Dudley C. Taylor started Taylor Tuckpointing in Chicago after losing his job as a bricklayer during a strike. The experience he gained as a mason’s assistant would serve him well as Taylor and his one employee (an unemployed friend) performed small bricklaying and masonry jobs. Having experience planning scaffolding helped Taylor improve labor efficiency, thereby lowering his costs and adding significant profit.
When Dudley C. Taylor married Margaret Fischer of Vinton, Iowa, he moved the business to her hometown. “She enticed me to move out to Iowa. The other fellow and I split up, and I started my own company out there,” recalls Taylor. The company was renamed to D. C. Taylor Co. after its founder. It continued to provide tuckpointing and masonry repair services to customers throughout the Midwest.
The corporate office was moved from Vinton to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1954 where it remains today. While the company continued to provide masonry services, customers began asking if D. C. Taylor Co. could repair leaks in the roof, not just brickwork. Roofing began as a sideline to masonry repair. The company also offered exterior painting services, specializing in jobs where extensive surface preparation, such as sandblasting or chemical cleaning, was required.
D. C. Taylor Co. was formally incorporated in 1960. During this decade, the company experienced tremendous growth, and acquired Haegg Roofing Company, one of the largest roofing companies in Iowa at the time, as well as Waggoner Construction Company. With the acquisition of these two companies, D. C. Taylor Co. had three major divisions by the late 1960s: tuckpointing and painting, roofing, and swimming pool construction.
D. C. Taylor Co. was awarded the $105,000 contract to tuckpoint the Washington Monument, thanks in large part to Dudley C. Taylor’s innovative plan for scaffolding. To increase safety and efficiency for workers, Taylor proposed that the project use a hanging scaffolding system, as opposed to traditional tubular scaffolding. This provided less obstruction to visitors viewing the monument and produced higher quality workmanship at a lower cost. The project took approximately six months to complete.
The company installed its first ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) single-ply rubber roof soon after this new membrane formulation was introduced to the industry. Up until this point, the majority of the roof systems D. C. Taylor Co. installed were either coal tar pitch or asphalt-based bitumen (i.e. built-up).
With a significant portion of D. C. Taylor Co.’s sales growth coming from single-ply roof membrane installations, the company narrowed its focus and sold its painting and pool divisions in the 1970s.
In the four years between 1974 and 1978, the company installed more than 600 single-ply roofs. D. C. Taylor Co. was well on its way to becoming the largest single-ply roofing contractor in the United States in the 1980s.
In the 1980s, D. C. Taylor Co. tightened its focus on roofing and no longer offered tuckpointing masonry services. The company, which had largely been serving customers in the Midwest, expanded its capabilities to cover the roofing needs of industrial and commercial businesses throughout the United States. By the end of this decade, D. C. Taylor Co. crews had worked in 48 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.
D. C. Taylor Co. formed a consulting division named Taylor Associates, Inc. This company division provided roof consulting and construction management services for professionals in the building construction business.
Dudley C. Taylor stepped down as chairman of D. C. Taylor Co. and his son, William W. Taylor, became chairman and CEO in 1985. William had been with the company for 14 years, working as a laborer and learning the business by doing the jobs performed by the crew personnel.
D. C. Taylor Co. opened a sales and service office in Atlanta in 1995 to better serve customers on the East Coast.
The company sold Taylor Associates, Inc. in 1995 to eight employees who later renamed the business Benchmark, Inc. It continues to operate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, today.
Cypress Roof Corporation, a Concord, California-based roofing company primarily owned by William W. Taylor, became the company’s West Coast service office. The employees of NRC Universal, Inc., of Phoenix, Arizona, became D. C. Taylor Co.’s Southwest service office.
D. C. Taylor Co. added a new sales and service office in Barrington, Illinois, to better serve customers in the Chicago metro area as well as the upper Midwest and Northeast United States.
D. C. Taylor Co. won the National Roofing Contractors Association’s Gold Circle Award for Workmanship: Low-slope.
D. C. Taylor Co. began assisting customers with the installation of permanent fall protection, a service that addresses stricter safety standards and customers’ increased desire to provide safe environments for their employees and rooftop workers. The company continues to provide fall hazard surveys and permanent fall protection equipment installation and inspection today.
D. C. Taylor Co. completes its first solar energy project in Napa, California.
The company launched a formal process improvement initiative to improve operations, eliminate inefficiencies, and standardize processes.
D. C. Taylor Co. was given the Perfect Record Award from the National Safety Council for operating 710,845 employee hours without occupational injury involving days away from work (Jan. 1, 2008 to Jan. 1, 2009).
The company receives recognition for Incident Rate Excellence 2005-2010 from the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council, a chapter of National Safety Council.
D. C. Taylor Co. won a 2011 RoofPoint Excellence in Design Award for Excellence in Materials Management from the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing (CEIR).
D. C. Taylor Co. was honored with a Bronze Incident Rate Excellence Award from the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council for outstanding achievement in accident prevention during the 2011 calendar year.
D. C. Taylor Co. won an Excellence in Design Award for Private Sector Leadership from the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing (CEIR).
The Iowa-Illinois Safety Council recognized D. C. Taylor Co. for outstanding achievement in accident prevention during 2012.
D. C. Taylor Co. was recognized with an Honorable Mention 2013 RoofPoint Excellence in Design Award by the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing.
D. C. Taylor Co. received a National Roofing Contractors Association 2014 Gold Circle Award in the category of Innovative Solutions: New Construction.
D. C. Taylor Co. supported more than 25 non-profits, community organizations, and causes with its 12 Months of Giving campaign.
Brent Taylor was named President and is the third generation of the Taylor family to handle these duties and responsibilities.
D. C. Taylor Co. was presented a Hazard Control Recognition Award from the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council (IISC).
D. C. Taylor Co. was one of five companies to be presented with the prestigious 2018 Iowa-Illinois Safety Council President’s Award for its outstanding contribution to controlling hazards. D. C. Taylor Co. was also presented a 2018 Hazard Control Award for implementing hazard controls that reduce or eliminate exposure to hazards in the workplace.
On August 10, 2020, a weather phenomenon known as a derecho caused estimated damages exceeding $7.5 billion to Cedar Rapids, IA — the home of D. C. Taylor Co.’s headquarters. Without power and having experienced damage to their own facility, D. C. Taylor Co. came together to service customers in need through teamwork and with extraordinary dedication and commitment. D. C. Taylor Co. is commemorating their derecho experience with a 7-minute video; watch it here.