Southland Insulators Inc.
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Chuck McKenna
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Gerald Palmer founded Southland Insulators Inc. (SII) in 1986 as a small, independent insulation company. The family-owned and -operated business has grown for nearly three decades, serving homeowners and general contractors throughout Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The team’s headquarters is located in Manassas, Va., while the company’s four satellite locations serve out-of-state clients. SII has become Virginia’s largest independent insulation contractor with more than 60 installation professionals on staff. The team has established guidelines to ensure that every customer, from an individual purchasing a custom home to a large, publicly traded homebuilder, receives the best possible information and service regarding the insulating of their home. The company offers services for clients of all sizes, offering energy savings to home and business owners alike. Leading Products and Performance SII is exclusively an insulation contractor. By honing in on one component of construction, the team is able to offer service backed by expertise. “We focus on business using the latest techniques to produce the results our clients want,” says Palmer, who remains president of SII. “We perform residential and commercial work, which is divided respectively about 70 percent to 30 percent; that ratio varies month to month. We perform nearly everything in-house with the exception of some fireproofing work. We have several repeat clients, including Toll Brothers and Ryan Homes.” To stay ahead of the competition, SII employs leading practices and technology. All of the company’s trucks are GPS-enabled, meaning the company knows where crews are at all times and how soon they will arrive on-site. Dedicated supervisors and inspectors ensure efficiency, professionalism and quality on every project, maintaining a leadership presence regardless of location. Palmer and his team have established long-term relationships with suppliers, as well. The company buys direct from manufacturers, cutting costs and enhancing buying power. “We’re able to pass our savings along to our customers,” says Palmer. The business keeps a large inventory, comprised of 15 trailer loads of insulation. SII has the right size and value for every job, and a large stock ensures less waiting time for project completion. Recent major projects for the team include a renovation of a General Services Administration building. “The contractor was gutting a large part of the building and we provided the insulation for that segment,” Palmer elaborates. The building was semi-occupied at the time, so efficiency and professionalism were of utmost importance. “One of our most interesting projects is from a while back,” he adds. “We sprayed foam insulation on the outside of two buildings in Fredericksburg. That’s a common technique now, but back then it was pretty unusual.” Staying Ahead Many businesses have struggled throughout the recession, SII included. “The uncertainty of affordable health care is unsettling for a lot of people in this industry,” Palmer says. “It could be very high, and the details of how it works are still unclear to a lot of people.” Fortunately, Palmer says his team has seen the market picking up in the region. With new construction slowly making a comeback across the United States, SII stays busy. “We’re on the upswing,” he notes. The company’s existing relationships with local and national contractors keeps business rolling in. The company has also established memberships with several organizations that help with networking and education. SII was one of the first contractors to be accepted into the National Association of Homebuilders’ Research Center Certified Contractor program. The team also benefits from involvement with the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Building Performance Institute, Residential Energy Service Network, Insulation Contractors Association of America, National Insulation Contractors Exchange and the Air Barrier Association of America. These associations offer opportunities to connect with industry peers, potential partners and clients, as well as educational opportunities for both company leaders and employees. The team’s well-connectedness has paid off in a major way, as SII receives many referrals and recommendations. The team has received praise through various avenues, including awards from Angie’s List, Consumers’ Checkbook and Best Pick Reports. After all this praise, Palmer and his team strive to give back to a supportive community. This is why SII is involved with Homes for Our Troops, an organization that builds and renovates homes for U.S. Veterans. SII also contributed to an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project in 2008. The growing family business continues to grow while staying grounded. Palmer and his team have their feet planted firmly in the community, and strive to offer value, quality and friendly professionalism. As the recovery continues, Southland Insulators Inc. will continue to serve clients and community members through innovation and dedication to service. For more information about Southland Insulators Inc., please visit: www.southlandinsulators.com.
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