Southwest Lath & Plaster
Founded in 1985, Southwest Lath & Plaster is celebrating its 30-year in business as a lath and plaster finishing contractor. Located in Garland, Texas, Southwest Lath specializes in stucco, lath and plaster, exterior finishing systems, thin brick and custom stone.
The quality of work and craftsmanship that Southwest Lath performs has helped the company establish a reputation as one of the best specialty contractors in North Texas. Reflecting their level of craftsmanship, Southwest Lath & Plaster recently won the 2015 South Central Wall, Ceiling and Plaster Association Design Award for their exterior stucco/veneer stone work at One Community Church.
As the COO of Southwest Lath, Frazier has been with the company for six years and been involved in the industry since 1983. Frazier was simply looking for a job when he was offered a position with a scaffolding crew. “After that I became a laborer for a plaster crew and then a lather. I continued to work my way up all the way through to project management and then estimating,” says Frazier.
A solid foundation
Focused primarily on the commercial sector, Southwest Lath works with general contractors on projects involving private hospitals, medical facilities, churches, private and public educational facilities, hotels and retail centers. “We’re pretty much involved in all things commercial,” says Frazier. “We also do a lot of private projects where we work directly with the owners. Occasionally we’ll do a custom residential restoration project but not very often.”
Currently, Southwest Lath is involved in building the brand new FedEx headquarters located in Plano. It is part of the new development along the 121/Legacy corridor. Southwest Lath is installing approximately. 20,000 square feet of natural thin veneer stone to the building exterior. Due to the height of the building, and the weight of the stone, this is the first job where Southwest Lath has had to rent a crane in order to complete the work. “Our standard use of access for height is a forklift,” says Frazier. “Since this one is so high we were forced to use a crane to get the materials up to the roof.”
Southwest Lath has also been heavily involved with the University of North Texas. “We’ve remodeled several dormitories, including Bruce Hall and Sycamore Hall. We are also working on the historic renovation of Marquis Hall, originally built in 1936,” says Frazier. “Recently we also completed new venetian plaster work at the University of Texas at Dallas Arts and Technology building.”
Frazier remembers a recent job as one of the more challenging situations the company has overcome. On a project called Brighton Lofts Remodel, the company was charged with removing the exterior, providing a waterproof barrier solutions, and applying new stucco. As an occupied space, one of the major challenges facing Southwest Lath was to accommodate the current occupants. “We had to be extremely careful because there was scaffolding around the entire facility,” Frazier recounts. “It also rained 28 days out of 30.”
With a strong backlog of work for the company, Southwest Lath will soon be completing the third phase of a project with Maxim Integrated Products, an integrated circuit board company. The job consists of modernizing the existing façades of all the buildings on the company’s campus. “We’ve completed phase one where we applied stucco over old gravel panels to give new color and texture to the buildings,” says Frazier. “We’ll refinish two more buildings in phase two. We will complete the last section in phase three.”
Frazier points out that that the quality of employees and their expertise is Southwest Lath’s biggest asset. “All of our people here take a lot of pride in their craftsmanship,” says Frazier. “Our foremen have complete control of the jobsite, so if they’re finishing a building and anything is questionable, like maybe a wall doesn’t look completely right, they’ll go back and refinish it until its perfect.”
In the coming years, Southwest Lath will continue to grow both by increasing its size and scope of jobs. It plans to remain focused on the commercial sector of the industry. “We will continue to do a lot of retrofits and new construction work,” says Frazier. “We’re also venturing into the stone business, as well as enlarging the number of plaster and exterior insulation finishing systems (EIFS) projects. We expect to grow as our market continues to expand. There is a lot of work in the Dallas-Fort Worth and the Metroplex that we want to go after.”
While the company continues to grow, Southwest Lath & Plaster remains committed to the interests of its clients and its employees. “We are one of a few specialized contractors who’ve stood the test of time,” says Frazier.
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