Multifaceted Residential Project Puts Contractor to the Test

Photos: Petersen

Diversification has always been a key component of Paul Graham’s business philosophy. Graham is the president of StazOn Roofing Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The company has been in business 38 years, handling all types of roofing, custom sheet metal fabrication and specialty wall panel systems.

Graham designed his company to be able to tackle multiple scopes of work on complicated projects. “Through time and through practice on all of these jobs, we’ve just been able to step up to the plate and maintain a multi-level task force to handle different types of work on the job,” he says.

The company’s diverse portfolio has been on display at Craig Ranch, a multi-phase residential development in McKinney, Texas. “It’s a high-end multi-family project,” Graham notes. “The most recent phase of the project involved a few five-story and predominately four-story buildings, all wood-framed. There are pools and courtyards with amenity areas for the residents.”

The buildings featured a blend of different roof systems. Crews from StazOn installed 60,000 square feet of shingles on roofs with a 4:12 pitch, 52,000 square feet of TPO on low-slope areas, and 8,500 square feet of standing seam metal roofing on roofs with an 8:12 pitch. They installed 22,000 square feet of standing seam wall panel cladding. The metal roof and wall panels were custom fabricated by StazOn with PAC-CLAD metal from Petersen in two colors, Zinc and Weathered Steel.

The company also fabricated and installed trim, flashing, gutters, collector boxes and rectangular downspouts. “We have our own sheet metal shop, so we can manufacture any type of architectural sheet metal product for our own jobs,” Graham says. “We also provided the builder with a proprietary door pocket at each of the door locations.”

Up on the Roof

The roofing work came first. On the large multi-family buildings, GAF EverGuard 60-mil white TPO was applied on the low-slope sections, which house the mechanical units and serve as a design feature on the project. “These were on the

Craig Ranch is a multi-phase residential community in McKinney, Texas. Condominiums and town homes feature shingles and standing seam metal roofs. The metal wall panels are a distinctive focus of the design. Photos: Petersen

perimeter of the buildings, primarily,” Graham explains. “The architect likes to showcase the walls, so to create that effect, they design a flat roof adjoining the pitched roof sections.”

GAF Timberline Dimensional Shingles in Weathered Wood were installed on the steeper sections of the large multi-family buildings. “These roofs had long, big runs,” Graham notes. “It was kind of like a roofer’s dream if you will, to shingle up there with nothing in the way. It was pretty wide open.”

Metal roofs were installed on a section of town homes. Where the intersecting roof sections formed valleys, crickets were installed to provide adequate drainage. These cricket sections were covered with TPO, and the details where the TPO roof and metal roof came together were crucial. “We terminated the TPO at the sloped roof with a receiver flashing that we heat welded to the TPO,” says Graham. “We take it one step further with that application, so we have a complete watertight transition from the TPO to the bottom of where the metal panel starts.”

The crickets divert water to the exterior, where it drains through the custom-made collector boxes. “The downspouts in those locations are oversized four-by-six downspouts fabricated at our shop from the Petersen material,” Graham notes. “Along with the other sheet metal items, we did the coping, the pre-flashing and flashing, the edge trim, and miscellaneous other vertical and horizontal expansion details.”

On the Walls

After waterproofing inspection of the exterior facade was completed, crews first applied a peel-and-stick building wrap from Grace, Vycor enV-S. “We took field measurements and we custom made all of the trim out of the four-by-eight sheets that Petersen supplied for the job,” Graham explains. “We make all of the trim to fit the windows, doors, penetrations, the steel support beams, which all get pre-flashed and clad.”

The metal roof and wall panels were custom fabricated with 24-gauge aluminum supplied by Petersen. Photos: Petersen

The 16-inch-wide wall panels were fabricated on the site. “We keep the panels protected until the guys are ready to install them,” Graham says. “We have everything we need right there on hand so we can keep up with the needs of the job as it is evolving.”

Panels are installed using a man lift. “From a safety standpoint and a production standpoint, it made sense to use the man lifts,” says Graham. “It’s the most maneuverable way to do the installation. We work in synchronization, moving three or four lifts at a time along the side of these walls as we work our way around the project.”

One unexpected challenge was a section of the leasing office that did not line up perfectly. “The builder came to us and asked if we could build the wall out and make sure all of the wall panels on the facade would be flush once the building was completed,” notes Graham. “We made some custom 16-gauge steel hat channels and Z-members and installed them as structural members to the wall. Then we installed the panels over the steel framing, so that we would have that same elevation and same build-out across the front of the building.”

Coordinated Attack

Phase III of the project was just completed, and Phase IV is now underway. Graham points to a few keys to navigating complicated projects like these. “It usually is a tight schedule, so coordinating with the builder to keep everything on schedule is the key,” says Graham. “You have to fabricate the necessary components and deliver them to the job in a timely fashion to keep the crews on target.”

Crews from StazOn Roofing installed the roof systems and wall panels, as well as custom-made trim, flashing, gutters, and downspouts. Photos: Petersen

Maintaining the consistency and quality of the details is also important, and experience helps. “We know what works best for the long haul,” he says. “At the end of the day, you want those details to line up with what the architect had as his vision, but we will make recommendations if we think there is a better way to construct a detail for specific conditions.”

The wall panels on this project were a top priority. “The specialty wall panel systems are so architecturally significant,” he says. “We kind of live and breathe them. We understand them. We’ve come across many, many challenges along the way on other jobs, so when we run into a new challenge, we just roll up our sleeves, get it figured out, design it with all of the people involved, and get going with it.”

Graham credits the Dallas-based builder and the Dallas-based architecture firm, JHP, for spearheading the successful project. “It’s nice when you have a team you’ve worked with and everyone understands what needs to be done to satisfy the client’s desires,” he says.


Architect: JHP, Dallas, Texas,
Roofing Contractor: StazOn Roofing Inc., Dallas, Texas,


TPO: EverGuard 60-mil white TPO, GAF,
Asphalt Laminate Shingles: Timberline Dimensional Shingle in Weathered Wood, GAF
Metal Roof and Wall Panels: PAC-CLAD 24-gauge aluminum in Zinc and Weathered Steel, Petersen,
Building Wrap: Vycor enV-S, Grace,

Communication Is Crucial When You’re Working on Top of the Village Hall

Lincolnshire Village Hall houses city offices and a police station. The structure’s roof and gutter systems were recently replaced by All American Exterior Solutions. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

The Lincolnshire Village Hall, located in Lincolnshire, Illinois, houses city departments and the offices of elected officials, as well as the Lincolnshire Police Station. When its natural cedar shake roof and inlaid gutter system began to fail, city officials looked for a solution that would provide the desired aesthetics but last longer and require less maintenance.

Dale Pole of All American Exterior Solutions, a full-service union roofing contractor headquartered in Lake Zurich, Illinois, thought he had the answer. Pole, a 32-year industry veteran who is now the company’s vice president of operations, dropped off samples of a synthetic shake roofing tile manufactured by DaVinci Roofscapes and asked if city officials wanted to give it a try.

All American was awarded the job in 2016. The scope of work consisted of a complete re-roof of the complex, including the steep-slope roof system on the hall and tower. The project also included five sections of flat roofing and replacement of the copper gutter system. The job was complex, but All American was up to the challenge. The company worked in conjunction with Illinois Roof Consulting Associates, located in McHenry, Illinois.

The Steep-Slope System

The building’s signature feature is the observatory tower over the main entrance, which extends approximately 45 feet in the air. The main roof features a pitch change at the rear of the building, where the roof goes from 4:12 to 12:12. All

The complex is located right next to a large pond and bordered by mature trees, so the jobsite limited access to sections of the roof. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

American installed approximately 23,000 square feet of the DaVinci product, Bellaforté Shake in Tahoe, a blend of four colors. The company also fabricated the new gutter system out of 20-ounce lead-coated copper with soldered seams. Approximately 600 feet of new gutters were installed.

Work began in late spring, and the 23-year-old existing roof was torn off in sections. GAF Weather Watch Water & Ice Shield was applied as a leak barrier, followed by Proof Synthetic Underlayment from ABC Supply. “We couldn’t install the tiles until the inlaid gutter was in place, so we used a synthetic underlayment to keep everything watertight during the tear-off process,” says Pole.

Gutters were installed in an 8-inch-by-8-inch trough. “There was a course or two of the DaVinci, and then the inlaid gutters were set into the roof, and the roof starts again,” notes Pole. “The trough area was also layered with ice and water shield before the copper gutters were put in.”

Transitions and flashings were also made of copper. “Everything on this job was 20-ounce lead-coated copper,” notes Pole. “All of the valleys, transition flashing, and the gutters were all lead-coated copper.”

The DaVinci synthetic shake tiles were easy to install, according to Pole. “They are nailed in place,” he says. “You can use stainless steel nails or hot-dip galvanized nails. In this case, we used 1-1/2-inch stainless steel ring shank nails.”

Low-Slope Areas

The low-slope roofs were covered with a GAF two-ply modified bitumen system. Michael McCory, project manager, headed up the crews on the five low-slope sections, which totaled approximately 2,700 square feet.

The observatory tower over the main entrance features a walk-out area with a modified bitumen roof system. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

The low-slope sections had different substrates. Two balconies had concrete decks, while two canopies and an area over the garage had wooden decks. Some of the flat roofs had paver systems, which had to be removed and replaced after the new system was installed.

Half-inch DensDeck Prime cover board from Georgia-Pacific was installed over the wood and concrete decks. The GAF mod bit system consisted of a Ruberoid 20 base sheet and Ruberoid Granular FR cap sheet in white. “It was applied in a cold-process adhesive,” says McCory. “No torches were used. A manufacturer’s inspection was part of the process for a 20-year warranty.”

The upper level of the tower features a small walk-out balcony. “That was probably the most difficult area,” notes McCory. “It was covered with pavers and difficult to reach. We had to remove the pavers and store them in the stairwell during the installation.”

A Challenging Jobsite

Logistics at the jobsite posed a few problems. “The hardest part was the observatory tower by the front entry,” Pole recalls, noting an 80-foot man lift was used to remove the existing cedar and install the synthetic shake. “On the tower, it was all lift work. For other parts of the project, workers on both the steep-slope and the low-slope portions of the roof were tied off at all times.”

Crews installed 23,000 square feet of Bellaforte Shake by DaVinci Roofscapes on the building’s main roof. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

The building is bordered by mature trees and a large pond, limiting roof access. “On the west side of the structure, the pond comes right up against the building,” Pole says. “We had to use a lift that could stretch over that pond to get that end of the roof.”

An Equipter mechanized debris hauler was used to get around narrow grassy areas near the building. “We used an Equipter, which is like a gas-powered, mobile dumpster, to drive around the building and enter the courtyard for our debris,” Pole says. “We have two of those pieces of equipment, which we use on a lot of our jobs to get the shingles out. They don’t damage lawns and help protect the landscaping.”

The building was occupied during the installation, so care had to be taken to ensure business was not disrupted and passers-by would be safe. “The village offices were open for business while we were working, and the police station was open as well,” notes McCory. “The tower and front entryway had to be completed on the weekend, as that was the only walkway for the public to get in.”

The police station had several doors, so crews had to coordinate with officers while replacing the roof on that section and let them know where they were setting up the crane. The courtyard area was also restricted at times.

“We obviously had to keep everything neat and organized and make sure we cleaned up every day to make sure nothing would bother the people working in the building and the residents who came in to the village hall to get permits or whatever the case may be,” McCory says. “You don’t want police cars getting flat tires.”

Communication is the key to meeting customers’ needs, especially with an occupied building. “Whoever the building owner is, I give him my cell number and make sure I have his,” Pole notes. “I try to stay in contact with them and let them know if anything is changing. I ask them if they have any questions or issues, or if their schedule is changing. On this project, they said it was like we were never even there, and that’s what we like to hear.”

Feedback from the city has been positive, according to Pole. “They are very happy with it,” he says. “The system has the look they wanted. It looks like shake, they had a lot of colors to choose from, and they won’t have the maintenance issues that they did with the cedar. And it will last a lot longer. They will save a whole roof replacement phase in the life of the DaVinci product.”

Pole believes his company’s diverse portfolio gives it an edge. “We’re one of very few union companies that have their own shinglers, flat roofing crews, and sheet metal workers in house. We also do waterproofing, metal wall panels and insulation,” he says.

“This project shows our strength — we can do it all.”


Roofing Contractor: All American Exterior Solutions, Lake Zurich, Illinois,
Roof Consultant: Illinois Roof Consulting Associates, McHenry, Illinois,


Steep-Slope Roof System
Synthetic Shake: Bellaforté Shake in Tahoe, DaVinci Roofscapes,
Underlayment: Proof Synthetic Underlayment, ABC Supply Co. Inc.,
Leak Barrier: Weather Watch Water & Ice Shield, GAF,

Low-Slope Roof System
Modified Bitumen Base Sheet: Ruberoid 20, GAF
Modified Bitumen Cap Sheet: Ruberoid Granular FR, GAF
Cover Board: DensDeck Prime, Georgia-Pacific,

Standard Industries Renews Partnership and Investment in 3-D Modeling Platform HOVER

Standard Industries, a global industrial company with interests in building materials, aggregates, and related investment businesses in public equities and real estate, and the parent company of GAF, announced a renewed partnership and investment in HOVER, a platform that generates accurate 3-D models of any property.

According to the company, Standard is committed to harnessing the power of technology to improve its industrial operating businesses. By creating innovative solutions in the roofing and waterproofing industry, Standard not only enhances its products, but importantly, can help improve the way that its customers and contractor base conduct their business.

The investment is the latest milestone in GAF’s longstanding partnership with HOVER. In 2016, GAF became the first roofing materials manufacturer to utilize HOVER’s 3-D technology, recognizing the opportunity to help contractors build their business, save time and costs, while giving homeowners the chance to try out new GAF products before making a purchasing decision. By eliminating the time-consuming and often arduous process of taking measurements by hand, the GAF e360 mobile app powered by HOVER has changed the way roofing contractors do business, according to the company.

“Our investment in and partnership with HOVER reflects our focus on identifying and supporting technologies that are catalysts for change in our industry,” said Kathy Reiland, Head of M&A for Standard Industries. “Our contractors are realizing the benefits of HOVER’s technology and we look forward to continuing to work with the HOVER team to create state-of-the-art solutions for our customers.”

Together with HOVER, GAF launched the GAF e360 mobile app to their contractor base, with thousands of contractors that are now active users of the platform. GAF will add new features to their e360 mobile app exclusively for certified contractors, including the best pricing on the market, dedicated training resources and a suite of enhanced membership options.

“We have received tremendously positive feedback from our network of GAF certified contractors about GAF e360 powered by HOVER,” said Jim Schnepper, President of GAF. “Contractors have increased their close rates, saved money by creating less waste due to more accurate measurements, created interactive and engaging experiences for homeowners and most importantly, experienced significant labor time savings.”

GAF contractors can learn more and download the e360 app via the Apple App Store or Google Play.

For more information about Standard Industries, visit

For more information about GAF, visit

For more information about HOVER, visit

National Nail’s STINGER Brand Added to GAF’s Tools4Success Guide

National Nail announced that the company’s STINGER brand has been added to the GAF Tools4Success Guide, a catalogue of preferred vendors for members of the manufacturer’s Certified Contractor Program (CCP). GAF continuously builds vendor partnerships to bring its factory-certified contractors exclusive offers and business-building tools for their businesses.

“Vendor partner relationships are a critical part of our CCP offering to assist our contractors in building their businesses and increasing jobsite efficiencies,” said Jim Slauson, vice president of GAF Certification Program and Services. “We are pleased to add National Nail’s STINGER brand to our Tools4Success vendor portfolio to get the best-quality products into their hands.”

“We are thrilled to have National Nail’s STINGER brand chosen as a GAF preferred vendor,” said Scott Baker, CEO, National Nail. “The STINGER CN100 cap fastening system is a faster, safer, and lower-cost option to protect against moisture and high winds. The STINGER caps create a better hold and prevent tearing and blow off of the underlayment. It’s an honor to be able to share this technology with the elite network of GAF factory-certified contractors.” He added that the STINGER® CN100 cap fastening system complies with roofing underlayment warranties.

According to the manufacturer, STINGER collated tools are 50 percent faster than applying caps by hand which allows the contractor to complete more roofs each year and ensures a safer application by maintaining three points of contact (one hand, two feet).

For more information about the product, visit For more information about the GAF Certified Contractor Program, visit



New Insulation Board Contains No Halogenated Compounds

GAF introduces a new non-halogen polyisocyanurate insulation: EnergyGuard NH Polyiso Insulation Board. According to the company, GAF is the first roofing manufacturer to offer a full line of Red List Free roofing assemblies across their asphaltic and single-ply product lines.

The development of EnergyGuard NH Polyiso Insulation Board demonstrates the GAF commitment to providing architects, contractors, and building owners with affordable products that help them meet their sustainable and environmental design goals, by offering products that do not contain halogenated compounds.

As with their current EnergyGuard Polyiso Insulation, this product line offers high insulating values to help save on energy costs and is available in a variety of thicknesses. Because of its lightweight, this material is easy to handle on the jobsite and installs fast. Easy cutting in the field provides the installer with simple fabricating on the roof deck.

For more information, visit

GAF Joins NRCA’s One Voice Initiative, Becomes NRCA Partner Member

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has announced GAF, Parsippany, N.J., has joined NRCA’s One Voice initiative, upgrading its associate membership to “partner member.”

In early 2017, NRCA launched its One Voice Initiative to unite the roofing industry and speak with one voice about matters critical to the roofing industry’s continued success. To ensure all industry sectors are given an opportunity to participate, NRCA amended its bylaws to allow manufacturers, distributors, architects, engineers and consultants that choose to participate to become full members of the association. Previously, such rights were reserved only for contractor members.

“There is unique opportunity for the roofing industry to address the major issues we face. However, our work can only be accomplished with commitments from leaders from all sectors of this great industry,” said Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “Only together as a roofing community can we take this transformational approach to address our issues and concerns and achieve success in the future.”

Issues currently affecting the roofing industry include workforce development and certification; advancing the industry’s public policy agenda; building codes and insurance; and increasing professionalism throughout the industry.

“GAF is proud to the join NRCA’s One Voice initiative to increase awareness of the issues affecting the roofing industry, and to drive for sustainable change,” said GAF President Jim Schnepper.

For more information about NRCA and its One Voice initiative, visit

Roofing Companies Form Asphalt Underlayment Council

Four roofing companies—Carlisle, Gardner-Gibson, Maryland Paper and Mid-States Asphalt—have formed the Asphalt Underlayment Council (AUC), a new industry association developed to cultivate the long-term success of underlayment products for building envelope applications for both residential and commercial structures.

This new group’s Interim Executive Council was instrumental in identifying the need for an industry council that supports the standardization of underlayment product quality, performance and integrity. Current AUC members include Owens Corning, Polyglass USA, Mule-Hide Manufacturing, GMC Roofing & Building Paper, GAP Roofing, Warrior Roofing Manufacturing and GAF

“With the introduction of new types of roofing underlayment products, it was felt that an industry group was needed to monitor, administer and contribute to product standards,” noted AUC Executive Director Michelle Miller.

Because standards and requirements for roof repair, reroofing, roof recovering and replacement often lack clarification within the definition of underlayment, AUC’s inaugural technical committee will focus on code classifications and industry regulations.

“The pathways to code compliance vary depending on the product type,” said John Woestman, AUC’s technical director. “The continuous influx of newly designed products and ever-evolving regulations requires a strong knowledge base with deep understanding of the codes prevalent in this industry.”

Bringing regulatory issues to light through educational initiatives and industry outreach will be accomplished through raising awareness and advocacy. AUC will actively assist in the development of building codes to ensure the high performance of roofing systems in the future.

“We will work directly with installers and contractors who may not be aware of the various product categories that are occurring in the underlayment industry,” said Robert Almon, AUC Interim Executive Council member. “Understanding the nuances of underlayment as well as discerning codes and comprehending code compliance are vital. With our combined historical experience, AUC is in a prime position to ensure all the issues surrounding underlayment are addressed through a range of resources from an engaged council, committees and membership to a vibrant website that will be launched soon, growing media outreach, literature development and ongoing educational opportunities.”

The group welcomes roofing underlayment firms to join AUC to work to make these important initiatives viable and sustainable. To learn more about the Asphalt Underlayment Council or to ask about membership, email or call (847) 686-2243.

PetersenDean Selects GAF as Preferred Manufacturer of Cool Shingles

PetersenDean Roofing & Solar announced it has formed a relationship with GAF to help supply PetersenDean consumers in all of its seven operating states with shingles that can be used to comply with Title 24 cool roof requirements. PetersenDean is headquartered in Fremont, Calif.

“We selected GAF because they own an expansive network of manufacturing facilities and produce quality products that make the company a leader in the industry,” said Gary Liardon, president of US Consumer Division, PetersenDean. “With all of GAF’s plants based in the U.S., we are providing our customers with quality products and supporting American jobs. They also produce the popular shingle colors that our customers like and offer comprehensive warranties. We are proud to partner with such an innovative and dependable manufacturer.”

GAF is the only roofing manufacturer to earn the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on its products. The company recently introduced its Timberline HD Reflector Series Shingles, which can be used to comply with Title 24 cool roof requirements. Additionally, GAF offers its Timberline HD Reflector Series Shingles in a large selection of colors with comprehensive warranties.

“At GAF, we are committed to working with the best contractors in the industry,” said Todd Tarchalski, West area vice president of sales at GAF. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with PetersenDean, one of America’s largest and most trusted roofing and solar companies.”

This relationship helps meet two important goals for PetersenDean, which installs about 2,000 solar and roof systems each month nationally: providing PetersenDean customers with quality, innovative roofing materials and supporting American jobs.

“We made a decision at PetersenDean to only source our products from manufacturing facilities in North America,” said Jim Petersen, president and CEO of PetersenDean Roofing & Solar. “That’s why we chose to utilize GAF, which owns multiple manufacturing facilities across the nation. We can help customers lower their electric bills, help the environment, and help the economy.”

GAF to Open New Manufacturing Facility in Pennsylvania 

GAF’s facility in New Columbia, Pa., is latest in the more than $2 billion investment GAF has contributed to the roofing industry over the last 10 years. Photo: GAF.

GAF’s facility in New Columbia, Pa., is latest in the more than $2 billion investment GAF has contributed to the roofing industry over the last 10 years. Photo: GAF.

GAF announced that it will open a manufacturing plant in New Columbia, Pa., about 20 miles south of Williamsport. Set to open in the fourth quarter of 2017, the new 34-acre facility will create more than 40 skilled manufacturing and office jobs in Pennsylvania and will serve as a regional training facility for contractors and roofing industry professionals. The plant will manufacture thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply membrane for commercial roofing applications and Cobra brand injection molding components for residential roofing systems. 

“We are proud to further our commitment to the roofing industry through this investment in New Columbia and to create new, skilled manufacturing jobs right here in the U.S.,” said Jim Schnepper, president of GAF. 

“This new plant will expand our production capabilities, allowing us to meet the needs of our customers with best-in-class solutions. Our innovative training programs will help new employees build critical competencies,” said Dick Nowak, chief operating officer of GAF.
The opening of the New Columbia plant will mark an expansion of the GAF footprint, which currently includes a network of 30 manufacturing facilities and more than 3,400 total employees nationwide. GAF already has a presence in Pennsylvania through its Myerstown asphaltic shingle plant. 

“The New Columbia plant opening will provide high-quality job opportunities to dozens of Pennsylvanians,” said Carroll Diefenbach, chairman of the board of supervisors for White Deer Township. “We are thankful that GAF is committed to supporting our community and strengthening the manufacturing industry in The Keystone State.” 

The New Columbia plant will create more than 40 jobs, adding to the GAF U.S. manufacturing base of more than 2,300 people.

The New Columbia plant will create more than 40 jobs, adding to the GAF U.S. manufacturing base of more than 2,300 people.

GAF will produce EverGuard TPO products for commercial roofing at the new location. In addition to TPO products, the plant will manufacture injection molding components for residential roofing systems, including Cobra Rigid Vent 3, Cobra Snow Country, and Cobra Snow Country Advanced Attic Exhaust Vents. 

As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to offering professional education programs to the roofing industry, the plant will be designated as a GAF Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence (CARE) regional training facility. Through its CARE program, GAF offers hands-on training to contractors and other roofing industry professionals in the region, equipping them with the latest skills and installation techniques. To date, more than 230,000 roofing professionals have participated in CARE training programs. 

Dallas Roofing Contractor Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Repair and Replace Roofs for Deserving Homeowners

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo is a CEO who sees opportunity everywhere. When he needed a corporate gift idea to give to hail-restoration customers of his commercial roofing business, Dallas-based Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, he established Hailstone Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif., and now makes his own cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

While considering how to differentiate Aspenmark Roofing & Solar from its competitors in a market that has no licensing, Zazo embraced community service. “I wanted to find a way to better our industry and really take the sting off the title of ‘roofing contractor,’” he says. “We were getting asked every year by this charity and that organization to support their causes‚ which we were happy to do. Then we got involved doing the new-build roofs for Dallas Habitat for Humanity and really rallied around that organization.”

To differentiate his firm’s charitable work from its for-profit work, Zazo officially established the non-profit Roof Angels in 2013, but he couldn’t quiet his entrepreneurial spirit. He wondered how he could involve the entire roofing industry in community service. “I really wanted to put together a program for the industry,” he explains. “I wanted to get the manufacturers and distributors involved, get our employees involved and create a model in which if we took it to a national organization it could be replicated anywhere in the United States. I dug a little further and found out Habitat has a program called A Brush with Kindness, which is perfect for this idea.”

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

A Brush with Kindness is Habitat for Humanity’s home-repair program for owners who are struggling to maintain their homes. The program seeks $10,000 donations to support one family’s home repairs. “When we found out about this program, we jumped in and asked, ‘What if we [Aspenmark Roofing & Solar] took the roof off of your hands?’” Zazo recalls. “The roof is usually about 50 to 70 percent of the budget for the home repairs, so, without it in the budget, A Brush with Kindness could do much more to a deserving family’s home. I reached out to GAF to see if they’d donate the shingles. I called SRS Distribution to see if they’d donate the accessory items and delivery. Then all we had to do was raise money for the labor. We proposed this model to Habitat and they said, ‘We love it. When can you start?’”


A Brush with Kindness’ representatives asked Roof Angels and its partners, Parsippany, N.J.-based GAF and McKinney, Texas-based SRS Distribution, to repair and/or replace up to 30 roofs per year. In the beginning, Zazo hadn’t thought through the fundraising part of Roof Angels, so he was often paying his crews for these roof installations out of his own pocket. He started holding Happy Hours and other small events in which he could quickly raise a few thousand dollars.

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