Summit Sheet Metal Ltd., installer of ventilation for residential high-rise and low-rise construction, is thriving. In fact, Phil McDonald, co-owner and project manager, says the Port Coquitlam, British Columbia-company has enough work to get them through 2026. 

"It's hard to comprehend sometimes because the jobs are just getting bigger and bigger," he says. 

As of press time, the company was managing 29 projects — both big and small —and the projects are all done without a shop. In fact, Ridge Sheet Metal handles all of Summit's fabrications — and the model has been a win for Summit. 

"We'll bid a job. When we get the job, the office and site foreman sit down and go over it and then our foreman will place an order sheet for our fabricated fittings or items and then we just send them over to Ridge," he says. "They fabricate it and we'll pick it up, take it to the site and install it."

While the company was initially open towards having a shop, McDonald says they realized there were more cons than pros to having a shop, including more overhead, power consumption, the need for a larger building and the purchasing of equipment.  

"There's machines out there that are a quarter of a million dollars," he says. Purchasing equipment is one thing, but you also have to cover the maintenance costs, as well, which adds to more financial stress. "You got to sell a lot of duct to pay for that."

Summit's cost savings continues when it comes to employees. They don't need sales people in the office, he says, and on any given day, there are no more than 4 employees in Summit's 5,000-square-foot office. In the field, there are 47 employees that handle installation.

While it hasn't always been easy relying on another company to handle fabrication, McDonald says they've found the right fit with Ridge — and ultimately, it comes down to building those relationships. 

"Everything is relationships. We are a big supporter of treat others how you want to be treated. Honesty is always the best policy," he says. We will never get upset if a lead time for material is going to be longer than expected because we know they are doing their best we just need to think ahead."