Building a one-stop shop for stone and tilework

March 14, 2007
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Jefco of Virginia, Inc., which operates out of a location in Richmond, VA, specializes in high-end residential work

Stone pieces are cut with an Imer bridge saw.

Before opening his own stone fabrication business, Jeffrey Stein was a tile installer. After many years of honing his trade, he eventually decided to expand his capabilities. His company, Jefco of Virginia, Inc. in Richmond, VA, now includes a stone fabrication and installation operation specializing in high-end residential work.

“I got involved installing tile for other people,” said Stein. “I would go out to a condo complex with a truck and bag of tools and have to make that work.”

Stein explained that the tile portion of his business began in 1999, and the stone shop didn’t open until about two years ago. “I always thought that if you want to be a full-service tile and stone shop, you really need to know what you are doing,” he said. “We offer the best of both worlds. Whether it is a piece that is great for a countertop or stone for an exterior, we can do it here.”

The company steadily grew and increased its production since opening the stone fabrication part of the business. “First we started doing one countertop a week; then two,” he said. “Now we are doing 10 kitchens a week. This is what we always wanted.” On average, the company is fabricating and installing stone in kitchens that measure 75 square feet.

The shop is equipped with an Imer bridge saw, a Regent Express 3200 bridge saw and a Marmoelettromeccanica router supplied by Regent Stone Products of Virginia Beach, VA, a Wood’s Powr-Grip vacuum lifter supplied by JMR and a Gorbel 2000-pound capacity crane. There is a full-time staff of six that works one shift and an additional three workers rotate in, according to Stein, adding that in total, the company employs 18 people.

In particular, the company focuses on high-end homes in areas such as Fredericksburg, Williamsburg and Roanoke in Virginia. “Our market is outside the Richmond area for stone because it’s residential,” said Stein. “We were more in the western part of the state last year than ever before.”

Primarily, Stein works with builders and does remodel work. “Residential work is a different animal than hospitality and multi-family,” he said. “It’s more high-end quality.”

But although Jefco of Virginia, Inc. has increased its stone production, 70% of the company’s business is still comprised of ceramic tile work. “I enjoy stone more than tile, but six to seven years of tilework and a customer base [in the tile sector] takes the majority of my time,” said Stein.

The company is devoted, however, to building a strong stone fabrication division. Skilled employees are a large reason for the success of the business. “We are really fortunate that our guys are really dedicated,” said Stein, adding that many of the workers are cross-trained on various machines. “They are all hungry. They don’t worry about working extra hours during the week or on Saturdays. I’ve been fortunate to finally find a group of people that I feel confident with.”

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