Case Studies

Dean Plumbing Co. Inc.

Trust in the shield for plumbing, heating and cooling
  • Written by: Dean Plumbing Co. Inc.
  • Produced by: Dean Plumbing Co. Inc.
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Since 1954, customers throughout Alabama have turned to the signature Dean Plumbing Co. Inc. (Dean Plumbing) shield of quality for plumbing and HVAC service. The family-owned firm has been serving Huntsville, Alabama, as a Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractor (PHCC) member company for more than 60 years.

“We deliver residential and commercial plumbing and full-service HVAC,” shares Michael Dean, president of Dean Plumbing. “We’re known for detailed estimates and we charge by the job, not the hour. We have a robust service division as well, offering 24-hour emergency service around the clock.”

Dean Plumbing first entered the greater Huntsville market in 1954, when Dean’s father, James Dean, established the company. “My father also worked for the city fire department, so as you can imagine, he really had his hands full,” tells Dean. “In 1963 he got my uncle to move here from Georgia to help him handle the work.”

After finishing college, Dean came onboard on a full-time basis to help his father. “In 1983, I got my state heating, cooling and gas piping license and we’ve been doing full HVAC ever since,” recounts Dean.

Dean Plumbing Co. Inc.

Strength in diversity

Today, Dean Plumbing offers a range of services from HVAC to water heater repair and drain cleaning. “One year the biggest job we did was installing storm drainage at the Huntsville International Airport,” tells Dean. “And the next year we changed out more than 300 heating units at a multifamily unit -I think that’s the key to our success; being diversified.”

A diverse scope of services allows Dean Plumbing to bid on any number of area projects. “We have developed several subdivisions where we did all of the utilities, but we also have strong service department for residential work,” tells Dean. “Even if new construction is slow we have something to keep us occupied and keep the bills paid.”

Dean Plumbing helps residential customers prevent larger issues from forming with affordable preventative plumbing maintenance. “We do pipe and leak repairs, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, fixture replacement, tub, toilet and shower repairs, as well as water heater service,” notes Dean.

Based in Huntsville, Dean Plumbing serves approximately a 60-mile radius of the city with 35 to 40 employees, give or take. “It depends on the amount of work we have going on,” shares Dean. “Lately it’s been a lot of schools, hotels and shopping centers. We do more commercial work than residential for the most part.”

The company self performs nearly all of its work, occasionally subcontracting concrete cutting and insulation. “Sometimes, we’ll even do that in-house,” adds Dean. “We’ve even taken on projects where we are our own general contractor.”

One such instance is the James Clemens project in Madison, Alabama. “Every major subcontractor had to be their own GC, it’s the way this $2.5 million plumbing job was bid,” tells Dean.

Rising to the challenge

Back in Huntsville, Dean Plumbing has also completed the Bridge Street Town Shopping Center, a $1.8 million contract encompassing all of the main plumbing and utilities. “We frequently work with the University of Alabama at Huntsville,” shares Dean. “The most memorable project we tackled at the university was a science and laboratory building with miles and miles of various gas piping. It was one of the most rewarding jobs we’ve ever completed because of all the complex piping.”

It’s this ability to rise to meet a range of plumbing and HVAC challenges that keep customers throughout Huntsville and beyond calling on Dean Plumbing. “We certainly feel the pressure of more out of state, larger companies saturating the market, but we have customers that count on us; that know we’re going to be dependable and serve them – that’s what’s most rewarding to me,” says Dean. “We don’t have to solicit a lot of new business because every customer we make, we keep. We operate on repeat business and many referrals.”

Strong customer base or not, Dean Plumbing isn’t immune to competition and the changes taking place in the industry. Fortunately, Dean says the company is not alone. As a PHCC member contractor, Dean Plumbing has the opportunity to network with others like itself. “PHCC offers us the opportunity for peer networking and discussing with others in the business about their problems and solutions,” says Dean.

As the regional economy continues to improve Dean says he sees more major projects down the pipeline. “Major companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, as well as Marshall Space Flight Center will keep the economy moving strong in this area,” he tells. “They’re getting ready to send another manned shuttle to the space station and that’s a driving force in this area. There’s a need for plumbing directly and indirectly.”

The outlook in the coming years is promising for the family-owned company. For more than 60 years, commercial and residential customers have trusted the Dean Plumbing Co. Inc. shield for the quality plumbing and HVAC guarantee.

Published on: July 6, 2015

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