Atlanta Roofing Specialists (ARS) recently celebrated their 25th anniversary serving the greater Atlanta area. Since it all started in the holiday season of the early ‘90s, GAF ProBlog wants to help celebrate their quarter century of success as we head into the 2019 festivities.
We spoke with ARS co-founder Mark Rutherford about the Thanksgiving dinner that inspired him to launch the company.
“Kevin, my business partner, is my uncle,” said Mark. “Back in 1992 I was working as a roofer for my father-in-law and Kevin was an estimator for a company that did storm damage repairs.” Neither was completely satisfied where they were and, as naturally happens, they compared their stories over Thanksgiving dinner. One of them eventually suggested, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to start our own company?”
After several more meetings and lots of planning, the following spring the partners launched an enterprise they have been very thankful for ever since — Atlanta Roofing Specialists.
In the early days, the pair split the bulk of the work between them. Mark did the roofing and Kevin handled sales. Their business plan was simple: give customers the best quality labor and materials available at an affordable price, always be honest and always be dependable.
“Always be honest and always be dependable.” –Mark Rutherford
Sticking to those virtues seems to have worked out pretty well. Atlanta Roofing Specialists, located in Marietta, GA now services the entire greater Atlanta area, including Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Dekalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties, as well as greater Rome and Macon. The two-person shop of 1993 now employs more than 70 professionals.
Their growing reputation for excellence also drew the attention of GAF.
“We were one of the first companies in the Atlanta market to join up for the GAF Master Elite program,” said Mark. “You see, back in those days it was very common for roofing companies to simply remove the shingles and install new ones. Most companies did not remove the existing roof, inspect and repair the decking if needed, install new underlayment, install new flashing or install accessories that matched the shingles. GAF was the first manufacturer to address the roof system as a whole.” He continued, “That fit right in with our philosophy, so it was a no brainer for us. A manufacturer’s program that recognizes and stands behind contractors who care and take the time to do it right? Yeah, sign us up!”
“A manufacturer’s program that recognizes and stands behind contractors who care and take the time to do it right? Yeah, sign us up!”
While primarily a residential roofing contractor performing roof replacements, new roofs, roof repairs, gutters, carpentry, and more, Atlanta Roofing Specialists is also a GAF Master Select contractor for commercial roofing.
“I feel that partnering with GAF has had a huge impact on our success,” said Mark. “We have made a commitment to meet the highest standards of installation excellence and GAF has provided us with the best materials and roof accessories available. It’s a win-win for the consumer.”
We reached out to Mark to see how ARS celebrated their 25th anniversary, and his response represented the work ethic that has taken the company this far. “We didn’t really do much of anything to celebrate our 25th anniversary,” he said. “We were too busy!”
So in honor of their 25th, instead of sending a gift, we’re going to share a gift from them. Asked what advice he would offer other roofers, perhaps roofers just starting out, he offered, “Always be honest, always be fair, treat every customer like you would want to be treated. Never compromise your ethics or morals for money.”
Congratulations to GAF Master Elite® Contractors Atlanta Roofing Systems on 25 years of growth, and thanks for observing your milestone by sharing your hard-earned wisdom with other roofers and readers of the GAF ProBlog!