American Builders Quarterly features Metalmaster Roofmaster in July/August 2010 Issue

Download PDF of Article

With the construction industry’s trend toward bigger, faster, and cheaper commodities, it’s easy to believe the art of craftsmanship is lost forever. However, a glimmer of hope rests in the family-owned contractor Metalmaster Roofmaster, which is driven with the same pride and passion that sparked its inception in a small basement in 1977.

Started on the shoulders of George Smeja, a talented coppersmith, Metalmaster Roofmaster is now comprised of family principals Gloria, Daniel, and Michael Smeja. The company presently operates a 150-strong workforce with the same original core values. “My father could do steeples and beautiful, elaborate-type work ,” Michael says. “He had the great talent at taking a flat piece of sheet metal and transforming it into a work of art. He was very good at his trade, and it’s this idea of craftsmanship that Metalmaster Roofmaster was founded on.”

Besides having pride in the work being done, the McHenry, Illinois-based company also runs on an infectious passion that lights up its employees, vendors, and customers. After operating from many different locations over the years, the company designed and oversaw the construction of its state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot headquarters and custom-fabrication facility, which opened in 2004. Sitting on a scenic eight acres, the facility is the epicenter of the company’s day-to-day operations, which include estimating, drafting and engineering, CAD, project management, accounting, legal, dispatch, inventory, fabrication, and welding, as well as a full-time auto center to service its fleet of delivery trucks and equipment.

“In the early days, we used to sub out some of the roofing jobs, but we found that the integrity of the project was compromised because the contractors we were working with didn’t share the same level of commitment and desire as we did” says Rick Biosca, Metalmaster Roofmaster’s corporate counsel. “We realized we could best serve our clients by providing a complete scope of work ourselves, from project inception to completion and beyond. To do this, we built a large temperature-controlled warehouse that is insured and fully bonded. It gives us the unique ability to store large quantities of materials, which we can deliver to any job site at a moment’s notice.”

The trend here is that Metalmaster Roofmaster is not just another company poised to be doing the work it loves. The company truly believes in and yearns for the accomplishment of a job well done, which is evident in its most recent acclamation of the prestigious President’s Club Award, Master Contractor Award, and Inner Circle of Quality Award from Firestone. These awards honor the company’s beliefs and values, which are at the core of everything it does.

For a company that is set in traditional values of “Do it right the first time” and “Our word is our bond,” it is anything but behind the times. In an economy where everyone else is cutting back, Metalmaster Roofmaster is investing even more into cutting-edge technology and employee development. Whether it’s working on projects to achieve LEED certification or aligning with the top green manufacturers, it continues to incorporate the latest trends and quality products into its roofing systems, in order to best serve its clients.

“We are certainly seeing a trend towards green roofing and other environmentally friendly roofing products and services,” says Rock Smeja, third-generation family business member and director of marketing. “It’s the way of the future, and we will do everything we can to make sure our staff is well educated and trained on the latest roofing-system-technology advancements. Every single department here is comprised of specialists in their field, and we will continue to invest and hire only those individuals who can offer value to our company and, in turn, our clients.”

Whether it’s a large department store or a building adorning the skyline of downtown Chicago, Metalmaster Roofmaster’s reputation for quality is embedded in some of the most ornate projects throughout Illinois, along with parts of Indiana and Wisconsin, and in the minds of anyone who has ever worked with the company.

“Throughout our history, we have worked extremely hard at establishing quality relationships so that we have the continued opportunity to work on every project, including those tougher or more sophisticated projects that other contractors may not be capable of performing,” Michael says. “We just work hard and strive to always do the right thing, but we’re also fortunate to have the support of great manufacturers, particularly Firestone. In addition to offering great products, we have found that they share the same commitment and dedication to excellence as we do. Loyalty means everything to us; in short, our word is our bond.”