How to Prepare for a Re-Roof - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

How to Prepare for a Re-Roof
February 4, 2023 at 12:16 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Jack Gottesman, Matt Westin, and Erin Westin of IKO. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast

Alice Reynolds:

Welcome to the AskARoofer Podcast. A podcast for people with roofs. My name is Alice Reynolds, I'm a new homeowner.

Megan Ellsworth:

And my name is Megan Ellsworth, a roofing enthusiast. And we are with RoofersCoffeeShop.

Alice Reynolds:

We want to share the knowledge of the contractors we work with every day with home and building owners.

Megan Ellsworth:

So please join us as we talk with industry experts, roofing contractors, business owners, and more to answer all of your burning questions about the health and maintenance of your roof.

Hello everyone, my name is Megan Ellsworth here at askaroofer.com, and I'm with my co-host Lauren White. Hey Lauren.

Lauren White:

Good morning.

Megan Ellsworth:

Good morning. We are here with IKO and the Westons to talk about all things IKO, what's great about it and why home and building owners and contractors should be utilizing IKO products. So we're here with Jack Gottesman. Jack, why don't we start with you just introducing yourself.

Jack Gottesman:

Hey Megan. Hey Lauren. Good morning. It's wonderful to be on the podcast. I always love working with RoofersCoffeeShop as often as I can. There's a lot of reasons to use our products where they're designed for high performance. We put performance at the heart of everything that we do. But for a lot of people, what's most important is really just that they're beautiful and that our performance class shingles come in high definition colors and they are the perfect compliment to the exterior of a home. And there's nobody that better understands home exterior's, curb appeal, colors for roofing, shingles, and performance, as well as our other guests today. Who are Matt and Erin Weston, my good friends. So it's wonderful that we could really tie all of our expertise together and you have really just when it comes to this topic, you got the best in the biz here on the line.

Megan Ellsworth:

Yay. Matt and Erin, why don't you go ahead and introduce yourselves and your company.

Erin Weston:

Well, thank you for having us. We're Matt and Erin Weston of Calendar Construction in Charleston, West Virginia. We are general contractors, but we also do a lot of roofing. We also recently opened an affiliate company in Northern Michigan called Calendar Roofing, which is just solely roofing. And since COVID we have moved more towards exterior work and roofing, which has been really great for our business.

Matt Weston:

Yeah, we're happy to be here to share our secrets and give a little insight to behind the scenes.

Lauren White:

Great. So let's dive right in. So our main topic is re-roofing a home. So since there are so many things to consider when re-roofing a home, what would you say are the most important aspects homeowners should take into account?

Erin Weston:

I would say it's very important for homeowners to do their homework before choosing a contractor. Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. You want to make sure you choose a quality contractor. Always ask for references, pictures of past work, proof of liability insurance, even check their contractor license on the state board website. The other most important thing that I would say is choosing performance materials. So if you have a quality contractor and performance materials, hopefully it's IKO, you will have the best possible outcome for your roof installation.

Megan Ellsworth:

Maybe the homeowner isn't in a jam and the roof is actually okay, but they're trying to up their curb appeal. Why does that matter to a homeowner? Why should they try to up their curb appeal?

Erin Weston:

Curb appeal matters so much for your home value. Your roof is a huge part of exterior design. So your roof may not be to the point that you need a new roof structurally, but if you have a streaked or algae covered roof, there is nothing that will ruin your curb appeal faster. It also hurts your home value no matter what neighborhood you're in, even if the rest of your home is gorgeous, that ugly roof will not do you any justice. When we think of curb appeal, we want your home to flow cohesively on the exterior and then all be tied together with a beautiful roof. So even if you don't necessarily need a roof, but you're in the market for a roof, for curb appeal, definitely consider IKO.

Matt Weston:

And if you're thinking about your roof, it's time because there's obviously something that you don't like about it. Maybe it's because you don't have curb appeal or back of your mind, you're like, "Oh, when is it going to fail?" You don't want to get to those points so you have more damage and more money to be spent.

Jack Gottesman:

And the funny thing is, I was recently driving around the neighborhood, a neighborhood with someone who doesn't work in roofing. So I say that they don't work in roofing, it's important to point that out because I think all of us who do work in roofing are a little bit nuts. That our heads are always kind of just looking up and never... We're you know you can miss a lot of things on the... when you're walking or driving or bumping into people because your heads are just looking up at roofs. But I was with someone who was not in roofing, recently driving around over the Thanksgiving break and they're like, "You're in roofing, right?" I said, "Yes, I am in roofing." He goes, "I don't know anything about roofs, but there's a beautiful home in this neighborhood." And we were driving through a neighborhood and he said, "Come on and look, there's a beautiful house and that is an ugly, ugly roof. Don't you think it ruins it?"

And it really felt validating because yeah, obviously I think it ruins the home, but it was nice to remember that people who aren't insane, like all of us and spend every minute of every day thinking about shingles that they notice it too. And I think that that ties in really well to what Matt and Erin were saying a moment ago, that when it comes to the beauty of your home, when it comes to how you're perceived on the block by your neighbors and really by yourself, a roof really stands out and you want to make sure that it looks gorgeous.

Megan Ellsworth:

Absolutely. And you mentioned earlier, Jack, like all the different colors that IKO provides. Do you want to go through some of those?

Jack Gottesman:

Sure. So I would say that like everybody else, we obviously offer what we call an introductory laminate. That's our Cambridge line. Our Cambridge line comes in fewer colors than our Performance line. Our Performance line is really the heart of what we offer. And when it comes to Calendar Construction, I know that it's at the heart of their offering as well. So once you move into our Performance line, the difference between that and our Cambridge line is that those shingles are made with what we call a four color drop. So when you look at the granules and when you look at the granule composition and the color composition that's making up those shingles, that burst of color that comes out of it, we're using four different shades of granules on the shingle itself. So that is going to create what we call a high definition look, and that is going to totally, totally stick out.

So even if you have a regular dual black in our Cambridge line, when you get to Granite Black in the Performance line Dynasty and Nordic, it's going to pop a lot nicer. It's the same thing for the Weatherwood, for example, in the Cambridge line, when you get to Cornerstone, which is our Weatherwood in the Dynasty and Nordic line, it pops, screams out. That's where we have our... when it comes to really the unique colors, our blues, our Atlantic blue, our Monaco red, our green colors, those are all in the Performance lines because we want those to be strong and salient and beautiful and something that people can notice from far, far away.

Lauren White:

So speaking of products, what difference do Performance products make for your roof, or for a homeowner's Roof?

Erin Weston:

Performance products definitely make all the difference. Let's say you go with a quality contractor, but that contractor uses low quality materials. You will not have the longevity you're looking for or the curb appeal. And the last thing homeowners want is to have issues with a newly installed roof because of the low grade materials. So when we install IKO products, we're not only giving homeowner's performance, but we're also giving them curb appeal and peace of mind. And it's definitely the best of both worlds.

Matt Weston:

Yeah, that's very well put.

Jack Gottesman:

If you're a roofer also, one of the reasons to go for... On the roofing side, we spoke a moment ago about on the homeowner side why to go with the Performance line. But if you're a roofer, one other difference between our introductory laminate, the Cambridge and the Performance line, the Dynasty and Nordic is that on the Cambridge you're really dealing with just one nail line. You need to hit that nail line in order for the shingles to have their best performance and frankly to be covered by IKO's warranty, should there be a challenge down the line. Roofers are always in a hurry. Even roofers from West Virginia and Michigan, roofers are busy. Roofers want to get to the next job. And so if you're going really fast, it could be hard to hit that singular nailing line.

So on our Performance class shingles, our Dynasty and Nordic, we have what we call our ArmourZone, which is an inch and a quarter nail zone. And if you hit anywhere within that zone, your shingles are going to be designed to stand up to wind uplift. And the shingles are rather designed to stand up to wind uplift should you hit anywhere within that zone. And it's a lot easier to hit within an inch and a quarter nail zone if you're moving quickly across a roof as opposed to just a singular line. I mean, Matt, you're up on a roof more often than me. What do you think about that?

Matt Weston:

Yeah, I definitely agree with you. The ArmourZone helps out a lot in a lot of different aspects. We ran into a problem this year, it wasn't an IKO product, we had a brand new build. It was towards end of fall in a high wind area, no trees around. We laid down this roof, it was very beautiful. We put our nails in that inch and a half that we should have had, or on the single line. And the next week, a week later with we had some maybe 40, 50 mile an hour winds and some of those shingles came off in three different sections of the roof. So we had to go back on a brand new home and replace those three sections. And the whole time I was like, "Man, if it would've just had an ArmourZone, we wouldn't have had this problem or this issue." And then once you did that, the homeowners were like, "I wish we really would've looked into a product like that." And we had tried to sell them that product, but it just didn't work out. When you're building-

Jack Gottesman:

That happens sometimes. And then for anybody running a business, you want to always be thinking about obviously doing things right so that you can get that positive review online. And then moving on to the next job. I imagine that anybody running a business, going back and needing to go address work that you've done before is probably a less than optimal way to spend your time.

Matt Weston:

And you definitely don't want to do the job twice. We want to do it once. And then to go back what Jack said earlier, speed is key. We have a long list of roofs, we're dealing with weather. I mean, you could be in the middle of a job and a pop-up storm coming and everyone's nailing fast with that ArmourZone. You have a larger nailing area than you do with your Cambridge or lower line shingles.

Lauren White:

That's great. And you mentioned the high wind uplift, for people who don't know the importance of that, why does that matter? Why should they take that into consideration?

Jack Gottesman:

That's a terrific question. High winds are happening in more areas of the country than we are traditionally used to. I was recently... We have a video on our website called Meet Your Shelter from The Storm, and it's a video about our Performance class shingles. And it's a woman in Iowa who is talking about how she's been living in Iowa for about 15 years. And as long as she's lived there, the weather has been pretty much the same and now the weather has gotten significantly worse and she doesn't expect it to get better.

So even if you don't live in an area where you traditionally expect hurricanes or high winds, you want to make sure that you are going the extra mile that just in case the worst happens, you are going to be protected. If you're taking care of that roof, if you're putting on that roof, you want to do it right. And by using a shingle like IKO's performance class shingles that come with 130 mile an hour limited wind warranty, you can really be thinking ahead to tomorrow that even if it's not something that I traditionally have expected before, should something happen, I want to be best protected.

Matt Weston:

With the wind uplift. You're also looking at all kinds of different things within the roofs. Pitch becomes a big factor of your roof, whether how steep it is or how low pitched it is. I mean, the steeper it is, the more uplift on the wind, the wind's not going to come down on the roof, it's going to go up underneath. And with that ArmourZone, it protects you. It doesn't allow those nails to pull through the shingle.

Megan Ellsworth:

And that's good to know as a homeowner, you want to be able to go with a product and a contractor that are both qualified for the job. And speaking of, you mentioned picking the right contractor earlier. I'd love for you to dive into just how important it is to choose the right contractor, and how do you know if it's the right contractor?

Erin Weston:

Choosing the right contractor is so important. You want to pick someone that will answer the phone even after the job's complete. Someone that's honest and has integrity in their work. We always want homeowners to feel comfortable with us as their contractor and trust us to work on their home. But we also want homeowners to be educated about the importance of each step of installation and the products that they're getting so they can better compare bids. Because I always tell homeowners that you cannot compare contractors or bids apples to apples. Everyone's offering something different. This company may be cheaper, but they are leaving out several important steps and they're using bad technology of shingles, so to speak. So it's definitely important to choose right contractor, all of that comes into play.

Jack Gottesman:

You want to make sure that you have someone that does this professionally. It's a big part of your home both in terms of the safety and security of the people living inside of the home and the beauty and the curb appeal for those passing your home. You want to make sure that it gets done right. And so you need to find the right person to do it. So might that cost you more money than doing it the cheapest and quickest way? Yeah, it probably will. I mean, the Matt and Erin know better than anybody. What are the first two things when you sit down with a homeowner? The first two things that they ask a contractor is how much is it going to cost, and how quickly can you do it?

But there's a lot more to putting on a roof than those two questions. So really that's what separates the real professionals and that's why we have our IKO ROOFPRO program because we want to create an environment and give our roofers the tools to really differentiate themselves from the other roofers who are really only just answering those two questions and focus on doing it quickly as opposed to perhaps getting it right. And that's something that Calendar Construction is a model within the industry of being able to do. Show up looking nice, looking professional, having those conversations with the homeowners to understand that the homeowner will only need to go through this perhaps once or twice in their life. But it's something that the folks at Calendar and other IKO ROOFPROs are doing every single day.

So on the people on the side of the table that only do this once or twice should really yield to the professionalism of the people who do it all the time. I'll just say one last thing, why it's so important to work with companies like Calendar Construction. My car is literally in the shop right now, and I will tell you I am not a car guy. I know nothing about cars. And so when I take it in for one thing and they have a whole laundry list of other things that they are recommending that I do, in order for my car to be perfect, I have a very difficult time distinguishing and differentiating what's important versus what is vital. That's why it's also crucial for homeowners to work with honest contractors like Calendar Construction. Matt and Erin are in addition to doing beautiful work, and efficient and professional work, they're also really honest. It's important to work with the roofing contractor that is going to be honest with the homeowner to make sure that they feel that the "juice is worth the squeeze."

Megan Ellsworth:

So how can a homeowner find that list of ROOFPROs that are sponsored by IKO?

Jack Gottesman:

So if you head on to the iko.com/na or even if you go to iko.com, they'll reroute. The first thing that you're going to see is a pop-up for you to be able to find a roofing contractor in your neighborhood. You'll be prompted to punch in your zip code or your postal code. And our IKO ROOFPROs are going to pop up along with a system that we have for our ROOFPROs called ROOFPRO Works, where they can create an extended profile and really make themselves look nice. But Calendar the best way to find Calendar in addition to the IKO website. But if you're not on the IKO website, and I'll let them speak for themselves, but I'll tell you how I found them was on social media. Follow Matt and Erin on Instagram and on Facebook because the things that they're doing online are terrific.

Lauren White:

What differentiates a ROOFPRO contractor?

Jack Gottesman:

So a ROOFPRO contractor... That's a great question, Lauren, thank you. A ROOFPRO contractor is someone who is using primarily IKO materials and it's someone who has gone through the basics of both safety and installation training with us. And so we want to make sure that if people are putting our name on their website as an IKO ROOFPRO and we're putting their name on our website and they're putting our name perhaps on their vehicles or as we rely on each other, loyalty runs both ways. So we want to make sure that they are going to be people who have at least gone through this training so that they are better prepared to have that conversation. And ROOFPROs also have an option to utilize several other business building tools and marketing tools in order to enhance their business. And there's no one better for the program than our friends at Calendar Construction. Really, they do such a terrific job and seriously follow them on social media. That is how I found them.

Matt Weston:

Hey, also with the ROOFPRO, being a professional that does roofing, on my spare time on a rainy day, I get on their website, I log into my ROOFPRO, they have so many different videos, training videos and exercises. And it's not just a video that you just put your headphones on and don't pay attention. You're zoomed in the whole time, you're learning. And then at the end, you take a quick little 10/15 question test. And then if you don't do well on it, you just go back, review it. Or hopefully-

Jack Gottesman:

I'm sure you do well on it, Matt, come on there's no way...

Matt Weston:

There might be in certain regions you might not be using certain IKO products in that region, but you're still learning in case you get the chance. It's like, "Hey coach, put me. Give me the call. I'm ready, I've [inaudible 00:19:52]."

Jack Gottesman:

That's great.

Matt Weston:

"I passed it." So you're always ready for the next thing. And they're always talking about new Performance lines and how to better your business and keep people safe. Safety is key. Homeowners don't realize that, "Hey, why are you a little bit more than everybody else?" Well, we abide by all the OSHA guidelines, proper harnessing. We take the extra time to cover you as a homeowner with not only labor, the materials and the overall project.

Erin Weston:

Not to mention we always have liability insurance and workers comp. If you hire just the guy with the truck out there from Facebook marketplace, he probably doesn't have those things. So if someone were to fall off the roof, heaven forbid, that would probably be on the homeowner's insurance in that case.

Jack Gottesman:

And that's not good.

Erin Weston:

No, no, that's a nightmare.

Lauren White:

Not good, geez.

Jack Gottesman:

Not good.

Lauren White:

So is there anything else homeowners should know to prepare for a re-roof project that we haven't touched on already?

Erin Weston:

There's a couple things to note. So unless you're in West Virginia and your entire yard is a mountainside, it is... roofers can walk around the full perimeter of your home. Don't get fresh landscaping or plant flowers right before your re-roof. We do try our best, but sometimes your landscaping is unavoidably crushed.

Matt Weston:

Yeah. As a homeowner, take a deep breath. Okay, we're the professionals, you chose us for a reason. There's a couple things that I always tell them, "Hey, if you want to help out, mow your yard a day or two before we come," and they'll be like, "Why do you want me to mow my yard?" "Well, not all the nails are going to hit the tarps or where we want them drop, so they're going to end up in your grass in your yard. And if the grass is lower, it's easier for our magnets to pick those nails up." If you have long grass, you can step on those nails and they're just going to get pushed down in the soil. And then over time, when that grass grows, you have nails all over the yard. I mean there's little things like that. And like Erin said, landscaping is a big thing.

Erin Weston:

It's easier on us and the homeowner if they just kind of step back and let us do our job. I know it's a high stress thing for homeowners to have a roof, but it's what we do every day and we just always request for homeowners just to trust the process. We will go above and beyond for you. We're going to do right by-

Jack Gottesman:

You put the PRO in ROOFPRO.

Erin Weston:

Yes, exactly. But we just need everyone to kind of just take a breath and step back and let us do our job. It's never fun when you have a homeowner that's never been on a roof that's like up on the roof watching your every move. And we have had that situation before.

Lauren White:

Oh!

Erin Weston:

I think that all going to be okay, it's just part of the process. We do it every day and we will make sure that things go well.

Megan Ellsworth:

That's great. Fabulous. Well thank you so much everyone for being on-

Jack Gottesman:

This was a lot of fun.

Megan Ellsworth:

... AskARoofer Podcast. Yeah, thank you so much. And for anyone wanting to learn more about the Westons and their companies or IKO, you can go to askaroofer.com or RoofersCoffeeShop and you can find the IKO directory.

Thank you for listening and we'll get you next time.

To learn more, go to askaroofer.com and ask a question if you have a question about your roof. It's really that simple. And make sure to follow us on all social medias @askaroofer_rcs. Make sure to follow us as well on your favorite streaming platform and we'll see you next time.



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