Rock & Roll Demolition Services Keeps Focus on Orderly, Thoughtful Teardowns
Knocking down walls, blasting through ceilings, bulldozing entire structures and hauling off hundreds of thousands of pounds of debris certainly have all the makings of chaos. But with carefully orchestrated choreography, demolition doesn’t have to be. In reality, the kitchen of your favorite restaurant is likely a more chaotic scene than a demo site, says Charles Veigle Jr. And he would know. For 15 years, the founder of Rock & Roll Demolition Services made his living in the restaurant industry with his father.
“The restaurant business is chaos, and we honed our skills at managing and controlling that chaos,” Veigle says. “Buildings weren’t built to be taken apart, so demolition is all a matter of figuring out the best process and way to prevent the chaos when you do take them down.” Ever since the father-son team launched their demolition business near Orlando, Florida, in 2004, they’ve had lots of projects to refine their process.
“In the last two years, we have completed the demolition and removal of 15 elementary schools for Orange County Public Schools,” Veigle says. “We demolished and removed over 1.2 million square feet on time and on budget.”
Beyond learning the best ways to eliminate chaos, the duo walked away from their experience of developing, building and operating restaurants with an understanding of customer service and satisfaction. “In a steakhouse, you’re only as good as the steak you serve, and in demolition, you’re only as good as the attention and work you provide,” Veigle says. “We’re always trying to make the customer happy. We have established a company committed to quality service and integrity.”
Ninety percent of the business Rock & Roll performs is for general contractors on commercial projects—everything from total demolition to specialized interior or exterior removal. Beyond tearing things down, Rock & Roll gets rid of debris and trash so that the site is prepped and primed for the next stage of construction.
“As owner-operators, we believe that we can provide a high level of service. Our experience makes us a good collaborative partner to assist clients in achieving goals,” says Veigle, who notes that a majority of the firm’s work is from repeat customers.
Rock & Roll’s customers can rely on Veigle and his company of about 12 full-time employees to get the job done right in the least disruptive manner possible.
“Our experience and specialized equipment allow us to perform large, complex projects on time and on budget,” Veigle says. “We own our own equipment and specialized pieces, and we have the experience to meet the logistical challenges that these kinds of projects present.”
They’ve overseen the demolition of everything from supermarkets to university buildings and retail stores to residential dwellings (both single- and multifamily projects), but the bulk of their work is at school sites. Sometimes that means tearing the entire school down. Other jobs require certain portions of a structure to be gutted and made ready for someone else to come in and renovate and retrofit.
“Whatever the project is, we are the first guys on the job,” Veigle says. “We tear stuff up and get rid of it, and we do it as efficiently as we can.”
Veigle says solving problems and sorting out the logistics of a job with his business-partner father is rewarding and engaging. The two rarely encounter quarrels or trouble they can’t work through quickly. The son says he continues to be inspired and impressed by his father.
“Dad jumps out of bed at 5 a.m. and is out of the house within 15 minutes,” he says. “He’s got boundless energy. He doesn’t stop. He’s always ready to go.”
While the pair had few hesitations about launching a demolition company when they saw an opening in the market after Hurricane Katrina, the name of the business wasn’t quite so easily agreed upon. The elder Veigle was all in on Rock & Roll Demolition, a nod to crews in the construction industry that are ready to rock and roll and get right to work. But his son wasn’t so certain. “It’s an extremely unique name, and people love it—even if I didn’t at first,” he says. “But I’ve come around now and fully embrace it.”
The next generation is ready to rock and roll, too.
“My 9-year-old, Nathan, is ready to take over,” says Veigle, noting that after recent storms it was his youngest son outside leveling the ground and tackling projects at home.
Nathan’s enthusiasm for the work is something he shares with his relatives.
Rock & Roll is truly a family company, with sisters, wives and more sharing business responsibilities. Even employees who aren’t related by blood or marriage are embraced in the same way. “Anyone who works with us is considered extended family and is treated that way,” Veigle says.
A Family Fight
Rock & Roll Demolition Services is a proud supporter of JDRF, a leading global organization funding Type 1 diabetes research. For the Veigles, the mission is personal.
Hannah, Charles Veigle Jr.’s 18-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 11. Her fight has rallied the whole family, and by extension all of Rock & Roll, to join the fight to help eradicate the disease.
“This horrible disease makes every day a challenge for those with it,” Veigle says. “Our association with JDRF has shown that schedules and logistics of construction pale in comparison to the schedule of Type 1 diabetes.”
The advocacy and fundraising efforts of Rock & Roll staff stretches from Central Florida to Washington, D.C., and beyond. They’ve logged hundreds of miles in bike rides and walks to raise money. They’ve served on boards and in leadership roles. They’ve attended galas and events that aim to educate and eradicate, and they’ve lobbied federal lawmakers for research funding and aid.
“By becoming part of this movement, our company has been able to gain confidence and stand defiant in the face of Type 1 diabetes,” Veigle says. “We are going to accept nothing less than a complete cure.”