A Solid Foundation
J&P Contractors Inc. leverages concrete construction experience to deliver exceptional service
Phillip Parks Sr. started his professional career in Kansas City, Missouri, where he did a variety of concrete work for the city. In the late 1970s, Parks Sr. completed a project for a gentleman named Ken Brown, who then moved to Texas and told Parks Sr. about the construction boom taking place there. Parks Sr. flew to Texas several times before deciding to pack up his family and move to the Lone Star State in 1980.
“My brother, Jamaine, and I grew up watching our dad work hard, and, as a result, we saw what a successful business looks like,” says Phillip Parks II, Vice President and Co-Owner of J&P Contractors Inc., based in Duncanville, Texas. “When we were kids, he would take us to the job sites after school or on the weekends and have us do odd jobs, such as pick up trash or remove the wooden stakes after a concrete slab had been poured. My parents even have photos of me when I was about age 5, operating various construction equipment, including backhoes, Bobcats and loading up dump trucks. I remember I would have to stand up to be able to reach the pedals and levers. Looking back, it’s amazing that I didn’t cause any serious damage to anybody or anything.”
The Big Picture
From the very beginning, however, the two sons had their minds set on doing something more. “Even though building custom homes was a profitable business, Jamaine and I always knew we wanted to expand the company’s capabilities and get into the commercial market,” Phillip says. “Instead of just talking about growing the company, we decided to go out and make it happen.”
Their first commercial job was building a small retaining wall. Through active networking and delivering on what they promised, the company’s portfolio shifted from only residential work to a mix of residential and commercial projects. “My dad always told us, ‘Shortcuts get you short work. Do it right and word-of-mouth will get you more business than anything else that you do.’ ”
Following Parks Sr.’s advice proved valuable as the company gained a variety of new commercial clients throughout North Texas. So much so that in 1996, Parks Sr. decided it was time to retire and officially turn over the company reins. He changed the name of his business from Phillip P. Parks & Sons Construction to J&P Contractors Inc., using the first initials from both of his sons’ first names. He also made them co-owners. (Jamaine also serves as Vice President of Operations.)
Today, the company has grown to 14 full-time employees; depending on the workload, J&P Contractors employs an additional 15 to 20 subcontractors. The company’s geographic territory has also expanded. “It’s not uncommon for us to do projects outside the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex now,” Phillip says. “We recently completed several hotels and bus stations in Oklahoma, as well as some warehouse facilities and wash bays in San Angelo, Texas, for several gas and energy companies. But we’re careful about growing too fast. Our reputation is based on doing everything that needs to be done without sacrificing quality. We don’t want to lose sight of that.”
Being a Good Neighbor
Both Phillip and Jamaine strongly believe in and actively practice paying it forward. The company has sponsored many organizations and activities, including the ALS Association, the Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas, and the City of Duncanville high school varsity baseball team.
“My brother and I grew up playing sports, and we have coached our children’s football, baseball and softball teams for the City of Duncanville and the City of Lewisville,” Phillip says. “We want kids to have an opportunity to be part of a team if that’s what they want to do. It’s a real heartbreaker for the kids if they can’t participate because their parents can’t afford it. We have a soft spot for children, and, luckily, we are in a position where we are able to help out.”
Building a Better Mousetrap
Almost everybody knows somebody who has a story to share about a home improvement project that ended poorly. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common tale. The homeowner hires a contractor for a certain project, and in good faith, the customer pays for half of the project up front, only to have the contractor do a poor job, or worse, skip out before finishing the work. At that point, the homeowner has little recourse and a lot of frustration.
To minimize these types of scenarios from happening and to improve the reputation of the contracting industry, John Hill founded the Good Contractors Organization in 2011. Based in Mansfield, Texas, the Good Contractors Organization is a third party that vets contractors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and guarantees their work up to $10,000 per project. Today, the list includes more than 250 certified contractors.
“There’s not another network like them,” Phillip says. “They meet with all the contractor candidates face-to-face and conduct an extensive personal interview process. As a result, they guarantee that their contractors are top of the line. We’ve been included on the Good Contractors List for the past four years and are proud to be have been named their Contractor of the Month in October 2018.”
Although most of the work that J&P Contractors does is commercial, Phillip explains that he has a small crew available to do the residential projects that come in through the Good Contractors Organization. “If we get hired to pull somebody’s driveway and pour a new one, we approach each job the same. No matter how large or small, we are committed to quality and excellence on every one of our projects.”