In March of 1977, Dale Demmer with his partner (and cousin) Merlin Clemen started C&D Construction out of a garage in New Vienna. Thy quickly filled their work schedule with repair and small building projects. To provide the best service, it was essential to start expanding into a larger location. After the first year in business, Dale and his wife Patricia took a chance, a substantial loan, and built a new facility on the corner of Patricia's family farm two miles west of New Vienna in rural Dyersville. The larger facility was able to accommodate a growing inventory of equipment and products. At the time C&D was completing mostly shingling, repair, and siding projects, but was quickly moving into steel roofing and siding.
As steel roofing and siding was beginning to take off, C&D was one of the first in the area to make a major switch. New methods were devised and new equipment was built to help get the job done most effectively. Our custom built hydraulic scaffolding lift, the "Rig" was built to lift a 30' wide platform, 45' into the air to deliver sheets of steel right to the roof of some of the tallest barns. This machine has saved thousands of man-hours that would have been lost setting up traditional scaffolding. Additionally, because of the large volume of steel being purchased, C&D was one of only two contractors in the entire country able to purchase directly from the manufacturer.
The 1980's were a difficult time. High interest rates and the "Farm Crisis" made business difficult. However, with Dale's constant focus and far too many late nights driving the countryside to complete bidding and estimating, C&D was able to keep a crew busy with necessary farm repairs that needed completion. Staying afloat wasn't easy and there were years where Dale often commented that he basically "worked for the bank", trying to stay ahead of payments. By the mid-to-late 1980's, the economy began to turn and C&D moved forward. To continue providing great service, C&D needed larger equipment to better reach projects at greater heights and to set rafters on larger buildings. C&D purchased a "bucket truck" with a 50' vertical reach and later a used "digger derrick" with a 40' crane and large diameter ground auger.
In 1990, Dale saw an opportunity to provide service to his customers with start-to-finish construction. After working side-by-side with and learning from an experienced local concrete contractor for many years, C&D purchased the equipment to provide a full slate of concrete services, completing the entire job from ground up. A large inventory of new steel-ply cement forms, accessories, and a skid-steer loader as well as fabricating our own custom trailers to transport the equipment completed the move to a one-stop construction shop. This decision paid off and for many years thereafter C&D operated 2 work crews, concrete and steel. At about this same time, more of the family became involved in daily business operations as Dale's eldest son Randy started working full-time during summers and then full-time year-round in 1995. In the mid 90's, Dale's second son, Terry, began working full-time summer's and school breaks on both crews; and has occasionally rejoined the crew to assist. Dale's youngest son Chris, would later work summers as well.
Since the 90's there have been a number of changes. Randy worked his way up and became the foreman of the steel crew while Dale remained the foreman of the concrete crew. Father and son often collaborated on many new and diverse building projects together. Larger and more complex projects continued to push the boundaries and capabilities, often requiring acquisition of newer equipment and development of innovative tools and techniques.
In 2012, C&D Construction was dealt a major blow when Patricia needed open heart surgery. Patricia was the office manager/accountant from day one. Only weeks after the surgery, complications arose and her health rapidly declined. She passed away at age 58 on August 7th with Dale by her side. In the weeks that followed, Randy's wife Pam stepped in taking over the accounting and record keeping that Patricia. Dale quickly resumed working, and went to task on his largest project ever.
However, tragedy again struck our C&D family in early October 2013. Dale was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 Esophageal Cancer and it was progressing rapidly. With the onset of chemotherapy treatments, Dale was forced to take off his tool belt for the last time. On December 31st he officially retired at 62 years-old. Two weeks later Dale passed away on January 13th of 2014, at home surrounded by his family at 5 PM, "Quitting Time". Minutes later his crew returned to the shop after completing the final touches of his very last building project.
For the hundreds that braved a horrible winter storm to attend his visitation, many noticed Dale's tool belt placed on the floor beside the casket, with the tools still in place from when he last took it off. A reminder of his great skill and experience using those very tools. An American flag draped his casket for his military service to the US Army in Vietnam/Cambodia. His flag, tool-belt, and his lunch-bucket have a permanent location in the C&D's office in New Vienna.
With C&D in the hands of their sons: Randy, Terry and Chris, as a family we recognized that this business has weathered many ups-and-downs since 1977. For over 20 years Randy has learned the business from the ground up through his early days as a general laborer, foreman, manager and now the owner. Randy has a vast amount of hands-on construction knowledge and experience and has been leading "C&D Construction Solutions Inc." forward. A renewed commitment to provide the same excellent products and building practices that Dad and Mom had built the business on. Randy's wife Pam remains accountant/office manager. Terry continues to assist as needed providing innovative ideas as well as marketing, and graphics experience. Chris, works professionally in marketing of tools and construction materials, and continues to advise on new product offerings from many leading manufacturers.
Since 2014, Randy has been actively expanding the services provided by C&D. The first major change was a step back into the past and once again offering blown insulation services with a top quality 2 stage agitation blower. The next addition was to move into a product that Dad had been considering for several years, steel frame buildings. Partnering with Rigid® steel buildings, C&D became the first company in Iowa to start selling this great quality product. Finally, along with steel frame buildings was the logical move to purchasing a state-of-the-art closed cell spray foam insulation system; providing the industry's highest rated energy efficient available.
2017, marked the 40th year in business and brought some exciting changes! 40 years to-the-week after C&D opened, 7-acres of commercial property was purchased on the west side of New Vienna, only a few hundred yards (and within sight) of that original one-vehicle garage where C&D began. Randy broke ground on the new facility that would feature an 80' wide by 180' long steel frame building. Completed in early 2018 with over 15,000 square feet of enclosed space, the new shop is large enough to house all of our equipment in one location, and some room to grow.
What hasn't changed after 43 years in business? The same personal and exceptional service from a family owned business. We take great pride in our work and craftsmanship and actively work on ways to deliver innovative solutions, higher quality, and custom touches to build exactly what you need. You can always expect high-quality craftsmanship, professional results, and innovative custom services that we have provided for generations.
After all.... we learned from the best.