The team members of A-1 Roofing & Siding of Long Island Corp. swear by the golden rule: treating people the way they would like to be treated. “We’re a family business that really strives to be the best and do the right thing,” Co-Owner and Vice President John Malizia Jr. said. “We really care, and people notice.”

Serving the Long Island, N.Y., area for more than 30 years, the business specializes in residential re-roofing. It was founded in 1981 by Malizia’s father, Co-Owner and Senior President John Malizia Sr. “The company started as a two-person team,” Malizia explained. “My father did estimates in the mornings, went home to change and completed work in the afternoons, while my mother Nancy answered the phone calls and did the billing.” Since then, A-1 Roofing & Siding has evolved into a successful, full-on family affair. “We all grew up in the business,” Malizia said. “Now my younger brother Dennis is a foreman on the crew, my brother Vincent is the sales manager, and my sister Maria is our office manager. Our superintendent, Anthony DiCostanzo, has been with us for 28 years. We have a lot of people that really care.”

According to Malizia, the company has come a long way from its humble beginnings. “We were a small company up until about 2005,” he said. “We just started expanding in the past couple of years as far as buying more materials and hiring more guys, and in 2012 we started our own siding division. We used to sub out, but now we do everything ourselves. We’re doing a lot of things to help us become more professional. Every year has just gotten better and better because we do the right thing, and we have an excellent reputation.”

In a competitive market, this solid reputation is what gives A-1 Roofing & Siding an upper hand. “We treat customers the way we want to be treated,” Malizia explained. “We don’t pressure them in any way, and we educate them on our company and the right way to do a project. We give them a folder with more than 300 recommendations, and we don’t take any money upfront until the entire job is completed. We just try to get to know them and let them get to know us, let their guards down and realize that we are just good people.”

Malizia noted that the company prides itself on building long-lasting relationships, which often leads to repeat work and referral jobs. “We installed a rubber roof on a liquor store in a local town, and afterward we got some heavy rains, and it was leaking in the store,” he explained. “We immediately went to the store and got a manufacturer rep down there. The seams in the roof had failed, and we took care of it right away. The owner was so impressed at how we handled it that he still recommends us and calls us for jobs. It was a nightmare in the beginning, but it turned out to be good in the end. We try to give our customers the wow factor. We want them to be so impressed that they will go out of their way to recommend us.”

According to Malizia, the company’s employees are treated in the same way. “We know what it’s like to be working in the field, so we show up on the job and let them know that we’re involved,” he said. “We’ll bring them lunch and let them know that they’re appreciated. Sometimes we put on gear and work a full day with them. We ask them if there’s any way we can do things better, and we interview them on a regular basis to see what their goals are and how we can help them reach their goals. We truly care about our staff. We’re like a family.”

With the company’s recent growth have come several milestones, including selling its first half-million-dollar job and becoming a GAF Master Elite Contractor. A-1 Roofing & Siding focuses heavily on residential complexes, including townhouses and condos that need face lifts, and also recently re-roofed commercial storage facilities in preparation for solar panels. No matter the type of project, it is essential to deliver a premium product. “We try to educate building owners to do the job once and do it right. Use a good system and a good company, and hopefully it will last, and they won’t have to worry,” Malizia said. “We ensure quality workmanship by not rushing jobs. If we have to go back and finish something, we will. We also continue to train on a regular basis. GAF has helped us in many ways with their training, marketing, warranties and products, and Allied Building Products has helped us grow and learn to be a better company.”

Malizia reiterated that the company’s success ultimately stems from doing what is right. “A woman had contacted our company because she was in need of a new roof,” he explained. “She had told us that her husband had very recently passed away, and she signed a contract with us to replace the roof. When the job was completed she thought she was going to have to pay, and we informed her that we were not charging her because of her husband’s recent passing and did not take any money from her. She was just a nice lady, and she treated my employees really nice when they were installing her roof. She is on our reference list and has recommended us to many of her friends and family.”

The company also did a couple’s roof even though they were denied for financing. “They were living under a tarp and noticed us because we were doing a number of houses on their street,” Malizia said. “They were very surprised when we said we would work out a payment plan with them so that they could have the roof replaced, and the woman was in tears because their house had been in such bad shape for years and she was so happy that they were able to finally take care of it. They are also on our reference list.”