published Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Contractor specializes in rapid property restoration

  • photo
    On Saturday at the Lake Shore on the Hill apartments residents continue to move out as Summit Property Restoration clears debris from the roof of a unit. Owners of the apartments being renovated because of the tornado were told to be completely moved out by Sunday so renovations could begin.
    Photo by Allison Carter /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Summit Property Restoration crews repair Lakeshore Apartments hit by a tornado in 2010.

  • Name: Summit Property Restoration

  • Location: The company has offices in Chattanooga and Nashville, and is expanding into Knoxville and Lexington, Ky.

  • Products/services: The company builds commercial and residential structures but specializes in emergency rebuilding. The company floods each job site with dozens of workers and finishes jobs overnight, said owner Fred Holder. Summit builds from 25 to 30 roofs per month in Chattanooga, and 40 to 50 roofs in Nashville. Right now the company is engaged in repairing area tornado damage.

  • Age: The Chattanooga branch was founded in Dec. 15, 2009, and the Nashville branch seven months before that.

  • Startup investment: It took $10,000 to get the residential contracting started up, and another $60,000 to ramp up commercial work.

  • Annual sales: $1.1 million

  • Staff: Between 100 and 200 employees

  • Target market: “We’re really concentrating on the people who need our help the most — the people living in hotels, the people with a tree splitting their house,” Holder said.

  • Biggest hurdle: Overcoming the stigma of being associated with storm chasers was difficult at first, he said.

  • Biggest reward: Running a profitable business and helping a lot of people

  • Challenges in the future: With so much construction going on, building supplies have become very short. Prices are going up, and the company has stock on order directly from the factory.

  • Lesson learned: Holder hired former salesmen from a competitor with a reputation as a storm chaser, but they did more harm than good, he said. “Word of mouth is everything, especially in a small community like ours.”

  • Five-year goal: To have eight to 10 offices in the Southeast.

— Compiled by staff writer Ellis Smith, esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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