Established 1947: Buist Sheet Metal Company was founded by the late Gerrit Buist in 1947. Gerrit had worked in sheet metal for many years when he decided to start his own business out of his garage. His first job was to remove the slate roof from a soon-to-be-demolished building on Calvin College’s Franklin Campus. He then installed a new slate roof, built-in copper gutters, and copper flashing on Calvin’s new science building.
1950s – 1960s: In 1950, Gerrit and his sons, Don and Dale, built a small shop on Myrtle Street on the northwest side of Grand Rapids. When Gerrit passed away in 1956, Don and Dale took over the business. The business grew as their reputation for quality work spread. During the late ‘50s and ‘60s, they worked on many schools and churches, including St. John’s United Church of Christ and Mayflower Congregational Church.
1970s – 1980s: Don’s son Jim joined the business full time upon his graduation from Calvin College in 1975. In 1980, Buist Sheet Metal moved a few blocks east to its present location. With a larger shop, the company expanded its operations to include computerized press brakes and roll forming equipment. A milestone project of the late ‘80s was Christ Memorial Reformed Church, which won a National Excellence in Construction Award.
1990s – 2000s: Buist Sheet Metal continued to rely on tried-and-true construction methods and worked on many unique and often challenging projects, including historical restorations. Major projects include work on Grand Valley State University, the Amway Grand Plaza, the steeple of St. Patrick’s of Parnell, and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
2009 and Beyond: Jim runs the business today. His son, Don, represents the fourth generation in the family business, having joined Buist Sheet Metal full time in 2005 after graduating from Calvin College. Don assists Jim with estimating and project management responsibilities. The Buist family is proud of its heritage and is committed to building on past quality workmanship and to continued excellence in architectural sheet metal.