Despite the serious downturn in the residential market, companies participating in our 7th annual “Top Contractors” article reported an increase of about $340 million, or 25%, over 2006 sales figures, with total masonry revenues of $1.695 billion. The residential sales figures between 2006 and 2007 were virtually the same, while the commercial/industrial/institutional (CII) market and repair/renovation/ restoration (RRR) climbed significantly to attain this growth.

The CII market dominates the sales numbers, as it has every year. This category passed the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2007, with revenues of $1.163 billion, or 68.6% of the total. In 2006 CII reported sales of $889 million, which represented 65.8% of the total. Eighty three of the 88 survey respondents do CII work. Seventeen of these companies work exclusively in this area, while many others do well over half their business in CII. The largest CII contractor on our list – Sun Valley Masonry, Phoenix – works exclusively in this area.

The residential portion of the $1.695 billion dropped from 20.2% to 16.2%. Although the percentage decline was large, the actual dollar drop was only about $4 million to a 2007 figure of $274 million. Thirty nine of the respondents do residential work, with only Spencer Brickworks, St. Louis, and W.F. Libby Masonry, Stow, ME, working exclusively in this category. The top three residential contractors on our list – McGee Brothers, Monroe, NC; Pompano Masonry, Pompano Beach, FL; and Griffin Masonry, Charlotte, NC – were all down, but only very little on a percentage basis.

The RRR market rose from its historical range of about 14% over the past several years to 15.2%. This category generated $257.7 million, up from $189.4 million in 2006. Fifty two of the companies on the list do some RRR work, with the top two – Western Construction Group, St. Louis, and C.A. Lindman, Jessup, MD – working exclusively in this area. P. J. Spillane, Everett, MA, which is the third largest RRR company, does 91% of its work in RRR.

About 25% of the surveyed contractors do site amenities, but the dollar percentage is extremely small.

A number of the repliers work across all these market categories: Seedorff Masonry, Strawberry Point, IA; Joe Capasso Mason Enterprises, Hartford, CT; D'Agostino Associates, Newton, MA: Brazos Masonry, Waco, TX; Snow Jr. & King, Norfolk, VA; Grunwell-Cashero, Detroit, MI; and Albaugh Masonry, Stone, & Tile, Waterford, MI.

Facts and figures

McGee Brothers has topped the listing all seven years. The contractor's total revenue and masonry business were down slightly from the year before, but McGee still holds a sizeable lead over #2 Western Construction Group, which moved up one spot in the rankings, with revenue increases of over 10% in both total company volume and masonry business. The same five companies from last year head the 2007 rankings.

Two new entrants among the 24 contractors debuting this year entered the second five. Seedorff Masonry joined the listing as #6, while C.A. Lindman came in as #10.

Of the 63 repeat companies, 38 indicated a volume increase, 23 went down, and 2 remained essentially the same. J.H. Findorff & Son, Madison, WI, tripled its masonry volume, while Zebra Construction, Suwanee, GA, doubled. Findorff moved up 25 spots to #13, while Zebra climbed 10 places to #40.

Several other firms saw their volume go up 40% or more: Otto Baum, Morton, IL; Jerry Bennett Masonry, Springfield, MO; Keystone Masonry, Yelm, WA; Kwiatkowski Masonry, Crown Point, IN; and Rush Masonry, Jefferson, LA.