It’s been almost 16 years since I started Highland Contractors. Initially we only offered roofing, it was straight forward and we were small. The entire operation was me and one other guy, Sean. That first year, back in April 2008, I went through a great learning experience. I had contracted a roof from some great people near Strong Hospital. It was my first big project and I was in way over my head, but I’ve always been very optimistic! This particular city roof had the traditional cedar shakes over pine skip sheathing boards and it had 2 layers of asphalt shingles over the top of that, so basically a 3 layer tear off that required putting plywood back over the skip sheathing and then GAF Weather Watch Ice and Water Shield and GAF Tiger Paw underlayment, followed by GAF Starter Strips and Architectural Shingles. This was what we term in the roofing industry, a “mid sized city pig” roof, meaning it was a pain in the you know what! I had recruited a ragtag bunch of my friends and acquaintances to help me with this particular project. The morning of the first day we all gathered up and they all looked to me for guidance on how to proceed. “What do we do Phil?” “Well” I said, “Let’s tear off the whole roof!” You could tell they were pretty unsure about this very bold and brazen approach for such a small inexperienced crew and owner, but nonetheless, we proceeded to tear off the entire roof so it was open to all the elements. A couple hours into the process someone had commented about a tiny little speck in the distance. It looked like a cloud perhaps, I thought. Come mid-day, after the entire roof had been removed, that little speck had turned into a classic Rochester thunderstorm and I was not prepared! I rushed frantically to the hardware store to acquire tarps to protect the house and its belongings that the previously mentioned great people owned. When I went back, the rain had just begun and I rushed up the roof with this enormous tarp in hand and began to unfold it so we could cover the roof entirely. Well, this was an ill- fated plan right from the very beginning. The winds had begun to pick up, and so did the tarp, like a big blue balloon rising up into the sky, anchored only by me and one other person just silly enough to be on a roof in the middle of a lightning filled thunderstorm that rocked our world! Eventually the rain subsided and we were able to secure the tarp and prevent a total catastrophe. There was minor damage which we were able to fix without issue. Thankfully, these great people remained kind people and treated me fairly and with respect. I think back to those early days and I have concluded – PREPARATION is everything. We have since made more mistakes, but we try not to repeat them. We take ownership and responsibility for our mistakes, and let me say this, “Mistakes will happen! Can you rely on the company that you contract to take responsibility for their error or mistake?” That is something I can honestly say we have done throughout our almost 16 years in business. We have not been perfect, but we have always treated the customer fairly and made things right. We now offer not only Residential and Commercial Roofing, but also Gutters, Siding, Windows and Doors, Carpentry Services, Fencing and Insulation. We realized that people are looking for a one stop exterior contractor who can take care of them fairly. I will never forget that day I learned a very valuable lesson…..Preparation is everything!
Headquartered in Rochester with Locations in Canandaigua and Buffalo