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Renegade-run business

image He may seem a little on the wild side, but Justin Silcox is taking a conservative approach to his new company.

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Justin Silcox glances down at his tattooed arms with a self-explanatory chuckle when asked why he named his company Renegade Concrete LLC. But it’s his back tattoo asserting, “I am my family’s keeper” that explains how this renegade will be as a business owner.





    Being part of a construction family is second nature to Silcox. He started off in his uncle’s drywall and framing business, even moving from Texas to Las Vegas to make his mark on casino, hotel, school, water treatment plant and high-rise projects. When the construction market fell in 2010, he returned to Texas and secured work at Turner Construction as part of a self-perform group. Happy with the company but wanting to expand his expertise, he joined DPR Construction as a project engineer five years later, just as it was building a concrete division. He was soon tackling high-profile projects such as the Facebook data center and the downtown Dallas Union project.
    While he enjoyed the work, he kept revisiting an entrepreneurial dream he’d had since childhood, and decided to establish his own Bedford-based con-crete business.
    “Between the knowledge that I’ve gathered from Turner and DPR, and the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained from my time in construction, I might as well give it a shot,” he says.
    Silcox mastered typical new business issues, like securing insurance and con-quering QuickBooks, but didn’t hesitate to reach out when needed. He hired an advisor to help map out future business goals, but it was the counsel of Melissa Johnson, a partner at Universal Fence Company, that helped most.
    “She and her partners have already started a company and made it successful,” he says. “It’s nice having her there because she’s been there and done that. She’s given good direction on what not to do, but at the same time she doesn’t interfere.”
    Silcox is determined to start small with an available crew of 20, a strong idea of the projects he’ll commit to, and a goal of having both commercial and residential sides to his business.
    “Right now, we do a lot of the smaller stuff that nobody wants, which is gaining us more work and larger projects,” he says.
    As his project log builds, his uncle’s influence can be felt, especially in the way he treats customers.
    “My uncle brought me into this ‘old school,’ where a handshake meant something,” he says. “Today, you need to have paper backing, but I still try to bring this to clients. I don’t want to throw out an estimate; I want to see the job, talk to the owner, see what they like and provide suggestions. I don’t want to be someone who walks out there and says, ‘Yeah, we’ll do it for $4,000 and not turn over a quality product. I may not be able to change the industry, but that’s the idea behind Renegade – that ‘old school’ handshake.“
    Even though his employees may not see his back tattoo under his shirt, he hopes they see its sentiment in how he treats them.
    “I want my employees to feel like everybody matters,” Silcox says. “Most people who know me from DPR and Turner know that I am very passionate about what I do, especially in the self-perform industry. I take my little close-knit family, and I’m very protective. I want everybody that comes into Renegade and everyone that works with us as partners to understand that it’s family. We all have to do it together. The most important people are the workers. Without them, we’re just a name.”
    Subcontractor Renegade Concrete LLC. offers concrete services including site paving, foundations, driveways, retaining walls, stamping and staining. –mjm

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Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net