Sponsored by Allied Building Products Corporation
Bill Buehl has come a long way since he started in the roofing industry with a used truck and a gutter machine while he was a student in college. At the time, he had an eye on a career as a fireman.
“I was a paramedic and going to be a fireman but kept losing out on the few jobs there were,” Buehl recalled. “I started working as an installer during the college years, doing mostly tear-off and gutter work.”
Today, Buehl, 48, is president of A and B Roofing and Construction in Twinsburg, Ohio, an all-purpose company he’s owned since 1980. And despite the economic climate, Buehl continues to stick with his lifelong philosophy.
“Grow slow, it’ll come,” he said. “I think down times doesn’t mean bad times at all. I think in these times it could mean that if you’re legit and do the things you’re supposed to do, I think you’re going to be in good shape. My warning to others: Don’t grow too fast. Grow slow, it’ll come.”
What separates Buehl’s company from the competition is its strong emphasis on family. “Our business is family grown and family run,” Buehl said. “We have morals and ethics.”
Integrity and quality workmanship are part of the reason Buehl’s company excels at acquiring jobs through referrals. “By starting the way I started, I’ve never stopped believing that every job is a referral,” he said. “I had to go out there and stay busy. I did the job for labor and material, and to pay for my truck. My growth has been very slow, but slow growth works for me.”
A and B Roofing and Construction performs all types of building envelope work, including roofing, vinyl siding, windows and doors. With nearly 30 years in the industry, Buehl’s become widely known as the guy who gets the job done without breaking the bank. “I don’t have to advertise a lot,” Buehl said.
A and B Roofing and Construction employs 14 workers year-round who do both residential and commercial work. “We do a lot of repair work in wintertime when you’re buried under three feet of snow,” said Buehl, who offered some sensible tips. “Always be available. Always be a part of the city you work in. Back the Little League teams. Care about the community you live in. I think you put your money where you live. You’ve got to put your face out in the community.”
Buehl noted that distributors and manufacturers have helped him make the right decisions over the years while providing quality products during his career. He listed Allied Building Products, CertainTeed, GAF Materials Corp., and Firestone Building Products as his “roofing experts,” and noted that Alside siding, Pella and Andersen windows, and Thermatru and Provia doors are top players in his company.
“I teach my guys to put on a roof like a TV program is watching you with a camera behind you,” he said. “You will never have to worry about faulty work.”
Buehl, also known as Capt. Billy, used to be quite a fisherman on the Great Lakes. “I used to do a lot of fishing in my younger days,” he said, referring to his Lake Erie walleye excursions. “I don’t fish like I used to, but the name, Captain Billy, stuck.”
Buehl is also known as “The Taj” during Cleveland Browns home games, where he has an established tailgate party.
“Everyone’s been waiting for the Browns to win,” Buehl concluded. “You’re in Ohio, you’re obligated to watch the Browns.”