On Good Footing
Father-son bond benefits customers of CCC Flooring
Picture a father and son playing together on the floor. Now fast-forward about 20 years and the scene repeats, but it’s not really play, it’s work. It’s fun and rewarding teamwork to fulfill the mission of their company, CCC Flooring.
The good things that come from a strong father/son relationship are present in the work performed by CCC Flooring. The small company based in Berea, Ohio, southwest of Cleveland, features the team of Craig Adams, the father, and Nick Adams, his son. It’s a kinship that has shaped a synergy of manpower and purpose that undergirds the foundation of the company’s services today.
A Father’s Journey
Craig is the Founder and President. He grew up in the construction business just like his son would years later. As a young man himself at age 14, Craig did odd jobs for subcontractors. Then, after his mother started an interior decorating business, he soon was helping her with the sale and installation of carpet.
He could install carpet himself by age 18, and that led to an apprenticeship with a carpet and flooring store that he completed by age 23.
After some twists and turns, Craig dreamed of running his own flooring company and being his own boss, especially since he was a new, single dad at the time with sole custody of Nick. Managing his own business meant different demands, but also the ability to creatively handle the necessary child care.
In 1999, he branched out on his own and within six years he had built up the business to be a bid-based flooring service. “I never said no,” he says.
“I took seminars, etc. to learn everything I could and then set my goal of always meeting the expectations of the customer. All this resulted in a lot of work over the years.”
He christened it Craig’s Custom Construction Inc. The company’s service was eventually focused just on flooring and the company name was shortened to CCC Flooring. A toddler during the early years, Nick often accompanied his dad, and sometimes helped with little tasks like gathering carpet scraps.
Today, father and son both commit to a hands-on, experienced approach to completing projects. Their customers have included Main Event Entertainment, Olympic Steel, Inc., The Avenue at Lyndhurst and Drury Plaza Hotel Cleveland Downtown.
Craig relied on relationships to get started in the construction business, first with his mother and then with various tradesmen, mentors, subcontractors and crew members. He treasures his relationship with his son the most. Young Nick loved being with his dad when not in school. Over the years, that special relationship was forged.
A Split Decision
This togetherness was not always inevitable. Craig knew that it was in Nick’s best interest for his son to only commit to CCC Flooring through independent choice, not forced loyalty to his dad. So, when Nick was in high school, Craig encouraged him to leave the company and work for a family friend, installing drywall and doing light carpentry work. The arrangement gave Nick an apprenticeship uniquely different from the experience he may or may not have obtained as an employee of his dad’s company.
“I basically fired him,” Craig says. “I wanted him to know he had the freedom to do whatever he wanted. As it turns out, he eventually returned and we got along even better. I’ve really enjoyed going to the next level with him. I enjoy seeing him every day. We get along great—best of friends.”
Then, in a way that seemed even more distancing from the company, Nick’s dad encouraged him to get a college degree in something other than construction. He attended Bowling Green State University, obtaining a joint degree in marketing and business analytics and graduating in 2019.
That was also the year that father rehired son—this time for a leadership position in the company.
The seeds for a recommitment to the “family business” were already being sown before graduation. Nick had started providing estimates for Craig’s customers.
By then, the strengths of both father and son were starting to materialize so that each brought necessary skills to the administration required to run the company. Today, Craig oversees his team’s close work with general contractors including occasional design decisions on material and color choices, guides daily operations at job sites and is the chief communicator with customers. Nick is an Estimator and also focuses on marketing, record-keeping and general project planning. Smita Patel serves as the Administrator in charge of office management, accounting and information systems.
Relationships at its Core
Altogether, CCC Flooring has 12 employees. The team is of one mind when it comes to expert flooring installation, customer service and the complete start-to-finish planning and execution of projects resulting in the debut of quality floors in commercial spaces in the northeast Ohio area.
Valuing employees is important. While always on the lookout for hiring skilled workers, the company also hires and trains newcomers to flooring installation if they are hard workers and motivated to learn. The company’s leadership believes this close work with its employees goes a long way in building good working relationships with both new and repeat customers.
It’s only natural that CCC Flooring wants to build great relationships with general contractors, property managers and owners as the history of the company is based on relationships.
Scope and Scale
As a non-union subcontractor, CCC Flooring has proven, through various flooring installations, that this father/son-led team can successfully deliver and fulfill all expectations for any type and size of job. Drawing on experiences in installing a full range of floor, carpet and tile types, CCC Flooring has racked up numerous satisfied customers who own and operate buildings devoted to hospitality, health care, recreation, office and retail use.
“We like when customers tell us how easy we are to work with,” Craig says. “That’s why I tell our people there’s only one way to do it: the right way. We give our customers good choices, we deal in truth and we’re fair and competent.”
CCC Flooring installs carpet, carpet tiles, wood-finish flooring, tile, epoxy, marble, ceramic, concrete and rubber flooring.
The diverse array of product options go a long way toward pleasing customers. Many flooring installers just offer carpet or ceramic floors, partly due to limitations imposed on unions because of untrained or unlicensed workers. Craig knows this firsthand, having worked with union credentials for two years early in his career.
“We do things other companies can’t or won’t,” he says. “If it goes on the floor, on the walls or on the ceilings, we can do it.”
CCC Flooring has the ability to perform installations based on both custom designs and a manufacturer’s standard specifications. For Main Event Entertainment, which operates one of its razzle-dazzle, arcade-like entertainment venues in Avon, Ohio, Craig’s team hand-cut and installed tile with exciting, colorful shapes like stars and octagons on 49,000 square feet of surface area.
“When it comes to flooring installation, we understand that each industry has unique requirements and specific industry-related knowledge, and so we continuously strive to understand the industry needs and the ideal flooring options,” Craig says.
Craig and Nick are especially proud of two projects that demonstrate their company’s expertise.
When Drury Plaza Hotel Cleveland Downtown was preparing to help accommodate delegates attending the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, CCC Flooring was contracted to complete major work for the hotel’s historic property, consisting of 189 private rooms and 3,900 square feet of meeting space. The crew accomplished the flooring work in an impressive three months. Flooring types ranged from heat-welded sheet vinyl in the kitchen areas to carpet in the suites and luxury vinyl planks in the fitness center.
Craig says that high-profile job established CCC Flooring as a key player in the Ohio-area market. It also bolstered the relationship with the project’s general contractor, Icon Interiors Inc.
“I have worked with Craig for over 15 years and have come to rely on his knowledge for specifying, installing and troubleshooting a range of products,” says Glenn Pickens, President of Cleveland-based Icon Interiors. “Craig always works efficiently and upholds scheduling obligations.”
Nick points to the extensive work for the new Avenue at Lyndhurst assisted-living facility in Lyndhurst, Ohio. The project called for CCC Flooring to install flooring across 111,783 square feet of space comprising 118 living units and 38 full apartments. The price tag of $1.1 million was the largest to date for the company.
“We did every bit of the flooring except for epoxy in the main kitchen facility, which 3DEE Construction LLC did,” Nick says. “It was such a big job with so many different types of finishes.” Nick estimates that some 50 to 60 products were used, compared to five to 10 in CCC Flooring’s typical projects.
The Lyndhurst project was the first for CCC Flooring working with that general contractor, 3DEE Construction, but not the last. CCC Flooring is already slated to perform similar installations for another assisted-living project named The Avenue at Strongsville, also in Ohio.
“CCC Flooring is a solid and reliable partner when it comes to flooring and finish material installation,” says Dennis Zanath, President of 3DEE Construction. “Craig is knowledgeable and adds value to our efforts to get projects done on time. CCC Flooring has worked with us on two of our recent projects that include The Avenue at Lyndhurst, where his company was awarded a million-dollar, complete flooring and tile finishes contract, and they recently starting tile work for us at our new Strongsville facility. Craig’s team has an eye for quality and they get the details right. We at 3DEE are pleased to have worked with them on these two high-profile projects.”
Perhaps a tribute to the strength of family, Nick, age 25, realizes the future of CCC Flooring is in his hands. Even now, he goes to work every day with an appreciation for what first his dad, and then the two together, have built.
He says his dad was extolling the benefit of being self- employed for years in a way that gave Nick the values of being both independent and dependable. At the core of it all is relationships—with one another and with each customer. “We try to put our own personalities in the job and in relationships with our customers,” he says. “That results in us still looking out for our customers’ best interests.”
For his predictions for the company’s future, Nick hopes to expand CCC Flooring’s design capabilities and also pursue higher-end projects. It’s a far cry from the toddler’s initial effort to pick up carpet scraps, but things do change over time, he says.
“I enjoy working with Dad,” he adds. “We make a pretty damn-good team.”