Top Metal Builders for 2017

For five years, we have been asking respondents to the Top Metal Builder survey what was the biggest challenge they had faced in the previous year. Throughout that time, the largest response was about a lack of availability of skilled labor. In 2017, that shortage became acute. Of the 127 people who responded to the question in the survey, 60 percent mentioned the labor shortage as their biggest challenge.

A ranking of the largest metal builders

By Paul Deffenbaugh

Tmb Map

That answer far outstripped all of the other answers, which were relatively even. Lack of financing for projects, managing company growth, dealing with increased competition, facing a difficult regulatory environment, tough market conditions, bad weather and rising material costs all were distant seconds to the labor shortage issue.

Of those, several are directly related to growth and improved construction activity. Surprisingly, though, of our 100 builders in the Top Metal Builders of 2017, we saw a modest 3.4 percent increase in their average tonnage over 2016 and a 10.8 percent increase in square footage.

Compared to last year’s respondents, the average tonnage and square footage declined. That’s not unusual as companies shift in and out of the listing. There is, however, a clear trend line upward since 2010 that both reflects the growth of the market and, perhaps, indicates some consolidation among the larger players.

Tmb Biggest Challenge May2018

The metal building industry at the contractor level is still a fragmented industry, though, and no major player has grabbed significant market share. By that measure, the industry matches almost every other construction industry in the United States.

One thing we should be keeping an eye on going forward is the interference of weather in the construction process. Six percent of our respondents indicated weather was their biggest challenge in 2017. Add that to another few listed under other who identified keeping a schedule as their largest issue. The weather in 2017 included a hurricane and flooding in Houston and unseasonably cold temperatures in the northern United States and Canada. Meteorologists and climate scientists predict that the severity of weather events will only increase in power, making construction schedules even more tenuous. That challenge may not rise to the level of the labor shortage, but it could become more prevalent.

Tmb Tonnage By Year May18

Tmb Sqfootage By Year May18

Company List

A.B. Systems Inc.—Both
Rochester, Minn.
Peter Schuller, president, 51 percent; ESOP, 49 percent
Design-build construction company. Emphasis pre-engineered steel

Accelerated Construction Services—Both
Morgantown, W.Va.
Michael Allen, David Biafora, Richard Biafora
General contractor, pre-engineered buildings new and renovations

Ace Construction Inc.—Square Footage
Grimes, Iowa
Acey Haroldson Sr.
Metal building and structural steel erector, tilt-up erection

A-Lert Building Systems, a division of Centurion Industries Inc.—Square Footage
New Braunfels, Texas
Kenny Tharp, Brad Parish, Loren Troyer
ABS designs, manufactures and installs self-storage facilities ranging from single to multistory, boat and RV, and more

Apex Steel MT Inc.—Tonnage
Billings, Mont.
Brian McLean, Kevin Koester
Structural steel, miscellaneous steel, pre-engineered metal buildings, retrofits

Arctic Fox—Tonnage
Wasilla, Alaska
Chuck Morris
Metal buildings

Arizona Corporate Builders—Both
Tempe, Ariz.
Stravinski Development Group, Dan Barnett, Dave Manarin
Steel building contractor working both as a supply-and erect subcontractor and design-build general contractor

Ayars & Ayars Inc.—Both
Lincoln, Neb.
Mike Ayars
Design and general contracting service, self-perform in concrete, masonry, metals, and carpentry

B & H Construction Inc.—Both
Henderson, Nev.
Ray Hoffman
General contractor and metal buildings

BARNES buildings & management group inc.—Both
Weymouth, Mass.
Martin E. Barnes
Supply and install metal buildings, metal siding and roofing, structural and miscellaneous iron fabrication

Brett Construction Co.—Both
Lexington, Ky.
Brett T. Setzer, Keith Fryman, Banks Hudson, Denny Boom
Design-build contractor specializing in commercial and industrial projects

Briner Building Inc.—Both
Bluffton, Ind.
Bryan Harshbarger, Mike Swinford, Chris Elser, Dave Dunwiddie
Design-build general contractor

Bruns General Contracting—Both
Tipp City, Ohio
Employee Owned (ESOP)
Metal buildings, general contracting, design-build, retrofit, construction management

Building Innovation Group Inc.—Both
East Rochester, N.Y.
Stephen S. Holmes
General contractor

Buildings by Design LLC—Both
Brush, Colo.
Travis Lefever, Pat Walter
General contractor, who specializes in PEMB construction

C&J Construction Ltd.—Both
Rock Valley, Iowa
Calvin Baker, Jeff Van Bemmel
Metal building contractor offering turnkey services on agricultural and commercial projects, concrete contractor

Camdon Construction—Both
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Scott McQuaig, Troy Spelt
Design-build, pre-engineered metal buildings, project management and new construction.

Campbell Construction Inc.—Both
Wooster, Ohio
John A. Campbell
Design-build general contractor, construction manager specializing in commercial and industrial construction

Canco General Contractors Inc.—Both
Plant City, Fla.
John D. Prahl
Design-build contractor specializing in metal buildings

Cannon Building Systems—Both
Lenexa, Kan.
Keith Cannon
Supply and erect pre-engineered metal buildings, reroof and retro roofs

Cedar Falls Building Systems Inc.—Both
Menomonie, Wis.
Mark Lewis
Metal buildings

CHG Building Systems Inc.—Both
Renton, Wash.
Charles H. Grouws, Ryan Grouws, Steven Grouws
Furnish and erect metal building systems, structural steel and architectural sheet metal

Christensen Construction & Design Co. Inc.—Both
Estherville, Iowa
Steven P. Christensen
Metal buildings, metal roofs, reroofs

Clouse Construction Corp.—Both
New Riegel, Ohio
Leonard Clouse, Lynn Clouse, Brian Clouse
Design-build general contractor, specializing in pre-engineered steel buildings, conventional steel

Cobalt Construction—Both
Laredo, Texas
Eduardo “Wayo” Salido
General contractor doing mostly design-build for industrial developers

Concept Builders Ltd.—Both
Atlantic, Iowa
Bill Welter, Lesli Welter
General contractor, metal building erector, metal building sales

Concord Construction Inc.—Both
Wapato, Wash.
Steven E. Young, Sharon L. Young
Commercial and industrial contractor participating in design-build projects involving pre-engineered metal buildings and conventional construction. New construction, retrofit and remodels including pre-engineered metal buildings

Crossland Construction Co. Inc.—Both
Columbus, Kan.
Ivan Crossland Jr., Bennie Crossland, Mike Crossland, Curt Crossland, Patrick Crossland
Metal buildings, metal roofing, new construction, etc.

Design Systems Builders Inc.—Both
Nashville, Tenn.
Dean Taylor, Del Hickman
Pre-engineered metal buildings, reroof

Don Pickett & Associates Inc.—Square Footage
Fresno, Calif.
Mike Pickett
Design-build metal building contractor. Commercial, industrial and agricultural buildings

Downs Construction Co. LLC—Square Footage
Thomasville, N.C.
Anthony Downs, Tammy Downs
Furnish and erect pre-engineered metal buildings

Dublin Building Systems—Both
Dublin, Ohio
Rich Irelan, Bob Howe, Tom Irelan
Design-build general contractor

Dunn Building Co. LLC—Both
Birmingham, Ala.
Dunn Investment Co.
General contractor and specialty subcontractor in pre-engineered metal buildings, metal roofing and siding, and heavy concrete

Dutton & Garfield Inc.—Both
Hampstead, N.H.
Steven R. Webster
Building design-build, supply and erect, new and retrofit roofing

E.L. Crawford Construction Inc.—Both
St. Joseph, Mo.
Eldon Crawford, Kelly Crawford
Concrete, metal and wood framing, metal building erection, cabinetry, architectural woodworking, door systems, insulated metal panels, walk-in coolers and freezers, structural steel, steel mezzanines

E.S. Walker Construction Inc.—Both
Forest City, N.C.
Sheldon Walker
Primarily PEMB, light industrial, commercial and church work

Epic Construction—Both
Kieler, Wis.
Brad Bierman, Chad Walsh
General contractor and metal building supplier/erector

EPOC Construction Inc.—Both
Newport News, Va.
Ken Bingman
Metal buildings, general contractor

Ferguson Construction Co.—Both
Sidney, Ohio
Martin L.Given
General contractors

Fleming West LLC—Square Footage
Mesa, Ariz.
Aaron E. Wolf
Metal building design-build, erection, repairs, metal roofing

Force Construction Co. Inc.—Tonnage
Columbus, Ind.
Closely held
Self-performing general construction company, engaged in commercial/industrial building construction and heavy/civil construction

Freeman Building Systems—Tonnage
Wooster, Ohio
Dan Freeman
Design-build construction for industrial and commercial markets

G&W Builders Inc.—Both
Brea, Calif.
Mike Greer, Willy Woelk
General contractor, specializing in design-build, metal buildings

Gateway Building Systems Inc.—Tonnage
West Fargo, N.D.
Kevin Johnson
General contractor for the commercial building industry

GF Construction SA—Both
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Charles E. Fombrun, Jerry Fombrun
Pre-engineered metal buildings, residential, commercial, industrial

Hallstrom Construction Inc.—Both
DuBois, Pa.
Robert Grieve, Robert Hallstrom, Brian Ganoe, Barry Andrulonis
Commercial construction

Hammers Construction Inc.—Both
Perham, Minn.
Joe Hammers
Design-build commercial and agricultural construction

Hammers Construction Inc.—Tonnage
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Steve Hammers, Dave Hammers
Design-build, general contractors

Hance Construction Inc.—Both
Washington, N.J.
Arthur Hance
Design-build, general contractor, construction management

Hansen-Rice Inc.—Both
Nampa, Idaho
Burke Hansen, John Rice
Steel erection, insulated metal panels, roofing, design-build, general contracting

Harrell Construction Co. Inc.—Both
Jacksonville, Fla.
Glenis L Harrell, Jason Harrell
Furnish and erect PEMB services

Heath Steel—Both
Fort Collins, Colo.
Randy DeMario
Furnish and erect metal building systems, metal roofing and insulated metal panels. New construction and retrofit

Heimburger Construction Inc.—Square Footage
Bonne Terre, Mo.
Bob Heimburger, Jennifer Heimburger, Sue Heimburger
Pre-engineered metal buildings, self-perform steel erection, metal re-roof

Henry Gurtzweiler Inc.—Square Footage
Toledo, Ohio
Erection and sales

Hoover Building Specialists LLC—Both
Honey Brook, Pa.
Richard L. Hoover, Douglas Hoover, Dustin Fox
General contractor performing design-build, new construction and renovations of commercial buildings

Image Building Systems—Both
Ryan Klosterman
Metal buildings

Industrial Building Systems—Both
Milford, Conn.
William M. Lewis
Metal buildings, new construction

Interface Manufacturing Inc.—Tonnage
Paso Robles, Calif.
Jack DeLore
Metal buildings

Ironhide Construction Inc—Both
Lincoln, Neb.
Troy Bridgford, Chris Kyhn, Jeff Wolgamott
General contracting, metal buildings, metal roofing, retrofit roofing, additions, structural steel

J&F Construction & Development Inc.—Both
Bucyrus, Ohio
Jim Mayes
General contractor, design-build, build-lease, construction manager, steel erection, concrete, sitework, carpentry, reroof

J.A. Wagner Construction Inc.—Both
Elkhart, Ind.
Mark A. Elliott, Robert G. Dunlop
New construction and metal buildings

J.B.. Steel Inc.—Both
Medford, Ore.
Andy Batzer
General contractor, commercial and industrial specializing in structural steel and pre-engineered metal buildings

James Steel Inc.—Both
Yankton, S.D.
Dale R. James
Specialists in steel building construction

James Ware Construction Inc.—Both
Sturgis, Mich.
James Ware, Kathryn Ware
Metal building, new construction

JBS Contracting Inc.—Both
Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
James Kremsreiter, John Stadtfeld, Lee Roethlisberger, Becky Connors
Construction management, metal buildings, new construction, remodel

Jensen Builders Ltd.—Both
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Dale Jensen
Design-build general contractor that specializes in self-performing concrete, carpentry and metal building erection

JH Kelly LLC—Tonnage
Longview, Wash.
Dan Evans, Mason Evans
General contracting, electrical, mechanical

Jones Contracting Inc.—Both
Albertville, Ala.
Russ Jones
General contractor, metal buildings

Keefe Construction Services—Both
Wiggins, Colo.
Ray Keefe, Paula Keefe
General contractor

Keller Inc.—Both
Kaukauna, Wis.
100 percent employee owned
Design-build general contractor

Kessel Construction Inc.—Tonnage
Bradford, Pa.
Timothy Asinger, Kristin Asinger, Richard Kessel, Ann Kessel
Metal buildings (design-build), roofing (metal), new construction

Keystone Steel Structures—Both
Honey Brook, Pa.
Elam King
Pre-engineered metal buildings

Lanca Contracting Ltd.—Both
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Nathan Lancaster, Keith Lancaster
PEM buildings, specializing in design-build, project management, and new construction

Lock Steel Building Co.—Both
Carrollton, Mo.
Matt Lock
PEMB contractor, metal buildings, metal roofing, new construction

M & F Litteken Co.—Both
Wichita Falls, Texas
Kevin Darnell, Jean Darnell, Shane Darnell
General contractor, design-build contractor utilizing pre-engineered building systems

Maverick Steel Inc.—Square Footage
Byers, Colo.
Ron Williams, Tammi Williams
Metal buildings, commercial, residential, agricultural, new construction

Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services—Both
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Robert K. Mericle
Pre-engineered metal builder, industrial, office, flex and medical space. Speculative developer and general contractor

MMS Northeast Inc.—Both
Hampton Falls, N.H.
Steve Moore
Supply and erection contractors. Private and public projects, national account building supplier/consultant

Moltus Building Group—Both
Midland, Mich.
Michael Prezzato, Justin Lipscomb
General contractor specializing in pre-engineered metal buildings

North Valley Building Systems Inc.—Tonnage
Chico, Calif.
Andrew J. Wood
General building contractor, pre-engineered steel buildings, reroofing, design-build

One Development and Construction LLC—Square Footage
Westfield, Mass.
One Development and Construction LLC
Design-build general contractor, repairs and renovations

Page Construction, LLC—Square Footage
Sarah, Miss.
David Page, Mandy Lamb
PEMB sales and installation

Patco Construction Inc—Both
Sanford, Maine
Greg Patterson, Mark Patterson
General contractor

Patterson Horth Inc.—Tonnage
Mike Patterson, Tim Horth, Jason Jeffries
Metal buildings, new construction, energy market emphasis

Pre-Fab Builders Inc.—Both
Fullerton, Calif.
Jack N. Gill, Jerry L. Hancock, Archie T. Reyes
Supply and install PEMB

Quality Erectors & Construction Inc.—Both
Benicia, Calif.
Jesse Esquivel
Metal buildings, metal roofing, insulated metal panels, architectural metal panels of all sorts and structural steel erection

Quanta Building Group LLC—Both
Coppell, Texas
Alejandro Valladares
Metal buildings, retrofit, steel erection

Rhetson Cos. Inc.—Both
West End, N.C.
Brian Clodfelter, Lee Pittman
Development company, general contractors, new construction, metal buildings for national accounts

Rhoads & Johnson LLC—Both
Fenton, Mich.
Kevin Johnson
Pre-engineered buildings, new construction

Riedel-Wilks Building Structures Inc.—Both
Huntington, W.Va.
Scott Riedel, Jeff Handloser, Gary Staten
Design-build general contractors, specializing in PEMB applications and industrial supplier of pre-engineered building packages

Rudolph Libbe Inc.—Both
Walbridge, Ohio
General contractor, metal building, metal roofing and retrofit

Russell P. LeFrois Builder Inc.—Both
Henrietta, N.Y.
Richard LeFrois
General construction, steel erection

Scenic Ridge Co.—Tonnage
Gordonville, Pa.
Jay Elam King
Metal buildings, structural steel fabrication and erection, concrete work, general construction

Schwisow Construction Inc.—Square Footage
Lincoln, Neb.
Doug Blum, Randy Harre
General contracting firm specializing in the design and construction of commercial and industrial facilities utilizing both conventional and metal building systems

Seacon LLC—Both
Issaquah, Wash.
Bob Power, Rob Howie, Steven Caniglia, Eric Reese
Operations include general contractor; construction manager; design-build project development; supplier of structural, pre-engineered metal buildings

Septagon Construction Co. Inc.—Tonnage
Sedalia, Mo.
General contractor, design-build, reroof, and construction management services in nonresidential markets. Specialize in pre-engineered buildings

Sheridan Construction—Tonnage
Fairfield, Maine
Mitchell P. Sammons, Daniel Wildes
Design-build general contractor

SNW Steel Services Inc.—Square Footage
Ringgold, Va.
Michael Stewart, Jeff Nuckles
Pre-engineered metal building company with erection and sales, roofing and retrofit

Span Construction & Engineering Inc.—Both
Madera, Calif.
King Husein
Design-build turnkey building solutions

Star Inc.—Both
Amhearst, Ohio
Richard Mulder
Design and construction services including steel buildings, metal siding and roofing replacement. Warehouses to offices, new construction

Steel Nation Inc.—Both
Washington, Pa.
Mark Caskey, Mark Dooley, Alan Reid
Supply and erect PEMBs mainly in the oil and gas market

Steel Solutions Inc.—Both
Ravena, N.Y.
Bob Pearl
Specializing in supplying pre-engineered metal buildings and components. Consulting services for value engineering regarding pre-engineered metal buildings

Steel Vision Construction Inc.—Both

Rigby, Idaho
Michael L. Bressler
Metal buildings

Steel Worx Solutions LLC—Both
Groveland, Fla.
Stephanie van Rooyen
Turnkey furnish-erect contractor, IMP install and metal roofing along with design and engineer. Fabrication and concrete slabs

Steelsmith Inc.—Both
Donald T. Gilmore
Metal building supply and construction

Straitline Structures Inc.—Square Footage
Sugarcreek, Ohio
Mark Straits, Sue Straits
Metal buildings, new construction and retrofit

Superior Construction—Both
Bakersfield, Calif.
Dan Proffitt
Metal buildings, metal roofing, retrofit, new construction, tilt-ups

Sure Steel Inc.—Both
South Weber, Utah
Mark Carter, Jim Burwell
Supply and erection of structural steel, metal buildings and metal panels

Tedesco Construction Services Inc.—Tonnage
Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Jeffrey M. Tedesco
Pre-engineered metal building design-build general contractor

Thomas Phoenix International—Square Footage
Eastampton, N.J.
Gary T. Smith, Eric T. Kay, Sean T. Smith
Pre-engineered metal building erection, metal roofing, retrofit, new construction

Toneman Development Corp.—Square Footage
Lancaster, Calif.
JP Toneman
Metal buildings

Ultimate Steel Erection Inc.—Both
Rexburg, Idaho
Kay Burrell
Metal buildings

VIP Structures—Both
Syracuse, N.Y.
David C. Nutting
Design-build contractor with in-house architecture and engineering services. Self-perform steel and concrete

Whitener & Jackson Inc.—Both
Manassas, Va.
Edward H. Jackson
Full-service general contractor with metal building franchise

Winter Construction Inc.—Both
Freeport, Ill.
Mark A. Winter
Commercial general contractor with focus on the design-build delivery system of engineered metal structures