1. Talk to us about CertainTeed? Who is CertainTeed? When it began operations? Who are your clients? What differences CertainTeed over other manufacturers?
CertainTeed was founded in East St. Louis, Illinois in 1904 as the General Roofing Manufacturing Company. The company changed its name to CertainTeed in 1917 to fall in line with its company slogan, “Quality made certain, satisfaction guaranteed.” CertainTeed continued to grow as America’s premiere asphalt shingle manufacturer and today, as a subsidiary of the global building materials corporation Saint-Gobain, is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products. This includes residential, commercial and photovoltaics (solar) roofing products, as well as siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, gypsum and ceilings. CertainTeed employs more than 6,900 people and has more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The company exports products globally to more than 50 countries, with approximately $3.9 billion in total sales in 2018.
CertainTeed caters to wide variety of clientele, which includes residential customers, small businesses, large corporations, governments, schools, hospitals, product distributors and various types of contractors. What makes CertainTeed different from other manufacturers is our world-class manufacturing standards, dedication to researching and developing durable, beautiful and dynamic products, such as cool roofing, impact resistant roofing and solar. Beyond products, CertainTeed is dedicated to empowering contractors with training, credentialing and continuing education to ensure the highest levels of customer satisfaction when our products are installed. Helping contractors put their best foot forward strengthens the industry as a whole, so believe in investing time and resources in contractors who use our products.
2. What services does CertainTeed provide to business owners?
CertainTeed has a vast offering of high-quality exterior and interior building products, including residential and commercial roofing products, metal roofing, solar roofing, siding, trim, fencing, decking, railing, sheathing, insulation, drywall and a number of ceiling products. We provide training and dedicated support both regionally and over the phone to solve any challenges contractors may have in procuring or installing our products. We also offer a number of continuing education courses on building science and specific product training for contractors, specifiers and architects to help them build their skills and do their jobs more effectively. We provide credentialing to contractors who train on our products, which allows them to receive discounts and offer additional warranty protections to their clientele.
3. What would CertainTeed say is the number one mistake businesses owners make when looking for a product/service provider?
A big mistake business owners make when selecting a manufacturer is not thinking about longevity. That includes product and workmanship warranties, but also the longevity of the company from which they purchase products. If your project runs out of a certain building product mid-build, is your manufacturer responsive and capable enough to produce more of that material and get it to you quickly? Will those products be available 10 or 20 years from now? CertainTeed is an established company with more than a century of experience developing and selling high-quality building products and backing those products with some of the strongest warranty protections in the industry. CertainTeed is backed by Saint-Gobain, a building products company with 354 years of history. When customers purchase CertainTeed products, they know we stand behind our product.
4. What would CertainTeed recommend to contractors when speaking with homeowners? Are there any services available that you provide to help contractors avoid making common mistakes?
Credibility is important when you are trying to differentiate yourself in a crowded market. When you’re able to lead with your team’s certifications and manufacturer partnerships, it demonstrates product knowledge, dedication to proper installation and accountability. Including useful information and high-quality, illustrated product guides along with your presentations helps potential customers envision what the product would look like on their house and, ultimately, feel better about their purchase.
CertainTeed offers contractor certification programs on the installation of roofing, siding and trim, fencing, decking, railing, insulation and more. These certifications demonstrate a level of mastery as well as the confidence of a well-established manufacturer. Our company has lot of tools that help the contractor do their job better, including CertaSpec®, a comprehensive roofing specification writing tool allowing users to quickly write accurate steep- and low-slope roofing specifications for job submittal packages; InstaBid®, a software tool that takes the guesswork out of ordering materials, meeting installation specifications and generating sales proposals; and the CertainTeed Roofing Digital Marketing Library, a creative resource with brochures, images and advertising aids that support sales of CertainTeed roofing products, website development and other marketing needs.
5. From your point of view in the construction/roofing industry, could you share some tips for small businesses that are growing?
For any small business, your website and references are extremely important. There are companies out there that do great work, but have a website that reflects poorly on their business or fails to do a good job demonstrating the company’s strengths and abilities. Make sure your website has professional, high-quality images of the products you work with, as well as quality images of your actual projects. Be sure to document your work and get signed permission from your customer prior to the start of the project so you can confidently display your work. Be sure to follow up with satisfied customers and ask them to provide a testimonial once the work is done, and again a few months after the initial installation to ensure they are still satisfied. New business often comes from word-of-mouth referrals and a little extra effort goes a long way.
Additionally, establishing a relationship with a reliable manufacturer lends credibility to your company, introduces training opportunities and increases exposure and referrals.
6. What do you think is HCAC’s contribution to its members and the industry in general?
HCAC provides an important service to the Carolinas and the construction industry by bringing more diversity to the industry and helping develop future leaders. Like many industries, Hispanic people and other persons of color are often overlooked and shut out of opportunities. HCAC helps by creating a more equitable playing field, which ultimately makes everyone stronger and more productive.
7. Any additional comment or service you will like to highlight about CertainTeed?
Sustainability is central to CertainTeed operations, but it’s not just about products, it’s also about people. CertainTeed suppliers, employees and customers are partners in CertainTeed’s ongoing efforts to make a difference. CertainTeed believes you can do well by doing good and supporting non-profits and building partnerships that share our commitment is central to that belief. We’re proud to support HCAC and its efforts to achieve equitable leadership and inclusion within the construction industry.