Diede Construction Inc.
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Kyle Gahm
- Estimated reading time: 6 mins
Diede Construction, Inc. has been a well-respected name in Lodi, California, since 1978. The family-owned and -operated general contracting firm is on a record growth track thanks to years of dedication to the community and a loyal customer following. “We’ve been in business for 38 years,” explains Ryan Ranchhod, head of business development for Diede Construction. “Our family ownership differentiates us and is the foundation of our exceptional company culture.”
Ranchhod says doing business with Diede Construction is a little different from larger general contracting firms. “We have the ability to connect on a personal level,” he explains. “Taking each job on a personal level means it’s more than just a bottom line. We truly maintain the best interest of our clients at all times. For us, it’s a long-term investment, not just a one-off job.”
A family backbone
At Diede Construction the belief that face-to-face connections come first stems from the firm’s family ownership. Brothers Steve, Wayne and Bruce Diede began building the backbone for Diede Construction in 1978, providing general contracting and construction management services to the local market.
“My parents and my uncles were the four original founders of Diede Construction,” shares Brett Diede, now the company’s preconstruction manager. “They were born and raised in Lodi.”
Today whoever isn’t actually family or extended family certainly feels like part of one at Diede Construction. “There are six members of the second generation who now work with the company, so 10 total family members, plus a lot of extended family: cousins, spouses and more,” says Diede. “We also have many long-term employees that might as well be family because they’ve been here for so long.”
Diede Construction employs 178 professionals, including designers, concrete contractors, carpenters and metal fabricators, allowing the firm to tackle a range of projects across markets. “We do a great deal of design-build and municipal projects, ranging from schools and firehouses, as well as servicing large commercial clients such as Anheuser Busch and Wal-Mart,” details Ranchhod. “All are within our scope of work; we’re fairly diversified.”
Diede Construction performs new construction and renovation work in both the public and private sectors. “We understand private and public developments well and the concerns that go along with them,” explains Ranchhod. “We make sure we provide tailored solutions to accomplish the specific project goals.”
Among a diverse range of skills, the avenue in which Diede Construction really shines is design-build. “We do a lot of design-build jobs,” says Ranchhod. “We view the client or end user as part of our team and we get them involved in the process from the inception.”
“We have moved increasingly in this direction because design-build delivery is where the industry is heading,” notes Diede. Working in the firm’s preconstruction arm, Diede has seen this transition firsthand.
“Now to even bid on a project you have to submit and showcase preconstruction services -design-build, design-assist and other qualifications, be it negotiated or hard bid,” he says. “This is just the way owners want things done.”
In Manteca, California, Diede Construction has showcased its skill in the design-build arena, completing several projects on behalf of the city, including the new Manteca Transit Center (MTC). On this design-build project, Diede Construction worked closely with the architect and subcontractors to create a project Manteca residents will love for years to come.
MTC is the new showpiece of downtown Manteca, complete with administrative offices. The facility design is a nod to the Grand Central stations of decades past, with a brick façade, exposed steel beams and a centerpiece clock tower.
“Due to the site constraints, construction had to be sequenced with many third-party vendors and contractors requiring unique work hours and shifts,” details Ranchhod. “The project consisted of the construction of a transit center which included building and site improvements within the property line and railroad easement, off-site work required for utility connection and coordination and demolition of existing site features.”
The scope of site work included concrete and utilities, removal of contaminated soils, grading and paving, underground utility work, off‐site concrete for sidewalks, curbs and drives, and miscellaneous site furnishings including photovoltaic shade shelters, irrigation and landscape work.
The building scope of work included a new concrete foundation with a wood-framed structure, underslab utilities, structural columns and beams, carpentry work, doors, frames and hardware, curtain wall systems, ornamental iron trusses, brick masonry, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and fire sprinkler systems. All in all, the MTC facility neared 10,000 square feet and $6.9 million. Diede Construction officially completed the project in September 2013.
Diede Construction had a well-established relationship with the City of Manteca before tackling the MTC job after completing the Manteca Animal Services facility. “Through expertise gleaned from design-build experience at the Animal Control Facility for Stanislaus County, the Diede team was able to develop Manteca’s basis of design into a facility with a focus on operational efficiency, maintenance and durability,” says Ranchhod.
Throughout the design-build process, a multitude of options were assessed for each building system, functional component and design aesthetic. Each option was processed thought the criteria of a balance between delivery of the completed facility within the target budget while providing the most value to the City over the entire life of the facility. This $2.3 million contract was completed in October 2011.
Building strong communities
The firm has a history of working with cities and towns, especially in concern to community center projects. “We have done at least six community centers in the past,” notes Diede.
In Lathrop, California, Diede Construction landed a $5.5 million, 13,000-square-foot, LEED Silver-certified community center for the City. As general contractor of Lathrop Generations, located on 450 Spartan Way in Lathrop, Diede Construction facilitated the completion of the multifaceted community center. “To accomplish the goals of the end user, we had to foster a level of uncompromised synergy between both the architect and the City,” adds Ranchhod.
The site work consisted of a six-acre community complex, including an access road, a 20,000-square-foot skate park facility, 10,000 square feet of parkour recreation area, a ball wall, community gardens and an amphitheater with a covered stage. “The parkour area is the first of its kind in this area,” details Diede. “Lathrop is planning on using it as a show piece when other cities are interested in building something similar.”
The new construction building consists of a 9,800-square-foot community and teen center, along with a branch of the San Joaquin County Public Library. Diede Construction and partnering subcontractors delivered foundations, walls, structural supports, fenestration, roofing and interior and exterior finishes.
Starting up a satellite
As a member of the Builders Exchange of Stockton, Diede Construction has furthered its name throughout the local region and is gaining ground well beyond Lathrop and Lodi. The company is licensed in states beyond California, into Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and Montana.
“The Builders Exchange offers a platform for great partnerships,” says Diede. “The organization keeps us connected to local suppliers and helps network with subcontractors. It hosts good-cause events where we can build important face-to-face connections.”
Diede Construction is well on its way to furthering connections outside of California. “We’ve been doing work in Hawaii for two years for select clients, but in 2014 we decided to take it a step further by opening a new satellite office,” reveals Diede. “As of January 2015, we have just opened a new office storefront in Hawaii.”
Diede says continued growth is about finding those unique projects others aren’t so quick to jump at, even if it means going out of state. “We’ve always taken on unique jobs; we don’t do the same thing over and over,” he says. – “Whether it’s a remodel or a new build, it’s always a new site and a new challenge. That’s what we like.”
Hawaii certainly presents new challenges with more rules and regulations than the company is accustomed to. But Diede says this is an exciting time for the company. “We all just keep doing our part to make sure everyone is successful,” he adds.
A strong corporate culture grounded in family ownership has propelled Diede Construction Inc. forward, leveraging a competitive advantage in California and beyond.
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