We would like to introduce you to Mr. Frank Albert aka on the RCS as Tinner. He does the type of projects that only a craftsman will touch. He needs "Service to the Industry" award for his posts on our site. We are honored to feature him as our RCS'er of the month.
Frank has been in the roofing industry since 1967, with a brief time-out during the 69-72 eras to service in the Army. He started in commercial working on many built-up roofs over the years. The companies he worked for also did residential flat and steep roofs. He became the trouble shooter for several companies and was the repair specialist on flat and steep roofs. He currently owns Albert's Specialty Roofing (albertsroofing.com) in Richmond, Va. He specializes in Slate and Metal roofing, primarily installing Copper. He now has 2-5 projects going at any one time.
How long have you been contributing to the Forum?
3 to 4 years? Time flies when you're having fun.
So, How's business?
Steadily picking up. The website and referrals keep me busy nonstop.
Who taught you to roof?
J.H. Smith and Joe Blunt taught me a lot. J.H., after seeing me use a caulking tube for the first time suggested I either learn to caulk better or be a real good roofer. He thought I was a natural and promoted me to foreman in about 3 months. I never learned to caulk. I learned to roof instead. Luther Caudle Sr. of Roofing and Supplies must also be mentioned. (The whole family is knowledgeable and are great people to know.) He and I still discuss techniques that we've seen and analyze them to this day. He has been a mentor to me and I assume many others. We often discussed techniques and concentrated on roofing skills. R.W. Harper and W. Murphy deserve mentions also.
What was the most valuable lessons you learned about roofing?
To spend as much time as necessary to do it right the first time, every time. And a part of that was to take the time to diagnose every failure/leak I found and find out why, not just where it is.
RCS - What was the most valuable lessons you learned about being in business?
To be honest and true to myself, and my customers. Honest dealing will create more business than any advertising. My clients and I have become friends and many friends have become clients.
What is the best thing you ever did for your business?
Paying in full for trucks, breaks, and other equipment. Keeping overhead manageable.
What are your biggest concerns being in business in 2008?
The economy in general. Corporate lay-offs affect me and others by creating "uncertain employment" concerns for our clients. Many of whom work for large corporations in my area.
In one word describe the most important trait in an employee?
The best boss you ever had taught you what?
How to think for myself and how to analyze each roof separately, to realize that a juncture of 4-7 different roof planes, and corners still had 4-7 aspects that could be handled separately, in order, to become a single workable whole. And that "roof" cement has no place on 90% of roofs.