Home Building Supplier Is Expanding


    WALKER — Though the nation has undergone recession, terror, corporate scandals, a big stock market skid and a crisis of confidence, some industrial sectors such as home building seem unruffled.

    In fact, business in the home industry sector has stayed so healthy that one local supplier to the industry apparently feels confident indeed.

    The company, Quality Edge Inc., of 3236 Wilson Drive, has broken ground on a new building of its own within the city of Walker, where it will move from a smaller leased structure.

    Quality Edge was founded in 1989 by its current owner and president, Tom Vredevelt.

    The firm’s new plant will be slightly more than two miles east of its current location and will lie near Three Mile Road and Walker Avenue, adjacent to Walker’s rapidly growing industrial north side.

    According to its chief financial officer, Rick Simpkins, Quality Edge cuts and roll-forms coated aluminum trim products that are used with aluminum siding.

    “We don’t produce the siding itself,” he said.

    “What we do is take in the coated aluminum. We form it and cut it to make fascia, soffit, drip edges and trim coil. Then we package it and ship it.”

    He said the firm supplies both the new construction and home improvement ends of the market.

    Simpkins told the Business Journal that roughly three-fourths of Quality Edge’s customers are in the upper Midwest. “But we also ship to the east, west and south,” he added.

    Simpkins said that, thanks at least in part to low interest rates, housing construction and home improvement have been continuing at a steady pace. “So, we’ve been able to grow fairly steadily, too.”

    The firm currently employs 47 workers, a number that he said is likely to increase when the company moves into its new quarters.

    Simpkins declined to disclose either the cost of the new property and building or the extent of Quality’s sales in 2001.

    Currently, Quality’s production is taking place in a 75,000-square-foot leased building. The new structure amounts to 110,000 square feet.

    “This is going to allow us to increase production capacity,” he said. “There’ll be space for more roll-forming equipment.”

    He said that because the firm is moving little more than two miles from its current location, the transition will be easy for the company’s employees.

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