Case Studies

Thrifty Iron Works Inc.: More Than Just Steel

  • Written by: Thrifty Iron Works Inc.: More Than Just Steel
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Richard Thrift, second-generation president at Thrifty Iron Works Inc. (Thrifty), couldn’t be more proud of the company his bloodline has developed. Thrifty is a family-owned and -operated business located in Hyattsville, Md. Richard’s father, Allen Thrift, founded the company in 1963, and brought Richard on about 30 years ago. Richard’s sister and brother, Karen Jones and Alan Thrift, also hold executive-level positions at Thrifty, proudly reinforcing the family’s passion for steel.

Thrifty is involved in multiple aspects of the steel construction industry. “We do all types of metal work,” says Richard. “We’re in the commercial sector.”

The company’s cache of experience includes new construction projects like restaurants, apartment and condominium buildings, as well as renovation projects. Thrifty is involved in just about every metal component of the new construction projects the company takes on. The company is also affiliated with the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA). Versed in aluminum, glass and steel work, the company does more than structural framing. Ornamental building services include the construction and installation of stairs, railing and glass features.

The capable team has a diverse skill set, allowing Thrifty to pride itself on flexibility. Proud of the company’s wide range of services, Richard says, “It’s great that we’re consistently able to meet the needs of our customers.”

Meeting each client’s needs is a priority at Thrifty and, according to Richard, one of the most challenging aspects to providing that capability in the industry is speed. “Maybe everyone says that about their industries,” he admits. “But this is really fast-pace business. We take on some very difficult projects and we’re always on tight schedules.” Still, the Thrifty team excels at hitting deadlines and delivering quality customized results to each client.

Making it with Metal

“We just finished building The Palisades of Towson,” Richard mentions. “It’s an 18-story apartment building and parking garage.” The building is a behemoth structure, built with corporate living in mind. Apartments at The Palisades feature sweeping steel staircases, architectural facades and a futuristic roof deck. These features are all the handiwork of Thrifty.
“We did the glass, architectural metals, the elevators … pretty much the steel for the entire building,” elaborates Richard.

Another project the Thrifty team recently completed is the Hotel at Arundel Preserve in Hanover, Md. “We did the entire steel structure, glass, stainless, things like that,” says Richard. The boutique alternative to the airport hotel was designed with sustainability in mind. The structure is LEED certified, made using recycled materials and designed to take advantage of natural light. Aside from sustainability, the accommodations encompass modern, chic styling, emphasized by unusual architectural features. The face of the hotel showcases a contemporary steel marquee, and a rear terrace makes use of steel beams supporting adjustable awnings to shield guests from the elements.

Iron Will

Like many businesses in the construction industry, Thrifty has had to work harder than ever to survive the recession. “Our profit margins were really tight for a while,” Richard says. Recognizing the realities necessary to sustain the quality of service his customers have come to expect, Richard says, “We had to make some cuts.” With persistence and a boost in efficiency, however, Richard is happy to see his company back on the rise. “We’re starting to grow again,” he says.

Thrifty continues to pick up major contracts in the region. “I feel like we have lots of opportunities for growth,” says Richard. The company contracts just about everything in-house. “We rarely sub out.”

The steel industry is a leading indicator of economic success for the United States. Thrifty’s suppliers are regional, located in Baltimore, Md.; Washington, D.C.; Virginia and New Jersey. The company’s success has a domino effect on associated manufacturing and construction industries. “We’re looking for new projects every day,” Richard reports.

The company maintains a pledge to quality and expedience. Thrifty’s team of professionals performs a range of work in-house and they have the experience, technology and skills to complete challenging projects to a variety of structural and aesthetic specifications. The finished product is consistently well built and attractive, as are the lasting relationships Thrifty Iron Works Inc. builds with clients.

Published on: March 13, 2013

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