Founded in 1989 by Lewis Stewart, Jr. and Edmund Brannen, Stewart Brannen Millwork has become one of the United States' premier manufacturers of custom windows and doors.
The Register based company sells its high end components mostly through building material dealers located along the Atlantic and Southeastern seaboards.
"Since the adoption of the International Building Code throughout the southeastern United States, we have been the leader in testing custom door and window units for structural and impact ratings," said Bradford Stewart, outside sales manager for the company. "We have spent many hours in independent laboratories testing our door and window units."
The International Building Code is a model building code developed by the International Code Council, and has been adopted by all 50 states. Building components in hurricane prone areas must meet strict impact and wind load standards.
Perry Dawson is business development manager for windows and doors at Buck Lumber Company in Charleston, S.C. Dawson said Stewart Brannen Millwork is a very unusual company.
"They are a unique provider in that the testing they do, as required by code, is as good or better than much larger companies," Dawson said. "They can supply a wide range of products that have been tested which is very atypical for a company their size."
Dawson said it is very difficult to find a major company in his business that is local, providing a very high quality product at a reasonable price.
"Even though we are in Charleston, we consider Stewart Brannen Millwork to be a locally owned, family company," he said. "We have been working with them well over 10 years, and the quality is just phenomenal. They build product for homes valued well in excess of $1,000,000. The window and door package alone can easily exceed $300,000 for a single home."
Stewart said his father began to manufacture custom crafted windows when he purchased a Routech router in 2004. It also allowed the company to expand its door manufacturing capabilities.
"This router is driven by computer design," he said. "Our programmers put in all the specifications for the product being crafted, and the router takes it from there. You can create a very solid, well made product at a reasonable price this way."
Keith Able with Builder's First Source in Bluffton, S.C., said the company's quality is the best in the industry, and is matched by the service they provide.
"The folks at Stewart Brannen Millwork are the most honest and sincere people that I have every dealt with," Able said. "I have worked with them since they opened, and you can totally count on them to take care of your needs. The quality of their product is incomparable."
With six people in the office, and 27 on the production floor, the company has managed to survive the recession when many building product manufacturers have not.
"We have certainly taken a hit over the last three years just like everyone else," Stewart said. "But, I feel like during that time we have been able to continue to build on our reputation, and are now focusing a lot of effort on marketing. For the last several years, we have grown by word-of-mouth. My job is to get out in the field, and let people know who we are."
Stewart's mother Mollye Stewart works in the company's office as its office manager. Lewis Stewart remains the company's owner operator focusing on new product development. Brannen left the company in 2006 to pursue his passion as a full-time missionary.
Stewart said his father's goal has always been to make the finest windows and doors in the world, and he has always tried to offer value which is central to his beliefs.
"There are things that we can do in working with our clients that will provide them with a customized, unique product that is affordable," Bradford Stewart said. "My father wants a product that the end user is very pleased with, and that is our focus every day."
To learn more about the company, visit their website at www.brannenmillwork.com.