Featured Contractor - Darren Abel with Sooner Foam

Posted By DEMILEC || 8-Sep-2011

Sooner Foam InsulationThis month’s Featured Contractor is with Darren Able from Sooner Foam. Sooner Foam is a Spray Foam Insulation company out of Norman, Oklahoma and has been in business since 2005.

Demilec: How long have you been in business?

Darren: This is my sixth year in business. I started in 2005.

Demilec: How many Rigs do you have running?

Darren: I’ve got 4 rigs total. I’ve got one box truck with 2 proportioners. I’ve got 2 trailers with one pump each, and I’ve got an injection foam rig for existing wall cavities. I’m going to add a polyurethane machine to that one as well so I can inject the walls and then do the roof deck without having to bring in another rig.

Demilec: Do you do more Commercial or Residential work?

Darren: I do more residential work overall. The commercial side has really picked up, and as far as dollar wise goes, I do as much commercial work as residential if not more. There are fewer commercial jobs overall, but they are generally much bigger.

Demilec: Lately we have seen the rapid expansion of the retrofit market. Especially with new construction being down and more and more people looking to stay in their existing homes and make those homes more energy efficient. How much of your current business is Retrofit?

Darren: It’s been growing a great deal. People are seeing what we are doing with foam in new homes and they want it. I don’t know what the exact percentage is. I’d say 5% of people are building new houses and 95% are living in existing ones. There is a much greater market for those who are already in a house than there is for those that are building a house. The people who really like their house and are planning on staying in it are looking to plan for the future. They’re looking to their retirement years and know that energy costs are going to go up. Because of this, we keep doing more and more retrofit work all the time. We’ve got some guys that are really good at it now and can get them finished really quickly.

Demilec: Do you ever run into people who don’t believe that spray foam can be added to an existing structure? How do you educate them?

Darren: Well we’ve seen that dying out. A lot of homes have been sprayed now. This is the way were doing new homes in the highest humidity areas in Florida and Louisiana. In those areas, they did the roof decks and saw that there was actually less humidity in the attics.

Demilec: Where do you see Spray Foam going in the next 5 years?

Darren: I see it continuing to grow. People have adjusted to the higher price because they see the energy efficiency of it. I think anybody who has a couple of years of experience in this field and knows what they are doing can excel. It’s a tough job and a lot of people don’t make it. They see that there is a good potential to make a lot of money but they don’t see all of the effort that needs to go into it. It’s for a certain individual and not everyone can make it in the spray foam business for sure. It definitely ranks up there with the toughest jobs on the market as far as I’m concerned, for the business owner as well as the applicators.

Demilec: Why do you choose to use Demilec products?

Darren: I started with Demilec. I’ve had other people let me try a set of theirs, but haven’t found anything better. SEALECTION 500 has always been the top out of all open cell products. The Heatlok Soy had some heat problems and we weren’t getting the best yields out of it, but now that Heatlok Soy 200 is out, I’m getting much better results. I get far less tip clogging and much better yields. It’s much less sensitive than the original Heatlok Soy. I also like my sales rep and Dave Lall along with all the rest of the staff at Demilec. Without them, I could have been swayed away by price, but they keep my price fair and provide the best service.

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