Baja Construction Inc., based in Martinez, Calif., is a turnkey carport, metal-building and structure subcontractor. With more than 30 years of experience, Baja has worked on projects in every part of the country, under many different conditions, and has always maintained the highest standards. The company, which had a sales volume of more than $12 million in 2001, strives to keep costs low and construction time to a minimum.
Baja specializes in carports and self-storage buildings that use cold-rolled steel. Unlike contractors that sell pre-engineered building packages, Baja earns half of its business through design/build contracts and the other through bid/spec work. Company CEO Bob Hayworth estimates 70 percent of his contracts come from repeat customers. Most of the remainder come from referrals.
Carports account for 70 percent of its building types, with the other 30 percent comprising self-storage and other small-span structures, such as RV and boat storage. According to one trade magazine, "The individual unit sizes Baja constructs are, naturally, small; however, the project sizes and quantities are mammoth." In fact, Baja was ranked 16 on the list of "Top 100 Metal Construction Contractors of 2000," compiled by Metal Construction News.
Hayworth founded the company in 1981 with Luis Fabian. The company's simple beginnings in Hayworth's garage led to sales of $2.5 million by 1985. By 1986, Baja boasted sales of more than $9.5 million.
Hayworth has construction experience dating back to his teen years, when he began erecting carports with his father. He spent some time working for Childers Manufacturing before moving onto a position as regional sales manager with Curoco Steel Systems; and he founded California Carports in 1974, two years after graduating from the University of the Pacific.
Fabian also has an impressive background, bringing extensive construction experience and an eye for detail to the Baja partnership. He has been building carports and pre-fabricated steel buildings since 1971, including the construction of 500,000 carport units and more than 2 million square feet of self-storage. He was involved in two companies of his own before the Baja joint venture. "Luis has a lot of intuitive and creative abilities," says Hayworth. "You can take him out to a job-site, and he can immediately recognize what the problem is and how to solve it."
More than 30 years after meeting as laborers in the carport business, Hayworth and Fabian continue to work together to produce successful results. Hayworth's strong suit continues to be sales, while Luis focuses his expertise on construction.
What sets Baja apart from other steel contractors is experience and a true dedication to customer satisfaction. Facilitating this process are in-house engineering/architectural teams and construction crews. Baja maintains its own bonded installation crews to work on projects, no matter where the construction site may be. These professionals understand fast-track construction schedules, and work efficiently and carefully to complete projects on time and within budget.
Simply put, Baja specializes in making the construction process as easy as possible. As a rule, the company does not push any one product. Staff listen to customers and, based on previous experience, offer a design that will work architecturally and economically on the particular project. Developers need only send a copy of their site plan. After design decisions have been made, Baja delivers the materials and begins the installation process in accordance with the customer's timetable.
"Luis and I are involved on every project and are available to customers," Hayworth says. "Service is probably our best asset. We sometimes have customers who want 200 units built in five days to accommodate a lending schedule. With our experienced crews, we are usually able to help them, no matter what their special problem may be." Since engineering and construction teams are in house, developers can go to one person when they have concerns. Any problem encountered by a Baja client can be resolved faster and easier than when dealing with a group of subcontractors.
All materials used in a Baja project are completely pre-engineered and pre-fabricated so the building goes up fast. After the structure is up, it will be attractive and durable for years of maintenance-free profitability. Baja uses metal panels and light framing members manufactured by A.E.P. Span, among other suppliers. Most roof panels are through-fastener profiles. All components, siding, framing, decking, fasteners and trim meet or exceed industry standards. The Zincalume or Galvalume-coated steel panels carry a 20-year corrosion-resistance warranty. Baja uses local suppliers and works closely with them, so there are no unnecessary delays in getting materials or resolving any problems that arise.
Although Baja focuses its efforts in the Western United States, the company has completed projects in Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisianna, North Carolina and Ohio. Construction crews are uniquely mobile and all projects will be considered, no matter how big or far. In addition to its Martinez, Calif., headquarters, the company has satellite offices in Fontana, Calif., Las Vegas and Phoenix.