South Valley Drywall Inc.
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Drew Taylor
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
A strong sense of pride, integrity and company culture make the construction team at South Valley Drywall Inc. more than a group of wall and ceiling trade professionals, but also an extended family. As part of its mission to be a customer-preferred contractor, South Valley strives to put people first, do what is right, take a long-term view and give back to employees and the community. As a result, South Valley has made many longstanding customers and tenured employees.
The sheer talent of the close-knit team at South Valley has helped the company grow its customer base and build on more than 90 percent repeat business. Based in Littleton, Colorado, the family-owned company is celebrating 40 years in the industry and all of the hard work and dedication that has gone into the last four decades.
Grounded in family ownership
The company originally started small, as Rich’s Drywall in 1974. South Valley incorporated in 1976 and has been committed to customers ever since —offering them excellent service, quality craftsmanship and overall value in their investment. “In 1976, I set out to be the best drywaller in the state of Colorado. I worked hard, paid attention to details and always made sure to put the customer first,” says Richard Vap, founder of South Valley Drywall.
Richard’s efforts have paid off and although South Valley has grown exponentially, this customer-first approach has not changed. In 2007, Richard started selling the business to his son, Travis Vap, now president and CEO of South Valley. Today, Travis and his brother, Garrett Vap are owners.
South Valley is a full service specialty wall and ceiling contractor running four distinct divisions with different craftsmen: residential, commercial, prefab and service.
The residential division specializes in the installation and finish of gypsum wallboard in custom and semi-custom homes, basements, additions and remodels. The commercial division focuses on the design, engineering and installation of light gauge steel framing systems, insulation, gypsum board, finishing, acoustical and specialty ceilings, fire stopping, engineered sound systems and carpentry services in ground-up, tenant-improvement and remodel projects.
South Valley’s prefab division offers design, engineering, fabrication and installation of prefabricated building envelope assemblies for new and existing construction. Finally, the South Valley service department specializes in drywall patching and texturing.
“These divisions enable us to deliver consistently to each customer’s needs,” says Travis.”We don’t share employees or management between divisions, because the market and clients’ needs are so different that you need to have dedicated teams.”
South Valley’s ability to please clients, across a wide range of services, starts with how the company secures work.South Valley does not go out and low bid jobs and it tends to avoid the hard-bid environment. “This hard bid model doesn’t fit our company and the values we’ve built it around,” says Travis.
“If our good client wants us to bid a job that they really want to get, we’ll support them,” explains Travis. “We like to give a comprehensive bid because we focus more on what’s the right thing to build, not just the number. We’re not going to have a rock-bottom number but we’re also not going to change order a project all the way through, therefore our bid price better reflects the end price of a project.”
Avoiding the hard-bid market allows South Valley to work with employees and customers more as a team. “Our goal is to support our clients and employees and help people be better,” adds Travis.
Supporting customers first and foremost
Travis says while the company prides itself on attention to detail and excellence on every project, it’s when times get tough that the South Valley difference really shows. “As a trade contractor, you can go through every detail and say, ‘This is why we do a good job,’ but what really shows your integrity iswhen there’s adversity. When a job is behind schedule, when we mess up or something doesn’t go as planned — that’s when you really define the strength of your team,” he says.
“If there’s something that turns into a problem, to me, this really defines who you’re hiring and why you hire a company like us because we’re there through thick and thin,” continues Travis. “The one thing I can promise our clients is we will make it right.”
Travis says this is why South Valley Drywall has been able to drive more than 90 percent repeat business. “We’re fortunate to have a great customer base that sees value in the way we do business and sees that we put our customers and our employees first and just try to do the right thing,” he says. “It doesn’t mean that you’re always going to get every project, but you’re going to get an opportunity and that is all we can ask for.”
Cultivating a strong team and industry
With this approach and a dedicated team of core employees — most of which that have been with the company for seven or more years — South Valley has landed more project opportunities and more repeat business.
Capturing these opportunities and garnering repeat business comes right down to the guys in the field; the ones carrying out South Valley’s mission: “To be our Customers’ Preferred Choice.”
“If you have great people, you’re going to have great clients,” says Travis. This is why Travis feels it is essential to treat his team with respect and give them lots of opportunity for upward mobility. “It comes down to gratitude and attitude. You need to keep people interested and give them the opportunities they deserve to advance.”
South Valley also makes a point to show it values its team by paying 100 percent of health care coverage, offering generous paid time off, annual bonuses and profit sharing programs.
While the company continues to invest in valued employees, South Valley also gives back to the industry by way of active involvement with the American Subcontractors Association Colorado chapter (ASAC). Travis and his team not only participate in ASAC, but also in other organizations such as AWCI, SFIA and HBA of Colorado. “It’s important to be a part of the committees and organizations that help us do business and promote the industry,” he says.
With business built around commitment, excellence, integrity, pride, performance, respect, safety, team work and trust, it comes as no surprise that South Valley has been recognized for excellence in business ethics five years in a row by the National American Subcontractors Association. “We’ve also been recognized for numerous national and local quality awards over the years,” adds Travis.
August 2016 marks 40 years in business for the specialty contractor. Reflecting on this, Travis and the South Valley Drywall team would like to thank everyone for what they have done for South Valley Drywall over the years.
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