Kathi and Marshall Flowers go over a few items before Marshall heads out to visit a job site.
Sun Construction Inc. in Darlington, S.C., has a reputation of being a family owned business with an emphasis on honesty and hard work.
Owner Marshall Flowers Sr. said he began his career in agriculture working on a dairy operation with his father in the mid 1970s. Those roots created a natural progression into construction.
"We started clearing land and installing irrigation systems…I installed PVC and underground electrical lines for that," Flowers said. "We built a new dairy facility and poured approximately 3,000 cubic yards of concrete, with that I began finishing concrete and reading blueprints. As a result of leaner agricultural times I decided to take a management position for a Columbia based general contractor. I commuted from Darlington to Colombia for approximately six years and performed various types of construction including tank foundations, water sewer treatment plants, grading, concrete structures and subdivisions. I commuted at least five days a week, sometimes six. With two young children and a wife at home, I decided surely I could find something closer to home, so I decided to start my own company."
Sun Construction was founded in 1991 and operates as an unlimited license general contractor. Flowers noted that he did a short stint for a friend installing underground utilities, and one of those projects led to work opportunities at the local steel mill in Darlington, S.C. (Nucor Steel).
"We began doing small items for them; no job was too small," Flowers said. "And it has developed into us being a preferred contractor for some 22 years doing various projects for them. Nucor has a pre-engineered metal building arm, and we became the first charter builder for Nucor Building Systems in South Carolina. They’re located in Swansea, S.C. We have furnished and erected various metal buildings both small and large. Large square footage is what Nucor does best, as far as pricing. We enjoy a long standing relationship with Nucor Building Systems and Nucor Steel. We have performed work at six other Nucor facilities across the country, traveling as far as Nebraska, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina."
According to Flowers, the company does various maintenance, heavy demolition, civil, general construction and pouring of structural concrete for commercial and industrial facilities.
"We were fortunate enough to be the metal building furnish and erect contractor for the original Honda ATV facility in Florence, S.C., and we continue to do various projects there," Flowers said. "We’re a diversified contractor, and I think that has carried us through this downturn. We were not locked into doing one specific thing. We downsized in 08, 09, and 10, but we’re back to our 40 to 50 employee range. It is a sole proprietorship and is a family-run business — my wife Kathi is involved with the day to day business. We have long standing project managers in our company. I enjoy the fact that we have over 100 years combined experience with our top supervision."
The couple’s daughter Ginny Munson and her husband Kevin own an engineering firm called Residential Structures. One of their offices is housed within the Sun Construction office. Kevin offers help with engineering questions. Their son Wells handles the day-to-day operations of the Flowers’ agricultural operation, which includes farming over 1,500 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans, in addition to maintaining a beef cow herd.
Although Flowers said that his passion is in civil construction, he realizes that structural concrete and general contracting are the company’s "bread and butter."
"We self-perform many aspects of a construction project including, but not limited to, rebar placement, excavations, formwork, concrete placement, and carpentry to name a few," Flowers said. "We also subcontract certain components such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC."
Flowers noted that his days with Caterpillar date back prior to his relationship with Blanchard Machinery, but he’s been very pleased with the service he has experienced with them.
"I go back with Caterpillar equipment over 40 years to when I started in the agriculture business," Flowers said. "We have been very involved with Blanchard — we now own 13 pieces of Caterpillar equipment, which were all purchased at some point from Blanchard. We have a couple of dozers, three track hoes, three lifts, two backhoes, compact lifts and two four-wheel drive loaders. I was always closely connected to Colombia before they built the Florence store, but Florence makes it very convenient. We can be there and get a part within 15 to 20 minutes. They typically have next day delivery, and we have a super relationship with their service department, and obviously their sales division. For instance, we have a loader that cleans sediment ponds at a local factory, and that is a six day a week job. That loader must function every day. If the need arises Blanchard has arranged for me to have a backup on site very quickly. We look forward to continued success with both Caterpillar and Blanchard Machinery. "
For more information on Sun Construction Inc. visit www.sunconstructionsc.com.
For more information on Blanchard Machinery visit www.blanchardmachinery.com/Home.aspx.