Editor’s Note: The importance of family succession stories in the roofing business may be hard to measure but is undoubtedly formidable — regardless of specialty or market. Whether involved in installing, distributing or manufacturing roofing products and services, there are countless roofing professionals across the country in similar circumstances, each with vibrant and inspirational stories about working with family that we continue to root out and share with readers, hoping it offers you new perspectives that could help your businesses and possibly connect with others.

Our June issue, which honors Father’s Day, includes our ongoing ‘Fathers & Sons’ series, focusing on some of the most dynamic relationships in roofing. If you have a multi-generational family-run firm with a good story, please email us at aisnera@bnpmedia.com.

Of everything they could learn from more than seven combined decades of roofing experience, 46-year-old John Halliday, along with his brother, Mike, are most content with two takeaways in particular handed down by their father — and his father before him:

Always focus on high-quality craftsmanship and keep things as simple as possible. The two brothers have made a career sticking primarily to those two principles and mixing in a high dose of customer care for more than 20 years in the desert as the owners of Halliday Bros. Construction. They’re more than just the owners of the roofing company based in Mesa, Ariz.; they’re the only employees — and that’s how they like it. 

“Everything is small, and we prefer to work with highly trusted family members,” said Mike, 38 and the middle Halliday sibling. “All of the business side of the company is directly on me and my brother John. We’ve been partners since the beginning.” 

Together, they handle residential and commercial work, including intricate repairs such as underlayment replacement, tile replacement, leak repair, flat roof systems, roll roof systems, and porch patio roof replacements. They’re also proficient at shingle roof replacement and protect homes from the elements of desert weather by incorporating foam roofing repairs, replacement, and high-efficiency coatings. 

Youngest brother Joseph, 35, also works with the company, but with just each other as company full-time employees, the elder Hallidays rely on subcontractors they hire by the job. Depending on the scope of the work and location, they typically have around a dozen non-union roofing installers in the field at any given time. The Hallidays said the contractors are trusted, trained and treated just as they were when working jobs for their dad.

John said they’re paid daily, provided lunches, given unlimited sick days and can earn vacation bonuses in a system where maximum freedom creates good workers and results in a good working environment. They also take training subcontractors seriously. One of their first hires was a veteran roofer and safety protocol expert who still operates safety training procedures and works with all subs. No one gets on a roof without five years of roofing experience and completes the in-house training reviews. 

“Any new hires we bring on, if they don’t have experience in roofing they are going to be gophers on the ground and will not sniff a roof for quite a while,” John said. “We take safety seriously because we are nothing without those guys.”

Most work these days falls on the residential side, with the vast majority in repairs or reroofing in Phoenix. This now-sprawling desert metropolis includes neighboring cities Mesa and Gilbert, each a burgeoning exurb. The latest population data shows Phoenix is now the nation’s fifth-largest city with more than 4.7 million people within its metropolitan area, a 1.3% increase from 2023. For perspective, imagine operating in a market larger than the state of Maryland.  

Simply put, the area is growing fast, and there’s a lot of demand for housing stock, which the Halliday Brothers tapped into by launching at the right time.

A man applying spray foam on a flat roof

Halliday Bros. does everything from underlayment replacement, tile replacement and leak repair to flat roof systems, roll roof systems, and porch patio roof replacements.

The Personal Touch

John and Mike practically grew up on construction sites as children, helping their father out on roofing jobs and earning extra cash over the summers starting at around age 13. As his father told it, John recalled, their grandfather was a roofer for more than 70 years and passed on the knowledge and skillset. Their father worked as a handyman and roofing specialist for roughly five decades. While the brothers were in their early 20s, their father became ill and had to step back from the business's day-to-day. They gradually took on more responsibilities and, in 2004, launched their own company with their father by their side, literally until the day he died in 2018. 

“He had a job on a Saturday and passed away on a Sunday — his one day off,” Mike said. “Our family has been doing roofing forever, and our father taught us everything we know.”

With a new company and new contractor’s license in tow, the pair put their skills to work and found success early on, including a milestone job for all buildings on a large church campus in suburban Phoenix. 

“The day I got my contractor’s license was a really proud day for me,” Mike explained. “Our family had been handymen before that, so taking on bigger roofing jobs was an important step for me. They gave us the (church) job because they loved the quality of our work. Back then, we had never gotten a job that big.”

From that job to the next, they built a business model based on personable service and strong referrals, just like the generations of Hallidays before them. Among the projects they take the most pride in is consistently getting work in the Trilogy at Power Ranch, a sprawling retirement community in Gilbert, where they’ve completed more than 400 jobs based solely on recommendations from homeowners. 

“We are very personable with our customers, and it is a testament to our hard work,” John said. “Our entire business was run on word-of-mouth for a long time, and our customers are lifelong friends. We provide the highest quality work and treat their homes like they were our homes.” 

A man on a lift in front of a church roof

Halliday Bros. Construction caught their big break earning a job that sees them addressing every roof for a church's campus in Phoenix.

A Seasonal Approach

While commitment to high-quality workmanship and customer care may have come from watching Dad at work, the Halliday brothers developed a formula for success by maximizing their seasons. And we’re not talking about the typical fluctuations in the weather-type seasons. The Hallidays plan their year based on the following "seasons": 

Snowbird Migration. This is the season where part-time Arizonans with roots in colder, northern states return to their respective hinterlands for milder (some say more tolerable) summers. John said this period generally runs from May through October but really picks up in late April as homeowners rush to have their roofs inspected and repaired before leaving for several months. 

Monsoon Season. Monsoon storms typically hit in late June and early July and don’t end until late September. Between then, residents get a high dose of heat and higher humidity, leading to thunderstorms, downpours, hail and other potential roof hazards.  

Snowbird Return. As the days shorten in the north and beautifully clear, crisp weather returns to the desert, so do the nearly 1 million estimated residents and tourists drawn to the Grand Canyon State from October through the following spring. John said that gearing up for their return means girding up for a steady stream of calls requesting wintertime repairs. 

Tax Season: Overlapping many of their other seasons is what the Hallidays refer to as "tax season." It’s not the busy run-up to April’s tax filing deadline, as accountants know it. Instead, it’s a relatively short time between post-filing and the beginning of summer; experience has taught the brothers that this is the window when tax refunds are often used for one-time home improvements — like a roof.

Halliday Brothers Contracting

Founded: 2004

Owners: Brothers Mike and John Halliday

Headquarters: Mesa, Ariz.

Specialty: Residential tile roofing, leak repair, and felt replacement for tile roofs

Number of Employees: 2

Website: hbcroofingaz.com

New World

Looking back, the Halliday brothers say they are thankful for all they learned and that they came up in the roofing industry at a time when simplicity still translated into profits. The environment is much different today, with roofing company consolidations rising and private equity acquisitions changing the landscape. 

None of which seems to bother the Hallidays.

“We didn’t get where we are by consolidating with bigger roofers,” Mike said. “We got where we are by being small and personable. Our mission statement is to provide every customer with as much info as possible to ensure a quality roofing job regardless of whether they hire us or not.”

His brother said the attitude has more than paid them back over the years. They also get positive feedback about transparency on costs and avoiding hidden fees they see with competitors. 

“My dad would be working right beside me if he was here today,” John said. “He’d be so proud of what our business has become, the integrity that we’ve kept, and how it has grown.”

He’s not so sure there won’t be a fourth generation of Hallidays on the rooftop — 10-year-old daughter, Annie, is a natural around the jobsite.

“She’s worked with me ever since she was 3 years old,” he boasts. “On days off from school, she loves working with her dad and meeting new people.”

The brothers' best advice for other roofers is to be as up-front and honest as possible with their clients. 

“Give an upfront cost at any job,” John said. “Be honest, do good work, and you will do great.”

Sounds simple.