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Certainteed helps restore historic West Hill School to former glory

Restored building will serve as part of new cultural arts center for Mohawk Valley region.

The original Canajoharie Academy—known today as the West Hill School—was erected in rural upstate New York in 1824. A prominent landmark of the Village of Canajoharie, the school famously employed women’s suffrage icon Susan B. Anthony, who served as a teacher and head of the “female department” there from 1846 to 1851. The current building’s stone façade and distinct red roof, erected in 1892 by American architect Archimedes Russell in the Romanesque revival style, served as the site of multiple schools, until the building fell into disrepair in the 2000s.

The Mohawk Valley Collective historic preservation society took control of the site in 2012, stabilizing the building and cleaning up the site with plans to convert the historic building into a conference and cultural arts center. With the building’s original roof long gone, the collective sought to restore it to its former vermillion glory. Malvern, Pennsylvania-based CertainTeed—a leading manufacturer of building materials—answered the call, agreeing to donate a portion of the 15,000 square feet of Venetian Red Highland Slate® shingles needed to repair the school’s bell tower and roof, as well as underlayment and other materials.

“This is one of the most interesting projects we have been a part of,” said Alex Pecora, director of roofing product management for CertainTeed. “We are often approached for donations, and are very selective with the projects we become involved in, but there is a rich history to this building, as well as a promising future. The architect of the 1892 building, Archimedes Russell, was well-known and served as a professor of architecture at Syracuse University in the late 1800s. It’s an honor to be able to help restore the building to his original vision.”

“We’re thrilled to be participating in a project that will also bring cultural arts and learning to the Mohawk Valley area,” Pecora added. “Highland Slate is a tough shingle made to survive harsh conditions and 110 mile-per-hour winds, so we believe it will serve the West Hill School well for many years to come.”

Tolga Morawski, founder of the Mohawk Valley Collective, said previous roof patchwork had been done on the building since the 1970s, but that the building became derelict when it fell into foreclosure during the 2008 housing crisis.

“A 25-year roof was installed on the building in 1975, but it’s in rough shape,” said Morawski. “Since acquiring the building in 2012, we’ve been patching it with donated shingles from homeowners who had extras, but we came to a point where we needed to replace the roof and make much needed repairs to the decking. The building sits high on a hill overlooking the village where it sees a lot of wind and the bell tower has been struck by lightning in the past due to its height, so we are thrilled CertainTeed was able to provide us with a product right for the climate that matches the building’s original charm.”

According to Morawski, the project will start with the restoration of the bell tower, with plans to repair the full roof in mid-to-late 2019 and a full building rehab scheduled for some time in 2020.

Rep. Angelo L. Santabarbara (D-N.Y.) represents New York’s 111th State Assembly District, which comprises all of Montgomery County, where the West Hill School sits, as well as parts of Schenectady and Albany Counties. He praised the public-private partnership effort between CertainTeed and the Mohawk Valley Collective during a recent ribbon cutting ceremony for the project.

“Restoration of the West Hill School preserves a local landmark and a piece of history here in the Village of Canajoharie,” said Santabarbara. “The history of the school, which sits on the former site of the Canajoharie Academy, is woven into the fabric of our community and keeping its legacy alive has been the driving force behind the importance of this project. This investment not only breathes new life into this nationally recognized site, but also ensures that our region’s history and culture will endure for generations to come.”

About the Mohawk Valley Collective

The Mohawk Valley Collective, Inc. is a New-York-based nonprofit dedicated to the restoration and adaptive reuse historic architectural gems in the Mohawk Valley region. Its main mission is the acquisition/preservation of deteriorated properties of historic or other significance in western/central Montgomery County, New York and the return of those properties to productive use; the provision of venues for the visual/performing arts; and the fostering, development, promotion and encouragement of the arts, including support for artists and arts education for the general public. The organization strives to promote tourism and job creation; to serve as a clearinghouse for information about our communities’, regions’ and state’s historic, natural, cultural and recreational attractions, events and accommodations; and to make connections, so visitors will return.

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed®, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 110 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, drywall and ceilings.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain®, one of the world’s largest and oldest building products companies, CertainTeed has more than 6,300 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The group had total sales of approximately $3.7 billion in 2017. www.certainteed.com.

Source: Certainteed.

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Out of sight, out of mind = out of pocket

By Tremco Roofing.

TremCare™ roof maintenance program options fit your budget and prevent emergency repairs.

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind.” This rings especially true when it comes to maintaining a roofing system, which is often ignored because it’s rarely within direct view.

However, roofs get the unrelenting worst that weather can throw at it—snow, hail, rain, heat, cold. Without regular maintenance, it will inevitably risk premature deterioration and aging, often leading to unexpected, large-scale, high-cost repairs. By taking preventive steps, you can help keep your roof in top working order, thereby lowering your total roofing expenses, preventing costly emergency repairs and extending your roof’s service life by as much as 10 to 15 years.

In fact, according to a study by the National Roofing Contractors Association and Association for Facilities Engineering, preventive maintenance increases roof life by 30% to 100%, depending upon the type and condition of your roofing system.

A great way to do this is through a roof maintenance program, such as TremCare™. With TremCare, trained roofing technicians perform inspections, housekeeping and preventive maintenance on a regular, scheduled basis. Issues can be detected and addressed promptly, thus preventing costly emergency repairs.

Carefully tailored to suit your specific building and budget, TremCare programs are available for any type of roofing system and include access to OLI®, Tremco’s online information system that manages all roofing data in a secure, password-protected location, eliminating the need for paper records.

TremCare programs are offered in three levels, with increasing degrees of support:

Asset Management

For those who wish to manage their own roofing assets, a Tremco roofing technician will inspect your roofing system, conduct an extensive inventory of your roof’s condition to establish immediate needs, and then record all data in OLI for your use. Then, you can continue to monitor, maintain and repair your roofing systems as you see fit.

TremCare Gold

This program includes a customized plan based upon your specific roofing needs and budget, along with the following services:

Housekeeping – All incidental debris will be removed from the roof, drains and gutters during scheduled, periodic housekeeping appointments.

Preventive Maintenance – Your roofing system will be maintained in its present condition by making minor repairs to the membrane and flashing systems. Preventive maintenance is not designed to restore neglected roofs to new condition.

24-Hour Emergency Leak Response – Leaks can be reported 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a toll-free hotline that logs your call for priority treatment.

TremCare Platinum

In addition to the services provided through TremCare Gold, this program offers free repairs for leaking roofs, simplifying your maintenance budget. TremCare Platinum is intended for non-Tremco roofing systems or Tremco roofs with expired warranties. Neglected roofs may require repairs or upgrades before TremCare Platinum can be instituted.

Don’t let “out of mind, out of sight” lead to expensive “out-of-pocket” costs. To find out which TremCare program best suits your specific roofing needs, contact Kristen Weiss at 877-432-1132.

Visit the Tremco Roofing web site.

Source: Tremco Roofing.


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Do you have an asphalt installation that is worthy of recognition?

Don’t miss out on the chance for your project to be showcased by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Association – the deadline is December 31.

Now is the time to get your 2018 submission into ARMA. Click here to enter your project(s) or visit asphaltroofing.org/excellence/submit-your-entry/ before December 31, 2018. See the 2012 winners below.

GOLD: Deerfield Residence, Precise Roofing

The asphalt roofing system on this residential project located in Deerfield, Illinois, embodies the qualities that the program strives to recognize each year: beautiful, affordable and reliable. With the installation of a new, designer, double laminate shingle, it was the first of its kind to be used in the Chicago area. Installed on multiple roofing planes, attention to detail was paramount to the roof’s uniform appearance. The homeowner desired the aesthetic appeal of a slate roof without the high cost and expensive installation of slate. This new shingle is a departure from the traditional architectural shingle that we see so much of today, giving the home the unique curb appeal that the owner desired and making it the envy of the neighborhood.

SILVER: Seagoville Residence, Legends Roofing

Flexibility was key for this project. With the house’s unique dome shape, asphalt shingles were required for this roof’s triangular sections and dramatic slope. Heavier roofing materials like metal and slate would have proved too cumbersome for this tornado-prone area. Asphalt’s versatility is showcased on this house as the different sized roof planes are seemingly tailored with designer asphalt shingles in a classic burnt sienna color. Because of the dry, warm climate in Texas, the high fire-resistance rating of asphalt shingles made it the obvious choice over other roofing materials like wooden shake. A combination of unique design and practicality makes this project a success story for asphalt shingles.

BRONZE: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Miami Branch, Advanced Roofing, Inc.

The most expansive project in this year’s program, this 257,000-square-foot roof is covered with an asphaltic modified bitumen system. Because of Florida’s climate, including intense UV light and strong winds during hurricane season, an asphalt modified roof was the clear-cut choice for this building. Boasting 140-mph wind resistance and an energy efficient cap sheet, the owner can rely on the roofing component to be durable and that energy costs will be reduced over time. Affordability and ease of installation made asphalt the material of choice for this project.

For more information please visit https://asphaltroofing.org/.

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Trimble Launches New Mobile App for Contractors to Manage Business More Efficiently

Contractor WorkZone Enables Smaller Contractors and Companies to Manage their Operations Anywhere, Anytime

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 12, 2018—Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) launched today Contractor WorkZone, a simple construction business software and project management tool. Built specifically for smaller contractors and companies, Contractor WorkZone enables users to run their business as well as manage their jobs, teams and finances all from one easy-to-use mobile application running on Apple or Android mobile devices.

Small contractors around the globe are on the cusp of a new era, adopting new mobile technologies and improving methods to drive productivity and grow their business. It is estimated that lagging productivity in the construction industry costs the global economy $1.6 trillion a year.* To be competitive in today’s fast moving environment, it’s essential to utilize tools that streamline workflows from the back office to the field to complete projects on budget and time. Contractor WorkZone allows users to eliminate paperwork and save time by operating their businesses from the field. The app includes:

  • Project & Job Management – Send quotes, RFI’s, estimates, invoices and more on the spot. Keep projects fully updated with change orders, subcontractor agreements and purchase orders.
  • Team Management – Access work diaries, site instructions, incident reports and more. Cloud synchronization allows the ability to share projects and information between teams and clients.
  • Financial & Business Management – Generate quotes, invoices and finances to help manage a business at any time from any location.

“With the need to simplify operations, contractors are looking for easy to use, mobile tools to run their business more efficiently on the road,” said Shelly Nooner, business area director, Small Contractor Business. “Building upon Trimble’s decades of experience and working closely with innovative building contractors, we developed a simple yet practical solution specifically designed to enable small contractors to save time and improve productivity on the jobsite.”

Contractor WorkZone is built simple and scalable so companies can get up and running, utilizing the application fully and quickly to meet their business needs. There are three all-inclusive pricing subscriptions—Basic, Pro and Advanced—for users in construction, building, landscaping, remodeling and related industries.

For more information on Contractor WorkZone, visit:  https://contractorworkzone.com. The app can be downloaded on mobile devices through the Apple App and Google Play Stores for a free two-week trial to experience all the features of Contractor WorkZone.

About Trimble

Trimble is transforming the way the world works by delivering products and services that connect the physical and digital worlds. Core technologies in positioning, modeling, connectivity and data analytics enable customers to improve productivity, quality, safety and sustainability. From purpose-built products to enterprise lifecycle solutions, Trimble software, hardware and services are transforming industries such as agriculture, construction, geospatial and transportation and logistics. For more information about Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB), visit:  www.trimble.com.


* McKinsey Global Institute – Reinventing Construction: A Route to Higher Productivity – February 2017

Media Contact:

Lea Ann McNabb

+1 408-481-7808


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Tesla Patent for Colored Solar Tiles

By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor

The patent is for ‘Uniformly and Directionally Colored Photovoltaic Modules.”

In the patent, they explain that traditionally the color of the panels is the natural color of the solar cells embedded inside, which is usually blue, dark blue or black.

Most homeowners want to select the color of their roof, so that it complements the rest of their home. Existing methods to color the tiles, such as applying tinted glass or color encapsulation sheets can absorb a lot of sunlight and cause the PV system to perform poorly. These methods may cause the tiles to suffer from sparkle, glint or angle-dependent color. They also degrade over time, resulting in an unpleasant appearance.

Tesla’s patent states that it will produce PV roof tiles with a uniform color with little light absorption. Their method will consist of texturizing the inside surface of a glass cover and a transparent material that has a predetermined refractive index.  Spherical, metal nanoparticles positioned on the inside surface can produce colors without absorbing much light.

As Tesla stated in their Q2 2017 report, “Adopting solar has historically required a degree of aesthetic compromise, but Solar Roof provides clean energy from a better-looking roof.”  They are taking the aesthetics one step further and will be able to offer homeowners even more color choices.

While the company didn’t say where the new tiles would be manufactured, it most likely will be at the company’s Gigafactory2, a 1.2 million square foot facility located in Buffalo, New York. The company began manufacturing there in late 2017 and employs 800 workers to date. Their agreement with the state of New York requires them to increase that to 5,000 employers over the course of the next ten years.

Photo: Tesla

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The Roofing Alliance Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program Accepting Applications

The Roofing Alliance, the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), announced the availability of scholarship applications for the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program for the 2019-20 academic year.

Since 1986, The Roofing Alliance (formerly The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress) has invested time and funding not only to educate the roofing industry but also the industry’s youth through the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program. Named for Melvin Kruger, a former NRCA president, a former Roofing Alliance president and CEO of L.E. Schwartz & Son Inc., Macon, Ga., the program is available to NRCA contractor and supplier members, their families and their employees who plan to pursue careers in the roofing or construction industries.

Scholarship recipients are awarded $5,000 per year for up to four years of undergraduate study. Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of academic record; potential to succeed; leadership and participation in school and community activities; honors; work experience; a statement of career goals and aspirations; and an outside appraisal. 

“To date, 125 students have received $790,000 in scholarship awards,” said Rodney Petrick, owner of Ridgeworth Roofing, Frankfort, Ill. and current president of The Roofing Alliance.  “The Roofing Alliance is focused on giving back while also working hard to share the professionalism and opportunities within the roofing trade.  By supporting students who are interested in construction and specifically roofing, we are spreading the word about the potential that is available in our industry.”

“We also encourage the industry to support the scholarship fund,” continued Petrick.  “Gifts to the scholarship program are tax-deductible. Any donation amount is welcome, but if you make a commitment of $50,000, you can choose to name the scholarship and participate in the recipient selection process.”

Applicants must be high school seniors or graduates who plan to enroll or students who are already enrolled in a full-time undergraduate course of study directly related to a career in the roofing industry or building construction at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school. Awards are renewable for up to three years of undergraduate study or until a bachelor’s degree is earned provided recipients renew annually and maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.  Applications must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2019. 

For more information, visit www.roofingindustryalliance.net

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Could These Marketing Oversights Be Costing You Business?

By HailPost.

Common direct marketing mistakes and how to fix them.

When it comes to finding new customers, the small things can make the biggest impact. As a business owner, it is often difficult to know all the elements that play in to a potential customer’s decision to use your services. To help make the most of your direct marketing campaigns, it’s important to have a marketing partner who will focus on the small details for you. This article written by Aaron O’Hanlon of Footbridge Media details 5 common mistakes that contractors often make with their direct mail marketing campaigns. At HailPost, our focus is to help you avoid these, so you can focus on your business.


  1. Your logo is the biggest image on the piece. While brand recognition is important, the customer needs to know why they should use your services over any other company. We’ve created engaging postcard designs that are designed to catch the attention of your prospective customers while still incorporating your personal brand.
  2. Cramming all your services in to one piece. With HailPost, you have the option of mailing, and then remailing, customers affected by storms. This gives you the flexibility to tailor your imaging and message for each mail piece. Send out a first touch letting them know that you’re there to help and then re-mail them with a separate message to remind them of why they should use you.
  3. Your mailing list is too broad. With HailPost, we focus on hitting only the households that are most likely affected by damaging hail or wind storms, so no mail is wasted.
  4. Typos and errors. You’ve already got enough to focus on while running a business without having to be in the business of proofreading. Our in-house graphics team takes care of the content creation of your postcard, ensuring that no errors or misspellings are ever present.
  5. No call to action. We’ve already thought ahead! We’ve incorporated storm data with call to actions on our postcard designs, so your customers know exactly why they should be coming to you for their contracting needs. Our online portal allows you to brows available artwork options and select the imagery or messaging that works best for your business needs.

At HailPost, we’re backed by the marketing expertise of ddk marketing. With years of experience in direct mail campaigns, we’re here to be your marketing partner every step of the way. Our account management and graphics teams are at your disposal to help make the most out of your marketing dollars.

Check out our website for more information! hailpost.ddkmarketing.com

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NRCA and CNA seek entries for award

CNA and NRCA are accepting nominations for the CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award, which honors charitable works by NRCA member contractors.

Nominate any charitable project, activity or donation completed between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018, for a chance to win up to $7,500 for your charity.

Four winning charities will be selected. The first-place winner will receive $7,500; second place winner will receive $5,000; third place winner will receive $2,500; and People’s Choice winner will receive $1,500. The awards will be presented at NRCA’s Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception during NRCA’s 132nd Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

Submissions should include an in-depth description of the charitable work, testimonial from the receiving charity and any supporting material (photos, videos, press clippings, etc.). A panel of judges from CNA and NRCA will determine the first, second and third place winners. The winner of the People’s Choice award will be selected by the public via online voting.

Members submitting are encouraged to create a Dropbox folder containing all materials noted below and email the Dropbox link to Krista Berns, NRCA’s director of communications, at kberns@nrca.net by close of business Dec. 31.

Each entry should contain the following:

  • An entry form
  • An in-depth description of the charitable work performed (a minimum 100-word description is required)
  • A testimonial from the receiving charity explaining how the donation helped its operations
  • Other relevant supporting materials, including photos, videos, press clippings, etc.

If submitting by mail, complete the entry form and include it with your entry package. All mailed entry packages must contain the same supporting material as electronic submissions and must be received by Dec. 31. Please do not staple entry materials.

If you have questions, contact Ambika Reid, NRCA’s vice president of communications and production, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7555 or areid@nrca.net.

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Raising the B.A.R. with these Beautiful, Affordable and Resilient Asphalt Roofs

ARMA’s Awards program is designed to showcase the beauty and diversity of asphalt roofing systems in residential and commercial buildings.


Now is the time to get your 2018 award submission into ARMA. Click here to enter your project(s) or visit asphaltroofing.org/excellence/submit-your-entry/ before December 31, 2018. See the 2013 winners below.

GOLD – Doral City Hall Precision Roofing Corp. Doral, FL

Government buildings are under tight scrutiny to not only protect assets, reduce cost and assure longevity, but also respond to the ever growing need for installing energy-efficient roof systems. Doral City Hall is the perfect example of how asphaltic roofing does it all. The system consisted of multiple roof areas, including lightweight insulating concrete that used a nailable venting base sheet, 3 plies of premium glass ply, and an energy-efficient cap sheet that exceeded the reflectance requirements of ENERGY STAR®, Title 24 and the Miami 21 Initiative. Another roofing area was built over structural concrete. This system incorporated the use of GAF GAFGLAS® Stratavent® Eliminator™ venting base sheet directly over ISO insulation, which also helped reduce the overall cost of the project by eliminating the need for an overlay board and a mopping of asphalt because Precision Roofing Corp. could simultaneously attach the base and first interply. Because the architect specified a roof that would last, Precision believed in the durability and reliability of this redundant system. Using innovative asphaltic roofing products like the highly-reflective EnergyCap® BUR cap sheet, they were able to meet high reflectance and stringent code ratings.

SILVER – Publix #1382 Advanced Roofing, Inc. Miami, FL

Publix Super Market, one of the top 10 largest supermarket chains in the U.S. with over 165,000 employees, trusts their roofing specification to a composite built up/modified bitumen system. Advanced Roofing is one of Publix’s preferred roofers and has installed asphaltic roofing systems for the company since 1996.

Publix chose asphaltic roofing because they believe it’s the best system to keep their products dry and customers safe. They weren’t comfortable with a single ply of protection, instead they preferred the redundancy of asphalt. Store 1382 in Miami, included a metal deck, 2 layers of ISO installed in accordance with FM Global requirements, a GAFGLAS® Stratavent® Eliminator™ Perforated venting base sheet, 3 plies of FlexPly ® 6 and a GAF PRF SBS FR Modified bitumen cap sheet. It was finished with an ENERGY STAR® rated coating that not only made the roof look great but also helped reduce energy costs and fight global warming.

Advanced Roofing recommends the use of asphaltic roofing to any professional looking for a bulletproof roof. It not only provides multilayer protection, but has a 100+ year track record, waterproofing and adhesion characteristics.

BRONZE – Everett Victorian Certified Incorporated Laurel, MD

Formerly known as Phelps Mansion, this historic Victorian was built in 1888 by Edward Phelps, who was the first mayor of Laurel, MD. During his 7 terms in office from 1895-1902, he was responsible for bringing electric street lights, brick-paved roads, a telephone system and a railroad that connected Laurel to Washington, D.C. During renovation, CertainTeed Highland Slate was chosen primarily because it imitated natural slate, which was a period material for this historic home, and it was significantly cheaper than any slate or synthetic roofing product. It was also one of the few products that the local historic commission would approve for this home in order to meet their stringent guidelines. Unlike other slate options, this asphalt product was easy to work with and provided a safer working environment. As noted in the pictures, this asphalt roofing product works great on historic buildings that are trying to replicate an original look and feel. Certified Incorporated highly recommends using this asphalt roofing product to other contractors working on historic restoration projects.

For more information please visit https://asphaltroofing.org/.

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Maximizing the Customer Experience Pt. 2 — GAF Contractor’s Corner Ep. 4

On GAF Contractor’s Corner we talk to roofing professionals about what’s driving their business. We explore successes, challenges, tips tools and more. The podcast is hosted by Don Kilcoyne and will feature interviews with contractors as well as experts on topics of use to contractors. Please join the discussion in the comments section, and subscribe at iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Feel free to email your questions and comments to ContractorsCorner@gaf.com.

Episode 4: Maximizing the Customer Experience, with guests Janice and Kelly Stitzer of CIG Construction.

cigconstruction.com | #roofitright | www.facebook.com/CIGconstruction

This episode concludes our discussion with Kelly and Janice Stitzer of CIG Construction in Colorado. If you have not yet listened to the first part of our conversation, please tune in to Episode 3.

Kelly and Janice stopped by to discuss the importance of branding, that they look for when hiring new employees, the value of working with an executive coach, and what’s in store for the future of CIG Construction.

Kelly and Janice Stitzer, a husband and wife team, began their professional partnership renovating and remodeling homes and multi-unit properties. A concentration in roofing was a natural transition.

As a third generation general contractor, Kelly grew up on commercial job sites. Hammer-to-nail experience at a young age in framing, drywall, concrete, and roofing, among others, has provided Kelly with keen knowledge in the broad scope of ground-up construction projects.

Janice, with a background in real estate and finance, rounds out this husband and wife team and their collaborative execution in providing the best client experience. Their strong work ethic and passion for quality keeps this duo intimately involved in every project.

Listen here or on your favorite podcast service.


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