Case Studies

Dankris Builders Corp.

Family-owned subcontracting services in Plainville

In Plainville, Massachusetts, family-owned Dankris Builders Corp. has been a well-known general contractor in the municipal water and wastewater facility construction sphere for more than 30 years. Dankris delivers an array of in-house construction services, including site work, concrete, carpentry, masonry and more.

Even through the recession, when municipal markets slowed, Dankris has pulled through by reinventing itself as a subcontractor and growing relationships with larger general contractors serving the area.

“We started out building water pump stations and treatment plants in 1982 when my father, Dennis Baril, founded the company,” shares Luke Baril, second-generation vice president of Dankris. “My father originally worked for another construction company and when the owner passed and the second generator took over, he decided it was time to form his own.”

Baril grew up learning from his father. “As a kid, I was always in the shop, working on and off,” he recounts. “Through college I worked in the office and enjoyed it so I decided to go to college and learn more about business. I graduated in 2002 from Bryant University in Rhode Island with a degree in business management.”

Dankris Builders Corp.

Redefining scope of work

Over the years Dankris’ focus has mainly been waste water and water treatment facilities and pump stations, but Baril says the recession reshaped the company’s position. “We used to do everything from site work to concrete, masonry, piping, utilities, roofing; from the ground up, we’d build it with our guys and we still can, but with the economy our scope of work has changed,” he explains.

“Now, there’s less brick-and-block construction and more metal buildings that are cheaper to build,” continues Baril. “We still specialize in municipal water treatment plants and pump stations, but when some of that work dried up, Dankris was able to hook up with other companies, running site work and masonry as a subcontractor.”

Skilled tradesmen

For a fairly small company with only about 8 tradesmen covering Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island, Baril says Dankris’ team is diverse in its skill set. “We have only about 11 employees, so we’re fairly small, but our guys are very skilled and can do a whole set of different things,” he says. “Carpenters, masons and more; we have many skilled tradesmen in-house.”

With a diverse in-house team, Dankris typically subcontracts only electrical service. “When we’re running as a general contractor, especially on smaller jobs where we can get our own pricing, we tend to use the same electrical subs,” says Baril.

Moving forward

Baril says weathering the slow economy forced Dankris to make some changes and open its doors to different opportunities. “We have switched things up to doing more private work and commercial buildings,” he says. “As a company, we have diversified and it’s going great and working out really well for us.”

In the next several years, Baril says he hopes to build more relationships with area general contractors and keep filling the subcontracting shoes on private projects. “In the municipal market its mainly high-low bid work, whereas working as sub on a private contract there are real people you can deal with and leverage relationships more to win the job,” compares Baril.

Part of building its presence as a subcontractor with a broad range of in-house trades is working on the company’s online reputation. “We’re working on launching a new website,” says Baril. “In the municipal market we didn’t really need a website because it was all about high-low bid, but as a sub we want general contractors to be able to find us and access our services.”

No matter the market, Baril says Dankris remains focused on several key success indicators; relationships and quality of work. “Those come first,” adds Baril

After 33 years, Dankris Builders Corp is running on second generation ownership, core principals and the versatility to find success in multiple markets.

Published on: July 7, 2015

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