Not long after Jim Byrne graduated from college in upstate New York in 1976, he set his sights on Houston, Texas because the booming economy there offered him a wide range of opportunities. The high volume of new construction in Houston attracted Byrne’s attention and his first job was with a firm involved in applying decorative sheet metal panels to mansard roofing and canopies. In just two years, Jim Byrne was ready to start his own company and in 1978 he founded Byrne Sheet Metal. Most of Byrne’s projects in those early years were metal shingle mansards on Pizza Huts and 7-11 convenience stores.
1978 was also the year Byrne Sheet Metal became a Berridge customer. At that time, the company founded by Jack Berridge eight years earlier offered a limited range of products consisting mainly of a couple of standing seam profiles, some deep vee corrugated panels, steel and aluminum shake shingles and soffit panels.
Even though Houston’s economy slowed down considerably during the early eighties, Byrne Sheet Metal’s growth continued as the popularity of decorative metal panels grew. When Berridge Manufacturing Company introduced its new Model SS-14 portable roll former which could be used at the job site to form both curved and straight standing seam panels, Jim Byrne was quick to grasp the potential offered by this new product and he was one of the first to purchase one of these versatile new machines.