For years, Aaron Langham served the community of Abilene, Texas, as a police officer. It was a dream job that he supplemented by running a restoration company on his days off. But in a scene straight out of a movie, he received a message that would change his life forever.
“I vividly remember receiving a message from my office staff while I was working patrol, standing on the highway directing traffic for a vehicle accident in the rain, when they said that someone had called and was inquiring about us doing work out on the military base,” Langham said.
That job ultimately led Langham away from law enforcement and into the growing military-support market that, as of July 18, will be backed by $16.5 billion in military construction and military family housing funding in 2023. That’s a lot of roofing and restoration work, and Quality Construction and Restoration is ready to protect those who serve.
“The best advice I can give is do not get comfortable if you want to continue to grow. Take risks, calculated risks, but take risks. Great success isn’t gained from being comfortable and not being willing to do things that others are too afraid to do,” said Langham.
Serve and Protect
Before his entry into law enforcement or construction, Langham worked for a carpet cleaning company in high school run by his dad and uncle. In college, Langham used these skills to run a carpet cleaning and air duct cleaning business to help pay for school. He did this for several years until moving back home to pursue his goal of joining the police department.
Langham served the community of Abilene for several years, working full-time both nights and weekends, and eventually becoming a K-9 handler. He enjoyed the work, but wanted additional income after he and his wife decided to have a child. His past literally caught up with him when former clients contacted him about doing work for them, so in 2018 he reopened his business, offering carpet cleaning, emergency water restoration, fire and smoke restoration and air duct cleaning.
“While working restoration related claims — hail, wind, tornadoes — in the residential markets, I found that our clients felt much more comfortable with the process of their claim and the work being completed on their home when they were able to work with one contractor,” he said.
Instead of continually handing off work to other contractors, he hired workers with experience in the construction field and leaned on that experience to eventually open up a construction division. Langham took it upon himself to continuously study the industry so he could provide clients with informed services.
The business really took off when it entered the military housing market. In his first-ever military base job, Langham worked with a senior representative for the base, who in turn offered additional work based on the professionalism Langham and his company showed. This additional work ended up being five hours from Abilene, forcing Langham to use vacation time in order to be present for the project.
“From there, I traveled to the project site every week on my days off from the police department and would come back to Abilene and work patrol on my work days,” he said.
By 2021, Langham had enough business going that he separated from the police department to focus all his efforts on the business.
“I made it a point to search for and hire individuals who knew much more about the construction and roofing industry than I did in order to surround myself around those experts that would be able to provide our company the professional experience we needed to provide the best service and product to our clients,” he said. “Since then, we haven’t looked back.”
Boots on the Roof
Ever since Langham’s departure from law enforcement, Quality Construction has worked on projects in 15 different states. This work is supported by three divisions: construction, restoration, and maintenance, the latter of which deals with work when units have a change of occupancy.
“This division travels all over the U.S. to support our clients when they have an influx of occupancy changes and/or their local teams cannot support the work needed,” Langham said.
Like other roofing companies, a large portion of Quality Construction’s roofing and exterior restoration jobs have been the result of significant hail and wind or storm damage. This includes memorable jobs in San Angelo, Texas, involving everything from reroofing to gutters, fascia and HVAC to restoring a military installation in Bixoli, Miss., after a hurricane.
The main challenge facing Quality Construction are similar to any other construction and roofing business: staffing. Despite offering a bevy of benefits, including health and accidental injury coverage, a 401(k) plan with match and even profit sharing, Quality Construction simply can’t find the right people to hire.
“We have an excellent team, but when working at a national level, 25 employees gets spread thin very quickly. Recruiting, hiring and onboarding staff members who meet the criteria and are willing to work at the level that we do, is difficult,” Langham said.
Despite this, COVID hasn’t slowed down Quality Construction, which aside from having to adjust safety plans and schedules, has operated at normal levels since the pandemic began. Supply issues haven’t been as large of a problem either despite its nationwide service area. Langham said the company’s ability to provide high levels of service is due to a “phenomenal relationship” with Beacon Building Products.
“Beacon is able to provide us building material at any location nationally and they make it a priority to get us exactly what we need without delay,” he said.
With supplies ready to go and a team ready to travel nationally, it's just a matter of providing the work to back up its convictions.
Built on Quality
With “Quality” in its name, the company sets the bar high, which is how Langham prefers it. He said quality work starts with setting expectations at the front end with supervisors and crew leaders.
“They understand that we do not provide anything but the best quality product to our clients, even if it means doing so at a cost to the company,” Langham said.
From there, it’s building a culture that emphasizes continued education and improvement. Much like how Langham studied the construction industry, continued education is paramount to Quality Construction. Team members are sent to various certification courses throughout the U.S. to help facilitate and encourage training.
Safety is also a top priority. Quality Construction retains a third-party safety consultant firm to develop companywide and project-specific safety plans as well as conduct random safety audits.
This dedication to quality craftsmanship and safety pay off. Although today’s digital world practically requires a company website, digital marketing campaigns and social media channels to get your name out, Quality Construction receives work the old-fashioned way: by word-of-mouth referrals. It’s an accomplishment that Langham says is achieved by harnessing the same professionalism and vigor on the first day as they do years later with customers.
“My clients that I have worked with for four years tell me they are astonished that even though we have developed a great relationship, I still treat every job, phone call or request from them as if I was trying to build the relationship,” said Langham. “I am a firm believer that complacency and having the mentality that a developed relationship with someone cannot be broken, is detrimental to people and businesses.”