The Altitude of Quality
5280 Exteriors takes buildings in the Mile High City to new heights
Denver, Colorado, is known as the Mile High City, boasting an elevation 1 mile above sea level. That’s 5,280 feet, to be exact. According to native Coloradan Bryce Steckler, however, that number holds a deeper symbolic meaning—something he likes to call “the altitude of quality.”
Steckler is so committed to reaching great heights in quality that the phrase “The Altitude of Quality” is the tagline for his company, 5280 Exteriors. Headquartered in Denver, the company provides residential and commercial exterior renovations, including siding, windows, roofing, stucco and exterior painting services.
Steckler’s commitment to quality began back in 2006, when he and good friend Mick Lindquist graduated from Colorado State University. With degrees in construction and business management from one of the top construction management schools in the country, the two had entrepreneurial aspirations as high as the nearby Rockies.
“I always wanted to run my own company and offer a product my customers could feel good about,” Steckler says. “Mick and I sat down one day and thought, ‘While we’re young and have a lot of energy, let’s work to get something off the ground.’ Then, we just started grinding.”
After making some business calculations, they founded a Denver-based company called Exquisite Windows to tap into a growing market. Just as they were gaining momentum selling windows, however, the recession hit. At a time when many of their competitors started to go out of business, Steckler and Lindquist rolled up their sleeves and began installing windows themselves by day while pursuing sales opportunities at night.
“Putting windows in with our own hands allowed us to learn each product and the intricacies of each project firsthand,” Steckler says. “When we eventually started to grow and were hiring again, we were able to train our sales team, project managers and installers with that same dedication to detail. So, the experience was a blessing in disguise.”
That detail-oriented approach paid off. Over the years, Exquisite Windows evolved into a full-blown exterior renovation company, adding to its windows an array of siding and exterior service offerings for commercial and residential customers. The company’s top-of-the-line products are tough enough to help building exteriors withstand the toll of Colorado’s harsh weather and resilient enough to last, according to Steckler.
And when it came to renaming the company to complement its expanded offerings, Steckler knew exactly what to call it: 5280 Exteriors.
While delivering quality products and services that protect and preserve a building exterior is a top priority for 5280 Exteriors, Steckler says there are some projects that require a little something extra.
In 2018, for example, the company embarked on a restoration project to replace the siding on The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, as part of an effort to update the iconic property and ensure its longevity. Because the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of Historic Hotels of America, there were very stringent project requirements, necessitating collaboration and ingenuity to get the job done.
The project broke the mold in a lot of ways, according to Steckler. When 5280 Exteriors selected a low-maintenance fiber-cement siding for the project, a local historic district asked the company to incorporate a product that would preserve the integrity of the 1909 build. Since the original structure used a lodgepole pine, the team worked to find a low-maintenance option and settled on a clear, vertical-grain cedar that could be finished to match the original character of the building.
Then came the paint. After consulting with experts at Sherwin-Williams, the team discovered that the longest-lasting solution would require finishing all six sides of every single plank before installation. The contractor worked with a local finisher to do it right. Then, 5280 Exteriors sourced aluminum corners that matched the stamp that was used over 100 years ago and incorporated a building wrap that improved the building’s overall air infiltration for the long haul.
According to Steckler, coordinating with the local historic district, fulfilling the historical requirements and getting creative about how to best retain the building’s historic look took patience, skill and dedication.
“This project meant a lot because it’s such a well-known cornerstone for Colorado and our mountain communities,” he says. “There was so much detailed work and architecture that it was a challenge, but it was great. We grow the most when we’re pushed a little outside our comfort zone. It really helped launch us into a new category of commercial work.”
“We’re committed to ensuring the proper installation with every project, on every job. …Being a dependable partner is the foundation for how we build relationships that last.” Bryce Steckler, Owner, 5280 Exteriors
Delivering on Quality
In addition to tackling significant historical renovations, the 5280 Exteriors team takes pride in correcting work that wasn’t done properly the first time around.
That was the case with a project called Confluence Fort Collins—a multiuse building with 26 condominiums and commercial storefronts. Another company had installed the siding improperly, leaving the structure vulnerable to water damage. “The siding would have deteriorated within a year or two,” Steckler says. The 5280 Exteriors team removed the faulty product and reinstalled the correctly stained siding—a cedar tongue-and-groove—to meet the engineer’s specifications.
“We’re committed to ensuring the proper installation with every project, on every job,” Steckler says. “We understand the pressure general contractors are under to make up for lost time when issues like this arise, so we placed a larger team on the job to help them complete the build as quickly as possible. Being a dependable partner is the foundation for how we build relationships that last.”
A big part of that commitment, Steckler notes, is ensuring the best services and quality products. Whether it’s vinyl, wood-clad or fiberglass windows designed to last in Colorado’s unique conditions, roofing styles that protect a building from hail, wind and snow, customized painting solutions that increase curb appeal, or high-grade fiber-cement products for siding repair and replacement, 5280 Exteriors has clients covered.
“The longer we’ve been in business, the more I’ve realized the importance of sticking with what we know we can perform really well,” he says. “Sometimes contractors will take money even if it means doing something they’re not experts in. We stick with our core and to the things we know we can excel at.”
That focus gained the attention of James Hardie, a global building materials company and world leader in fiber-cement siding. Today, 5280 Exteriors is one of the few James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractors in the Denver region.
Chris Deeds, Sales Manager for James Hardie, says he’s worked with Steckler and his team for the last eight years and has watched the company grow in both size and capabilities. According to him, 5280 Exteriors exemplifies the characteristics of Elite Preferred Contractors—honesty, commitment to excellent quality, and dedication to customer satisfaction.
“I believe in their ability to handle complex situations so much, I’ve referred them to clients looking for a company to come in and fix work done by another contractor,” he says. “Their expertise with installing our products and in running their business the right way makes recommending their services an easy decision.”
Raising the Bar
Whether it’s tackling the historical renovation of an iconic building, helping a contractor rectify a botched job or just assisting homeowners in increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, Steckler credits his team’s proficiency with complex situations to ongoing education and the high bar employees hold for themselves.
“A lot of construction is dominated by contractors who don’t always take the time to stay up on manufacturers’ installation guidelines,” he says. “Complying with these guidelines can be tedious at times, but it’s time well spent. We’ve built our team around this effort, as well as ensuring accountability, which applies to any company or position.”
The team at 5280 Exteriors includes a range of office staff members, sales experts, former installation specialists for James Hardie, the company’s go-to siding installers, and Guy Grignon, who handles the company’s commercial estimating.
“Guy has been one of our key employees for eight years,” Steckler says. “He’s the one people recognize, which makes him the face of the company for commercial work. He’s trustworthy, accountable and so keen on detail, which makes for less surprises during jobs, more predictability and better outcomes.”
Grignon, who has a background in general contracting, carpentry, electrical and plumbing, says he’s “done it all,” and regardless of whether it’s a multimillion-dollar house exterior renovation or a basic upgrade, it’s about relationships.
“I always try to get a human connection going,” Grignon says. “We don’t see these as business transactions; we look at every exchange as a relationship built on trust. When we take on a project, I tell our client there will be challenges and we’ll handle them as we go. Whatever we say we’ll do, we’ll do it. If there are glitches, we’ll take care of them.”
That detail-oriented approach, consistent dedication to accountability, and fostering close relationships with customers, manufacturers and installers are what 5280 Exteriors is all about, Steckler says.
“It sounds like such a simple thing, but this is such a people business. You need to sit down and the person on the other side of the table needs to feel comfortable and trust you,” he says.
And while Lindquist recently left the company to pursue other opportunities, Steckler says he left an indelible mark on the company. 5280 Exteriors continues to grow on the foundation of hard work that the two young and aspiring business owners built 15 years ago—hard work as durable and lasting as the products they use to keep people sheltered and safe.
With that in mind, Steckler says he can’t help but feel grateful for all that’s transpired and how his team has helped him reach new heights.
“There’s a part of you—that entrepreneur part of you—that feels fulfilled,” he says. “It’s so gratifying to be surrounded by people giving it their all for the company. That’s something you don’t realize when you start a business, because you’re so consumed with growing it. You read a magazine and think, ‘Look at how successful this person is.’ And then over time you realize it’s not about that; it’s about teams and people working toward a common goal. That’s success.”