Charlie Cerda likes to play with fire. As the owner of Cerdafied Specialists and a longtime Katy resident, he regularly wields flaming torches to bend metal. His company creates custom metalwork, such as steel front doors, iron driveway gates, banisters, stair rails, fire pits, awnings and intricate residential gazebos.
Cerda launched Cerdafied Specialists in 1981 and opened its now 10,000-square-foot Brookshire workshop in 1999. In December, the company will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its storefront at 24515 1-10, Ste. 600 in Katy.
The residential work of Cerdafied Specialists spans Katy and Greater Houston area neighborhoods. Commercial projects include the Katy High School State Championship sign at the high school, the entrance gates to the Firethorne neighborhood and the ironwork remodel of Restoration Hardware, 4030 Westheimer Road.
Cerda did not begin his career as a welder. In his 20s, he worked at a skylight company before branching out on his own. Skylights evolved to include outdoor decking and then metal welding, the company’s current specialty.
Lianna Cerda, Charlie’s wife who works alongside her husband, said most residential requests are for metal front doors and driveway gates.
“Steel front doors are very popular,” she said. “In addition to looking beautiful, they also add a level of security that people are interested in.”
Single steel doors range from about $3,000 to $4,500. Driveway gates start at about $4,000 with the opener.
The custom component to the company’s designs often starts with a lot of Pinterest photos said Charlie Ross Cerda, the couple’s middle son and a 2007 Taylor High School graduate.
He and his brother, Chase Cerda, a 2010 Taylor High School graduate, work for the family-owned company. Chase welds metal while Charlie Ross handles company operations.
Charlie Ross said clients are encouraged to bring in photos or sketches of what they want. Cerdafied Specialists creates custom pieces to reflect the designs and also coordinates with any existing metal work in their homes.
Although the company’s primary focus is home construction projects, the storefront sells wine bottle racks, candle stands, fireplace gates, and Texas and Katy-themed wall displays.
“There’s nothing we can’t do,” Charlie Cerda said. “I like a challenge. Can’t is not in my vocabulary.”