Service at the heart of Ski’s Plumbing
By Christine Bolaños
Chris Kurczewski landed in the plumbing business when he was only 22. Decades later he owns his own business, Ski’s Plumbing. The company is based in Liberty Hill and serves much of central Texas and the Hill Country.
“Twenty-two years old and didn’t know what I wanted to do and looking for a job,” said Kurczewski. “I ended up going to work for one of the plumbing companies and next thing you know I was qualified to go get my license to become a journeyman.”
According to the State of Texas, to become a licensed journeyman plumber, an individual must have accumulated at least 8,000 hours of experience working at the trade, among many other requirements.
“That’s when I took the test,” Kurczewski said. “Over time, I started advancing up. I got my master (plumber license) and then started my business.”
Born in El Paso to a military father, he spent most of his childhood in Germany.
“I spent about nine years living in Germany,” Kurczewski said. “I came back, lived in El Paso, graduated from Parkland High School and then I moved to the Austin area in December of 1991, and pretty much lived in the Austin area since then.”
He bought a property in Liberty Hill in 2007 and it was ready for his family to move in by 2008.
“I wanted to get away from the city,” Kurczewski explained. “We were looking for a little piece of property, a little land to sit on.”
His wife, Laura Murray, who handles administrative work for the company, said they were looking for peace, quiet and quality schools. The Liberty Hill area fit the bill.
“I had a friend that lives out here and I thought it was a neat little town so we moved out here,” Kurczewski said.
Ski’s Plumbing took form in 2006; before the couple moved to Liberty Hill.
Kurczewski’s business was a result of downsizing at a large company he worked for prior. He then worked in plumbing at the University of Texas at Austin student housing and some of the kitchens.
His next post was at Austin ISD. After some time he was ready to launch his own business full time.
Ski’s Plumbing provides replacements and repairs of plumbing fixtures/systems.
“If it can be repaired we can repair it,” Kurczewski said. “If it can’t, we replace. We predominantly are a service company where we focus on the customer. We do some new construction but very little. We do remodels also; we do the plumbing aspect only.”
Customer satisfaction is key at Ski’s Plumbing.
“If they’re not happy then we need to resolve it to make them happy,” he said. “I try to treat everyone with the respect that they deserve. Not just come in, do my job and leave.”
While Kurczewski is the owner, plumber and estimator for the company, his wife runs the office.
“I schedule the calls, I do the accounting and I’m the first person to talk to the customer,” Murray said, who has a background in accounting.
“When he went full time we decided to start off from our home,” she said. “I quit what I was doing to help him.”
The couple has been together for 13 years and married for four years. Kurczweski has three step-children and one child with Murray. Sarah and Olivia are 21-year-old twins. Sophia, 17, and Felicia, 4, live at home. Kurczewski plays for a men’s soccer league in Austin.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was about 10,” he said.
His wife said Kurczewski enjoys anything that is UT-Austin sports related included football and basketball.
“I went to six basketball games this year for UT,” he said. “Went to one football game. That’s all I have time for.”
When they’re not working, the couple is busy keeping up with their children’s involvement in track and soccer, as well as maintaining their property.
“Three cows, seven chickens, three dogs, four cats,” Murray said.
Ski’s Plumbing was launched in Liberty Hill, at least in part, because the couple identified a need in the area.
“You had to call one of the big companies to come out here,” Kurczewski explained. “I live out here so I wanted to keep the people of Liberty Hill happy. Give them a local plumber.”
Ski’s Plumbing services beyond Liberty Hill including Leander, Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock and Bertram.
“We’ve been out here for eight years and we want to become more involved with the community,” Murray said.
Kurczewski is a member of the Christian Business Leaders Associaiton. Murray is also a member of the Chaparral Women’s Club, a nonprofit civic organization that serves Williamson County.
“I’ve never had any complaints about Chris,” she said. “I talk to people all the time. One thing is he has high morals.
“Like someone will say, ‘Hey, can you do this?’ Chris is like, ‘Well I need to bring it up to code,’” Murray said. “They’ll say, ‘Can’t you just go around that and not bring it up to code.’ He’s like, ‘Nope, I bring it up to code or I’m not doing it.’”
By doing this he ensures any future plumbers who may work on the same projects in the future don’t have issues. Kurczewski, himself, has run into issues in the past, where a project is made more elaborate due to poor work performed by a prior plumber.
“He has high morals and high standards and he does things right the first time,” Murray said. “That’s one thing customers tell me. And he’s honest.”
Ski’s Plumbing is in need of an additional full-time licensed plumber. For more information, visit www.skisplumbing.com.