How do we possibly find optimism despite this forecast full of doom and gloom? I found many examples during World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas, N.V. I was impressed by the dedication and direction of several of the masonry firms, brick companies and other industry professionals.
I am pleased to report that a considerable percentage of my conversations were with masons in their 20s and 30s. Mike Sposato of Sposato Masonry in Watchung, N.J., is one example. He embraced technology as he toured the booths to learn about the products on display. Sposato began his visit to each booth with a digital video of the products displayed. He then asked questions and continued to record the answers and explanations provided by the booth staff. Curiosity caused me to ask if he was going to use the recordings to share with his staff, who weren’t able to attend the convention.
Sposato replied, “Not exactly. I am going to show these to my prospective customers, so that they will be confident I am keeping up with masonry developments and products. They will also then know what accessories are available to them, and why they should consider using them in their homes.”
This attitude and his proactive practice will, no doubt, serve this young man well as he travels down his career path. We may all benefit by the spread of masonry techniques and knowledge to homeowners, which in turn will help the overall reputation of the masonry industry.
These are just some of the examples that inspired me during the convention. I have witnessed the creative juices that are flowing. I encourage each of us to capture that energy. Be it on a large or small scale, I urge you to invest in yourself and contribute to the industry.
Industry Report | Creating the Future | By Sarah B. Atkins | Lessons learned
A: Sposato Masonry was started by Giuseppe Sposato in 1986 and has been family owned and operated ever since. After Giuseppe’s passing, son Mike Sposato took over the company and has been in charge of running the company since 2003.
A: Yes we are licensed and insured with liability and workman's comp insurance. We are also licensed by the Attorney Generals Office of New Jersey. Both can be looked up online with the state or copies of our insurance can be sent to you if requested.
A: Mike the owner does all the estimating himself. You will meet with him in person. He will look over your project and explain to you why the issues are happening, and when possible offer different options on how to fix the problem. Mike has been working with masonry his whole life and does not rely on square foot pricing which can be dramatically off. He calculates labor, material, company overhead and profit to provide an accurate estimate. Most jobs Mike can figure out on the spot and provide you with an estimate before even leaving the property.
Called on a Friday to explain issue and they came by the next day to give estimate. They explained in detail (in terms I could understand) what caused the issue and what needed to be done to fix it as well as provided premetive measures I could take to stop it from re-occurring in the future. They not only looked at the immediate area that needed fixing but also inspected the entire outside and provided a quote for fixing everything or just the area I called them out to look at.
After I received a few other quotes and everything being equal I choose them because of how detailed they where in explaining the problem to me. I called back on Tuesday to confirm moving forward with the work and they were there on Wednesday morning. Took about 2 hours to complete. They were quiet, respectful, and very professional. No mess was left and there were no signs they were even there.
Repaired a falling-down chimney, then provided me with contacts for a stone supplier when I was having trouble finding one on my own. We found Mike to be very professional to work with – responsive and prompt. He did a great job for us on our old chimney. He came when he said he would, and did the work quickly. Recently, I got in touch with him again to see if he could deliver some stone for a shed foundation, and he provided me with recommendations of suppliers, because it was the type of job he didn’t need to be involved in, when a supplier could handle it directly. He told me it would be less expensive that way – very upfront and honest. He was helpful, going so far as to give me contact information for various suppliers who could help me. We would definitely use him again!.
Mike Sposato & crew were friendly, professional and easy to work with. He was very concerned about matching the bricks and morter on my 66 year old chimney and did a great job doing so. They were careful not to damage the roof and even the shrubs where they had to put ladders. This was a 2-day job done by a crew that knew what they were doing. Other contractors told me it would be a week. Mike gave me an estimate a few months earlier and when I called to proceed, they came and started the very next day. When I requested insurance certificates, they were provided within an hour. It’s very refreshing in this day and age to deal with such a professional and reliable contractor. I would recommend them and use them again.
Went great,originally supposed to be a 3 week wait to begin work. But they called 1 week after scheduling and told me they had an opening because someone cancelled. They were on time, professional , and courteous. They explained everything they were doing step by step and finished the job on time.