Case Studies

Starkweather Roofing Inc.

Roofing and full building envelope solutions in Arizona and corners of Southwest

The construction market in the Southwest continues to heat up with more new construction and a steady stream of remodels and renovations. In Phoenix, Starkweather Roofing Inc., a family-owned commercial roofing company, is building on nearly 20 years in business and is well positioned to take advantage of the growing construction demand in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.

“We have continued to grow throughout the Phoenix metro area and we’re taking on more projects in other reaches of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico,” says Chris Walker, vice president of business development at Starkweather Roofing. “In Arizona, construction has been strong in 2016 with no signs of slowing down. Approximately 30 percent of everything we bid and more than half our non-service related labor is on new construction projects.”

Starkweather Roofing Inc.

New roofing services, market expansion

Founded by Diane and Jeff Starkweather in 1997, Starkweather Roofing has steadily expanded its scope of services over the last two decades in business. Core services include: new roof construction, roof replacement, roof restoration and preventative roof maintenance. The roofing systems the company installs include hot asphalt built-up and modified bitumen systems; single-ply roof membranes including EDPM, TPO and PVC; shingles, tile, foam, elastomeric coatings, and architectural metal roofs. More recently, Starkweather Roofing has made a push to become adept in full-envelope waterproofing as the company expands into new markets.

Starkweather Roofing offers core roofing and below-grade waterproofing services, sheet metal contracting, and will soon also hold a painting contractor’s license, allowing the company to deliver full building envelope waterproofing solutions. “Instead of calling on multiple subcontractors, our customers can call upon us to install full exterior systems — the roof, walls and below grade. We can wrap and waterproof a full building as a one-stop shop. This helps to simplify the project management, accounting, legal, and other processes,” says Walker.

Starkweather Roofing is always looking for ways to become more efficient while improving collaboration both in the field and the back office, and streamline the customer experience. The company has long-running relationships with a variety of clients.

“For example, in the past five years we have installed the roofing [and often coping metal and other waterproofing items] for 13 QuickTrip convenience stores, 15 Burger King restaurants, 22 Circle K convenience stores, 13 Chick-Fil-A restaurants, 13 Super Star/Express/Fast & Friendly car washes, eight CST Valero convenience stores, four El Pollo Loco restaurants, four Goodwill retail stores, and 19 Panda Express restaurants,” says Walker.

Starkweather Roofing is strong in the commercial-retail sector, but the company also has an array of clients in the medical, government, military, educational and institutional markets. One of the largest ongoing institutional projects Starkweather Roofing has tackled in recent years is its work at Grand Canyon University along with Pono Construction. “This scope includes metal and foam on the new Maryvale Golf Course Clubhouse, foam on the STEM classroom building, and asphalt built-up on the new Grove and Orchid dormitory complex buildings,” says Walker.

“We recently completed a foam replacement on the roofs of the Arizona House of Representatives and State Senate,” adds Walker. “We’ve also recently installed 62,000 square feet of new foam [plus tile] at Legacy Traditional Schools at Marley Park with Vector Constructors; 102,000 square feet of new single-ply TPO at Old Dominion Freight Lines with Schwob Building Company; 23,000 square feet of new single-ply TPO [plus tile] at Mission Palms of Mesa Health and Rehabilitation Center with MTV General Contractors, and 19,000 square feet new asphalt built-up [plus metal] at Estrella Mountain Village with HRW Builders.”

Breaking the laborer stigma, ramping up recruiting

As Starkweather Roofing continues to serve repeat customers across markets and gain new business, Walker says the importance of finding high-quality new team members and retaining existing employees is a huge priority. “Today we have about 90 employees and we’ve looking to hire more,” he says.

In an effort to find young talent, Starkweather Roofing is participating as part of a larger group lead by the Arizona Roofing Contractors Association to develop an accredited apprenticeship program to provide hands-on experience, mentorship, and classroom instruction to develop a career path and welcome more recent high school graduates and military veterans into the roofing and construction trade.

“We think a formal training/mentoring program is important to cross train across disciplines, and also to help people feel confident in their safety/installation abilities, but also to provide a baseline for experience,” says Walker. “There’s a big difference between saying ‘I’ve shingled roofs for three years’ and saying ‘I’ve passed this association-accredited training program.’”

The goal is to also educate potential tradespeople that the profession is more than being a laborer. “We need to take the stigma out of this profession as merely a last resort job,” says Walker. “This is in fact a career, and there’s a clear path from field to foreman to superintendent and so on; if you’re focused and dedicated you can make a really nice living.”

To get this message out Starkweather Roofing has ramped up recruiting starting at the high-school level. “We’re doing more demonstration days and career fairs in area high schools to show off the trade,” says Walker.

As the company continues to grow both its services and geographical footprint, recruitment will be central to Starkweather Roofing’s success. “We’re looking at some major growth potential in the coming years,” says Walker. “Revenues are increasing, profit margins are more consistent job-to-job and our reach is expanding — we really like where we are headed.” With more new construction projects and remodels in the pipeline, Starkweather Roofing Inc. is investing in its team, equipment, its scope of services and ultimately, customers, by offering expanded roofing and envelope waterproofing solutions.

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