Western Canada’s Go-To Building Supply Business

Uppal Building Supplies (UBS)
Written by William Young

Uppal Building Supplies is an “Exterior Siding & Building Supply Distributor and Manufacturer.” The company was founded in 2005 by its President and sole owner, Mr. Jagtar Uppal. The business is situated on eight acres in the heart of Surrey, BC, and built over the years by maintaining large inventories of recognized brand name products with competitive pricing and a commitment to delivering service.

Through the years, Mr. Uppal has expanded the company’s available lines of products. Every product or product group are recognizably quality brand names, widely accepted by all contractors in the construction trade. Mr. Uppal devotes considerable investment in an ever-expanding manufacturing plant with new, updated and well-maintained equipment. Manufactured products include Metal Flashings, Roll Formed & Stamped Gutter Products, J-Trims, Sill Gasket, Steel Stud products and more.

Uppal Building Supplies is recognized and respected today for its vast supply of products that envelope the exteriors of both residential and commercial buildings. The company distinguishes itself against its competitors as being a “one-stop shop” for all exterior items. Items include a full line of insulation products, home and commercial air barrier wraps, rain screens, multiple siding and soffit options, wood products, gutter products, steel studs, decking materials and much more. No single competitor has the full range of product diversity that Uppal Building Supplies offers.

From the central location of Surrey, BC where Uppal’s head office is situated, Mr. Uppal has further expanded his business into new markets across the province of BC, with four new locations, Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Prince George and most recently, Kelowna. These new additions allow the company to serve centralized construction companies with projects throughout the province. Indeed, there is much “value add” for these larger construction companies to utilize Uppal’s five yards when staging materials for “on time” deliveries for projects that don’t necessarily have the luxury of open space or where storage of materials is not permitted.

From an employment perspective, Uppal Building Supplies offers a breadth of opportunities for career-minded individuals. There is a diverse range of skills required, from outside sales to customer service, administrative, accounting, forklift, warehouse, manufacturing, truck delivery and managerial positions, and the company offers internal training and promotes new positions from within.

Mr. Uppal prides himself on the work culture, describing it as a fast-paced, high-energy environment where hard work is expected and rewarded. These elements in tandem create a fun environment for employees because they are always facing new challenges and always encouraged to do their best. The contribution of the Uppal team of employees is appreciated, for it is the result of their labour that created the success and growth in the building of the business. At the end of the day, one feels a strong sense of personal satisfaction knowing they have done a good day’s work.

Certainly, the growth of Uppal Building Supplies has not come without a few growing pains. Mr. Uppal comments that inventory management will remain a challenge in coming months. The industry has seen unprecedented supply chain issues and through all this over the past few years Mr. Uppal has maintained his commitment to strong healthy levels of inventory.

As Uppal’s trucks are moving constantly, inventories also are moving constantly in order to be best positioned for customer needs and upcoming projects. Mr. Uppal mentions the logistical challenges concerning the global supply chain as of late, along with the fluctuating increase in costs of materials; this has presented big challenges for the company, however, the Uppal Team is able to handle these concerns confidently. “We’ve overcome everything in our path so far,” Mr. Uppal affirms.

To be sure, the building industry has seen an unprecedented two-year run of supply chain issues and price increases due to shifts in the global market and because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Uppal observes that the building industry is in something of a lull right now after all these developments, but Uppal’s business has not been affected by this recent levelling in the market during the summer months. Currently, multi-family and commercial properties are driving the market, a trend seen since the advent of COVID, with the single-family project market is slowing down in comparison. Builders and developers are somewhat unsure of what costs will be incurred for these projects going forward, so the market seems to be largely waiting until 2023 to start building in earnest. Mr. Uppal observes, however, that local builders continue building new projects so a busy and steady second half of 2022 is expected.

Mr. Uppal affirms the industry continues to be strong and will remain so in the coming months. “One thing the world has learned… over the past couple of years is to expect the unexpected and be ready to shift accordingly,” two attributes of the company’s abilities for success.

The company is looking to further expand across Western Canada. Aside from this future growth, Mr. Uppal prefers to keep the company’s cards close to the chest: “Uppal Building Supplies has a business model that works well for the company,” he shares.

As to what comes next, the company and the industry as a whole will be watching intently. Measured growth and preparing for the future are values that have served Uppal Building Supplies over the span of two decades—and counting.



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