A Publication of WTVP

Rural Business of the Year

Savage Building Systems is solving ‘a huge problem’ in rural America

by Peoria Magazine |
Turner Center Nominee: Wood Posts with metal sleeves

A construction contractor for decades, Steve Beach saw the same problem over and over.  With pole barns and post-frame buildings, posts inevitably would rot, prompting frequent, time-consuming repairs. He came up with an idea, the column repair sleeve. Rather than replace a post, he’d shroud it in galvanized metal.  

“It solves a huge problem,” said Beach, 52, owner of Savage Building Systems.   

So began Phil Luciano’s May 2022 profile of the Varna-area company, which is the Turner Center’s Rural Business of the Year. Students affiliated with Bradley University’s Student Consulting Project selected Savage for their Spring 2021 consulting project. The students provided hundreds of hours of cumulative consulting time assisting with a marketing plan, recommendations on how to improve a dealer network, and suggestions for website updates.

In order to do this, the team thoroughly researched the construction industry and held meetings with Steve Beach in order to get an in-depth understanding of the company.

Evidently, it paid off.

Beach has patented the sleeves, which are about half the price of a wooden replacements. And whereas a post will rot in 25 to 30 years, Savage’s sleeves are guaranteed to last 1,000 years. Meanwhile, his two 3-man crews can do about 30 sleeves a day, making them five times more productive. Those jobs are important to Varna. Expect them to grow.

“We’re developing new stuff all the time,” said Beach.