More than a decade ago, Patrick Genest started his construction career as a framer and when he needed some extra hours he branched out. He learned roofing over the course of a weekend and decided this would be his new path. In 2007, he turned three other guys and that weekend crash course into his own company: United Roofing Inc.
“For the first couple of years it was only me on the roof, doing estimates, and doing customer service to get the business,” says Genest, owner/operator of United Roofing.
Since then the company has grown, evolving to include commercial projects in 2012 and expanding operations to Edmonton in 2014. The small company has swelled to over 100 staff in the two offices and United Roofing has established itself as the go-to roofer for general contractors and private owners across Alberta.
United Roofing goes above and beyond for customers, providing services in a variety of areas in order to make the construction process easier for them. On the commercial side, the company does flat roofing and reroofing, foundation waterproofing, below-ground work, siding and building envelop while on the residential it offers services in slope roofing, siding, eavestroughs, soffits, fascia as well as occasionally garage doors and windows for insurance claims.
“We try to get the building from the ground up. Then our client only has to work with one trade for all their building envelop needs,” he says.
United works for individuals, businesses, general contractors and smaller developers on custom builds, but regardless of the client, the roofers bring the same high standards and exceptional level of service to every job. A team lead is assigned to each project, giving clients one point of contact for the duration of the job. While reachable by phone much of the time, if a lead happens to not be available, the tight-knit management team can step in. They all have a good understanding of every project and are able to answer questions or troubleshoot any issues that might arise.
“The team in the office is reasonably small so we always talk to each other. We have good communication inside the office so even if it’s not our project, we know enough to be able to deal with it if something comes up,” says Simon Benoit, commercial estimator with United Roofing.
The crews are knowledgeable and experienced as well, so they are a great resource to tap in the event of on-site questions. Each crew member is well trained, licensed and insured and is dedicated to getting every project done right, on time and at a competitive price. In an industry known for high employee turnover, United Roofing enjoys a group of loyal, long-term employees. Management treats employees like family and makes sure they feel appreciated and valued. In return, employees embrace the corporate culture of customer service, quality and hard work.
“At the end of the day, if you don’t have good employees you don’t have a business,” says Stephany Allard, residential operations manager at United Roofing.
United’s employees are the best in the business and the company’s greatest asset. Their dedication and investment in the success of the company has contributed to its growth over the past 10 years. From a full-time safety officer implementing COR practices to a CPA streamlining project costs to the fantastic crews on the roofs, United Roofing and its staff have become a benchmark for other roofers. And the goal of these roofing professionals is simple: to exceed expectations, and it has earned a solid reputation in the business over the past decade because of it.
“We try to improve the quality on every job we do. We don’t cut any corners. We have the highest standards in the industry,” says Dave Montagnon, Edmonton branch manager and partner.
Those high standards apply to its partners as much as its staff. United uses only the best products with proven warranties from the best manufacturers in the industry. United aligns itself with those companies whose philosophy matches its own. This gives clients peace of mind knowing their roofing and exterior needs are being met and that a job as important as a new roof will be done properly. The company’s pride in a job well done has been validated by its status as a preferred vendor at many insurance companies and by its membership in the Alberta Roofing Contractors Association (ARCA).
“ARCA sets the standard for roofing practice. So again, it’s another proof of quality: when you hire an ARCA contractor, you know we have to meet those standards to even be a member,” says Benoit.
The United team is devoted to the business and wants to raise the profile of roofing and exterior specialists industry wide. By acquiring memberships and being recognized by insurance companies, United is ensuring the trade is viewed as a reputable, professional segment of construction. With 10 years under their belt, they have shown United Roofing is established and reliable.
Clients often share their stories of fly-by-night operators who swoop in, do a terrible job, overcharge, and then are never seen again. Many potential clients with this experience are understandably cautious when hiring a roofer. But by doing superior work, providing quality service and following up with customers long after the crews have left, United Roofing is changing how roofers are viewed, one client at a time. It’s obvious the effort is working, as the company has many repeat roofing customers.
In order to serve these and future customers better, the company is looking at the next decade as one of growth. The management is always looking for new opportunities to evolve and improve their services. United strives to be ahead of competitors on all aspects of business, including safety and product innovation, keeping abreast of changes in the industry to stay ahead of the curve.
“We’re always trying to stay aware of what the industry needs and if there’s a need, we try to meet it,” says Benoit.
United Roofing has been meeting needs and exceeding expectations for 10 years, and in the next 10 it plans to expand into other service areas to bring its unique services to more customers.
“We work hard on every site for every job we do and we are working harder to continue providing that same level of service that our customers expect. I think so far we’ve done a pretty good job,” says Genest.
With United Roofing’s practice of hard work, dedication and solid relationships, it has done better than pretty good, and the best is yet to come.