You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep, and the same is true in business. That suits the Epic Group of Companies just fine. On their own, the companies operating under the Epic umbrella are strong performers in the roofing and construction space, and together they have taken the market by storm.
“It’s been a journey. We’ve been around for a long time and part of our story of growth is the collection of people we have, both on a partnership level and a great employee base,” says Merlin Bartel, president/CEO of the Epic Group of Companies.
It started with Bartel’s decision to supplement his pastor salary in 2001. He had some experience roofing so, armed with a truck and a roofing nailer, he hired himself out intending to moonlight for a short while until he could return to pastoring full time. It turned out the universe had different plans. He partnered with a friend to form a crew that subcontracted to general contractors and larger roofing companies until breaking out in 2008 to offer services directly to customers. Epic Roofing & Exteriors grew significantly from there, acquiring complementary companies as well as growing organically from within to offer better service to residential and commercial clients throughout southern Alberta.
Today, the Epic Group of Companies consists of a business office serving six operational companies: the original Epic Roofing & Exteriors (Residential), Epic Roofing & Exteriors (Commercial) which was established in 2014, Red Dot Restoration (acquired in 2013), Dr Vinyl (acquired in 2018), SumoQuote (launched in 2019) and Meerkat Roofing & Exteriors (acquired in 2023).
Epic Roofing & Exteriors (Residential) started out as a roofing company and grew to encompass the gamut of exterior home services. With a customer-first approach to serving, it holds a reputation for being a trusted, premier exteriors company offering full roof replacement and repair, siding installation and repair, eavestroughing and attic insulation. The company has a strong relationship with most large insurance companies and is a preferred go-to contractor after a weather event, which Central and Southern Alberta are notoriously known for.
“We have a big book of business related to repairs for insurance so whenever hailstorms or windstorms come along, we’re a prime contractor,” says Bartel. “Whatever hail damages on the outside of a building we can fix with our internal technicians as well as with a large team of private contractors who work on our projects.”
The stellar reputation on the residential side made Epic Roofing & Exteriors (Commercial) an obvious next step. Epic began to dabble in commercial roofing, gaining expertise in providing flat and metal roofing for schools, institutions and government buildings before establishing a separate entity to handle the demand. Now, a well specialized team with qualifications and extensive experience meeting the demanding standards for commercial roofing and exteriors, Epic Roofing & Exteriors is a trusted and top-rated industry leader in the commercial space.
“Working either as a prime contractor or subcontractor, we do a lot of specialty contracting work – full scope exterior services in building envelope restoration, flat roofing and wall systems for commercial, industrial, and multi-family clients,” says Lance Merrifield, general manager of Epic Roofing & Exteriors (Commercial). With its client focused service, Epic has become a first choice for businesses across the region.
With its acquisition of Red Dot Restoration, Epic expanded its scope to include restoration after unexpected events like fires and floods as well as asbestos and mould abatement and remediation. Red Dot acts as a general contractor and service company with a restoration emphasis, offering broad services ranging from tenant improvements to industrial development to cleaning, serving multiple property management companies.
“We get to engage with people at difficult times and hopefully help them transition back to normalcy,” says Andrew Houston, general manager of Red Dot Restoration.
Dr Vinyl is an add-on business participating in repairing vinyl siding and PVC windows damaged by hail. The Epic Group also recently purchased Meerkat Roofing and intends to further serve the market with two premier roofing and exteriors brands.
When the management team asked how they could better show people that Epic is a different type of company delivering a different kind of experience, the answer was SumoQuote. This Epic-owned (SaaS) company created a powerful professional tool that presents a polished quote that reads like a brochure, and closing rates, revenues and upgrades all soared because of it. The idea took flight and now thousands of contractors in roofing as well as other trades across the United States and Canada are using SumoQuote.
“Last year we would have had over $1 billion worth of projects signed using our e-sign tool in SumoQuote,” says Ryan Shantz, CEO of SumoQuote. “Especially in the residential roofing space it has been recognized as the best-in-class tool to help contractors close more deals.”
Above all, people are at the centre of the Epic Group of Companies. These six companies operate independently but a culture of collaboration and support flows seamlessly through the group’s Calgary and Red Deer offices. Merlin Bartel, Lance Merrifield, Ryan Shantz and the rest of the seven-member ownership team hold a shared vision and values that express how they already function and reflect the culture of the group of businesses. They invest in people, both through staff training and professional development and advancement, and even hired a chief culture officer to provide coaching and training throughout the organization.
“Our commitment to relationships is there as an end to itself not as a means to a different end. We value people. We value each other,” says Bartel.
That shines through with the team’s dedication to volunteering with industry associations as well as the communities in which they work. From a Christmas pop-up market featuring ethically sourced goods from organizations helping people escape poverty and oppression to flying across the world to help communities rebuild after a disaster; from offering microloans for people in developing countries to allocating a portion of annual revenues to charity, the thread of service connects them all.
As the group continues to strategically grow its brand and diversify, it will preserve its focus on being global citizens who operate with integrity while offering the best product and service in the business. With a staff of 200 incredible people, representing over 20 countries, and expertise that is expanding all the time, it’s clear that the Epic Group of Companies is just getting started.