Counting to Ten

I’d always known him as a steady, quiet man of few, but powerful words. Unfailingly polite and professional, I’d never seen him lose his cool—until last Thursday, that is. As I heard his voice rise way above its normal corporate cadence, my head snapped around in response. “What,” I thought, “had this longtime C.R. Laurence employee so upset?”

Doug DeRusha presents a seminar at Glass Expo Northeast '15.
Doug DeRusha presents a seminar at Glass Expo Northeast ’15.

If you attended Glass Expo Northeast ’15 on Long Island last week, you know what had CRL veteran Doug DeRusha so animated. And, as many things are, it was all about money—money left on the table by our industry.

“We miss a lot of business opportunities,” DeRusha said during his seminar. Though it was mainly about selling more shower doors, he pointed out many additional ways that glass retailers and glazing companies could increase their bottom line.

“We leave a lot of money on the table,” he continued, “a lot.” Then he went on to explain. The glass industry, he feels, might be overlooking some of the additional opportunities available in bid packages. He explained to the group how and why a number of other industries, including carpenters and others, are doing glass industry work, and how the industry is letting this happen.

DeRusha cautioned his audience to remember that tenants don’t necessarily look at their remodeling jobs the same way we do. “They look at it for aesthetics, cost and all that, but they also have tax considerations,” he said. He then went on to explain that the difference between a fixed wall and a wall that can be moved easily—demountables, as he called them—is very often in the depreciation schedule. A fixed glass partition and a demountable one surely can look very similar and, in most cases, do. “But remember, there’s a huge difference in the depreciation schedule,” he added. “Leasehold improvements for the stationery glass panels will depreciate over more than 30 years. The demountables depreciate in seven. That has a major effect on a company’s taxes.”

He’s right, of course. The demountable sector continues to experience rapid growth. Tax advantages, coupled with flexibility and the amazing variety of “looks” available and the ability to re-use the materials, keep the use of demountable glass panels growing. And a lot of industry sectors—everyone from carpenters, millworkers, finishers and other building product trades—are more than happy to do this work. And DeRusha thinks a lot of the glass industry doesn’t even know it’s there. Hence, his raised voice.

This type of work isn’t sitting in the Masterspec section 8 entitled “Openings.” No, it’s all the way down in section 10 called “Specialties.” Consider the subspecialties in section 10 below, and you’ll be amazed at how many represent work for the glass and metal trade:

6/14 101100 VISUAL DISPLAY UNITS Chalkboards, markerboards, tackboards, floor-to-ceiling assemblies and support systems, sliding units, and conference units;

6/14 101146 VISUAL DISPLAY FABRICS Fabric-backed-vinyl dry-erase wall coverings;

6/14 101200 DISPLAY CASES Illuminated and nonilluminated types;

8/12 101300 DIRECTORIES Illuminated and nonilluminated types with changeable message strips or changeable letters;

6/14 101416 PLAQUES One-piece, cast or etched, solid-metal plaques;

6/14 101419 DIMENSIONAL LETTER SIGNAGE Individually mounted dimensional characters and illuminated dimensional characters that are combined to form signs;

6/14 101423 PANEL SIGNAGE Panel signs, illuminated panel signs, and field-applied, vinyl-character signs;

2/10 101426 POST AND PANEL/PYLON SIGNAGE Illuminated and nonilluminated, freestanding panel signs that are supported by posts or configured as pylons;

12/13 101700 TELEPHONE SPECIALTIES Telephone booths, enclosures, housings, outdoor boxes, kiosks, and directory storage units;

6/14 102113.13 METAL TOILET COMPARTMENTS Painted steel toilet enclosures, entrance screens, and urinal screens;

6/14 102113.15 STAINLESS-STEEL TOILET COMPARTMENTS Stainless-steel toilet enclosures, entrance screens, and urinal screens;

6/14 102113.16 PLASTIC-LAMINATE-CLAD TOILET COMPARTMENTS Plastic-laminate-clad toilet enclosures, entrance screens, and urinal screens;

6/14 102113.17 PHENOLIC-CORE TOILET COMPARTMENTS Phenolic-core toilet enclosures, entrance screens, and urinal screens;

6/14 102113.19 PLASTIC TOILET COMPARTMENTS Solid-polymer toilet enclosures, entrance screens, and urinal screens;

6/14 102113.40 STONE TOILET COMPARTMENTS Marble, granite, and engineered stone toilet enclosures, entrance screens, and urinal screens; plastic-laminate, stainless-steel, and wood doors;

6/14 102116.13 METAL SHOWER AND DRESSING COMPARTMENTS Painted-steel shower and dressing compartments and prefabricated shower receptors;

6/14 102116.15 STAINLESS-STEEL SHOWER AND DRESSING COMPARTMENTS Stainless-steel shower and dressing compartments and prefabricated shower receptors;

6/14 102116.17 PHENOLIC-CORE SHOWER AND DRESSING COMPARTMENTS Phenolic-core shower and dressing compartments and prefabricated shower receptors;

6/14 102116.19 PLASTIC SHOWER AND DRESSING COMPARTMENTS Solid-plastic shower and dressing compartments and prefabricated shower receptors;

2/11 102123 CUBICLE CURTAINS AND TRACKS Curtain and IV support systems; curtains for cubicles, dressing areas, and tub and shower enclosures;

6/14 102213 WIRE MESH PARTITIONS Standard- and heavy-duty partitions, ceilings, railing insert panels, and equipment barriers;

6/14 102219 DEMOUNTABLE PARTITIONS Reusable, site-assembled or unitized-panel demountable partition systems, including solid panels, door panels and doors, glazed panels, and all-glass systems;

6/14 102233  ACCORDION FOLDING PARTITIONS Acoustically and fire-rated, manually and electrically operated accordion folding partitions;

6/14 102239 FOLDING PANEL PARTITIONS Manually and electrically operated panel partitions supported from overhead track; acoustically rated, fire rated, and non-rated; for interior use.

So thanks to Doug DeRusha for reminding us to count to 10 when we bid a job—and to everyone who turned out for a great Glass Expo Northeast ’15. A fine and educational time was had by all, including me.