Recently, I asked this month’s cover stars what they thought.

The Grapes of Wrath,” says Larry Thomas, senior project manager of Legacy Specialties Inc., referring to John Steinbeck’s infamous novel. “It shows the struggle of the Industrial times. Each family had many children that were used to helping around the farm. There was little to no work for people.”

And for Thomas, the book was much like his grandparents life: eight kids, picking cotton, and hard times.

One could conclude that this says a lot of Thomas and the values and goals he and his company would like to pursue: work honorably, tighten the belt through the thick and thin and kick some butt in pursuit of that American dream. It appears Legacy Specialties has been doing just that in its short period as an operating business.

Situated in North Nevada, this Minden-based contractor specializes in lath and plaster, EIFS, steel framing and drywall. Although the company is only two years into the game, Thomas and Daniel Bunn—the company’s president—have a combined experience of 65 years.

Thomas was taught by his father Lou at a very young age all about construction with a huge concentration surrounding commercial renovations. Thomas later focused his attention toward plaster and drywall. Bunn began the plastering and drywall trades right out of high school. He gained his knowledge through working side by side with Thomas and apprenticed with experienced tradesmen.

With the help of its new satellite office in Fresno, Calif., Legacy Specialties has seen some major growth in such a short matter of time.

“The company has grown from 40 employees to 175 in less than one year,” says Thomas. “This is one aspect of our growth. Our office staff has increased by hiring new employees in estimating and project management. Our estimating department has increased. Not to forget, our commercial and residential projects have increased by over 100 percent.”

Thomas obviously reports that business is great—admittedly a lucky start to a company that was born in the wake of the Great Recession. Last year was very profitable and a busy 12 months. According to Thomas, this year is projected to surpass 2014 with the current contracts on backlog the company holds. Yet, with his experience, he has learned what to do when the next recession hits:

  • Keep overhead burden under control (be present and be aware)
  • Balance among economy and workforce
  • Be aware of possibilities regarding length of a recession
  • Be competitive, yet heed the warning signs thru economic trends

“The construction climate has seen an increase in our region and our company due to the many larger companies coming to the Northern Nevada,” says Thomas. “Although, we would prefer to have more projects closer to home.”

For Thomas, design-build and engineering is what he enjoys the most about the job. However, he doesn’t, in his words, “like conforming to drastic changes in climate/weather in this region.”

Rock On

Recently, the company did the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel, a 50-year-old building that needed something architecturally appealing to new clientele. The company is concentrating on specialized architectural walls and historic memorabilia display walls for appearance. Also, there is a great deal of concentration on high-end acoustical ceilings and soffit work and EIFS. Originally, Legacy Specialties was contracted to do gypsum board assemblies, metal stud framing, custom acoustical ceilings, EIF systems and interior venetian plaster.

“One key element would have to be the color scheme they chose for this casino,” says Thomas. “Another element was staying consistent with ‘The Hard Rock Theme’ (‘Rock of All Ages’). So there are walls filled with past and present memorabilia.”

Legacy Specialties chose to use Sto Corp., CEMCO, PABCO, Armstrong’s Metal Works Vector, West Pac products and Vero Venetian Plaster.

The owners were very impressed with the work. Given this project and other recent ones wrapped, Thomas has his sight on higher ambitions.

 “Our drive is to ‘meet-and-beat’ a stringent schedule while maintaining the safest environment,” says Thomas. “Another aspect that sets us apart from others in the industry would be the quality of our craft. And of course, our project management and most importantly, our administrative staff.” 



Project Name: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Stateline, Nev.

Architect: MBA Architecture & Interior Design

Builder-General Contractor: SMC Construction Company