Fernandes Masonry Inc.
In 1997 brothers Victor, Jose, Juliao and David Fernandes founded Fernandes Masonry Inc. (FMI). Based in New Bedford, Mass., the growing company has since established a leading presence in New England’s construction market. FMI serves a diverse customer base, working with commercial and public sector clients. Over the years, the team has built a strong reputation in the industry for safety, quality craftsmanship and customer service.
Victor and his brothers have decades of experience in the masonry business. “I’ve been in the industry for 25 years,” Victor notes. “I started right out of high school.” Years of performing high-quality masonry work allows the brothers unique insight into project logistics and customer relationships. FMI strives to provide a positive client experience, working to exceed expectations for owners, as well as for general contractors.
“We have been in business for 16 years,” says Victor. “Our target market is the commercial sector, although we have done some work outside of that scope. We work mostly in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut from our single office in New Bedford, with a team of around 100 employees. We have done schools, offices, retail stores, municipal buildings and government buildings among other projects.”
A Broad Portfolio
FMI has performed a number of large and complex projects over the years. The team’s recently completed work includes masonry for Mashpee Commons, an open air, classic New England-style shopping center in Mashpee, Mass. The team has also completed a number of public elementary, middle and high school projects across Massachusetts over the last two years.
While Victor and his brothers need to focus in part on profit margins, the team places high value on giving back to the community. In 2008, FMI participated in a project with ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The brothers donated time and resources to help build a home for Paul Giunta in Maynard, Mass., who was permanently disabled in an automobile accident. The crew worked hard to construct an accessible home in only a few days for Paul and his family.
The Giunta family project proved inspiring for FMI; Victor and his brothers decided to keep the ball rolling with philanthropic projects involving other local contractors. “We created our own version of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,'” he explains. “This was for a local grandmother who was taking care of two grandchildren, one of which has special needs. We did a total renovation of her house and then added an addition that about doubled the size of the home, including new furniture and appliances, even all new landscaping. This is the kind of work that is our favorite. It’s really rewarding.”
Managing Market Changes
Despite recent economic unrest across the United States, FMI has been able to remain stable. “New laws and regulations have posed challenges,” Victor notes. “Those are the biggest issues. You never know what is going to happen. There is always something new and changing, which is especially hard on contractors with the current, uncertain state of the economy.”
According to Victor, the amount of public work the company has been involved with has allowed FMI to stay busy. “It looks like things are getting a little better and we do see good things happening,” he says. “People still aren’t confident in the market, which makes owners hesitant and cautious to spend money on equipment and new business. A lot of this is dependent on politics. If the President is doing the right thing, the country will go in the right direction. That will open up more opportunities for work and that will keep us busy. The health care changes have many contractors nervous. It could be a disaster, but we are waiting to see what happens.”
With so much going on externally, FMI is keeping the focus on what the team can control. “Our main goal is to finish the job and have everyone be happy with the work we’ve done,” Victor explains. “I love working with people; trying to figure out potential issues and work out different details. At the end of the day, we want to do the things that will offer the best final result. In the management area, we are always assessing things. This is a 24/7 job and we have a lot of workers and liability to worry about.”
As the company draws closer to 20 years in business, Victor, Jose, Juliao and David want to continue to promote the business based on a strong reputation. The crew is starting work on Franklin High School, a brand new school project in Franklin, Mass., which will be the largest to-date for the company. FMI gets it right the first time with attention to detail and honest communication with owners and strategic partners. With quality, integrity and proven craftsmanship, Fernandes Masonry Inc. is working toward exceeding expectations and perpetuating a proven reputation in the industry.
Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in US Builders Review” badge that links directly to your article!
Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing