Joseph irons has always loved to build. As a child he would build with his family, neighbors, friends, and in 1999, he made his love of building into a career. At 22, he and one of his brothers opened Irons Brothers Construction, which was run from the kitchen of his apartment he shared with his wife, Melissa.
“When I started the company I just did it because it was something I knew how to do, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t know it was going to be my career until a few years after when I really got into it. I started getting an education and trained on how to run a company, which is a lot different than just building,” Joseph explained.
In 2008, Joseph and Melissa moved into an official business space where they are today. The Irons Brothers Construction office is more than just a place of business. It is a meeting space, a showroom, and place where a homeowner’s hopes and dreams come true.
Although founded by the two brothers, Irons Brothers Construction is now led by husband and wife duo Joseph and Melissa. Joseph is the general manager and is playfully referred to as the Director of All Decisions or “DAD,” while Melissa is the Marketing and Operations Manager, or “MOM.” The two extend the feeling of family to their employees, clients, and community around them.
For more than three quarters of company’s existence, Irons Brothers Construction has been a member of GSBA.
“We joined late 2003 and in 2004 was our first big (GSBA) event,” said Joseph. “We were one of the sponsors of the GSBA Wedding Expo, the first ever. It was a great event. We got all excited. We built some wood trellises — big gazebos — out of cedar. We were sort of the talk of the room because the cedar, freshly cut, definitely was a nice aroma for the event.”
In 2010, Irons Brothers became a Bronze Sponsor of the chamber and Melissa Irons remembers how that relationship grew. “One of our core values is community involvement,” said Melissa. “It’s one of our core values to be part of groups that we believe and trust in. Partnering with GSBA, maybe at once, was the start of a professional association membership, but what it began to be was a community that we were involved in.”
Even as a straight couple working in the construction industry, Melissa believes that community connection is not only a matter of good business, but symbolizes much more.
“We believe in equality, and equality for all. So being a part of the chamber is a part of our goals and mission as our business, but also personally.” She adds, “We’ve been a part of the chamber before it’s grown into the size that it has. (When we first joined), it was because our friends and our clients were members. We support them, and so supporting the (community) is what we’re doing. We talk the talk and we walk the walk.”
Over the years, the company has grown and changed the services it provides. Early on, Irons Brothers construction was mostly about building and smaller projects. Now they focus on design and rebuilding services.
“New home constructions sells a product. With remodeling, we sell a service. From the day we start design to the day we are completed, and throughout the warranty processing years thereafter we’re there as the first call for our clients to make sure we’re looking out for their best interests,” says Joseph.
His philosophy of working with clients is a holistic approach to remodeling. “One shoe doesn’t fit everybody. We find out what their must-haves, needs, and wants are, and then make sure we address it.”
For a lot of LGBTQ people, it can be worrisome to have someone in your home doing work. There is always a question of how authentic you can be with the contractors, or how much of your life you are willing to share. Joseph and Melissa understand the personal connection and inconvenience that can come with having workers in your space for an extended period.
“Remodeling is very personal. We’ve had to live through it our entire life,” says Joseph. “When we’re in someone’s home, I often think, ‘What would I expect the outcome to be if this were my house?’ I always look at it from a personal standpoint.”
The payoff for the Irons’ is hearing about the impact they’ve had on their client’s lives.
“Even after the projects, we host a client appreciation party annually, so we actually get to touch base with our clients year after year and hear the rewards about how we actually changed their life. We make things more accommodating (because) a lot of our clients are aging in place. It’s very rewarding to hear that after.”
Irons Brothers Construction is a business centered on family that stays true to its core values: high-quality craftsmanship, excellent customer service, work-site safety, green practices, professionalism, community involvement, and continuing education. With more than two decades experience, they expect to continue to grow, and to continue to support the GSBA community.
“It’s a huge family that we belong to. So when I need help, I know that I can rely on any of them,” Irons said. “What we all want is what’s best for everyone’s business, and to elevate to the next level.”
Joseph Irons was the 2010 recipient of the GSBA Business & Humanitarian Award, Business Leader of the Year.
— By Eric Moss
This article first appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of the Perspective. Republished with permission of the GSBA.