Raising the Roofing Standard
Written by: Dale J Rappaneau Jr. | Produced by: Lindsey McKenna
Nebraska-based Weathercraft Co. of Lincoln (Weathercraft) has been in operation for more than 44 years. “It was founded by my father, Bill Sr.,” proudly says Bill Livengood Jr., vice president of Weathercraft. “We’ve always been in the roofing industry. One time we were also in the plumbing, heating and air conditioning business until the managers and partners retired. Now we are only focused on roofing, with the majority of the work in commercial re-roofing and some residential roofing.”
All of the company’s previous experience has broadened Weathercraft’s expertise, as the team understands how to design a roof system to fit nearly any building. Weathercraft installs a wide range of systems, including standing seam metal roofs, membrane roofs, tile and slate roofs, as well as custom fabricated copper roofs. Weathercraft is the go-to roofing company for the greater area of Nebraska.
The Firestone status
In 1984 Firestone created the Master Contractor Program, which awards the company’s contractors that achieve a higher volume and level of quality on roofing projects each year. Weathercraft has been part of the program since Firestone created it, some 27 years ago.
Firestone’s Master Contractor Program helps provide building owners with the opportunity to use an experienced contractor, as well as utilize the backing of the largest commercial roofing manufacturer in the world. This allows owners the opportunity to work with Firestone’s top contractors.
Earning the status of a Firestone Master Contractor is no simple task. The volume of work and the inspection ratings must be in the top 250 contractors in the country. Weathercraft’s intense focus on quality has allowed the prestigious honor for 27 years. Weathercraft is one of only 13 contractors to make master contractor every year since the beginning of the program.
According to Bill Jr., there is a growing trend in the roofing business to subcontract the work to another contractor, or subcontract out the labor. However, Weathercraft does all of its roofing in-house. “Typically, the labor costs are higher than to those that subcontract out to cheaper labor sources,” Bill Jr explains. “However, doing our own work leads to much higher quality of work.”
Bill Jr. goes on to note that the company has its own carpenter on staff who helps with roofing projects and small remodeling jobs. “We often run into carpentry and masonry work on our re-roofing projects, which gives us an advantage to be able to do this work in-house,” he continues. “We also have an architect on staff that manages our sheet metal and remodeling work. We have our own crane operators, roll off dumpsters and roof rock vacuum machine. We do all of our sheet metal fabrication on a computerized brake.”
The company’s sales and management team are the individuals inspecting and overseeing each job; therefore, Weathercraft demands quality installed roofs. “Even if this involves more time and expense to Weathercraft, it’s something Weathercraft feels is vital to install a quality roof installation,” Bill Jr. says proudly.
The company used to cover a larger geographic area, such as companies in western Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota and Wyoming. However, quality surpasses quantity. “The Livengood family decided several years ago with the long distance companies it would be impossible to monitor and ensure that everything is done according to their philosophy, which at that time they sold out their ownership to their partners in those locations,” Bill Jr. continues. The company now focuses on three locations: Lincoln, Omaha and Grand Island.
With such a focus on in-house operations, it’s no surprise that Weathercraft currently hosts more than 100 employees. What is surprising, however, is how much the company appreciates each and every single one of those employees.
“Our philosophy remains the same as always,” says Bill Jr. “We’re a quality-oriented company, and ever since our inception, we’ve given out golden diamond rings to employees working here for more than 10 years.”
To date, Weathercraft has given out 111 rings, which is at least 1,110 years’ worth of labor dedicated to a company that’s passionate about putting a quality roof over someone’s house or business. Not too many companies go to such lengths to show thanks for the ones who make it possible to stay in operation.
“I take a lot of pride in our employee family,” says Bill Jr. “Quality and honesty and integrity are what’s important, and we enjoy that from our gifted employees. Our people in the company have the same goal that we want: to give customers a quality product first. This goes along with the phrase my father adopted in 1969: Above All A Good Roof.”
With reliable contacts and strong, steady team, Weathercraft Co. of Lincoln will continue raising the roofing standard across Nebraska for years to come.
BACK TO ARTICLES