Tru Solutions seals in savings with foam insulation

Friday, September 9, 2011, Vol. 35, No. 36
By Hollie Deese

Ryan Fesmire was well on his way to becoming a dentist, following in the footsteps of his father. The Franklin Road Academy graduate was in dental school following his time at Mississippi State and selling windows when Don Kennedy of Don Kennedy Roofing contacted him about starting a new venture – foam insulation.

“He had some manufacturers approach him for a couple of years and he then approached me about starting a branch, or even another business doing foam insulation,” Fesmire says. “So I went to Charlotte, N.C., and observed a company up there for a couple of days, then went to Naples, Fla., to do the same. I came back and we decided to embark on this endeavor.”

Tru Solutions, launched in 2007, provides foam insulation services to new and existing homes. This type of spray foam is a complete insulation and air barrier system, minimizing air leakage into and out of the home. This allows the HVAC to work less hard and lowers utility costs, sometimes as much as 50 percent every month, Fesmire says.

“For most existing houses, a good average is 25-30 percent,” he says, “I have seen more than that and I have seen less than that. If the rest of your house is buttoned up pretty good, you lose much of it through your attic ceiling. So if you go in there and foam your roof deck it helps a lot.”

Foam is considered a greener and healthier alternative to traditional fiberglass insulation. Not only does it create an airtight seal to reduce air leakage, it limits the penetration of outdoor and indoor allergens and pollutants. In fact, the foam Tru Solutions uses reduces airborne moisture from entering the home, which minimizes the growth of mildew, dust mites and other allergens.

“It fixes a lot of issues no other insulation can do,” Fesmire says. “On top of helping the house work better from an energy standpoint, it is also more comfortable and healthier.”

One obstacle is getting across to homeowners that the higher initial cost for his product will be paid back over time in utility savings.

“People have a little bit of a conception that it is outrageously expensive and it doesn’t make any sense,” he says. “I understand foam is not going to be in everybody’s budget or the right product for every job. But if you are planning on being in the house for longer than two or three years, it is going to pay itself off. You have to think of it as an investment in your property rather than just insulation.”

Awareness of the product is growing as people look for ways to lower costs. Fesmire says about 70 percent of his business comes from new construction, with the rest coming from existing homes.

“We are still behind a lot of other markets,” he says. “You go to Texas and up in the Carolinas and Boston and it is a lot more of a commodity. Probably because people are more conscious since we don’t pay as high of utility rates as other states. Also, Nashville is getting a lot of people from other areas that have had it done. I can definitely tell in the last six months people are becoming more knowledgeable about it.”

As the business grows, Fesmire says he is committed to delivering a quality product – especially since he is a hometown guy.

“I am from Nashville and have always been taught that when you leave this place your name is all that is left. We are a company that really stands behind our work and our quality,” he says. “We are not perfect, but if something is not right we are going to make it right because at the end of the day I want people to leave and go and tell their neighbors and their friends what a great job we did.”