A crack in a basement wall got Larry Janesky thinking about a void in the construction market. He learned how to patch his customer’s leak and started what, over the past 30 years, has become a construction empire focusing solely on basements and the often forgotten undersides of buildings.
Basement Systems Inc., headquartered in Seymour, Connecticut, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
This privately held, multimillion dollar corporation has weathered three recessions, grown steadily through the years, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Janesky of Middlebury, an entrepreneur, is the founder and chief executive officer of Basement Systems Inc. and its sister companies – Connecticut Basement Systems, CleanSpace, and Total Basement Finishing. He’s also the co-founder of Foundation Supportworks and Dr. Energy Saver. He also founded the Treehouse Internet Group that supports his businesses.
Throughout Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y., he and the company are known for specializing in “all things basements” – basement waterproofing, basement finishing, crawlspace repair, structural repair and concrete lifting.
Since its founding, the company has served more than 51,000 customers, and one out of 12 single-family homes in Connecticut have their products installed, according to the company.
Kellie Santiago, a company spokeswoman, said the company employs 335 workers in Seymour and their network includes more than 400 dealers and 300 basement waterproofing and crawlspace contractors throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa.
“Basement Systems is a true Connecticut success story, and the chamber is grateful for the positive contributions they have made in our community as a valued employer, taxpayer and corporate leader over the past three decades,” said Bill Purcell, president of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce. “Larry Janesky is an extraordinary entrepreneur, a visionary leader and a gifted motivational speaker.”
In July, Janesky celebrated his company’s major milestone with an anniversary party held inside his newest state-of-the-art building that just opened its doors.
This sleek and modern 77,000-square-foot building is Basement Systems’ ninth building and it’s at 33 Progress Avenue, inside The Silvermine Commerce and Technology Park in Seymour.
It sits on a 54-acre campus and the company’s buildings span 365,000 square feet of workspace.
Each of Janesky’s buildings are symbolic to him and represent forward-moving concepts including education, entrepreneurship, innovation, pride, leadership and economic success.
Janesky said that his newest building represents clarity and it’s a result of everything he has created over the past 30 years.
“This is the most incredible home improvement contractor building in the world. And it is a great symbol of our belief in growth,” he said.
The three-story building that Janesky designed and Claris Construction built over a two-year period features a state-of-the-art theater for training, 48 truck bays that can hold up to 100 trucks and ample storage space in the warehouse.
The building also houses the main training center for Contractor Nation School of Entrepreneurship, which was established by Janesky last year.
“Our School of Entrepreneurship is where we can have a very large impact on North America,” Janesky said. “We plan to get thousands of contractors involved. When they improve their businesses, then their employees and customers will benefit as well.”
The sales, marketing, production, accounting and operations departments all work out of this new space, and the appointment center and service department are located here, too.
The other eight buildings, also designed by Janesky, feature award-winning workspace themes such as a space station, a tree house and an 1880s mining town.
What Janesky enjoys the most about building the company is “creating something from nothing, doing things that have never been done before and making them work.”
“We keep making progress and it feels great,” he said.
Janesky graduated from Bullard-Havens Technical High School in Bridgeport in 1982. He started out as a self-employed carpenter who remodeled and built homes.
Janesky’s defining moment happened when a client needed him to repair a leaking crack in a basement wall. He researched how to correct the problem and became knowledgeable about the basement waterproofing industry.
He began Connecticut Basement Systems in 1987 out of his first home in Devon, Connecticut, a neighborhood in Milford.
Needing more space, he moved the company to Stratford in 1989. His basement waterproofing service and dealer network became the largest contractor in the nation.
During this time, Janesky invented, developed and installed a line of exclusive waterproofing products.
In 1991, he formed Basement Systems Inc., a network of basement waterproofing contractors who are exclusive dealers and installers of his patented waterproofing products.
Today, he holds 31 patents and has five more pending.
In 1997, the company outgrew the space in Stratford and relocated to a 92,000-square-foot building in Seymour because it offered room for expansion. The company is now the town’s largest employer.
Janesky resides in Middlebury with his wife of 27 years, Wendy. They have three children together; Tanner, Chloe and Autumn.
Basement Systems is Hiring: Visit WorkAtBasementSystems to see what positions are available.
This article is by Alicia Sakal. The feature originally appeared online on August 26 and on the Business front page in the August 27, 2017 edition of Republican-American, a regional daily newspaper in 36 towns and cities in Litchfield County and Greater Waterbury, Connecticut.
Photos by Lisa Wilder of Basement Systems Inc.
If you’d like to read more posts like this one, please follow CandlewoodLakeMagazine on Facebook.