New York conjures up a number of images that resonate universally: breathtaking buildings, pizza, and tough, resilient people willing to put in the work to get the job done.

Preferred Exterior embraces all of those qualities – except making pizza, but it’s certainly done its part to keep restaurants, grocery stores and more safe and dry with award-winning commercial roofing.

“Our work ethic is what we pride ourselves on,” says Frank Nicola, current president of the multi-award winning operation. “My brother and I started from the bottom, I was a teenager when my dad had me start working.” 

Located on Long Island and backed by over five decades of experience, family-owned and operated Preferred Exterior continues to grow throughout New York and the tri-state area.

contractor-profile-preferred-exterior-2In 2022, Preferred Exterior won the Carlisle Perfection Award, which recognizes roofers whose quality installations results in warranty claim performance raking in the top 5% of all U.S. and Canadian applicators.


Building Up Long Island and Beyond

Founded in 1969 by Frank Nicola Sr., this company has gone from a small residential roofing operation, to a commercial and residential roofing enterprise. Nicola started working summers at age 14 and did so until graduating high school. He began working full-time around the age of 20. A few years later he took over, along with his brother, Matt, who serves as vice president.

“Essentially we started as an eight-man operation doing about one residential roof a day, and I was running that crew," Nicola said. "A couple of years into that we were ready to grow into commercial roofing and we took the steps to get certified with reputable manufacturers like Carlisle."

Through networking and taking jobs whether big or small, Preferred’ s client base grew to include everything from churches, supermarkets, schools and storage facilities, to name a few. In 2022, for the second year in a row, Preferred won the Carlisle Perfection Award, an annual distinction that recognizes a small percentage of Carlisle's most quality-oriented contractors. To be eligible for Carlisle's Perfection Award, a contractor must have established a seven-year track record of exceptional installation quality and excellent warranty claim performance.

Today, Preferred Exterior works mostly in the commercial market, but also takes on residential jobs, including roof replacement, slate repair, ventilation systems and residential flat roofing. To that end, Preferred Exterior is a Master Elite contractor with GAF.

Roughly 50 employees are split into seven different crews, including high-end residential, residential roofing and two commercial flat roof crews. Employees on site are all OSHA certified, and Preferred is continually keeping up with all safety requirements. To its credit, Preferred Exterior has weathered the workforce shortage by creating advancement opportunities and competitive wages and benefits. All of these investments into its employees translates into high quality workmanship. With a full office staff, jobs are coordinated and ensured to run smoothly from beginning to end. The infrastructure gives them daily quality control and thorough project management.

contractor-profile-preferred-exterior-3This warehouse project included the installation of 300,000 square feet of Johns Manville TPO.


Earning High Marks

To ensure every job is done properly, a five-member office staff helps coordinate efforts and job supervisors are constantly checking projects. A meeting is held every week with middle management to check on progress and any issues that may have cropped up.

The results speak for themselves, as do the awards from manufacturers. In 2022, Preferred Exterior won the Carlisle Perfection Award, which recognizes roofers whose quality installations results in warranty claim performance raking in the top 5% of all U.S. and Canadian applicators. This is the second year in a row Preferred Exterior received the award.

This year, Preferred was awarded Carlisle’s exclusive Excellence in Single-Ply Award. This recognizes Carlisle’s most loyal and dedicated authorized applicators and the award has become one of the most recognizable and prestigious achievements in the commercial roofing industry. Carlisle has also awarded Preferred its Fleeceback Champions designation for the fourth consecutive year, as well as the Centurion 100 Award for two consecutive years. 

Preferred also continues their residential work. From full roof replacements, small repairs, metal roofing and high end residential properties. Also servicing multi-family properties all over Long Island. They hold the Master Elite Installer certification with GAF, and has received its President’s Club Award for eight consecutive years. 

“It’s always nice to get recognition and receive awards, but we’re constantly looking forward to do more and do better” says Nicola.

contractor-profile-preferred-exterior-4Along with commercial work, Preferred Exterior handles high-end residential projects that have earned praise from manufacturers like GAF.


All these efforts are culminating into an already thriving commercial and residential roofing business that is earning contracts to work on some major projects in 2023 and the years to come. The Nicola brothers are looking forward to the future and continuing to grow as a company.