There is something notable about a husband and wife team operating as partners within the building envelope that often speaks of a shared mindset. As co-principals of Sustainable Roofing, Robby and Jaycee Wilkerson fit the bill with their mantra, “a better approach to roofing.”

Having moved to the Brazos Valley region of Texas from Portland, Ore., the couple appreciated the crucial importance of proper ventilation in maintaining a healthy roof, given the heavy precipitation of the Pacific Northwest and its propensity to foster mold.

Precisely because of its intrinsic yet often underappreciated value, the couple has leaned into ventilation as an area of expertise in the company’s positioning within a larger sustainability framework — and marrying that operational mindset to the value proposition couples bring to a customer-centric perspective. 

They decided to start their own company in College Park, a high-growth area in central Texas known as the Texas Triangle, where they saw an untapped market for a more eco-focused approach to roofing contracting that was also budget-friendly.

Positioning your firm in the vanguard, where sustainability largely remains for smaller start-ups like theirs, requires staying up-to-date on current trends in product offerings and techniques, which they do and is a shared point of pride.

The couple first appeared in this magazine after being mentioned in a column discussing the importance of workforce development written by Paul Scelsi in October 2023 titled, “Take the Time to Train,” where Scelsi mentioned them while referencing a regular podcast he conducts. 

“The value of training is limitless, and it comes in so many different forms,” Robby told Scelsi. “For example, I’ve had team members who were not as well versed on attic ventilation as I am; they were tripped up while on the project and had to reach out to me for assistance to explain to the homeowner why we wanted to correct the attic ventilation. [I]f you have the entire team trained [in] all the same knowledge, it guarantees the same results and a seamless sales process.”

The operational side of running a firm is bifurcated into managing customers and employees, and another tenet of the couple’s shared outlook is employee retention, which includes training and maintaining morale, because we all know happy workers build happy roofs. 

The Wilkersons engaged with Roofing Contractor magazine for a Contractor Q&A, and below are their responses. 

[Editor’s Note: Responses edited for clarity.]

A photo of 3 participants at Air Vent Inc.

Sustainable Roofing attends training events held by Air Vent Inc. to stay informed on the science and practicality of proper attic ventilation.

RC: How did you two first get involved with roofing?

SR: We have always discussed having our own roofing company. In 2020, Robby was working sales for a local roofing company when we realized there was a better approach to roofing, and what better way to do it than to create it ourselves.

RC: How did Sustainable Roofing come into being, and how does the company operate?

SR: The background to “a better approach to roofing” started when we lived in Portland, Ore. The study of ventilation, where you could physically see mold growing, and the importance of attic ventilation … would be [essential for] Texas attic temperatures. 

Pairing [that] knowledge with a cleaner construction site [translated into] more value to every transaction as a business model. From landscaping protection to an onsite restroom facility… [it] provides a morale boost for our team [and] peace of mind and sanitation for our customers. As we continue to make ripples in our community, we can’t help but know we’re moving the roofing industry in the right direction.

We’re still a small outfit, and as the owners, we’re still hands-on with administrative, leads and customer support.

RC: Sustainability is part of your company’s name and, based on your conversation with Paul Scelsi last fall, seems to extend to your employees’ well-being; how do you ensure their safety at work?

SR: Always listen to concerns, no matter how small. We had a repair scheduled that needed to be postponed for the employee’s safety due to several wasp nests. A job can always be put on hold. Furthermore, having the correct equipment and tools and inspecting to make sure they’re in good condition before a job is a huge part of safety for our team.

RC: But there’s more to it than that, right, since happy roofers build happy roofs?

SR: We always seek to go to events as a team, including our production manager, with us at conferences [and] training. This aids the company as a whole [in being] sharp and in tune with what’s [happening] in the roofing industry. 

We have been utterly grateful for how skilled our sales team is with customer service. Our main advice is to be honest and transparent when it comes to any situation, whether that be the company’s fault or a misunderstanding on behalf of the homeowner.

On build days, we love to provide lunch or a tasty variety of fruits and Chamoy [a Mexican condiment and sauce made from pickled fruit] to keep the crew hydrated. Tying in with the onsite restroom also means having a higher level of productivity and team spirit. We’ve been told by our crew that we have a fancy work environment. They love it!

Sustainable Roofing owners Robby and Jaycee Wilkerson with Malarkey representatives

Sustainable Roofing owners Robby and Jaycee Wilkerson with Malarkey representatives at a Roofing Contractors Association of Texas Conference in San Antonio.

RC: Does ‘happy’ translate into quality? In other words, how does Sustainable Roofing ensure it delivers a quality product?

SR: Training! As a team, it’s important we’re all on the same page [regarding] expectations. Additionally, every job always [has] an onsite project manager. This ensures that any questions or concerns the homeowner may have are answered right away and any issues are caught instantly instead of after completion.

RC: How does Sustainable Roofing attract clients and build relationships with them?

SR:  We have tried a little bit of everything [but] find social media to be the most successful. The population spends [much] time looking at their cell phones, so it’s a no-brainer.

We are a husband-and-wife team, which often “softens” the sales experience for homeowners. Construction can be intimidating, and we work together to create a safe space for any questions or concerns the homeowner may have. We always aim to educate everyone and often hear that our transactions are fun and knowledgeable.

RC: Couples are popular — see HGTV — but Texas must be a challenging market considering the number of roofing contractors operating there; describe what that’s like.

SR: Having had a few hailstorms in the past five years, our market has received an influx of out-of-town roofing companies. Leads are divided into more companies than our current market can hold. 

Although the foundation we have created for our company has allowed us to sustain during slower periods, we have a heavily saturated market of roofing companies in our area. Stepping outside the generic company models is a must to set yourself apart.

RC: No operation succeeds in a vacuum; which manufacturers and suppliers have helped you succeed?

SR: Although we’re still growing, we have appreciated the great brands leading [the] industry, such as Malarkey Roofing Products and Attic Breeze. We also thank our supplier, Beacon Building Products, and their team for working with smaller roofing companies to allow us a chance to grow in such a competitive market.

RC: How does Sustainable Roofing leverage its relationship with its suppliers and distributors to increase business or add value? 

SR: Being an eco-focused company, we love to recognize days like World Environment Day and Earth Day where [we can] give back to our community for a great cause. We love to offer ventilation upgrades or a free solar fan as a giveaway through our supplier, Beacon Building Products, and our distributor, Attic Breeze.

Sustainable Roofing

Sustainable Roofing

Headquarters: College Station, Texas

Specialty: Residential roofing and ventilation

Number of Employees: Less than 20


RC: For any suppliers reading this, how can they help roofing contractors — their clients — increase contractors’ market share? 

SR: Continue to host workshops for up-to-date industry knowledge and allow some pushback for smaller companies to have a fighting chance on price increases.

RC: What tips would you offer readers looking to stand out from their competitors or add value to a client’s experience when shopping for roofing needs?  

SR: Ventilation is key to prolonging the lifespan of [a] roof, especially in hotter climates like Texas. Hot attic spaces can prematurely age your roof and cause your utilities to be [more expensive] than normal. [Advocate for] attics to be inspected … adding the right course of action for a roof can save [homeowners] thousands of dollars in the long run.

Also, work on your brand. What sets your company apart from your competitors? How will your business operate five or 10 years from now? Focus on morale and always work as a team: when they succeed, your company succeeds. 

Lastly, never stop learning. If you’re not learning you’re not growing. There will always be someone smarter, younger, or more experienced, [so] you must never stay stagnant.

RC: Consumers can be finicky; what’s an experience the company had — good or bad — that offers a takeaway for readers?

SR: We had a customer with a historic home call us to inspect her ventilation system. She had zero ventilation: no exhaust and no intake. After going in and adding edge vents and an attic solar fan, the customer saved $100 dollars on her first utility bill! 

We love helping customers save through those hot months. [Regarding] our worst experience, we’ve learned that sometimes walking away and allowing the customer to be right — and avoid the negative backlash — is sometimes part of owning a business. Is an extra $200 [in revenue] worth a negative review or bad publicity?

RC: Summarize Sustainable Roofing’s approach to operating in a competitive industry, where pricing sometimes becomes a race to the bottom.

SR: Looking at the entire process from start to finish, we want a hassle-free and premium customer experience. We like to use “A Better Approach to Roofing” as our [mission] statement. As mentioned earlier, creating a greener and more streamlined approach creates an inviting and beneficial experience for all parties involved.