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Loyal legacy

image L-R: James Colten, Daniel Garcia-Glasscock, Grant Duckworth, Samantha Pedigo, Rick Farrell and Lorie Welch

DALLAS/FT WORTH - It is because of a long-term team that was formed as far back as 1985 that allowed them to move forward and establish themselves as the premier commercial “wood only” flooring contractor in Texas.






    Steve Welch and his uncle started a small wood floor installation company in 1985. They named the company Woodwright Hardwood Floor Company and began by mostly installing wood for other floor-covering contractors.  In 1995, Steve Welch bought the company and began to focus on more commercial installations.
    Around the year 2000, the company took a swift turn when the general contractors working in the Dallas market noticed Woodwright on job sites “over and over again,” said Rick Farrell, vice president of business development. Most of the general contractors in the Dallas/Fort Worth market decided to simply hire Woodwright directly. Things took off from there.
     Steve Welch hired Rick Farrell in 2007 when he realized the key to becoming the selected flooring contractor on commercial jobs was to be specified in the plans.
    Tragically, Steve Welch passed away in Jan. 2016. His legacy and the Woodwright reputation remain through his wife Lorie Welch, CEO of the company. Welch transitioned from her role as a homeschool mom to their two children to running a multi million-dollar company. Welch’s background is in interior design.
    “Shortly after I took over, we decided to get a WMBE certification. We got it around the end of 2016,” said Welch. The company also carries a HUB certification.
    They operate with two distinct sides: the installation side and the manufacturing shop. The shop has transformed into its own entity. “They not only supply almost everything that we install, but they also manufacture custom components, flooring and walls that we sell to other installers outside of the region,” mentioned Farrell.
    The work is about 95 percent commercial and their focus is 100  percent on wood. “In the past several years the company has increased its scope of work by adding wall, ceiling and wood stair installations to our portfolio,” Farrell said. That has become a large percentage of the business now. “Bigger than we ever expected it would be,” he added.
    The employee count today is around 50-55. That number includes the 35-40 workers who are out in the field. Welch credits her strong and loyal team of construction professionals. “It is because of this long-term team that was in place when Steve passed away that we’ve been able to move forward and thrive. My COO, James Colten, has been with the company for 25 years and he runs the technical aspect of everything.”
    Colten was Steve’s right-hand man. “My daily business decisions consciously follow Steve’s vision for the company,” Colten stated. 
    In fact, other staff members have been with the company for over 20 years. “Our project manager and our superintendents have been with us over 20 years, even our estimator has been with us for 15 years,” said Farrell.
    Welch also commends the Woodwright artist on staff, Aaron Craft. Craft comes up with different ideas and patterns. Farrell said, “He creates stunning decorative elements for our clients using wood cutting lasers and a CNC (computer controlled router).”
    Woodwright had to walk before they could run; now they can’t stop running. Welch shared, “The company is at a record-breaking number, and that is because of the team that is in place.” The future can only bring new opportunities.
    Woodwright Hardwood Floor Company is a commercial wood-flooring subcontractor located in Dallas, TX. –lv

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Lexie Velasquez lexie@constructionnews.net