In the spring of 1992, Jim and Debbie Cox started Pressures & Pipes out of their Muskegon home when the contractor where Jim had been an estimator and project manager permanently shut its doors. Debbie took on the role of Vice President, managing corporate records and finances. As President, Jim handled both negotiations and installations of the commercial and industrial mechanical work he bid.
The relationships Jim had built in the industry helped their startup company quickly earn business. Within weeks of operation, Pressures & Pipes had contracts in place with Tridonn Construction, Bayer Crop Science and Buck Construction, companies that remain customers to this date.
After working alone to install roof drains at a church on a project in Manistee, Jim was ready to add to the Pressures & Pipes team. He hired the company’s first employee, followed soon after by a half dozen more. Before long, Jim and Debbie’s startup outgrew their home office and moved into a formal office based out of Muskegon Heights.
The company’s next growth spurt came in the late 90s, when Pressures & Pipes secured its largest project to date, a $5 million expansion at Howmet with an expedited six-month schedule. The size of the project required a crew of 25 and a lot of overtime. The project was a success, and it gave Pressures & Pipes the confidence to continue to take on large-scale projects with its newly expanded team.
Impressed with the quality of work from Pressures & Pipes, customers began asking the company to travel to job sites in other states, primarily healthcare facilities in places like Minnesota, Illinois and North Carolina, to name a few. Locally, the company built a reputation for solid work at Muskegon-area healthcare facilities -- like Mercy Health, Spectrum Health, Muskegon Surgery Center and Hackley Hospital – as well as industrial manufacturers such as Cannon Muskegon and GE. The region’s school systems also relied on Pressures & Pipes. Over the years, the company completed projects for Mona Shores, Reeths-Puffer, Newaygo, Whitehall, City of Muskegon and Muskegon Heights public schools, as well as Muskegon Community College and Baker College.
When Jim and Debbie began to consider retirement, their concerns were for members of the Pressures & Pipes team, most of whom had been with the company for more than a decade. In 2019, an ideal succession plan emerged when Pressures & Pipes collaborated with Andy J. Egan Co. on the construction of the 10-story tower at Mercy Health Hospital in Muskegon. This partnership paved the way for Pressures & Pipes’ 25-person team and its Muskegon location to join the Egan Family of Companies.