck covered with a tan felt-back PVC membrane with green pads protecting areas where workers frequently walk to perform maintenance work. The watertight roof system meets California Code Title 24 Part 6 standards and offers energy saving for the library.
ENR magazine recognized BEST for the team’s work on the Palomar Medical Center (Palomar) in 2012. Palomar was a new construction hospital project designed for sustainability. Features of the new facility include water use reduction, reduced energy usage and construction using recycled and renewable materials.
BEST worked for general contractor DPR to install the thermoplastic, Title-24 compliant roofing systems, as well as the large vegetated roof and other waterproofing systems throughout the facility. The crew also procured and installed standing seam metal roofing, soffits and facia flashing. Out of the broad scope of work on the project, the largest component was BEST’s water-proofing contract.
Other memorable projects include the Rose Bowl Stadium press box, which the team completed in May 2013. BEST completed all of the roofing, waterproofing, sheetmetal and expansion joints for the project. The crew performs a lot of high-visibility work, which boosts the team’s marketing power and shows potential clients just what the company is capable of. Going forward, Sean and his team plan to leverage BEST diverse industry experience to promote expansion and vertical integration.
Standing out from the competition
BEST takes a collaborative approach to problem-solving. The team takes great pride in the ability to see projects and issues through the eyes of customers and work with them to create lasting solutions. The company’s well-honed approach takes into account the life cycle of a structure. Instead of offering a low-ball quick-fix estimate, BEST builds a plan that will maximize long-term value for customers, helping to keep buildings in better shape for a longer period of time.
Part of extending value for customers includes controlling quality and performing several specialty trades in-house. Team capabilities include: roofing, waterproofing, glazing, architectural metal wall panels and sustainable systems, including solar PV, daylighting and vegetated roofs.
“The only thing we will subcontract out is tear-down,” Sean explains. “We often work with other companies that do roof removal, as well as asbestos and lead abatement for older at-risk buildings. We work with a handful of reliable contractors we trust to maintain our standards of quality. We work with them to develop an efficient but reasonable timeframe for work.”
While many contractors are still in recovery after the recent recession, Sean and his team are gearing up for growth. While the market gradually turned around, the company prioritized internal efficiencies and streamlined operations. “We incorporated sheet metal and glazing a few years ago,” Sean explains. “Being vertically integrated like this has opened up more opportunities for us and allows us to offer better value to our customers. We are still working to ramp up our glazing operations.”
With a strong set of capabilities, dedicated employees and lasting industry relationships, BEST is well-positioned to continue on a course of growth over the coming years. Sean and his crew are constantly bidding new work, making good on the company’s reputation as a bidding machine. As the company continues to grow, BEST Contracting Services Inc. remains focused on customer rapport and providing value through diverse exterior construction services.
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