Roofer Madness

Presented by CEI Group

Trends that are Driving Change in the Roofing Industry

In our monthly newsletter, we have been highlighting five trends in the roofing industry that are sparking changes in how we go about roofing. The NRCA presented an article on the topic, and we decide to share with you our thoughts on the subject.

As you can see, the roofing industry is not the same as it was 50 years ago. Multiple advances have happened to the products we use, regulations for roofers, and even in the information needed for bidding. We can’t turn a blind eye to several trends that are forcing change to happen in the industry today.

Trend 1: Extreme Weather

As we experienced in 2018 and 2019, the weather is getting more unpredictable. From hurricanes and tornados to wet and rainy summers to snowy and cold winters, our weather conditions are not what they used to be. Across the broad more extreme weather is taking effect on the performance of roof systems. Hurricanes across the south boards with high winds and heavy rain are a threat. Just in Michigan, we have been experiencing tropical storms with heavy winds and shower along with the winters being below 15 degrees one day, and the next is 45 degrees and wet. High winds are the most concerning because it can pull up roof coverings and expose the roof deck to water.

These quickly changing conditions are forcing the roofing industry to take a look at the old roofing system to make the appropriate modification. The goal is to make roofs more durable and more protective to withstand the unpredictable weather.

Trend 2: Insurance Standards

With the threat from the extreme weather conditions, Insurance companies are influencing how often roof systems are replaced, the type of products that are being installed, and how they are installed on the roofs. Insurance companies are forcing building owners and contractors to install high quality performing roof systems by making better products and installation methods more attractive. Therefore there are fewer insurance claims due to damaged roofs.

“As a trend in 2020 and beyond, you can expect to see IBHS standards and others like them become more common throughout the U.S. and Canada as roofing contractors make them part of their businesses,” Jack Gottesman writes in the NRCA article.

Trend 3: Building Codes

Like insurance standards, building codes are adapting to severe weather conditions as well. State and Local governments are incentivizing more robust, weather-resistant, and efficient roof systems to protect the citizens from damage to their homes and buildings.

They are mandating roof systems that stand up to high wind, heavy rain, and snow. Along with mandating more efficient roofing materials. For example, in California, they require solar-reflective shingles to help with energy use.

Trend 4: Innovative products

With the new building code and insurance, standards come new products to meet them. The roofing materials that offer minimum protection is no longer good enough. Manufacturers are bringing forth products that provide more options. For example, products that a wind-resistant, impact-resistant, and heat-reflective shingles, helping contractors meet demands.

Beyond 2020 manufacturers are bringing new innovative products to the industry that will give contractors the ability to offer higher protection to their customers.

Trend 5: Informed Consumers

One of the most important trend that is shaping the roofing industry and other industries as well- is the fact that consumers are more informed than ever.

For multiple years we haven’t seen significant changes in the buying and selling process of roof systems. During those days, building owners had little knowledge of roofing products and even less interest in them; they simply relied on the contractors. Nowadays, consumers can’t help but be more informed on what products are higher quality and the methods used for installing the roofing systems. With media blowing up everywhere, consumers now are better educated, savvier, and more skeptical.

Back then, consumers were buying the contractors, not the material brands. But consumers are barraged with information on weather conditions, natural disasters, and how to save a few bucks. So the bottom line when it comes down to their roofs, they are going to do some research before making a purchasing decision.

This forces contractors to be informed of the trends in the industry and to make better decisions on their methods and products that are being used or that they recommend.

Despite these constant changes with the industry, one thing has stayed the same: Good looking roofs. Although these trends may be a burden on contractors at first, they are necessary to continue to keep people safe and keeping the building looking good.

Firestone’s 2019 Partner in Quality

Firestone has recognized CEI for our outstanding efforts in quality roofing installations.

The Partner in Quality award is presented to contractors who achieved the highest levels of roofing quality by meeting or exceeding the following criteria during the previous year:

  1. Install at least eight warranted Firestone roofs in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018
  2. Maintain at least million square feet of Firestone roofs under warranty
  3. Achieve an annual QIR of 1.0 or less

The Quality Incidence Rating (QIR) offers a simple but compelling tool to promote roofing quality. Firestone has recognized our high-quality standards and rewarded us with a plaque for our achievement as a 2019Partner inQuality.

CEI Sponsorship: 2019 Hudson Mills Old Power Club Tractor Pull

CEI is proud to pull another win at the 2019 HMOPC Annual Tractor pull. For four years, CEI has helped sponsor the Hudson Mills Old Power Club in their annual tractor pull. With the sponsorship, the company gets entry into the sponsorship pull. Matt Meyer, a roofing superintendent here at CEI, participated in the pull on Friday, May 31. He successfully brought home another win. His win makes CEI the 4-time reigning champs. Last year, Nick Bosworth pulled and earned CEI’s third win in a row. The year before that Ron Skrzypek pulled and in 2016, JB Hampton participated in the first year.

CEI is proud to be a part of this fun and exciting sponsorship. Thanks to Matt Meyer, CEI gets to hang another plack in the office for everyone to see.

Dunk For Duke!

CEI is hosting a charity fundraiser for Duke Medical Center on June 8th, 2019. The event is in on honor of CEI’s late founder, John C. Cook. John passed away on April 24th, 2017 after a hard fought 14 year battle with prostate cancer. John and his brother stated CEI Michigan, John was the first full-time employee of Cook Roofing, Inc. John was passionate about the company and the roofing industry and strived to improve other people’s lives by sharing his eternal glass-half-full attitude. At the end of his career, John managed the international division of the roofing company. the projects took him around the globe and he loved the adventures while also leading the roofers on their foreign explorations. Although John loved working, he retired from the company in 2014.

Duke Cancer Institute was a big part of John’s battle! As apart of there 50th year celebration they wanted to contribute to the success of the Cancer institute that helped John over his 14 year journey.

50 Years and Counting!

George and John Cook are the founders of CEI Michigan, LLC. Their father Cecil Cook also worked in the roofing industry for most of his adult life. CEI slowly developed from a “weekend warrior” side job business into a staple in the commercial roofing and architectural sheet metal industry. This year, CEI is celebrating the 50th year in business.

After Cecil’s retirement from the roofing industry, he started to pick up small cash projects on the weekends. With the help of George and his wife Barbra, they coordinated crews and materials for both residential and small commercial projects. Over the years, these side jobs began to grow into a small business, which ultimately became the CEI we have today. In 1969, George set out to incorporate the company – making Cook Roofing, Inc. official in May of that year. Cook Roofing continued to run as a part-time operation out of the basement of the Cook home while George worked as a salesman during the week. However, after being incorporated, the business grew even faster, and it began to take up more and more time.

In 1972, John Cook moved home from Germany after being stationed there as an army officer. Upon his return, he joined in the Cook Roofing as its first full-time employee. As the business grew and took up more time, George began to focus his more of his efforts on the CEI; eventually leading to him losing his sales position. After that, Cook Roofing became a full-time job for the brothers. That same year, Cook Roofing established a relationship with Clark Construction.  They worked on the State Hospital in Howell – a re-roof and new addition project. This building was one of the first large projects that Cook Roofing accomplished in its early years. Following that in 1974, the brothers decided to eliminate residential work from their specialties. “We had a lot of trouble getting payment from residential customers. We could spend more time bidding and less time collecting if we got rid of it,” says George. Since then CEI has remained focused on commercial projects.

In 1978, Cook Roofing out grew the basement, and the company purchased its first office located on Industrial Road in Howell, MI. Cook Roofing also began to explore different types of roofing systems. The search for innovation brought them to Trocal, now known as Sika-Trocal. Trocal developed the first ever single-ply roofing system. After speaking with Trocal, George and John tested the product for themselves by installing the new system on their office roof.  Then Cook Roofing started offering this system to its customers as a way to cut costs and time spent on the job. Customers started to prefer the product, and Cook Roofing became pioneers in the single-ply market. Over the next couple of years, Cook Roofing was deployed by Trocal to install their product all over the country.

Beginning in Colorado, Cook Roofing bid a group of K-12 schools that were looking for a Trocal installer. After being awarded the job, Cook Roofing established relationships in the Denver area and started expanding across the country. At this time, Cook Roofing changed their name to Cook Enterprises Incorporated, eventually becoming simply CEI. From there CEI opened branches across the country. CEI West Roofing Company, Inc was started in Denver in 1977. CEI Southwest including the Texas and Arizona offices was launched in 1981. Last, in 1982, CEI developed CEI Florida, Inc., which included two offices in Florida. The Cook brothers remained actively involved in the company, but each office had their own partner and manager who ran the branch.

Throughout the ’80s Trocal became the preferred system by all general contractors. Being experienced in the system, CEI was able to create partnerships with more prominent companies such as GM. These partnerships helped CEI to become widely known for their high profile and intricate work and made all of the offices strong.  Along with the expansion into multiple offices across the country.  In the early 90’s CEI began adopting other modern roofing systems, including EPDM systems.  Also in the early 90’s CEI went through a reconsolidation period closing offices that had been in Iowa and Illinois as well as the Michigan operation which was reopened as a part of the Texas Company called CEI Southwest.

As the ’90s came to a close, many construction companies were participating in roll-ups. As roll-ups grew in popularity, the roofing industry began to adopt the model. By 1999, CEI was made up of three companies with six offices located in Florida (Debary and Jacksonville, FL), Texas (Dallas, TX and Howell, MI) and Colorado (Denver, CO and Sacramento, CA). These three companies were sold in a stock sale to generalRoofing (yes, spelled just like that). generalRoofing was one of the roofing roll-up companies that were buying up commercial roofing companies across the nation. CEI was a part of the company until 2005.

In 2005, Tecta America purchased generalRoofing’s assets.  Tecta America, another large roll-up was uninterested in the union companies, leaving out CEI and other Michigan offices. In that same year, CEI bought back the assets of the operation in Michigan via CEI Group, LLC. The buyback formed the partnership of George, John, Eric, Rob, and Kristine. They continued operations and grew the business. CEI has since strengthened its sheet metal department and service department to complement its commercial roofing work on large and complex projects. Unfortunately, John developed health problems that lead to his retirement in the fall of 2014. Since then the partnership of George, Eric, Rob, and Kristine remains strong and has continued to be able to grow the business and the long list of high profile customers that CEI works for.

CEI had long ago outgrown its original building in Howell, MI. The search for a new headquarters started in late 2013. In 2014 CEI found an office space with a large pole barn that it could renovate to meet its needs. CEI’s operations moved to the Whitmore Lake/Hamburg area and hosted the official open house on August 28th, 2015. Since the purchase of this building, CEI has continued to expand the yard. In 2016 a cold storage building on the far end of the property was added. And in late 2018 CEI started an addition to the warehouse to create additional space for the sheet metal shop. 

CEI continues to innovate and grow the company, focusing efforts on complex projects and developing entire building envelope expertise.

Celebrating National Roofing Week!

(Whitmore Lake, MI)-  To raise awareness of the significance of roofs to every home and business, stress the value of professional roofing contractors, and promote the good deeds of the industry, CEI Michigan, LLC will recognize National Roofing Week taking place June 2-8.

Organized by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), National Roofing Week is a reminder that the roof is one of the most critical components of every structure. It is the first line of defense against natural elements, such as rain, snow or wind, yet it is often taken for granted until it falls into disrepair.

National Roofing Week enables roofing professionals to engage with their communities and inform the public about the essential role roofs and professional roofing contractors play in every community, as well as the importance about making informed decisions about maintaining or replacing any roof system.

 CEI has been in the roofing industry for 50 years. National Roofing Week gives CEI the chance to celebrate the industry that supports the families that work in it. During National Roofing Week CEI Michigan, LLC will be creating awareness through social media. Viewers can see CEI’s post of the week on Facebook, Twitter, and its Roofing Madness Blog.  These posts will include focuses on how CEI trains their employees, charitable giving, signature projects, and celebration of the work that we do. Also on social media following the week viewers can see all the happening of our 50th-year festival including, games, music, food and our “Dunk for Duke” Charity Fundraiser in memory of John C. Cook, one of our founders who passed away two years ago from prostate cancer. Duke Medical Center was a massive part of his long and courageous journey battling cancer, and CEI is proud to support them.

“We think it’s important to recognize our employees and the hard work they do for CEI and CEI’s customers. This year’s roofing week is extra special because of our 50th year in business and celebrating the employees who have been with us for a long time.” – Eric C. Cook, President at CEI Michigan, LLC

Additional information about National Roofing Week can be found at www.nrca.net/National-Roofing-Week.

###

 CEI Group has earned a reputation as one of the country’s most progressive roofing and architectural sheet metal firms. They pioneered single ply roofs in the late ’70s and ’80s, were one of the first roofing companies to maintain their sheet metal shop.  By the ’90s, CEI’s sheet metal department started to install metal wall panel projects. Today, CEI is leading the way in newer roofing and architectural sheet metal systems such as green roofing projects and composite and insulated wall panel projects. As a union-shop, CEI is also known for its trade craftsmanship. Some of the lost art and techniques for working on architecturally-challenging or historical elements have been preserved and passed down from experienced roofing and sheet metal pros. CEI customers appreciate the company’s disciplined project management, communication during the project, and the ability to meet challenging deadlines consistently.

Career Opportunities: Operating Engineers Local Union 324 Apprenticeship Application

CEI has and always will be a big supporter of the trades and career education in any of the trades field. Being a business that relies on these skilled workers to keep our business running we are constantly trying to promote job training, apprenticeship and career opportunities.

CEI is partnered with three unions in the southeastern Michigan area. Those three unions include Roofers Local Union 149, Metal Workers Local Union 80, and Operating Engineers Local Union 324. Local Union 324 supports heavy equipment operators and heavy equipment technicians. CEI uses this union to staff crane operators and semi-truck drivers to assist on the high profile and complex projects that CEI takes on.

An operator is a key role in CEI’s team. Without them, CEI would not be able to innovate and construct the highest of quality for there projects. Operators keep CEI’s jobs running smooth and on-time by allowing flexibility to the schedule. Having our own trucks and cranes allows CEI to be autonomous and not always having to worry about rentals and subcontractors to do the work. Along with owning our own equipment, credit goes to the well-trained operators that CEI hires from local 324. CEI is excited to promote a great opportunity for anyone looking into working in this trade.

June 10th- June 14th, 2019 Local Union 324 is taking applications for there Apprenticeship program. This opportunity is provided for anyone 17 or older with a high school diploma or GED certificate. Other requirements include a valid Michigan drivers license and reliable transportation. Applications are limited and are available on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information:
https://www.oe324.org/training/2019application/

New Shop Additions

Business growth is the process of improving some measure of an enterprise’s success. Over the last 5 year CEI has been innovating, growing and expanding. One of the biggest growths has been in our sheet metal department. This growth has shown in CEI’s expansion in the yard.

  In the early 70s, CEI began to innovate in the sheet metal side of construction. They saw that this was another division of the business that could help them expand and grow into a versatile business. Since then there has been the exponential growth of this department. It is the highlight of much of our best work. In 2015, CEI moved the company out of the small office and shop space that they had occupied for about 36 years. One of the biggest reason is we they were outgrowing there shop. There was little storage for materials, they were unable to upgrade to larger equipment and so on. The company moved to a much large office space with a large pole barn in the back that could house much more storage and equipment. Only 2 years later, they expanded again adding another pole barn to the yard for extended storage for metal and other materials.

Now, we have walked into 2019. The metal business is continuing to expand and grow. With purchases of bigger and better equipment we are out growing the space again. CEI has looked to expand their shop with a new addition to the sheet metal side of the building. For everyone at CEI this is a very exciting event for 2019. Our permits have all come back for the warehouse expansion. As soon as weather breaks we will start the addition. The plan is to have it done as soon as possible.

Understanding “Keep Swinging For the Fences”

Every year the CEI senior leadership team gathers together to discuss our annual kick-off meeting and the yearly theme. The theme is generally a phrase, word or mantra for our employees for the year. It serves as a reminder of the goals that we set for our company every year. With goals being set in 2019, the main theme that came across for our partners and management team members was to simply “keep going.” CEI is on an amazing growth track and with the economy, in line, we are moving toward being even better. As a company we don’t want to deviate from what we are doing, we want to continue on the path toward greater excellence. With that goal in mind, we decided on the “Keep Swinging for the Fences” theme.

For most baseball fans this phrase is easy to understand. But for the non-fanatics, this could be a confusing phrase that seemingly has nothing to do with CEI, its mission, its customer base, or roofing and sheet metal work. The phrase “Swing for the Fences” is a baseball term that has its origin beginning in the 20th century with early baseball reporting. Since then it is grown in popularity to have meaning not related to baseball.

In baseball terms, it means to hit the ball as hard as possible with hopes of hitting a home run. The figurative meaning is to “go all out” or give maximum effort into what you are doing. The task at hand is like stepping up to the plate and you always want to step up with your best self. Then when you go to swing the bat, it is like doing the task. When you attempt to do the task you want to bring the maximum effort.

For CEI, “Keep Swinging for the Fences” means a couple of things…

First, it recognizes the effort that is already been put in. “Keep” is an important word because there is not a time where we weren’t trying our best. It’s just important to bring that motivation and hard work into every day. Just because you continue to hit home runs does not mean that you should take a step back and not bring the max effort into swinging. When it comes to being the best, you have to be the best in the little details. Bring the max effort into every day will show when you are trying to hit it out of the park in that job, project, month, year or with that customer.

#NoMoreTrashBags: CEI Supports Comfort Cases

The mission of Comfort Cases touched CEI ‘s team. While in a search for a hand’s on a charity event to help bring together the team while giving back. Comfort Cases is an organization that focuses on giving care packages to foster kids who are going through hard transitions. They are given a backpack with items such as a blanket, pajamas, personal hygiene supplies, and a book. All of this is to help them transition with some belongings to make them feel more at home.

After hearing what the organization was doing, CEI planned a packing party as part of there 2019 Kick-Off Meeting. Not only did it help give back, but team members also had to work together packing the backpacks, creating a team-building exercise. Together we packed 20 cases for foster kids ages 10-18, we divided the cases into ten boy cases and ten girl cases.

After the meeting, the cases were shipped to the Maryland headquarters for quality inspection and distributed to other locations across the United States.

For more information visit: https://www.comfortcases.org/

« Older posts

© 2020 Roofer Madness

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑