For the better part of two years, a slow wave of entrepreneurship in the roofing and restoration space has been creeping across the nation, and it’s picking up steam. Restoration Builders Inc. recently completed its 15th acquisition in the home roofing and remodeling space with a business model that’s looking to shake the industry up in multiple markets.

Strategically placed in cities stretching from the upper Midwest to Florida, and along the storm belt of northern Texas and the Great Plains, the companies combined have a projected revenue exceeding $100 million. In the last six months alone, Restoration Builders announced acquisitions of Renown Roofing and Construction Inc., Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, and AVCO Roofing, all of Dallas; and Chicago-based NRC Roofing and Restoration LLC.

“We have big goals for Restoration Builders’ future, and for improving our industry as a whole,” said John Lorenz, chairman and CEO of Restoration Builders.

Lorenz and Co-founder Janet Lorenz, his wife, describe Restoration Builders as a residential and soon-to-be commercial contractor operating across the United States. Their business mission is to protect, restore and build properties, while at the same time strengthening families and supporting the community. They are committed locally but ready to serve on a broader scale for regional disaster response.

Over the past two years, company leaders focused on consolidating existing repair and restoration companies in high-volume markets. At the same time, they’ve honed in on their primary customer — the vast majority of which are insurance policy holders filing claims for a repair or replacement after a significant weather event.

The belief is that a consolidation strategy with a portable workforce can meet the explosive demand of the insurance restoration industry — valued at more than $210 billion. Integration remains ongoing with the 15 privately-held restoration and repair businesses that signed asset purchase agreements, including multiple locations in Texas.

“We’re strategically located across high storm traffic regions and Texas is a pretty important territory for us,” Janet said. “Texas is a natural position for us because there’s a lot of residential business in the Texas, and it’s a big state that’s spread out.”

Beyond strategic locations, core to the business philosophy is the belief that roofing repair is a high-growth sector of the roofing contractor industry. The field is considered to be fragmented due to the fact that it is primarily comprised of local, privately-held companies. Finding the right fit to form a team amid so many operating roofing contractors is an essential part of the process.

Picky People

John Lorenz has done this before. He’s credited for bringing together the refuse and recycling companies that ultimately became Waste Management Inc., and did it largely by focusing on people, not products or pricing. Janet said they both put a high premium on people because establishing their business model and vision depends on who’s implementing the plan. They’ve stayed highly focused on dynamic owners, like Renown Roofing’s Founder and President Adam Buttorff. An entrepreneur at heart, he started his company in 2010 after spending several years in roofing construction and real estate. He developed a process that streamlined the insurance claims process for customers by adding a group of claims specialists to his team. The company generated $8 million in revenue in 2018, officials said.

Other owners said they saw joining Restoration Builders as a natural progression while the industry moves into a new decade.

Uzziel Jamarillo saw firsthand the devastation of severe weather and the importance of how restoring roofs helped put families and communities back together after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. His father brought him to jobsites and made sure he felt the impact of helping families get back in to their homes.

Within a few years, he was managing the business for his father. He opened Next Generation Roofing Contractors in Sanford, Fla., in 2014 and expanded to Dayton, Ohio, in early 2019. The company reported $9.3 million in revenue for 2018.

“I joined Restoration Builders because I am always looking forward, looking for the next step to grow from here,” said Jamarillo. “I have a vision of professionalizing a fractured industry so we can better help families. Together we’ll be able to make a difference in our industry, and every good work has its fruits. We do a good service for more families, get more properties restored, and be part of a larger company. That seems like a great next step.”

Staying focused on residential and building a unified brand will be the immediate goals for 2020, but adding a commercial roofing component to the business is the next logical step, Janet said. The company does intend to go public, when the time is right.

“We want to have a good blend of residential business and commercial business because that’s what we believe is the strongest position for the company,” Janet explained. “Our track record is going to speak for itself. We just need a few quarters to show people that we’re here to shake things up a little bit, and make homeowners feel they’re going to be okay by going with (our) guys.”