Of the three types of firms that ENR Southeast ranks annually—design firms, contractors and specialty firms—I find specialty contractors to be the hardest overall group to assess in terms of overall business health. That might be understandable, given the conditions that these firms often work under, even in improving or active markets.

For the Southeast's specialty contractors, from a distance at least, a cloud of uncertainty seems to be persistently hanging around this category of firms. Rumors continue to abound, and generally fall into these categories: 1) A significant percentage is on the verge of going out of business. Said one general contractor, roughly: "If they can make it through 2014, they'll survive." 2) Specialty contractors can't find enough workers to meet increasing demand. 3) Business is "great" for specialty contractors today.

blog post photo
What's happening with the Southeast's specialty contractors? ENR Southeast will attempt to shed some more light on this subject in its Sept. 8, print edition. (Photo courtesy D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co.) 

The data from this year's survey indicates that, overall, 2013 was a flat year for the region's specialty firms. The collective revenue total was remarkably consistent, with this year's nearly $5.17 billion just topping last year's nearly $5.15 billion. (At the same time, it should be noted that roughly 10 fewer firms participated in this year's survey—which itself is not a positive indicator, given that this statistic usually rises and falls with the overall market.)

Here are a few more survey stats:
  • This year's top 20 collectively reported nearly $3.5 billion in regional revenue, up slightly from the nearly $3.4 billion that this same group totaled a year ago.
  • Of the top 20, 14 reported increased revenue, while four indicated year-over-year decreases. (One firm's revenue was flat compared to the year prior, while another did not participate in last year's survey.)
  • Within the top 10, three firms reported a decrease in regional revenue.
ENR Southeast will attempt to shed more light on this subject in our upcoming Sept. 8, 2014, print edition. For now, here's an alphabetical preview of the firms that will be included in the upcoming Top Specialty Contractors ranking.

Ace Electric, Inc.
Acousti Engineering Company of Florida
Action Electric Co., Inc.
APG Electric, Inc.
Ardent Services, LLC
Baker Paint & Contracting, Inc
Baker Roofing Company
Bauer Foundation Corp.
BCH Mechanical, Inc.
Brooks-Berry-Haynie & Associates, Inc.
Builders Plus, Inc.
Capform, Inc.
Case Foundation Company
CB Structures, Inc.
Centerline Utilities, Inc.
Century Fire Protection, LLC
Cherokee Enterprises, Inc.
Cleveland Electric Company
Coastal Group
Color Masters Painting, Inc
Comfort Systems USA, Inc.
ComNet Communications, LLC
Comprehensive Energy Services, Inc.
Crawford-Tracey Corp
Crowther Roofing and Sheet Metal of Florida, Inc.
Cullum Mechanical Construction, Inc.
D. H. Griffin Wrecking Co., Inc.
Davco Electrical Contractors Corp.
Demolition & Asbestos Removal, INC.
Eldeco, Inc.
Electric Services, Inc.
EMCOR Group. Inc.
Energy Air, Inc.
Environmental Holdings Group, LLC
Faith Technologies, Inc.
Finfrock Industries, Inc.
Five Arrows, Inc. dba Service Painting Corporation
Fly & Form, Inc.
Fusion welding of SWFL inc.
Gate Precast Company
Genesis Elevator Company
Goodman Decorating Co., Inc.
Graydaze Contracting, Inc.
H. R. Allen, Inc.
Hamlin Roofing Company, Inc.
Harmon, Inc.
Hemma Concrete Inc.
Inglett & Stubbs, LLC
Ivey Mechanical Company
Johnson-Davis Inc.
KHS&S Contractors
Latite Roofing and Sheet Metal LLC
Lyndan, Inc.
Masonry Builders Inc.
MasTec, Inc.
Merit Electric Co., Inc.
Mill-Rite Woodworking Company, Inc.
Miller Clapperton
Miller Electric Company
Nova Hotel Renovation & Construction
Piedmont Mechanical, Inc.
Power Design, Inc.
Precision concrete Constuction
Precision Walls, Inc.
Premier Stoneworks, LLC
Principle Partners, Inc.
Pyramid Masonry Contractors, Inc.
Quinco Electrical, Inc
Rawlins Mechanical Contractors Inc.
RD Masonry Inc
S&S Painting and Waterproofing
Shields, Inc.
Sinns & Thomas Electrical Contractors, Inc.
Specialty Finishes, Inc
Spectrum Contracting, Inc.
SPS Corporation
Stay Alert Safety Services, Inc.
SteelFab, Inc.
Superior Rigging & Erecting Co., Inc
Sutter Roofing Company
Terry's Electric, Inc.
The Circle Group
The ComTran Group Inc.
Thermal Concepts Inc.
Titus Construction Group
Tri-City Electrical Contractors, Inc.
W B Guimarin and Company
W.S. Nielsen Co, Inc.
Waldrop Mechanical Services
Wayne Brothers, Inc.
Wayne J. Griffin Electric, Inc.
White Electrical Construction Company