Lansing Housing Products celebrating 20 years in business, rebranding as Tough Tek Metals® with May 25 open house

Celebrating 20 years and a new name ... The success of Tough Tek Metals® in Lansing is due to a team effort, and co-owners Brian Houlihan and Dave Monserud emphasize that every employee is valuable to the company. Over the past 20 years, the team has grown to 23 members, many of whom are pictured above in this staff photo, and it is looking to add more as the venture continues to grow in many areas. The public is invited to come and meet the team and learn more about what Tough Tek Metals® has to offer at a May 25 open house event in Lansing that will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the business and its rebranding from the original name of Lansing Housing Products. Submitted photo.

Standing up to standing on it ... Members of the Tough Tek Metals® team demonstrate the strength and durability of a screen manufactured at its facility in Lansing by standing on it without it breaking. In 2017, the business received a patent for its child safety screen that helps prevent falls from windows. That stainless steel screen can withstand 100 pounds of static pressure and is being used in construction of military family housing and public housing units in the U.S. and internationally. Submitted photo.

by Brianne Grimstad

May 25 of this year Lansing Housing Products will be celebrating 20 years in business with an open house from 2-7 p.m. at its Lansing facility, along with unveiling the rebranding of the business name to Tough Tek Metals®. In 2015, the team at Lansing Housing Products partnered with a branding firm and came up with the name of Tough Tek Metals®, which they felt more accurately represents the quality of their products and what they do in the focus and the operation of their business.

Lansing Housing Products came into existence in 2003, when co-owners Brian Houlihan and Dave Monserud purchased the former RTG, Inc. assets in order to help keep jobs in Lansing and prevent another business from leaving the small river town. When they first began Lansing Housing Products, it was located near the former lumber yard in Lansing, but the business soon moved to its current location at 331 Platt Street in Lansing.

The company continues to manufacture quality products like doors, screens and other items used in the construction of dwellings. Monserud had been employed with RTG, Inc. for 13 years, working in various positions from production, to management, to sales with that company. Houlihan brought his financial experience from farming, being a business owner and as vice president of Kerndt Brothers Bank to the new business venture.

While they continue to make the same quality products, they also are always looking to solve problems and safety issues that can be found in homes and other buildings. For example, hail damage is a common problem across the Midwest and in other areas of the country, so the team at Lansing Housing Products developed a screen that was effective against hail damage. It turned out it was also effective against vandalism as well.

“We look for solutions to problems,” Houlihan said.

There have been a lot of changes in the industry over the years, at all levels. Tough Tek Metals® has stayed in tune with those changes within its own business structure.

“At the administrative level, project managers have been added. There have been efficiencies in the shop and production system. Things are always evolving,” Monserud noted.

In 2006, the business was approached by child safety advocates from Minneapolis, MN to make a screen that would prevent children from falling through windows. In 2017, they received a patent for their child safety screen, which was developed through a partnership with Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service. The screen is a stainless steel screen that can withstand 100 pounds of static pressure. This innovative screen caught the attention of public housing agencies and United States military housing, expanding sales opportunities that are not just national, but international as well.

They recently submitted a bid to a job in Italy. They have also been working with child advocate agencies in Japan, where injuries and deaths of children falling from balconies and windows is a big problem. In 2019, Lansing Housing Products was recognized for its child safety screens, which are being installed in all of the military family residential units managed by Australian company Lendlease Communities.

In the company’s 20 years, there has been a market expansion. Tough Tek Metals® has had products sold in 49 of the 50 U.S. States. While public housing units are an important part of the business, Tough Tek Metals® products are made for all types of dwellings.

“We do a lot of local residential,” Houlihan noted. “We always have, but we didn’t always have anyone dedicated to focus on that.”

In order to better meet the needs of residential owners, Tough Tek brought Duane Wood onto its team. Over the years, as they have expanded their market and products, Tough Tek has grown to a team of 23 employees and they are looking to add a couple more.

“We have a great group of employees,” Houlihan said. “All of our employees, from the office to the shop floor, are dependable and reliable.” The success of Tough Tek really stems from a team effort to make and provide quality products.

Looking to the future, Tough Tek Metals® will continue to work to find solutions to keep kids and adults safe. Currently, they are working with a school district in Milwaukee on a project to help make the school safer.

“The school security will be a big area,” Monserud predicted.

While it’s not something that anyone likes to have to see happen, they are hoping that the security screens will be an affordable way for school districts, small and large, to be able to address student safety issues. Houlihan noted that in a test, an AK-47 rifle was used to shoot at a window that had the security screen in it. While the glass did break, the screen stayed intact.  Another market that will be opening up for Tough Tek Metals® is in areas that are prone to hurricanes. Their screen has passed the Florida Hurricane Impact test Missile Level D, making it a good fit for use in construction in those places.

The Tough Tek Metals® open house will coincide with the Taste of Lansing event scheduled for Thursday, May 25. Tough Tek Metals® invites the public to come and see their products on display, meet the team and take a tour of the facility. They will also be serving pork sandwiches and beverages.

For more information on their products, those interested can also visit the business website at