The Origins of LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing
We were in the middle of a recession and I had quit the only union shop in the county that had any work. I collected my thoughts and within a couple of weeks was in the solar heating and hot tub business. It was difficult that first summer as I would sell a job, buy the material, install it and collect. Then I would go out and start all over again.
Ardy quit Empire Swift right after I did and moved to Washington State. That fall he came down to visit and I talked him into helping me for a couple of days. He and I have been partners ever since. The first year things were really slow but in the spring of 1983, I started bidding some plumbing on new residential projects. Before long we had two condo projects, an apartment complex, and several custom homes. From that point on we never looked back until the recession of 1991. During the recession, our company went from just under fifty employees to just over twenty.
In 1990 I attended my first PHCC of California convention in Scottsdale, Arizona and went to the Service and Repair Roundtable meeting. Sitting next to me was a man by the name of George Brazil. I had no idea who he was but soon learned all about him. Three weeks later Ardy and I spent a long day with George at his headquarters in Southern California. Six months later Super Service Plumbing was born.
The recession was tough but we owned everything outright and survived. Ardy and I decided if the economy ever came back we were going to take advantage of any opportunities that came along. Well, our first chance came in 1994 when a friendly competitor decided not to fight the union any longer. He was a design/build commercial expert and we immediately offered him a position at LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing. He accepted and the rest is history.
Another opportunity came to us in 1995 when a small fire protection contractor approached us. He was tired of the hassles of being a small contractor and wanted a job. His company had an excellent reputation and we wanted to expand into commercial fire protection. After some negotiation, it was decided that LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing would absorb Northern Fire Protection. One Monday Northern’s employees came to our shop and went to work as usual except they now worked for us.
In 1990 LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing was primarily a residential new construction contractor. Through the 1990’s we diversified into four strong departments with managers and support staff in each department. The diversity has paid off for the company as we do not seem to have as many peaks and valleys in sales as in years past. The company had sales of $10,700,000 in 2000.
LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing added Hydronics in 2004 and the company continued to grow over the next few years in the residential sector with prefabrication for larger community construction along with work in the growing upscale custom home market. Commercial growth continued in the premium winery and hi-tech industries, which featured many design/build projects.
With the downturn in the economy, which started in 2007 in the construction industry, LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing expanded their services into green plumbing practices. They became the first licensed green plumbing contractor north of the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008. In 2009 they were named Green Plumber of the Year by Green Plumbers USA. LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing is currently working on commercial and residential energy retrofit projects along with new construction including LEED Certified homes.
We share our building with an architectural firm and an HVAC contractor. All three companies have custom designed space for their specific needs.