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Towers Denver, Colorado 2003
Local stucco contractor credits team, referrals for success
by Becky Hurley, The Colorado Springs Business Journal-Oct
a humble two-man lath startup in 1986 to this summer’s
completion of the luxurious 14-story Portofino Towers in
down town Denver, Tom Ware and the TW Stucco team have left
on hundreds of residential and commercial structures.
who started a career as a restaurant manager in Pueblo,
soon tired of the rigid indoor environment. A friend
talked him into learning the lathe business. "I
got on as a subcontractor to a large plastering company,
took out trade name certificate and just kept going," he
as company president, he counts among his firm's projects
impressive names like the Isle of Caprie Casino in
Black Hawk, St. Paul's Parish and School expansion,
the Widefield Manor Apartments, the new USAFA Cadet
Field House, Value Car Suzuki, the Navigators' new
visitor's center, two schools for Falcon District 39
as well for both Pueblo Community College and Pikes
Peak Community College.
of our biggest jobs was a three-year contract to complete
54 family housing building a Ft. Carson," he recalls,
noting award of that contract was his largest to date.
"We are the contractor on approximately 30 to 40 residences per
month right now," he estimates, adding that business
volume can fluctuate dramatically, depending on weather
and the economy. "So
far, our work ration is about 70 percent commercial and 30
percent residential," he says, adding much of his work
is referred by general contractors like Art C.
Klein Construction, Mahler
Construction, JE Dunn, Nunn and a number of other
choice of which company to select as the general contractor
for TW STUCCO's new headquarters
3325 Astrozon Blvd.,
he admits, wasn't easy. "We got bids from
a number of companies and narrowed it down. Art
Klein was selected for phase one. We may choose
else to help us with phases two and three," he
how did this youthful entrepreneur who started out 17 years
ago working out of his garage,
to 80 employees. Dan
Rundgren of Wachovia recently helped Ware obtain an SBA loan
to fund TW STUCCO's expansion
a few thoughts
success so far.
to the local lending expert, Ware's story is typical of many
who build an economical
original space—and the loan process
can take up to a year to complete. "First,
he had to find the land, get an architect to design it and
a contractor to build it," he explains. "Then
there's the city approval process which
can take more than three months.
it's a home run for Tom becuse he's made smart decisions," Rundgren
adds. "The new TW STUCCO office
is next door to one of its biggest
suppliers which will save time and
the need to
large inventory of material. His new
building provides more than 5,000 square
feet which will also provide storage
and materials. This is an important
step in his business evolution."
what are Ware's goals for the future? Though he won't
provide details yet, he does see increasing interest
in a new exterior finish system that is used primarly
on auto dealerships, motels and commericial buildings,
such as the Portofino Towers. "We recently switched
to using an acrylic estomeric system on most projects
because it resists water, weather, mildew and cracking," he
explains "It cost more, yet it provides excellent
durability in the Colorado climate."
back over the business today, the owner marvels at
how his world has grown. "We employ almost 100
people a month in peak season," he estimates. "We're
doing huge jobs these days-like the new Phil Long dealership
off C-470 in Denver for Art Klein. Fortunately, our
employees are some of the best in the business, and
they're remained loyal as we've grown."
credits longtime employees
like field operations manager
supervisors Don Engler,
Jane Etl and others with enabling
him to spend more time building
He also recently
a new estimator,
son J.R. "We base our success on quality control and repeat customers," says
Ware. "So far that strategy is working pretty well."