Founded in 1972, Beahm & Son has grown across four decades from a small laminate countertop fabricator and stock cabinet supplier, to a 30-employee operation offering a complete suite of custom interior renovation services.
Operating from a 24,000 sq. ft. showroom and workshop based in Evans City, PA, Beahm & Son averages nearly 150 projects per year that range from the building of minor storage solutions for log cabins to $190,000 complete remodeling projects for 14,000 sq. ft. luxury mansions.
“Every job is personal,” says Cody Beahm, who along with his brothers Ethan and Derrick, and dad Rick, run the business. “All of our projects are considered works of art. Even our moulding is cut on site and assembled to the most stringent specifications.”
In addition to performing virtually all custom cabinetry and woodworking design and fabrication work in-house, the company also expanded operations in recent years to provide flooring, plumbing, electrical, tiling and granite fabrication services. Everyday hardware items like blinds, wallpaper and hinges have also been added to the showroom to provide a complete full-service experience for customers. But, we found we could optimize profits and maximize sales by providing one-stop shopping experiences.
"We also found that this expansion not only accelerated the selling process, but also helped to gain the customer’s confidence by helping them to coordinate their entire project at one time with the aid of our expertise,” Cody says.
Clients Dacia and Thomas Demko used Beahm & Son based on a friend’s advice. Thomas Demko, a commercial architect, was skeptical that anyone in his locale could help him recreate his family’s 4,000 sq. ft., four-bedroom home in Butler, PA. Built in 1958 the mid-century-modern design had “run worn” and paint, laminate countertops and brownish-orange ceramic floor tiles were in need of functional and aesthetic upgrades.
After searching for nearly a year for a remodeling vendor, the Demkos were sold on Beahm & Son during a tour of its showroom and production facility. In the company’s mill shop three professionals are on hand to meticulously meet client expectations.
This includes sorting “hit and miss” lumber to ensure grains and colors blend together. Then building a door formed from rip cut wood, for exaple, leaving in knots for character and both light and dark boards to add randomness as a sample of grain, texture and finish for clients to review and approve before the actual cabinetry process begins.
Filled with a full array of shapers and planers as well as tools - such as a Striebig Optisaw 2 panel saw, SCM Basic 2 edge bander, Ritter line boring machine, Gannomat construction boring machine, Powermatic table saw and SCM sandya 10 wide belt sander - Beahm & Son also prefers an “old school” approach to woodworking.
This means having an expert carpenter perform each step manually. According to the Beahms, this allows for a far more exacting approach to the finer details such as the precise matching of grain directions.
In addition, the company further immerses customers into the design and specification process by mixing its own stains using Acroma pro custom stains and finishes.
“We normally produce samples within half-an-hour so customers can sample choices and sign off on projects immediately,” explains Rick Beahm. “The goal is to remove customer doubt and anxiety, while making them completely comfortable in services. Starting out on the same page is so important to a smooth process.”
The next stage of the Demko project involved a slide show of CAD renderings detailing the project’s color scheme and design elements for the Demko’s to review on computer.
“Our vision was for a timeless feel that avoided the obvious remodeled 2000s look and trendy patterns that many houses have just several years after renovations,” says Thomas Demko. “The computer presentation helped us visualize our dreams and work with the Beahms to create a neutral palate of natural materials - stone, wood, stainless, and grays - as well as a floor plan that would improve workflow and open space for casual gatherings and parties.”
The three-month project started with the conversion of the 150 sq. ft. bar located in the home’s lower floor into a full-service kitchen complete with new refrigerator, dishwasher, wall oven and wet sink. The bar itself was redesigned with a black quartz countertop and Cyprus front and side panels, while the back section surrounding the appliances was flanked by grey subway tile and cabinets designed from kiwi-stained oak.
Once fully completed so the Demkos would have a fully-operational kitchen during the renovation, Beahm & Son began work upstairs. In addition to creating a 6’ opening in the wall and the widening of the doorway separating the kitchen from the dining room, Beahm & Son inserted a cook top with hood and gray quartz countertop onto the server and then lined the lower section of the wall with custom cabinetry.
To ensure the upstairs paneling flowed seamlessly, Beahm & Son used 10’ walnut, rip cut veneers that were then cut to specification and laid vertically throughout the kitchen and dining room to emphasize the continuous grains, which also blended with the walnut flooring. All the original cabinets were removed and replaced with full-height, pull-out pantries that flank the double wall ovens and the French door refrigerator.
Double-height, pull-out drawers with inner drawers hidden behind the slab fronts were also inserted into the design that included all new appliances. The cabinets themselves were designed with maple plywood interiors, while the exteriors were formed from the walnut rip cut veneers.
Another vibrant feature was the placement of leather-finished, rainforest brown marble onto the wall opposite a sitting area resting on the side of the kitchen and in front of a large picture window. iluma LED lighting from i-lighting was also used throughout the kitchen including above and below cabinetry and shelving.
These elements then combined with the coordinated veneers, finishes, stone work and flooring to create the feel of “mid-century-modern simplicity and breeziness” that the Demkos had envisioned at the outset of the project.
“Both kitchens are works-of-art and truly spectacular,” says Dacia Demko. “Every cabinet is scribed to a wall, floor, or ceiling. We don’t have a filler panel, a piece of molding, or gap anywhere in space. Our entire remodel fits together like a fine piece of furniture. ”
Beahm & Son traces its roots to Don Beahm, who joined Step Saver Kitchen & Vanities in 1950 as a boiler stoker and for the next 20 years groomed his expert woodworking skills while holding a variety of positions that ranged from millworker to, ultimately, plant manager.
Don later opened his first shop in Myoma, PA with his wife, daughter and son Rick as employees. Working day and night together doing everything from gluing end caps onto laminated surfaces to creating dowel pins with and old band saw, the Beahms earned $90,000 by the end of the first year in operation.
But, the real education came when a strike by their primary cabinet supplier led to the inability to fill customer orders and the near end of the family’s business dreams. The solution was to take total control of the company by eliminating the middle man and creating cabinetry on premises. Within a few years, the Beahms had expanded to a 12-person custom woodworking operation that designed and built kitchens, bathroom vanities, bars and furniture with a process dedicated to “doing it right the first time.”
Over time, the mantel passed to Rick, who today runs the company with his three sons -- Ethan, Derrick and Cody. Still at the forefront, meeting virtually every client, Rick now shares carefully-defined responsibilities without the burden of formal titles. For instance, Ethan is driven to mastering all of the company’s manufacturing processes, while Derrick’s forte is design software. After spending several years in the financial services industry, Cody returned to Beahm & Son with a new perspective on procedural efficiencies, which increased revenues by 15 percent during his first year back with profits expected to at least double in 2015.
“We are dedicated to producing the highest-quality product in custom cabinetry,” says Rick. “However, we were so obsessed with the job that we often neglected to bill for additional services or even track our time in numerous instances. Cody brought a level of accountability to our operation that we never had before.
“As a result, we are far more efficient at not only estimating projects according to specifications, but also managing our man hours and all the materials included in a job. On some projects, we barely broke even because our installers would perform work or throw-in expensive add-ons without checking with us first or even including the extras on the manifest. Our profitability certainly rose when we began precisely tracking our time, range of services and use of materials.”
Headsquartered in Evans City, PA, Beahm & Son can be reached at 724-538-3300 and/or www.beahmandson.com.
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