V & C Drywall Contractors Inc.
For more than three decades, V & C Drywall Contractors Inc. (VCD) has been a leader in the Hawaii drywall industry. Operating out of Kapolei, the company is in its third generation of family business. With his father and grandfather starting the company in 1982, Vincent “Vince” Nihipali Jr. is now chief estimator/senior project manager/pre-construction manager of the company and operates the business with his father, Vincent Nihipali Sr.
With three generations and decades of experience, VCD is a midsized business that provides unmatched, high-quality service to developers, general contractors and the United States military. VCD operates out of its main office in Kapolei, and completes projects on all eight islands of Hawaii, most notably Maui.
As a union shop, VCD offers numerous drywall solutions and related services. “We do light-gauge metal framing, drywall, taping, insulation, plaster, exterior finishes, spray fireproofing, gypsum floor underlayment, acoustical ceilings and fire stopping,” says Vince Jr. “We have a team of professionals. The numbers are cyclical with the scope of our projects, but right now we have 110 people in the field, three project managers, two project engineer/estimators and another five management staff.”
Building a reputation
Through years of experience and a strong reputation in the industry, VCD has been able to remain a diverse company serving numerous markets. From medical and institutional work to military privatized housing, VCD has been able to maintain solid relationships with its clients and rely heavily on repeat business. “We have done a lot of military privatized housing,” says Vince Jr. “A majority of the military work is residential and barracks.”
The company is currently working on two large-scale projects that involve 100 of its employees. One job is located in Hawaii Kai and involves the construction of a 10-story rental midrise. The other project named The Collection Tower is a 43-story high-rise building located in Honolulu. VCD is working with Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company on both projects. The unique rental apartment complex will feature two-, three- and four-bedroom units, along with a clubroom with a full kitchen, a library, a media/performance room, a business center, and commercial laundry facilities. “It’s always exciting to be involved in a project this size,” says Vince Jr. “It’s projects like these that help us to grow as a company.”
Vince Jr. says that a major key to the success of his company is the ability to provide quality service while maintaining a solid backlog of work to keep his employees busy. “The market is still tough right now because work is going for relatively cheap prices,” says Vince Jr. “We try to have our jobs overlap with a smooth transition into each project. It’s also important to not become so big that you have more work than you can handle.”
Adapting to change
Despite the growing range of services VCD offers, the company performs all of its work in-house. “We do everything,” says Vince Jr. Self-performing enables VCD to keep its costs low. Through a network of long-term suppliers the company is able to offer competitive prices while installing quality products.
With shrinking margins throughout the industry, these relationships have grown even more important. “The prices of materials have gone up while the price that people are willing to pay for a job has gone down,” explains Vince Jr. “It looks like it could be that way for a while, so we’ve had to buckle down and maintain strong relationships with everybody that we work with. VCD has diversified its services as a method of combating smaller margins. Performing fire-stopping and fireproofing services has allowed the company to carve out a niche in the market. “There is actually less competition in those markets and it creates a specialty service for us,” says Vince Jr.
While VCD maintains relationships with suppliers and contractors, the company has also made connections within the community. In 2012 Vince Sr. was awarded Builder of the Year by the Hawaii Carpenters Union in December 2012. For the past three years, VCD has been named one of Walls & Ceilings Top 50 Contractors in the country. VCD regularly performs charity work for local schools and has donated labor and materials to the Wounded Warrior Project.
VCD has established a reputation in Hawaii for quality local work and integrity in business. Both Vince Sr. and Vince Jr. continue to serve the industry and community by promoting communication, education and a sense of pride in their work. The Nihipalis are passionate about the business — a quality that shines through on every project. V & C Drywall Contractors Inc. continues to operate as a leader in the industry, with leading performance and enduring relationships throughout Hawaii.
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