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Owner’s Experience Allows NEHE to Prosper Despite Rough Economy

Tough times are no match for a family-owned company that can solve nearly any client’s geotechnical issues.

Mon June 17, 2013 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams

Bradd Read digs the outlet trench for the sub drain.
Bradd Read digs the outlet trench for the sub drain.
Bradd Read digs the outlet trench for the sub drain. The machine digs along the foundation. The machines hammer out the stairs.

In the few years since Bradd Read has gone into business for himself, he has already seen how valuable a lifetime of construction experience can be.

Read and his wife Tracey founded their companies, New England Helical & Excavation Inc. (NEHE) and NEHE Waterproofing Sales & Service, in his native Seekonk, Mass., January 2011. However, Reed had been in the business much longer than that. He learned how to operate heavy machinery by age 10. During his teenage years, he could run anything contractors asked.

“This is the only life I have known. I started with the first company when they were starting up. I was friends with the sons [of the owner] and we all were 10 years old, so all we did — after school, weekends and vacations –—was work. We all learned to operate in the backyard with some old equipment,” said Read.

The first company that Read worked for, he moved his way up from laborer to estimator and project manager. Later, he was asked to work for a company at an excavation side. Within five years, that company had moved from using shovels for excavation to projects with million dollar budgets. Observing this type of growth inspired Read to start his own company.

“I started out by doing water and sewer service, then expanded to helical piers. It was rough finding work in this economy. Then, came a project that involved waterproofing existing buildings. This project expanded the company. That’s when the waterproofing side came in. We became a distributor for EPRO waterproofing products,” said Read.

With only four employees, the family owned-company can solve nearly any client’s geotechnical issues for any project. NEHE’s service area includes all of New England, upstate New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

NEHE offers many services — both residential and commercial. They include waterproofing, damp proofing, crack repair, sealing, drainage and much more. A large part of the operation includes installing Helical Anchors Inc. products for customers. NEHE’s helical services include the installation of mini push piers, underpinning, demolition, site work and wind turbine foundations. According to Read, using helical piers reduces project costs on marine projects that have unsuitable material in the building pad.

Read took special pride in his biggest project to date. At the Royal Crest Apartment complex, NEHE exposed the footing of all 11 structures, and repaired and prepped the foundation walls to accept the new waterproofing. Ecoline-R, with a dimple board made by EPRO, was installed along with a sub-drain and trunk line to accept the downspouts. NEHE completed the project on time with minimal disturbance to the residents.

Much of Read’s success may not have been possible without the help and dedication of his family. He started his company during a challenging time two years ago, but wife Tracey and his children continue to help and inspire him.

“It’s been tough through this economy, but with family behind you, you find a way. I would like to turn the company over to my son and daughter when they get older. I’m teaching my son how to do some of the things I learned to do as a child, right now.” said Read.

Read thinks about what other profession he would in order to have all the same vacations as his kids, but is not sure what he would go into. Driving down the road and just looking at all the houses, buildings and roads he has done over the years is the reward that has kept him in the business for so many years.

New England Helical & Excavation Inc. is located at 35 Briarbrook Drive, Seekonk, MA. 02771. For more information, call 774/451-0432 or visit or

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