This month’s Featured Contractor is Lee Stoltzfus with Foam-Tech
Insulation Service, Inc. out of Lancaster, PA. Foam-Tech has been in business
for the last 4 years and has seen their business grow by providing quality
service, a great product and by taking diversified projects. Of particular
note is the work they have done for the theater and art world.
How long have you been in business?
We’re coming up on 4 years.
How big is your current operation?
We have 2 rigs, 4 guys in the field and 3 people in the office.
Why did you get into spray foam?
That’s a very good question. Want to hear something? I had somebody
spray foam my addition on my house. And I told the guy… oh man
it was like 10 years ago… when you retire, I want to buy your business
from you. And that’s basically what happened. I left my own company
where I was a 45 percent minority shareholder in Lancaster, PA and settled
in on this foam insulation. I’ve been trained at BPI and also at
Demilec. The first few years were really a struggle. Were doing work in
10 days that used to take 3 months to do. Last year we did about 750k
and this year were on target for a million.
That’s great to hear! What was your background before spray foam?
I was in the painting industry and grew up working for the company I left
to start in spray foam. I was cleaning out buckets when I was 12 years
old and I eventually became a shareholder in the company.
What are some of the unique challenges you face when working with Pour
in Place foam?
Ryan: One thing I would say, the spray foam equipment needs a lot of maintenance
and taking care of. When you’re going 6 days a week, it’s
definitely a challenge to keep up with that.
Lee: I think one thing that’s really important is that you have the
right team of guys working together. If you have the right team of guys
working together, it’s amazing what happens. I’m reflecting
on a proverb that says that one strand can be easily broken and two strands
are hard to break, but three strands are almost impossible to break. I
think there is a certain synergy when you get the right people together
and they’re all on the same team. Recently, I was working on trying
to get a water tank done. I and the other guy spraying were just feeding
off each other’s energy and it was absolutely amazing what we accomplished.
We sprayed around 1/3 of a million gallon tank in about 4 hours.
That’s really impressive. Don told me that you have done some work
on theater sets. Tell me about some of the unique projects you have done
outside of insulation.
We were doing all of their 2 lb spray and hard coating on their sets and
they would go and carve them out and take them to get painted. We’ve
done at least 3 sets with them so far and we just finished doing another
set for them. We also did the raceway monster for a NASCAR race which
you can see on our website. It was a huge statue over 40 feet high and
we sprayed over 10k worth of foam on that statue.
We are really looking at diversification. It’s amazing what I learn
from my customers by researching the questions that they ask and I always
answer their questions. If I don’t know, I’ll look into it.
If I know, I’ll give them educational material. One thing that really
helps us with educating people is the heat flow charts. They are a very
visual material that people can look at and see the dollar return on their
That’s awesome because I feel that education is so important to the
success of our industry. Where do you see the SPF industry going in the
next 5 years?
That’s a very good question. I think it’s going to continue
to grow. I think it’s getting more competitive right now and will
continue to do so. I think the current business models will be changing
and we need to continue to tweak and change things. We in the foam industry
really need to guard our overhead. Maintenance is super important.
Ryan: I started with Lee 3 years ago now. Before I started with him, I
really wondered if this was going to take off because I wasn’t familiar
with foam at all. He had one rig and one guy working for him at the time
and Lee was doing all the spraying himself. I didn’t really see
this becoming a big company or growing that fast. Lee educated me about
the foam and I got really into it and took the full time position with
him. It was just me and one other sprayer for the longest time, and all
of a sudden out of nowhere we just blew up with business. I would be surprised
if in 5 years we weren’t doing double of what we’re doing
now. And that’s a conservative estimate.
Lee: We did a job for a guy who was a local heating and air conditioning
contractor. He was arguing with us back and forth about the merits of
2 lb vs. ½ lb foam and I said ‘look, if you really are stuck
on this 2lb, let’s put an inch and a half or two inches to get the
vapor barrier and spray open cell over that’ but he wanted to put
3 inches on it. ¼ of the way through spraying the attic he said
‘stop Lee, I get it.’ He said ‘let’s go ahead
and do it your way and back it up with ½ lb.’ This guy has
been such an avid educator of all of his customers. He took 30 of my business
cards and I told him that ill hold his bill and for every job he gives
me that ill give him 100 bucks off his invoice. Hes given me 8-12 jobs
in the last 3 months. Can you believe that?
We’ve developed relationships with other companies as well. You have
to keep looking at your business and thinking “how can we tweak
this? How can we get more out of this?” Now when we do business
for a homeowner, I would say within 6-8 months, we have gotten another
job from that homeowner. That exponentially grows your business. Like
you said, we need to educate and that’s a part of the process. If
I can get into your home, and your wife and children notice the impact,
I’ll not only get your business but I’ll get your heart and
I’ll get your pocketbook because you can’t help but talk about
this. It’s a total experience if you have it in your home and it works.
Why do you use Demilec Spray Foam?
I have never seen a supplier that is so crazy about delivering an excellent
product. And not only about getting the contractors to apply it, but supporting
them in the whole process. Even today I can’t believe the support
you guys give us and the service you provide for us as a team on the front
line. Don Waltz (Territory Manager) is amazing. He came out here and helped
us land a 50k job when we first got started. It was a 15,000 square foot,
7 million dollar house and he helped us land the job. Who else would come
out and do that for us? And those first 2 years were brutal but with the
support you guys brought to the table, it really made the difference.
That’s great to hear and that’s an awesome compliment for us.
We really appreciate it Lee. Thank you so much for your time and your
continued business and loyalty.