As more and more new stone fabricators began opening in the Philadelphia, PA, Metropolitan Area over the past few years, Tony Diguglielmo of Buzzelli Contractors said the company had to make a choice. “We had to decide whether to follow the trend of lowering prices, or that we would emphasize quality,” he said. “We went with quality.”
Once that decision was made, Diguglielmo, who has 17 years of experience in the business, said he hasn’t looked back. “It’s actually gotten easier, not harder. People are getting educated, and they want quality,” he said. “Since we are not just working on the basis of price, we can afford to pay our employees well, and people stay with us. We’re not just looking to save a dollar here or there.”
Buzzelli Contractors specializes in exotic materials and intricate work, and because of the precise nature of the projects it completes, Diguglielmo often works personally with the client for each project, laying out the templates on the slabs in front of the customer and explaining the characteristics of each material. “Sometimes we turn work away because we don’t want to get stretched out too thin,” he said. “I want to be able to supervise the work and pay attention to detail. We get very few call-backs.”
The company has been in its current location for four years. Diguglielmo purchased the building together with his father, Pete, a general contractor. The 15,000-square-foot facility includes a 6,500-square-foot fabrication space as well as a showroom where clients can take their customers.
The latest addition to the shop is a Regent Express 3200 bridge saw from Regent Stone Products of Virginia Beach, VA, which was purchased in August of 2006. “I’ve been dealing with John Colton of Regent for 10 years, and he’s always pointed me in the right direction,” Diguglielmo said in explaining his choice of machinery.
The shop also uses a computer-controlled Zambon bridge saw from Italy, which has been modified over the years. Edging is done using a Marmoelettromeccanica Master 3500 router from Regent, and the shop also has a range of hand tools. When measuring a job, the company creates templates from assembled plywood strips.
Buzzelli has a total of 15 to 20 employees, depending on the season, including two installation crews and two templaters. “We have developed a good reputation as an employer. People come to us,” Diguglielmo said. “We have very high standards for the workers we bring in, because they are basically an extension of me.”
Buzzelli has developed relationships with many contractors in the area, and it also works with kitchen and bath dealers and cabinet suppliers. Depending on the size and nature of the projects being completed, the company completes up to 10 kitchens per week, in addition to commercial work. This includes multi-unit condominium complexes as well as larger-scale endeavors. At the time of Stone World’s visit to the facility, for example, Buzzelli was working on four high-rise projects in Center City Philadelphia.