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Called to masonry

image Jason and Teri Mueller, owners of Mueller Masonry

Houston - Every once in a while, Jason Mueller’s phone will ring – and it isn’t a customer.







    “I get phone calls from my peers in the industry who want to know what I think it’s going to be like this year,” the owner and president of Mueller Masonry says. “’Do I think the industry is doing well or do I see it slowing down?’ ‘When’s the next downturn?’ I think, without a shadow of a doubt, Houston is a growing city. Just look at all of the traffic everywhere because of all the roads; they’re turning two-lane highways into four- or five-lane highways and it’s all because of the projected growth of the city. With that comes neighborhoods and shopping centers. Shopping centers and office parks – that’s our niche.”
    Mueller is experienced in observing the markets in which he works. He grew up in a construction family that did everything from masonry to plumbing, and worked on job sites for his dad for “summer money.” While he enjoyed the work, he decided to pursue other interests as an adult.
    “I actually steered off and went into a totally different direction,” Mueller explains. “I worked in the oil and gas business and I owned my own internet company back when the internet was just getting started.”
    Boredom began to creep up on Mueller, however, just as those markets began to turn.
    “At the same time technology and oil and gas was really struggling, Houston’s construction business was really taking off, so the timing was right for me to make a change,” he says. “I just made one big circle back to where I started and I had an opportunity to start Mueller Masonry in Houston in 2007.”
    Mueller says he “hit a home run right out of the gate” when the company immediately landed work on the Houston Premium Outlet Mall, one of Texas’ largest retail establishments under roof. The project’s size and duration sustained the new company through the economic downturn that closed other construction companies.    With the help of his wife Teri who serves as the company’s vice president/comptroller and his team of valued employees, Mueller has witnessed the company’s quick growth.
    “We quadrupled our revenue over the past 11 years and we developed some terrific relationships with general contrac-tors in the Houston area,” Mueller says. “It’s exciting for us because we’ve been blessed to have such a good business and good partners in this industry, namely our general contractors. Those guys stir up a lot of work and it’s consistent. Based on the good relationships that we have with them, it keeps us busy and we’re thankful for that.”
    While the years have been good to his company, Mueller is looking ahead to what the next years might hold for Mueller Masonry.
    “My future plans are to find some really good young people who are smart whom I can groom to manage this business,” Mueller says. “Eventually, I will start to slow down and back away from the business knowing it’s in good hands, and watch it become a blessing to some of these other people that work hard for us everyday. I don’t see myself selling this business. I see myself growing it, hiring good managers to run it and watch it prosper.”
     With 11 good years behind him and bright years ahead, Mueller has nothing but positive things to say when his phone rings.
    “Each year keeps on getting better and better and so we’ll take it while we can get it!” he says.
    Subcontractor Mueller Masonry is locat-ed in Houston. –mjm

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Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net