Journal de bord du chantier

A John Deere Publication
: A John Deere 35G Compact Excavator is creating the trench to lay pipes for a new home at a housing development.

A John Deere 35G Compact Excavator helps out on a site development in North Carolina.

Summer 2022

A Solid Framework

 

Plumbing contractor scores big in a hot housing market

Raleigh, North Carolina, is one of the top 20 emerging housing markets in the country, according to The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com. The capital of the Tar Heel State, Raleigh is one of the three major research centers that anchor the bustling technology hub known as the Research Triangle, which also includes Durham and Chapel Hill. The Raleigh-Durham metro area is one of the fastest growing in the country, approaching a population density similar to Atlanta, Georgia.

Fired up

That’s great news for contractors such as Barbour Pourron Plumbing & Service in Clayton, North Carolina, about a 30-minute drive east of Raleigh. Barbour Pourron specializes in new home plumbing in residential developments, working with local and national builders. “Normally this housing market is feast or famine,” says President Jeromy Godwin. “But right now, it’s on fire.”

Godwin and his sister Kacey Thompson were born and raised in Clayton. “Growing up you’d know everyone’s name. Today you see a new person every day. It has definitely grown.”

Successful succession

Barbour Pourron was founded in 1986 by good friends Mark Barbour and Wayne Pourron. With just a pickup truck and a dream, the partners set up shop in a large warehouse that was originally a cotton gin. Pourron’s sons and current co-owners Justin and Jonathan remember running around the warehouse as kids and helping out during summer breaks in high school and college. “The business was still at a pretty small scale when I started working,” remembers Justin. “We were running probably four or five rough-in, slab, and trim trucks. Today we run around 30 trucks, so we’ve grown quite a bit.”

Randy Godwin joined the partnership in 1996. Today his son Jeromy and daughter Kacey Thompson are also current co-owners. Jeromy started working at the company that same year, helping out with odd jobs, including unloading trucks and delivering tubs. Over the years he ran a service truck and worked his way up to field superintendent and director. Today he is company president.

Kacey joined Barbour Pourron after graduating college in 2006. She was offered a job in graphic design three hours away in Charlotte. “I was planning my wedding at the time and neither my fiancé nor I wanted to move,” she recalls. “Family is very important to us, so I spoke with my parents. My dad told me it would all work out and it did. Then the next day, he offered me a job if I was willing to learn. He taught me a lot about the business over the next seven years. I still learn something every day.”

 

Checking off all the boxes

In 2013, the original Barbour Pourron partners decided to retire. Wayne Pourron and Randy Godwin approached their four children about buying the business. “We thought the numbers would work out, so we decided to move forward with the transition,” Jeromy Godwin recalls.

Still, he found the prospect of doing 800 houses that first year daunting. “I remember wondering how we were going to do this. But in that first year we actually did 2,700 homes.” Today the company has leveled off at 1,500 to 1,600 homes a year. “There’s more work than we can handle right now, but it’s so hard to find workers.”

On any given week, the company is working on 140 to 150 jobsites and completing the underground work on 30 to 40 homes. Six John Deere 35G Compact Excavators help crews work quickly and efficiently, even when trained workers are scarce. “The 35G checks off all of our boxes,” says Justin. “It’s very compact and does exactly what we need it to do. The versatility is top-notch. And it has plenty of speed, power, and digging depth.”

The company has been running John Deere machines since the new guard took over almost a decade ago. “Overall, the quality is just excellent,” says Jeromy. “But if we need a rental, parts, or service, our local John Deere dealer, James River Equipment, makes it happen.”

“They can get us the machines we need as quickly as we need them, so we don’t have to push jobs back,” adds Kacey. “That’s invaluable. Keeping on schedule is essential to our success. When I started, we had about 50 employees. Today we have 100. I’m proud of how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown.”

Barbour Pourron Plumbing & Service, Inc. is serviced by James River Equipment, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Clockwise left to right. Using a John Deere 35G Compact Excavator, Leonel Gutiennez is filling in the underground trenches at the new home site. Reviewing the blueprints, Jeromy Godwin is making sure the plumbing pipes are laid correctly. Drake Lowe is unloading the PVC pipes for the plumping job at the jobsite. Justin Pourron is gathering parts needed for the next plumbing job. A John Deere 35G Compact Excavator is digging the trenches needed for laying the new home’s plumping.

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