Meet Derrick Leidy: Commercial Plumbing Estimator
His sophomore year, Derrick Leidy signed up for HVAC-plumbing trade school through his high school vo-tech program. “I attended regular classes for a half day and tech classes for a half day until I graduated and went into a full-time plumbing and HVAC program.”
Derrick’s decision wasn’t a popular one with school counselors and teachers. “They kept telling me, ‘You have straight As. You can’t go to tech school,’” said Derrick. “But I wanted to work with my hands. I had never touched plumbing or HVAC equipment before, but I was always really interested in it.” With thousands of today’s trade jobs sitting empty while most high school grads prepare for college, the plumbing, HVAC and refrigeration industries are facing a full-on employment crisis.
“It’s unfortunate more people don’t go the route I did. It’s a good paying career, and I love the fact I’m not on call 24/7. It’s a set timeframe, so I have plenty of freedom to spend time with my kids, which is my number one priority,” said Derrick. “I love the people I work with, and I enjoy interacting with different clients on a daily basis. And I thrive on the challenge of selling enough projects to support an entire commercial division.”
On the Job With Elek’s Plumbing Estimator
Guided by over 11 years’ experience as an HVAC and plumbing technician, Derrick is a priceless asset to Elek’s commercial contract division. He joined the team 7 years ago and spent his first four as an HVAC and plumbing service tech, back when Elek offered heating and AC service alongside plumbing. Today, the company focuses on residential and commercial plumbing, water treatment and drain jetting, and partners with Burkholder’s Heating and Air Conditioning to meet customers’ HVAC needs.
Derrick Leidy is a licensed master plumber who holds EPA, refrigeration and HVAC certifications, and he became Elek’s go-to commercial estimator in 2017. Today, he handles the company’s commercial and industrial estimates: calculating materials and labor costs and details for plan, spec and design-build projects.
“My days consist of reading blueprints, designing projects, reading more blueprints, working with general contractors on budgeting—and, did I mention, reading blueprints?” Derrick laughs. “There is a lot to the process: placing material, placing fixtures, doing takeoffs on prints and putting it altogether to estimate a project’s value. And many times, companies don’t want to hire engineers—so they pay us to design the jobs. It’s interesting. And complicated.”
The Elek Advantage, According to Derrick
Like most Elek team members, Derrick says his co-workers and the family-oriented atmosphere are two of the things he wouldn’t trade about his employment situation. “It’s a big company, but it feels like a close family. And we always stand behind our work,” he says.
“I also love that Elek is committed to breaking industry boundaries and elevating quality standards. In my opinion, it’s the reason we’re one of the best commercial plumbing contractors in the Lehigh Valley.”
More About Derrick Leidy & the Elek SuperSTARS
When Derrick isn’t buried in blueprints, he hangs out with his children (3, 6 and 7), taking them fishing and having pool barbecues with extended family. “Besides fishing, I enjoy home renovations and DIY projects. I just don’t get enough of that at work,” he jokes. “Sometime I’d like to travel to Disneyland with my kids and my friends from work. I’ve never been to California, and it sounds like the perfect place to get away.”
Celebrating its 106th year in business, Elek Plumbing has many employees who have been with the company for a decade or more. It’s tough to find team longevity like that, especially in the trades—but our SuperSTARS say it’s the family values and tightknit company culture that motivate them to stay. Meet more of our managers, residential and commercial plumbing contractors, and office staff on the Elek blog—or call 610.432.7001 to schedule a commercial plumbing estimate or residential service call!