Feazel Inc. offers roofing, windows, siding, gutters, roof repair and maintenance, chimney repairs and even insulation. Although it advertises its services through the Internet and local television partners in specific markets, Feazel’s number one work source continues to be repeat customers and referrals. “That’s our top lead source: repeat business and word-of-mouth,” says Hellmich.
In business, it takes talent to create a brand from the ground up. To take an existing business, build upon its existing base of satisfied customers and suppliers and achieve remarkable growth of over 500 percent in just three years, takes courage.
Feazel was originally an independent, family-run roofing company created in 1988 by two brothers. It has proudly served the needs of Ohio residents with over 60,000 completed projects. The business had a solid track record, an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a well-earned reputation for quality customer service and professionalism when it was taken over by Leo Ruberto in December of 2012. Ruberto had worked in the home improvement and roofing industries for almost fifteen years on a wide range of commercial and residential projects, which is how he had established working relationships with the then-owners of the company and other key industry players.
Although Feazel was a successful and well-respected business, Ruberto recognized a tremendous potential for growth and set his sights on revitalizing the company. He re-established its brand identity and gave back locally to demonstrate that it was a mainstay of the community. It was, he says, “bringing it back to where it was in its original heyday, if you will.”
As president of the company, Ruberto saw the need to implement innovative technology solutions, including ways in which the customer buys, according to Marketing Director Jess Hellmich. “Leo wanted to get away from faxes and phone calls, make the buying experience better for customers and for Feazel to become a roofing company for the twenty-first-century consumer,” says Hellmich.
The company has grown rapidly in the past three years and credits its success to the quality roofing services it provides, the people it employs and how it treats its customers: with professionalism and the utmost respect.
“One of the most important things, when I bought the business, was recognizing there was a tremendous amount of work done prior to me getting here, so it was very important to protect the consumer base,” comments Ruberto. This includes inspecting roof projects taken on before he assumed control of the business, “because we want people to look at us with being synonymous with customer service and integrity. We have worked very hard instilling that in the culture of all our people, and make sure that that’s how we are going to act one hundred percent of the time.”
Feazel’s knowledgeable staff of forty-five full-time employees – close to seventy with support roles including contract and part-time workers – have decades of combined experience and realize roof leaks can be caused by not only storm damage, ice, hail, rain and falling branches but insufficient or improper roof ventilation. A household roof represents a significant investment, and if not replaced or repaired correctly, it can lead to serious damage to interior ceilings, walls, electrical systems, as well as harmful mold growth. It can even affect the integrity of a home and its structure.
The factory-trained, certified staff can address and solve roof leaks. The company provides free roof inspections and checks both inside and outside to find trouble spots to suggest effective and reasonably priced solutions.
Then, of course, there is Feazel’s lifetime warranty on labor and material, which rivals, and in many cases exceeds, those of the competition. “We truly deliver the best warranty in the industry,” comments Hellmich. “All of our customers get a lifetime warranty – a no exclusions, non-pro-rated, no dollar limit warranty.”
The warranty lasts as long as the owner owns his or her home, and is fully transferable one time within the first ten years should the owner sell the home. It covers both labor and the materials, a one hundred percent coverage of the roofing system backed by Feazel, not the manufacturer, so there is a single source contact for the consumer. Feazel will do all the “heavy lifting” should the warranty ever be called on.
“Our focus on the customer definitely sets us apart. That’s easy to say, but we really walk the talk on that and truly put the customer first. We retroactively give people lifetime warranties. If one of our customers calls about a roof we installed twenty years ago, we go out and find out what the problem is and address it,” says Feazel CEO, Ross Appeldorn.
Feazel Inc. believes that quality installation and materials go hand-in-hand so Feazel uses roofing products primarily from GAF. North America’s largest manufacturer of commercial and residential roofing materials, and in business for over 130 years, Feazel holds the longest standing GAF Master Elite Certified Contractor recognition in the state of Ohio. Feazel is also a Certainteed ShingleMaster Certified Contractor. While Feazel has the ability to install roofing shingles and accessories from any shingle manufacturer that the customer requests, it partners with GAF to promote sustainability in all areas of its business.
Feazel is certified by GAF as a green roofer and actively supports product innovation in the industry, recycling efforts to conserve materials and reduce waste and material optimization. The company uses Advanced Protection® Shingles which are made using less asphalt and limestone. This reduces its carbon footprint through lowered transportation and fuel costs since they weigh less than conventional shingles. Additionally, Feazel recycles used roofing shingles to be converted into asphalt and made into new roads. An average of three tons of roofing materials per house or building project are redirected from landfill and will pave approximately fifty feet of new road. These and other initiatives, such as using GAF Cool roofing, insulation and ventilation products, benefit the customer with lower energy costs and help the planet at the same time.
Along with high-value solutions for roofing, windows, siding, gutters, chimneys, masonry, skylights and insulation, Feazel offers more efficient service via its use of ServicePointTM. The software program gives immediate access to estimates, project status, scheduling and more for its multi-family customers. In this way, every single service call can be tracked for all work done on the property, including costs and invoices.
This, and other investments in technology, have been made specifically for improving the customer experience and are not standard in the industry. “You can text us at any given time and schedule an appointment,” says Ruberto. “With the way that the world changes so quickly, I think it’s appropriate to try to think forward as far as you can.”
Feazel is also a great believer in preventative maintenance and cleaning. Roofs, gutters, skylights and other products represent a sizeable investment on the part of the homeowner and must be maintained or repaired to keep them in peak condition. Organisms such as moss and algae are not only unsightly and affect curb appeal with dark streaks, but they can cause premature deterioration of roofs. Feazel recommends a cleaning every year to two years with biodegradable products.
It also restores roofs and backs its services with a total satisfaction guarantee. “We want to give people an honest assessment and an honest opinion, but there is no reason to sell someone a roof if they don’t need it,” says Hellmich. “If there are more efficient ways to preserve and maintain, we do that for our customers.”
Self-performing much of its work, Feazel also collaborates with several respected, pre-screened subcontractors who are supervised on projects, resulting in a process which is virtually seamless to customers.
The company and its team continue to win awards, including the Women’s Choice Award, The Fast Fifty and the President’s Club from GAF. It has also been listed among the Top 100 Roofing Contractors by Roofing Contractor Magazine the last three years in a row – going from being listed as #87 in 2014 to #27 in 2016. Much of the credit is due to Feazel President Leo Ruberto, who remains determined to boost the reputation of America’s roofing industry.
“There’s a lot of distrust in the industry, and in our experience, we feel like consumers believe roofers try to pass the blame to someone else,” says Jess Hellmich. “By being the one performing all the work, we are able to own it more and pass on the good reputation, quality and integrity that we have for the work that we do to the consumer. They know they can go to one place and get the same quality of work for several different trades. We take responsibility for that and everything around it, including our great true lifetime non-prorated labor and material warranty; if you are dealing with multiple contractors and multiple trades, that’s not something you’d be able to stand behind one hundred percent.”