Case Studies

Bruce L. Jones Contractor Inc.

Bringing Custom Touches to Prefab Construction

Bruce L. Jones, founder and current president of Bruce L. Jones Contractor Inc. (BLJC), has been in the construction industry since he was a teen, and he now holds over 44 years of industry experience. Much of this experience has come from the valuable lessons learned as Jones grew his company from two employees with one “mobile factory” truck to its current size of roughly 40 employees in command of an in-house trucking fleet for shipping components, along with a building and lumber supply company. Jones originally founded the company in 1984 with a business partner, but by 1996 he had assumed sole ownership. In 1999 the company built its factory, and BLJC now specializes in producing turnkey prefabricated houses, assisted living facilities, student housing complexes and townhomes within the Mid-Atlantic region, walking clients through the framing process.

Growing into the Business

From the offices in Hanover, Pa., BLJC manufactures its own prefabricated panels, which allows the firm to produce a high-quality product with fast turnaround times. Working from CAD drawings in a plant with seven lines manned by teams of three experienced builders each, BLJC is capable of producing up to 12,000 lineal feet of paneling in just one week. Coordinating with builders, supervisors, architects, structural engineers and skilled framers, BLJC assures that the wall panels are designed and erected accurately for the job at hand.

These capabilities are assisted by Jones Building & Supply, which was founded in 2002 by Bruce Jones’ wife, Lou Ann, as a better way to source lumber and building supplies at a great savings to BLJC’s clients. Together, Jones estimates that the firm self-performs about 55 percent of every project. For the other 45 percent, Jones calls upon a network of over 150 employees across three states to complete the project on time and with the greatest efficiency.

“As far as I’m concerned, it is our job to make the project manager’s job easier, no matter what the project is.” This philosophy of comprehensive responsibility has helped the firm to establish solid working relationships with other development companies. The company has been contracted on numerous projects with Enterprise Community Investment Inc., as well as Whiting-Turner Contracting.

One of BLJC’s current projects for the Enterprise-Whiting-Tuner partnership is the construction of Liberty Greens at Hammond Lane, an assisted living facility. Of the handful of assisted living facilities on which the company is working, Liberty Greens is one of the larger developments focused on sustainable construction practices the firm has been involved in to date. The four-story complex, which is expected to be completed later in 2011, consists of 90 units, 18 of which will be two-bedroom units, and the remainder being one-bedroom units. For this project, the development firm has taken extra care to provide sustainable features, including energy-efficient windows and appliances, sustainably sourced carpeting, and reduced water consumption plumbing fixtures.

From the Ground Up

One of the firm’s largest and most recent projects was the construction of University Village at Salisbury, an off-campus student living community just under one mile from the University of Salisbury campus in Maryland. “The project was one of our largest in terms of square footage,” explains Jones. The firm was contracted to build all of the framing and paneling for 147 units, each measuring over 1,200 square feet, in addition to a game room, fitness center and a clubhouse totaling over 180,000 square feet.

Successfully completing such sizable projects as these – and BLJC completes several hundred residencies a year – is how the company has earned a reputation for quick turnaround times backed by detail-oriented commitment, and at the end of the day Jones gives much of the credit to the firm’s quality-minded workforce, which he says bucks the norm.

“Most people just don’t see loyalty in the industry the way we used to, but I’ve been lucky that I’ve got a strong core working with me, because at the end of the day I have to be able to put my head on the pillow. Our philosophy is to do it right and keep our subcontractors happy,” further explains Jones. “It’s about knowing your costs and not sacrificing the quality of your work.”

In recent years, the market has become intensely competitive, and BLJC has had to be ready to enter survival mode. Despite market conditions, Jones remains optimistic about the firm’s ability to hit the ground running in the next couple of years. “We don’t know where 2011 will take us, but we’re going to stay in our niche, stay focused, and wait it out. Hopefully, the market will shift back to prioritizing quality.”

With extensive experience managing the resources and partners to deliver the highest quality turnkey projects, Bruce L. Jones Contractor Inc. has established what is needed to number amongst the most successful contractors in the coming years.

Published on: March 6, 2013


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