This May, Heggem-Lundquist Paint Co. is celebrating 70 years in the business. The company specializes in light gauge steel stud framing, interior metal framing, RF shielding, drywall, tape and finishing, multiple plaster finishes, stucco/EIFS, paint, wallcovering and wood finishing. And of course, a big part of the company’s bread and butter is through the installation of ceiling systems.

The story begins with Uno Lundquist, who worked for Famer Heggem prior to opening up his own business, Lundquist Fine Painting and Decorating in 1949. The two companies merged in 1962 and became incorporated under Heggem-Lundquist Paint Co. During the 1960s, the company branched out into steel stud framing, drywall and plaster finishing.

Although Heggem-Lundquist seemed to start off initially well suited earning $300,000 in its first years, today the company earns approximately $20 million annually. The company currently employs 200 people.

“Denver has seen an increase of construction work in both residential and commercial building,” says Ruthanne Lundquist-Zueger, one of the company’s owners. “Heggem-Lundquist has maintained a steady rate of employment over the past 10 years. As in construction throughout the United States and as an industry in whole, we are faced with not only labor shortage but also with a shortage of knowledgeable employees.”

“Business is busy and manpower is limited, so it makes for a hard choice when deciding which jobs we can target,” she continues.

Business always has its ups and downs; between the balance of work that is rewarding and the tolerance of dealing with some aspects, that to be honest, are just tiresome. According to Lundquist-Zueger, the hardest part of this job is that most projects seem to have lost a predictable work flow, schedules are too tight and unrealistic, and there is no order or sequence to the projects anymore without pulling in the trades and coordinating it together.

“We have lost many of our knowledgeable seasoned construction workers so our in-house training has increased significantly to overcome these issues,” she says.

Co-owner Beth Lundquist says what sets Heggem-Lundquist apart from the competition is its partnering philosophy with general contractors as opposed to an adversarial relationship.

“We build relationships and consider the long-term effects of being the ‘can-do/problem-solving’ subcontractor they can count on when the chips are down. This has led to superintendents telling their buyout team that they need us on this job,” she says. “It has allowed procurement of negotiated work in lieu of a race to the bottom of auctioned work. Our relationships and can-do attitude has led to customers relying on us to bail them out when the low bidder did not understand the complexity of the project due to low skilled, non-union help or mismanagement.”

A Cherry on Top

The company has a strong backlog that includes projects, such as Denver Botanical Gardens, Monarch Casino, Colorado Christian University Residence Hall and Ball FA3.

Recently, Heggem-Lundquist worked on the AMC Cherry Creek 8. BRR Architecture is the architect. Whiting Turner is the GC and JLL is the owners’ rep.

The project was to reconfigure the seating throughout the theaters and to remodel the general public areas including but not limited to: restrooms, lobby and concessions. This is Heggem-Lundquist’s fourth remodel of its kind in the Metro Denver area. The company rebuilt all of the risers in the theaters to fit the big reclining chairs. It performed the framing, drywall, finishing, painting and of course, the acoustical ceilings.

On this particular project, there are intersecting radius light coves in the ceiling which shine through metal drapery as the centerpiece of the remodeled lobby. This includes a radius diffuser at the central light cove which was coordinated with U.S. Engineering to ensure that their diffuser and ductwork fit into the pre-manufactured radius soffits, as both elements had to be pre-manufactured.

To meet the tight schedule for the outer light cove soffits around the entire perimeter of the lobby, there was coordination with Whiting-Turner, U.S. Engineering, the architect, and Heggem-Lundquist to move existing ductwork and allow all design elements to maintain their architectural elevations. This coordination is what allowed Heggem-Lundquist to pre-manufacture the elements necessary to save install time. 

“While this project has been challenging, our relationship with the mechanical and electrical trades, as well as Whiting-Turner, allowed us to steer the team to push for rough in at the new McGuffins bar, remodeled concessions area, eight theaters, and the front entry,” says Co-Owner Ron Lundquist. “All of these areas were completed before the reopening to turn over a complete turnkey space in lieu of using temporary walls and temporary concession areas to phase out the lobby after the grand opening. This will lead to Whiting-Turner completing the project well before commitment dates for both AMC and Cherry Creek Mall, both customers that we look forward to working with in the future.”

GPI provided the material for all soffits and risers and most of their material was sourced from CEMCO. All riser studs were special ordered and sourced from CEMCO’s Texas plant. USG Structocrete panels were sourced through GPI. Sherwin Williams provided ProMar 200 Paint and Rockfon provided the Cinema Tile Ceilings.