From: US Builders Review
Written by: Molly Shaw
Produced by: Victor Martins
April 2015 marks 25 years in business for Arry’s Roofing Services Inc. Over the course of 25 years and two generations, the family-run firm has made a name for putting a quality roof overhead backed by peace of mind for homeowners throughout the Tampa Bay area. When James “Arry” Housh, established the business in 1990, he saw the need for an honest, quality-control conscious roofing contractor.
“I came to the U.S. from Europe in 1977 and immediately entered the construction industry, doing a little bit of everything – carpentry, plumping and more,” tells Housh, president and CEO of Arry’s Roofing. “After three years I was liscensed and started working for a 75-person roofing company as the vice president of operations.”
The housing boom of the 1980s saw a huge spike in the volume of Tampa Bay construction and Housh saw the problems behind fast-track projects firsthand. “Homes were going up so fast that the quality control and code enforcement lacked and the work wasn’t well managed,” he recounts. “I thought to myself, ‘in a few years, there’s going to be a serious need for a repair and reroofing contractor.’”
No more cutting corners
In 1990 that is exactly what Housh did – he established Arry’s Roofing with a focus on reroofing. “We do some new construction, but it’s mainly high end custom homes, specialty metal and tile roofs, and ‘boutique’ commercial,” he explains. “We’re diversified to do just about any kind of roofing –residential or commercial- but we specialize in extended warrantees on all projects.”
In addition to the product and materials warranties supported by the manufacturers the company represents, Arry’s Roofing offers a comprehensive 20-year workmanship warranty on all re-roof systems. “This means you can rest assured that if anything goes wrong after the work is completed we’ll be right there to repair or replace the problem area,” says Housh.
Housh and his team understand that a new roof is a major investment. The best way to ensure that investment is protected is with a quality warrantee.
“I look at it this way – if I’m going to put a roof on my house, my mother’s house or my neighbor’s house, I want to make sure they get everything that’s possibly available for the roof system,” considers Housh. “It’s not a time to cut corners. You may pay a little more now, but you’re going to be thankful for years to come that you won’t pay out of your pocket for roofing expenses.”
“Some contractors put together the cheapest package and homeowners go with the attractive low price, but in five to six years they have to repair or replace their roof,” measures Housh. “That’s just not a good way of conducting business. After all, the great Mr. Warren Buffet says, ‘price is what you pay and value is what you get.’”
Housh says manufacturer-backed warrantees have worked well for Arry’s Roofing over the last 25 years. “Offering elite service and giving the customer peace of mind –that’s what sets us apart,” he says.
The top-choice Tampa roofer
Over the course of its history Arry’s Roofing has made quite a name for itself throughout Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida. “We can travel anywhere in Florida in the case of a commercial project, but there’s so much work in this area it keeps us constantly busy,” tells Housh.
Arry’s Roofing has remained so busy that Housh says even the recession didn’t slow the company’s progress. “In 2009-2011 we saw more growth than previous years because of our overall outlook in the industry,” he explains. “In a fragile economy people wanted value and to know they could trust the contractors they hired. Our extended warrantees helped build this trust and more business for us.”
Through the recession and on, Arry’s Roofing has continued to deliver practical roofing solutions to homeowners, businesses and homebuilders throughout the Tampa-St. Pete area. Customers of all shapes and sizes trust Arry’s Roofing to protect their homes from the rain, wind and elements that make up often unpredictable Gulf Coast weather.
Arry’s Roofing offers a range of quality roofing systems that include metal and asphalt shingle roofing, tile roofing, flat and low slope roofing, as well as attic insulation, skylights and gutters. For any of these systems, the company offers rapid roof repair service, including tree removal, tarp over, emergency board up, underlay replacement, temporary roofing repairs, cartage and disposal and clean up.
“With the unpredictable nature of Florida weather, one never knows when there is going to be a roofing problem,” considers Housh. “All of a sudden, you find yourself in an emergency repair situation, trying to keep the elements from damaging your home. We understand the frustrations that come with these situations and are dedicated to being there to assist our customers.”
Over the years, Housh says Arry’s Roofing has done a little bit of everything. “We just completed a $3.5 million concrete tile reroofing project,” he tells. “One of the most memorable was the Jabel building in Clearwater. This was a commercial project for a company that does government technologies so we needed special security clearance. It was a good size project –worth about $1 million.”
But, more commonly, the company’s crews are going to work on residential reroofing projects. “Reroofing presents more challenges than new construction because you’re working around someone’s living space,” measures Housh.
Skilled, self-driven labor
Luckily, Arry’s Roofing has the team to get the reroofing job done, quickly and cautiously. “We have somewhere in the range of 90 employees and we’re running at about 12 crews currently,” says Housh.
Housh says by giving employees the opportunity to go above and beyond, they set precedence for quality labor. “We started an incentive program for field workers with an hourly starting rate, but there’s the opportunity to increase that rate week by week, depending on performance,” he explains. “This has helped drive productivity and our crews don’t need high levels of supervision. They’re accountable and they mostly manage themselves.”
Housh says Arry’s Roofing truly values its self-driven team. “I think we’re one of the few companies that believe our employees are highly valuable,” he measures. “That’s why we offer quality health insurance, retirement plans, paid holidays and vacations, as well as short and long term disability plans and bonuses; this fosters a good culture. Many people have been with us for 10, even 20 years. Once they adapt to our way and how we treat our people they stick around.”
Furthering family ownership and community ties
A solid company culture stems from the fact that Arry’s Roofing has been family-owned and –operated for the last 25 years. “My wife is company chief financial officer and my two sons, Matthew and Stephen, are highly involved in the business; they wanted to follow in my footsteps,” tells Housh. “They came into the business and learned the ropes, now they’re in top-level management.”
As a family-run organization, Housh says Arry’s Roofing upholds a strong commitment to the community. “We’re very proud of our No Roof Left Behind program, an organization that helps less fortunate families in the area repair their homes for free,” he shares. “We run the program as a campaign twice a year and allow the community to weigh in and vote for a family on our website.”
In 2014 No Roof Left Behind had nearly 70 submissions and more than 1,200 votes cast by the general public in the Tampa Bay area. Cody Hughes from Tampa was selected among four finalists. “It’s a three-month process, but the end result is there’s a family out there rewarded with a complete reroof at no cost,” says Housh. “We’re trying to expand the program to get window and doors, siding, painting and HVAC dealers involved to offer a complete exterior renovation,” adds Housh.
And Arry’s Roofing isn’t stopping there; Housh is interested in bettering the roofing industry as a whole as well. “In February 2015 we’re hosting a training and business development event at our headquarters,” tells Housh. “We’ve invited 16 contractors from all over the country to help them learn about marketing strategies and how to train their employees; it’s called the Elite Mastermind event.”
“In the construction industry, there are many small contractors with great intentions, but they’re lacking the administrative-marketing skills to make it come together,” adds Housh. “If we can offer an opportunity for other companies to learn from areas we’ve been fortunate in, then we’re giving a piece of our success back.”
After 25 years and running, Arry’s Roofing Services Inc. is known not only for superior reroofing and repairs, but also a solid commitment to a better way of doing business that sparked the company’s start in 1990.